Maryland-Utah Quotes, March 23
March 23, 2009
Maryland Terrapins HC Brenda Frese 5 Marah Strickland, 6-0, So. 20 Kristi Toliver, 5-7, Sr. 25 Marissa Coleman, 6-1, Sr.
Opening Statement: "I am really looking forward to tomorrow night and obviously we are playing a very good Utah team, a team that is very well coached, has a lot of patience, very good at defending and rebounding the basketball. We want to come out and continue to gain our momentum just like our last game, and we know we have got to defend and rebound. It should be a tremendous matchup that we are really looking forward to."
Reporter: "Kristi and Marissa, this is your last home game tomorrow night. How are you going to feel knowing that this will be the last game you will play at Maryland?" Coleman: "It is exciting that my last home game will be an NCAA tournament game so it's going to be a great environment. The fans that we had come out last night were great and I'm sure they will all be out tomorrow, so knowing that makes the game that much more exciting." Toliver: "It will be a great environment, it is sad that it will actually be the last game that we play here in Comcast, but hopefully we have the same fan base that we have had our entire career and they will come out and support our team tomorrow against Utah."
Reporter: "Looking back to the game in the tournament three years ago when you guys played Utah in the tournament, what do you all remember about that night?" Toliver: "Obviously you can't forget about that night because a lot of us were sick with the flu in Albuquerque, but Marissa had 11 boards and I had 28 points. This time we are all a little bit healthier so we should have 15 boards and 20 points. It is going to be a lot of fun to face that team again and it's nice to know that the last time we went to the Final Four we had to go through Utah, so it's nice to know we have that same position again." Coleman: "Exactly what Kristi Toliver said. It's exciting that we are playing against Coach [Daron] Park's old team so it seems like we should have some sort of an advantage, so it should be fun. Kristi and I are a little familiar with Utah's style of play so it should be a good matchup."
Reporter: "What are you going to miss the most about the seniors on this team?" Frese: "We don't have enough time for me to tell you everything. Obviously from Marissa's end I am going to miss her emotion and passion that she has always displayed for this team and this program. Kristi, I am going to miss how easily she makes shots. I think the thing with both of them I am going to miss the most is just who they are and what they continue to become. They are two special players and I am proud of what they have developed into since their freshmen years. It's kind of like what I told Marissa today, that our season is going to come to a close at some point and I can tell she is really wired into the finish line like it's going to end soon. They have got another chapter that is going to take place at the professional level so it's not over for them, but to keep in into perspective you want to enjoy the moment and what days and time we have left."
Reporter: "How has Coach Park been implementing the game plan based on him being at Utah. Has it been an different then another other game?" Frese: "It has been the same and all of our assistances have different scouting responsibilities. Obviously he had Utah, but I think it is just a great confidence factor for him and for our team just for the fact that he knows their program inside and out and their secrets. Most importantly the players have to go out and execute and within any game you can have any kind of adversity, but like feeling like we are the most prepared team to step up on the floor and we feel very confident in our game plan."
Utah Utes HC Elaine Elliott 2 Kalee Whipple, 6-0, Jr. 15 Morgan Warburton, 5-11, Sr.
Opening Statement: "This is just a great tournament. It's a chance for everybody to get some things done. We had a nice first round game and we're looking forward to a second round chance as well. I thought our preparation's good and our attitude is good, so we're excited to play."
Reporter: "Does the Maryland crowd make you nervous or bother you for tomorrow's game?" Warburton: "We're used to that in The Pit in Albuquerque. There are a lot of fans there and we know how loud it's going to be. We've been around it so I don't think it's really intimidating for our team."
Reporter: "Morgan, what do you remember from the Elite Eight loss to Maryland in 2006?" Warburton: "It was just really exciting to be able to go that far in the tournament as a freshman and to be able to see what it takes to get there I think was really good. That was just a really hard game. I just remember how tired the players were and what it took to get into that overtime. We didn't end up with the win, but it was a hard-fought game. It was really exciting."
Reporter: "Do you feel like you have some unfinished business against Maryland to take care of?" Warburton: "I guess you could look at it like that. It's just good to be here and to be able to play. Maryland's obviously a very good team. They've shown that the whole year and in the past. I think we're ready to play, though. We're not going to back down and I know we're going to come and do everything we can. Whatever happens, happens and I know we're just going to play hard."
Reporter: "How do you defend Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman tomorrow?" Whipple: "They're a really good 1-2 punch. I think just defending them our goal is to contain Toliver and Coleman because I think that they're so good, you're not going to completely shut them down. They're great players so I think our goal is to just contain them and just do our best on them. We'll help each other off of others." Elliott: "Kristi's the one that beat us three years ago. She went for 28 or 30 points as a freshman. They do what you should do: they give the ball to their best player and they let her make plays, both for herself and for everyone else on the team. There isn't anybody that we would say, `Oh, yeah we're going to put such-and-such on her and that's going to change.' She just is. You always just try to feel like they have their normal nights, but not their fantastic nights. Obviously, those kinds of players will beat you with fantastic nights. If we can hold them to good nights, that's better than not."
Reporter: "Anything from your loss last year at Purdue in the tournament that you think can help you this year?" Warburton: "For me, just knowing it's my senior year. I want to go out, and whatever happens, just knowing that I played my best and my team played our best. Last year just kind of left a bad taste in your mouth, knowing that you were finished after an incredible year that you had. You just have to look at it that way. They have the advantage, but at the same time, we can come in here and do what we can and see what happens."
Reporter: "Can you talk a little more about the 2006 tournament game against Maryland?" Elliott: "We were at the line with two free throws and down by one. We made only one of those free throws, so we tied the game. They had six seconds or something and did not obviously score, so it was an overtime game. Obviously, in our estimation, we were a free throw away. Ultimately, in that particular game we could not, over the course of 45 minutes, overcome the difference in mass. We lost in overtime because we just were smaller and they just finally took over at the rim and just got put-backs. We were sort of strong enough for 40 minutes, not quite for 45. In this game, there are similarities. I mean, they're the bigger, stronger team. One of the areas that we must feel like at the end that we didn't get hammered on is the bull pushing us out of the way as they go get their put-backs. That's huge. Three years ago, we had that opportunity and were able to manage that disadvantage, but not for 45 minutes."
Reporter: "Can you talk about how Daron Park, a former assistant of yours, is now with Maryland?" Elliott: "I have a lot of those assistants on the other side these days and they want to beat me more than probably anyone else they play. That's exactly what's going on on that side. He's kind and has opened his home to families and he's telling them he can't wait to kick our you-know-whats. That's competition and you know we're trying to do the same."
Reporter: "Is Maryland's transition game what makes them more dangerous?" Elliott: "Rebounding was one of the dangerous things; the No. 1 is their transition game, without a doubt. Maryland's transition game is really more like you're not ready to defend that soon and they're ready to shoot and go at you that soon. That's what makes it difficult is you may have kids back, you may have numbers back, the difference is if you're not ready to defend earlier than they're ready to go, they love that. They're very good at that."