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March 29, 2011

Danielle Adams

Gary Blair

Sydney Carter

Sydney Colson


Texas A&M – 58
Baylor - 46

MODERATOR: We're joined by Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair, Sydney Colson, Sydney Carter and Danielle Adams.
COACH BLAIR: I'd like to thank the media, all of Dallas and the Big 12 and the basketball fans that some of them that might have been their first women's basketball game, but I think they'll be back because of the level of play by both teams tonight. It's very special but this tournament was very well run. I'd like to thank my conference for running it and Dallas for giving us the hospitality and Mark Cuban for loaning it out a little bit. His wife probably made him since she's an Aggie.
But this was just a very special game. Remember, we didn't ask to play Baylor. We asked to be recognized for what we accomplished during the year. They chose to put us in the same region, two very good games both of us could have been in the Final Four and we both should have been in the Final Four but sometimes that's the way it goes and you have to realize we were not making excuses when we were put in this region. We embraced it. I said from day one, we embraced it, and if you're going to beat Baylor you'll have to beat them to win the national championship or you'll have to beat them to get to the Final Four. They put us here. We accepted the challenge. We went in there and played hard. Baylor is a great team.
They've got the best player in America in Brittney Griner, one of the best freshmen in Odyssey Sims and Melissa Jones, she's the heart and soul of that basketball team. And the day she graduates they will miss her more than Brittney Griner when she graduates, because Melissa Jones is what women's basketball is all about. A kid paying the price that will play hurt and play smart and what an ambassador she is to her program. But I would like to congratulate Kim, everything that she has done for her program.
She'll be back in next year. Don't worry about my girl Kim. They're that good and they've got more ammunition coming in.
Sydney Colson, Sydney Carter and Danielle Adams are joining us.

Q. Gary, could you talk about the contributions of the all Sydney back court and what they gave you tonight?
COACH BLAIR: So special. We ran a lot of set plays because what we were going to run we were getting in foul trouble, and we didn't want to go to Danielle too much early and let her force shots. We wanted her to just get into the flow of the game and she was playing fine out there, because we were shooting in transition we were creating turnovers and steals and we were going down and a lot of that is just my guards.
They make good decisions, and I think that was the difference in the Georgia game and this decision. This team is not about one person. When Danielle Adams only played and scored six points I believe in the ballgame, she was the happiest person for her teammates, and that's why a lot of kids want to play at Texas A&M because of our system and how we use kids, and we'll run the offense through anybody that's hot.
So if it's little Sydney Carter at 5'6", she's going to get the majority of the plays. If it's Tyra White, six foot tall that had 29 at Baylor, we'll run it through there. If it's Danielle Adams, we'll run it there and Colson will direct the show.

Q. Danielle, can you just describe your feelings at the end of the game and did you ever imagine you could score six points and your team would beat Baylor by double digits?
DANIELLE ADAMS: I was the happiest person in the world, like Coach said. Six points, I mean, my teammates had my back and Carter did a tremendous job. I mean, outstanding job shooting the ball. And her and Colson and Odyssey did a great job, and I did my best on Griner.
But me scoring six points, I mean, I got what I got. But my teammates were there to back me up, and I'm proud of them.

Q. Sydney Colson, a lot of people are already saying your fastbreak steal of Odyssey, fastbreak and one and made free throw, that made it 11, that was the nail in if coffin, a lot of people saying that was the greatest play in A&M women's basketball history. Discuss.
SYDNEY COLSON: I think TK's shot against Oklahoma was the best one when we won at home. I needed to give myself more confidence after I double dribbled on one fastbreak and turned it over on another I needed to do something to redeem myself, I guess.
But at that point we just knew that we needed to go down and get some defensive stops, not let them get good shots up, and we knew the game was ours at that point. But we didn't want to act like it was a huge deal.
We came out and fought hard and the end result, the score at the end of the game showed how hard we worked and showed that we really came out focused tonight, and we put that 0-3 past behind us and just came out and played together.

