home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 24, 2016

Dawn Staley

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

THE MODERATOR: We're joined from the University of South Carolina, head coach Dawn Staley.

We'll begin with questions for Coach Staley.

Q. Dawn, how has practice and preparation been for this? I think y'all got up here a day earlier. How have they adjusted to the floor and new surroundings?
COACH STALEY: Practice has been great. Everybody's focused in on the task at hand. Everybody is energized and ready to play.

Q. You talked about before you left you wanted it to be an experience. Has it been a fun experience so far getting ready for these games?
COACH STALEY: It has been. We had a really great reception by our hotel staff. They made us feel really quite at home with the first time we walked into the lobby area. Being here for the second day, it's really been an incredible welcoming.

Probably too nice of an environment for us to play a physical game that we'll have to play on Friday night (smiling).

But we're enjoying it. Obviously we want to work hard when we're in between the lines, but we also want to give our student-athletes an experience like no other. This is all of our first times being here in South Dakota. We want to enjoy the experience. Even the snow we want to enjoy (smiling).

Q. A lot of talk about Syracuse's press. How much does it help you to have three senior guards to try to handle it and set the tone with that?
COACH STALEY: As coaches, we want to try to prep for everything that we can see. We want to have everything programmed like we see it in our minds. We try to convey that in practice.

When it comes down to it, we have senior leadership that have been in this situation before. We're going to lean heavily on them to do what they've done for the past four years. You don't get to this point in your program without having senior leadership.

Q. Dawn, can you comment on the field as a whole, the strength of the four teams at this region.
COACH STALEY: This is a great region. I think there's a lot of familiarity with all the teams because we've played each other within the 15-month period. There's great individual play. Obviously there's great coaching that's involved because to get your team here, it takes a combination of having great players and being able to manage those players and putting them in positions to be successful.

The talent here is plentiful. We look forward to competing at a high level.

Q. So much is made of the press. Tempering that when you're getting ready, how much do you focus on what they do in the halfcourt?
COACH STALEY: I think you have to cover everything. For us, you know, it is handling their press, making sure we're not turning the ball over as much as they turn people over. They turn people over almost 25 times a game.

We have to not turn it over that much. Really concentrate on our strengths. We got to get the ball inside no matter what they're in. We have to push tempo, control tempo, because they do want to play fast and create a lot of possessions in the game.

For us, we just have to be calculating in what we're doing.

Q. Have you had a chance to reunite with Tammi yet?
COACH STALEY: I haven't gotten a chance to talk to Tammi as of yet. I think she understands it's a competitive time of the year. I wish her well. I wish Tammi well. She's a great coach. She has a bright future in coaching. We made incredible memories together. Obviously we put ourselves in a position to make another memory.

I just hope it's a good memory for us (smiling).

Q. You're pushing towards the top of the NCAA field. Syracuse is climbing up on its own, a lower level. You played them last year twice. Obviously you've seen them on video this year. What is your feel for where they are, where they're going? When you look at the state of women's college basketball overall, how high can they go and how quickly can they get there?
COACH STALEY: I think for anyone that's playing this game, the sky is the limit. When you do things the right way, you open up doors that historically were closed to the upper echelon of programs.

I think Q has done a great job at staying the course. That's what you must do. Sometimes when you're not getting where you want to go as quickly as you want to get there, you want to take a short road. I don't think he's done that with his program.

He's hired well. He's done some international coaching. He's doing his part to advance their program. It's no surprise that they sit where they sit.

I wish them well, just not against us.

Q. What do you think it was about those Virginia teams playing for Coach Ryan that so many players from back then have been as successful as you have been in coaching right now?
COACH STALEY: Well, we have to pay homage to Debbie Ryan, what she's done for us. We got our foundation of competing at the highest level, practicing at the highest level. When you're under the guide of working hard, competing, your next best move is to get into coaching to kind of hone those skills that you learned as a college athlete.

But we had some fun times. The fact that our team, South Carolina, sits where it does, it definitely has something to do with my experience as a player, playing at this time of the season.

Q. Coach, obviously your defense is such a hallmark. Syracuse has such a dynamic backcourt. What is the key to shutting them down?
COACH STALEY: I don't necessarily think we can shut them down 'cause they have a lot of tools in their toolbox.

We just can't allow them to get easy buckets. Everything that they do must come under duress. All the shots have to be contested. We just have to play for 40 minutes.

The moment you take a break, it could be a moment in which they can gain momentum. You have to work hard for 40 minutes and not allow them to get any easy buckets.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you. Good luck tomorrow night.

COACH STALEY: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297