IUWBB: Quotes from IU’s Monday press conference

Teri Moren

On the importance of last night’s win…

“I don’t know that it was the most important win. We’ve had a few of those this year. I think back to the Michigan State win we had at home. I think to our first road victory for the Big Ten at Northwestern. Last night’s victory would obviously rank up there, but there have been several throughout this season that have been really special for our program. The win at Northwestern, getting our first road victory, I had said in the media that that was a culture-changing moment for us. We hadn’t yet been able to do that. So that gave us a tremendous amount of confidence, being able to come back and going undefeated at home in Assembly Hall and then we had to go on the road and steal a few other wins, which is always difficult in the Big Ten. There’s been a few [important moments], but last night was special in the sense that it hasn’t been done in 33 years. Indiana women’s basketball has been to the NCAA tournament, but they hadn’t won their first game, so it was special in a different way. Nonetheless, it was a big victory for us for sure.”

On what a win tomorrow night would mean for the program…

“That would put us in the Sweet 16, and would put women’s basketball and men’s basketball in the Sweet 16 for Indiana, which would be special in itself. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Notre Dame, and obviously Muffet and her staff have done a tremendous job. To say that we want to emulate a program like this is right on. We came into this thing on Monday night, and seeing our name flash across the screen was a pretty neat moment for our basketball team, and it’s something we want to continue to have happen for us as we move forward with our program. So it would obviously be a special victory because it would allow us to advance, and that’s what you want to do in March. I know our kids would certainly be thrilled and excited, but with this group, they would be excited about the next challenge of moving forward.”

On the challenge of competing for the same recruits as Notre Dame…

“We’re not there yet. Let’s be honest, we’re not quite there yet with the recruits, especially in the state of Indiana. Notre Dame is a special place. One of the things we’re committed to, though, is recruiting the top kids in the state of Indiana, and it’s always going to be a challenge to go up against a school and program like Notre Dame and get some of the top kids out of the state. We

love Jackie Young, and Jackie Young joined our back door, but she obviously made the decision to come here, and she’s going to be a terrific player. That’s the example of the type of kids we want to recruit and want to keep in our state. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge moving forward because Notre Dame’s not going anywhere, and they have the tradition we’re searching for and that we’re wanting for our program. It’s always going to be a difficult task to recruit against them.”

On the key ingredients to making IU’s remarkable turnaround these past few years…

“That’s a great question. It’s interesting. For our first year we got the job late in August and didn’t have the summer access or the time you get to spend with your kids, especially when you’re new. So we didn’t have that opportunity. We were kind of getting to know each other on the fly, which is hard. It’s difficult when you’re trying to implement your system of how we’re going to play, both offensively and defensively. Trying to get all of our players to buy into that system [is difficult]. But I think the relationship part was something we weren’t able to develop as well as we would have liked to. Last summer, we spent the entire months of June and July together training. It was really just about us trying to get better. But then we spent time away from the court, whether they were over at my house, whether we were entertaining new recruits, whether we just went out for occasional meals, we spent time together and got to know each other on a personal level. That paid huge dividends for this group. We lost a few kids that decided not to return to Indiana and that went to other places, and so we had other pieces that needed to step up. One of the things we did and the best decision we made was to put the ball in Tyra [Buss’] hands. We wanted to play faster, and we didn’t do that a year ago. We put it in her hands, and now we’re playing at a pace that suits us, me, and our system. But it’s really been about the relationships. That’s what’s changed. The time well spent with your kids. I think this is a business that’s all about relationships. Your kids have to know that you believe in them, that you love them, that you care about them, and if you build that relationship your players will do whatever you ask.”

On looking up to Muffet McGraw…

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach. She’s been here for about 29 years, and what she’s built here [is amazing]—just to walk by the facility yesterday and see all of those trophies and everything they’ve accomplished. She’s a no-nonsense coach and there’s a lot of us that look up to Muffet, especially being a female in our game, and she’s done it the right way. She’s at a tremendous place. We had an opportunity to walk around campus yesterday, I know they’re building a new facility for men’s and women’s basketball, and she’s obviously right where she needs to be. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and the job’s she’s done. And here’s the deal, it’s hard to sustain the type of success that she’s had. Year in and year out, to be ranked as one of the top teams in the country, to play and try to advance to the Final Four, it’s one thing about getting there, but it’s another thing about getting there and staying there. I think that’s what the most difficult task is, and she’s been able to do that. For that reason, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job she’s done here.”

