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 31, 2019

Jeff Walz

Asia Durr

Sam Fuehring

Arica Carter

Albany, New York

Connecticut - 80, Louisville - 73

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by student-athletes and head coach Jeff Walz. Again, student-athletes joining us, Sam Fuehring, Arica Carter, and Asia Durr.

Coach, as it customary, we'd like to begin with an opening statement from you.

JEFF WALZ: First, I'd like to thank the MAAC and everyone involved in putting this Regional on. I thought everything was fantastic. I thought it was first class. Everybody that I encountered was nothing but helpful, and we greatly appreciate that.

I'd like to congratulate UConn, of course, in what was a great basketball game, a game that went right down to the wire. I was really proud of our young women. We didn't quit, refused to quit, continued to compete, and that's what you ask of them. I tell them all the time, if you're going to lose a basketball game, just make sure you lose because you're not making shots.

In the first half, to be honest with you, we had some great looks. We just couldn't put the ball in the basket. We are who we are. We're a jump shooting team. We're not a take it to the hole and-one, pound it in the paint, we're a jump shooting team, and we have been all season. And we've been pretty good at it. You don't get to this point if you're not pretty good. But unfortunately, we just couldn't get some shots that normally go down to go down in the first half. But we kept our head up, and we continued to fight.

It sucks. I feel for these three young women here that have just given everything that they have to our program, to our city, to the university, and they've been nothing but outstanding role models. You can't put a price tag on what these young women do, the impact they've had in our city. It's been pretty remarkable, and I love them all. They'll be missed, but will never be forgotten because they'll always be a part of our family.

Thank you.

Q. Asia, that last two minutes, you guys were down 11, could have thrown in the towel, but just talk about the rally you had to cut it to have a chance to win the game and what it shows about the heart of this team.
ASIA DURR: Yeah, we fought back hard. We created some nice turnovers, Dana got a steal, A.C. got a steal. We came back and scored both times. But I went to the line and missed two big free throws. I mean, we fought hard, and that's what shows -- I don't even know what I'm trying to say. That's what makes us us. We don't stop fighting. It really doesn't matter how much we're down by.

I'm just super proud of my teammates. We just kept fighting. That's all you could ask for.

Q. Asia, how frustrating was it for you? You started the game 0 for 8 from the field and then 1 for 10 at the half. Were you just thinking they'll start going down eventually, or does it get into your head?
ASIA DURR: No, you just stay patient. It's not the first time I went 1 for 10 throughout the whole year. I've had bad nights too. It's not the first time it took place. I just tried to find my teammates out there on the court, but I feel like I should have been more patient.

Q. This is a question actually for Sam. Sam, I'm wondering, when you think about the days and weeks ahead, how much is the focus shifting to professional opportunities, and do you feel like you're ready for that opportunity being in the WNBA?
SAM FUEHRING: I'm honestly not focusing on that right now. I've got a few things to work out before I can even focus on my future ahead.

JEFF WALZ: Graduate.


Q. Arica, when Asia was having trouble scoring -- although she had like 10 boards in the first half -- you other guards kind of stepped in and filled that stat sheet and kept yourselves within easy distance of UConn. What went through your mind? Did it have anything to do with seeing she was not having a great day?
ARICA CARTER: That's the great thing about our team. When somebody is a little off, we always have people to step up. Asia's a great player, and we knew she was going to start hitting shots. But at the time, we just have to keep playing the game. It happens. Shots don't always fall. A lot of our shots didn't fall tonight, but that's the great thing about our team. There's always somebody ready to step up, and we're always encouraging people to step up, and that's what we tried to do tonight.

Q. Even towards the end when you guys -- it looked like you were beat, but then you cut the lead again. You guys always thought you were going to win the game. This is for all three of you. Didn't you?
ASIA DURR: Yeah, we always thought we were going to win.


SAM FUEHRING: Yeah, we're always working hard to try to get the "W." That's what it is.

THE MODERATOR: Arica, anything to add?

ARICA CARTER: I agree. It's March. You never know what can happen. We've been saying that the whole time. In our minds, the game is never over until the buzzer horn.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much. Congratulations on a terrific season.

Q. Jeff, congrats on a wonderful season. I'm guessing you didn't think Sam was going to have a night like she had the other night today, but could you just talk about it. She seemed to hit every big shot in the fourth quarter when she needed to.
JEFF WALZ: She made some big shots, but I've got to give credit to Megan Walker. Megan Walker was the difference in the first half. You know, at times you've got to roll the dice a little bit, and I thought we did a really good job on Napheesa. But we backed off of Walker at times to help on Collier, and she knocked down shots. You know, I thought she was the difference for them. And I know it was in the first half, but she really kept them going and gave them a bounce.

And then Katie Lou came out. There's no question about it, she made some tough shots. She made some tough ones, and then we had some breakdowns on a few that you just can't have. She hits a huge shot and gets a four-point play out of it. She definitely moved a lot better today than she did on Friday, so credit to her. She's a great player. If she plays like this continuing on, they're going to be hard to beat.

Q. Coach, even though a lot of people saw Durr struggle in the first half, what a lot of people didn't see was how she was participating and helping her other teammates score and blocks and screens and contributing. She never got down. If you could just speak on the character of Durr.
JEFF WALZ: Well, I just think, if you're sitting here and you listen to her, the first thing she says when there's a question asked to her is I missed two big free throws. That's not the reason we lost the game. You can look over a 40-minute game and find a ton of areas that you could improve on, but that's who she is. She takes that responsibility on.

