Washington vs. Iowa State Pregame Quotes (Round 1)March 16, 2007

Washington Quotes Pre-Tournament Press Conference

Head Coach

Washington Head Coach June Daugherty:

Opening comment: We are really proud to be here to represent the University of Washington and the Pac-10 Conference. We are excited to open up the tournament against Iowa State. Bill (Fennelly) certainly has his team playing at a high level of basketball. Defensively, they play a real strong level of basketball. With their three-point shooting and guard play, you can easily overlook that they play very well defensively. They keep the games very close. They are very efficient from the three-point line, but at the same time, you do not want to lose track of their inside players. They have great balance in their team.

On the environment expected at Williams Arena: We are excited about it. We would rather play in an arena with yelling, screaming fans, whether they are for you or against you. We think it will be a great environment to play in.

On the raised floor at Williams Arena: Its a beautiful facility. We have been able to play on a raised floor at Purdue, some places out west; we were at Vanderbilt last year, but I do not think it will be much of an adjustment for us.

On coaching with her husband Mike Daugherty: We have been coaching a long time together. I think it is really exciting for us. We met at Ohio State on the St. Johns Arena court. Its crazy to think back that far, since its been a long time. We love the game of basketball. The game has been great to us, and its fun to give back. Our children share in it, too. Its definitely a family atmosphere. You sometimes bring too much of it home with you. We both have different strengths. Its nice to be able to divide up your strengths and help your total program. I also have two other wonderful assistant coaches.

On having a two-week layoff: Having the two weeks off is something we are now accustomed to because of the Pac-10 Tournament. It gives us a little bit of a gap. We were in finals last week, so that was a great thing for our students to be able to rest a little and take care of their studies and finals.

On the early West Coast tip-off time for Saturdays game: We started to pare back our practice start schedule, once we heard the brackets. We tried to get them into an earlier routine with the time difference. It was a little tricky, because we were in finals and kept that as a priority. We have been able to get them up earlier and move up the practices. Normally we practice at 2:30 p.m. and this week we were down at 10:30 a.m.

On Iowa States Lyndsey Medders unofficial recruiting visit to Washington: Her and her mother both came out to Washington. They are from California. We had a wonderful visit. They are great people. Her mom is so much fun. She is a little bit of a character, in a good way. She loves basketball and is so proud of her daughter, as she should be. I think they enjoyed the visit. You have so many unofficial visits come to campus, but this one stood out because they are great people. We did recruit her and took a hard look at her. We have great respect for her and are very proud about her career has turned out. On Iowa States Lyndsey Medders and Alison Lacey: They give you a great 1-2 punch. But at the same time, any of the other three are so capable of hurting you in so many ways from the offensive end. I think it is important that we stay within ourselves and play our game. We are going to play and defend hard, try to get after the glass so we can eliminate their touches and get into our running game. That is when we are at our best. We play an enormous amount of players, and we like that. We have done that all year. We believe in our bench and like to get fresh legs out there, so we can get into our running game and be successful.

The players mindset of being in the underdog role: They are fine about it. They have heard that for a long time. Last year we were also the lower seed, so it is fun to them. Hopefully it will serve as a motivator for them.

Washington Quotes Pre-Tournament Press Conference


Washington Guard Cameo Hicks:

What kind of environment to expect tomorrow? Do you expect a hostile environment? With Iowa State being so close, they are going to have tons of fans, but I think overall that it is going to be a great atmosphere and were just really excited to play in this great atmosphere.

What will people see from your game? What is your style? Were just going to try to push the tempo, play solid defense and rebound. That is what our identity has been all season and we are just going to stick to our game plan. We are going to play hard, were going to play scrappy and were just going to try and get the job done.

How will last years tournament experience in Nashville help you? I think the experience that is going to help a lot, and we have a lot of people who have been here before and we have a lot of new players that I think are up for the challenge, so were all very excited and were all ready to play.