On post-game reaction Saturday night…

“It was really late, past my bedtime, but we went back and said as a staff that I really wanted us to enjoy what we had just accomplished. We did that, we had a late dinner, and then we moved on to Notre Dame. We let our kids sleep in and got back up and at it again. We had a great film session with our players. I’m really proud of that group, and we reminded them of what they had accomplished last night and how proud they should be. We enjoyed that for less than 24 hours, and now we have to move on to Notre Dame. They’re excited. We’re grateful to still be here and have the opportunity to play again tomorrow night.”

On what jumps out when seeing Notre Dame play…

“Where do you want me to start? They have a tremendous point guard that didn’t score last night but had 10 assists. She’s just terrific. Their transition is tremendous. They’ve got shooters on the outside and they’re balanced. They score in different ways and are so efficient offensively. They don’t beat themselves, and they share the ball. They take high-percentage shots. They’re just a tremendous team. We know that we’re going to have to play an almost perfect game to be in it.”

Tyra Buss

On post-game recovery…

“I’m a little sore but that happens after a lot of the games. I went down a lot last night but on a big stage like this toughness is going to be tested, and that’s a challenge I’m definitely willing and ready to take on.”

On the biggest challenged presented by Notre Dame…

“Definitely one thing that they are very good at is running the floor in transition, so we need to make sure we get back and stop the ball. We need to make sure we get out to the wings because they have some really good shooters, but their post players can run, too. [Brianna] Turner can run the floor really well, so we need to make sure Jenn [Anderson] gets back and covers her and gets physical in the post.”

On watching Notre Dame over the years…

“Like Karlee [McBride] said, they’ve gotten a lot of attention and have been on the national stage for some time now, so it’s a great opportunity for us to be able to play them. We are really excited for it. Hopefully this is just the start of us getting the national attention. Hopefully we can build our program to be something like Notre Dame.”

On her attacking philosophy…

“Coach is always telling me and all the guards to be in attack mode because something that we are really really good at is attacking the basket. I think one big thing that I’ve improved on a lot from my freshman year is attacking and finishing through contact. I needed to get my body stronger and be able to not shy away from contact but rather go through it.”

Karlee McBride:

On processing yesterday’s win…

“It’s definitely awesome to make history last night. It’s a great feeling to win a tournament game and we are going to use that feeling preparing for Notre Dame today.”

On what it’s like to play Notre Dame…

“It’s definitely awesome. I watched (sister) Kayla play here all four years of her career. So it’s definitely awesome to be playing against them, but my team is prepared and ready to take them on.”

On keeping in contact with Notre Dame players…

“Actually, I don’t talk to them as much as you think I would. I was mostly close with my sister’s class and they are all gone.”

On receiving advice from her sister about the tournament…

“One thing she did tell me is to ‘Live in the moment.’ This could potentially be your last game so you have to play like it. Just play as you know how to play, stick to the gameplan, and have fun.”

On pre-game confidence after first tournament win…

“I definitely think we are very confident and ready to play. It was definitely a boost in our confidence, and I think that winning makes us want to just keep winning.”

On watching Notre Dame over the years…

“They’re definitely one of the best teams in the nation so a lot of attention is on them. I love to watch them play. They’re a great team, but watching them also gives me a reason to study them and also prepares me and my team to play them tomorrow.”

2 comments

  1. Off the top I want to wish IU the best of luck in the 2nd round matchup against ND. Regardless of what happens eventually they can look back on what they accomplished this year and be proud, not satisfied but still hungry to do better and be better.
    I just recently watched some of the Uconn all access vids that can be watched on youtube and you can get a sense of what it takes. Right off the top they get the best players in the country but they have to be coached and pushed to their maximum potential. So like many women teams they play against male counterparts, but if they get to doing well against 5 players that gets increased to 6, 7, and 8 players making it harder and harder to run a simple play, always pushing always reaching , never satisfied with what youve done. If you want more go watch some of those all access vids it very interesting stuff and you wont be disappointed.

  2. I watched UCONN women on tv this year playing Florida Gulf Coast, I think. UCONN ladies looked like a small college men’s team the way they run the court, size, and skill level. They play with such poise and confidence… I am not saying they would beat a small college men’s team.

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