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March 24, 2013

Dawn Staley, South Carolina Head Coach
On what makes a bigger difference for Kansas, size or Angel Goodrich:
“I am partial to point guards. Goodrich makes their team go. She is their engine that creates opportunities for her and her teammates to score. She is the engine that makes them go. We are going to start with her and try to limit the amount of production that she creates for her and her teammates.”

On what they did against South Dakota State that they will need to do against Kansas:
“We are going to continue to concentrate on the point and work inside-out. Our post players have done it all year long. We have worked inside-out from the beginning of the season. There is no need to stop that right now. They have been very productive. We will try to use our quickness and try to go around them not so much through them or over them.”

On Khadijah Sessions:
“I think Khadijah can be somewhat of an x-factor for us. She has to focus in. I think sometimes she plays a little too fast because she wants to contribute. She wants to have an impact on the game. When she is able to let the game come to her she is much more effective. I think since she got the first game under her belt she will come out a little bit more focused and under control.”

On atmosphere of the building:
“I think the people of Colorado will come out and watch some good basketball. I think they are committed to it. Of course you would want the home team playing, but at the same time I do not think they are hosting just to have an empty gym. You got two good teams to come out and see. I think they [fans] will come out, who they will root for is the big question.”

On Kansas:
“I think Kansas is showing why they are in the tournament. If they can come in and play in the hostile environment like it was yesterday and win, they are much deserving. I do not know what goes into selecting what seed or what site. I know that when it comes down to playing in the NCAA Tournament it is anybody’s game. If we were just playing for seeds, then pack our bags we are heading to the Sweet 16. I think Kansas has a lot to say about that. I think South Dakota State had a lot to say about that as well. Any time you can win on somebody else’s floor it legitimizes that you belong.”

On South Carolina’s preparedness:
“I think you have to look at our leadership. Our leadership comes from seniors such as: Ieasia Walker and Ashley Bruner, who have been through four years of me. I think they are prepared for anything we throw at them. They are not going to get rattled too often. I think they pretty much will play under control because they know they are in a leadership position. However they respond to diverse situations those other players under them will respond in such a way. For us they have been here and understand what is at stake. They have experience with it and they are playing their best basketball right now.”

On Colorado as a host site:
“The experience has been tremendous. I think they are extremely organized. They put people in the stands. Just from top to bottom the facilities are excellent. We are at a pretty nice hotel and there is a lot of things to do around our hotel. I think the fans are tremendous. Even though they wanted their home team to win I think they have an appreciation for good basketball.”

On relationship with her players:
“We are pretty balanced. I do get on them pretty hard once we are in-between the lines but you also have to balance it with having a good relationship. I think our kids will run through a wall for this coaching staff. Not because we are their coaches, but because we built relationships with them. They know whatever we are doing; we always have their best interests at hand. I enjoy this part of the season because we really put hard work into the season. Now it is time for them to do what they have done all season long and also have some fun with it.”

On matching up with Kansas:
“I anticipate it being very exciting. We both have pretty good point guards. I think whoever wins that point guard matchup will probably win the game. For us we have to do certain things and we have to do certain things really well. It starts with defending and rebound. If we can take care of those two things like we have all season long I like our chances.”

Khadijah Sessions, Guard:
On her comfort level in the NCAA tournament setting, and the mentoring that Ieasia Walker has provided:
“I’m feeling comfortable. I was a little nervous coming in, but just talking to Ieasia, I get a lot of feedback. She’s really been helping me through this process. She’s a really good leader to look up to. It was really exciting yesterday to step on the floor knowing it’s the NCAA tournament and playing hard and letting it all out after working so hard this year.”

On players she has faced who would compare with Kansas guard Angel Goodrich:
“I would probably say [Jasmine] Lister from Vanderbilt. She goes out looking to run her team, looking to score, and looking to dish. We just have to play our defense and disrupt her.”

Aleighsa Welch, Forward:
On her matchup with Kansas forward Carolyn Davis:
“She presents the same challenges as everyone else we’ve played with that height. It’s nothing we aren’t used to. We just focus on the scouting report because it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.”

On Kansas having something to prove as a 12 seed:
“It’s the NCAA tournament. Everyone who comes in has that will to win. You can’t really focus on seeds because then you’ll be focusing on whether it should be Kansas or Colorado. Kansas came out, played hard, and played a terrific game. You can’t get wrapped up in what everyone is seeded, because at the end of the day, it’s win or go home.”

On how a lower attendance would affect their team:
“I really don’t know. [Colorado] isn’t here, so I don’t know if they’ll have fans who come to see the game. I don’t know if there were a lot of Kansas fans yesterday. We’re playing a long way from home, so I don’t know what to expect. We can’t really play into that – we have to focus on the game. We’ll have a mini-Gamecock nation there, so that’s really all that matters.”

On scouting Kansas, their opponent tomorrow:
“Kansas is a really efficient team. We have to disrupt their offense. They look to score. They’re a high scoring team. We’re really just going to have to try to disrupt their offense, find points in transition, and play our game. They really don’t do anything we haven’t seen before, so we’ll just play our game and do our best.”

On what needs to be done against Kansas in order to duplicate the success her team had inside the paint against South Dakota State:
“We’ll have to use our quickness. They do have size, but I think we have a quickness advantage. We’ll have to try to find our shots. We have to be efficient and take our time. We’ve had to deal with it all year, so we’ll just have to come in and execute the game plan.”

Elem Ibiam, Center:
On performing as well against the post players from Kansas as she did against those from South Dakota State in the first round:
“I think it will be important. I don’t really focus on it too much. I just try and come out and play and take tips from Ashley [Bruner] and Aleighsa [Welch]. I just have to go out there knowing what I need to do to help our team out.”