March 8, 2012
Press Conference Quotes - Memphis 77 vs. SMU 67
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Memphis Head Coach Melissa McFerrin
"I thought SMU was very much ready to play. You can tell that they were a team that came away with a big win yesterday. I thought they played very, very well. I felt like it took us a little bit of time to get ourselves going against their 2-3 zone and also with a little bit of foul trouble. I felt like our game plan was pretty solid in the second half. I was very, very pleased with our rebounding and our ability to get fouls. Ultimately, I think those two things were the difference in the game."
Can you talk about the way you were able to capitalize on their turnovers.
"That's something we work a lot on. I think we have a very good transition basketball team. But it all starts with our rebounding. I thought we did an outstanding job of converting on rebounds. We talked all week about needing the ball to come off the rim for us to play good solid defense to get ourselves in transition, and I thought that we did that. I also thought our key to the game because they were giving Jasmine (Lee) so much attention, I felt like we had to have somebody who finally stepped up and hit a shot. And I think Brittany (Carter) did that. She also forces them to stretch their defense a little bit more. We've got Nicole (Dickson) in the middle, and I also thought Qisi (Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir) stepped up good with a couple good shots."
Is it nice to see the way the team responded after half time?
Talk about advancing and facing Tulane
"It was. Certainly, we don't like to have Jasmine (Lee) and Nicole (Dickson) sitting on the bench as much as they did in the first half, and we were trying to spread Brittany's (Carter) minutes out. But I thought Ann (Jones) and KK (Krishunda Harvey) did a really good nice job just keeping us solid. We didn't score a bunch, but we didn't give up a bunch either. They just kind of held serve until we had an opportunity to get our scorers back into the game."
"I do think for a team that gets a first round bye this is the hardest game of the tournament. That's not disrespect for Tulane, but getting yourself going against a team that just came off a big win yesterday I think that's difficult. Now us and Tulane are in the same situation. Tulane is an outstanding basketball team. I thought they played extremely well today. They shot the ball well. They penetrated it well. They rebounded it well. We have one game against Tulane this year, and it went down to the wire. I would expect nothing different tomorrow."
#25 Brittany Carter, Memphis
Talk about your performance today. It looked like you were pretty determined, especially in the second half.
"Yes I was. My coaches and teammates allowed me to take the time I needed to get back right with my injury and everything. I was just ready to come out here and play again with my team. They did an awesome job again tonight. I give them a lot of credit."
Is it nice to get that first one out of the way?
"It is nice to get the first one out of the way. Like coach said, against a very good team. We are looking forward to playing Tulane tomorrow who is another good team. We're going to come out here and give it our best and play Memphis basketball."
#3 Jasmine Lee, Memphis
Was it tough for you to sit out the first half in foul trouble?
"No, I think K.K. (Harvey) and Ann (Jones) did a really good job rebounding and playing good defense. We were really defending. It didn't hurt us much in the first half."
SMU Head Coach Rhonda Rompola
"We played a heck of a ball club today in Memphis. They are a very powerful, very deep. They've got the player of the year and defensive player. (Brittany) Carter, who can shoot it. Nicole (Dickson) who can shoot it. They are just very well rounded. But Memphis does such a great job of getting to the basket, and they are very difficult to guard. We tried a number of different defenses today, and as you can see, we got in foul trouble, and that hurt us as they were in the double-bonus early on. They shot a lot of free throws today. I'm not happy about that for a lot of reasons. I thought a couple times we had some good defensive plays, but they got to the line.
I thought Carter took over the game in the second half, and we started to close in a little bit on them, and she tried to penetrate, got herself in the middle of the lane, and when we stepped up to help, they got the offensive rebound. That's what happens when you get beat on the perimeter, your posts have to rotate, and it creates gaps and openings for them to rebound.
But I'll say this. I thought our kids battled. We were very shorthanded at the guard position once Alisha Filmore went out. We only had two wing players, and on top of that, we were in foul trouble. But I really am proud of the way our kids battled. We played a good team, and we didn't give up. They could have extended that lead in the second half, but we fought back, hit a couple of threes. You can't ask for more than that from your kids."