Quote the Horns: NCAA Tournament selection reaction
March 13, 2012
Head Coach Gail Goestenkors
On the team’s reaction to gaining an NCAA tournament bid: I think it was a relief. The players were yelling and screaming and high-fiving and I was just so happy for them. Especially for those seniors, it meant a lot.
On being the “last team in” and getting a 9-seed: I can’t figure it out, and I’ve been in the tournament for a long time too. When we got the 9-seed, I knew we had a better resume than we had last year, but when they came back and said we were one of the last four in, I don’t even know how it’s possible to be a 9-seed. We’ll take it, I’ll take any seed right now, but I was kind of surprised.
On how similarities between the Big East and the Big 12 help prepare Texas for the tournament: I think the Big East, it’s such a big conference and they have so many teams, and it’s very similar in that they play a lot of different styles. I think the Big East teams notoriously are ready, specifically Connecticut but Notre Dame as well, for NCAA runs and I think it’s for similar reasons that we are in the Big 12. Through the course of your conference play you see just about every different style of play that you could possibly face when you get into the tournament.
On West Virginia’s style of play: They remind me a lot of A&M, very physical, very athletic, take great pride in their defense, they’re up and in passing lanes, so very similar. Offensively, they really do a great job pounding the ball into their post players. Their posts work so hard, maybe the hardest working tandem that I’ve seen with their high-low game. So it’s going to be a great challenge for our post defense.
On the mindset of the team heading into the tournament: I think we want to redeem ourselves. We know we had a tough game against Texas Tech, didn’t play well at all, nobody played well. I think it was good that we came back and practiced right away. We needed to get it out of our system. We took Saturday and Sunday off and then yesterday had one of our best practices. I think the team is definitely anxious and excited about redeeming themselves.
On how she felt the Big 12 fared in tournament bids: We had the number one conference once again throughout the season with the RPI so when I was looking at Bracketology all along and they only had six teams in from the Big 12 I was stunned how [with] the number one team and the number one RPI could only get six teams in. So I was really pleased and not really surprised that when it came down to nuts and bolts, the NCAA committee recognized the strength of the entire schedule of our conference.
I don’t think anything shocked me. I did think Virginia was in because I didn’t even see them as a bubble team, so I thought Virginia would be in instead of Michigan. That’s really the only difference I saw.
On adjustments to the starting lineup to accommodate West Virginia’s post play: We put Cokie (Reed) back into the starting lineup (because) Anne Marie (Hartung) was struggling a bit, so we’ll go with Cokie and AG (Ashley Gayle). We’ll go with our seniors and our upperclassmen really, because we’re going to go as far as they take us.
On making it in the tournament: We are very excited. We hoped that we were in and now we have a chance to redeem ourselves for the past three years. We are pretty excited and we are going to go out there and hopefully get the win
On nervousness before the show began: Definitely. It was kind of uneasy in there and we didn’t know what was going to happen. But we were all happy. We were all jumping up and down and very proud of ourselves.
On after the early loss and time to prepare: It is never good to lose but I think it gave us a chance to come back, get back to the basics, and work on what we needed to work on so we can get ready for this next game.
Senior post Ashley Gayle
On getting the ninth seed: I will take a nine seed. I think we have had lots of ups and downs this season. I think we have had lots of wins and also some tough losses but I think that for us to be in the tournament shows what we are capable of.
On seeing Texas early on in the show: It was unexpected because we usually have to wait a while before our name pops up. I think that the first time ever that it’s been the second name. When we saw it I think everybody was in a little bit of shock. We didn’t realize that it was going to come up so soon if it was going to come up at all. It is definitely a huge relief and definitely something that has been lifted off our shoulders. I think with us having practice after we lost last week and getting prepared I think it has helped our mindset. We have been getting ready for this and we do deserve it.
On factor being a senior with NCAA tournament experience: I think it provides a little bit of an advantage. The fact that we have three seniors and Cokie Reed who didn’t get to play last year but she has been to the tournament before. I think just for us to lead the younger people through it. We have been there so we can help them out with certain things and not to get the jitters too early. I think that definitely helps.
Senior guard Yvonnne Anderson
On redeeming the team after the loss to Texas Tech: I think definitely. We were really disappointed in the way we played there and I think we expect so much of ourselves that we are all looking forward to getting on the court and showing the nation that we are not that team but we are the team from the few games before that. We have been practicing hard since then.
On previous NCAA tournament experience as a factor: I would hope it would be some type of factor. I have been there three years and unfortunately we have yet to get past the first round and I think that is our main goal. We have a lot of leadership with three seniors and one junior so we have enough of a team that knows what it takes to win in the NCAAs.
On importance of Ashley Gayle and Cokie Reed’s presence in the upcoming game: I don’t know a lot about West Virginia but I do know that we need Ashley and Cokie. Their post presence is going to be huge. Any help that we can have from the inside game, defensively and offensively, with rebounding and guards doing so much. Their presence is going to be the difference maker.
On feelings about West Virginia being similar to Texas A&M: I don’t know a lot about West Virginia so I can’t comment much. I would hope that no matter whom we played that we go out with the same intensity and the same confidence anyways.