Kansas WBB Addresses Media, Practices for NCAA First Day

March 22, 2013

032213aaa_309_8726781.jpegBOULDER, Colo. – Seniors Carolyn Davis, Monica Engelman and Angel Goodrich joined Kansas head coach Bonnie Henricksonon the dais, as the Jayhawks were the fourth and final team to address the media and then hit the court for practice at the Coors Events Center on the day prior to KU opening the 2013 NCAA Tournament against host Colorado.

Below is the transcript from Friday’s media conference:

Bonnie Henrickson, Kansas Head Coach:
On Talking to Linda Lappe after accepting the Colorado coaching position:
“It is never as good as it seems and it is never as bad as it seems. That was probably the first thing I told her and you might need to tell yourself that a hundred times a day. Be true to yourself and build it [the program] with people you can be successful with. Surround yourself with people who are as tough as she is, who played like she did. Ceal Barry thought the world of her and it was a great hire at the time. Certainly she has made a lot of people look like they made a really good decision and obviously they did. She is high character and I don’t know her really well but from when we first got in the league I could tell it was different with their team and how hard they competed. Now watching them two years removed certainly she has put her stamp on the program from a toughness and defensive standpoint and a pride for Colorado. I told her that is hard and she has done a great job and she, her kids and everybody around the program should be proud.”

On scouting Colorado:
“Defensively, not only in their numbers because numbers can be deceiving, but when you watch them on film and see how well they play together. They can choreograph some things defensively, but they also play some great position defense. They play really well together. Look at their defensive field goal numbers and they are in the top three in all the team defensive stats in the Pac-12. They play the top of that league tough in one possession games. Watching them on field the numbers make sense. Sometimes you look at numbers and they do not always add up but theirs do. Angel [Goodrich] said it and she’s exactly right. Those pieces that were here two years ago are much improved. Chucky [Jeffery] was good as a sophomore. The Wilson twins were good as freshmen. Those kids have gotten better and that is a credit to their coaching to develop players. Obviously, Arielle [Roberson] is a phenomenal player. We recruited her and thought she would be a great player in our program. Certainly she has done everything that we thought she would be capable of. She plays both the three and the four. She shoots the three and she can put it on the floor. She is a tough kid. Rachel Hargis too, she was long and lanky and that hasn’t changed. From a fitness standpoint her body looks different on film then it did a couple years ago from our game over in Kansas City. The new players since we last played them are really impressive.”

On making the NCAA Tournament:
“We had quality wins over Creighton, Oklahoma and West Virginia and certainly stubbed our toe against Texas Tech. We were disappointed with a couple of our performances down the stretch but felt like we had six wins against the RPI top 60. Like the Pac-12 there are no off-nights in our league. The challenge is to be consistent every night and we knew that we hadn’t done that. We let a couple go at the end of the year. I knew it would be close when I looked at it. I thought there were 14 teams for six spots. I felt that our six wins against the top 60 RPI would speak for itself. At the very end you are splitting hairs. The committee starts to look at it and for us there were some wins that we had to have to get in certainly.”

On getting into the tournament and if that can be a rallying point:
“If any team or player has to come up with a rallying point to play well at this time of the year then there is something wrong. We have been working since the end of last year for this. I think the desire to be successful tomorrow and moving forward is going to be enough. Just like it is in the Pac-12 and the Big 12, there is small room for error. At the end of the day you have to do your job. Coaches have to do their job and the kids have to do their job. There won’t be a lack of enthusiasm for any of those kids that play tomorrow. We got quality coaches and quality players. The atmosphere here is much improved since we were here last. You watch on film and see the crowds and the numbers and that is exciting for this program here and it should be a great day.”

On familiarity with the venue:
“We have never been to Little Rock and played pretty well there. From a confidence standpoint I see what you are saying. For me I said `Bus driver take a left here’ and I knew where we were. We went to dinner last night and I knew were we were. From a familiarity stand point between the two programs it is a wash. They know us and we know them. Chucky [Jeffery] knows our kids that were here. Our kids know her and both sets of twins. They are excited and they should be.”

On Carolyn Davis before and after her injury:
“In the beginning of the year her mobility and lateral movement wasn’t where it had been. Her rim to rim wasn’t where it had been. She is as good as she has been since the injury. Confidence wise she is as good as she has been. She has been more aggressive. She has attacked more with the ball in her hands. The thing she has done so well from the beginning at Kansas is how good she is without the ball early. She works hard and that never really changed. She has never been a real bouncy kid. She still has great hands and catches everything. If she can’t catch it, it is a really bad ball. She certainly is close to who she was last year.”

On back to back appearances in the NCAA Tournament:
“Building the program where we wanted to be and where we saw ourselves and being good and do it back to back, you want to have some consistency to play in the dance and some consistency in the tournament. We all are just trying to do the same thing. Aaron [Johnston] has done it, Dawn [Staley] has done it and that is a sign of where you are progressing. I think all four of us here are doing it right and there is tremendous value in that.”

Carolyn Davis, Kansas forward
On being nervous before getting into the NCAA Tournament:
“We’re not in there with the committee, so we don’t know what exactly got us in. We played out the season the best we could. We know there were a few games we lost, so we watched the selection show like everybody else, hoping we got in.”

On defending Colorado forward Arielle Roberson:
“She’s a great post player. She got Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. That’s a great honor for her. Luckily for us, we played against a lot of great, versatile post players in the Big 12 so we’ve been challenged with that. I think if we’re able to stay down and contain her on her penetration and guard the three, we’ll be okay.”

Monica Engelman, Kansas Guard:
On redeeming some season losses during the NCAA Tournament:
“It’s the postseason. We’re 0-0, and it’s one game at a time. What we accomplished during the conference season doesn’t mean anything now.”

Angel Goodrich, Kansas Guard:
On scouting the matchup with Colorado:
“We played them two years ago, so we know some of the players, like Chucky Jeffery, and the two pairs of twins. They’ve grown their game a lot. They were good then, and they’ve gotten better. We just want to play together as a team, and do what we have to do to get the win.”

On her experience in last year’s NCAA tournament:
“Our experience was amazing. We had so much fun. It was a great experience going on the road with my teammates – just being there and getting that feeling. People believed in us. The experience was breathtaking. The feeling was so great, that we just want to go back out there and play the best we can and not have any regrets.”

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