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March 8, 2019

Jeff Walz

Dana Evans

Asia Durr

Sam Fuehring

Greensboro, North Carolina

Louisville - 75, Clemson - 67

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Louisville head coach Jeff Walz and student-athletes Dana Evans, Sam Fuehring and Asia Durr.

COACH WALZ: I'd like to thank everyone that's here today covering our conference tournament. I truly believe it's the best conference tournament in women's basketball hands down this year. Having a number one RPI, it's not something that just comes around. It's something you earn. And every team in this conference has helped us earn that.

Clemson is a team that without a doubt will be playing in the NCAA Tournament -- 9-7 in our league, it's not easy to do. So I'm looking forward now to being a fan of Amanda and her program when that draw comes out, because I really think the ACC can do some great things in the NCAA Tournament.

For this ballgame tonight, you know, you've got to give Clemson a lot of credit. They came out, played with a lot of passion, a lot of heart, did some things tonight that they had done in the past, but really attacked us and took it at us. And we did not respond well. And that's something that we talked about as a staff and as players that we've got to make some quick changes real fast.

Whatever they did to prepare for this game, they need to change it, because it did not work. And I'm challenging them, because right now there is no, I didn't give great effort. When you lose, you're going home.

So now we've got to fix that. I thought the fourth quarter we played extremely well. Defensively, they did what we asked them do. We tried to make Clemson take more perimeter shots than layups after three quarters; I hoped our players could realize that they could go by them and shoot a layup and make it. That's exactly what they did for three quarters. And credit to Clemson because they kept attacking. Finally we had better positioning on the ball and made them shoot contested outside shots.


Q. Can you talk about your team's dominance offensively and defensively in the fourth quarter? You outscored them 21-7.
COACH WALZ: I thought we finally did exactly what we were trying to do defensively, and that was make them shoot contested outside shots. We finally got our feet on the 3-point line. We stopped dribble penetration.

And I thought Sam did a great job of not fouling as players drove to the basket. She went straight up, contested the shot. And then Bionca was great on the glass in that fourth quarter. She came up with some really great boards.

And we had some big-time offensive rebounds as well. Durr gets her own on the one shot. And all of a sudden we've taken about 50 seconds off that clock at a critical time.

So we're just going to have to continue to get better. I thought we executed well a few times in that fourth quarter, which we're going to have to do a much better job tomorrow.

Q. How much did Edwards leaving this game in the fourth quarter affect the outcome of it, in your opinion?
COACH WALZ: Well, I think she went out with the last two minutes or something. I'm not sure how much time there was. But up to that point I thought we had done a really nice job. We stopped trying to fight with her and tried to stop her in the full court. And then we backed off of her.

Because she's really quick. She loves to penetrate and then do an up-and-under move. And we finally picked her up maybe half court but did give her a head of steam to get going by us. I thought in the fourth quarter we did a real good job on everybody.

Q. Sam, 12 rebounds. You were really going to war with them inside there. Talk about the nature of having to battle some very good post players.
COACH WALZ: 14 of them, 14 rebounds. Not 12.

SAM FUEHRING: Thanks, Coach. Battling against Clemson, it's really hard because they're nonstop. They just keep going. But I don't know. I give a shout-out to Katie, our strength coach, because my vertical is getting higher, I guess.

But it was really hard, especially offensively. I don't usually -- I feel like I don't usually get that much. I haven't since last year. But it felt good to know that I still have it in me to just pursue the ball.

Q. We talked Tuesday night about Clemson. What did they do differently this time around when you guys played them two weeks ago?
COACH WALZ: I thought they attacked us off the dribble a lot more. They really tried to get to the glass and use dribble penetration more than they had when we played at Clemson. And then for us, we didn't do a very good job for three quarters of staying in front of them and making them shoot pull-up jump shots contested.

And then when they get going and get excited, I mean, they play with a lot of passion. Like I say, Amanda's done a remarkable job. That's the one thing. You add Simone Westbrook, who is a very good player. Her savviness, she understands the game; she'll bait you into something.

What I admire about her game is she's not the fastest thing in the world, but it's like I tell my players. She changes speed so well that she'll slow up almost to like she's just in a walk. And when she does make a move, it's explosive. So she knows how to change speeds at several levels.

But you add Simone and then everybody else for the most part is returning from last year's team. And Amanda's got them playing a style of basketball that fits them. She's up. She's pressing. She's attacking.

And it's a credit to her. That's why she was coach of the year in our league because she did a remarkable job with those young women.

