Minnesota Press Conference Quotes

Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton
OPENING STATEMENT:
'We are very excited to be here. Stanford has done an outstanding job being the host, with great facilities. We are excited to be here, and we are ready to play.'

ON TULANE'S STRENGTHS:
'Their major strengths are Gwen Slaughter and Teana McKiver. They are two very physical post players that are relentless on the boards. You don't want to take anything away from their guards either. They are good 3-point shooters and they can get the ball inside as well. They play well as a team, and they have nine years of experience in the NCAA tournament, and that will help them. Having Slaughter and McKiver as fifth year seniors really helps them out.'

ON PLAYING WELL ON THE ROAD:
'I think that we got back on track with our last two weeks of practice. Our intensity level is a bit higher at home because we have 10,000 fans rooting us on, and we don't quite have this on the road. I think that during the last two weeks we have done a great job as a coaching staff to run really intense practices. We have moved out of Williams Arena into a pavilion much more like Maples. I like our intensity and our focus right now. I can feel the team's energy.'

ON HAVING ANY JITTERS:
'I feel great. I feel like this is just coaching another basketball game. I can tell that the freshmen are really excited. I am really feeding off of the players. I think that all of us are ready to get out on the court and play and beat somebody. We will play with a sense of urgency, and we don't want to end the season with a bad taste in our mouths. We are ready to go, and I wish that we were playing today.'

Minnesota guard Corrin Von Wald
ON HAVING A YEAR OF NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE UNDER YOUR BELT:
'I think last year we were all excited just to be there, and there was so much excitement more than anything. When we got there it might have been overwhelming at first. But coming into this tournament we have everyone coming back with some experience, and I think that this will really help us. We are going to know what to expect in the first game, and hopefully we will go out and play a hard game. It definitely helps to have that one experience behind us.'

Minnesota guard Lindsay Whalen
ON PLAYING ON MAPLES PAVILION'S FLOOR:
'It was springy. We had a bit of fun jumping around at the beginning. The court gives a little bit when you jump. It is a little different when you elevate for a jump shot, but we are getting used to it.

ON GETTING BUTTERFLIES:
'Oh, I think so. We have not played a game going on for two weeks now. I think that it will be nice to get out there and play again. We have a lot of vengeance to take out, and I think that we will come and play great team ball. For big games like this, when it's one and done, I think that there is always a heightened sense of urgency. But this is the feeling that you need to come with before the game, and it will be exciting to get out there on the court and compete. It's that time of year, and it's a good feeling.'

Minnesota center Janel McCarville
ON PLAYING BASKETBALL DURING THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT:
'I have a relative who is over there. On the court, it is our job to play. We came to this university for basketball and academics. On the court, we are concentrating on basketball and staying focused, but off the court, I will watch the news in order to stay informed. The NCAA tournament is a great time of year for basketball, and we were glad that the tournament was not postponed because it is something that can get people's mind off of the war. It can give people something else to look forward to, watching their favorite team play basketball.'

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