DePaul-San Diego State Quotes
March 21, 2009
San Diego State University Head Coach Beth Burns:
"Without question it was an exciting win for us this evening. We have never had the opportunity to play in front of that many people in our home arena and I think without question, with our style and the way we went into the game, our game plan and defensive pressure helped us and led to some easy baskets. I think the noise also helped energize our team. DePaul is a very good team and they had a great season. We knew coming in that they ran an offense similar to Utah and New Mexico. I felt our team was confident we could guard them. Our challenge was going to be their defensive pressure. They mix their defenses a lot. I couldn't be more pleased with our turnover count. I know we were a little inopportunistic towards the latter part of the game but they threw a lot at us. They had great length and I thought our guards really did a big time job moving the ball around and not letting them take things away from us. With that said, it was obviously just a great opportunity for us to move on to the second round."
On Jerica Williams having more playing time:
"I think she's had a great week of practice. Confidence is everything. I tell them hope is not a strategy. If they don't practice well, I don't hope they play well on game night. They have to earn their spot. I think she really refocused after the conference tournament and locked in. She gave us big minutes and played confidently. I felt that after the kind of practice week she had, she was going to play well tonight. Sometimes you have to experience stuff to be able to get through it. I hope for her, especially against teams that are going to zone us and spread us out that she will get some confidence from this game and be able to build on it."
On comparing both NCAA tournament wins with the Aztecs:
"They're both wonderful. The game has grown and everything has changed so much. That team had success and had owned the conference. I can't remember exactly what year it was but it was about our fifth or sixth year here. I think for our team, we figured out how to be 14-0 with 900 people in the stands. You can see how excited they are (about tonight's crowd) and the fans are awesome and it's great to have that, but we build everything we do on the pressure in our defense. I kept telling them, exalting them in huddles, that you are 15 minutes away from what you want if you can dig down and get it."
On hosting the NCAA tournament:
"Many teams feel like hosting (the NCAA Tournament) puts more pressure on you because there are more eyes on you that you're not used to. I believe that for us it helped so much that this is our home, this is our locker room, our court. We've had nothing but success here and that's in our minds. Teams have made runs and we've been able to sustain it. We've been able to finish the job. I think the NCAA has done a great job of being able to accomplish neutrality. Everything we have access to is just like Stanford, just like DePaul, just like UCSB. At the end of the day though, this is our court and these are our fans and that makes for a more relaxed environment."
San Diego State University Junior Guard Quenese Davis:
On Jene Morris' speed:
"Jene is really fast and she can get in any passing lane. Tonight she was great."
On the delay of game after halftime and its effect on SDSU's play:
"It slowed down our momentum. Our offense was great, so once we really got into our groove, that helped us."
San Diego State University Sophomore Center Paris Johnson:
On the size of DePaul's players and neutralizing their game:
"We had to ball-fake more. They were doubling inside and if I put the ball down they would go down and it opened up for our guards as well. They were (playing) in the zone, so we had to shift the ball around a lot more to get our post open. We just had to power it in inside against their size. They have great post players on the inside and we just had to go up against them."
On playing an NCAA tournament game at home:
"The atmosphere helped our confidence and it helped our momentum. We appreciate the fans cheering for us. Just to have everyone there and know that the Aztecs are a great team, they will have to come back to watch us play again. On Monday we play either Stanford or UCSB. I feed off of the crowd. It's just energizing and I'm greatly appreciative of all of the support throughout the year as well as tonight."
San Diego State University Junior Guard Jené Morris:
On putting forth a strong defensive effort:
"I have to give it to my team. They helped me work this whole week and they helped me on the court. It was easy to get in the passing lanes when I had Paris in the post and I had Coco and Quenese in the passing lanes. They helped me defensively and I think that led to our offensive game. We got a lot of steals. It helped us get run-outs and helped with our confidence for the rest of the game. I have to thank my team for helping me because we all worked together throughout this game. When DePaul made runs, we all stuck together and worked hard with and for each other. The bench also helped us."
On the energetic crowd:
"It was really exciting. When we came out after having our pre-game talk, and looking out in the stands and there were so many people there, I definitely think it gave us confidence. It energized us and we wanted to give them a show. They came out to see us play and we wanted to play well for them. It was so exciting to have an atmosphere like that, I can't even explain it. When we would get a transition shot and to hear the crowd go wild, it was amazing."
DePaul University Head Coach Doug Bruno:
"This tournament is such a great event. You have the one and out aspect of it that means unless you win the last game, every single team in the tournament is going to have the crash and burn that we had tonight. It's always difficult to come to the completion of a 12 month process that these players have put themselves through. We wanted to be in a position to keep playing after tonight, so it's very difficult to come to this moment. I think it is very important that I always acknowledge and say thank you to my players. These players have poured there hearts and guts into this game. They would not have been here if they hadn't. We would have liked the game to have been different tonight, but that's why we play and keep score. San Diego State's team did a great job this evening."
On turnovers and guard play:
"There is no question that San Diego State's guard play was a major concern going into the game and it's a major reason why San Diego State won the game. They have very excellent defensive guards and Dierdre said it pretty well here, they translated their defense development. I think Coach VanDerveer is pretty happy that Jene is playing in the Mountain West and not at Cal. "
DePaul University Senior Forward Natasha Williams:
On the difference between the first and second half:
"I think San Diego State started to double team me a lot more and I was having trouble getting the ball back out and they did send a second person at me so it made it more difficult for me to get a look."
On SDSU's Jene Morris having a big game:
"We knew she was a great player, but we didn't expect her to score 30. She came at us and left it on the court."
On getting on the stationary bicycle while on the bench:
"It was just to keep warm and keep my knee moving and to fight through and play hard for the team."
DePaul University Junior Guard Deirdre Naughton:
On the crowd and the factor it played:
"It was a fun atmosphere to play in, whether we were on their home court or not. So those mistakes that we made are inexcuseable. We went through a stretch with no turnovers and the crowd was great, but we have played at Connecticut, we played at The Pit, we played at Southwest Missouri State, we played at all these places, so it was fun to play in that type of crowd whether we won or not."
On SDSU's Jene Morris having a big game:
"She's their best player of the year and I would like to know how many baskets came off of her defense because I'm sure she had a lot."