March 30, 2009

 

MARYLAND QUOTES

Head Coach Brenda Frese
Opening Statement:
“This one is tough, but give credit where credit is due. I thought Louisville just did a tremendous job offensively, defensively, rebounding, a lot of the areas that we talked about coming into this game. I thought they played with a ton of confidence and a ton of poise. But I tell you, [Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver] are winners. What an amazing career the two of them have had. I’ll go into war with them anytime because of what they mean to our program and what they’ve been able to do for this team. The thing I told our team in the locker room, the thing I’m most proud of is when you look at the evolution of a season and how we became a team. When you look at our preseason to where we are now, I’m just very proud with the leadership of our two seniors and how they helped us become a team this season. I wish Louisville all the best. I want them to go win it all now. A sad moment, but at the same time I’m very proud of this team this season.”

The effect of having to come back to win on Saturday and the effect it had on the team tonight
“I think the first game took a lot out of us. Marissa [Coleman] is not going to admit the load she had to carry to help get us here to the Elite Eight. That’s why NCAA Tournament match-ups are so critical. If we were playing a different style team versus a physical, full-court pressing style of team maybe your results are a little different. This is what it is, a quick turnaround. We’ve been in these situations before and again I just think the credit goes to Louisville. They executed their game plan from start to finish.”

On taking seniors Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman out of the game at the end
“It’s always tough to have that moment for seniors and for their careers to end, especially for seniors like these two and what they’ve meant to our team and what they’ve meant to our program. You hate for it to end like this. I want to remember all the good times. I want to remember all the wins. I want to remember the position they put us in.”

Marissa Coleman, Senior / Forward
On whether her performance against Vanderbilt affected her performance tonight
“Credit their defense. I’ve never had to carry this team, we’ve always played as a team and that’s what got us the success we had this season.”

On the effectiveness of Louisville’s support players tonight after holding Angel McCoughtry to 9-of-25 shooting
“I think we did a good job as far as containing Angel [McCoughtry] and Candyce [Bingham]. Their other players got a lot of offensive rebounds and put-backs and we knew that was one of the things that we were going to have to contain and we didn’t do a good job of that tonight.”

On trying to make a run around the 11-minute mark of the second half
“We definitely thought that [we could make a run]. We kept cutting into the lead, but it seemed like every time we would get it within 10 they would hit a big basket. Credit to them for continuing to attack and not folding when we went on our runs.”

On the development and success of the team over the season
“The media didn’t have those expectations for us, but in our locker room we did. We knew we could make it to the final four and we came up a little short. But we accomplished a lot of great things. We felt like we could win an ACC Championship or regular season title and we did that. We’ve accomplished things as a team that a lot of people thought wasn’t possible. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my senior season with a better group of girls or coaching staff than what I did this year.”

On the development and success of the team over the season
“We’ve had great careers and we didn’t want to end. It’s unfortunate that it had to come to an end, especially this way.”

On whether the team took Louisville too lightly
“Coach Walz is extremely wrong. We know his abilities as a coach and we know his players’ abilities and we did not take them lightly. We came out knowing they were a great team. We were going to execute our game plan so our body language he read it wrong. We did not underestimate this team by any means. They are a great team and we know that. We know his coaching abilities.”


Kristi Toliver, Senior / Guard
On Louisville’s defense
“They did a really good job making us uncomfortable and throwing different looks at us. They wanted to be physical from the beginning and we knew they were going to be that way. We never really could get into a rhythm. Give credit to them because that was their game plan and they were able to execute.”

On the effectiveness of Louisville’s support players tonight after holding Angel McCoughtry to 9-of-25 shooting
“Like Marissa said, their other players scored by getting rebounds and put-backs. Credit them for going so hard for the offensive boards. We didn’t really get on the rebounding like we needed to win the game. I thought we did a pretty good job on Angel [McCoughtry], especially in the first half, but it was the rest of their guys that really stepped up.”

On trying to make a run around the 11-minute mark of the second half
“We went on a good run and then they came right back and we started to trade baskets. When we were trying to cut a lead we couldn’t afford to keep trading baskets and that’s what we did.”

On putting into words what the four years have meant
“I think that we had great moments, disappointing moments. Right now we’re in a disappointing moment so I can’t elaborate on the entire career right now just because we’re human and right now we’re down.”


Marah Strickland, So./G
On Louisville’s ability to get to the basket and convert
“Our defensive intensity might not have been as great as it could have been. We tried to pick it up there and worked harder a bit in the second half.”


On looking back on Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver and their impact on your program
“Two of the best seniors you could ask for, the best leaders both physically and mentally for all of us.  We just wish we could have taken them further, but just great teammates.”


On what Coach Frese said to the players in the lockerroom after the game
“She just talked a lot about Marissa [Coleman] and Kristi [Toliver] and thanked us all for working hard this year.”



Demauria Liles, Jr./F
On the first half and the sluggish first half
“Pretty much everything we said we were not going to do, we did in the first half.  We did not box out at all and it allowed for them to get more rebounds and second chance shots.”


On Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver and their impact on the program
“Marissa and Kristi are two of the best things we could have ever have asked for.  They are two of the best players in Maryland program history.  They just put their hearts into everything they did.”

 

LOUISVILLE QUOTES

Head Coach Jeff Walz
Opening Statement:

Its really hard to put into words what to say about this group of kids. Its been a long three and a half four months. We demanded as a staff a lot from them. We have high expectations, not just for what we do on the basketball court but for what we do off the court. We take a lot of pride in what gets done in the classroom, in what gets done in our community and they bought into it all.


We told them as a staff when the draw came out we thought we should have been higher than a three (seed). It happens. We told them, you get past the first two rounds, well give you a scouting report, well have you prepared, but they had to get us out of Baton Rouge playing at LSU. They did that. I told them if they did that wed get them to the Final Four. And they believed everything we told them. They sat there and laid it all on the line for us. They followed the game plan tonight as well as any team Ive ever coached. Its a credit to them to believe in what were doing and it shows on the scoreboard, in the classroom and what they do out in public. Im so proud of them and excited to say Im their coach.


On the bench play:

Our bench stepped up tonight and played big, big minutes. Thats something that weve actually counted on for the last month. Becky Burke came in and hit that big three. Keshia Hines, even though she didnt score that much, she came up with eight points for us. Her presence was a factor in the game. Its a tribute to her to how hard this young lady plays. She has a lot going on in her life right now. Its just amazing that she did what she was able to do for us. Im not sure there are many kids who would have been able to do that. Monique Reid came in and gave us a lot of good minutes.




Angel McCoughtry, Senior / Forward
On how it feels to be going to the Final Four:

Im dreaming right now. Pinch me, Des (Byrd). Its amazing. Coach told us if we can get past LSU, hes going to take us there. Thats exactly what he did. We believed him and followed his game plan. I want to thank Rebecca Lobo because she thought we could do it. We believed in ourselves when nobody else did. This is what we dream of. I told the freshmen, Im jealous of you guys because you guys made it to the Final Four your first year. It took me and Candyce (Bingham) and Chauntise (Wright) four years to make it here. Its just great. Im enjoying the moment.


On Deseree Byrd and Candyce Bingham:

The team really looks up to Des. Des has really stepped up this year. Shes the most improved player. You know Candyce is gointg to come out and play every night. The team looks up to these two. We have so much confidence in them. Des had 17 (points) and nine (assists) and Candyce had 15 (points) and six (rebounds). You cant ask for anything more. Im just glad to play with such great teammates.


On Maryland and Marissa Coleman:

Marylands a great team. Then know what it takes to win a national championship. They have a great coach. I want to commend them. Shes unstoppable. Shes a great player. She works hard on both ends. I just tried to do my best to guard her. Shes so talented. I think the main thing was following what Coach said to do.
Candyce Bingham, Senior / Forward
On how it feels to be going to the Final Four:

You grow up watching teams going to the Final Four. Like Coach said, he told us if we got past LSU that we would be here and were going. Im speechless.


Deseree Byrd, Sophomore / Guard
On how it feels to be going to the Final Four:

Its an amazing feeling. We came out from the top and we played hard. We executed. Ive got to give it to my teammates. We believed in each other and came out with this amazing win.

#14 Janae Howard
On Louisville’s play against Maryland:
“I think we played great.  We followed our game plan to a “T”.  We all hustled and got the loose balls and we got the rebounds where we needed to.  We let up a little on the rebounds but we had to get back in there and get as many (rebounds) as we could because they are a very strong rebounding team.”

On their game plan coming into the game with Maryland:
“We basically tried limiting (Kristi) Toliver and (Marissa) Coleman’s touches as much as we could because they are what makes that team good.  If we could keep the ball out of their hands as much as we could, we knew we would be in business.”

On her personal feelings about the win:
“This tops everything.  I’ve been trying so hard since high school to get to that big game and cut the net but never got the chance, and to do it in my freshman year in college is unbelievable.  I’ve never been on top of the ladder like that (to cut the net) with the scissors in my hand.  That’s like the best feeling I’ve ever had.”

On the fan support for Louisville:
“From the beginning when we started to the very end now, the amount of people that were at that game tonight that few in the day of the game and who rode the bus with us was crazy.”

#24 Laura Terry
Thoughts on the Louisville victory:
“I’m really excited.  I’m really proud of my teammates for coming through and following through with the game plan and playing with so much heart.”

On making it through the Raleigh Regional:
“Coach (Walz) told us if we got past the first two rounds and got to the regional finals that he would take us the rest of the way, and we believed him.  We’re going to St. Louis!”

#33 Monique Reid
On her thoughts on everything that has happened in Raleigh:
“It’s amazing.  I never expected it to happen.  I’m from Louisville, I grew up watching them play.  I never would have expected to do that, it’s an amazing feeling.

On preparations for the game:
“We had to contain (Kristi) Toliver and (Marissa) Coleman.  They are the heart and soul of their team.  Coach (Walz) told us to just contain them and play hard, whoever was the toughest will win.  We definitely were the toughest.”