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March 10, 2012
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Baylor Â– 73
Texas A&M Â– 50
THE MODERATOR:Â Coach, would you like to make an opening comment?
COACH MULKEY:Â No, no.
THE MODERATOR:Â Let's go to questions for our student‑athletes.
Q.Â Odyssey and Brittney, if you both could answer this question.Â Odyssey, this is I think the fourth one of these celebrations you've had since you've been at Baylor.Â I think Brittney's had five.Â The hats the shirts the nets the confetti, what's the best part of it all?
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â Well, it's exciting to win.Â We've been winning all season.Â We've been successful.Â But this is great.Â But now we're focused on six games.Â That's what we're striving for, and I'm saying we're having fun, but six games is the most important.
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â Couldn't have said it any better.Â These next six games.Â We enjoyed the celebration.Â We love the hats and everything.Â But six more games.
Q.Â Love the hats.Â Tell me about the shoes and socks you're wearing today.
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â We love it.Â I love this uniform.Â I love the socks, everything.Â We love playing in them.
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â Give credit to Nike.Â They did a very good job with the uniforms, the designs, the socks and all the colors.Â Put it together and made it look good.Â And we wore it and it looked good on us.
Q.Â Continue to wear them or special occasions?
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â Special occasion.
Q.Â Brittney, you said the other day you want this to be not Brittney Griner and Baylor but Baylor.Â I thought it was a great example when your teammates, so many people stepped forward, Odyssey, Jordan, Hayden.Â Everybody contributed.Â Obviously Destiny Williams.Â Could you just talk about that aspect of today's championship game?
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â Definitely.Â Like I said yesterday, it's not Brittney Griner and Baylor.Â This is Baylor.Â We're a team.Â Everybody pulls together and contributes.
I mean, I love games like this, watching my teammates score, and if I catch it, get double‑teamed, kick it to them.Â And I love it.Â This is a special team and I love my team.
Q.Â Odyssey, is this your birthday?
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â No.
Q.Â Can you talk about the way you took it to the basket on a day when so much defensive attention was on Brittney?
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â Coach just told me to attack.Â We ran our play.Â It was the high screen.Â Made it come off, made something happen.Â I had to either go to the rim or kick it out.Â And I just kept going until they tried to stop me.
And I was just‑‑ more than anything, just wanted my team to win.Â I scored a lot of points today, but I'm happy my team won.Â B.G., when she sat on the bench, I thought Jordan and NaeNae did an awesome job rebounding, Destiny, she always is great.Â And that's what we need when B.G. is‑‑ six games, you never know.Â She might get into foul trouble.Â And I thought everybody stepped up.Â Even our bench play.Â It was very productive.
Q.Â Odyssey, first half you took a tumble to the floor.Â Were down there for a while.Â What happened there?
COACH MULKEY:Â I'll answer that for her.Â She didn't want to see me, so she pretended she was really, really hurt.Â She turned it over, missed a pass to Griner, and then she fouled, boom, boom, boom.Â Right, O?
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â Right.
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â Gave us a breather.
COACH MULKEY:Â You didn't see me run out there, did you?Â I know my point guard.Â She's not hurt if that's your question.Â She got a little bruise on her shoulder.
Q.Â Secondly, about 11minutes to go, there's a play where you throw a pass, it gets intercepted.Â Kelsey Bone gets the ball.Â You run down there, steal it from her.Â Run back down, hit a little spinning layup thing.Â I know Coach says don't give up a play.Â Was that your mindset there?
ODYSSEY SIMS:Â I know I turned it over.Â I had to get back.Â I was the only one back.Â And in my mind I was thinking that she was going to body me and score.Â I knew as soon as she put it on the floor.Â This is the opportunity to go steal it and I did.Â And everything just happened so fast.Â I don't even remember what happened about the spin move.Â It just went in.Â That's pretty much it.
Q.Â Brittney, you were in this position last year where you guys won the Big 12 Championship, and then you didn't play‑‑ you've talked about you personally didn't feel like you played as well as you wanted to in that game against A&M and that's kind of driven you all this season.Â Can you talk about what the different mindset maybe is this season going into the NCAA Tournament?
BRITTNEY GRINER:Â Just doing whatever I can to help my team out.Â If I'm not have a good scoring game, don't let that get me bummed out where I hurt my team and I'm feeling sorry for myself.Â Get on the defensive end and block shots, alter shots, rebound.Â Because defense wins games.Â I guess that's just my mindset going into the tournament this year.
THE MODERATOR:Â Thank you.Â Questions for Coach.
Q.Â Kim, I hope you're happy that Destiny made the All‑Tournament Team after‑‑
COACH MULKEY:Â Thank you, Lord.Â Took me two years to get y'all to vote her on there.Â Didn't you all vote on that?Â I mean, look again.Â Just look at the stat sheet.Â She's 6‑for‑8.Â Plays the most minutes on the team.Â She has a double‑double again.Â That kid‑‑ and then look at who she guarded on the other team.
I'm so happy for her, because this is the second time her mother's gotten to see her play in a Baylor uniform.Â First time I've ever met her brother and her nephews, and it was just a special moment for Destiny.
Q.Â Gary said at the 4 position she kicked butt today, basically.Â How much of an advantage did that help particularly with Brittney not being that effective offensively?
COACH MULKEY:Â Well, first of all, I don't agree that Brittney wasn't effective offensively.
COACH MULKEY:Â If you look at what Destiny does around Brittney and through Brittney, she never stops what's she's been asked to do:Â rebound the ball, score, put back, shoot the jumper at the foul line.Â Destiny has done that consistently whether Griner gets 4 today or 10 today.
