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 29, 2019

Vic Schaefer

Teaira McCowan

Jazzmun Holmes

Anriel Howard

Portland, Oregon

Mississippi State-76, Arizona State-53

THE MODERATOR: We're here with Mississippi State. We'll begin with an opening statement from coach.

VIC SCHAEFER: Just so proud of my team. Want to congratulate Arizona State. I just have so much respect for Charli and her staff, her program. I've had some real knock-down, drag-outs with them over my career. I love how they play. I love their toughness and their competitive spirit. Her team embodies her.

We're both very similar. We love our teams to be the way they are. I told my kids tonight the tougher team was going to win. It was going to be about toughness and resilience tonight. I thought we were really tough and showed a lot of resilience. When they would make a run, we answered it.

I'll say this now before anybody asks me. If there's a better point guard in the country that brings the ball up the floor, handles her team, gets her team into an offense, guards on the other end, you're welcome to tell me who that is.

She's number one in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio. She's number one in the other most important stat, which is the W. Her team is 33-2, with four new starters, two of which haven't even been in Starkville for eight months. She was tremendous today. Another seven assists, zero turnover performance. Again, our team goes as she goes on both ends.

When you think about how you kind of set the tone for a game, if you're a football coach it's your offensive and defensive line, being physical up front. Jazz is physical up front. She's physical defensively. She's aggressive offensively. She sets the tone. She means so much for our team, this year's team, and our program. I just thought she was spectacular. I thought everybody behind her played tremendous.

Teaira was Teaira today, especially in the second half. It doesn't take much when you come in at halftime and see she shot it one time. I'm pretty sure I wrote down on offense what we needed to do to maybe fix a little bit of what we were doing.

That's kind of by plan, to be honest with you. But nonetheless, I just thought our team was really tough and resilient today. I thought our execution was outstanding. Only seven turnovers, which we wrote on the board, we don't need to be turning the ball over. Execute. I thought our transition defense was really good, which is what we were really worried about. That was the number one concern with them because their posts really get out and run. I thought we were really good in that aspect, as well.

Their point guard, nine assists, two turnovers, did a heck of a job running her team. Of course, Ibis, I thought she was really special as she's a heck of a player.

That's a great team that we beat today. I'm tickled to death that our kids played the way they did. It took a great effort from us to win that game tonight. So now we move on and we'll see who we play on Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. T, the defense really kind of got in on you, two or three players surrounding you most of the game. How are you able to keep your composure as that game went on? Constantly getting hit in the back, took some fouls on, fouled some girls out. How were you able to handle yourself through four quarters?
TEAIRA McCOWAN: I know that I have to keep a cool head a little bit for my teammates, as well as my coaching staff. I know I can't go out there and do something crazy and get a technical and be sitting on the bench because that's not what my team needs.

At some point my teammates are going to knock down shots. They'll start fading off, from three it will be two, then one-on-one. I just got to play it smart.

Q. Teaira, you passed Sylvia Fowles to become the all-time tournament leader in rebounding. Is that an accomplishment to you?
TEAIRA McCOWAN: Yes, it is. My hard work is paying off. I fight for those rebounds as well as anyone else. I'm just congratulating myself on just going in and scoring on every board.

Q. T, every game you play is physical inside. This one seemed like even maybe more so than normal. Did you feel like it was?
TEAIRA McCOWAN: Like you say, every game is physical. I mean, that's a physical team right there. But the SEC is a physical conference, as well. It was kind of the same. Physical is physical (smiling).

Q. Jazzmun, can you talk about the atmosphere tonight. Tickets sold over 12,000 here tonight. Talk about the crowd and the atmosphere that you felt around the arena.
JAZZMUN HOLMES: Well, our Bulldogs travel, and they made it feel like home. So I'm grateful for that. We were able to give them something that they wanted to see.

Q. Jazz, when you hear coach say time and time again that you're the best point guard in the country probably hands down, what does that mean to you? When you're out there, do you feel like you're playing like the best point guard in the country?
JAZZMUN HOLMES: I mean, I do. I really don't look at numbers. But, I mean, credit to my teammates. I know he doesn't want me to turn the ball over, and that's a big thing for him. I come out and focus on not turning the ball over, giving my teammates the ball at certain times. Just scoring when I need to, so...

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much.

We'll take questions at this time for Coach Schaefer.