Q. Asia and Dana, you win the fastbreak points battle here 12-0. Especially early on, you were really getting fast on them. What did you see in their defense that allowed them to do that?
ASIA DURR: Well, we were just trying to create tempo and get some cheap ones. Dana was doing a great job of pushing the ball up the floor. So that's what we were trying to do. Coach Walz has always preached to us tempo. So I think we did a good job of that tonight.

DANA EVANS: I think with the eight to 12 transition points that we did get, Coach Walz always talks about how we need to get eight or 10 easy points. I think we focus more on trying to get transition points and pushing the tempo to get those points.

Q. I think when the other teams played, I know people want to have the bye in the first round. But sometimes when other teams play, sometimes we have games like this where it takes. Did you feel like maybe that was the case maybe a little bit today where you guys really started finally clicking in the fourth quarter?
COACH WALZ: I do like to have a chance to play. Like I do like having coming off and played, because there are a lot of games like this where it's the first time out there, your first time going through it. But I can't use that as an excuse.

I thought Clemson outplayed us for three quarters. I thought their effort was better than ours. There were a few plays where they had four players on the ground and until Mykasa Robinson came in the game we didn't see the floor; we just bent down and tried to pick it up. And Mykasa finally started to dive on the floor, which I thought got the rest of us to realize how hard you have to play.

Clemson just did a really nice job of coming out and attacking us. It's like I said, they put that thing on the floor. They shoot 15 free throws to our nine. But in the fourth quarter we finally started to give that effort defensively and we started talking. There were several times where we gave up -- just a dribble handoff, and we didn't communicate. Two went with one and somebody went down and shot a layup.

And I'm sitting over there going, I can't coach that. I don't know what to tell them because we've talked about it the entire year. And we lead our league in defense, it's about 54 points a night. And they had 60 at the start of the third quarter and we talked about that.

So I was proud of them, because you've got a choice there to either keep fighting or throw in the towel. And I had no doubt that we would keep fighting and these young women did a remarkable job to get a W.

Q. Dana and Sam and Asia, could you talk about the second to final sequence where everybody seemed to expect a foul? You drove coast to coast and dished to Jazmine and everybody seemed very confused by that. Were you confused as well?
DANA EVANS: I was sort of confused -- actually, I don't know about that. They were really aggressive and they were trying to reach in. But it kind of backfired because they didn't call a foul at the end when they were trying to foul. I was just trying to use as much clock as I can and I just saw Jaz running so I gave it to her for a layup.

SAM FUEHRING: I thought we were going to pull it out. There was about eight people in the back court and Jaz just kept running. Good for her. But I didn't know what was going on at that time. I should have. But I thought it was, like, less time and then I looked up and it was, like, 24 seconds. And I was just going with the flow.

COACH WALZ: If that makes you all feel a little nervous, how do you think it makes me feel when she goes I wasn't sure what was going on? You give me a bunch of confidence right there, Sam.

SAM FUEHRING: I was following everyone else. I was literally following everyone else. Everyone's back there, okay, I'll be with you.

Q. You talked to your local media about this, but for Asia to win player of the year in this league two years in a row in a league that's this stocked with talent and now everybody is just looking at where that places her, and I guess you could say the hierarchy of great Louisville players. Can you put it in perspective how big of an accomplishment that is?
COACH WALZ: It's pretty amazing because this is one of the best leagues, I think the best league, if you look at just what we've done the past two years. And for Asia to be able to do what she's done and get back-to-back player of the years, it's pretty amazing. And she'll be the first to tell you, too, we have a pretty darned good basketball team.

Some people are, like, how can you finish second in the league and not have more than one player on the all-conference team. I tell them it's easy. We have six players that averaged between 10.5 and 7.6 points a game. Every single one of them have had a night where they scored 15 or more. That's why we're good. Because who do you not guard?

And if you look at our stat sheet tonight it's the same. Sam Fuehring has eight. Bionca has eight. A.C. has 10. Jaz has 8. Durr had 24. And Dana has 15. We've got three players one bucket away from a double-figure night and we'd have six in double figures.

So I know the one thing I will say about her is she's as humble as any player that I've ever been around. She's always complimenting her teammates. I think when you're as talented as she is and you're as humble as she is, your teammates are excited for her.

Our game on Thursday night, our last home game, it was pretty neat to watch, because her teammates were looking for her and getting shots, stuff you can't -- you either know how to do as a player or you don't.

And it's fun when you've got players that are looking for you and setting you up. And then you want to talk about our hierarchy of players, you've got Angel McCoughtry. She's a two-time Olympic gold medalist on top of what she did here. So that's pretty impressive.

And now we're going to try and make a run to win this thing, be back-to-back ACC Tournament champs, but we know we'll have a tough game tomorrow. This is a program that I don't think it ever won regular season back-to-back championships, co-championships. So I think that puts all of them pretty high within our program.


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