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    March 22, 2013

    2013 NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
    Gampel Pavilion · Storrs, Connecticut
    Friday, March 22

    PRACTICE DAY QUOTES - #16 seed Idaho Vandals

    Jon Newlee, Idaho Head Coach:

    What is your pitch to get players to come to Idaho?
    "My pitch was that if you come to Idaho, you're going to get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. I really believe we have the facilities at our level to win conference championships. You're going to get a chance to do what a lot of students never get the chance to do, and that's to play in the Big Dance.

    Were you excited when you found out you were going to be playing UConn?
    "When I thought we were going to play Stanford, I thought it would have been better for us, in term of location. We have a lot of kids from California. I think the location was disappointing for us as a fan base, but I knew that we were going to be a 16-seed when I saw that Fresno State was a 15 seed."

    What was the largest crowd you have played in front of this season?
    "Probably the biggest crowd we have played was in Montana when there were a little over 4,000 people. It's a great place to place because it's very loud, but I'm sure this place will be louder."

    How are you motivating your players for tomorrow's contest?
    "I told them that they are getting their shot at the NCAA Tournament. What I want them to take away from it is the fact that they are here and have won their conference, which was our goal all year. This is their reward for all the hard work and all the practices and time they have put into this year. I want them to enjoy every minute. I tell them to embrace the moment because a lot of people don't get that chance."

    What do you expect from your team tomorrow?
    "I think we have the three calmest freshmen that I have ever coached. They're really even-keeled and they have been all year. They play and they play hard. If there's a team I could bring into this situation, it would be this team. I think they'll be able to handle it."

     

     

    How big is this challenge for your team?
    "I think we have the biggest task of all. I think we certainly understand the enormity of the challenge that we are facing tomorrow. But at the same time, it's a great opportunity to embrace and make the most of it."

    What is it that you like about your team?
    "I like how hard my team plays. I like their enthusiasm and energy. They get up and down and shoot the ball pretty well. I just like their spirit. They're very coachable. They all like each other and there are no cliques or drama. They're just a big happy group running around the country playing basketball. It's an awesome thing for everyone to melt together so quickly like they did this year."

    Alyssa Charlston, Idaho Forward:

    On the experience of being on Idaho's second team that has made the NCAA tournament:
    "The postseason in general is exciting for any team. We've improved so much as a team this year and to end it with coming to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history was huge. Winning the WAC Championship was big for us. I think everyone on our team wanted to have this experience at least once in their career and hopefully we can do it again."

    Is there an awe factor playing an opponent with the history and reputation of Connecticut?
    "I think it is more of a respect. We all have so much respect for these players; obviously Geno [Auriemma] is a big name as well. When we were all getting recruited, I think we all had that awe factor of any school; I think it is more of a respect thing for us because we respect all of them."

    On not having pressure to win tomorrow from the basketball world:
    "We've surprised people. I think it's important to go into the game knowing how good these girls are. At the same time it is fun to go into a game as the underdog because everybody roots for the underdog. All we can do is go out, give everything we got, leave everything on the floor; hopefully, the result will be positive."

    On the misconceptions about Idaho:
    "Well we don't just grow potatoes. There is a lot more to Idaho as the state. It is beautiful first of all, there's some unbelievable falls. Boise is an amazing city. I was actually born in Boise, live in Spokane. We get four different seasons, which I understand is probably similar here. We actually just got snow yesterday so it's very similar."

    Stacey Barr, Idaho Guard:

    On the experience of being on Idaho's second team that has made the NCAA tournament:
    "The most exciting thing was coming out and getting to play such a big name school in UConn. It is going to be a great experience for all of us."

    What does your team have to do tomorrow to challenge the Huskies?
    "We just have to play as a team, play our game plan we have practiced all week. We just have to give it our all. It's hard to pick a weakness of UConn out, but a big factor will be keeping their bigs out of the key because they have two very strong players down there."