Louisville Postgame Quotes
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 Louisville
Game 12- Quarterfinals, March 6, 2011
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
Head Coach Jeff Walz
“Hats off to Notre Dame and their entire team, I thought they played extremely well. They did a great job of finding a way to get to the free throw line and unfortunately we could not. You know, they shot a very impressive 20 of 25 from the line and unfortunately we go three for seven. So, that's a big discrepancy in the game when you're trying to compete with a team as good as them. You've got to find a way to get to the free throw line and unfortunately we could not. I thought they played extremely hard. They played well. Devereaux Peters played an outstanding game, did a nice job of finishing around the paint and Skylar came on and had a great second half for them.”
Looking at the second half you guys put a big emphasis on rebounding. You guys came out strong and were attacking the boards, was that a point of emphasis for you guys, something you wanted to work on the second half?
“Yeah, they did a great job at their place the first time we played them. They out-rebounded us on the offensive end; our goal was to try and make sure we made a presence of trying to go to the offensive glass. We came up with 18 offensive boards but we only get 13 second chance points and we held them to 8 offensive boards but they come up with 11 second chance points. So, even though there is a discrepancy in the number of offensive boards we got from them, the number of points we actually converted off of, were not that big.”
When you guys played at their place you got down the end of the first half and didn't battle back in the second half, but tonight you guys fought back and had a chance to cut the game to one possession in the last few minutes, what does that say about your young team?
“I was pleased with the heart that our kids played with. We had some lineups on the floor that we normally don't play, especially in the first half with the foul trouble that we had. I thought we just continued to fight, continued to play hard. You know, it's something where we will break this film down and show them the things we did well.
Defensively I thought we played well, got our hands on some passes and if you take away the steals at half court, take away the unforced turnovers that lead to easy baskets for them, they're scoring 55, 56 points and that's a very good basketball team. That's really what we've been trying to emphasize this entire season.”
Can you elaborate on Devereaux Peters' impact, not just offensively but defensively?
“She played fantastic. I'm friends with her and her entire staff, and when (Peters) comes to play they're as good as a team as there is and when she doesn't they're average. Because she is such an impact player, and for our league I hope she continues to come and play every night, they can make a deep run just not in our tournament but in the NCAA Tournament. She moves well, can score around the basket, and can defend a guard. I've always been really impressed with her and excited to see her playing as well as she is but unfortunately she could have played bad tonight if she wanted.”
You wanted to remind them that as long as you went at runs you could be okay and I think you guys did that fairly well, they had a 16-5 run and you guys had a 16-4 run, what does that say about their poise?
“The problem tonight was the run that we gave at the end of the first half. We had a 24-21, going to the free throw line to shoot two and missed both of them. You just can't do that, not against a team as good as they are. Then we come down and get a great shot with about 40 seconds on the game clock and miss it. Then we get a defense set up, they call a time out, force them into a shot they miss, they miss a second shot and unfortunately we give them a third one for a stick back. And, instead of going into half down six we're down eight and they've got the momentum on their side.
I told our players that I am proud of how hard they played. I am really proud of the fight they showed. We didn't quit. Now we've got to get back at it and get prepared for what we hope will be an NCAA Tournament bid and try and see if we can't win a few games in that.”
Freshman Guard Shoni Schimmel
Skylar Diggins stole the ball in the half‑court and got the layup in the second half, what was going through your mind? How did that feel?
“It wasn't a good feeling, but to get back and get the offense going was just the plan. I mean, it's not always a good feeling when you get your pocket picked. So, we just try and get out there, run the offense and get a shot up. “
You guys didn't quit and cut it to six at one point, can you talk about the fight when you're down 19 and battling back and making a game out of it?
“I mean, just with the support of the coaches and everything and the team backing it up. Charmaine Tay came out and played her heart out. For her to do that, it got everyone else going. We just went out there and tried to keep going as a team and that's what we did.”
In that stretch there was a stretch of about 10 possessions, you forced seven Notre Dame turnovers, can you talk about what you guys did defensively?
“We got our hands up in the passing lanes and that's exactly what we did. We got big stops there for that seven‑turnover possession and we pushed it back at them and went at them.”
How did moving and opportunities off the ball tonight give you guys different looks and how did that change what you guys planned to do and how Notre Dame responded?
“Getting off the ball is a different look, and you've got Charmaine Tay at the point position, she'll drive it, pass it she's working on her jump shot but I mean she hit some tonight so it's pretty good for her.”
