Dec. 21, 2010
UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On his emotions after watching the players celebrate following the game:
"Well, that's why you play the games. It doesn't mater how many you win or what your record is, I think you play so that you have that feeling after the game when you played well and everybody contributed and you feel good about what you just did. What gets lost sometimes in all of these wins is sometimes players forget to do that. You want to make sure that it's not just ho-hum, this doesn't mean anything. It's pretty significant to those kids because they've heard so much about it and what it all means and I know they were excited all day today. I'm glad they came out and played the way they did for the majority of the game. As I said earlier, I'm constantly amazed by these kids and what they are able to do under the circumstance that they're put in. One of the things that John Wooden used to say about what competitive greatness is is having the ability to be your absolute best when your best is needed and that's what Maya Moore is and maybe that's what Bria Hartley is. I don't know. Certainly Maya, during all these 89 games, has been her absolute best when it was absolutely needed and I'll always remember that and I'll always admire her for that, because that's not easy to do. I don't care what the situation is, that's not easy to do."
On having John Wooden's grandson and a bevy of former players in attendance at the game tonight:
"In some ways, they are all a part of it. They all contributed to what tonight was. Whether it was Tina (Charles), who actually was responsible for 78 of those wins or someone who played before that. They are all part of it. They are all invested in this thing and they all take a little piece of that with them. That's something that you can't measure, what that means, when those people feel like that, because it's so easy to walk away from that and they don't and I think that's what makes it so special."
Now that you have the 89 record, what does it mean to you?
"Well with all those cameras back there, no matter what I say it's going to come out looking bad. I'm not going to call anyone any names. I don't know. I really don't have an answer for that. I really don't have an answer for that because I'm not sure." (The answer to this question was interrupted so that Coach Auriemma could take a phone call from President Obama).
What does it mean to get a phone call from President Obama?
"It just keeps getting more ridiculous by the day as you try to sort this out and what it means. There's an awful lot of people that do an awful lot of good things. They play great and coach great and do all of the things that they do right and they don't find themselves in this situation. Here right now doing this, I'm just incredibly fortunate, incredibly fortunate. Last night I was supposed to be on 610 WTIC and I missed it because I was babysitting my four month old grandson and he was slobbering all over me and crying. I thought, you know, we'll go play tomorrow and no matter what, when I go home he's going to poop all over me. It keeps you kind of grounded, you know."
What did the President say to you?
"What any sports fan would - he said it's a great thing for sports. It's an accomplishment to be celebrated and he's proud of the way we handled it. He wants Maya (Moore) to know how much he enjoys watching her play. I think he was talking to me as a basketball fan and I appreciated that."
UConn Player Quotes:
On what 89 wins means as a team:
"A lot of people come to mind and what they contributed to this program to make it what it is today. The coaching staff, it's just a special group of people I have around me. They invest so much everyday in practice. Its great to have that be shown to the world the way it has been."
On the feeling during the last 10 seconds:
"It was great. That right there just represented how proud we were of how well played during that game. We would have been excited just winning, but because we played so well, that's part of that excitement you guys saw."
On doing something right 89 times in a row:
"It takes a group of people who are highly invested and unselfish who do more than just what's required. We do more than work together on the court. We are a group of people who are constantly around each other and look out for each other and care for each other as well. This is a family and that's how we treat it. We hold each other accountable. We'll confront each other when something needs to be confronted. We argue just like sisters do and we'll also go to war for each other just like sisters do. It's a lot of extra things."
On the debate over the streak compared to the UCLA men's streak of 88 games:
"It depends on what you value. We value the intangibles. It's easier to understand the value of what we do if you just come watch us practice. Just hang around us for a little while. Get to see what it's like just being a college athlete. I think college athletes have a really tough road. Just staying on top of your studies and being a high-level Division I athlete is really hard. Being 18-21, that's hard enough right there. Everyday, to come to practice and work as hard as we do and focus as much as we do is remarkable. The more attention that we can get, hopefully the more people can see that and will come to appreciate how we hard we play and how quick we pick each other up after getting knocked down. If you value those things, then there's no difference."
On how she feels after the game:
"I just want to play again. It's kind of weird that this game, the streak, happened in the middle of our season. You get to the Final Four and the end of the season and you get this edge because the season's finishing up. But now we had this game and now a lull of having to go out and play again. I'm ready to play again."
On the feeling during the last 10 seconds:
"I was just happy to be there with my teammates and just knowing that we all started this two years ago with that first team. But it means a lot at this moment right now, with this team and the freshmen that came in. It's a great feeling and I'm glad.... I'm at a loss for words. I'm just so happy."
On doing something right 89 times in a row:
"Doing something right 89 times in a row...I guess I can say it can be done, I'll tell you that much. But you know there's a lot of work that goes into it off the court. Nobody sees you working during the offseason, lifting weights and all of that extra stuff. No one sees you in the gym."
On being associated with one of the greatest teams of all time:
"It's definitely a great honor to be a part of this team. As freshmen, all five of us take some ownership in this now. We show we can work just as hard and look up to the older girls to be just like them. We try to work as hard as them. Its great to be compared to one of the greatest teams in basketball and I hope it continues."
On the affection from coach and the embrace after the game:
"He's Italian, what can I say... It was great. You can understand what he was saying to me without any words. It was great. As a freshman, developing that relationship has been important. It's good to see he has that confidence in me. It definitely picks me up and I'm glad he has that confidence in me and I hope it carries into the next games."
Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau
"I love watching the UConn Huskies play, they are a really special team. With a leader like Maya Moore they can do special things which you have already been talking about and will continue to do. Geno has done a fantastic job with this program. I am excited for women's basketball and I'm excited for the attention that this has brought to women's basketball here tonight. For our young basketball team playing UConn tonight is the best thing that could have happened to us. For us to be able to play in this type of atmosphere in December is really great for our team. We will go home for Christmas break and get back after it."
On the streak:
"It is unbelievable. We tripped up at Yale and Geno said to me earlier today that that type of stuff happens all the time, and it really does. When you put the streak in that type of perspective upsets happen all of the time and for them to not be upset during the streak is just amazing. It really is mind boggling."
On what has made the streak possible:
"Great players. Look at Maya Moore, she has been a part of all 89 of the wins and Tiffany Hayes is a pretty nice player who has been a part of them all. When you look at the years past you have Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird they aren't just talented players but they get it. Geno has done a great job recruiting kids that they can coach and they understand the game of basketball."
On Maya Moore:
"What player in our game stops and pops like she does? I watched her right in front of my bench, she catches it and we closed out on her and she went in a direction that I couldn't even believe she could stop herself and go. She pulled straight up on a dime. She reads things before they happen and that makes her so special. She knows what she wants to do before she catches the ball and not a lot of players do that."
On Florida State's play during the second half:
"I think we had a little stage fright in the first half and we put that behind us and we just went out and played. We needed to get the ball inside to Cierra Bravard, she only had three shots in the first half and we did a much better job of that in the second half which opened some things up for us."
On Cierra Bravard:
"We are really excited about her development and her growth. She gets a lot of credit offensively, but she is a great defender. She blocks cuts better than anybody and we are really excited about what she can bring the rest of the season."