Kansas 67, No. 19 Colorado 52 | Postgame Quotes

March 24, 2013

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

First Round; No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Kansas
Coors Events Center; Boulder, Colorado
Saturday, March 23

Bonnie Henrickson, Kansas Head Coach:

Opening statement:
“I would like to start off by saying what a great environment it was tonight. There was great energy in the building. It is great to see that for women’s basketball here and how much that has changed. Kudos to the fans and the administration for the work they did to get ticket sales up. Players want to play in front of thousands of people and our guys had that opportunity. Give Colorado credit because they came out and punched us in the mouth to start the game. It is a wonderful thing to play at home, but sometimes from being on the other end of it there is some pressure playing at home. I thought they handled it really well and we had to call a quick timeout. They got us in transition. They got us in the break. Give our kids credit to chip away in the first half. We do not take the lead till the six minute mark and we execute and hit big buckets. We get a big three and go in the locker room up 10. I thought it showed some poise and some composure and some maturity from our kids to not panic. We circled the wagons and got better, slowly. We had the run going into the locker room and then another one to start the half was the difference in the game. I thought defensively we were active. The week since the Big 12 tournament has allowed us to get better defensively. It helped us get back and focus what we needed to focus on, our ball screen defense, weak-side help, one-on-one. I felt like we had that opportunity and we were better prepared defensively.”

On key points in the game:
“We got opportunities inside one-on-one off the extra pass. They did a great job trapping our ball screen. I would venture to guess that 60 to 70 percent of our scoring came off the extra pass in the first half. We used the extra pass like almost like a hockey assist. I thought we did a really good job there then we got and drove to the rim and scored. We scored in transition and the half-court offense just by being aggressive and attacking.”

On Colorado missing Rachel Hargis:
“I grabbed her after the game, nobody wants that to happen. We have been through that with injuries and everything. I just felt bad for her, to only be able to sit and watch. She brings great length and she brought great length against us in the Big 12 Tournament a few years ago. Going back and watching that film she bothered Carolyn [Davis] a little bit with her size and length. We were curious if she would go or not. We had her on the board and prepared for her. I just feel bad for the kid.”

On beating former Big 12 opponents in back to back tournament appearances:
“That is just kind of ironic. We had Nebraska last year and Colorado this year. We had a lot of respect for them when they were in the league and certainly the way the program has gone here the last two years and I told Linda [Lappe] what a great job she has done. They have tremendous success in the Pac-12 and will moving forward because they are doing it the right way.”

On game plan for Chucky Jeffery:
“She is too good to play one-on-one. We felt like Angel [Goodrich] could get up into her. So we had Angel guard her on a make. We play defensive transition so we didn’t want Angel to have to guard her the whole time because the kid is really good. In the two years that we have been in separate leagues she has made herself into a pro. We didn’t want her to get comfortable so we trapped her in the on ball screen and made her a passer in the first half. She tried to create shots in the second half so then our post play forced her into double-clutch and out of rhythm for her.”

On game plan for Angel Goodrich:
“She is who she is. Get the ball in her hands in different ways. We would run her off handoffs, on ball screens and two-man game screens. We want it to be different, because you can’t keep it the same. I thought they brought the house to her early and she dropped a couple, but we need the ball in her hands. She does a good job for us and makes great decisions.”

On the game’s turning point:
“I thought to finally take the lead the lead at the six minute mark and to go up 10 in the locker room. I thought we had great poise and composure to chip away. We didn’t get back in it right away. Angel [Goodrich] hit two free throws and Monica [Engelman] hits the jumper, making it a four-point play. So that was a big possession for us. Then we hit the three going to the locker room and that got us some momentum. Then the run we made coming out of the locker room was big.”

On coming in as the 12 seed:
“There is pressure. We want to win. There is pressure because they [Colorado] are good. We are playing on their home-court. Pressure is a privilege. If our kids do not feel pressure they probably do not think they can win. You earn that opportunity and it is a tremendous challenge for a team to come in here and play. Great players want to play”

On Carolyn Davis:
“She didn’t get enough credit last year for how good she was when she went down. That happened on a Sunday and she was in the hospital that night but she was back in practice the next afternoon cheering on her teammates. With a dislocated knee and a torn ACL the question was would she ever play again? She never felt sorry for herself. She just gave us a little pop. For her to be able to come back and play and persevere and just keep getting better, she didn’t come back right away. We could only play here 15 minutes to start then 20, 25 and 30. We played differently without her last year and it was just good to get her back in to where she could play. Like she said she feels blessed to be able to play again. Somewhere down the road that will help her, because she can look back and say `if I can make it through that I can make it through anything.”