It's really good for our basketball team.Â And really good for fans of women's basketball to see Griner was guarded one‑on‑one yesterday, why not throw it to her every time.Â Today it was a little bit different and you see the effect she has about everything, when she touches it and can't get to the rim, she just dumps it off to people.Â People cutting.
I think that's where we've really grown as a basketball team, is that we've read and heard too many times that we're a very average team without Brittney Griner.Â Well, I took her off the floor at the 13‑minute mark today.Â I took her off the floor‑‑ was it 11 something the other day.
These kids can play.Â The Destinies of the world, the Odysseys of the world, this isn't just a one‑man team.
You must remember, Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims have never won a championship until they got to Baylor and won the Big 12 regular season and the tournament.Â They never won a state championship.Â And they are surrounded by players who have won numerous state championships.
So those kids are winners in that locker room.Â And they know how to win.Â And I'm just blessed that my coaches have recruited some outstanding talent.
Q.Â You were in this position it seemed like there was so much forward momentum and it was an obvious unfortunate matchup that it was A&M you had to play, was the mindset different this year?
COACH MULKEY:Â I think without question.Â I think our mindset was the same when we left here, but when you looked up on that board at the pairings, it just deflated everybody that you just played these people three times.Â This is not what the NCAA Tournament is supposed to be about.
And it deflated all of us.Â And I think I probably didn't handle it as well with my team when those pairings were announced.
They weren't mature enough yet for them to understand my remarksweren't because we didn't think we could beat them again, but yet maybe they took it the wrong way that the odds are you can't beat somebody that many times in a row.
And this year they would be more apt to say send us to College Station.Â They host a first and second round, send us to College Station.
That won't happen.Â Okay.Â Because we will have to play a 16 seed and see an 8 and 9; is that right?Â Well, A&M is not going to be an 8 or a 9 or a 16.Â But the difference is a year's experience, a year's maturity, and they're on a mission.Â We're on a mission.
I love the business‑like approach after the game.Â Celebrate, don't go overdo it.Â Now, that wasn't something I had to preach to them.Â It was we've been here, we've done this before, but this is just a little step along the way.
We have worked so hard to try to win six basketball games.Â And now those six basketball games are right here before you.
Q.Â Odyssey's floaters and stuff, is that a knack for scoring or is that‑‑
COACH MULKEY:Â Yes, it is.Â You'll watch it a lot on the men's side.Â Even at Baylor, Tweety Carter, he could get a shot off at his size against the bigs in there.Â And it's just instincts of the game for when you need to get rid of it, how long you need to keep it in your hands.Â Odyssey has done it throughout her career in high school.Â Summer basketball.
She pretty much can get to the rim.Â What she's done a really remarkable job of and improved her game when she was young, seventh and eighth grade when we started following Odyssey, she did that nonstop and never shot the perimeter shot.Â And now she has developed the perimeter game, and she's just a tough matchup.
Q.Â You won it last year, won it this year, last go around for Kansas City, are you going to miss this place or glad‑‑
COACH MULKEY:Â Trace Adkins sang that last night, "You're going to miss this."Â Kansas City, I love the Power & Light District.Â I wish the support you see three blocks from our hotel for the men's game would shift more to the women's side, but it doesn't affect our team on enjoying it here.
We do enjoy it.Â And when you win, you enjoy wherever you are.Â And we've been very successful in Kansas City.Â But, honestly, I'm going to be glad to keep it in Texas next year and be back in Dallas.
Q.Â You've talked about the fans not taking these championships for granted.Â It's a special thing.Â What's the message to the players in terms of realizing how special this is?
COACH MULKEY:Â Well, I told them after the game just a minute ago in the locker room how proud I was of them and that I understand the mission that we're on.Â But this is special.Â There are many teams, many players, many coaches that never get to cut a net down, whether it's a Big 12 Championship, whether it's a district championship in high school, state championship.
And don't take it for granted.Â But I've really loved their mindset.Â They're not in that locker room high‑fiving, ooing and awing, going crazy in there.Â It's more like a businesslike approach.
We took care of our business here.Â Let's go to the men's game tonight, cheer hard, get on the plane, rest tomorrow, go to the pairings Monday, and let's get ready for what you ultimately want, and that's the national championship.
Q.Â You talked about Odyssey.Â But I thought NaeNae as well in the open court was pretty special today.Â Did you like what you saw from your guards?
COACH MULKEY:Â I actually thought‑‑ and you've heard me say this‑‑ in order for us to win a national championship, NaeNae Hayden and Jordan Madden have to win it for us.
They've each accepted the roles that are asked of them each game.Â Their roles change a little bit each game.Â Jordan Madden has been asked to guard the best perimeter player all year.Â I thought Jordan Madden was aggressive.Â She got boards for us today.
I just saw an intensity about Jordan Madden that wasn't silly.Â Jordan is the team not clown, she just has fun.Â Jordan enjoys life.Â But I'm watching her develop the mentality on that floor:Â I'm going to do my part, Coach.Â I'm not going to let you down.Â I'm not going to let my teammates down.Â NaeNae, she never knows when I'm going to have to ask her to play point guard.Â But she just does it.Â And I just think those two players are the key to our basketball team.
They've been told that.Â They know it.Â It's not pressure.Â It's just‑‑ we know Griner.Â We know Odyssey.Â We know Destiny, but those two kids have to go there and win it for us.Â Not that they have to go score a lot of points.Â Not that they have to do something they're not capable of doing.
But what they've done for our basketball team goes unnoticed by most people.Â It doesn't go unnoticed in that locker room.
THE MODERATOR:Â Thank you, Coach.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports