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March 22, 2018

Blair Schaefer

Victoria Vivians

Morgan William

Kansas City, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by student-athletes, Blair Schaefer, Morgan William and Victoria Vivians.

Q. First for Victoria, this being your third straight Sweet 16, how has the approach changed from the first two years?
VICTORIA VIVIANS: It's changed a lot because you know my first time we was just going in here and, um, I feel like we weren't as good as we are now. We was just happy to be in the Sweet 16. Now it's like an expectation, like, we do this on the regular and we need to come out here and finish and try to win a National Championship.

Q. Blair, the game against Oklahoma State being as tight as it was how can that prepare you for what you may face ahead?
BLAIR SCHAEFER: I think tight ball games show us how important every possession is and how important it is to focus on the details for every single play that's called by our coaches and every single defensive possession that we have to go through. Our coaches always talk about you can't have a wasted possession, you can't know what a play is, you can't know how to run it, the timing of it. I think it's going to teach us that we need to be in every moment and we need to be focused and locked in on every play.

Q. Morgan, Vic was talking about how your role has had to change at times with this team, whether he needs you to score a lot, whether he doesn't need you to score much at all. I'm wondering what that mindset is like for you, how it can be different depending on what the defenses are giving you and depending on how everybody else is maybe shooting that game?
MORGAN WILLIAM: I would say it's different. You know, from last year. Last year we didn't have a ton of scorers like we do this year. I know we have four people in double figures, I think, so like you said, I've got to stay aggressive each game, though. Some games I feel myself just giving passes and not being aggressive and not coming out attacking but the last game we played I was very aggressive. I got to the basket. I took what the defense gave me. So it was really about reading the defense and finding my teammates so we've our energy, this team, it's pretty hard to stop.

Q. Victoria, for you guys last year you had never been to the Elite Eight in program history now that you are that team you're facing a team that hasn't been to that stage for 20 years. What's it like being on the other side, being the team that's been there before and have that big stage experience?
VICTORIA VIVIANS: It feels good. We are probably more confident than we were last year, even though they were confident, but I feel like we're more confident being in the same position and we know what to expect. We know what's going to happen. We shouldn't be shocked or surprised about anything because we've done it before and I feel like just being on the other side it's a plus.

Q. Blair, the emotion of the last game, the seniors last game inside the Hump. How has it been transitioning from that game and refocusing to the Sweet 16?
BLAIR SCHAEFER: I think that game was really special for all of our seniors, but at the end of the day our season is not over, so there is not a lot of sadness, really, that's going on, because a lot of our fans that were at that game are going to travel for our games to come. It's not like it's the last time we're seeing them or them seeing us but it was definitely bitter suite seeing the Hump packed for us. It was really special.

Q. Blair, when you guys referenced that experience helping you in these games and knowing what to expect, can you think of end game situations or circumstances it particularly makes you better in at all when you have been in these big games before?
BLAIR SCHAEFER: I think when you have not been at this stage before it's really easy to be knocked to have your game because you don't know what to expect, you've never been in those situations before or in tight ball games.

But I think since this team has been here before, it gives us a sense of kind of comfort, knowing that we've handled these tough situations before. We've handled distractions before, went how to focus and lock in, especially on teams where people think that you're the underdog, like we were last year.

But I also think this year is different because we have a target on our back. We have a No. 1 seed by our name so we have a job to do.

Q. Blair and Victoria, if you guys could answer, one thing Vic talked about is when you have a point guard that's literally like a bulldog out there and aggressive on the ball how much that helps the rest of the defense, how much it energizes. You guys have watched Morgan do that for a long time. I wonder if you could talk about how her play impacts or inspires you?
BLAIR SCHAEFER: I think when you have an aggressive and smart point guard on the ball it gives the four people behind her so much confidence to play hard for her. She is doing her best to get the point guard from the opposing team off their game and distract them and it's our job to be denying our players, to be helping her out. If she can't see something we have to be those people that see that for her because her back is to us. Her game definitely inspires the rest of our team to play harder because we see that there is, like, a deeper passion and a deeper energy motivation to essentially beat the other team.

Plus, she has a lot of great experience on offense, too, and she is so athletic and just quick that she can make a lot of decisions instantly and we have to feed off of her, which is nice.

VICTORIA VIVIANS: Playing behind her, I feel like we feed off her. However her energy is, is how we react. If she is aggressive, we are aggressive and playing behind her has made us a better team because she is the aggressive player and I feel like if she is on her A game all of us are going to be on our A game. If she is playing defense on the ball we are trying to help her and deny the ball and not give up anything easy. So I feel like we just feed off her.

Q. Morgan, Coach Schaefer was here a few minutes ago and he said Morgan doesn't always have to score, but if we need 41 from her I think she is capable do it. Do you think you're capable of scoring 41 on a given night?
MORGAN WILLIAM: I was going to say, yes, sir. Probably like a week ago he asked me if I could score 41 and I was like, yeah, if I shoot the ball. But I haven't been shooting the ball as much. Last game I shot 17 shots, and I haven't did that all year. If my teammates need me to score, I will, but hopefully we equal up to 41 points but whatever my teammates need that's what I will do. But, yeah, I'm capable if I need to.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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