March 23, 2009

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE QUOTES

Head Coach Aaron Johnston

Opening Statement:

"Well, we had a little bit of time to decompress last night's games and started getting ready for our next game with Baylor. We had a chance to watch them and get a look at them, and you get a sense of how physical and competitive they are on the fl oor. I am pleased we got our fi rst tournament win, and we talked about and recognized it as a good accomplishment. The team is ready to get on the floor and see if we can keep things going."

On his overall impression of Baylor:

"Well, I think looking back when we played Baylor a few years ago, when it was over we were just a couple positions out-matched. At that point we were not ready to compete with a team like that, as we need to tomorrow. We are better prepared for that, but that's a factor how bigger and how hard they play.

They outrebound opponents like eight a game; that's an amazing stat. They shoot 42 percent from the fi eld and that comes from good offense, but from getting second chances. Both teams have made more free throws than our opponents have shot; that's two teams that are really aggressive. Both teams are very aggressive trying to get to the basket, what team that gets to the free throw line more has a good advantage."

On the difference between the TCU zone and the Baylor man-to-man defense:

"Absolutely, it changes it signifi cantly! The things we still want to get done are similar. Our style of play has to be different, we have to be good in the post and we didn't have to go to the post yesterday. Baylor doesn't help a lot and they don't have to, they are good individual players. They guard you one on one and ball movement, they don't allow that as much as the zone did yesterday. We have to move well and screen well and get the ball reversed, and we have to be tougher off the dribble. We have to rely on penetrations and getting to the basket."

On if they will play at a different pace or style against Baylor:

"We're not going to try to slow things down; the tempo was quick and a lot of times in our favor. Depth is important to us, not sure if it will play a huge eole in this game. They will use a lot of players, but I see Baylor wearing out if they are playing at a faster pace. They just got phenomenal players and I don't think that's a deciding factor. If you watch Baylor they just don't constantly push the ball up, their perimeter players push the ball in transition and they don't always get 30 points but they get some, and that some can be the difference."

On if he feels the second game is harder and if the late start time will be a factor:

"I don't think game time will have a big factor. Second games are tougher because teams tend to relax and second guess `maybe we were wrong.' You start to think we're pretty good, and then you realize you're playing a No. 2 seed and it's too late, because they jumped on you. They are naturally more diffi cult, and it's just the nature of that next game."

On any different reaction if Kim Mulkey is not on the sidelines:

"I don't think so, and that's a tough thing, I feel bad for Baylor and it's not that they didn't have competent people on the sideline; they have people who make more money than most head coaches do. I feel bad, it's a tough deal for coaches and players. I certainly hope she's back."

On playing a recent national champion and facing a No. 2 seed:

"I think our team will be ready to go, I really do. Opponents like this don't come along every single day, to play Baylor or a No.2 seed we're not going to be favored and I understand that. We're not going to be tremendous underdogs either; we have played good teams all year. We want to keep going in this tournament and if we want to keep going we have to play the Baylors of the world."

Forward Jennifer Warkenthien

On the different approach facing Baylor:

"I think that also has a lot to do with the second game being the hardest, every team you play at this point is going to be better because the teams winning are doing really well. Your toughness and how you approach it has to be tough, because at this point there is not going to be an easy game."

On facing Baylor a few years ago and what to expect:

"It's hard to compare, it was two years ago. We have different players and they have different players. As far as Baylor against South Dakota State, we know they are a good team and move the ball really well and work really hard. We know that coming in and have to be ready to play."

Forward Stacie Oistad

On if Kim Mulkey not coaching would have an effect on how they play:

"We have had the opportunity to experience a game with Baylor our sophomore year in the Bahamas. We have a history with them, and they have a great staff and a great head coach. To put it in our shoes and how we would be without A.J. (Aaron Johnston), our assistants would have to step in. We have the utmost confidence in them, and everyone works hard and we all do what we need to do. It's not a big factor."

