Florida-Temple Postgame Quotes
March 22, 2009
Head Coach Amanda Butler
"Obviously, we're very pleased. We knew that today was not going to be easy for a lot of different reasons. At the top of that list is what a fine team Temple is and how well coached they are. I think that one of the things that is special about this team is there's been so many times this year when things got tough, or they didn't look so good and they weren't going to be denied. They weren't going to back off; they weren't going to go away. They were going to find another way to win or some other person was going to step up and make the plays that we needed at that moment to make sure that we did get the win. Obviously today that was Steffi (Sorensen) in a lot of regards. She did a fantastic job on the boards. I think, for our team, whenever we feel like we've gotten a big win it's because of team effort. I think today is no different."
On Steffi Sorensen:
"She puts in that type of performance every ball game. She gets her hands on so many balls, but tonight it just seemed like she was able to secure more. I think she really is the x-factor for our team because that's what we were missing. That's what we talked about at halftime. We were in those rebounding battles, but Temple was coming up the possession every single time. Somebody has got to make a difference; somebody has got to change that trend and Steffi obviously took that to heart."
From your time in Charlotte, what did you see this Temple team doing differently or the same as when you coached back there?
"One of the trademarks always of Temple basketball that is still holding true is how physical they play. They take a lot of pride, in particular, in the way that they play in the paint. I think you saw that today and that was why we had to have our little halftime talk that we did. We were getting pushed around too much in the first half. We weren't playing as physical as we needed to and we weren't securing possessions. That credit has to go to Temple for putting us in that situation. I think they are a lot of similarities. There are a lot of juniors and seniors on this team that have played a lot of minutes and have been in post-season situations. They are a great team that had a fantastic season."
Senior Sha Brooks
If you knew that the team was going to have 21 turnovers before the game, would you feel confident you would have won?
"Yes, I would because we know how to bounce back. Coach told us we had to take care of the ball. Temple had good defense. I really give it to them because they had great defense tonight. They gave me and LT [Lonnika Thompson] a lot of trouble tonight. We just had to bounce back and make sure we took care of the ball the next possession, but yes I would say we still would have won if we had 21 turnovers."
On playing Connecticut:
"I think we have to play better than we did today. Today I don't think you saw our best ballgame. You saw spurts, but I think that we're really going to have to put two great half's together in order to be prepared for Tuesday and just play our game, play Gator basketball."
Senior Marshae Dotson
On playing Connecticut:
"We're happy to be in this situation. It's just like any other game and we just have to come out there and play like we did today."
Junior Steffi Sorensen
What was the difference in the game that enabled the team to win?
"Well I just think we came out and shot the ball well. We stayed composed. They would go on their runs and then we would go on ours. We executed on offense and defense. Then, finally in the second half we started rebounding a little bit more and I think that was the biggest thing. We were doing all those things, we just weren't rebounding. We were getting hands [on the ball] but we weren't grabbing the loose balls. Sha [Brooks] did a great job of getting in there and getting those tips and rebounds. I think finally in the end it all came together for us so that was the biggest thing."
On the double-double:
"Honestly, I really didn't pay attention to that. I didn't think I had a double-double. I almost had a triple-double with turnovers. I was kind of disappointed with that, but certainly I'm always about hustling and going after rebounds. It just kind of happened that the balls we bouncing to me. It's a good feeling, but certainly the win is bigger and better and we're excited about Tuesday."
Head Coach Tonya Cardoza
"Want to congratulate Florida for an outstanding job today. I'm obviously upset that we were not able to get the job done and move on to the next round, but it has been a learning experience for us all."
Your game plan coming into the game was to dominate in the post and you did that, but the guards couldn't get on track. Why?
"Florida was putting a lot of pressure on them and trapping. As soon as we made an entry pass to the wing, they would go and trap the ball. I thought that we played a little scared and we hurt ourselves when we would go on a run and then have a mental lapse where we didn't rotate or cover the three-point shooters. We had a lot of mental lapses, turnovers, and there were crucial points where we could have cut into their lead a little more, but we played nervous when they applied pressure."
Can you reflect on your first season as a head coach and what you were able to take away from it?
"I never thought I would have the type of season that I had. It is very difficult when you take over a program, especially at Temple where Coach Dawn Staley was here before and all the kids here came to play for her. They opened up and let down their walls to let me in. I mean she definitely helped with that process, she was in their ear telling them to give me a chance, but the fact they allowed me to come in and coach and teach them something different than her philosophy, I credit them for that. That is difficult for any group of people to do where you come to play for one coach and that coach leaves and you have a new one enforcing a different way, that is a credit to them. Once we got comfortable with one another and being selfless and playing for one another, they realized how important that was to me and we weren't going to do it any other way. Once they grasped that, we started thriving. Now you see them supporting one another and picking each other up and that is something I am going to continue to do as long as I am coaching."
Junior LaKeisha Eaddy
Can you address the fact that as a team you could not hit a three-point shot today? What were they were doing on the perimeter defense and was that mostly them or just bad shooting today?
"Today was just not a good offensive day for us overall. It was not just shooting the three's, it was everything else that we were not doing right that we usually do on a daily basis"
You only had two points today, was it something specific the defense was doing to you because usually you average in the double figures?
"You have your good games and your bad games and I think today I just struggled a little bit offensively. Not to discredit what Florida did because they definitely played great defense tonight, but you can't always play a perfect game and you can't always have double figure games."
Senior Shenita Landry
Florida went on a run and then you guys would use your pressure defense to get back into it, was it something in particular that did not allow you to get over the hump?
"We just had mental lapses which allowed them to get back into the game. They went on a run and hit two big three's just because of mental lapses and we could not get it done defensively."
This was your final game as a senior and you fouled out, what did coach say to you as she embraced you and what will you take away from your experience at Temple?
"I am going to take a lot away from my experience at Temple. This year was a big year for me, I did a lot of things that I have never done before and I learned a lot as well. As coach always says, she wish she could coach me three more years and I wish I could learn three more years worth of knowledge from her. I learned a lot this past year from coach and it means a lot to me."