Georgia Tech NCAA Tournament Practice Day Quotes - March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph
Opening Statement:
“First of all, obviously we’re really happy to be here and have an opportunity to do something that’s never been done in the history of our program, and that’s move this program forward and advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Yesterday, obviously we were very pleased with the outcome and with the win, but in particular, on the defensive end, I thought we did an outstanding job of limiting their best player. She leads the NCAA in double-doubles and we were able to keep her from getting a double-double in that game and that was a goal going in.

“All season long we’ve taken it one game at a time. We haven’t looked ahead, we haven’t looked behind, and right now there’s only one game that we’re focused on, and that’s Georgetown.”

On playing Georgetown last year:
“It’s very interesting because they have seven seniors and we have five seniors, so they’re virtually the same teams. We did look at the film last night from our game with them in the Virgin Islands last year. It was early in the season, and like we talked with the team about this morning, it was early on in the year and we hadn’t really faced a lot of 1-2-2 half-court trap at that point. This year, we’ve seen a lot of it. Up to this point, we’ve seen a lot of the 2-2-1 and the 2-3 where last year at that time it was kind of new to us. We were starting a freshman in Tyaunna Marshall, who’d never faced that kind of defense, and she was our leading scorer in that game. They lost a key player, their leading scorer in that game was a senior, she had 28 against us. We lost Alex Montgomery, but virtually every other player is back for both teams. We really feel like it was a game that we let slip away early in the season, and we have a tremendous amount of confidence playing against their type of defense. We’re really looking forward to the rematch.”

On playing Sugar Rodgers defensively:
“It’s interesting. We’ve had to go against really great players in the ACC. You look at Alyssa Thomas, the player of the year, is a tremendous talent for Maryland. We’ve played against players at Duke, who has a tremendous point guard that we’ve had to guard. Miami has two of the best guards in the country, so it’s not a situation we haven’t been in before. We have a lot of respect for how [Rodgers] plays offensively, we know she also leads her team in steals, so she plays both ends of the floor. It’s one of the things going in, what you try to do is limit her touches, try and take something away from her that she likes to do that creates scoring opportunities for herself. We’re going to focus on that. The key is, I think, watching a lot of these tapes, that Big East teams know them the best. In their last game, West Virginia held them to 32 points, so watching that game gives you a lot of great ideas defensively of how exactly to play them. Those are the people that know them the best, because they’re in their league. We’ve been fortunate to take some things away from that.”

On comparing Georgetown to an ACC team:
“I don’t think there’s a huge difference. There’s a lot more teams in the Big East, so they have a lot of different looks that they go against. Other than that, they remind me a lot of North Carolina. It’s kind of ironic, but their center reminds me of Waltiea Rolle that comes off the bench for North Carolina. Magee is a very active floor player, maybe a little bit different from what North Carolina has, but very similar in size and aggressiveness to Broomfield. Then you’ve got, the only difference I think in [Georgetown] and North Carolina is North Carolina doesn’t have a Sugar Rodgers. They didn’t have a player that night-in and night-out is getting 18 to 20 points, but other than that their size, the way they play a lot, obviously North Carolina used to go 1-3-1 half-court trap, they don’t do it as much anymore, but a very similar team to North Carolina in stature.”

Senior point guard Metra Walthour
On guarding Sugar Rodgers:
“I’m going to start on her. I remember she’s very aggressive and I feel like we’re prepared and I’m up for it.”

On being at the peak of Georgia Tech’s history:
“It’s very special. As Coach said, we set goals for ourselves. As a team we wanted to finally come in and get over this hump and I think we have. I think tomorrow we have a great opportunity to get over that hump and be where we want to be. We have a great opportunity tomorrow and we’re going to go after it.”

Senior center Sasha Goodlett
On being at the peak of Georgia Tech’s history:
“It just goes to show you how times have changed in women’s basketball, how programs that probably weren’t supposed to be the top programs in the nation are coming up and rising up and making a name for themselves. Basically just like Metra said, we’re just coming in focused on making our history and trying succeed for our program. We have five seniors and we want to leave this program and do something special with it. This is our last chance to come out and make history for our program, so that’s what we’re fighting for.”

On playing against a similar post player:
“I’m just going in with the same mindset every game, and that’s just me playing my role for my team, and focusing in on what my team needs me to do, and that’s to be a post presence. It’s going to be a great matchup, and it’s going to be a great game.”

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