Q. Sydney, the very determining factor was the guard play in this game. Did you feel that all of the guards on your team were going to be able to pretty much dominate the guard play for Baylor as much as you did?
SYDNEY CARTER: Well, I think that on the offensive end, for our guards, I think that, of course, I'm so small so I definitely have to work for a lot of my shots.
But thank God they were falling today. But I think on the defensive end, for us, Tyra was big today. She helped out on Griner a lot. And that really helped us out, and we were just making sure that once Griner did get it in if she did put it on the floor the guards were there to dig it out and get those steals as we did in the game.
So I think guard play for us was crucial in this game. Definitely playing against a team like Baylor with having Griner inside and being such a big presence you're going to have to have outside shots to fall. So I'm glad they were falling for me today.

Q. Sydney Colson, was it part of the game plan to get Carter going early, or did it just work out that way with the way she was hitting her shots?
SYDNEY COLSON: That's always part of the game plan, she's a pure shooter when she gets going feeling her shot, coach and I we consistently want to keep running plays for her because she's really feeling it.
And she's in a rhythm. So that's what we kept doing, and she was knocking them down. And we didn't want to take anything away from her. We don't want to go away from her when she's hot and feeling it. She did an outstanding job, 15 points in the first half, I think. And in the second half, against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament. I couldn't be more proud of the way we came out playing tonight just playing as a team not being selfish giving people the ball when they were open and needed the shot. I'm proud we were resilient today and all year. And I'm just excited we're going to the Final Four now. It's huge for our program.

Q. Sydney Colson, one of the more poignant moments at the end when you pointed to the former players on the second row. What was that like for you looking back on that?
SYDNEY COLSON: That was huge. Just because I'm one of the few players who was here when we played with like that key group of girls that took us to the Elite Eight when we played against Tennessee and lost three years ago. I knew they were really proud of us at that point.
All of them told us before the game that they were going to be back to support us and just having them there to see what they helped to build in this program. It was a huge deal. We give a lot of thanks to them. And they were shedding tears in the stand more than us on the court. So they're some cry babies but we love them to death always there to support us and they had our backs from the get-go. They're the people who always believed in us.

Q. The two Sydneys, talk about what the feeling was in the locker room before the game and when did you have that feeling, was it before the game or during the game when you knew this game would be different against Baylor than the ones that had preceded it?
SYDNEY CARTER: I think once we beat Georgia Sunday, I think the feeling began then. I think that we automatically told ourselves that this was our game and they're we're definitely going to come into this game confident and expecting to win. I believe Coach Schaefer said before we got off the bus or Coach Blair said before we got off the bus if you don't expect to win don't get off. And everybody immediately got up.
There was definitely a confidence and just an all around toughness going through the locker room before the game and I think we had the attitude and we needed to come out being the aggressor and I think we did that today.
SYDNEY COLSON: I knew a little while ago, we're a team who is constantly having bible study we're always in the word. I've had a lot of people it was funny before this game they were people sending me texts and messages on Facebook, sending me scriptures that they really thought would apply to our team. And these past three games that we lost just telling us to be resilient, give thanks to God. Leave it in his hand and go out and all you can do is play for him. I think that's what we did tonight. And I think it showed out there that, I think he showed out there in us and that's all we're going to do from now on.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies. Questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, I've heard you when you first started eight years ago, you invited people to come to the games. Let's talk about this moment, what it means to you right now to win and represent the Big 12 and now go to the Final Four?
COACH BLAIR: Everywhere I've been, I've been a builder from, South Oak Cliff, starting that program going to Louisiana Tech and helping to sustain it, to Stephen F. Austin to here. I've been to places where the administration has backed women's basketball and that does not happen at a lot of schools.
I've been very lucky. I've hired very well. I've brought in the best assistant coaches and we recruit the right type of kids that are going to fit into our program.
You just heard the best ambassadors for our program right there. Because it's an honor to coach seniors at A&M, because they understand what the Aggie code is all about. They understand the discipline and the sacrifice that you have to have to play at A&M to go to school at A&M and to believe in what we're doing. To me it's an honor. We've worked hard.
The staff's been together a long time. I hope they all get a chance to be a head coach, but if not I will always have a place for them.

