Cincinnati-UConn Postgame Quotes

Feb. 1, 2014

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No. 1 UConn at Cincinnati
February 1, 2014
Fifth Third Arena
Postgame Quotes

UC head coach Jamelle Elliott

On how hard it was for her offense due to UConn’s defensive pressure:
“Well it makes it unbelievably hard if you look at our roster. The guys that played today we had one point guard and she was a freshman. So we were forcing Bianca Quisenberry to handle the ball against a swarming defense that would give any guard in the country trouble and UConn is UConn. They’re an unbelievable defensive team, they are going to press you they are going to make you play fast. They are going to trap and this is not the first time we had trouble scoring against them - we played decent at their place but eventually they played the type of basketball that I know they are capable of playing. Today with our lack of guards, having two point guards out, we just didn’t have someone to get us into offense consistently. I’m sure it was hard to watch for you guys and it wasn’t the type of basketball that we wanted to play today.”

On what she emphasized in practice leading up to the game:
“We just tried to talk them through it, show them tape on UConn as much as we could on them pressing other teams. Like you said it’s hard to simulate that type of length in practice because we don’t have those types of players. So we did the best we could. We played them already so we knew what we had to face - we were short some guys but we knew exactly what we were facing going into the game. We were hoping that we could make some shots early, get some confidence, but when we weren’t making shots early. Our defense has been good all year and our defense can only hold for so long when you aren’t making shots.”

On if Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis looked more like herself today:
“You know what I enjoy seeing Kaleena on the floor. The first time we played them it was her first start at their place after Christmas and we got her into foul trouble pretty early. This time she was on the floor a lot more, she was posting up she was shooting the three. She was doing some things defensively that I haven’t seen her do before. So hopefully she is getting back into better shape and feeling a little more comfortable out there. Obviously I feel she played much better this time than she did the first time we played her.” 

On if it’s tough for Kaleena because she is over shadowed by Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart:
“Well I recruited Kaleena and if she is the same type of person that she was when I recruited her is, she is a winner. She wants to win by any means necessary. That’s what I’ve known for her to be I don’t think she is any different. If I know her as the kid that I recruited I know she understands that it’s more important to win than anything else.”

On what her thoughts are for her team for the rest of the season:
“Well we just have to maintain our confidence. Right now as a coach I have to go into that locker room and find as many small victories as I can. Whether it is holding their two post players under double figures in the first half today or getting stops, as a coach you have to continue to find positive things because we lost our best player and we were without our backup point guard. We are a fragile team right now and I have to depend on guys that haven’t been as involved in our offense. They have to believe they can be more of a present offensively and that they can score more points to help make up for Dayeesha Hollins’ 13 to 14 points a game.”      

#23 Jasmine Whitfield G

On dealing with UConn’s press/trap:
“It slows us down I guess. We’ve been working on it in practice, transition from our press offense to our half- court offense quickly but they were on us and to get to past them and get it to the half court with like 16 seconds left that’s not a lot of time to set up your offense, so we’ll work on that more and keep pushing after it.”

On goals now playing without Dayeesha Hollins:
“I just knew I had to step up, our guards were low and we just needed people to produce, you know? And so I just had to come in and play my game you know and be aggressive where I could and help our team get shots. “

On UConn’s defense
“You keep that in the back of your mind. Coach empathized ball fakes, pass fakes, and shot fakes to get them to bite on whatever they think we’re doing and go the opposite way. Obviously it didn’t work every single time but we tried to make that an emphasis and try to remember that every time we make a pass. “

On small victories:
“Just to be aggressive, playing against the number one team gives you confidence and when your able to do successful things so just coming out against the next game, Rutgers and doing what we do well. “

#33 Jeanise Randolph F

On the speed of the game:
“It gets me moving pretty fast, it gets the team moving pretty fast so once we start moving fast we start rushing things and were not poise and it causes us to turn the ball over and get frustrated and then were not playing  our type of ball.  We don’t play as fast as UCONN. Once they got us rattled we never got settled back down so that causes a problem for us.”

On dealing with UConn’s height:
“There is height out there, but I have to remember I have a ‘face-up’ game and I need to be patient. Yeah, I’m playing against 6”5’, 6”3’ and I just need to focus move around the basket and not get intimidated because they are 6”3 and 6”5’.”