Notre Dame Postgame Quotes
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 Louisville
Game 12 – Quarterfinals, March 6, 2011
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
Head Coach Muffet McGraw
“I was Really pleased with Devereaux's (Peters) game tonight. I thought they played well defensively; the six blocks were great. We were disappointed she didn't get the 10th rebound, but I thought overall she played well and I thought Skylar (Diggins) hit a three that was huge in the corner that boosted the lead a little bit. When she picked Shoni Schimmel at the point in the last minute of the game, that was kind of the last nail in the coffin for them. They're a great team. They have got a deep bench, they pressure, they play physical and hard and they're going to do well in the NCAA Tournament.”
How difficult was it to not overlook Louisville with big matches coming up potentially with DePaul and Connecticut?
“I didn't look past them. I think the thing this team has done well all year long is focus on the game we're playing and Becca (Bruszewski) does a great job with her leadership, but they come in to practice hard. They come into every game ‑‑ I don't think there was any looking ahead at all.”
Did you talk about rebounding at halftime and how critical was that to your success?
“That was about all we talked about at halftime and I looked at (Bruszewski) and I said, ‘you need to get 10,’ and that's what she got. I thought she had a much better effort in the second half and Monique Reid is a tough block out, 11 rebounds in 20 minutes and she was a tough match‑up for her. We did an awesome job; we didn't rebound offensively as much as I wanted to, but I didn't think the guards did their job. I didn't think (Diggins), Natalie (Novosel) and Brittany (Mallory) did their jobs on the boards, but the posts did.”
You talked about Devereaux tonight how much better are you guys are when she is playing more than 20 minutes a game because of foul trouble?
“Yeah, she's a key for us, obviously. I only sat her for 5 minutes and a couple at the end of the half and they went on runs when she was not in the game because we didn't have the same defensive capabilities. She is a good double‑teamer and good in the press. She does so many things and offensively we can throw it up and she can get it. Having her on the floor makes us a very different team.”
Was part of the plan to attack and get to the free‑throw line?
“Especially for (Novosel), that's something she has done well all year. In that stretch where we turned it over a bunch and they were scoring and making the run, we talked about keeping the ball and attacking the rim and seeing if we can get to the foul line.”
You said you weren't looking past that game but now that you have the chance to play DePaul tomorrow night, what do you have to do to have a different outcome?
“We have to play better. I thought (Felicia) Chester played really well. She had a great game in Hampton and (Bruszewski) only played thirteen minutes. It was hard for us to have a freshman in the game guarding a fifth year senior so we've got to stay on the floor with her. And I thought we did a good job defensively with the exception of Chester so we've got to find a way to guard her.”
Senior Forward Devereaux Peters
You guys outscored them in the first half and it turned out to be a 22‑5 run and I think you had 15 points or something like that. Can you talk about what was there for you?
“I think a lot of times I was open in the post and switch and stuff and early on we weren't seeing it. Coach talked about it in the huddle and we were looking for it during that stretch. Really I was in the same places that I was before and they were looking and making the pass. I was hitting them.”
Can you talk about the control on those blocked shots and making those kinds of plays and not getting a foul on them?
Obviously Coach wants me on the floor and I don't want to be off either. In practice, we've worked on me containing the ball and I don't have to block everything and going in and looking at the stuff that I can let go. Part of the problem is I can't let stuff go. If they're there, I think I have to get it and make a stop and today I was focusing on, ‘today I got a foul, I'm going to let her have it and guard them next time.’ On the screens and stuff, they can shoot threes so we were hedging out and I just tried to get a hand up and I had to switch a lot and work on my defense and stay on the guards when we switched like that.”
Sophomore Guard Skylar Diggins
Talk about tomorrow night's game. You guys are fresh off the game from playing them last Monday.
“Obviously it's a good redemption opportunity for us. DePaul is a great team; we know that from their record and you know, how they've shown it in BIG EAST play so we knew they were going to have a great game tonight. It will be a great match‑up again. We have to do a better job of contesting and getting out on the shooters and a better job of team defense and those are the things we worked on in practice this past week. We're excited for an opportunity and a chance to avenge.”
With about one minute left, you had the steal off Shoni Schimmel and broke away for the layup. What did you see? I know it was her first possession back in the court and what was going through your mind when you did that?
“We talked that there was 1:12 left and my job was picking up the ball. With her I knew she was going to be looking to score so I really wanted to get on her and I looked for an opportunity when she crossed it and I went for it. That's just part of getting up and pressuring the ball.”