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BIG 12 CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 8, 2012


Jalana Childs

Tasha Dickey

Deb Patterson


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Kansas State  67
Iowa State  63


THE MODERATOR:¬† We're now joined by Kansas State Wildcats Coach Deb Patterson and her student‑athletes.¬† Coach, your thoughts, and ‑‑ congratulations, first of all, and your thoughts about this afternoon's game.
COACH PATTERSON:¬† It was a classic Kansas State‑Iowa State matchup and game.¬† Just possession by possession took great toughness by both teams, as one would make an itty‑bitty run, and another would come back and make a mini run.¬† By runs, I mean two possessions, two baskets in a game like this.
So it really took a great deal of intense focus and toughness in this game.  Obviously, the difference maker in the biggest respect was Jalana Childs, stepped up and set a new Kansas State record.  Her teammates did a tremendous job of making sure she got the touches she needed.  She had the hot hand, and we kept going to her, which is something that's been a process of learning.
And at the same time, I felt like our perimeters played very, very well around her, taking open shots when we did get the opportunity.¬† Tasha Dickey, our other senior here, was just tremendous today.¬† Kept her focus very, very narrow.¬† Made quality decisions, mixed up the inside‑outside game, and defended at an extremely high level against a team that is just a threat to the final buzzer.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Okay.¬† We'll take questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.  Jalana, just talk about your day.  Both offensively and defensively.  I know you've had some success against Iowa State, but just talk about what it was like getting that record.
JALANA CHILDS:  Well, they didn't have French toast, so I had to just eat fruit.  Mariah White made me a breakfast sandwich.  It was delicious.
Last time we played them, we weren't there as a team at all, and I really wasn't there.  My teammates are always looking at me.  So I really wanted to bang it in there, as I usually do.  I had to get a feel for the game the first half, and I think I did.  It just kept rolling.
My teammates kept feeding me the ball, did a great job tonight, Brittany Chambers with six assists.  I like seeing those numbers on her stat sheet.
You know, we just played off each other tonight.  It was really fun.  We don't have a lot of those games where it's this competitive, and it's fun for us because we're mentally in it the whole time.  Usually, we have lapses and something goes wrong for us and we're down.  But we stayed together, and I really felt good with my teammates on the court today.

Q.¬† Last year you were hurt coming into this tournament.¬† You really hobbled through it and were not a happy camper this time last year.¬† Can you just talk about‑‑ was that at all in your mind preparing for this tournament?
JALANA CHILDS:¬† Not really.¬† I mean, when I played last year against Iowa State, I was hurt.¬† I felt pain.¬† I wasn't at my full potential, but I think I was‑‑ I did well enough for my team.¬† And being healthy, I mean, it felt good, but I've been healthy all season, and I've had terrible games.¬† So I didn't want to come in here today healthy, end of my season, and have a terrible one.
I wanted to be there for my team, and I'm going to continue to be there until my last game.

Q.  Jalana, in a game like this, did you get a sense pretty early that maybe they were going to have a hard time stopping you or that you were going to be able to have your way in this one?
JALANA CHILDS:¬† Early‑‑ I mean, first half, I really had that sense that I could score at will.¬† No disrespect to their defense.¬† But when I'm feeling good, I'm feeling good.¬† But I always know in the back of my mind that the defense is going to change.¬† They're going to throw something at me.¬† They're going to double‑team me.¬† They're going to do something to just take me out of my game.
And I use my basketball IQ and I get a feel for it once the second half starts.¬† If the double‑team is coming and I make a bad play, I'll change it, and I'll adjust.¬† They really are some big post players; hard to score over, but I always have to find a way.¬† That's what my coach prepared me to do.

Q.  Jalana, are you happier with your defense or your offense?
JALANA CHILDS:  Probably defense because I know that, if my defense wasn't there and my offense was there, I would still have something that my coaches would be liking me for.  I mean, I rebounded the ball, which I'm very happy with, eight defensive rebounds because I haven't been rebounding that well this season.  I feel really good about that.
Their post players, like I said, Poppens is a great player.  She killed us.  She burned us at home, at our home, and we didn't want that to happen again.  I don't want it to happen ever again, and it won't because I'm done.
But I really wanted to prove myself, prove myself to my team and to K‑State.

