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 22, 2018

Brooke McCarty

Ariel Atkins

Lashann Higgs

Kansas City, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by the student-athletes from the University of Texas Longhorns. Question for our student-athletes?

Q. Brooke, I want you to start with this and Ariel jump in afterwards. The two of you have been around for four years. Jordin Canada and Kelli Hayes have been around for four years. You know each other, you have gone up against each other. How much fun is it to play against players like that that you have known.
BROOKE McCARTY: It's definitely exciting. They were great players. Definitely played them freshmen year, sophomore year. But everybody's game has grown. It's pretty cool to see how everybody has gotten better over the years and how their team dynamic has change and they've gotten better with that. It's just fun to get to play each other all through these years.

ARIEL ATKINS: I would say the same thing. We have grown in our game and I think people in general to play against people that are just as competitive. It will be fun.

Q. Lashann, three years ago you were the star player in high school in Austin. Japreece was a star player at the same time. Do you have any recollection of playing against her? What do you think of her as a player at the time?
LASHANN HIGGS: We've known each other for years. Especially since we were pretty close, in the same area. I would say that we didn't really play against each other much, but we worked out a lot together and I just know how competitive she is.

I just think the game tomorrow will be fun knowing we both worked on hard to be at this point. I think it will be a very good game.

Q. Brooke, Karen was just saying about how you bought into a vision, you and the other seniors. It's been a long time since Texas has been to the Sweet 16 before you got here and you've advanced all four years in your career. Talk about the pride in that. Also, you as the point guard, as she said the "quarterback" you don't necessarily like that title but you've come to be comfortable it, I think?
BROOKE McCARTY: Coming in we didn't really know what to expect. We just kind of trusted her plan and she was so passionate about it. How could you not trust that? So just to see where this program has grown to and how we could be a part of it is just amazing itself. I think now we're thinking, like, this is where Texas should be, you know? Back then we were kind of just playing and we were going to be as competitive as we can and see where it takes us but now this is an expectation.

So I think just that process has been pretty amazing. As a point guard, like I said before, when I came in I didn't know who to expect. I just was kind of blindsided by everything. But I had a great point guard in front of me, Selena, and the things that she would tell me and that Coach would tell me were just things I could build off of each other. Up to this point I think I've taken on that role of I can get my team to do and we can do what we want to do if we're focused. So I think I've just trusted her plan at the same time, because she is hard on her point guards and I have to be that second coach out there, a reflection of her. I just take it day by day, but I know at the end of the day I have to be a reflection of her because my team needs that from me.

Q. For Lashann, Coach was talking about how rebounding was so important against Arizona State what they did against Nebraska and UCLA another big rebounding team and how the guards like to leak out and get in transition. How hard is it to balance trying to get a fast break opportunity while making sure the team has the rebound for sure?
LASHANN HIGGS: I would say that it's important to try and focus on what the team needs at the moment. We can't expect the post players to do everything because they do a great job of boxing out, so it's our job to help them out on the boards and go in and try and get as many boards as we can.

Q. Ariel, you and Brooke get attention and rightfully so, and Lashann doesn't get as much. But I think she has had a huge impact on this team. Talk about what impact she has had this year and when you're gone next year how do you feel about Texas being in her hands?
ARIEL ATKINS: Well, Lashann has grown tremendously from her freshman year to sophomore year to now and a lot of people don't get to see the behind the scenes work that student-athletes have to put in to become what we end up becoming at the end of all of this. But her growth has been amazing. She has grown in ways that you can't really put into words. She has taken it to heart on focusing what she needs to get better at to help this team. Like you said, she probably doesn't get enough attention but that doesn't bother her at the same time because she knows what she does for this team and what she brings to us every day. I'm completely fine with leaving the program in her hands. I think she is completely capable and I think she is going to grow into a great leader for this team.

BROOKE McCARTY: Ariel took the words right out of my mouth. Lashann doesn't care she is not in the spotlight which I mean, at this point who could care whether they're in the spotlight. What she brings to the table you can't put into words. It comes from just her accepting her role and accepting that she is going to bring it to the table no matter what, no matter the situation, no matter what.

So I'm really excited to see what Lashann has in store because she still has another year and when she has that leadership role I'm amazed at the things she'll be able to accomplish.

Q. Ariel, you played at the hallmark high school basketball team in the state of Texas. You were used to going to the state tournament year after year. How much is the sense of urgency, the state tournament being the Final Four of Texas. You haven't had a chance to experience the Final Four as a college player. How much have you and Brooke and the seniors talked about how important it is this last go-round to get to a Final Four even though there is work in front of you here?
ARIEL ATKINS: To be honest with you, we have not talked about that. We made that mistake a while back and we looked so far ahead. We didn't see what was right in front of us. So we have honestly not even talked about that because we have a game tomorrow that if we do not win that could be my last game in a Texas uniform. So we are not talking about that and not thinking about that.

Q. Brooke, obviously Coach was talking when it's tournament time you guys started to see that Kansas City was a possibility. You played at Kansas and Kansas State. What's it going to be like? Should have a great crowd tomorrow!
BROOKE McCARTY: I think it's great that we are close to home and Shug is from here and her family doesn't really get to come often, so to see her face light up when we're in the Kansas City bracket and she was excited that her family would be here and for us, most of us are from Texas, so our family gets to come to every single game. But when we go somewhere and kids who don't have that every single game it makes you want to play harder because they don't get to experience what we get to experience every single game. I think it's exciting.

Q. Ariel, you've gone against UCLA in your career but you were teammates with Monique Billings and Jordin Canada on the under 23 team that won. What was it like being teammates with them? Did you get to know them particularly well when you guys spent that time together?
ARIEL ATKINS: I did get to know them better. We played together and knowing them from McDonald's game in high school and you got to see them as people not just basketball players. So that was neat to hang out with them in a completely different environment than what we are used to, as far as being in Japan and not the United States.

Q. Brooke, we talked about your offense and Karen did but also defensively how you have evolved as a player. I think the point guards here at this regional all carry a big load defensively for their teams and kind of set the tone. Is that something you have taken pride in doing as well?
BROOKE McCARTY: Definitely. Like you said, the point guards, they set the tone for the team. I think just coming out and trying to be as aggressive defensively as these two are, it just kind of falls on you. I don't think it's a big load but I think it's something that you should take pride in. I know when I first got here, I really didn't take pride in defense. I didn't really see why we talked about it so much. Now when I look back on it I do see why defense is such a big thing. It's just a way to get stops and if you get stops that leads to other things. So you have to have some pride in it. It makes the flow of the game better.

Q. Lashann, one word that folks around the program always look to you to talk about was the word "confidence" and how you developed confidence and play with confidence and players struggle with confidence and all that. Can you discuss a little bit how that was a challenge for you early on and what it ultimately has done for you as a player in developing your confidence within your role with the team?
LASHANN HIGGS: I would say it definitely had to start off with trusting the process. As a freshman you don't really see how well you can do into the future, how much you will accomplish. I would definitely say trusting the process and the level of work you put in. Because the level of work you put in always determines the outcome of your accomplishments. I would just say gotta continue to work as hard as you can and trust the process and worry about what you can control and don't focus on what you can't control.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, congratulations. 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