From what you have seen of Iowa State, what concerns you the most? I think the biggest thing is rebounding. Weve got to crash the boards, get to the offensive boards, we have to box out every time and I think that is what it will come down to.

It has been a while since your last game, are you concerned of coming out flat? I dont think we are really concerned. I think weve had a good two weeks of focused practice, and everyone has been focused on the tournament and doing what we need to do. It has been a while, but we are definitely focused and ready for the game.

Washington Guard Emily Florence:

Do you look forward to being in an underdog role? Its really exciting being the underdog, coming in here with the odds against you. Like we said, Iowa State is a great team, so we are going to play good solid basketball, and being the underdog is really exciting for us and I think it will push us harder and we have to work hard for 40 minutes.

What makes Cameo Hicks so tough? She is an all-around great player. She is someone I can always find and count on to put down the shot and to make the big play. We want the ball in her hands. Shes just an all-around great competitor.

Washington Quotes -- Pre-Tournament Locker Room


Washington Forward/Center Andrea Plouffe:

How the Pac-10 has prepared you for the NCAA Tournament: The Pac-10 definitely prepared us for the physicality and the high level of competition of the NCAA Tournament.

About the two weeks off since Washingtons last game: We got a few days off; that really helped us a lot. We lost the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament, so we had a few extra days that other teams didnt have, so we had some time off. We were able to have practice and get back to us and do what we do.

What do you know about Iowa State: We know they are a very good shooting team. We have been watching a lot of tape. We went over their offense. We know what they like to do and we went over the type of defense were going to run to prevent it. Were prepared.

On the teams balance: That is one of our biggest strengths. We are very deep. We play all our players and that will help us in tournaments were there are lots of games. Its definitely a good thing.

Iowa State Quotes Pre-Tournament Press Conference

Head Coach

Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly:

Opening Statement: We are obviously very excited to be here. Its a venue that our players and fans can get to; its a tremendous facility. Were excited about playing, were excited about the tournament. Were really excited to be in the Twin Cities.

Have any of your teams in the past come into the tournament playing this well: Probably not since the year we went to the Elite Eight (1999). This team has really found its stride. Were healthy. The seniors have done a really good job getting us ready to go. The way we played the last three weeks, its going to have to keep going to continue playing in this tournament. Were excited about where we are. We have had some good practices. Like everyone else, were excited to get it going.

How much time have you spent here in Minnesota; is it feeling like a second home to you: Ive spent a lot of time in Minnesota. I should have dual citizenship. Its a great state, they are a lot of great players here. If you look at the history of Iowa State basketball, there have been a lot of Minnesota players that have been part of our program. This is a place we have always recruited, its a fun state because the players and coaches are so committed. We always tell them, come south, its a lot warmer in Ames. Its a tremendous environment, we love coming up here. We have been able to recruit some very good players and some very good people who have been able to impact our university. This is a fun place, a great environment for this tournament. The University of Minnesota has done a great job hosting this tournament. Im one of those people who like the traditional facilities. We used to play at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and this is one of the special places in the country to play basketball, and to play here in the NCAA Tournament is even more special. We played here two years ago and everyone had the flu.

On the ISU defensive strategy for Washington: Im not going to give away the game plan! Were going to try everything; we have experimented with defenses all year. We have kids who are very cerebral and understand the game. We have not seen that kind of pace all year.

On the Iowa State fan base: I am awed by it everyday. We remind our players every single day. Iowa State basketball is one of the most tremendous things I have ever been around. The emotional attachment that our fans have to our team and our young people is truly unique and I think you will see a lot of them here tomorrow morning. I think the excitement of getting in the NCAA Tournament was only trumped by playing here in Minnesota. We now have seven buses coming. Our fans really relate to our players. I think the people in Minnesota will see the fan base en masse tomorrow.

