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March 7, 2010

Doug Bruno

Sam Quigley


West Virginia – 47
DePaul - 41

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement if you would, please.
COACH BRUNO: Whenever you don't score baskets, there's two kinds of coaches. There's coaches that walk in and say, We missed, and there's coaches that understand that the reason we didn't make baskets is because West Virginia's defense was as good as it was. They really did a great job.
I think Coach Carey's defense has gotten better and better as the season has gone along. It's a great defensive ballclub, and we did not have answers for them on the offensive side of the ball.
You have to score the ball in this game to be able to compete and be a top ten team in the country, and I thought really therein lies the game. At halftime we had shot 19 percent, I think, and for the game we got up to a whopping 30-something, but I think -- no, 29, sorry, 29.5. We can round it up to 30.
But at any rate, I'd just like to credit his defense. They just do a great job of getting in your grill, do a great job of switching. And to counter that, you have to not just run your stuff. You have to run your stuff with intelligence and know how to run your stuff with intelligence, and I don't know that we had a great night of doing that.
The players, when you come after a game -- come out after a game like this, there's a double-edged emotion in you, and first of all, coaches want more. We always want more. And yet I have to really compliment my players on their last week of the season into last night's Marquette game. They really, really did have a really tough week and had to really come up big and win five basketball games in about 12, 14 days, and I'm really proud of them for doing that.
Turning the page on that, you say thanks to the team. You say you're proud of them, but then you have to challenge your team to want more than one and out ball, and this is practice one and out ball for the ultimate one and out ball that's going to be coming up next week.
So hopefully we'll take the learning experience from tonight's one and out pressure ball, and hopefully we'll be better for it if we're fortunate enough to be selected on March 15th, which I certainly believe we deserve to be selected on March 15th.
Sam here has been awesome. It's just -- she's just been a kid that just has been really, really special to our program this season because of the adversity we've faced in losing players. And she's really, really -- I mean, a person's greatest strength is often her greatest weakness, and her guts to put the team on her back is why she went 1 on 5 in the first half and tried to score a 14-point basket with one play.
But that's a tribute to her as a person and as a ball player. I mean, we're really blessed to have her, and we couldn't be where we are without her. So I'm proud to be sitting up here with this excellent student athlete next to me.

Q. Sam, can you just address the defense they put on you? It looked like the first half their entire game plan was to make somebody else other than you take the ball up court and then, you know, one for ten shooting and obviously did a good job there too.
SAM QUIGLEY: Yeah, they made everything difficult for us. We didn't really get to run our offense like we like to run it, and that's what a good defensive team does, I think. I mean, there were times when we did run our offense, and we just made our stupid mistakes. But a lot of it is due to their defense.
You know, they were in every passing lane, and it was hard for me to even get the ball. So I guess that's just something we have to learn from. Those are the kind of teams we're going to face in postseason tournaments.
COACH BRUNO: In games like this, we did have some opportunities early, too. Anna had two or three three-point shots early that were in again, out again, in again, to quote the great "Red" Rush, they were right there. We had a couple chippies early. When you get those opportunities, you have to knock those little ones down, and we had a couple that we didn't get knocked down early that would have just at least kept us a little bit more in the ballgame.

Q. Sam, maybe you could talk about when you play a team that keeps coming after you like they did on defense, is there a little bit of a fatigue factor late in the game? Does it wear on you mentally and physically? Is that kind of what they're trying to do?
SAM QUIGLEY: Yeah. I mean, when we do our pressure, that's what we're trying to do to other teams, so I imagine that's what they were trying to do. I think that when teams do that, you just have to be smarter than them, and tonight we really weren't.
COACH BRUNO: Sam, is the bionic woman. She doesn't wear out. She just keeps playing her 40 minutes, 40 minutes, 40 minutes.

Q. Doug, you addressed this a little bit and you addressed this yesterday. Can you talk about your tournament résumé, why you think you guys should be an NCAA tournament team and how many teams you think this league deserves?
COACH BRUNO: Well, first of all, I think we are sitting 21 and 11, 9 and 7 in the Big East, and the Big East is what we believe the best league in the country. Other leagues will argue that, maybe the Big 12 and other teams will argue that, but I believe we're the best league in the country. The reason we're the best league is because we have 16 teams that go deep from top to bottom. There's no easy game. That's what makes this more difficult than other leagues.
That's one reason. The Florida State win was huge. The Illinois State win, which is doing their job in the valley, was huge. And again, the -- just the way we finished this down the stretch I think is important, as well.
The way our league works, also, is when you're home and who you're home against and who you're away against, and we were on a road schedule this year. If you look at our schedule, not only did we play less home games than just about most everybody in America, but in the league we had five of the top seven of the Big East teams on the road. So that's another factor.
When you're not playing a double round-robin like all these other leagues are, it makes that even more difficult when you don't get somebody that you could beat at home the opportunity to beat them at home. These are all reasons why I do believe -- one last reason, I think we're pretty good on the Eye Test when we're playing ball. The other committee talks about the Eye Test. I just do think when we've got it going and we've had it going some pretty good possessions here the last -- not tonight necessarily but in the last couple weeks, I thought -- I think that we do present ourselves as a team that's deserving of being in the NCAA tournament.
The league, I really think it's got -- I really believe we should be in for sure, I really do, but that gets a little difficult because we have some situations here that I think Syracuse is very talented and a very good team. Their win over West Virginia -- we were able to beat Syracuse.
That's the other thing about us is beating teams like Syracuse and Pitt in the last week, those are good ball teams that don't necessarily have great RPIs. So the Syracuse factor is going to be huge, and I hope they get recognized for the positive toughness of the league and not get penalized for their non-conference schedule.
And then there's the Rutgers factor, who's out there playing right now, and Coach Stringer always seems to have a way to fight her way in at this time of the year, but they did play the No. 1 schedule in the country. You can say that this has not been one of Rutgers' better teams and they've lost 13 of 14 games, but Coach Stringer, that's hard to go play the people she plays, and sometimes you're not going to win them all.
What they call -- they don't even get credit for wins over like Mississippi State and Florida, people like that. They just kind of take those for granted, and those are her soft games. And then you look at other people's schedules in other leagues and how they play these 17 to 19 home games, and that's why, I believe, we deserve at least seven. That's really how I think about it and what I believe about it. I really believe it's eight, but it's going to be a little bit hard that we go 9-7s and we don't have any 8-8s. I think the lack of 8-8s hurts us, but if other leagues are going to get sub .500 teams in here, then we certainly deserve to get a sub .500 team in here and you're hearing some people talk about some sub .500 teams from other BCS conferences. Well, if they're getting sub .500 teams in their leagues, then we certainly deserve it in this league, as well.

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