I've been in the same press conferences after she scored 47, and the first thing she's saying is my teammates set me up. My teammates got me the ball. That's why they all love playing for her, playing with her. It's who she is. She's not only a remarkable basketball player, but she's just as impressive as a person, and that's really -- you know, all these young women, I challenge them. I push them to be great. Not just good, great in everything they do.

I look at Sam and A.C. and Asia, and I see three young women that are ready for whatever is in front of them -- if it's professional basketball, the work force, whatever it might be -- they are prepared for it, and they are going to succeed and do extremely well.

Q. What can you say about -- what a game like this does in the Elite Eight with players like Asia and Katie Lou does for the rising visibility of women's basketball as a whole?
JEFF WALZ: It's a great basketball game. I thought there was a lot of big plays made by both teams. Unfortunately for us, they just made a few more. I really think, if you didn't sit back and watch this game and you can't sit there and appreciate it, appreciate how it was being played, then it's a shame because I thought there were some big time plays by both teams.

Q. Jeff, congratulations on your season. I just want to talk about Sam's profile at the next level specifically, what she can do, the fact that she can step out, the fact that she can bang with fours and fives. What do you see of her at the WNBA level? Do you expect her name to be called, as Asia's almost certainly will as well?
JEFF WALZ: I would think so. After what Sam has done, especially in this tournament, I think she's shown a lot of people that she can play inside out. She has great hands. She has great instinct for the game. She's not afraid to battle. She's not afraid to mix it up inside. But at the same time, she can defend on the perimeter.

I think at that level, she'll be a little bit like a utility knife. You know, you're going to be able to get a lot of options from her. Not that she's a knockdown three-point shooter, but if you leave her open, she can make them. She's really good from 15 to 18 feet, would be great on a pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop. And then she's willing and able to defend multiple spots. I'd be shocked. If her name's not drawn, not announced on the 10th, I'll be surprised if she's not picked up by somebody to come into a training camp.

Q. Jeff, that final push, the kids said it, you guys refused to quit, and there's the mentality you've instilled there. You're down four. You get your best player to the foul line for two shots, and I've got to think, you're sitting there thinking, okay, we're going to be down two, and we have a chance to tie this game up. She didn't hit him. Just what you were thinking at that point in the game.
JEFF WALZ: Shit happens. That's what I was thinking. I tell people all the time -- you know, I go to a ton of recruiting, and I see someone get fouled and someone yelling, you gotta make it, you gotta make it. No kidding. Asia didn't go up there with any intent to not make two free throws. It happens.

Then Sam came down with the offensive board. So it's not like we didn't get the rebound. I mean, Sam worked extremely hard. She got in there, and you know, they had a nice block. I thought it was a good block. But we had our chances. We continued to fight, continued to compete. I think we were down six or whatever it may have been with 29 seconds, and they called a time-out. I told Dee we're not fouling. We're not trying to foul. We're going to try to come up with the jump ball because we have the arrow. And our kids came out and did it. Everything we wanted, we got. We just didn't make two free throws. That's part of the game. That's why you roll the ball out. You know, it hurts. It stings. But that's not the only reason we lost the game.

There was a stretch there where we just could not come up with a rebound. They ended up with 11 offensive boards, but the last four minutes, they probably came up with four or five of those, and those were really crucial.

Q. Jeff, you were just talking before about not being able to make the shots you normally make. When Asia was 0 for 8, 1 for 10, are you over there on the sidelines dying for her, hoping that she gets it going?
JEFF WALZ: Well, I mean, of course. I didn't want her to go 1 for 20, but she was taking shots within our offense. She was taking shots -- she would create some. That pullup jumper is what she shoots. She had a couple -- the first four or five of the game, there were like three of them that were in and out, and those are shots she normally gets. I thought our kids did a great job of finding her, setting screens for her to get her going.

And, of course, you're sitting there, and like you said, she's 1 for 10, and we're down seven at half. It's still a ball game because we're a good team. I know everyone wants to say, Asia Durr, she's special, but everyone else on our team is pretty darn good too. So we felt good. We went into halftime feeling pretty good, like, hey, guys, we couldn't have shot much worse, and it's still a seven-point game.

We knew for us to have a chance, Asia was going to have to have a better second half, and she did. It just wasn't enough from everybody. We had talked about it. We said our performance on the 31st of January, we were going to have to play better, and we just didn't.

Q. Jeff, you talked about this after Friday's game, but they were up 11 with 90 seconds left, and you guys went on an 8-1 run, sparked by three steals. So talk about that defense that's been ignored while everybody focused on Asia.
JEFF WALZ: We compete. I knew we weren't going to quit. That's why I saved my two time-outs. I knew we could come up. Instead of after we scored, calling a time-out, we jumped into the press as quick as we could. We come up with a steal, we get a quick back door for a lay-up. And then all of a sudden, when we needed to call them, I was able to call them, and we executed, and it was pretty special.

And then the last play there, we tried a little something thrown over the top and just didn't complete the pass, but it was a great ball game. It just sucks to be on this end of it, but that's part of life. We played a pretty good basketball team today. I thought the crowd was fantastic. I thought they were great. Our kids enjoyed it. Just don't really much enjoy the outcome right now.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for doing this. Congratulations on a great season.

JEFF WALZ: Thank you everyone for covering us this season.

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