March 21, 2009

 

LSU head coach Van Chancellor

On Green Bay …
“They’re really good at shooting the basketball. This is a team that has a great work ethic and plays hard. I was looking up their stats this morning and No. 30 for them is shooting 55 percent and their point guard is shooting 50 percent. They shoot the 3-ball extremely well and they play hard. Any team that can lead the country in defense and that has won 21-straight games has my attention.”

On if his team is anxious about the opening round game …
“I think it’s just human nature to have jitters at this point in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. These players have been there and playing at home is really going to help us. We may start slow, but I think we’ll be fine after two or three minutes. A lot of things build up to start a game, but after a few minutes you just start to play basketball and I think you overcome that. We need to make some shots early.”

On his keys to victory …
“We’re going to have to make every possession count because Green Bay gives you no possessions. They play every play and in turn we have to make every possession count. We have to be able to rebound the ball; that’s No. 1. We’re not a great rebounding team, but statistically have a rebounding advantage. We have to take care of the ball. We cannot turn the ball over. In our winning streak, we turned the ball over 12-13 times a game and gave up eight or nine offensive boards. When we’re losing, we turn it over 18 times and gave up 15 offensive boards. Those are the two keys.”

On playing at home …
“The NCAA does everything they can to make this as neutral as possible, but they can’t take us out of our beds and they can’t take us out of our going to class and I don’t mean they should; I’m saying that’s the way it should be; I’m not trying to argue that point. I’m saying we still have our friendly crowd, but the biggest thing is that our players get to do what they normally do and that’s very big. It’s not going to score a point, but I’m not somewhere today in a motel room looking for something to do. I’m going home here in a minute to play with my grand-boys. That’s a great advantage to the coach.”
Guard Allison Hightower

On Green Bay…
“We’ve been hearing that they’re a very good defensive team. They have the No. 1 defense in the country, so obviously they are good at defense, and also, they have some great shooters. They shoot the three very well, and they like to drive, penetrate and do all the little things especially very well.”

On Green Bay not having a big presence in the post…
“We’re definitely looking to feed the post a little more in this game, just because they’re a little bit undersized, but they play a lot of good help-side defense. They are always going to have somebody waiting if you drive or try to penetrate, so it’s just all about looking inside and just playing smart.”

On watching their younger teammates grow up…
“I think that everybody has matured and grown over the past 12 or 15 games. In the beginning of the season, it was a little bit different, and I think they’ve adjusted very well and picked up a lot of things very quickly. They learn everyday, and they are open to learning and working hard. They’ve grown and matured so much, and it’s a good thing to see.”

Forward Kristen Morris

On Green Bay…
“I’ve been asking around myself. I have a friend from Marquette who has played them, and the first thing she said was that they were a scrappy team, and that was the first thing that came to mind when I watched film on them. I’m under the impression that they play very hard, and they do shoot the ball very well, but most of all, they don’t give up on the game. They could be getting blown out by about 20 or 30 points, but they’re still going to give you a fight until the bell rings.”

On Green Bay not having a big presence in the post…
“Although they’re not big, they do a good job of taking away the post. They like to front the post, and they’re heavy on the help side. That’s why they’re so good on defense, but we just don’t want to force the issue too much and force turnovers, but we’re definitely going to try to get it inside and control the offensive boards a lot more. That’s definitely what we’re going to try and focus on, using our height and athleticism to our advantage.”

On watching their younger teammates grow up…
“It’s definitely a new season, but I think it’s a new season with new players as well. These aren’t the same players that you were seeing earlier in the season. I don’t think some of them were college-level ready yet, but I think we definitely are now. We’re ready, and we’re tough enough to stick whoever comes our way.”

Green Bay head coach Matt Bollant

Opening statement…

“We are just excited to be here. We are proud of the tradition of Green Bay and the season that we had. I feel good about the four ladies sitting here next to me. The type of dedication and work ethic they brought to our program to continue the rich tradition that we have. We are excited to play LSU. They are a great basketball team and have been to five straight Final Fours. They have a rich tradition as well. We are excited to compete and represent Green Bay well. We have had a great week of practice and preparation. We are on a 21-game winning streak and we are excited to compete. Green Bay has played very well in the NCAA Tournament. We are planning on continuing that tradition.”

 

On what he told his team about LSU...

“On how extremely athletic they are. That jumps out at you when you watch the tape. It just seems effortless for them to run the floor with how strong they are and how well they move. They are going to be more athletic and be able to jump over us. We have to get a body on them. We have to lead the zone and really fight. As we play more athletic teams, you have to take care of the basketball and shoot a high percentage. Defensively, you have to keep them in front and you really have to fight.”

 

On why he believes there are less upsets in the women’s tournament as opposed to the men’s tournament…

“I think the women’s game is getting a lot better. Mid major (teams) have more of a chance to get good players. We have the AP (Associated Press) Player of the Year from Wisconsin coming here. There are more players coming (out of high school). I think that helps programs like ours. We lose a kid or two to Wisconsin but that third, fourth or fifth kid that is coming out is still really good. That gives us more of chance. As you see better high school basketball, I think you will see more parity in the women’s game.”

 

On what it would mean to his team to beat LSU on its home court…

“It would mean a great deal. (Green Bay) has never beaten a team on their home court in the NCAA Tournament. To beat someone on their home court would say a lot about our program, especially a storied tradition like LSU that has been to five straight Final Fours. They have a coach (Van Chancellor) that won four WNBA titles. It would say a lot for our program and validate the 21-game winning streak we have had.”

 

On what LSU has been able to do with five new starters…

“Give them a lot of credit for what they have done. I think at one point they were 12-9 and 5-4 in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). They have really good athletes. (LaSondra) Barrett doesn’t play like a freshman at all. I give them a ton of credit for how good they are defensively. You see kids come out of high school who are skilled offensively but a step behind defensively. They don’t see screens and don’t seem to play as hard.”  


Green Bay Player Quotes

Guard Kati Harty
On what the team knows about LSU...
“We know that they’re athletic. They’re big and athletic. They don’t have many shooters which can hurt or help them. We played Miami in our first game, and they’re a lot like Miami. I assume that we’ll match up against LSU just like we did against Miami.”

Guard Rachel Portah
On what the team knows about LSU…
“We know that they are very good rebounders. They have a good defense. They’re one of the top defensive teams in the nation. We have to be able to take care of the ball and rebound and not let them get any offensive rebounds.” 
On what’s at stake playing LSU…
“We don’t look at this as possibly being our last game.  We don’t think about that. We go out in every game and play hard and with confidence. We play as a team. That’s one thing that Green Bay basketball has always done. We’ve always played as a team and played as hard as we can. In practice we compete against one another. Everything that happens at practice on the court stays on the court. We never bring anything into the locker room, and I think that’s one thing that’s really special about our program. A lot of times when you compete hard against your teammates, it causes a lot of controversy, and our team never does that. I think that’s one thing that we have. We bring it every game. We four seniors give everything in practice. Every day we teach young girls. That’s just something that’s always come along. When we were freshman, the seniors played hard so that taught us. We’re excited. We’re going to play our hearts out no matter what.  We’re not going to pay attention to what it says on the front of their jerseys. It doesn’t matter. We’re going to play hard. 
On Green Bay’s experience compared to LSU’s experience…
“I think the experience gives us a lot of composure. We know how to handle certain situations. We don’t let play affect the next play and that’s one thing that experience and leadership can bring to a team. This team reminds me of the team that played at Connecticut two years ago. They led us really well and taught us so many things that we brought to the team this year. In a tight situation, I think young girls can get very excited and nervous, and as senior leaders we stay calm in those situations. I think that will help us tomorrow. Playing hard and realizing that they have future years to play and we don’t will make us give a lot more. We understand certain things more than them.”
On ranking of scoring defense…
“They’re going to get after us. They’re going to pressure us. They aren’t going to let us shoot where we want to shoot. We have to be strong with the basketball and move the ball around where we want to move it and run our offense. We’re going to play just as tough defense on them as they will play on us. Whoever gets the ball in the basket is who is going to win tomorrow. It will be a big defensive game.”

Center Lavesa Glover
On ranking of scoring defense…
“You’ll see that we’re going to play a tough game tomorrow. It should be a good game. Both teams defensively give their all, and we play team defense. They play really aggressively. They’re out there in the passing game. It’s just like Rachel (Portah) said, whoever puts the ball in the hoop will be the one that comes out.”
On balance scoring on Green Bay’s team…
“All of the five starters have a lot of confidence in each other. We never tell each other that something wasn’t a good shot. We always keep each other open. It’s a collective unit. Some teams may have a top-scoring player and no one else. It’s really nice to know that we have a lot of confidence in each other. We move the ball really well in our motion. It’s nice to be able to get each other open and score.” 
On LSU having such an inexperienced team and making it to the NCAA tournament…
“When you have a great coach like Van Chancellor anything can happen. These girls may be young but they have that driving force and that will to want to win. That’s what makes these games exciting. In this time of the year with the SEC tournament and the last couple of games they came out and flat out played. It doesn’t matter whether you have five freshmen starting or five seniors starting it’s just that driving force. Tomorrow will be exciting because both teams have that driving force. We’re both here to make an impact and have a good time and play a good game.”  

Forward Erin Templin
On playing LSU at home…
“It’s always an advantage to play at home. No matter who we’re playing, we’re still going to play as hard as we can. We’ve played several teams on the road, and we’ve been successful.”