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March 28, 2019

Madison Guebert

Tagyn Larson

Macy Miller

Portland, Oregon

THE MODERATOR: Student-athletes from South Dakota State have joined us. Congratulations on making the regional final round.

We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Macy, since you guys already played Oregon, your coach was saying the key is going to be to have a better defensive effort. Where does that start? Is it with Sabrina? Ruthy inside? Where do you need to improve?
MACY MILLER: Yeah, I say a good team effort. I think back home we were kind of more one-on-one, didn't have a lot of help defense. We didn't do well inside the post, help side.

I think this time we just got to rely on our system that we've worked with all year, good help side defense, closing gaps, especially on Sabrina. She also helps get the whole team going, so I'd say it's a whole team effort.

Q. Madi, your coach said one of the things that you guys have done improving-wise since then is you've become more of a team, not necessarily just you guys that are scoring the points. Do you feel like the younger group on this team is starting to step up, too?
MADISON GUEBERT: Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in all our players. We've had a lot of girls that have been stepping up. It's not really just reliant on a couple of us scoring or two or three of us scoring.

We've really had a lot of, yeah, especially the younger players stepping up into bigger roles for us. We've just been trying to instill that confidence in them to make those big shots because we know that they can. Yeah, they've just been doing a really awesome job for us making those shots.

Q. For all three, starting with Macy, it's been a whirlwind 72 hours. You've gone from the Northeast to the Northwest. Talk about the last few days, how you've been able to refocus at this point.
MACY MILLER: Yeah, it's been a crazy few days like you stated. You come off that huge win, you're excited. We fly home at 2 in the morning. We have people that go to classes. Then the next day we practice in the morning, got to get ready for Oregon, watch film. Kind of got to refocus there.

We get here, and it's just as exciting. You're in the Sweet 16. But you also have to focus because we don't want to settle here. We want to keep going. We have a great team in front of us. So we're looking forward to it.

TAGYN LARSON: I think we're all kind of running on excitement and adrenaline at this point. But we're so excited to be here, staying focused and locked in in every practice, every shootaround. We're staying really focused. So, yeah, it's really good.

MADISON GUEBERT: Just trying to keep that momentum going from where we left off in Syracuse. Obviously it's been a crazy, crazy few days for us between traveling back home, then traveling out here.

I think we're just using this excitement and energy kind of as momentum going forward. Yeah, I think obviously it's very exciting to be here, but we're not done yet. Just trying to keep that focus as we go forward.

Q. Macy, I'm sure you probably saw Mike playing some NBA gyms. What is it going to be like to play in one yourself now?
MACY MILLER: I think it's going to be something special. I was getting super excited walking in here, LeBron James walking through here.

I'm excited to step out on the court, be able to play in this arena is really cool. That NBA teams play here, it's exciting.

Q. You get to the Sweet 16, your reward is to play Oregon, in Portland. They're talking about maybe 12,000 people here. What is your reaction to that? How excited or fearful is that?
TAGYN LARSON: Yeah, I think it's an exciting thing. There's going to be a lot of people there. Even if they're for Portland, it will bring a lot of energy into the arena. We'll have a lot of Jackrabbit fans here. A lot of fans on the plane, parents flew out. I think the energy will be great in there.

Q. For all three of you, talking with the Oregon coach, he said a couple years ago when they first made the Sweet 16, it was all so new to them, but maybe that was an advantage because they played more loose, free. Do you think that will be the case, especially for how much this has been built up as a moment for this program to get to now that you're here?
MACY MILLER: Yeah, like you said, it's the first time in the Sweet 16. But we don't want to settle here. We're ready for this game. We just got to play like we have been all year. Obviously it's a big game, but it could be our last game as well. You just got to keep playing with that motivation we've had the whole year.

Q. Macy, is there any different approach than where you were a week ago playing two teams that you never faced before compared to where you are now?
MACY MILLER: I wouldn't say it's much different. But like you stated, those games are a little bit different because you get a day or two to focus on them, watch film on them, try to get what they're good at.

But we faced this Oregon team before. We know what they're like. We've obviously both gotten better since we last played them. It's going to be a really good game. We just have to focus on the things that are our main focus.

Q. Both Coach Graves and Johnston talked about how both teams have improved and changed from the meeting in December till now. Madison, talk about, in your eyes, what has changed since South Dakota State's approach and team play between December and now?
MADISON GUEBERT: Yeah, I mean, I think we've improved a lot since December, especially defensively. We're playing more together as a team. We're in help side a lot better. We're closing gaps a lot better. Guarding the ball one-on-one a lot better.

Then we're playing a lot more aggressively. I think offensively in the first time we played Oregon, we were pretty timid and passive, kind of getting into the basket. I think overall we have a more aggressive mentality.

TAGYN LARSON: Yeah, I think just going off what Madi said. I think coming into this game, obviously both teams have improved a lot. I think this time around we're a lot more confident than what we were in December. I think kind of what Madi said, our defense has improved a lot. I think that will help a lot. We just have confidence in ourselves, more confidence in each other.

MACY MILLER: Adding onto that, like they said, everyone is doing a great job stepping up into their role, having confidence. I think since December we've done a great job finding the open players, really knocking down the shots. A couple people are there to find the open person.

Q. Madison, Drew is going to be here. Sabrina has a twin brother as well. What has that relationship meant to you? How do you think he's going to react? Obviously he didn't get a chance to play in the Division II tournament.
MADISON GUEBERT: I think he's excited for me. It's kind of been crazy for him, winding down his collegiate career. Yeah, I've been in touch with him a little bit. He's really excited to get out here, especially because he wasn't able to go to Syracuse.

Yeah, our relationship has meant the world to me, especially since college. We've gotten so close, not that we weren't before, but I think being twins, we were never really apart from each other till we got to college. We truly are each other's biggest fans and number one supporters. To have him here for the Sweet 16, something that's beyond special to me. I'm so excited that he's coming.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much for your time. Good luck tomorrow against Oregon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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