March 20, 2009
Opening Statement- Sharon Versyp
“We are very excited to take part in the NCAA tournament and coming down to Chattanooga, everyone here has been wonderful. We have a very tough opponent ahead of us in Charlotte and we are just ready to get out there and play the game.”
“They are a very well balanced scoring team. You can not just shut down one player because the others will be able to make it. They like to make quick baskets so we have to be able to get back on transition. We have to play our type of basketball and do things we have done all year. “
Re: Neutral sites
“I think us and Charlotte are excited that we don’t have to play on someone’s home court. A lot of teams may not have the 10,000 fans they would have at their home sites so it does give the other teams a chance to have somewhat equal fans.”
Re: Long time off “We obviously needed to give them the time off after playing three back to back games in the Big Ten Tournament. It think the players, especially the seniors, want to play. I think if we are too tense going in then we will show it. We went easy on Sunday and found out who we played on Monday and then had two good days of practice getting ready.”
Re: Playing non-conference game after conference tournament
“Absolutely. I talked to UNC when we got here and asked about it since they are the only team that does that. They said it was very benefi tial. I think that it is very important. Our schedule is already done for next year but I would like to see that we can do that type of game in the future.”
Re: Player Experience
“I think right now its all survive and advance. I think that if you are playing great basketball you can do that. Hopefully that is one thing that we can do and play well in the tournament.”
Re: Charlotte’s similarities to other teams
“They are very similar to a combination of diff erent non-conference opponents from a lot of diff erent conferences. They have some players that also remind us of some of the tougher players that we have seen. I expect them to come out and play at their best.”
Re: Scouting report on 49ers
“They are very athletic team. They push the ball in transition. It will force us to get back. Their wing players
are extremely athletic. Their point guard is a very good point guard and she runs the show for them basically.
They have such good rebounders on the inside. We are going to have to play some really good team defense
to come out with the victory. Their defense is in your face so we have to keep our composure.”
Re: Advantage with experience? (Five seniors and tourney experience.)
“I think it will help us. Our experience and confi dence level has increased as the season has gone along. It
shows in our performance. I think we are playing well right now especially towards the end of the season. I
think we have had a lot of players that have been to the NCAAs and I think that will help our chances in the
Re: Final NCAA Tournament
“It is sad to think this is my last year. I think I will be nervous going out there. But everyone is going to go
out there and play their best basketball. I think it will be a sad situation at the end of the season, but all the
seniors are very proud and excited.”
Re: Within two points of passing Coach Versyp for 10th all-time on Purdue scoring list
“I feel great and honored to be on the list with such stellar athletes (laughing). I love coach but it will feel
kinda good to pass one of her records. FahKara passed one of her records so she can help me with how it
feels. Just again showing the great players Purdue is bringing to this university.”
Re: Candice Parker friendship?
“We do keep in contact. She has done some great things for Tennessee in this area and she is a great friend.
Charlotte Coach Karen Aston
Opening Statement – Karen Aston
“We are very thrilled to be here. Every player and coach this is why you play and coach and you dream about this during your career either coaching or playing. I am just really happy for this particular team and these players. They paid the price that you have to pay to make the tournament and to do the things that they did I am just really thrilled for them and also for our program.”
“They are very, very good. Not sure their seed is not what they should have been. They were second in the regular season and made the Big Ten championship game. They are a little more of a traditional team. They are very good defensively and people have not scored many points against them. We can compete with them if our off ense scores points against them since our defense feeds off of that. This is a little more of traditional team. They are very good defensively. People have not scored many points against them. When we shoot the ball well, and our off ense plays well our defense feeds off that.”
Re: Playing Purdue while at Texas
“I was very familiar with Purdue. We have seen these players several times in diff erent atmospheres from college to when we were recruiting. Rayburn is a very tough matchup when we saw here before. We didn’t know who she was before the game, and lets just say afterwards we had a lot of respect for her. The players there have adjusted very quickly to Sharon’s system. She is a terrifi ccoach and have adjusted well to it. It tells you about those players a individuals.”
Re: Charlotte’s consistency
“It comes with the administration commitment to the program. They knew and had the feeling that the coaches at the time that they were hired were right for where the program needed to go. I just hope that when I was hired that I was the same way. It starts with commitment that the administration has and that the players are the other piece to that. I have two former players on my staff and they have tremendous pride in what they do and where they come from. I think its two fold.”
Re: Shannon McCallum
“She is a totally diff erent player than what we have on our team at any position. She has a knack for scoring. She is so incredibly talented. She owns a diff erent dimension in the transition game. The sky is the limit for her as a defender. She has the ability to do a lot of diff erent things off ensively. She is a diffi cult guard. The challenge for Shannon is to stay in the game. But she gets better every day. I have had the privilege of coaching a lot of diff erent players. I do believe she has the potential to do some special things in our program.”
Re: Neutral site
“I think home sites are still a necessity right now. It was a huge advantage. We went to the neutral sites and we were not ready for it. I think we are where it has to be though, knowing the experience I have had.”
Re: Confi dence coming from the A-10
“I think confi dence makes up for a lot. I think we played terrifi c the fi rst two rounds. My biggest concern is when the lights come on since our team plays off of that. I think they understood the pressure and that they players were ready. I think if you based off practice which I do, it was some of the best practices all year long.”
Re: Tape on Purdue?
“We have defi nitely had a chance to view some tape on Purdue. Like all teams we have prepared for them.
I think we are equal with them and the same at several positions. I think the game plan will be the same as
our other game plans. I’m pretty confi dent.”
Re: First NCAA Tournament as seniors?
“It’s a great experience. It’s our fi rst experience and I feel like we have gone through some adversity the past
through years with coaching changes and athletic trainer changes. We have come through though and
pulled together as a team. I think the best part of it is to see where we have come from as a team.”
Re: Tough to be excited but focus?
“It is diffi cult and I kinda feel the same way before we started the A-10 Tournament. We had never one a
tournament game while Danielle and I have been here going into the A-10. So we kind of feel the same kind
of pressure we felt then so we know what to expect pressure wise. We just can’t worry about that and come
together as a team. We need to have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder.”
Re: Teammates with Rashanda McCants in high school
“It’s actually kind of exciting. We haven’t played against or seen each other in four years. To have a chance
to possibly play each other in the second round would be an honor and a great experience. We have kept in
contact through email, phone calls and texts just encouraging each other to do well throughout our careers.”
Re: First NCAA Tournament as seniors?
“We have both looked to get here since we got here and we wanted it really bad. We are happy we have gotten
here. We are ready to come out here and get some wins but have fun at the same time.”