March 12, 2014
On opening the C-USA Championship against a red-hot FIU team
"One the things you can already tell about this tournament is that there are a lot of upsets. There's only been one game (through six) that hasn't been an upset. There's a lot of parity in the conference and you can really see that. Obviously you've got the nation's leading scorer in Coley and she's just putting on a show. We've got to be ready tomorrow. It was a little bit of a surprise today, but I thought Florida International played really well."
On if FIU presents more a challenge since the team is not as familiar with the Panthers
"We've played them more recently. East Carolina was much earlier in the year so this is a team that should be much fresher on our minds. We played a very good second half against them at our place. They're a team that has already played two games in a row and you certainly hope fatigue can come into play. They're playing with a lot of adrenalin, a lot of energy and a lot of confidence."
On if the double-bye is an advantage by being off or a disadvantage by not playing
"I think it's got to be an advantage. We may not have these games behind us but at least we've been able to watch our opponents live and soak in the atmosphere of the tournament. What we've got to take from this is a lot of teams have been upset. We've got to take that into this game and try not to be another one."
On having to take the C-USA Championship one game at a time
"Sometimes the first one is the toughest. If you can get that first win behind you, it gives you a little confidence, you into the next one and you're right there. You're two games away from a championship. We've obviously trying to get ready quickly. It's a quick turnaround for both of these teams tomorrow. We just need to play well. We've done some good things in the later part of the season and we need to keep doing that."
On the 2014 C-USA Championship being the last for Tulane
"When you look back on 19 years of being part of a conference, there are so many great things I can remember about this league and how many times it's changed. But it's been a very, very competitive league. There are a lot of mixed emotions about leaving the league and going someplace else. For us, we've had a great season, we've gotten better as we've gone along and I can't think of a better way to end it than to cut down the nets of Conference USA one last time."
On the success Tulane has enjoyed as a member of Conference USA
"It has been a great run. When you look at all the great teams that have been through this conference and the great teams that are still here, we've won nine championships between the regular season and the tournament. It's something that we feel proud to have accomplished in such a competitive league. For us, we'd like to make that an even 10. I can't imagine a better way to go out."
On being the four seed and if she is happy with where the team finished
"Getting that double-bye is definitely where we wanted to be. You do have to recognize that you don't want to lose that momentum because you're sitting out and there's two days of games before we ever play. You don't want your team to not have that tournament feel when you get out there. Every game can send you home. I think the team is really excited. We've had a tough schedule down the stretch, which has probably made us better, and we've got some familiarity within our bracket. Obviously, we just played Middle Tennessee and they're in our bracket. I think it's going to be exciting and we're looking forward to it."
On if she is surprised by her team's success despite not having a four-year senior on the roster
"Not at all. I felt that we had some good freshmen who were going to contribute. Losing Paije [Hall] hurt us early in the year because we thought she could be a factor for us. We returned so many minutes. I know we had some very good players graduate last year, but we returned so many minutes and players that were kind of ready for their time. Jamie Kaplan, Tiffany Dale, Danielle Blagg, Adesuwa Ebomwonyi: all those players had really good years. Those players who had played a lot of minutes have come in, led us and really helped us. One of the most challenging things we've had here at the end of the year is not having Leslie Vorpahl out there. Her [ankle] injury has really effected our rotations and those type of things, but I think we've been able to get into a little more of a rhythm now that it's been a couple of weeks."
On if she feels Tulane can win the 2014 C-USA Championship
"Our advantage in this is that we have different players that can step up on any given night. Some people have a big bench. Some people have a superstar that can do it. I think our advantage is that we can have a different leading scorer every night. Sometimes, that's what you need in a tournament. Teams are going to turn around in one night, create a scouting report and try and change what you do in what area. But it's hard to change what you do in all areas. Our balance is one of our great strengths."
On UTEP hosting its second C-USA Championship in the last four years
"The last time the tournament was there, we got to the finals and that was a good thing for us. It was great. The community supported it. When you look at the finals where we were playing against UCF and there were quite a few people there. You want a community that's excited about hosting the tournament and that's excited about basketball. They definitely have that out there. The proximity of the two gyms is really nice. We're going to get in on Wednesday and watch our men play for a few minutes before we have to go scout. Those kind of things make it all a little more exciting."