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March 19, 2017

Jeff Walz

Myisha Hines-Allen

Asia Durr

Louisville, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the Louisville student-athletes, and then questions for Coach.

Q. Asia, you and DeShields are from the same area. I'm just wondering if you maybe played against her in AAU ball, and whether you did or not, have you seen her play, and what are your impressions of her as a player?
ASIA DURR: She's a great player. I've never played against her. I think we had a chance to in travel ball, but it never happened. She's very talented. She's a well-coached player as well. I think she's projected to be the first round draft pick, so that she's -- she's a great player.

Q. This is for both of you. Just yesterday when you guys were sitting out there watching that game against Dayton, what are some of the key things that you noticed? Was there anything you noticed that changed what your previous impression had been of them? Myisha first?
MYISHA HINES-ALLEN: No, they're a great team. They get up and down the court really well. They have good guard play, and they defend. It's going to be a hard-fought game that's going to go down to the wire. We just have to play hard for 40 minutes.

ASIA DURR: I'm going to go off of what she just said. They're a scrappy team as well. They play hard. They trap a lot too. What I saw with them is that when they get stops, they love to run, so we have to be careful of that. We have to be cautious of that, too, and we have to be aware.

Q. Asia, over the course of the season, really two seasons, have you pretty much faced every kind of defense? Is there kind of a normal as to how teams try to defend you?
ASIA DURR: Well, I would say I've seen all kinds of things. I've seen a box and one. I've seen teams that played us a triangle two as well.

So I think we just all have to be on the same page as well. It's not about me. It's about the whole team. I think we have to be on point for tomorrow's game because they're a great team. It's going to take the whole team and not just me.

Q. Getting back, you mentioned the trapping defense that Tennessee did. Both of you guys did that very successfully yesterday, it really disrupted the opponents. Do you kind of envision a game where both teams are getting after it with pressure defense tomorrow night?
MYISHA HINES-ALLEN: Of course, we're both aggressive teams. We like to get out in transition. And the way you get out in transition is pressuring your defender. Both teams do that very well. So I think you're going to see a lot of trapping.

On our part, you're going to see a lot of mad dogs so we can get out in transition, because that's how we like to run. I wouldn't expect anything less from them as well, because they feed off their defense, and that's how they play.

ASIA DURR: I would say the same thing as her. We both do those things well. We trap the ball well. We're both a scrappy team, so it's going to be a great game. We're all excited for it as well to see how this goes.

Q. Tennessee's had some wins over teams like Notre Dame and South Carolina that you guys kind of struggled against. When you look at how they played against those teams, what are you thinking, and does that affect at all how you're going into this game?
ASIA DURR: Well, I think it's the same thing that I've been saying. They're a great team. Very talented. They have a great coach as well. So we're going to get their best shot. We're going to get everybody's best shot, because this is the tournament. Nobody wants to go home, so that's what it's all up to now.

Q. Is this the sort of game you really look forward to when you come to a school like this? The way this thing lines up, this could be a Sweet 16 or even an Elite Eight game, but here it is in the second round.
MYISHA HINES-ALLEN: Yeah, I know it's not just for me, but for everyone. This is why we came here, to play in front of the amazing fans that we have. Tennessee has amazing fans.

So, I mean, this is why we came here, to play the top of the top and to get to a Final Four. What better way to do that than here at home and to play a tough team. Because once you get past this team, you have another tough team and another tough team. So, I mean, it's setting us up for success because we're going to be able to play our game. Tennessee's such a great team, they're going to help us get better if we're able to get past them.

Q. Jeff, just looking at your roster, it's a travel-cade, got players from all over. Did you recruit nationally as soon as you got here? Is that kind of how it's gone after you've been here awhile and built up a successful record?
COACH WALZ: We've always tried to start here in our city, our state, surrounding states, and then work our way out. We've had a lot of success in California and some different places. We're now down in Texas.

Really, when it comes to recruiting, you're trying to find the players who are also interested in you, not just ones you want. Because there's a list of the ones that I want that weren't interested in me. So we go out there and we watch a lot of kids play and try to get that feel of, okay, she has genuine interest in our program, our university, our academics, and then you proceed from them. We like it that we have players from all over, but we do have our state taken care of with some very talented players, and we're excited with that also.

Q. Tennessee has their marquee wins over Stanford, Kentucky, Notre Dame, but then they have a couple unexpected losses to teams like Alabama. What do you make of that?
COACH WALZ: I don't make anything of it. That doesn't even cross my mind. We're playing a team tomorrow that's beaten two No. 1 seeds, two No. 2 seeds. They're as talented as anyone in this tournament. It's tournament time. Everybody's going to give it their best shot. There is no overlooking anyone. Because if you don't take care of tomorrow, there is no next game.

So I'm expecting them to play at the highest level that they can possibly play, and we're going to have to do the same thing. I'm expecting a great ballgame. There is no doubt that this could be one of the better, if not best, second-round games that has presented itself.

Q. The last couple years you've been able to host a lot of home tournament games. Tomorrow night, Monday night at 6:30 against the Lady Vols, what kind of atmosphere do you expect from your fans?
COACH WALZ: Well, we're very fortunate, very pleased that it was a 6:30 tip time, especially in women's basketball, because we get a lot of families and seniors that come out to support us. And a 9:00 tip time is hard. So we're really excited about the 6:30 tip.

We'd love to see us get between 8- to 10,000 in here for Monday night. You know, we're at 5,400, I believe, for yesterday's games, but I'm challenging our fans, challenging our city, to see if we can't get 8- to 10,000 out here for Monday night's game, because it's going to be a great basketball game.

I had a college teammate of mine that came down from northern Kentucky. It was the first game that he had seen us play. And, actually, I believe the first women's game he had seen in some years. And he just commented to me afterwards he was just so impressed with how athletic and talented the girls were. And I told him: Our biggest challenge, I think, in women's basketball is to get people to come out one time. Get them to come out one time to see what these young women can do, and normally people are impressed, they're surprised, and normally you get them to come back.

The great thing about it, I know he brought down his boy who is in the sixth grade and his buddy is in the sixth grade, and they want to come back down tomorrow night. Now it's convincing Dad to bring them back down.

But when you get the kids hooked, it's hard for parents to say no.

So we've got to continue to do our job as coaches and go out there and promote our programs and make sure that our fans are able to feel a part of it.

I think that's the other big thing in our game. You've got to go out and make sure that your fans feel that they're a part of your program, not just cheering for it. And that's one of the reasons we sign autographs after every home game, win or lose. Wins are easy. A loss, your true character comes out. And I tell our kids that every time. You've got to be able to take that. You get beat, it's tough, no one likes to lose, but you've got to be able to flip that switch and go sign some autographs and put that smile on your face. I truly believe your true character comes out in situations like that.

So it's something we have to do. I'm hoping Monday night we can get 8- to 10,000 in this place.

Q. Could you talk a little about the challenge that DeShields presents for defense, also what Asia brings to your offense and your overall team?
COACH WALZ: Well, you know, DeShields, I'm hoping she thinks the game starts at 9:30. She's so explosive. She's got an unbelievable pull-up jumpshot, extremely quick, pushes the ball in transition as fast as any player I've seen on film. Rises up over top of people.

I thought in yesterday's game -- I read the quotes from Dayton's Coach Shauna, and I thought she was exactly right. I thought they defended her well on a few occasions, she just rose up over top of them and shot it. There's not much you can do about that.

So she presents some problems. You know, their post game, I thought their post game was very good yesterday. So they have a lot of people on the floor that can score. You've got to make sure that you're prepared. At times you're going to have to guard too. You're going to have to look like you're guarding two people at one time because that's how good they can be. You can't stand and watch. So it's going to present some challenges, but one our kids are excited about.

Asia has been playing with a lot of confidence the last month and a half, and I'm really excited for her. She's really been efficient, which is important. She scored 26 or 27 in yesterday's game, but only took 16 shots. When you can do that, then you're really starting to get something accomplished out there.

But we're going to need our bench to step up. We're going to need everybody to contribute. It might not be 16 or 18 points, but we're going to need to make open shots.

Q. Asia and Myisha both describe Tennessee as scrappy. What kind of challenges does that present when you face a team that's scrappy like that?
COACH WALZ: Well, they hustle. That's one thing about them. I watched them in yesterday's game, the ball's going out of bounds, it looks like it's just going to bounce out, and they fly after it, throw it back inbounds and it turns into a lay-up.

You know, they're on the ground after 50-50 balls, which is something that we've talked about this entire year. If you want a chance to keep advancing in postseason, you've got to win the 50-50 balls. That's something I think both teams take a lot of pride in and something we're going to have to really put a lot of emphasis in for tomorrow night.

Q. You just alluded to your bench. How important do you feel your depth has to be in tomorrow's game?
COACH WALZ: Well, I think it's going to be important for us. We play games where Asia's played 40 minutes, Myisha's played 39 minutes, Mariya's played 40 minutes, yes. But when we get the performance like we got out of Jazmine Jones yesterday, it helps, because now all of a sudden, you're putting a different dynamic on the floor with her athleticism, her ability to rise up over people and shoot.

I thought Sam Fuehring did some good things in yesterday's game. Ciera Johnson's going to be important in tomorrow night's game because of their size. We're going to need our bench prepared to play. We're going to need our bench ready when their name is called to go out there and perform.

This time of year, you don't have three minutes to get loose. You know, when you go out there, you've got to make a difference from the start. It might not mean you score, but you've got to be able to defend. You've got to be able to rebound. You can't be like: Coach, I just need a few more minutes. I'm starting to get a sweat going. That has to be taken care of before you get in the game.

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