On small victories:
“Having confidence. I know that when I go one on one with anyone on UCONN I have a chance to score and get to the basket or foul. And I feel like what I take away from this game is I still have my confidence and I’m still hungry to play and just because we lost doesn’t mean we can win any more games in our conference. “

On giving advice regarding the press:
“What I would share is that you can’t get intimidated and you can’t continue to get frustrated, you’re a point guard , you have to keep a certain poise and understand that people are going to trap you and you will help, players are willing to help you. She needs to focus and realize we don’t have many point guards and she needs to get in and out of traps quickly. I think she is doing a really good job, she is a freshman so she taking on a really big responsibility and as a team we need to bring it in and help her out.”

UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On if he was pretty happy with what Mosqueda-Lewis was able to get done today:
"Yeah, we are just trying to move her as many places as we can. We are just trying to get her more active. The more we can do that, the better for her and the better for us. It is important for us to get her to be the same all the time. She has gotten off to great starts and then cooled off. She has also started slow and then heated up a little. We are just trying to find her rhythm."

On the fact that she has only taken six free throws this year:
"I think when you are a really good free-throw shooter, you are passing up opportunities if you don't go to the free throw line. I remember when Diana was a freshman; she shot like 35 or 40. When she was a senior, she shot around 150. When you are a good free throw shooter, you have to go to the free throw line. It is just an attitude. It is making that conscious decision that's what I want to do. We are trying to constantly reinforce that. She has gotten better at it in practice. Her tendency is still to just be out on the perimeter all of the time."

On if players look at shooting outside jumpers as a compromise:
"I am always thinking about what the best teams are going to do. If you are a really good free throw shooter and you play a good defensive team, I don't think it is that hard to take away a three point shooter. It is hard to takeaway somebody who takes it hard to the basket. If you want to grow as a player and want to get better all of the time, you have to figure out how to compliment your three-point shooting otherwise that is going away too."

On if he was happy with the contributions he got from Saniya Chong and Brianna Banks:
"They were a lot better. A little bit at a time, but today was way better than it was against Temple. They were both able to contribute something. I tell them all the time that it is not like we need it for 40 minutes and it is not like we need you to score 20 points, we just need you to come out and be productive and do something to get your name on the stat sheet. I thought they did."

On what it is about this team that they don't turn the ball over:
"We have five guys that pass the ball pretty well. It one of the few times five players on the floor can score pretty easy. We are not trying to force a basket. We are not trying to make something happen that isn't there. We aren't trying to pass the ball 12 times before we get a shot. When we get a good shot, that takes away all the possible turnovers. The best thing I can say is that they are good passers."

On if it is difficult to coach against Coach Elliot:
"Yeah it is. I am not going to lie. It is very difficult. It would be difficult in any circumstance, but especially given the circumstances in this one. I know she was pretty upset about what happened with her point guard not playing. I think that is what she is trying to do. She is trying to build a culture here where players want to play and love the game and compete everyday. I think she is trying to build something that is in her self image because that is how she was. Unfortunately, in this day and age, with the players that you are recruiting today, it is harder than it has ever been to find people like that. I know she is struggling, but she is a fighter. She will figure it out. I am not worried. She will figure it out."

#23 Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis G/F

On not attempting a free throw in almost a month:
“I was thinking about it and thought to myself that I shoot free throws pretty well but I don’t shoot them often in games. I know it has been awhile but I wasn’t aware of how long it had been.”

Explanation for the free throw drought:
“It has to do with being aggressive. A lot of the time when you’re more aggressive and attack the basket you get fouled more. A lot of my free throws last year came from me posting up smaller guards or posting up in general and I’ve gotten away from that. But now that I’m trying to get back to that I think I will get to the line more.”

#14 Bria Hartley G

On jumping out to a 30-point lead:
“Our defense played really well today. We were able to force a lot of turnovers and when we can get out in transition we are really hard to stop, and we have a lot of weapons which means easier baskets.”

On playing with a chip on her shoulder:
“I believe the chip is still there. There are still a lot of things that I want to improve on. I’m trying to stay motivated and trying to do a lot of different things for my team, not just scoring, but getting assist and steals. I still need to improve defensively so I’m focusing on that as well.”

On the transition from being a scorer to becoming a better overall player:
“I think you become comfortable and humbled especially coming to UConn. In high school I averaged 30 or so points but I knew coming here that wasn’t going to happen. It also helps when you’re playing with four potential All-Americans, you know your not going to average 20 points, you have to make the shots when they’re open and create for your teammates.”