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March 11, 2011

Niya Butts

Soana Lucet

Davellyn Whyte



THE MODERATOR: We've got the Arizona Wildcats. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH BUTTS: Well, obviously I want to give a lot of credit to Stanford. They played an awesome game. You can't say enough about their efficiency offensively and defensively. I definitely think that they're one of the top teams in the country. They're definitely hands down the No. 1 seed, and arguably the best team in the country.
As for our team, we certainly had a great run, ran into a bit of a buzz saw today, but I'm proud of our effort. I'm proud of what we did throughout this tournament and throughout the season. With that being said, now it's a wait and see game for us, and hopefully we've done enough to get into the tournament.

Q. Do you think you're an NCAA Tournament team, and if so, why?
COACH BUTTS: I definitely think we're an NCAA Tournament team. I would say that if I wasn't a coach on this team, watching our team play. Obviously today's outing was not indicative of the type of team we are, but we did go against Stanford. I would argue that Stanford has -- so hopefully we won't be judged on that, because they've done that to top four, top two, top one teams in the country. So hopefully this outing has no bearing on how people view us.
We've won 8 of our last 10 games and been playing really well. We have 21 wins on the season. There are a couple teams that are being talked about getting into the tournament who we've beaten, one of them twice. I feel like we're deserving of an opportunity.

Q. What are you guys doing on Sunday? Are you getting together?
COACH BUTTS: We haven't discussed that yet. I'm not sure. One thing is we're going to stay hopeful and hopefully the people that are on the committee or involved will actually get tapes and watch them, because I think if they watch the teams that are on the bubble, watch us, they'll see that we're a pretty good basketball team and deserving to get in the field of 64.

Q. Stanford seemed to take it to you inside. Can you talk a little bit about that and the players also?
COACH BUTTS: Well, they certainly inside they have two of the best players, arguably, at their positions in the country. Both of those young ladies are number one players coming out of high school and they certainly performed that way today. So any time you allow players with that ability to get deep position -- even when we played really solid defense, better offense will overcome a good defense any day.
Looking at those two young ladies you should be happy because you're in the midst of some great players all time in our game. They have potential to be some of the best in the world, not just our conference, not just the country, but in the world at their position. They're very, very efficient.
We didn't have an answer for them today, but no one has really had an answer for them all year long.

Q. I noticed normally you guys get off to a very quick start. Today you guys kind of started off a little slow. Do you attribute that to Stanford's defense, or were you guys just trying to get into a rhythm?
COACH BUTTS: I think certainly Stanford is a more imposing team physically than a lot of teams in terms of their size. But they do a good job of getting back. But I also thought on our end we didn't force the issue early. I thought we should have done a better job of pushing the ball and forcing the issue.
At times they seemed to be back, but I still think we had opportunities to attack them.

Q. You've played two games already. They came in here with a two-game bye. How much more fresh do you feel they were than you guys were?
COACH BUTTS: Obviously that's a huge advantage to the 1 and 2 seed. But again I think the outline of the tournament this year had heed us. I think it helped us prove that we belong in the NCAA Tournament. Certainly that played a part.
I think our kids have played hard. We ran the floor in the first two games tremendously well. Played a lot of minutes. For them to come in with 8, 9 days off, certainly they had fresher legs.
But I wouldn't say that that was the overwhelming difference in the basketball game. They have players that make plays, and they're pretty dang good. So it's as simple as that. That's why they won the game.

Q. Davellyn, looking forward to the next couple of days, is it going to be strange to wait or awkward? What do you anticipate the waiting game to be like? If you guys aren't included in the NCAA Tournament, is the NIT still better than what you've been doing the last couple years?
DAVELLYN WHYTE: We're just going to wait until Monday to see how everything just kind of falls into play. To me it's not a shock because I knew what kind of team we had, so this was our ultimate goal was to get to post play. Really it's just something we knew was going to happen and we just hope that it's the best and that we do get to the big tournament.

Q. Can you just talk about banging with the sisters inside, and what problems they present to you guys as a team?
SOANA LUCET: Backing up on what Coach Butts was saying, the sisters are like -- they're really, really big, and big post players. It was pretty tough. But once again, even though the outcome didn't go like we wanted, we still went hard and tried our best.

Q. Can you folks talk a little bit about -- I was impressed by the way you really kept pushing the ball and fighting right down to the end even though the score was obviously out of hand at that point. Can you talk about as competitors how you're able to keep bringing it when there is such a lopsided score as there was in this case?
COACH BUTTS: Well, I think the one thing you have to understand, especially with my personality as the coach of this basketball team, I don't come from a background where quitting is an option. So not doing those things is just not optional. For us and our team, they understood the challenge that was in front of us. We knew it would be tough, but we also know that our identity is not to quit.
We push the ball, we run, and we want to continue to do that even though the score was what it was. We know we're playing a good team, and we didn't come this far to stop playing now. That was our mentality.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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