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Louisville vs. Syracuse


Feb. 11, 2012

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Loisville, Ky. - Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz

"I tell my kids if you get an offensive rebound and someone is standing in front of you make sure you throw it back out. We have a hard time of making a layup at times. It was fun to see our kids out there playing as hard as they did. I thought we shared the ball extremely well. I thought Shoni started us off with the way she passed the basketball. She made hard crisp passes and we finally got the ball into our shooters' hands when they were open. We are normally a second late, by the time you catch it someone has already closed out on you and instead of an open easy three, its contested. I thought we did a much better job of getting the basketball moving."

(on Syracuse staying in a 2-3 zone) "No, Syracuse plays that way 99 percent of the season. What are the odds we are going to go 18-of-31 from the three-point line. For Syracuse you would have to think that the percentages are in their favor, and we are eventually going to miss, and fortunately for us we never did. The way we shot the basketball really made things difficult for them. Also the way we rebounded the ball is something I'm impressed with and what I am most proud of is the fact we outrebounded them by one, but we gave up too many second chance points."

(On the play of Becky Burke) "We just talked to her and showed her some film. Teams know that she is a three-point shooter. I'm just trying to get her to understand that you have to be able put the ball on the ground once or twice. Today was a game that I was hoping that she would be able to have some success, of course you never expect a kid to go 8-of-15 from the three-point line. With them playing as much zone as they did, we were able to get her a lot of open looks early. As soon as you get some confidence going then you start making some shots and feeling really good about things. I was really pleased with how well she played and how well she shot the basketball. I thought she did a better job in the second half of trying to get to the glass. That's one thing she knows that I'm not pleased with, for us to continue to compete with teams we have to get to the glass."

(On Becky's leadership) "She has been very vocal at practice. I think right now we are at 10 players, and it's a really, really good group. I'm excited for them, they like each other. They are competing in practice and get excited for each other. It's like what I told them at half court, just how fortunate we are to get 12,000 fans to show up and be proud of the fact that they are wearing a Louisville jersey. They need to be proud of the fact the fact that they put in every single day and go out and play a home game in front of this crowd. We go out on the road and there are maybe 500 to a 1,000 people for a game. I told them that you might have played in front of more people in one BIG EAST game thean a third of our BIG EAST teams play in front of the whole season, during all conference games combined. It's remarkable that we have the crowd that we do. I thank Tom and Julie for all the effort they put forth as well as our marketing department. I told our players that we have to perform, if you don't perform then the fans are not going to come back. I think our kids have done a really nice job of making sure they come prepared and ready to play."

(On looking for the next player to step up) "Asia Taylor goes 4-of-10 from the field, 12 points, nine rebounds and she doesn't turn the ball over in 25 minutes of playing time. We have got to cut our turnovers down. I thought Sara Hammond did a great job again. She's playing so hard and that's what we need from Sara. If she keeps playing hard, then good things will happen for her. Shawnta' Dyer who only plays 10 minutes gets six points and goes 3-for-3 from the field. This group just cares about winning. One night someone might play 25 minutes and the next night someone might play 15, it just depends on what your teammates are doing. I think this group has finally realized that as long as we win then playing time doesn't matter."

(On the last time wearing pink uniforms) "Yea that was a debacle. I was just pleased with our effort, and that's what is encouraging right now. I love how hard we are competing. These last two games we have really competed and that are what we have to continue to do. If we defend and rebound every night then we are going to be in games and have a chance to win. You have not going to go 31-of-62 from the field and 18-of-31 from three every night. If you defend and rebound then that will give you a chance to be in every game and a chance to win."

