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Georgia Tech NCAA Regional Semifinal Quotes

March 23, 2012

Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball
Friday News Conference Quotes

2012 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal vs. Baylor
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wells Fargo Arena | Des Moines, Iowa

Georgia Tech head coach MaChelle Joseph:

Opening Statement: “First of all, I want to say how excited we are to be here in Des Moines and have an opportunity to compete with some of the best teams in the country in a Sweet 16. Obviously, it [Sweet 16] is the first one in the history of our program, which makes it very, very special for us. We are playing very good basketball right now. We have had some players step up in the postseason that have had some big games and really pushed us over the edge. Anything can happen in tournament play, and that is why we play in the NCAA tournament. It is an opportunity to compete and beat some of the best teams in the country. We are very excited to be here with the opportunity to go up against No. 1 Baylor, who is undefeated and has one of the best centers to ever play the game. It is an exciting challenge for our team, and we are happy to be back here in Des Moines. It is our third time to be in Iowa for the NCAA tournament in six years. So, we kind of feel like this is our second home when it comes to postseason play.”

On the defensive challenge Baylor’s Odyssey Sims presents: “Odyssey is obviously a tremendous perimeter player. One of the things that the ACC has done for us is presented us with the opportunity to defend some of the top point guards in the country. In the ACC, we see guards like Odyssey on a regular basis. So, with defending her, and having someone like her defend us, we are very familiar with that style of play and her aggressiveness on the defensive and the offensive ends. So it is not, with Odyssey, a situation we haven’t seen before. That is something with Sugar Rogers at Georgetown; we just played against someone who is a prolific scorer and tremendous defender. Therefore, that is not something that is new to us. Miami has tremendous guards. So, it is nothing like we haven’t seen and defended before.”

On Baylor’s use of role players along with stars Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims: “It is what makes them such a difficult team to beat. No one to this point in the season has figured that out exactly yet. It is one of those things where they have great role players. They have a great point guard [Odyssey Sims] and obviously a great, great center [Brittany Griner]. Plus they have outstanding role players who have accepted their roles and do a tremendous job of being a supporting cast. When you get in a situation where you have a wing and a post scoring consistently, that is when special things happen. Baylor is obviously a team where players have accepted their roles, which is key. Brittney Griner is someone that will get a lot of attention, and it is really important that those other players play their roles and be supportive of her.”

On what Georgia Tech will do against Baylor: “We feel like one of the strengths of our team is our depth. You know we play a lot of different defenses. It is not a situation where we will throw one defense at Baylor. We will play several different defenses with five or six types of presses. It is not a situation where we come in here with one game plan and play one defense. We will play several different types of defense and mix up defensive schemes. We will play a lot of different people, a lot of different sizes. We have a post player that is 6-1 but very physical and aggressive. Then we have three post players over 6-3 who are long and athletic, quick, and use their aggressiveness and speed. We have Sasha Goodlett, who is a physical 6-5 post player who can do some things on the block.”

Georgia Tech guard Mo Bennett:
On how Georgia Tech’s tournament experience helps: “It’s pretty much huge for our team, because you know we’ve never been to the Sweet 16. Finally reaching it this year and getting better each year is something huge for us. We feel like we have a chip on our shoulder to go out there and prove that we belong here.” On Georgia Tech’s first Sweet 16 appearance: “It feels great, you know, to make history. Every year we’ve gotten better and better, and to finally be here is a great feeling in general.”

On Georgia Tech’s full court pressure matching up with Baylor: “They are a great team. The press is what we are known for, so we’ll just go out there and see what it’s like. We play in a conference where pretty much everybody presses. I’m not really sure if in the Big 12 they really press like that, so it’ll be something new for them and us.”

Georgia Tech guard Dawnn Maye:
On Tech’s senior leadership: “It’s helped us a lot because our seniors have a lot of experience. They show us what we need to do as far as underclassmen and the right path and give us a great example of what we need to do.” On preparing for Brittney Griner: “We’ve just been doing our regular practices, just knowing that her size (6-8) is a factor that is going to play an important [part] in the game. We just know we have to contain her, stay in front, and just be wherever she is on the court.”

Georgia Tech forward Chelsea Regins:
On being a part of this historic Georgia Tech team: “It feels great. It’s an accomplishment in itself, just knowing that we are keeping the tradition going.” On Sydney Wallace’s tournament performance: “Sydney’s great. She’s an all-around player. She’s a creator off the dribble, she can shoot the three, and she’s fast. She has really made a big impact for us in this tournament, and I look forward to seeing her do more.”

On how Georgia Tech matches up with Baylor: “I think we match up well against Baylor. I mean, they have a slight height [advantage], but other than that I feel like we match up well. They haven’t seen a lot of ball pressure, full court pressure, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Georgia Tech guard Metra Walthour:
On being a senior leader and talking to the younger players about the tournament: “Well, we pretty much just wanted to show them what we’ve been doing in the past four years of being here and just show them the ropes, show them how to play, how you have to play like it’s your last game, because any game could be your last game.”

On playing for this team: “It means a lot. We set goals for ourselves all season, and just being able to reach those goals means a lot. We’re just looking to go out on top.”

On playing top-seeded Baylor: “Just play fearlessly. You know, I think everyone knows who they are and we’re just looking to get respect.”

On being a senior and playing in the tournament for the last time: “Our mindset is to just go out here and play with as much intensity and tenacity as possible. We know that at any point it could be our last game. We’re going to go out and play fearlessly and try to go out with a bang.”

On the game plan against No. 1 Baylor: “We didn’t come into the game with any special sort of game plan. We just want to pretty much do what we do. We pressure 40 minutes; we get up and down the court. We’re looking to throw a lot of different defenses at them, to pretty much show them how we play, which is aggressively.”

Georgia Tech center Sasha Goodlett:
Opening statement: “We’re just very excited to be here. I’m personally happy because this is the first time ever that our program has made it to the Sweet 16. We’re very excited, and we’re ready to go out there and play and work hard as a team.”

On going up against Baylor star Brittney Griner: “[I’m thankful] whenever I get the chance to play another game, because nothing is given. It’s always exciting to go up against a great post player like Brittney Griner–someone who has all of the attention on her. It will be a great opportunity for me and my teammates to come out here and play hard and make a name for ourselves.”

On being a senior and playing in the tournament for the last time: “We’re very excited to be here. We don’t really think about it being our last game because if you thought about that you’d be a nervous wreck. We’re just out here worrying about playing hard and playing for each other. In the preseason we always, as a team, said, `We’re doing this for us.’ We’re making history; we’re taking history to a place it’s never been before for us, for each other, for this group of 15, and for the other people that have supported us.”

Georgia Tech Guard Tyaunna Marshall:
On making the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history:
“It means a lot to me. Playing for these five seniors, it’s going to be our last year playing with them. They’re a special group of people. I think it means a lot to this program and for this team. We’re just going to come out here and have fun and play as hard as we can. It could be our last game, but at this point we’re not trying to make it our last game. We’re trying to make it further and make more history.”

On the game plan against No. 1 Baylor: “We’re going to play our game. We’re going to press; we’re going to run the floor; everybody’s going to play her role. We’re not going to try anything special; we’re just going to come out and play fearlessly. We’re going to have each other’s backs like we usually do, just trying to play our game the way we know how.”


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