Western Michigan Press Conference Quotes

Western Michigan Head Coach Ron Stewart
OPENING STATEMENT:
'It is an honor for us to represent our conference and university at such a great setting. Stanford knows how to run a basketball tournament. We were here for a regular season game in December of 1999, and we were treated with great respect the entire time. Now we are back here, with a bit of a sense that we've been here before. The stakes are a little different, but we are here to focus on playing a very talented and prepared Stanford team that has clearly dominated their conference. We have respect for them, but we are here to play. When the game starts, anything can happen.'

ON NICOLE POWELL:
'We had an opportunity to see her a year ago on live television and also on tape. We have to be very conscious of where she is on the court at all times. We need to think about how she moves with the ball and how she moves without the ball. So there are a lot of different ways to approach her playing abilities. I do not totally have the answer as to how to plan for all of her skills and basketball mentality. Hopefully by tomorrow night we will come up with a good plan.'

ON HOW STANFORD IS LIKE ANY OTHER OPPONENTS PLAYED THIS YEAR:
'I see some similarities between Stanford and Kansas State. I think that in terms of size and intensity they are similar. They execute their play in somewhat the same manner and they both have great shooters. Both are top ten teams in the nation, so they are quite comparable.'

Western Michigan forward Kristin Koetsier
ON HER FIRST TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE AND RETURNING TO STANFORD:
'I remember Stanford being an awesome environment with a very energetic crowd. I remember being up at halftime back in 1999, but we ended up losing. Now as a senior, to be here and get this far is very exciting.

Western Michigan guard Curleta Harris
ON THE UNDERDOG ROLE:
'I think that we embrace the underdog role. When you aren't expected to get somewhere and you do, there is that much more satisfaction. Just like in our conference tournament when we were the number four seed, we were the first team in that position to win the MAC tournament. Personally I like the underdog role.'

ON THE EMOTIONAL HIGHS OF THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT AND NCAA BID:
'Anytime you win a conference tournament to get into the NCAA tournament, it is a great high. Our whole team and the coaching staff was so excited. Right now though, it is time to focus on Stanford, and we have really done this. We are not forgetting the highs that got us here, especially the conference tournament. We are just really concentrating on how far we can get in the NCAA's. I think that we have done a good job of refocusing our energy onto the tournament.'

Western Michigan guard Casey Rost
ON HOW PLAYING PURDUE AND NORTH CAROLINA PREPARE YOU FOR STANFORD:
'By playing teams of that caliber, we have gained the experience and confidence that is necessary during these big games. We know that we are able to compete with them, and this is due to our confidence. We know what it takes to come out and win one of these contests, so that is what we need to focus on against Stanford.'

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