Q. After you cut down the nets, you walked down the ladder and you were escorted off the floor by A'Quonesia Franklin, Danielle Gant, two of the all-time building blocks of this program what did it mean to you to share that moment with them and it probably feels to them like they're going to the Final Four?
COACH BLAIR: I brought them back into the dressing room, snuck them past the guards, and brought Jamila Ganter and Dametria Buchanan back in there, and I saw Marinka's mom in the stands earlier and it was just a great feeling, because they're the ones that have recruited these players. They're the ones that believed in the system and turned down offers from so-called better schools that had name recognition to come here. That first recruiting class of A'Quonesia and Reado and Marinka, that was the class that turned it and now we're just following it. What I said in 1998, coming off the bus, was exactly the same thing I said this time, which Carter was saying. Do not get off this bus unless you expect to win.
Unless you expect to win. Coach Schaefer reminded me before we got off and I got up and said the same thing. This team expected to win but we expected to win the other three games against Baylor, too. We played very hard in all three of them. Baylor was just better all three times. But tonight it was Texas A&M.

Q. Coach, you are in the Final Four, do you have a sense of your expectations in the Final Four?
COACH BLAIR: At Arkansas, I'm tired of being in the trivia contest, we were the lowest seed or the highest seed to ever get in, the ninth seed, and that's always asked at the trivia questions.
We're coming in as a 2 seed. A very good 2 seed who could have been a 1 seed. We're going in with a lot of ammunition. I know we're playing a great Stanford team that's been to four straight NCAAs. I think she's won three national championships. We honor what she's done, but I hope she will honor what we're doing this year because it's about this year, not all about all the other accomplishments.
When we go to the Final Four, what we're going to have to do is put our cell phones away and quit saying hello and good by to all our family and well wishers and how many tickets do you have. We've got to go and prepare to win. We're not going on a sightseeing trip. We're not going to go look at all the statues and all that stuff, we're going to win a national championship. We're honored to get to the Final Four, but it will not be worth it if we do not win it.

Q. Can you talk about the zone defense that you guys switched to in the second half and how you all were able to deny Griner the ball?
COACH BLAIR: Coach Schaefer at the locker room we were up by 11 going bananas, like when we get into a huddle it's like going -- it's like The View. I just happen to be the boss of The View and so I'm Whoopie and I have the final say.
But I'm getting it from all angles. And they're saying this might work. This might work. This might work. Why didn't this work? All that. I said we're up by 11. I think my plays are working pretty good.
Coach Schaefer made the choice to go to zone early in the second half. It's a zone that we have just put in. One day preparation on this particular zone and it worked. It was a gimmicky thing with Tyra White coming down in front and Griner down there and Danielle behind. And I thought Baylor tried too much to try to get it in to Griner instead of letting some of their other players take the ball to the elbow and get the shot off like Jones did at the end. Those lanes were open. But we're known for our man-to-man, but we already had seven fouls trying to guard her in the first half. But they missed some free throws that hurt them, but the zone I thought was the difference in the second half. So, again, give Vic all the credit in the world. He said we're going to play it two possessions and change. And I think we played it about 45 possessions the second half.

Q. 20 turnovers for them and also a game against Georgia, Danielle was just hitting 3s and outside perimeter shooting. This time she was a defensive specialist. Can you talk about that a little bit?
COACH BLAIR: You go with who is hot. When you look at balanced scoring look at what Tyra White and Adaora Elonu did in this ballgame, and they're not even up here.
We wanted Adaora to hit those mid range jumpers. She missed a wide open layup I know. If you had Brittney Griner running at you, you probably would miss it too. But we missed about four of those wide-open layups but Danielle will do whatever it takes on this team. That's how she has a We person. She just got named today First Team All-American by you writers, the AP, and I appreciate that. Our First All-American ever that was on the first, second or third team T we've had a lot of honorable mentions and most of them were in the stands tonight. The Danielle Adams, the Lisa Brandt and A'Quonesia Franklin and I'm sure I'm missing Takia Starks was the only one that was not there. But that was very special. But Danielle Adams is An All-American but she's an all-American person. She will play defense and take charges and she will be drafted on draft day and she will be a very good team player for whoever she goes to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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