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Kansas State Selection Show Quotes


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March 12, 2012

Kansas State Basketball Press Conference

Kansas State Head Coach Quotes

Head Coach Deb Patterson
On the expectation of the seeding…
“Well I am always hopeful for a higher seed for Big 12 programs, but we are just happy to be dancing right now. It is a tremendous opportunity to extend the season for our seniors and for this team. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that we would be competing in the NCAA tournament I probably would have laughed at you. It has been a great run and we are looking forward to competing hard through this NCAA tournament. I do not just want this to be an experience. I want this to be a great competitive experience for our basketball team.”

On playing in Connecticut…
“They just keep sending us up east. I guess that they like us up there. I think it is because we are so polite, and the type of people we are from the Midwest. They are not use to all that. I really am looking forward to the challenge of lining up against Princeton. I can say that I know that it is a quality program with a great coach, a tremendous recruiting program. They have really elevated the level of play there, and the talent that they are bringing in. So, we will have to start right away on film study and see what we can learn about Princeton.”

On Princeton’s style of play…
“I really have not seen them play all year long. I know that we recruited some similar players this last recruiting year. So, it would say to me that they like versatile, fast players, and spreading the floor. I would not think that they are a strong power basketball team based on what they have recruited. I think that they like to pass and screen like we do.”
 
On how K-State compares to former teams …
“I think this team is definitely tougher mentally than the team we brought on the road a year ago. I really like the character that they developed. I think we hit the skids during that three-game period late in Big 12 play after competing in this double round robin, but I absolutely love their bounce back in the Big 12 tournament. I love the toughness that they brought to competing in this schedule this year. I think a lot of that is Branshea (Brown), and Jalana (Childs) digging in as seniors that have a lot of experience. Brittany (Chambers) was fighting through some highs and lows, Jalana fighting through some highs and lows, and Mariah White understanding more of what we need from her in order to be successful.”
 
On trying to not look past Princeton towards Connecticut…
“You have UCONN out there and you understand the magnitude of those guys, but I think it is easy for us to say to our basketball team that a lot of people will see K-State on their bracket and say thank goodness we have got K-State. It is the same approach probably for Princeton. You have got to understand that everybody that you line-up against in this tournament is a great basketball team. I think the non-conference schedule we played, teams like South Dakota State, and teams like Marist that might not have that name familiarity in the newspaper and just off of peoples’ tongues. For those people that know the game, understand that they are a great program and a very well coached team. It is the same thing for Princeton. I think it is an easier buy in for our basketball team, and the maturity that we have with our senior leadership. I think we will make sure that we are ready to compete.”
    
On the Big 12 …
“The thing that surprises me the most is to see that Texas A&M is a three-seed. I think that we established as a conference both in non-conference play and conference play in the first year of this double round robin, everybody is going to possibly bump up against two or three losses to the defending national champions, and to a team that is undefeated and has an undefeated streak. It surprises me to some extent that I am not seeing Big 12 teams pop up as number two seeds. That disturbs me, and I think there is a ripple effect from that most likely. I would put our eight and nine seeds up against some of the five seeds that I have seen up on the bracket. If we played your schedule, we might have about four or five fewer losses. That is just the nature of the beast and you take your opportunity. Philosophically you can argue till the sun goes down.”

On looking at the strength of schedule and RPI…
“When you finish top 20 in strength of schedule and I believe we were also in RPI and it earns you an eighth seed, it makes you want to scratch your head and say ‘well let me make things a little easier for us next year’ because what we did this year did not get us what we hoped for. If the best you can do with those kind of numbers is an eight-seed and finishing tied for fourth in the number one conference in America. What else can you do? Welcome to NCAA women’s basketball.”

On how the team made it to the tournament…
“I am telling you that these kids just fought hard. I think the addition of Tasha Dickey was huge. That was an unexpected x-factor. Even four to five weeks into the season with Tasha, I would not have said that. They had to mature. They had to toughen up, and come together. I really like the character of this team in that respect. When they did fall flat, they really responded to the challenge that I put on the plate. They really accepted they are capable of being something really special. When they were not, we sent the message that it was not good enough, they responded to it. It was not always immediate. We saw that three-game stretch where we really struggled to get back in step. I liked their answer at Big 12 play. We got back to our character, to our toughness, to our accountability, and I really liked how we competed there.”


Kansas State Players Quotes

Senior guard Tasha Dickey
On the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament…
“It was nice to make it past the first round of the Big 12 Tournament because (at Arizona) I was never able to do that. Actually at Arizona, I only played in one year out of the four that I was there in the (then-Pac 10) tournament so that was a blessing to even be able to play in the (Big 12) tournament and now being able to play in the NCAA Tournament is just a dream come true. I have always dreamed about it; watching the teams that get picked and thinking ‘That is so cool!’ Now that I finally get to be a part of it, it is just so great.”

On her thoughts during the Selection Show…
“My heart stopped. It is a great match-up. Hopefully if everything works out, we will be able to play well enough against Princeton to be able to play UCONN. You just never know what happens in March Madness.”

On being a part of this K-State team…
“It is awesome. I just credit that to my team and them adjusting to me so well. A lot of times when a new player comes in, it is hard to get the program and get the system that they have in place but everyone has stepped up and welcomed me in and taught me the little things about the program and that has allowed me to come in and be a force in the program.”

On the team’s mindset going into the NCAA Tournament…
“I would say just remembering all the hard work that we have put in. Sometimes, we started taking for granted all the games that we had won and all the hard work that we had put in. Then we lost three in a row and no one wants to be a loser and we were losers for a long time and you cannot hold your head up high when you are a loser. We just did our best to get back to being winners and getting back on a winning streak. Even if you lose, you want to lose knowing that you played with heart and you gave it your all. But we lost those three games by giving up and not showing heart. We just want to get back to winning and being positive and going out with all that we have.”

Senior forward Jalana Childs
On K-State’s match-up with Princeton…
“It was random. I really did not have any expectations; I do not get into Bracketology stuff or follow it on the Internet. I had heard a couple of things but I just thought of them as rumors. I really do not know much about Princeton but I know that our coaches will prepare us very well. I am excited to prepare for this game and I am really excited to play. I am pumped, it just feels so good.”

On playing well during the postseason…
“I think that a lot of it has to do with the end of the season. Three of us starters are seniors and there is no doubt in my mind that we are going to give it everything that we have. I think that is what has really kept us together. When we played Iowa State and Baylor, we never gave up no matter what happened. Nothing needs to be said, it was just a feeling that was there. I am expecting that feeling to be there in practice this week and also when we play on Saturday. I have a good feeling about us. I am just excited to play.”

On the possibility of facing No. 1 seed UCONN…
“I am excited. It would be a great opportunity for us. They are a great team with a great coach. I like thinking about it because when you play a team or a player that is really good, I think it makes your level of play rise and I really want to see that with my team. I think we can do it. But we have to take care of Princeton on Saturday before we think about playing UCONN.”

Junior guard Brittany Chambers
On her thoughts about K-State’s seed…
“We are excited. I think it is kind of ironic that it is almost the same place that we were in last year. Last year, we did not really perform, even though we did not have Jalana (Childs), so that is going to be a big difference. I do not really know a lot about Princeton at this point. I think we were expecting to end up in South Bend with Cal but we are excited and we are just hoping to pull off the first game and then have a shot at UCONN and see where it goes from there.”

On playing well in the postseason…
“I think that we were kind of fed up with how we were playing. We had some really hard practices and that got us kicked back into gear. We just saw the last four games as games that we should have won but we just let up a bit. When we played teams like Oklahoma, you did not see us play like that, so I think that we were playing to a level that was not us. So I think we realized really quickly that any team in the Big 12 can beat you if you do not play your best. We went into the Big 12 Tournament realizing that Iowa State kicked our butt twice and we needed to play our best to beat them. Even against Baylor, that was the best that we have played against them in two years and I thought that we really held our own, especially in the second half.”

On being in the NCAA Tournament…
“It really is (the coolest thing ever). During my freshman year, we did not get into any tournament and it was kind of defeating. I really did not understand how defeating it was until the next year when we did make it. It was just the most amazing feeling to know that you are playing with the best of the best and the top 64 teams in the country. You are fighting game by game to get to the next step. It is just exciting because anything can happen at this point.”

On the possibility of facing UCONN…
“(Last year) I think to an extent, we looked past Purdue a little bit, not because we felt like they were a bad team by any means but we were just looking forward to playing UCONN. I think we are pretty much in the same situation this year but we are just playing a different team in the first round. We have to understand that we are not going to get the opportunity to play UCONN, just like we did not last year because we did not come to play the first game. So we are just looking forward to being in the tournament and getting that first win that we felt like we kind of gave away last year.”