College Station, Texas - Nebraska Coach Connie Yori led the Huskers through a crisp 90-minute practice in College Station, Texas, Friday afternoon as NU made final preparations for Saturday's game with Chattanooga.
Tip-off between No. 6 seed Nebraska (23-8, 12-4 Big Ten) and 11th-seeded Chattanooga (29-3, 19-1 SoCon) in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament is set for approximately 5:30 p.m. NU's game will follow the other first-round matchup between the hosts and No. 3 seed from Texas A&M and 14th-seeded Wichita State, which is set for 3 p.m. Both games will be televised live by ESPN2.
Yori said the Huskers, whose press conference preceded their 2:45 p.m. practice at Reed Arena, were eager to get on the court to start NCAA Tournament play.
“I’m excited to be here. It’s like returning to the Big 12 and playing A&M here, like in the Big 12 days. We are going to see a great team tomorrow in Chattanooga," Yori said. "I’m very impressed by what Wes Moore has done with the program over the years. He’s got a great program. I think we are going to be highly challenged tomorrow but we are excited to be here."
Complete transcripts of Yori's meeting with the media can be found below and in the PDF attached to this article on Huskers.com, along with transcripts of media sessions with Huskers Lindsey Moore, Jordan Hooper, Hailie Sample, Emily Cady and Meghin Williams. Complete transcripts of press conferences with Chattanooga, Texas A&M and Wichita State players and coaches are also attached.
2013 NCAADivision I Women’s Basketball Championship
First Round · Practice Day
Reed Arena · College Station, Texas
Friday, March 22, 2013
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES – Nebraska
Connie Yori, Head Coach
“I’m excited to be here. It’s like returning to the Big 12 and playing A&M here, like in the Big 12 days. We are going to see a great team tomorrow in Chattanooga. I’m very impressed by what Wes Moore has done with the program over the years. He’s got a great program. I think we are going to be highly challenged tomorrow but we are excited to be here. We’ve played some good basketball this year. I think our kids are ready to play a game. It’s been almost two weeks since we’ve played and that is a long stretch. Hopefully we’ll give a good one tomorrow.”
“We’ve watched everything that we could get our hands on. We’ve watched a lot of film. Obviously, the defeat of Tennessee is a great win for them to start the season but Chattanooga has been impressive throughout the season. You don’t win 19 games in a row or 29 games without having good players and being a well-coached team. They have both of those things. I’m very impressed by what they do offensively. They are a team that can really spread you out. They have a great inside game and they’ve got great shooters so we will be challenged. There is no question about that. That Tennessee game was early in the year for them but they’ve played good basketball throughout.”
On the Big 12 versus the Big Ten:
“There’s obviously some similarities and some differences in the two leagues. There are athletic teams in the Big Ten and there are athletic teams in the Big 12. There are teams that play with skill and are more skill-oriented in both of those conferences as well. There’s definitely been crossover. I think both leagues are extremely well-coached. When you are playing at that level and in a BCS league, you are looking at the best coaches in the country. You’ve got great players at every position. You hope that that prepares you. We’ve pretty much seen everything in the last few years: defensively, offensively, teams that rebounded well. Hopefully we have been well-schooled.”
On last year’s NCAA run:
“We went into last year’s tournament not healthy. Jordan Hooper and Hailie Sample both were playing with stress fractures and really had not practiced prior to us playing. We played four games in four days in the Big 10 Tournament last year. That was a very tough grind for us. One of those games was a double-overtime game, so we played a lot of minutes and some kids came out with injuries. We did not come into the NCAA tournament healthy. That takes nothing away from what Kansas did in beating us last yea,r but at least we are healthy. We do feel better about that. Again, we are facing a great team in Chattanooga. They are a team that I think probably should have earned a better seed than they did and a team that is going to give us everything they’ve got.”
On seeding in this year’s tournament:
“I just think if you base things on our RPI and the way that we ended our season, we probably would have been a four or a five. We understand that the committee has a tough challenge and it is not easy seeding 64 teams. We get that. There’s a chance that we could have gone to Colorado or Louisville or a number of different places. This is one of the places that I didn’t necessarily think we would be, but I think that is just part of the tournament. It’s what makes it interesting and fun.”
On senior guard Lindsey Moore:
“It’s been a great pleasure to coach Lindsey. I’ve coached a long time and she’s the best point guard I’ve ever coached. She’s got a great savvy on the floor. She’s a leader by example first. She does everything she needs to do in a practice setting to make herself and her teammates better. She’s just a really good all-around player. From a positional standpoint, she is one of the best passers in the country, an underrated defender and she shoots the ball at a high percentage, both from the 3-point line and inside the 3-point line. She’s a competitor. To summarize her, she’s a very competitive kid who does a lot of things right. She’s been a great pleasure to coach.”
Jordan Hooper, Junior, Forward
On playing with Lindsey Moore:
“It means a lot. I think anyone can tell that we are pretty good friends on and off the court. It means a lot to get a couple more games to play with her.”
Hailie Sample, Sophomore, Forward
On playing in her home state:
“It’s really awesome that I get to come home to my home state and that my whole family can come and watch me play, because that hasn’t gotten to happen. It’s really exciting.”
Lindsey Moore, Senior, Guard
On Chattanooga beating Tennessee:
“Honestly we just know that any team entering the NCAA Tournament is going to be tough. It’s good for their program to have that win under their belt because that will definitely help in the tournament. It’s not really a surprise from looking at the scouting report we have on them; they are a solid team. It makes sense that they could beat a team like that. They are a very good team inside and out; they have a lot of things going well for them.”
On Nebraska’s performance in the NCAA Tournament last year:
“Last year we had a couple people injured so that kind of hurt us. But honestly, I think it is just going to make us better this season, just knowing how we felt last season and how much more confident we are entering this postseason; and knowing that we don’t have any of the health issues we did last year. Honestly, it’s good to have it in the back of our minds, we don’t want our season to end as early as it did last year and that gives us motivation. We can play with confidence. Everyone is healthy and we had that two weeks that we could get our health back if anything was lingering, so that was really good for us.”
On their keys to success:
“I think one of the biggest keys is to rebound. We need to limit their shots and they have a really good inside post presence with a couple of their posts. We just need to limit their inside post touches as much as possible and then rebound. Honestly that’s the biggest key to this game. We need to take care of our defensive glass.”
On Chattanooga’s 19-game winning streak:
“We look at everyone’s season records as 0-0. It’s a whole completely different new season for everyone. It’s great that they have that coming into the postseason, but it’s a completely different ball game. We are all on neutral courts and so we just want to play this one game and not look back at what everyone has been doing in the regular season.”
Meghin Williams, Senior, Forward
On playing in her third NCAA Tournament:
“It’s exciting. I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of three different teams that have come to the NCAA Tournament. We’re back to a clean slate. Everything we’ve done up to this point doesn’t matter. Its 0-0 all over again and we’re ready to go.”
On team’s mindset against Chattanooga:
“We still have a little bit of last year on our mind, and how we didn’t do as well as we wanted to do. We definitely have had a lot of preparation for this game. We’ve kind of sat back the last couple days and tried to get our legs back in step, so we’re prepared for the next game coming up.”
Emily Cady, Sophomore, Forward
On playing the first and second rounds in College Station
“Hailie (Sample) was really excited because she’s from here. Well not from here, but three hours away. So we’ll have a good crowd, hopefully. And it’s warm. I think it’s snowing in Nebraska right now.