Q. We asked T pretty much every time a game is physical like that, was this one more physical than others? She always says probably not because every game is physical. When you're watching on the sideline, you saw that game, do you feel like that one stacked up as more physical than some of the others you played this year?
VIC SCHAEFER: Yeah, I mean, I think it was a physical game. I just think, again, I love how Charli's teams play. Just like my teams. I think, you know, it's hard to deal with T one-on-one. You got to bring help from somewhere. A lot of times there were three people around her tonight.

T has really gotten smart. I give the kid a lot of credit. She's developed mentally in understanding what she can and can't do, whereas, hey, let's just say a month and a half ago, she was a bull in a china cabinet that night we played in Missouri and got beat. She's learned from that night.

Not many seniors in the middle of their senior year humble themselves and go, You know what, I got to change. She has. So you got to give that kid credit. So I think for her, you know, it is physical. She's a big girl, and it's hard to deal with her. So there were times out there early she was down on all fours, didn't get up right away.

The thing for her, she's had all the shots she can take in her back. She can't have any more. She's been pushed around, beat on for four years. Our trainer, Julie, she really has to do a great job with the other stuff, and Julie does.

Again, it's nothing that we're not used to. I think for me, as I told her tonight, I called her in and I said, Hey, I'm going to coach you until we're done, you can't get emotionally involved or get in some kind of mouthing with your opponent. You've got to keep your cool because, again, you get an unsporting foul, a technical foul, that counts as a personal foul. We just can't do that.

T knows that. She knows that. But it's a challenge sometimes, you know.

Q. First thing when Charli got in here said she apologized to Mississippi State. What was that?
VIC SCHAEFER: I think one of her kids and T might have said some things to each other going through the line. I corrected T as soon as we went in the locker room. Before I said anything to my team, I called T in, we met. Again, I'm not mad, I'm just trying to teach her, trying to coach her, just like Charli is coaching and teaching her kid. That's who we are. We try to run a classy program.

Those kids, they're in the moment. Those kids are competing against each other. It's two great kids. You get in the moment, again, my job is to coach my kids and my team and teach 'em, Hey, you can't go there. You can't.

My message to Teaira and my team is that people -- the real life lesson here is that people know what your stats say, they know you can play, they know you're a student-athlete, they got that. People in the real world at the professional level, whether it's basketball or being in the professional workplace, they want to know what kind of person you are, what's your character like.

You don't ever want anybody to question that. Maybe somebody in the arena sees that, they might get a bad opinion, which isn't true. So we're both -- Charli and I talked before I came in here. We both agree, we're coaching our kids, we've already corrected them, and we move on.

Q. Teaira, the rebounding career record in the NCAA tournament, what does that kind of mean to you?
VIC SCHAEFER: Well, I know who Sylvia Fowles was. She probably had never seen her play. I knew who that kid was, the great player she was in this league, and the records she holds in this league.

Teaira McCowan just went into some real rare air, not to mention across the country. I mean, Sylvia was in our conference, but she set the record for all time in the NCAA tournament. Teaira McCowan just broke that. That's pretty incredible.

If I'm not mistaken, I think Sylvia was in the Final Four for three or four straight years, all four. So Sylvia was in there all four years, made it all the way into the Final Four all four years. So T has done it a little bit ahead of schedule, so to speak.

I'm just so proud of her. Again, the growth, the maturity of her, the course of her career at Mississippi State, really special. It's tough. It's hard. Y'all saw. It's like that most nights in our league, too.

Q. Your bench had to come in in a key spot in the second quarter. Jordan was having a good first quarter, Andy, too, then T. How did they handle that moment? For the bench to come in and hold serve, how did you think they handled that?
VIC SCHAEFER: I thought they were spectacular. I thought Bre made a big three. I told Jessika in the timeout, Here is what is going to happen. They're going to come off of you, double on T, you'll be wide open for that free-throw jumper. She's been working really hard on that in practice. I said, You're going to square it up, knock it down. Boy, she did. If you notice, I was grinning ear to ear. We all were on the bench. Mary even got up and gave me a fist pump.

Because that's what you do as coaches, you get kids, they develop, you see them go out there and do something like that, do it with confidence. You see them have success. I mean, that's what we do as teachers and coaches with young kids 18 to 22.

I thought those kids were really good. Myah came in right at the end of the half, let me move Jazz to the two to let me get through to the end of the quarter. I thought they were recall really good. Anriel was in foul trouble. Got in foul trouble there late in the third. Jess came in.

I was proud of my bench. Xaria came in, did a good job, missed a couple free throws, I'd like her to make those, but put herself in a position to be there. My bench has done that all year. They kept getting better. That's what I love about them, you know.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations. We'll see you on Sunday.

VIC SCHAEFER: All right. Praise the Lord and go Dogs.

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