Iowa State Quotes Pre-Tournament Press Conference


Iowa State Guard Megan Ronhovde:

How do you prepare for Cameo Hicks, her style of play: The biggest thing is that Washington likes to push the ball in transition, and Hicks is a big part of that, so we have to get back defensively in transition, and not only stop her, but the entire team.

Impact a good crowd has on a game: Even when we played in Norman; OK, we had a thousand fans. We have unbelievable fan support, even on the road.

How often do you visit the Twin Cities, and think back to two years ago: Besides that game, this is one of the first times Ive played on this floor. Ive made numerous trips back up here to Minneapolis, and Ive always hoped I could play at The Barn (Williams Arena). The experience from two years ago should help us.

Iowa State Forward Lyndsey Medders: Have you talked to the younger players about two years ago about your sophomore year here: We dont want their sophomore year to be like our sophomore year. Weve just talked about actually winning and playing well.

Is there a standout moment in your career with your relationship with the fans: There hasnt been just one, there have been hundreds, and e-mails, letters, cookies on our doorstep before we left the other day. The fans have meant so much. People asked me, Dont you want to play in Los Angeles, and I said, I want to be close to our fans, and this is as close as it gets to a game in Hilton (Coliseum).

How do you use the game two years ago as experience: For that game, I laid in bed all night -- that year, I had injuries and sicknesses, and that morning, I did not want to get out of bed. But you get up, you get on the court, your adrenaline gets pumping, and you go out and play.

How do you relate your run in the Big 12 to the national tournament: Two things: One, we have as good of momentum as anyone in the country; and Two, you get to adjust to different styles of play very quickly. Teams in the Big 12 play different styles -- some run the floor, some press you the whole game -- so it prepares you for different styles of play.

Iowa State Quotes Pre-Tournament Locker Room


Iowa State Forward Nicky Wieben:

On familiarity with Washington: This week, we watched a lot of film and the coaches have given us a really good scouting report.

On the style of play of Washington: Their posts play like guards where they will shoot from the outside. Its a lot different from the teams we have been playing against in the Big 12. They have (post) players that will set the screen and then pop out and shoot the three.

On the offensive keys for Iowa State against Washington: Offensively, we need to get everyone in the game and have everybody score. We need to have a balanced attack. I think if we can make some shots inside, and if our guards can get some shots from outside, then we can be successful.

On the defensive keys for Iowa State against Washington: Defensively, we need to get back in transition. They are a really quick team and like to push the ball up the court. As post players, we need to get out on their post players when they shoot the three and get a hand up to try and prevent that shot.

On her personal goals against Washington: Defense is going to be a huge thing. That is going to be my main thing. Getting back in transition and then being able to guard their players when they move outside.

On the teams goals for this weekend: We want to continue to play well. We just got back from the Big 12 Tournament championship game and played a great tournament down there. We just want to continue to play at that level. We dont want this to be our last game.

On playing close to Iowa State and what it means to the team: We know that we will have a big fan base here. We are playing close to a couple of the girls homes, and want to advance after the weekend. We are just trying to do everything for the seniors so that they will have a great last season.

Iowa State Forward Amanda Nisleit:

For her, from the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury, Minn., on the excitement of getting to play in Minneapolis: I was very excited on Selection Monday. Getting the chance to play close to my family and where I played in high school is very exciting. I will have a lot of family and friends in the crowd. Its just nice to get into the tournament, but then to get to play in your hometown is even better.

On growing up in Minnesota and watching Division I basketball: I grew up watching the Gophers and following them as they played. It is very exciting to get the chance to play here and play in the national tournament.

On playing in Williams Arena: I was lucky enough to be on a state tournament team, so I had the chance to play here. I got some experience on the court, so it will help when we start to play.

On the advice she has given to her teammates about playing in Williams Arena: The most questions Ive gotten is, Can you fall off the floor? I tell them that they cant fall off and after practice today they will have a better feel for the court. We also played here last year, so most of the team has played on the court.

-Courtesy Augsburg