On the seond game being the hardest and how they are going to stay motivated:

"A.J. (Aaron Johnston) does talk about that a lot, how the second game is the hardest. As players we are trying to embrace that and fight against it. We had a really great practice and focused hard on what Baylor does and on what we can control. We are all trying to enjoy this experience, but when it comes time for the game to start we are going to be ready."

Guard Ashlea Muckenhirn

On if they expect to shoot as well against Baylor as TCU:

"All season we have had a very good shooting team, it's just better coming out and getting open shots and creating open shots and being confident when you shoot it."

On being one game away from the Sweet 16:

"At this point everyone that keeps playing are the teams that keep winning. Our focus is to take one game at a time, as long as we keep winning we get to keep playing."

BAYLOR QUOTES

Head Coach Kim Mulkey On how she is feeling and how tough it was watching the game from the hospital:

"I'm feeling fine. I did watch the game by myself. I was a nervous wreck before the game because I couldn't see TCU and South Dakota State. I saw LSU play, so I was getting nervous that I was not going to be able to pick the game up and then they switched over and I watched it. I'm very proud and it was a very emotional day for our basketball team and our coaches, and I thought San Antonio played very, very well. And for us to hang in there and win the basketball doesn't surprise me because we have been through a lot this year with a lot of things off the fl oor and we have found ways to win basketball games, so I was very proud of them."

On whether there was ever a thought of "I've got to get to that arena":

"No, there was a guilty feeling as I sat there. You feel like you are letting your school down and your team down and your coaching staff down, but that comes just from being a competitor. You feel like you can make a difference, but I think Jhasmin Player said it best in postgame last night as a head coach you prepare these kids if something should happen to me or any of those coaches that they should be able to go coach themselves and basically that let me know that she has listened well over her four years."

On whether she will be on the bench Tuesday night:

"I will be there tomorrow night unless something else unforeseen happens again. I plan to be there."

On South Dakota State:

"Well, I didn't see the game. I picked up bits and pieces from the coaching staff and from people that I respect. When you make 16 threes, holy cow, how many did they shoot. 16, it takes us about 12 games to shoot that many threes. That just caught my attention. I know from watching fi lm and I know from playing them two years ago and from visiting with the coaches that they are very well-coached and very disciplined on both ends of the fl oor. They shoot a lot of threes, but they do other things well. They are able to create shots for each other through all the motion and all the things they do offensively. I'm as impressed with their defense as I am with their offense. They really get out in passing lanes, and they will be a tremendous team for us to compete against tomorrow. They are very excited. They just moved up to the Division I level. When you are the second behind Connecticut as the least amount of losses in this tournament, that will grab your attention I don't care who have you beaten and who have you've lost to, and they've won a lot of basketball games."

Melissa Jones

On Coach Mulkey being back at practice Monday:

"It feels great. Just the presence of having her from when she walked into the building, it just kind of gave us the uplift that I feel we kind of need and that we kind of missed out on last night."

Rachel Allison

On the defensive effort from Sunday night was breakdowns or lack of energy:

"I think it was a combination of both. I though our energy was not where it should be on defense. In the past couple of games, our defensive intensity has been awesome and that definitely did not show like Coach Barmore said it did not show last night. We had a little trouble guarding dribble penetration, so we will work those kinks out hopefully by the next game."

Jhasmin Player

On Coach Mulkey being back at practice Monday:

"It's always great. She didn't say much today. She just kinda set back and saw the things that we were doing. Just to have her walk into the gym, it felt really well to see her just walk in there."

On challenge of facing team that shoots threes:

"You just have to step up defensively, and we did not do that last night, so we have to redeem ourselves and try to defend all those three-point shooters. I think I heard they had 16 (3-pointers) last night and that set an NCAA record, so we just have to defend and hopefully they won't hit 16 on us tomorrow or we're in bad shape."

On playing South Dakota State after playing them two years ago:

"Just respect. We just respect that team, and they played us really well when we were in the Bahamas a couple of years ago. They just had a lot of fire about them and they shot the ball extremely well even then, so we know that they will bring that tomorrow and have even more fi re because its now one-and-done."