Dec. 29, 2013
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Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On Breanna Stewart’s overall performance, though inefficient offensively:
I don’t think shooting the ball, I’ve said this a bunch of times, I don’t think shooting the ball is indicative of playing well. I think a lot of times you can make a lot of times and not play great, and sometimes you miss a lot of shots but you play pretty well. As long as Stewie is getting shots, and I was a little disappointed, I didn’t think her and Steph got enough shots today but that’s another issue. I think as long as we’re getting those guys enough attempts, you can’t control whether they go in or not some days. The defensive part, the rebounding part, all those things, there should be a variable on that, whether they go in or they don’t, but those things should be done all the time. She’s getting better at those things.
On UConn's stagnant offense after a 16-0 run to start game:
There was no flow to the offense. It’s funny because we spend probably as much time as anybody does to make sure we have that kind of movement and flow. I think when we were up 16 to start the game, and then part of it was earlier this week we had a couple really good practices and that second group really had a couple great days of practice. I thought I would try a New Year’s Resolution of mine and play all those guys a lot more minutes, and obviously that won’t happen again. That kind of got us away from what we were doing and we got stuck and we stayed stuck for the rest of the first half.
On UConn's offensive efficiency if Dolson and Stewart don’t produce:
I mean, we can always get the ball to Steph at the high post, but we need to balance that out by getting her the ball inside too and we did a lousy job of doing that today. Breanna was okay offensively, she was stuck, is the best word I can use, in one spot for most of the game. Then when Kay (Kaleena) came out of the game with her third foul, then you’ve got not such a great scenario. You know, this having nine guys available now, that’s all great, lovey-dovey and everything, but it’s going to take a while to get used to it when we play with six or seven most of the time. I have to a better job of figuring out who should be in with who and who plays well with who so we don’t just stand around and watch.
On Kaleena’s early foul trouble:
I have this theory, you should never foul a bad player. You should never foul a kid who can’t score. My reaction to fouls is usually, there are some fouls that are really good fouls and there are some that are beyond stupid fouls, and I think the officiating, the way it is in the country, today was pretty indicative of that. They have gotten really good about if you go near anybody on the perimeter, it’s a foul. But they suck at calling fouls in the lane when there are two post players are trying to post up or guys are trying to cut through the lane. So that hasn’t been fixed at all. So now you have two different kinds of games being played; you’ve got a perimeter game where no one is allowed to touch anybody and you have a post-game where no one can get open because it’s a wrestling match inside. So I think the officials have got to figure that one out. For Kaleena, she is going to end up getting matched up with a lot of quicker guards and some of it will just happen, but some of it she will have to get smarter. We work on that a lot, if somebody beats you on the dribble, let it go. We’ve got players in the back that can block shots, we lead the country in blocked shots so why would you foul someone dribbling by you? So some of them are good, some of them are dumb. I can’t stand stupid fouls. I didn’t get mad at her today, she hasn’t played much so she’s still working her way back.
Cincinnati Head Coach Jamelle Elliott
Did you do anything particular defensively to bother UConn offensively?
“We just played our normal defense. Did they look like they were bothered offensively? I’ll make sure I tell my players that. We’re a pretty good defensive team. We’re a much better defensive team at this point in the year than we are offensively. Our goal was to make it as much of a half court game as possible. To really stop them in transition, our goal was to make them make at least four or five passes before they shoot. That was our goal – stop them in transition and have them make at least four or five passes before they got a shot at the basket. They scored 67 points. I’ve got to believe that that is a lot more under their average than they’ve done all year. They still beat us by 30, they are the No. 1 team in the country, but there are some small individual goals that we accomplished that will help our guys moving forward from this 30-point loss.”
After spotting them (UConn) 16 points, you played pretty well after that…
“Sometimes that happens. You come and play UConn in this kind of environment, the No. 1 team in the country, sometimes it takes you a little while to get those jitters out. Once we got those jitters out after that first run they got on us, I thought we played pretty good basketball up until the end of the first half.”
On the play of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis coming off her injury…
“I couldn’t really tell. It was unfair because she got those quick fouls, she got those three fouls in the first half, so I really wasn’t able to be a spectator to see her in the flow of the game to see where she is. Going into the game we knew that we didn’t want her to get that 3 off because she she’s shooting 50-something, 60-percent from the 3-point line. I’m sure she is still working her way back into shape after that much time off, but she’s still one of the best players in the country.”
Senior Center Stefanie Dolson
On her evaluation of the defense:
“I think we did a good job of making them take bad shots and keeping them from getting what they wanted. It was a struggle but we fought through and we have to learn from our mistakes.”
On what this game means for the team:
“Cincinnati came out and gave us a great game. It makes us take a step back and make sure that we’re always getting better at everything. We don’t want to become complacent as a team. We’re going to get better from here. It’s only halfway through the season. We have a lot of room for improvement.”
On playing hard for 40 minutes:
“We’re taught here to be ready for every game. It is tough to learn, but we’re making sure the underclassmen know to come prepared for every game.”
Sophomore Forward Breanna Stewart
On the game tempo changing in the first half:
“Obviously things started very strong with a 16 to nothing run and then I think when Kaleena got three fouls and had to come out that was tough. At the same time, we have other people who can step up and come in for her.
On the defensive effort:
“I think when we did play defense there were a few times when we messed up the rotation but we seemed to get into the passing lanes a lot. That’s one of the things we take pride in.”
On how she can help the team if she isn’t scoring:
“I think that even if your shot isn’t falling you can impact the game in other ways. I think that just moving around a lot helped. Coach has been on me about getting open in different ways and it helps other people get open too. It keeps me active for rebounds as well.”