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March 12, 2010

Danielle Adams

Gary Blair

Sydney Colson

Tanisha Smith


Texas A&M – 77
Texas - 64

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Coach Gary Blair, Sydney Colson, Danielle Adams and Tanisha Smith.
COACH BLAIR: I've got 2 minutes to tell you what happened in forty minutes, but I'll try my best. We have outstanding guards. We have outstanding guards and you win with guards, they make great decisions the whole night. Again the turn over battles, 26-14 was the huge key.
We were just trying to stay even, trying to stay even with them on the boards, and we did a pretty good job. Their bigs did not hurt us as much as they could, because Cokie Reed is a monster in there, and Ashley Gayle is a great defensive player.
I thought we made good decisions. We picked the right times to run set plays. We struggled in the first half with our zone offense, and we didn't have transition game in the first. We thought we were going to be in problems, but I thought we did well against their press and made about one forced turnover and other than that we handled the ball well. These Kansas City kids, five 7 points between the three of them. It's special to be able to bring them back home and they're the most unselfish kids you've ever seen in your life. They will pass the ball, they will defend, when you look at Tanisha's line with 5 steals, most of them in the first half, big steals, and her assists, and Sydney Colson came in off the bench, gave us the spark that we had to have because we were standing around the perimeter against their zone, and I wanted to push the ball and I wanted her to create offense off of the dribble which she did.
Other than that, we just -- we're not on a mission, we're just takin' this thing one game at a time, that's all we can do. I just like my basketball team. Questions?

Q. Danielle and Tanisha is that, will you guys talk about your excitement playing here today and maybe how many you had here supporting and you what it felt lying to play in this gym today?
DANIELLE ADAMS: I was excited to play in the hometown, as well as playing against the Texas Longhorns, it's a rivalry game so I was excited. I couldn't tell you how many people I had here. Probably over -- over 20. So I was excited.
TANISHA SMITH: Well, it was exciting playing here. I haven't played here in years. At the same time, we're here in Kansas City but we're representing the team on the front of our Jersey. So it doesn't matter if we were in Oklahoma. We still had to execute and do what we did today. Everything was still the same, and I probably had over 100 people in the stands.

Q. Danielle and Tanisha, I think last weekend you played KU, the Kansas City connection, I think, actually outscored KU in terms of total points. As Coach Blair mentioned, you have 57 points among the three of you. What is it about playing around this area that's brought that out in you, the ability to score.
TANISHA SMITH: It's just the area, me and Danielle played on the same team and Tyra played on our rival team, so it was a team effort.
DANIELLE ADAMS: It was a home game to us, a lot of support, just another home game back in college station bought in Kansas City.

Q. A team that's athletic like you guys and you struggled against them a little bit, that's basically the only game you played against them, what's going to be the key. I want to address that all three of you.
DANIELLE ADAMS: When we went out there to Nebraska we were in there the whole game, it was the first three shots that killed us, they shot three 3's, we're down 9-0 and the rest of the game, every time we locked up at the clock we're down 9, if only we could have gotten the three 3's at the beginning, we know who their shooters are, we're going to handle the press, be strong with the ball, take smart shots and play em down to the end.
DANIELLE ADAMS: Basically what she's saying is we need to execute our game plan.

Q. Had you played here before, on the court? Have you tried to tell the guys about Kansas City? It's a little different place than College Station.
DANIELLE ADAMS: The only people that haven't been here are the freshmen, they played here at a Big 12 tournament a couple years back, that they won, but at the same time I played here in this arena, I have played basically every gym here except the one that just got built which is the Sprint Center which is another game to me.
I've never played here, I've been to many games this is my first time, but I came to the Big 12 tournament when they won, so this is the first time I've played here.

Q. Sydney, given the way this series with Texas has gone the last two or three years do you think you're in their heads a little bit?
SYDNEY COLSON: I think, so the way they feel about playing us is kinda like we feel about Baylor right now we haven't been able to get a win against them, and I think it can be really frustrating when you go back and try to play a team and watch film and practice and prepare for the things they're going to throw at you since you probably know, and when you go out there it's still tough toe execute your offence.
It can get in your head and we don't expect to go out there and beat anybody, we go out there and play hard every game, they had us tied maybe 1 or 2 at one point and we knew it was going to be a battle, and we had to pull it out and try to get this win.

Q. Sydney talk about your energy off the bench, what you were able to do in the point-guard position and only 3 turnovers.
SYDNEY COLSON: It's cool for us to score every now and then but we like to set up our teammates and anytime we can do that we're happy. We love to see the wings thrive and our post do well in the lane and I think we look to -- which they started pressing us we tried to get the ball to the point guard and have us attack the middle of it and try to get it up the court and tried to milk the clock and bring the time down, and every time I come in I tried to be the spark off the bench and Syd does the same and that's the mind-set.

Q. Tanisha is that, it was 40-38 Texas and you guys went on a 13-0 run and you and Tyra got a lot of the points, what were you doing against that zone?
DANIELLE ADAMS: We tightened up our defense. We had a couple of steals and looked up in transition and that's basically where our points came from, transition, knowing where each other was going to be. Tyra is a good shooter and just finding her, that's it.

