Georgia Tech Pre-Tournament Quotes

March 20, 2010

Practice Day Photos/Videos

NORMAN, Okla. – The Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball team met with members of the media and participated in an open practice Saturday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph
Opening statement:
“I just want to say how excited we are to be here to play in our fourth consecutive NCAA tournament. It’s a huge honor for our program and for these young ladies who have worked extremely hard this year to put ourselves in a position to earn the highest seed in the history of our program, which is a sixth seed. So we’re very excited about this opportunity. You know we have tremendous respect for the other teams in this tournament. In particular, UALR has just really impressed me with the film I’ve seen and the tapes I’ve seen on them. They are a very talented team with tremendous experience. So we’re excited about that matchup as well as the opportunity to be here in Oklahoma. We started our season here and at the end of our season we’re back here. So it’s a great challenge for us. We’re looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow night and we’ll go from there.”

On UALR’s Shanika Butler:
“I think she’s the key to their team, if you ask me. She has almost 100 offensive rebounds, almost 100 steals and over 100 assists and that’s pretty special. That’s somebody who’s doing a lot of things that nobody else wants to do. So when we look at film, we know Chastity Reed is a great player, but they have a strong supporting cast. Butler is one of those players like our (Deja) Foster. She does a lot of things that doesn’t get a lot of credit, but those are things that help your team win. The reason they (UALR) are here is because they have players around Reed that have made their success possible. One great player doesn’t win 26 or 27 games. It takes a lot more than that. I think Butler is a tremendous player for them. She may not be a 3-point shooter, but she’s a penetrator. She does all the little things. Again, 100 offensive rebounds, 100 assists and 100 steals is a pretty good stat line.”

On playing on the road:
“We’ve been in the tournament four years in a row, and three of the four years we have been sent where we could potentially play the host or have played the host. So it’s a difficult challenge, but it’s like I told my team, `you have to earn the right not to be on somebody’s home floor’, and we didn’t beat a top-10 opponent. I think when you beat a top-10 opponent, that’s when you earn those rights. So we understand that and we have to embrace what we’ve been given. You control what you can control at this time of the year. Last year, we went to Iowa and were without our leading scorer and Alex Montgomery, and we were able to beat them on their home floor in the first round. We got a tremendous amount of confidence from that. But this is a totally different year, different team and different tournament. We’re playing the Sunbelt champions. They (UALR) didn’t win the tournament, but they won the regular season, which is more significant because they won in the long haul. And you’re looking at a team that went to the championship game that could have gone either way, that game. They’re a very good team. They’re well coached and well prepared and have tremendous talent. Once we get through tomorrow night, we’ll focus on the next opponent, whoever that might be. But right now, we have one game in front of us and that’s all we’re focused on.”

On preparing for the week:
“Anything can happen in the NCAA tournament. Anything is possible. You just have to come and play. At this point in the season, it doesn’t really matter about seeding, because it’s a basketball game. There’s not a team in this tournament that doesn’t deserve to be there, especially anybody that’s been included as an at-large bid, because this wasn’t an automatic bid for UALR. They were picked as a team just like we were. So we have tremendous respect for them and they wouldn’t be in this tournament if the committee didn’t think they deserved to be. We just have to prepare for them. You can’t look past anybody this time of the year.”

Georgia Tech Senior Forward Brigitte Ardossi
On the team mindset to do well in the tournament:
“It’s always an expectation; we expect it every year now. I’ve been a part of all four years making it to the tournament and each year our goal is to get further and further. This year we really put an emphasis on that and our focus has been making it past two games. I think with our preparation and practice and focus in the past couple of weeks, I think we’re ready.”

How the NCAA tournament is different from a regular season game:
“It’s one-and-done. We always talk about three seasons. We have the regular season, then the ACC tournament and then we have the NCAA tournament, so being the fact that it is one-and-done, it’s a bit more exciting that you have to come in and give it your all every 40 minutes. You don’t have a second chance, especially for me, I don’t have a second chance. We have to go out there and lay it all out and not leave anything behind this time. During the season, we have so many games you kind of lose sight maybe of the fact that we play next week anyway, but this time you have to be thinking what’s in front of you and then move on from that once you achieve that goal.”

On the biggest difference from this year’s team compared to last season:
“I think just the fact that it’s an expectation that we’re here, whereas, before I remember my first year being in the NCAA tournament it was just exciting that we made it and everything. But now, having the experience I’ve had with four NCAA tournaments and our juniors and our sophomores they’ve experienced it also. It’s not a new thing. This is what we do now. We’re in the NCAA tournament every year now, so it’s just our goal to move beyond the two games. That’s what our focus has been instead of just being happy to be in the tournament.”

On playing a new opponent:
“It’s always good to come up against something new. Oklahoma’s not new for us, so we’ve scouted them before, and we’re prepared for that, but to come up against UALR is always exciting.”

On the importance of being in the NCAA tournament before:
“I think it’s very important. It’s kind of like when we first came in we didn’t know what to expect, so it can be dangerous for us. Them (UALR) coming in for the first time, they have no expectations. They’re just coming out giving it there all. But for us, having that previous experience, we know what to expect. We know how game day is and how electric the atmosphere is and we’re used to it. That’s what we’ve become accustomed to now. We’re always at that intensity level, whereas this may be their first time coming in at that. So it can be dangerous but at the same time I think our experience is going to help us in the long run.”

Georgia Tech Junior Guard/Forward Alex Montgomery
On scouting UALR:
“I’ve learned that they can be very physical and they have one dominant player. We have to stop her and execute the game plan and play smart defense.”

On comparing Chastity Reed to a player in the ACC:
“She reminds me of Shenise Johnson from Miami. We were capable of stopping her and we’re capable of stopping Reed too.”

On expectations for the tournament:
“Last year I had to sit out and this year I’m just ready to give it my all. Make my seniors proud, make my fans and coach proud, and just play basketball.”

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