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March 9, 2011

Janita Badon

Anthony Levrets

Michelle Plouffe


Utah – 70
Air Force - 55

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the University of Utah. Coach, just some general comments on today's game.
COACH LEVRETS: First of all, a lot of credit to Air Force Academy and Andrea and her staff and those players of revitalizing that program. They are getting better all the time. I'm glad we don't have to play them again this year.
But I'm really proud of our kids, the way we defended in that second half is what that group of kids is all about. Really proud of them. Happy to still be playing, that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll open it up for questions for the student-athletes.

Q. You did a much better job rebounding in the second half as opposed to the first. Was that talked about at halftime?
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: Just our defense was what was talked about at halftime. They were shooting almost 50%. That was not okay with us. Part of that was rebounding, and not letting them get second shots.
So we came out and defended them pretty good in the second half.

Q. Could you talk about the 18-2 run that opened the second half.
JANITA BADON: I'd like to think our team specializes in defense. Once we get the defensive part down, then our offense is easier. So, yeah, it's defense then offense, but both together.
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: Yeah, I think it starts on defense. Once we can put some straps together, we're able to get shots on the other end and knock 'em down, so...

Q. You have a rematch with BYU. What do you need to do differently Friday?
JANITA BADON: I just think we need to focus on ourselves rather than the other team. Just look at film tonight and see what we did wrong and what we can do better, then just play ball I guess.
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: Yeah, just play the whole 40 minutes. Last couple times we played them, there were four-minute gaps that we let them go on a little run. We've got to play two full 20-minute halves without letting up, so...

Q. Are you feeling you're on a roll then?
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: I think anytime we play BYU, I don't know, we always come out and know it's going to be a fight. I think it's definitely going to be this time. We're just excited for the next game, so...
JANITA BADON: I think with any team that just won two games in a row, they'll be on a roll. Hopefully it helps us, 'cause we're a really young team. But no excuses.

Q. Janita, talk about the rhythm you're in, the feeling you have playing in the post-season.
JANITA BADON: I'm the type of player that I don't like to focus on myself. I just think once our team comes together, nothing I wouldn't do for them. I'm giving them my all because they're giving me their all.

Q. With BYU, they do have the bigs inside. They seem to be a pretty good perimeter team. In the past they run Rodrigues around the perimeter as well as yourself. How do you adjust to that?
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: I think that will just be game plan and execution on defense and execution. Also going down and executing on the offensive side as well, so...
THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss our student-athletes at this time and continue with questions for coach Levrets.

Q. I know each year is different, but you're now 33-0 against Air Force.
COACH LEVRETS: I had no idea.

Q. Is that indicative of anything?
COACH LEVRETS: It's indicative of the fact that we play pretty good defense in the second half. Last year's team for Air Force and our team last year, completely different. Every time you step on the floor against a team, it's a different basketball game.
I don't think it's indicative of anything except of this game and how we played.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the rematch with BYU, maybe where your team is different and what you need to do better.
COACH LEVRETS: You know, both times against BYU, the first time it was about a three-point game about six minutes to go. We didn't score, and they did. We fouled them. They made their free throws. The margin was way bigger.
The second time, we had the ball with four seconds to go and passed up a three that would have tied the game if we would have made it. It was a three-point game.
They're really good. You don't go 15-1 in this league and not be really good. They have size. They have athleticism. They shoot the basketball well. They're led by seniors. They've done an incredible job this year.
We'll go out and make a couple tweaks. At this time of the year it's not about adjustments really. You have to make a couple adjustments. It's about going out and playing, executing what you've done for now for us will be our 33rd game and making sure and trying to make sure that we're as good at our stuff as we can possibly be, and that's got to be enough.

Q. Can you talk about what you talked to the team about at halftime.
COACH LEVRETS: We are one of the youngest teams in the country. When we started this deal, everybody told me we weren't going to be able to defend. I said, yes, we are, or else we'll have no chance. Even before I got here, this program is built on defense. If you guard every single possession, you have a chance to win games.
Give Air Force a lot of credit. They were on a roll. They played aggressively and confidently in the first half, made shots. But we talked about what it means to have that Utah across your chest. If we're going to win basketball games, you better guard somebody. That was the message. Apparently they got it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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