Angel Goodrich, Kansas Guard

On the team’s execution and gameplan for Colorado guard Chucky Jeffery:
“I felt like we came out pretty strong. Like Coach [Henrickson] said, they did come out and take the first punch. We needed to re-collect ourselves. As far as Chucky Jeffery, she’s a great ball player. She’s going to do great things. We felt like we needed to contain her and make her take tough shots, and I felt like we did a good job at that.”

On the confidence she got from defeating Colorado previously:
“We were a little bit confident, but at the same time, they’re kind of a different team. Some of the pieces they had weren’t there anymore. We knew Chucky [Jeffery] was still there, and the twins were still there, but at the same time, they kind of played a different style and they were a different team. I think there was a bit of confidence from scouting them, because we had seen them before, but other than that, I think they were a totally different team.”

On people who doubted their selection into the NCAA tournament:
“There were doubters last year too. We just wanted to show what we could do. If there are doubters now – and I’m sure there are – we don’t look at that. We just want to go out and play for fun and for each other and show what we can do as a team. I feel like we did that tonight.”

Carolyn Davis, Kansas Forward:

On the team’s execution and game plan for Colorado guard Chucky Jeffery:
“I agree [with Angel Goodrich]. We knew that Chucky Jeffery and [Arielle] Roberson were their best players, and if we could take them out, we had a good chance to win. I think we did a great job executing that, defending them, keeping them off the boards, and making them take tough shots.”

On the confidence she got from defeating Colorado previously:
“Like [Angel Goodrich] said, they were a different team. Yes, we got to play them two years, ago, but things change, so they were a different team. We had to come out focused, be ready to play, and take it one game at a time. They did really well this year, so we had to come out with our heads straight.”

On how this win felt, after her injury:
“It felt great. Just to make it was an awesome feeling. I can’t really explain it. Just to get this first win brought me a lot of joy, and to be able to get out there and play and contribute to my team, it just feels great. To keep going would feel even better. I feel blessed to be able to come back from the type of injury I had and to be able to play this year.”

On her reaction to hearing the fans’ chants and getting an upset in the NCAA tournament:
“It feels good. I look at it differently as far as getting an upset. I feel like we played ourselves into a 12 seed. Now we’re trying to play ourselves back to where we should be. We lost a lot of games down the stretch, and we’re happy to still have our loyal fans with us. They still believe in us, and we know we have a great team.”

On Monday’s opponent, South Carolina:
“We’ve watched a little bit and talked about them. We compared them to West Virginia in our league by how tough they are. They’re not as big as West Virginia, but they’re athletic, strong, and quick and it’s going to be tough to beat them.”

Linda Lappe, Colorado Head Coach:

Opening statement
“Well, we’re disappointed. You’ve got to give Kansas a lot of credit. They came in; they fought; they were tough. They executed their offense really well, and we just didn’t have enough on the defensive or offensive end tonight to be able to pull it out. But you’ve also got to give our players a lot of credit. I thought the heart that we played with–how we kept fighting–was very admirable. Obviously, we did not shoot the ball very well tonight, and it’s tough to win games when you shoot the ball 25 percent (25.4) and then you don’t play defense. So, a lot of things to look at in that game, but ultimately in came down to toughness and Kansas being able to finish at the rim and a lot of our shots not falling.”

On the Buffaloes’ gameplan going into the game
“Well, Kansas, you know they start with their point guard [senior Angel Goodrich], so you want to try to slow her down as much as you can [and] keep her in front of you. She creates so well for everybody else on her team, and she does such great things when she gets in the paint, [and] she can shoot the three. One of the things we talked about at halftime is we did not do a very good job in the first half of slowing her down. She was way too comfortable, [and] she got by us way too easily. So, part of that is just getting in a stance; keeping your space; working your footwork; moving your feet–all things we talk about as basic, fundamental defense.

“Then the second thing you look at is [Kansas senior forward] Carolyn Davis on the inside. She didn’t play a lot of that second half. I thought we did a pretty decent job on her. She’s going to get hers–you’ve just got to do a better job on all their others players around. [Senior guard Monica] Engleman hurt us tonight. I thought we gave her way too much space. You’ve got to take that away, and she was really comfortable with the ball and getting in to her shot. We knew she wanted to hit the pull-up jumper from the middle of the lane, and that’s what she did.

