March 20, 2009

Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau
“We are thrilled to be here. Obviously it’s the goal of every college basketball team to be here at the end of the year. It’s a first-class event in every way and we’re excited to be here at the Gwinnett Center. We played here two years ago in the ACC-SEC Challenge and they do a tremendous job and we are just so excited to be here. My team is a team of balance and I think that is why we have had the year that we have. Not only balanced in scoring but very balanced in personalities.

“It is nothing that we haven’t seen before and she (Amber Bland - NC A&T guard) demands a lot of attention. She is someone we recruited out of high school so we are very famillar. Shooting 45 percent from the three-point line she is going
to pose a threat. How do we do that? That’s a great question. If I gave it up, I’d have to kill ya.

“Yeah I do (feel like its a neutral site). I think that having an Arena that’s away from someone’s campus for us that seems like a neutral site. Georgia is a tremendous host and I’m excited to have someone that cares about women’s basketball the way Georgia does is great. We didn’t have to travel a long way and we are excited about that.”

“We had games early in the year that we hoped prepared us for this type of game and we didn’t fare very well in those games. It is difficult I think to guard those quick guard-like post players and so we put ourselves in a position to do that with a size advantage. Some people say we have a size advantage but on the defensive end of floor that isn’t always a good thing.

“With the women’s tournament and the end date of the ACC Tournament and the start of the NCAA Tournament is so long that we just want the clock to tick. We are excited to get playing and the players are watching basketball to get ready for basketball in the men’s tournament. I’m excited for us to get a feel on the court here and tonight we will get together with our band and watch our men in the first NCAA Tournament that they have appeared in awhile.”
Florida State Player Tanae Davis-Cain

“As coach said, we’re excited to be here, We’re just ready to play.

On the number of teammates who played high school basketball in Georgia – “I grew up mostly in Georgia and it’ll be nice to have friends and family come up and watch us.“

On playing and competing in the ACC – “The ACC’s an unbelievable conference. From top to bottom, every game is a tough game. The ACC prepared us exceptionally well coming into the NCAA Tournament That teaches you to not take any team for granted.”

On high expectations and dealing with that pressure – “We’ve been doing exceptionally well this year but we don’t let that go to our head. We just prepare and play our game day-in and day-out. We’re most people’s favorite to win, but I told coach ‘I like being the underdog.’”

Florida State Player Mara Freshour
“We’ve been locked (NCAA Tournament berth) up for a couple weeks. We’re getting ready to play and we’re ready to go.

On success/accomplishments of this season – “A lot of it can be contributed to what coach Sue said about our chemistry. Our team chemistry has clicked really well this year. Our confidence and believing in ourselves has really allowed us to do everything that we have done in the ACC. That’s something we’ve been really excited about.”

On playing and competing in the ACC – “I would say half the teams in the ACC were ranked in the top-25 at some point or another during the course of the season. Maryland and Duke were our No. 1 seeds and we won the conference. I mean that just shows this is a power house conference and that really allows you to help prepare for the NCAA Tournament. There’s no being scared, or a lack of confidence when you have to face that during the regular season.”

North Carolina A&T Head Coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs
“Its great to be here, of course, and to be facing Florida State. I have so much respect for that program. I’m so happy for these seniors.”

[On taking her third team to the NCAA Tournament]
“I’m truly blessed to have been here three times. We always say that regardless of what you face in life, my purpose has always been to make sure our ladies are on top of everything and to get as much exposure as possible.”
It’s great to be on ESPN. I’ve prepared my ladies really well. You may not have seen us on television, but doesn’t mean we can’t perform. We intend to perform because of who’s watching. You don’t know who’s watching. The camera’s shining
on you, so be yourself and you’ll be just fine.”

[About the matchup with Florida State]
“What can you say? You can’t say enough about the team and the conference. It’s a very strong conference. They are big and that’s going to pose a problem for us. Some of my big people can step out and be a guard, and I love that. Inside, it’s going to be a battle for us. They have tremendous guards, and an all-around team. If my people stay focused and do what they need to do, it’ll be a really good game.”

“When we got the selection, it was so great when came up as 14th seed. And I told my ladies that this is an indication of respect people have for you.”

“With the preparation, you just have to do what got you here. I have always, as a coach, wanted to have a strong schedule.
I do that not only for the game itself, but for life, because you are going to meet some of these same young ladies girls out there after college.”

“I have wanted so much for the Amber Blands and Brittanie Taylor-James’s to get this experience during their senior year. This is nothing different than what we were doing for preseason.”

“I have some really good kids. They deserve to be here and they are going to do their very best. There’s nothing like the Aggie fans. They’re going to be here. They supported us throughout, on the road, everywhere we go and regardless of who we played. They are a great group of fans.”

North Carolina A&T Player Amber Bland

“We are happy to be here. I came in my freshman year and got to play in the tournament, so it’s good to go out being in it again.”

“It’s a different ball game when you’re in the NCAA tournament. I’ve told my teammates to keep their head’s in it and to stay together.”

“Even though we’re on ESPN, we just have to pull together and not worry about it. We just have to play our game.”
North Carolina A&T Player Brittanie Taylor-James

“We’re just happy to be here. We have high expectations and we’ve worked hard. We look forward to a good ball game.”

“We’ve talked with the team and wanted to encourage them to to stay focused. Our coach gives us a hard pre-season schedule so we’re prepared to give it a fight. It will be a battle.”

“It’s a great honor to be on ESPN but you can’t let it get to you. It’s all about preparation. It’s you, the game, and