Cal vs. George Washington Pre-Game Press Conference Quotes
March 23, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - Third-seeded California (27-4) and sixth-seeded George Washington (26-6) had 90-minute practices at Maples Pavilion and addressed the media Sunday in prepartion for their second-round NCAA Tournament game Monday at 5 p.m. PT. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 and heard on KALX 90.7 FM in the Bay Area. Cal will be looking to advance past the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Cal Head Coach Joanne Boyle
'We have to understand that it will be a physical, up-tempo game tomorrow. There will be a lot of ball pressure, and we just have to be ready to play.'
On maybe having to play without Rama N'diaye
'We talked about it last night, and we have been in the situation before where we have lost players. We didn't have Devanei (Hampton) for half the year this year. We didn't have Alexis (Gray-Lawson) last year, and people have always stepped up. Our kids have always embraced the adversity, and they won't let it set us back. What you're going to see is a couple more minutes from Devanei and Ashley (Walker) than you would normally see. You're going to have Krista (Foster) in there. Kelsey Adrian has played a lot of four for us which helps extend the defense. We will still be able to have a four post rotation. It's just a matter of what the match-ups look like.'
On George Washington's defense
'Joe (McKeown) has changed it up this year. He runs man-to-man, a lot of pressure, and he'll run the blizzard defense which he has done ever since I have known him, which is either an aggressive pressing 1-1-2-1 or it goes back to a quarter court. It's a lot of pressure, and you have to be able to advance the ball past the free throw line. You have sweet spots - the high post, the short corner and the baseline. There are definitely openings in it, but you have to be able tohandle their guard pressure.'
On the importance of staying out of foul trouble
'We like to play, so I would appreciate if they (the officials) let us play. You get into the final 32, and I think they do let you play. You just have to be smart. I think the biggest thing is making the adjustment to how they are calling it. I said to somebody coming over here (that) the big focal point will be who can stay out of foul trouble and keep their players on the floor. That's huge for us, and our kids know that and they did a good job of it last night. So we just have to adjust to the officiating whatever it is.'
California Forward/Center Devanei Hampton
On the match-up with the Adair sisters
'I have a twin too in Ashley (Walker). Ashley and I say we are basically sisters. That's the chemistry we have on the floor and off the floor, and that's how we play. It's going to be a really good match-up. We will be ready for the both of them plus (Antelia) Parrish.'
On impressions of George Washington's post play
'They are really big. They are really good with the turn-around jump shot. It's going to be a really good match-up for Ashley and I, more so for Ashley. I am used to playing bigger posts. Kristen Thompson from ASU and Jayne (Appel). They are similar to Adair, so it's not like something I haven't seen before.'
California Guard Natasha Vital
On the importance of getting out to a fast start
'It's always good for us to start off quickly and establish the post inside. We always look to do that, but if they aren't open, or we can't get them the ball inside, our guards will be ready to step up and show the world our guards can play too, not just the posts. But of course, we will look to go inside.'
On getting cheered at Maples Pavilion
'We don't really get a lot of those (cheers) when we come here, but it feels really good. The Stanford fans have been supporting us a lot, and we have a lot of people from back home who come down to watch the games. It feels good to hear my mom screaming in the crowd.'
Senior Forward Krista Foster
On what it means to the rest of the team to play without Rama N'diaye
'It's definitely an unfortunate event when someone on your team gets hurt, but we have depth on our team. We have all been preparing for an opportunity to play. I know Devanei (Hampton) and Ashley (Walker) will step it up knowing they will be playing a little bit more minutes. Whether it be me or Kelsey (Adrian) - whoever goes in at the four - stepping up as well. I know our guard play is great being an inside-out game. So everybody just needs to step up and play to the best of their ability.'
George Washington Head Coach Joe McKeown
'I'm really happy obviously to get past Auburn, and I am looking forward to Cal. It should be a really exciting basketball game. Cal presents some different challenges for us. They are really strong. Obviously, they really have a strong inside game with (Devanei) Hampton, a terrific player with Walker. You know their perimeter, Alexis-Grey Lawson. It seems like they have a lot of interchangeable parts. They have had a great year. It should be a great match-up.'
On coaching against Joanne Boyle
'I admire how quickly she has gotten this team to play at this level. I think she's done a real good job adjusting to the players they have at Cal. Devanei Hampton, she didn't have that type of player at Richmond. Nobody did.'
On limited time preparing for Cal
'The other team has the same situation. At GW, we focus more on us then we do on the other team. But all in all, when you win a game in the NCAA Tournament, you want to play again. So I think if you're a player, you would rather just turn around and play Saturday and get ready. You know you're excited about playing Monday.
On key areas needed to win
'Trying to keep (Ashley) Walker off the glass and Hampton getting the ball really deep, making the extra pass and making them have to defend us are really important for us. We have to shoot the ball. We have to get the game going where we score in transition. I can't pin point one thing tomorrow that will separate either team. This is a player's tournament. It's about players stepping up. They (GW) have won 100 games in four years. You just want to give them the ball and stay out of the way.'
George Washington Center Jessica Adair
On preparing for Cal
'Stay out of foul trouble and bring my 'A' game tomorrow, keep them off the boards, boxing out. Their post players are very good on the inside; it's the base of their team. (If we) stop them, I feel we have a great chance to win.'
George Washington Guard Kimberley Beck
On help from teammates
'When shots are not falling, you've got to find other ways to be more effective. Once we go inside out, we are unstoppable.'
On being ready from the opening tip
'Be aggressive from the jump and take over this team.'