“And, you know, their balance–the fact that they had five players on the floor that could score. They executed their offense really well. We started off really hard-hedging those on-ball screens. We switched that, but it didn’t really matter. The thing that they did that we didn’t do is they finished so well at the rim, even with contact. I think that one [shot] where their girl finished on the right side, in the middle of the lane, in the middle of three of us was kind of telling of the entire game. And, offensively, we wanted to attack. We thought they would get lost if we could get some ball reversals. I thought what we did at the beginning of the game was move the ball, hit the open player, penetrate, kick and keep the ball moving, and for whatever reason we couldn’t get back to that. We could never figure out that they were going to help, [and] we needed to keep the ball and find open shooters. And when we did get good looks we couldn’t knock them down, and I think we let that affect us a little bit throughout the game. That one stretch–it was early in the game–we were on 15 [points] for what seemed like 10 minutes, and I think that carried over to the rest of the game.”

On when she thinks the game got away from Colorado
“At the beginning of the second half we didn’t come out and do any of the things we talked about doing at halftime, and we were back on our heels, and we’re not very good when we’re back on our heels. We’re best when we’re aggressive and we’re dictating, when we’re moving forward. I thought [Kansas] came out and they were the aggressors, and they executed, and we were tentative coming out of halftime, and that’s not how we’ve been all season. So, [the Colorado coaches] just challenged them to be aggressive [and] quit being so timid. And part of that might be [playing in] the NCAA Tournament; part of that might be Kansas has some experience, but there are no excuses when you feel like you’ve done some of those things all year long. It’s a big stage, but the thing about our team. You look at who was on the floor for a lot of the second half–a lot of freshmen and sophomores were out on that floor, and I think for them to learn what it feels like to be on the biggest stage of college basketball was important, and the best thing for our program going forward.”

On center Rachel Hargis’ absence
“Well, the thing that Kansas beat us on tonight was toughness, and that’s what Rachel is. That’s her role, that’s her job, that’s what she is. But all year long when someone has been injured someone has stepped up. I think [freshman F Jamee Swan] did a good job getting into that toughness role. It took her a little bit too long–she got into that early foul trouble, so she was limited in the first half. But, outside of [Hargis], Jamee is probably is our next toughest player. She tried to bring that a little bit in the second half. I thought she did a fantastic job.

“Rachel is just a steady player. She’s really grown into a player that we can count on to be in the right spot all the time, and it’s like [freshman forward] Arielle [Roberson] and [senior guard] Chucky [Jeffery] said, she does such a great job of communicating and directing, to have that in the middle of your defense is pretty important. So, it did hurt not having her but we expected people to step up, and you’ve got to find a way. You’ve got to find a way to come through and win even when somebody’s not playing well or somebody’s having a bad game or somebody’s injured, and that didn’t happen tonight.”

On what it felt like to know the game was slipping away
“We tried a lot of different things on offense and on defense to see what we could keep going, and there comes a point, where you just understand that it’s not going to happen, because Kansas was so solid. They didn’t break down in too many areas, and when you’re playing against such a solid team, it’s tough to fight back, when you’re down 18. But I do like how we kept competing. We kept fighting. We didn’t give up. And I really liked how our young players responded. They just showed what they could do and also just kind of did what our team needed at that point.”

On why she didn’t switch to a 3-point-shooting lineup in the second half
“Well, we weren’t hitting them. We weren’t hitting our [3-pointers], and we weren’t kicking to our three-point shooters, and I think that was a couple of our problems. We were driving in [the lane], and we were taking poor shots at times, or we weren’t seeing the open shooters. So, that’s kind of why. And we were getting beat with toughness so I ended up going with toughness.”

On Colorado’s four straight losses to Kansas during her tenure
“Kansas does a nice job, and they’ve been to the NCAA Tournament. They went to the Sweet 16 last year–they know what it takes; they understand how to prepare. It’s a learning experience for us. I do think we matched up with them much better. They can score the basketball. They average a high number of points. They really tested our defense on the inside and out. You know, Goodrich just does so much for them in breaking down defenses, and they did a nice job executing their offense.”

