First Round Notes and Quotes: Belmont
First Round Notes and Quotes: Belmont vs. Georgia Post-gameMarch 17, 2007
Georgia Quotes Press Conference Head Coach
Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers: Opening statement: Give Belmont credit for bringing the fight that they brought. I thought that initially to open the game, that the pressure that we had defensively was pretty good and remained pretty good, for the most part, throughout the game. The problem was that we didnt clean up after ourselves after we played reasonably good defense, and allowed them to get to the offensive boards far, far, far too many times. I thought the first five minutes of the game, we set the pace as far as how it would be played. I thought defensively they schemed equally as well. That affected a lot of the things that we tried to do, yet we ended up with very good shots, yet didnt hit them which was very frustrating.
On the intensity level: I thought, initially, we were kind of hyper and we got after it pretty good in the full court and followed up with it in the backcourt. Defensively, for the first half, unfortunately so much of our energy seems to be attached to our offensive efficiency. When were not hitting shots, we dont seem to have as much interest in doing the other things -- rebounding and defending -- as we should. We came out and jumped on them pretty good (13-5 and 15-6 in first eight minutes), we were rolling. We were guarding people and hitting shots. And then we started missing shots and the more we missed, the less we attacked on the defensive end. Its unfortunate, but thats where it was. We made easy shots on the inside difficult. We clanged some wide-open jumpers on the outside. Shooting wasnt very good. I thought (Christy) Marshall and (Ashley) Houts probably carried us there.
On Belmont collapsing and taking Tasha Humphrey out of the game: It obviously affects her. I dont know that it took her out of her game. I dont know that she made all the right decisions, but she made some good decisions inside-out. Unfortunately, when the ball came back out, we didnt make good decisions that was what was unfortunate. Think about what you just said, They collapsed on Tasha did Tasha have any turnovers (two) they collapsed on Tasha and I dont think she had any in the first half. Regardless, shes kicking it back out to the open man and at that point nothing goods happening. They collapsed on Tasha thats more than one person. You have to make them pay, we didnt. So that made it very effective.
On being outrebounded despite having a significant height advantage: Well, given the way that weve rebounded lately, Im surprised we were outrebounded, because we really have done a reasonably good job and improved a great deal in the last five, six weeks in terms of rebounding. What hurts is that we played a lot of zone and we dont generally rebound well out of the zone. The other thing is that they missed some shots badly. Some hit hard and came out long, others missed the rim. Some nights, those things come to you and some nights they dont. Then at times we were outhustled -- there were two or three of those. It was kind of an unusual night for rebounding the ball.
On the effectiveness of the full-court press: I thought it was good. It established the tempo and shortened the shot clock on them when they got it into the halfcourt. I thought our kids did a reasonably good job with the full-court pressure, I thought we were pretty good there.
On the Iowa State crowd and the impact it will have on Mondays game: I dont think youll see the same crowd on Monday. I think youll see perhaps a bigger crowd. We have to factor in two things -- first, its one step farther into the tournament and maybe more people will be excited about Iowa State playing the second game and their opponent. On the other hand, its Monday night, so maybe it stays the same. Maybe those people cant come because they have to work. But you let things affect you -- either it does (have an impact) or it doesnt. The best way to help with that situation is to make plays and make stops, and keep those people from getting too excited.
Georgia Quotes Press Conference Players
Georgia Guard Megan Darrah: After that game, if you were Iowa State, what would you say about Georgia: Shoot from the outside, get to the offensive boards and pressure them hard defensively.
How Georgia was able to limit Ashley Clarks effectiveness: We set out to deny her everywhere, all over the floor, and limit her touches, because shes a great player. I think we did a pretty good job of that overall. She got some good looks inside, but our team did a good job on her defensively.
Georgia Guard Ashley Houts: What did Belmont do in the second half to slow things down and get back into the game: They came out shooting. They took our passing lanes away and jumped on us. But we were able to get through the lull and change the momentum of the game.
About the lack of flow in the game and what you have to do to get a better flow going against Iowa State: A lot of it had to do with our shooting. We had a lot of open looks. When your shots are falling, you can get into your transition and play defense and get some momentum. The shots just werent falling for us tonight. We had to find our points from a different perspective and just keep going.