(On defending Syracuse's top players) "We did a great job on (Iasia) Hemingway. I was really concerned about her before the game started. She attacks the basket so well and is such a strong player. She goes out and competes for every possession, but we did a really nice job of not allowing her to get the ball. Once she gets the ball, she is very efficient. I thought we did a nice job against (Kayla) Alexander, we just fouled her too much. We didn't do a good job with our double teams; she would split us three or four times. We also tried to make some of their other players shoot the ball. (Rachel) Coffey had a great first half, she was 3-of-5 from the three-point line but then she goes 0-for-4 in the second half. We like to make sure we are playing are odds, if they have good post players we will focus on post defense and if they have great shooters then we will put more attention on the guards. I thought our players did a great job of following the scouting report."

(On the future schedule with Pittsburgh and Notre Dame) "Pitt is a huge game for us. We are going there and Angus is going to have her kids ready to play and compete; I have to make sure I have my players ready. You can't just look at a record, you have to be ready every night and play hard. This is a big game for us because it gives us a chance to get to eight wins in the conference. Then we come back home and play a Notre Dame team who is pretty good. We are going to have to have a great effort against them. Then after Notre Dame, we have DePaul back at home, who beat us pretty soundly the first time. We don't have an easy road ahead of us. We can't look past anybody and we have to focus on Pittsburgh right now. I told the kids to enjoy this win and then tomorrow be ready to practice because we have a big one on Tuesday."

Senior Guard Becky Burke

(On her performance) "It feels great, it feels really good. A, because we've lost three in a row, and B because I've been struggling with shooting a little bit and it feels good to get out of that. Overall, as a team it felt good. Everybody was hitting some, so it felt really good. Bria (Smith) hit a three, Asia (Taylor) got one, and even Sara (Hammond) got one. They were playing a zone, and against a zone you have to make them pay, sometimes you get your shots and sometimes you don't but today we did."

(On Syracuse defense) "I didn't really blame them when they went man. It's kind of hard to sit back in the zone against our team because we have a lot of talented shooters. So we weren't really surprised when they went to man, but it's just a different look we had to get used to."

(On staying positive during shooting slump) "I just come everyday to practice, my teammates always rely on me to get us excited and stay happy and excited about the season. I'm a senior, I've got nothing to lose so I have to come out every game and play like it's my last. It's just really exciting, we have a great crowd and my teammates were getting excited for me. After I hit my first three, I think everybody kind of gave a sigh of relief. I just kept shooting and the crowd was great, it was a really a good time overall. Coach Walz always says you never stop shooting if you're a shooter. I could struggle for five games in a row and I'll still keep shooting."

(On not having Cierra Warren) "I can't really say I felt like teams are doing anything different because she's not there. It's just not that obvious to us, we just move forward, we can't do anything about it so we're just moving forward."

(On Sara Hammond) "I think freshman year is definitely like a roller-coaster ride, and she's definitely been through her ups and downs. I think the games when she was most effective were when she was calm and settled into her mid range jump shot. She knows we all have confidence in her, she just has to play within herself and she'll do very well."

(On pink uniforms/breast cancer awareness) "I got on the mic afterwards and it's really awesome seeing everybody come out supporting us and breast cancer awareness at the same time. It's a really great cause and I'm glad we got so many people out here today. And also, we did lose last time we wore pink so now that monkey is off our back."

Sophomore Guard Shoni Schimmel

(On Syracuse defense) "For the most part they did (play zone), I would say 95 percent of the time they did. They played a little man on us for a couple of minutes but we just kept going at them and it worked out for us."

(On not having Cierra Warren) "We've been working hard ever since and we have to continue to play our game. We all want to go out there and be successful that is our goal. "

Junior Forward Asia Taylor

(On shutting down Iasia Hemingway) "I got the assignment of guarding her and it was a challenge, we've been working on it the last few days at practice. We put emphasis on how good of a player she was and shutting her down and making sure I was around her and denying her the ball. We were able to do that and it took her out of her game."

(On playing a bigger role since the loss of Warren) "I've just got to keep working hard. I've got to rebound more. We put a big emphasis on rebounding and defending. It's more opportunity for me to show what I have because we're not as deep. So I get more opportunities to play, rebound, defend, and hit threes."



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