South Dakota State-TCU Postgame Quotes
March 22, 2009
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE QUOTES
Head Coach Aaron Johnston Opening Statement:
"Well, it was a great performance offensively and defensively and our team was very focused. It's a great day for us; it's the fi rst NCAA Division I tournament win; it's not remarkable, but worth noting. I was glad how the team handled some things going into this game, and the execution on the fl oor was exceptionally good. TCU was a much better team than what the score shows, and for us to have that kind of game against that kind of team shows how well we played."
On the differences between the D1 and D2 tournaments:
"Well, I think the days leading up the event are very similar. The level of competition is the main difference, and it's very rare in the NCAA tournament that a 7/10 game goes this way. The actual logistics were the same as in the past and that helped us. The atmosphere and environment around it is a bigger scale. The team handled it very well, and I am really proud of them."
On the defense early:
"Defensively, we have been really good all year. The Summit League is a league where you have to play on both ends. We have always put a lot of emphasis on the defensive end, and because we have a lot of good things offensively it just gets missed in the shuffle."
On TCU coming out of zone:
"I wouldn't be able to comment on what their plan would be defensively. It would be hard for me to let that happen, but that's what they have done all year and it has been effective. Just because a team shot 50 from the three-point line, it doesn't mean what your doing is wrong, it means the other team is playing really great."
On holding TCU to 3 three-pointers:
"Defensively, fi eld goal shooting percentage is important, but three point percentage is even more important. With tonight's game, and all the threes we hit, if that was fl ipped around on us that's hard to stay in it. It's one of the bigger parts of our defense, we still helped very well and didn't give up a lot of layups."
On the fan base:
"We are really proud of our partnership with women's basketball and SDSU. It extends to the university and across the state. You do see a good contingency of blue and yellow in the stands and were proud of that."
On the sustained effort:
"It's not easy to get ready for fi rst game, but the second games are always the hardest. You come into the fi rst game with excitement, and today it was good. The other thing that happens with the second game, the teams are better and they are playing well to win. The competition gets better, so it's something we talked about last week and we have to talk about it against this week."
Forward Jennifer Warkenthien
On looking experienced:
"We have been in the postseason before, and the conference tournament kind of prepared us for this kind of game and how both teams are going to be good and battle the whole way through. The whole team worked so hard and never gave up, and that helped us out a lot."
On the defensive effort:
"We take a lot of pride in our defense, every game can be different and offensively you can be streaky or make and miss a lot of shots. If you come in focused on defense and take control that way you're going to be better off in the end. It is something we really wanted to make a statement with."
On the team speed:
"I think we did a good job controlling the tempo of the game and getting some easy buckets."
Guard Kristin Rotert
On knowing when they were going to win:
"Shortly into the second half. When you're down big at halftime you can either decide to fi ght back or give up. We knew TCU would not back down and give up. The way we came out the second half, shortly into it we jumped into it right away and that was the deciding factor."
On if the defense could get any better than what it was int he fi rst half: "I think we can always play better, and we played well tonight and we still missed some switches and made some mistakes. But tonight we did not make that many."
Guard Jill Young
On the confi dence she had in shooting three-pointers:
"I guess you have to have a shooter's mentality and you have to think it's going in. The team did a great job of attacking. We knew if we were attacking we would fi nd gaps and we did."
On if it was as much fun as it looked:
"It was a lot of fun, just again everyone involved and just the way we passed the ball. Everyone played pretty well, and it was just a lot of fun out there to be in our fi rst NCAA game and to play that well offensively and defensively."
On tying the all-time NCAA three-point record:
"That's neat! I know we just all shot the ball really well tonight and the reason we had all those looks was the penetration we had. It's a cool thing to be a part of."
Opening statement on his team's performance:
"SDSU played very well. We did not. They had a lot to do with that. My opening statement lasted longer than the game."
On what he tried to do defensively against South Dakota State:
"They shot us out early. I think they also passed very well. They really made the extra pass well all night. The fi nal score really said it all to me. We tried to throw the 1-3-1 zone at them which is supposed to take the extra pass away. Then we tried to run the 2-3 (zone) and then just started trying to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them to stop the shooters. They played very well tonight. We were outplayed, outcoached, everything tonight."
On his team's apparent timidness tonight:
"We've been that way all year. It didn't just show up tonight. We've been a finesse team all night. We're not as deep as we should be. Our practices aren't as competitive in order to get better at that. Our practices have not been very physical, because we're not as deep as we should be and that's my fault as a coach. We're a finesse team and we've got to find more toughness in the off-season."
On South Dakota State's three-point shooting tonight:
"16-for-31 is a fantastic number. It's one thing to not get anything else, but they were getting the other shots, too, and making good decisions of when to not shoot the three and when to shoot it. That really took us out of a lot of our rotations. We only saw them pass the ball carelessly for about a minute and a half the whole game. They just played very well the whole game."
Guard TK LaFleur
On SDSU's three-point shooting performance:
"We just didn't come out and close out on them like we should. We were a step slow on them and did not get our rotations right."
On the determining factors in the game:
"It was not so much their speed but their physicalness on defense. It wore us down early and once we got down we were never able to recover from that."
Forward Helena Sverrisdottir
What did you expect from SDSU in their fi rst NCAA tournament appearance:
"They came out and were a lot stronger than we were today. It was hard for us to fi ght back once we got down as far as we did. We have a young team and hopefully we can come back from this and learn for next year."