On how she would describe the season
“Well, we had a lot of firsts this season. It’s like Arielle said: We’ve done a lot of uncommon things, which has been special. The thing that I like is that we put the program back on the map, and that’s important. It’s important for me being a former player here. To be able to come out and make sure our program is respectable, we play hard, we play physical, we play together, and we expect to win. We’ve been in a lot of different scenarios, and it doesn’t matter. We expect to win the game. That wasn’t always the case. When you have that–when you have players who love to play the game that you know love to work hard, you’re going to have many more special seasons. But to be able to do what this group did. We did what a lot of people didn’t expect us to do. We expected it, but a lot of people didn’t even expect us to be here. So, we’re disappointed when we look at it now, but when you go back and look at our season you can definitely be proud of a lot of things that our players accomplished and our staff accomplished, and now we’ve got to just keep getting better from here and keep moving forward.”

Chucky Jeffery, Colorado guard:

On matching up with Kansas:
“I don’t necessarily think we didn’t match up well. I thought we matched up pretty well. It’s just a matter of getting stops and we weren’t getting enough stops. We weren’t executing our offense, so it made it tough for us to stay in the game that way.”

On disappointment to have the season end:
“It’s very disappointing. We didn’t want it to end this early. It’s kind of sad being my last game, but I wouldn’t have gone through the season with any other team.”

On Colorado’s offensive struggles:
“I think we got some pretty good looks. We got some pretty good shots. Most of the time the shots that we usually make, they just weren’t falling. You can’t really explain that too much.”

On the game plan coming into the game:
“We tried to focus on their key players – slowing them down in transition. In their half-court (offense) we know they like to go into Carolyn Davis a bit, but we got caught in some of our rotations so they were getting to the rim a lot. We sometimes had a tough time keeping [Angel] Goodrich in front of us and that way our rotations were off and they were getting good looks at the basket.”

On what happened after a strong start:
“I can’t really explain that. We started off great. We started off just how we wanted to. We came out with a lot of energy and focus. Kansas started to calm down and started knocking down shots and we just had to keep defending and they started getting easy looks. We couldn’t respond to the ones they were making. Our shots weren’t falling and it was difficult for us to keep up that way.”

On what was going through her mind at the end of the game:
“Just disappointment. I didn’t want it to be over. We have a great team and the way this program has progressed, we just didn’t want it to end. You never want it to end.”

On the absence of center Rachel Hargis:
“Rachel was definitely are best defender on the floor. Rachel is steady. She’s a big girl. She can defend in the paint. I think she would have been a great matchup for (Kansas forward) Carolyn Davis, so we really missed that a lot. Rachel directs on the other end of the floor and you can really count on Rachel. She will do her job every time.”

On how far the program has come:
“I think the program has come a long ways, especially since I first got on campus – no postseason, then the next year we went to the WNIT. I never knew what postseason felt like, so that was good. We got a taste for what postseason was like. Then the next year we got disappointed because we did want to make the [NCAA] Tournament, but we still went to the WNIT and got to the Elite Eight. We learned what postseason felt like again and we didn’t want that same disappointment, so we came out this year and set our goals high. In the preseason we came out and worked hard and got to the tournament. I think the coaches are doing a great job recruiting and I think they’re going to be back here for sure next year. They will. This is a good team. This is a good program and I think it’s definitely on the rise. It’s not going to stop here.”

Arielle Roberson, Colorado forward:

On disappointment to have the season end:
“I think it’s really disappointing, but we don’t want to hang our heads too low. We definitely didn’t want it to end this early. We wanted to continue on playing with Chucky [Jeffery], Meagan [Malcolm-Peck] and Brenna [Malcolm-Peck]. I think that’s the most disappointing part, knowing we didn’t do our best for them, but I think looking back at the journey we had, it was a great run and it’s a lot to build on.”

On the absence of center Rachel Hargis:
“I think we missed her a lot, but I think we made up for it some other areas. She’s definitely a great defender and whether it’s her presence or her communication and intensity that she brings which is what we missed. She’s also good at helping, directing people on defense and I don’t really think we had that tonight.”

On communicating with her brother, and Colorado forward, Andre Roberson:
“It was more just `get it done’. He’s definitely upset about his loss and everybody wanted us to win for them, especially since they hadn’t beaten Kansas either. It was just `go get it, you know you can do it’ sort of things.”

On whether or not this loss takes away from the season:
“Not at all. It’s a special group of girls, special team. I think we did a lot of great things this season. Sure we didn’t end the way we thought it would, but I think we did a lot of great, uncommon things this year and we can continue to build on that stuff. It’s a great season, special in all kind of ways.”