Jan. 11, 2012
Box Score |
Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz
(On the play of Shelby Harper)
"She did great. I've coached for 16 years and there are not many players like Shelby. She comes to practice every day, never complains. She gets out there and practices. We go up to St. Johns she only plays three minutes and then come back, she practices her tail off. Tonight I told myself I'm giving the kid a chance because she worked hard. She goes out there and comes up with a huge offensive board and then drives in like she is fearless and banks it in, which gave us our first lead since the first half. She was a big part for us defensively, by getting big time stops. She is 5'4'' on a good day and comes in and gets six boards. So without her I don't think we would have come out with a win today."
(On Shelby getting six rebounds)
"It's all heart and effort. If you watched the play where Cierra Warren fouls out, Shelby came from the weak side and tries to cut in front of the girl and box her out. The girl is 6'4' and Shelby is 5'4, and she still tried to box her out. It's determination, its grit to know that I have to get to that weak side block, to block her out. She tried but then Cierra fouled the girl from behind. Those are things that you don't teach. Times have changed with players and recruiting. It's hard to find players like her. It's hard to find players that come out and play every day. That's something where we are trying to get a lot of our players to buy into. If I could get 10 of my other players to work as hard as Shelby works, not be upset if they don't play in a few games we would be really good."
(On the play of the last 10 minutes)
"We defended really well. Tonight I thought Cierra Warren played the best that she has ever played. She went down on the block and posted up and wanted the ball. I took Shoni out in the first half because Cierra was posting up hard and Shoni wouldn't throw the ball to her. I just told Shoni if you can't throw the ball in the post, then I'm going to take you out. In order for us to be good, then we have to have an inside out game. Teams are just chasing Shoni everywhere; Becky got some wide open looks but just couldn't buy a bucket. They know that Becky is a shooter and that Bria is a driver. If we get consistent post play then it will change a lot for us on the offensive end and the way teams guard us."
(Sheronne shooting 10 out of 11 from the free throw line)
"She did great. I told her in the locker room before the game, for every rebound below five then it will be an eighth of a mile. So if you take the St. John's game for instance then she would be sprinting five 1/8th of a mile. She didn't want that, so she game out and had four boards in the first five minutes of the game and then comes up with 14 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. She was everywhere I was really pleased with her effort and performance tonight."
(How big was this win)
"With Tia and Mo out for the year, every game is going to be a battle; this game would have been a battle any way. I know I would have 15 points and eight rebounds out on the floor, and with Tia she is just the glue. She is just everywhere, she comes up with big steals, knocks down a big shot when you need one. We miss those two, not just the way they play on the floor but also Tia's leadership especially. If you look at my roster, Becky Burke plays 38 minutes as a senior, Asia Taylor played 13 minutes as a junior, Shelby plays 11 minutes as a junior, and the rest are freshmen and sophomores. So I'm throwing a lot on some of these kids, without having someone to look up to. You look at Bria Smith, she struggled tonight, even though I thought she defended well towards the end. If she had Tia out there on the floor to help give her some guidance, to give her someone to watch and model her game after Tia's, it would really be a big help. On the other hand she is getting some valuable experience from playing 34 minutes in a game like this that you can't get back."
(On finding the right combination of players)
"That's what I've been telling our kids. I don't know who is going to show up and play. I feel good with Becky, Bria, and Shoni. I know those three are going to come and play. Now I need to find two more that will go out every night to where I know what I'm going to get from them. Everybody talked about Keshia Hines, she was a nice player, but I knew I was going to get eight points and six rebounds every night. I could mark that down on the stat sheet before the game. I worked for Paul Sanderford for six years and he always told me if you get two players that you can count on every night you will be okay. If you get three players that you know what you are going to get, then you will be a good team. If you can get four players than you are pretty damn good buy if you can get five than you have a chance to win it all. I go back to the year when we went to the Final Four. Angel Mcoughtry, I knew what she was going to do every night, I know what I was going to get from Candyce Bingham every night, and I knew what Des Byrd was going to do every night. I had three that it didn't matter, I knew what I was going to get. Then when we started playing well, Keshia Hines would go out there and get me eight points and five rebounds and then she became consistent and our fifth would be Monique or Becky. I didn't know which one was going to show up but one of them would show up for every game in the NCAA Tournament. I keep telling our kids we have go to find consistency. If I ever could get my three guards to show up and play the same night it would be encouraging. It's been flip flop because Becky was one for nine tonight and Shoni was one for seven up at St. John's."
Sophomore Guard Shoni Schimmel
(On being nervous when USF lead by 8)
"I wasn't award of the score. We were just playing as a team. We knew we needed to defend before we could actually score so we worked our butts off on the defensive end. That's exactly what got us going was defending. Then our offense just kicked in."
(On the energy picking up when Shelby enters the game)
"Yes, it definitely did. Everybody is just chanting and it's a good feeling to know that she's going to go out there and give it everything she has. She is a great basketball player and she knows what to do."
(On playing the four guard set)
"It just helped our guards get better looks to our post and work the ball inside out. We got better shots and we were opening up the space for the guards and the post."
(On finding new scorers)
"Right now I think we are all coming together as a team and just going with the flow. As far as scoring, we have different people scoring every night. Whoever is feeling hot is who we are going to go to. That's what we did today. Our posts stepped up a lot today and it helped us a lot."
(On boxing Shelby out in practice)
"For as small as she is she's pretty tough. Even on offense it's pretty hard to get by her. She's a great player and she's awesome to play with."
(On 15-0 run)
"It was great for us for this game. Basically we're taking it one game at a time. We got the win today because we actually got down and defended people. So that helped us. We've got to continue to keep working on defending and let our offense come with our defense."
Junior Guard Shelby Harper
(On what she needed to do when entering the game)
"I knew we needed to pick up our defense and stop them from scoring. I feel like every day we're in practice defense is what leads us into our offense. If we're having problems on offense I know we need to pick up the defense. I knew when I went in there I had to pick everyone else up on defense."
"Well I've seen everybody on my team shoot. So when they shoot the ball I kind of read and know where the ball is going to bounce most of the time. I just read it and go get it. I am good at reading the ball."
Sophomore Center Sheronne Vails
(On being targeted and making free throws)
"I just had the mindset that I just have to do this for my team so I'll take hits for my team. I'm pretty sure that was the best game I've had."
(On stepping up with Monique Reid out)
"Me and Cierra (Warren) know that since Mo' is out that we are lacking. We need to pick it up in different areas."