Georgia Quotes Locker Room Players
Georgia Forward Angel Robinson: On the defensive pressure of both teams: Our field goal shooting was OK, and we did a good job of limiting them with their shots.
On rebounding: We gave up a lot of boards and they got a lot of offensive rebounds that they should not have. If they would have made more of their shots, this would have been a different game. We should know how to control both ends of the floor, and we did not do that today.
On Mondays game vs. Iowa State and the impact of the ISU fans: We are looking forward to the game. I really do not notice the fans, but we have a good crowd as well, so I think that it will be a great game.
Belmont Quotes Press Conference Head Coach
Belmont Coach Tony Cross: Opening statement: We reached a new goal this year of making the NCAA Tournament. I think that before you think about winning a game like this, you have to think about competing at this level, and I think our team competed. I was very proud of the effort. Certainly we would have liked to take care of the ball a little more, and certainly made more than one out of 25 threes. We just couldnt put enough pressure on the offense. Our defense did a great job. We knew rebounding would be a factor, and I think we took care of that part of the game. Probably shooting as far as taking good shots -- that will come and go. I think this was not typical of our shooting, but our decision-making needs to be better. I am very confident in the team we had this year. We had one goal of making the NCAA Tournament and now we have that goal of going to the NCAA Tournament plus one. Belmont will be back.
On the post matchup with Tasha Humphrey: I think we did just about as well as we could do. She made some plays, but she did not dominate like some games. I know one time Alysha (Clark) got behind her and just got buried. But I think we did a good job one-on-one. Our help-side really came over and knocked the ball loose. Defensively, gosh, I dont know how much more we could have guarded. Fifty-three points, that seems like a winning game to me.
On the start of the game: Ive been there before. Our goal is to just be ahead when the clock is over. I may be a little disappointed that we didnt get off to a better start. Ive never been shut out, so eventually were going to score sometime, and hopefully its sooner than later.
Belmont Quotes Press Conference Players
Belmont Forward Alysha Clark: On shot selection and shooting percentage in general: I think for the most part, our shot selection was decent. Towards the second half, towards the end, we started to force some shots, but thats typical, I guess, of a young team; not really knowing what a good shot is, and I think only time will help us mature and make better shot selection. As far as not hitting, we shot terrible. It was terrible shooting, thats just something we need to work on in our own time. We have to get in the gym and shoot. We had some good shots, we just couldnt knock them down. I believe that if we would have been hitting our shots, it would have been a good game.
On getting back into the game: We just kept fighting. We didnt want to give up. We know that we can compete with these teams, and we couldnt come into this game thinking that we werent able to win, and we had the mindset that we could compete, and we could win this game, and if wed just play full 40 minutes, and I believe thats what we did. We never gave up, we got down by 12 points. We didnt give up, we were out there fighting, diving on the ground for loose balls.
On being nervous, playing on the big stage, against No. 3 seed Georgia: Theres always going to be nerves. Its a new environment, somewhere youve never been, and if you arent a little nervous, somethings wrong with you. Especially playing Georgia, theyve been here so many times, but I think that was an advantage and a disadvantage.
Belmont Forward Tereva Moore: On trailing by five points with 15 minutes to play: We were thinking, before the game, We can do this, and when that part of the game came, but as the game went on, the silly things started happening with our offensive. We didnt give up, we kept playing the whole game, it just slipped away, but we knew we could do it. Like Alysha (Clark) said, if our shot selections and our shots would have been falling, it would have been a different game.
On what this does for the program next year: It helps our program. It lets people know where Belmont is, and were going to be back. It gives us confidence that we know we can come back, and we can win our conference again and compete with teams.
Belmont Quotes Locker Room Players
Belmont Post Jessica Bobbitt: On the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament: It was a different experience. It was exciting first going into it. I kind of felt disappointed, but excited at the same time, because I felt we played really well, but then again, I think we could have beaten them. It was a good experience that we got a chance to be here.
On the Georgia matchup: Theyre good. They are very physical. Thats something that is kind of a big difference between the A-Sun and their conference. They are bigger and more physical, but I kind of felt that we held our ground in there and played pretty well.
On this years season: I think that we had a really good season. We won a lot of games and (had) just a really good season.
On the future of Belmont: I think the NCAA will see more of us in the years to come. I think we will have a pretty strong season next year and pretty strong players, and I feel that well be back.