UConn head coach Geno Auriemma
On being this good and tough every year:
“It’s probably the most difficult thing to do as coaches, we have to try to maintain that culture that we have. In the recruiting process we try to find players that will buy into that playstyle.”
On playing in the Jimmy V Classic:
“We have had the privilege to play in a bunch of these, and from a UConn perspective it’s something we take more pride in because coach Valvano spent some time coaching at UConn so we feel like we have that connection with him. I hope we get invited to play in this game every year.”
On getting the team going after poor start:
“After our first timeout I pulled out my best 30 second time out speech that I save for special occasions. I said, take a deep breath this game is over. They just kicked our butts for 5 minutes and that is how the rest of the game is going to go so don’t worry about it. I honestly thought that was how the rest of the game was going to go but once we settled in we started playing a lot better.”
On poor play in first 5 minutes:
“Those first 5 minutes were a scare. We were stunned by the way the game started. We are not used to that. It was a pretty big difference from the first 5 minutes of Thursday’s game.”
Sophomore forward Katie Lou Samuelson
On what it means to play in a Jimmy V Classic:
"It's awesome. I think it is really important for our team and a lot of people all around the country, so being able to be a part of that is really cool. Our team was able to go visit the hospital too, before this. It is exciting to be in it and it just makes a huge impact."
On upcoming game against Notre Dame:
"I didn't enjoy how I came out today and I know that I don't want to that again coming up so this kind of gives me a motivation to just be ready to go for Wednesday."
Sophomore forward Napheesa Collier
On response team displayed after the first five minutes:
"We didn't come out ready to play, basically. That is what it comes down to and you know we kind of just had to pick it up."
On hitting key three point shots in the second quarter:
"They were leaving me open on the three point line, so you know I just knocked them down"
On guarding the size of the Texas players:
"It was a little tougher for Gabby and I because we are smaller post, so we really had to help each other on the opposite side. I think that really helped a lot because they couldn't play over us."
Junior guard Kia Nurse
On how she thought she played today:
"It was a pretty good game. Honestly, for me personally, I thought I had a good game. Defensively, I wasn't as good as I usually am. That was probably my lack of communicating today, so I have to fix that for this Wednesday."
On adjustments the team made in between the first and second quarter:
"We just kind of took it upon ourselves to fight back and we understood that their size is an issue on the boards. We had to get down and get every single board we can, every loose ball we could and then offensively to just slow down. We had to read what they were giving us and then just execute."
Texas head coach Karen Aston
“First of all, I just want to say how much we appreciate the opportunity to play in the Jimmy V Classic. It’s a privilege for us to be here and represent the University of Texas. It’s a really special game and I really appreciate the opportunity to play in this. Second of all, I am disappointed, really disappointed just in the sense that I thought our team really competed for three quarters and then it got really tough. We just talked about it in the locker room and I don’t want to sit up here and make a bunch of excuses. It got tough in the fourth quarter and they out toughed us. I thought they competed better, competed a little longer than we did on possessions, and just we’re a little bit tougher than we were. I’m proud in the fact that I thought we handled the atmosphere and played really well, it’s a four-quarter game and that’s something our team is struggling with right now. We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve played two really good ones and the second quarter has been the one that’s bit us in the last couple of games but, I just think we didn’t really handle the fourth quarter very well. Credit to UConn, they executed terrifically down the stretch and we didn’t.”
On Ariel Atkins’ status:
“That was obviously a difficult loss for us, she started the game great and she’s our most experienced guard and really our vocal leader. I’m not sure of her status right now, but having to be out for the game, it’s a concern.”
On Geno’s adjustments:
“I thought he made some adjustments on Kelsey. I thought it was the turning point that we did have a mismatch in there and Kelsey was playing well and we didn’t move for her. You can look at her seven turnover and say oh gosh Kelsey why’d you turn it over seven times but we’re all standing there with three or four people around her and we didn’t move into space and into her vision and that’s where I mean execution. They did a good job flooding at her on some possessions that were pretty critical. On the flip side of that they do a pretty good job at picking on the young kids and I thought our young kids got picked on a bit today defensively. Unfortunately, this is a team that you don’t want to zone and that would’ve been our other option with the combinations we had with Ariel being out but this is not really a team that you can play zone on.”
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