Q. Sydney you've had to deal with the stress reaction and limited you a little bit but you and the other Sydney, you've got such a good relationship as far as whoever is on the court. There doesn't seem to be much difference which Sydney it is. How much have you guys worked together on that so there isn't a drop-off or change no matter who is out there?
SYDNEY COLSON: I think it's a good thing for our team to have two point guards to come in and give the energy, whenever Syd used to come off the bench, I think the thing that helps us the most is we're happy to see each other do well off the court, and whenever she would come in and I was starting this year, she would come in and watch to see what I was doing that wasn't working, and she would come in and she is an excellent defender and a great shooter.
She would come in and give us instant offense and instant defense and I think it's fabulous that there is no drop-off and even going to our third-string point guard, whatever Adrienne gets in, she does the same and it's great to have that many people on the team who can think on the go, and I think that's what has helped us be successful so far.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you for your answers, congratulations. We'll see you tomorrow. Questions for the coach?

Q. You were real gracious when you left Lincoln last month, and I believe wished Nebraska, an unbeaten season --
COACH BLAIR: Unbeaten season in Conference play. I said I was hoping we would get one more chance at 'em.

Q. Can you talk about having that chance?
COACH BLAIR: Right now it's good for the league. What's going on right now is Nebraska is the story line and it's good for women's basketball, besides having just all the Connecticut flavor out there or having the Andrea Riley stuff or the Brittney Griner stuff, Nebraska is your story line. It is good for the rest of us. We're staying under the radar, and for once in a my life I like it.
I want to stay under the radar, slip in and we're going to see an entertaining ball game tomorrow because both teams are going to be pressing a lot and it's going to be a transition game, and Nebraska has a Cinderella season.
But I believe it would help Nebraska if they would lose one in the Conference Tournament to take that monkey off their back and then they would be fine, let them win the National Championship, let me just win this little thing right here.

Q. Gary, when did you sense it was going to be a big night for the three Kansas girls?
COACH BLAIR: When we recruited them. All of 'em are different, different as night and day and it was very special. Maybe when we ate at Gates BBQ the other tight, Kansas City has been good to us and I got a verbal commitment from a granddaughter who is one month old right there she committed to play for me so I got a commitment and she is adorable.

Q. Texas had 22 or more turnovers all three games against y'all. Do you feel like their guards panic, and is that a bad sign for them in the NCAA tournament?
COACH BLAIR: There is not a lot of people that front the post like we do and sometimes you're trying -- you're not readin' the help and sometimes the help is not the girl that's frontin' is not stealing the ball. Our defense is predicated on ball pressure where you cannot just make that easy lob in, there is ball pressure and you have to throw more of an umbrella pass.
I've got the best defensive coordinator in Coach Schaefer, he's outstanding and I hope some of the A.D.'s around the world will quit recycling, and realize I've got the best defensive coach in the business right now. Ashley played a tremendous ball game and she is one of the success stories that doesn't have McDonald's All-American by her name. She's a kid that Gail and her staff has made better, very under rated, should have been All Big 12.

Q. Coach you mentioned about the defensive pressure that your team and particularly your guards can kinda bring. We know about your kids, couple of kids that can dominate but of course Nebraska has Griffin. What is going to be necessary to deal with Kelsey as far as controlling her and Yvonne and the other kids?
COACH BLAIR: Kansas State was doing a good job having five different people bring the ball down the court. Turner couldn't guard everybody because she could. Turner is special, and I like my Carter kid, too, but Turner is special. You've got to make 'em work and take advantage when they go to their bench and you've got to be able to score some points when they go to their bench.
Griffin could play forty minutes if she wants to, but they've played a nine-player rotation all season and I don't think they're going to change. Keep them from scoring the easy baskets, keep Griffin from having "and one's" and hope like heck the others do not beat you.
But Kelly played very well today, too. Their guards and my guards, we're going to have a great match-up and it's going to depend on how many touches Griffin gets. We've got to limit her touches.

Q. Gary why such a tough match-up are you for Texas now, 10 out of 11, 8 straight, more than one recruiting class, why such a tough match-up?
COACH BLAIR: Y'all have grown up with this rivalry, you know what it is, a lot of these out-of-towners don't, it's like Kansas and Kansas State or Kansas and Missouri, when this thing first started they were more of a rival to us than we were to them because Baylor and Oklahoma were dominating the conference and they were trying to catch them.
All of the sudden we get up, it's just -- our kids have grown up wanting to play State in Austin, that means a lot, a lot of our kids didn't get to the state tournament, we play on the same AAU teams, we recruit the same type of players, she recruits the same type of players that I want at A&M, and hopefully she wants my type of players.
We love the challenge and right now I think it's starting to be a pretty good rivalry. I think they know we're here now, and we're not going to go away. They're not going away and right now I have a few more guards and my guards are making very, very good decisions.
I'm going to keep recruiting 13 or 14 players and those kids that are waitin' right now, those freshmen they're going to be pretty good, but right now there is no time for them to play. I'm going to rotate my bench and you're going to see nine or ten kids in there tomorrow, and Texas will do well in the NCAA Tournament. Because I promise you whoever they see or any of our seven teams see in the first two rounds it going to be a whole lot easier than what they've just faced here in the Big 12.
The first and second round is not going to compare because this is what it's all about here. This is why the national media is here this is why the WNBA is here. This is good basketball. Good basketball and well coached. The best assistant coaches in America are in this league. Forget all us head coaches. I'm about to finish because he's kickin' my leg over here. Thank y'all.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach. Good luck, we'll see ya tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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