March 21, 2009

 

Open Practice Day Press Conference – Louisville Coach Jeff Walz Quotes

Opening Statement …
“I’d like to thank everyone who is associated with LSU for the hospitality we’ve gotten since we arrived. We’ve had a great two days and we’re really excited about the chance to get on the floor today and practice and of course really excited about the opportunity to play tomorrow night against a very good Liberty team and of course, we’ll watch the LSU vs. Green Bay game. We’re excited to be there.”

On if any of their regular season opponents compared to Liberty …
“Our strength of schedule is ranked tenth. We played at Xavier, who I think compares with them (Liberty) because of their size. We played at Utah and at Middle (Tennessee), which I thought were good places to play. So there are a few teams where you can take bits and pieces of each team and really compare them. I’m very impressed with this team. I think they’ve lost eight games this season and they’re 2-6 when Megan Frazee wasn’t playing. You put her on their squad when she’s healthy and they’ve only lost two games the entire season.”

On Liberty guard Megan Frazee …
“What impressed me most about her is her size and the way she handles herself away from the basket and with her back to the basket. When you put a center on her to try to stop her in the post, she’ll take you out to the perimeter because she has the ability to take the outside shot. We’re going to play the way we always do and switch a bunch of screens, at the same time we’re going to have to know where she is. We’re going to have to make sure when she has the ball in her hands that we’re up on her and try to make her as uncomfortable as we can.”

On his team’s focus entering the tournament …
“We’re excited. This is something we’ve worked for the entire season and that’s what we talked about once we got back on the court after our Big East final. We played 34 games and those games were there to prepare us for this tournament. I’m excited; I think the kids are excited. I know we’ll come out and play hard and that’s one thing we’ve stressed the entire season. We can’t control whether the ball goes through the net or not, but we can control how hard we play. I think you’ll be impressed with how hard these four teams are going to play. It’s going to be a battle.”


Louisville Player Quotes

Forward Angel McCoughtry

On what’s it’s been like to play under coach Jeff Walz in her last two years…
“It’s been a good transition. We hope to go far in the tournament. We have a great coach, and we’re just excited about playing tomorrow night. We want to take it one game at a time.”

On the accolades she’s received…
“Accolades don’t matter right now. It’s about taking it one game at a time to reach our goal. We’re trying to get to St. Louis, and that’s all that matters. Tomorrow is Liberty, and that’s all that matters right now.”

On Liberty…
“We have to rebound. Rebounding is important. They’re leading the nation in rebounding, so that’s a must.”

Forward Candace Bingham

On what it’s been like to play under coach Jeff Walz in her last two years…
“I think it’s a good opportunity. We have a great coaching staff that came in and helped us get to this point. Hopefully, we can just take it, run with it and take advantage of it.”

On Liberty…
“Again, we need to rebound, come out and play hard, execute our game plan, just play together and have fun.”

Guard Deseree’ Byrd

On Liberty…
“I think what’s going to be very important is for us to play defense. We have to stop them from driving to the basket obviously. That’s been one of our weaknesses this year. I think if we do that, we’ll be good.”

On getting back on track after the last loss…
“I think it took a couple of practice days. The first two practice days it wasn’t too good, but I think after coach Walz got on us a couple of times and let us know, we got back into our groove.”

Louisville Open Locker Room Quotes

Guard Becky Burke

On what she expects to see out of Liberty…
“We have been scouting them the last couple of days and obviously they are a good team because they are here (NCAA Tournament). We are just excited to be here and ready to get started.”

On what she thinks Liberty’s biggest strength is…
“I think they are the best rebounding team in the country. They are tall and long so something we have to focus on is boxing out. I think rebounding will be the difference in the game.”

Center-Forward Keshia Hines

On how excited she is to be in the tournament…
“It is ‘one and done’ from here on out. We have to bring our ‘A’ game every night. We are trying to make it to the national championship. We know what is at stake.”

 Liberty head coach Carey Green
Opening statement…

“We are very thankful to be here. This has been great hospitality provided by (LSU) and the NCAA. As we began our season, we had a lot of injuries. We are real thankful we were able to finish strong under the leadership of seven seniors. We are real thankful to be in this situation.”
On what matchup problems Louisville presents…

“They are very athletic. Their speed and quickness causes a lot of problems for any and every team. They have had a lot of success because of that. Not only this season but last season as well. We have to play with a lot of poise and share the ball. We need to make them spend more time on defense. They are tremendous at jumping in passing lanes. You have to respect what they are doing.” 

“At this time of year, you would be very unwise to go away from what you have been doing. You have to look at your opponent and see what their assets are. That is going to be difficult to deal with. Typically, with athletes in general – football, baseball and the game of basketball – the one thing that neutralizes speed is physicality. If we can tempo the game to be a half court game that will give us a better chance.”

On what he sees from Louisville Forward Angel McCoughtry…
“I see a first-round draft choice if not the first overall pick. I don’t think there are many players in the WNBA right now that could lock her down one on one because she is so athletic and has a complete game. I am thankful that this is a team sport and that we are not playing tennis, racquet ball or golf. She can go out there and dominate in an individual sport. I think that is our strength – team ball. At this level, margin of error is so small that you can get yourself in trouble.”