Q.¬† Obviously, it was a little bit different circumstance when you faced Iowa State in Hilton here about a week ago.¬† What was‑‑ I ask both Jalana and Tasha, what was the biggest difference from a mentality standpoint for K‑State today of considering how poorly things went in Hilton a week ago.
JALANA CHILDS:  Well, that game was very weird in Hilton.  We came out there.  We told ourselves, we told each other that we were going to be this great team, and we came out, and we were not.  So I feel like we really had something to prove, that we didn't need to lose.  We shouldn't have lost at Hilton.  We shouldn't have lost at home, and we really wanted to prove ourselves to our coaches and to ourselves.
Today this game really meant a lot.  We lost three in a row, and that's a terrible feeling.  I said it last week in media, I said, right now we're losers.  And I hate that I have to say it, but it's true.  Getting this win was very important to us.  It was really good for our hearts.  It was really good for our mindset.  We need to keep going at it.
TASHA DICKEY:  And going off what Jalana said, we're in the Big 12 tournament.  The only way you survive is if you win.  Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  You've got to go out and grind it out.  That's what our focus was.  We wanted to survive and make it to tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:  Ladies, we're going to let you all go back to your locker room.  Coach, we'll take questions for you.

Q.  You mentioned a team record.  That was a record.
COACH PATTERSON:  Yeah, that was a record that's been held at Kansas State since 1996 by Andrea Jones for most points scored in a Big 12 tournament by a Kansas State player.

Q.  I wanted to ask about that.
COACH PATTERSON:  They wouldn't have known.

Q.  No, something else.  Tasha mentioned tomorrow.
COACH PATTERSON:¬† Tomorrow.¬† Any time you line up against the No.1 team in the country and you have the opportunity to take the floor in a Big 12 tournament, it's game's on.¬† It's just‑‑ we're thrilled to have the opportunity to take the floor.¬† We understand the magnitude of the opponent, but at the same time, it's a chance to play another 40 minutes, and that's our focus.
I hope we can take the floor and we'll compete with this kind of toughness and passion, and if we do, we'll walk off the floor extremely proud and knowing we've done the best we can against No.1 in the country.

Q.  Deb, I've never been any good at math, so I probably got this number wrong.  I think Jalana and Brittany got the last 20 points or so to kind of close out the game.  Is this the time of year when the players kind of have to step up and do that?
COACH PATTERSON:  Well, if that's the case, that is tremendous because, as we've gone through this last stretch here where we struggled some, we made a point, a great deal about how your best players have to step up and make plays.  That's what puts you in position to be the best team it can be.
And I thought both of those two with major, major minutes played tremendous tonight.  Brittany had to play through some spurts where she had a couple of mistakes and not let that get her down and not stay the course relative to a poor decision or a turnover.  When you look at her stat line and see she's double figures and six assists on the game in 38 minutes, that's a quality stat line when you're being chased the entire game.
So I'm really pleased with both of them because those are our two first team all Big 12 players, and they came and led the team to victory, and it's a tremendous feeling for us right now to be advancing.

Q.  Coach, I continue to look at the difference between this and your last meeting with Iowa State.  Did you feel like you had to convince your team that it would be possible to make this drastic of a turnaround in that short span of time?
COACH PATTERSON:  Definitely.  I thought we would have a better bounceback after we lost at Hilton.  And the fact that we lost the next game was extremely disappointing to us and to me.  So we really tried to get back to the bare bones basics.  We changed some things relative to how we wanted to approach this game offensively because we were so inept the last time we played Iowa State.
I thought our players adjusted really well to that in a short period of time because we really made those changes after Texas Tech, and that's a very short window, quite frankly.¬† But the mentality was one in which you do go into a game wondering does the team really have the mind of your team?¬† And we'll find out.¬† You work extremely hard to re‑prepare, but we'll find out today.
I was pleased.  Whether the last shot had gone in for us or not, whether they come in here with a win or not, I would have walked off the floor extremely proud of how we competed this game.  We made some mistakes, but at least we competed.  You couldn't say that our last 20 minutes up at Hilton.

Q.  You talked a little bit about how Jalana has the hot hand and you continue to look for her, and that's something that's been something that you do.  I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit and what made you guys go to her.
COACH PATTERSON:¬† Again, we've sort of evolved offensively, and there have been some games where we got real perimeter oriented.¬† There's been some games in our‑‑ as Jalana said, our posts haven't necessarily demanded the ball.¬† We haven't created iso¬ís or on catches our post would not make a quality basketball decision if there was a double‑team.
I thought today we put all those things together.¬† We gave the post a chance.¬† Our post worked hard for touches, and once they got touches, I thought the decisions they made were real high‑quality basketball IQ reads.
Jalana, after a couple of her iso¬ís started to get a double‑team, particularly over the left shoulder, and she adjusted to it.¬† We moved her around a little bit.¬† She drove from the high post.¬† She stepped out as the game evolved.
She had such a good feel for how to exploit the defense, and her teammates responded to play calls and put her in position to be the great player she is.  So she was the finisher, but they did a tremendous job with the distribution.
Today was one of those moments when you feel like, okay, they're making good decisions and they're finishing plays the way we would hope they should finish.  Might not have been a make, but the decisions were better.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, congratulations on your win.  We'll see you tomorrow.  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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