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PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 9, 2013


Alyssia Brewer

Cori Close


SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

UCLA テや 70
Cal テや 58


THE MODERATOR:テつ Congratulations UCLA.テつ We have Coach Cori Close, Markel Walker, and Alyssia Brewer.テつ Coach, I'll let you open.
COACH CLOSE:テつ Credit to Cal.テつ This win means a lot to us because they are such a formidable opponent, and we've respected them all year.テつ They really handed it to us down at our place, and they just are a really good basketball team that have represented our conference extremely well all year long.テつ And we expect and will support, and root them on through a big NCAA Tournament run.
But I'm proud of our basketball team, and I'm also proud of my assistant coaches who I just saw put together a tremendous game plan, and you know, just have been spending countless hours not only in their preparation, watching film, but individually with our players, having a pulse of what they need, what they want.テつ
So it's such a great team effort.テつ I think the two groups of people I'm so thankful for is our seniors, their perseverance, playing through coaching changes and injuries and all kinds of different things that our seniors have had to battle through.テつ Their faithfulness and loyalty has been so inspirational.テつ And obviously I think I have such an amazing staff.テつ It was fun to watch that play out, because of their hard work.

Q.テつ Cori, third time you get to play Cal.テつ Was this a matter of a better game plan or a matter of you guys executing in a way you hadn't in the previous games?
COACH CLOSE:テつ I think we executed better.テつ We wanted to play more zone in the second game at our place, but we got behind.テつ And so then it was playing catch up and trying to turn them over and create more possessions.テつ So it took us out of our game plan.テつ We played almost all zone up there.テつ They shot the ball better up at their place.テつ
But I thought our guards handled the pressure, and we got the ball in places that we wanted this time, whereas we thought our weapon ‑‑ at Cal, we let their pressure get to us. テつEven at our place as well.テつ I'm not sure the game plan changed so much.テつ It's more so that we executed well at the beginning.テつ We were able to stick with our game plan and control the rebound, control the paint.テつ It obviously led to easier opportunities on the offensive end.

Q.テつ Alyssia, can you describe how and why your zone was so effective tonight?テつ It really established the tone of this game?
ALYSSIA BREWER:テつ Well, like Coach said, whenever we played them up there, our first game we played them and we lost by five that game.テつ And then they came to our place and played mostly man.テつ We look back at this first game, and realize what we were doing wrong and we adjusted to that.
I think also communication is a very big deal for us, and we communicated the entire game, and post the guards, and guard the posts.テつ So I think you have to give credit around the team to talk to each other and listen to each other on the court.

Q.テつ Coach, talk about the composure that you showed in the second half when they really turned up the pressure on you?
COACH CLOSE:テつ Well, I think that our senior leadership was really calm.テつ Every time out they banked in the three or a couple of last second, Alyssia hit a three‑pointer, sort of a desperation three.テつ Instead of, oh, should I go out on that?テつ Should I abort our game plan?テつ No, we're going to stick with this.テつ I thought every time out, our seniors were like, hey, let's make some minor adjustments, but we're all right.テつ I think it goes back to them.テつ They provide the tone.
But what Alyssia said is really important.テつ Our whole team has such great togetherness and emotion, and I think that's why you saw a sense of calm.テつ There was just a unit in what we were trying to accomplish together.テつ When the other team made a run, that's okay.テつ We knew that they're a great team.テつ We knew that run was going to come.テつ We broke the game up into ten four‑minute segments, and every four‑minute segments we said, did we win that one?テつ Did we accomplish our goals with that one?テつ And then we left it.テつ That was a big part of handling the runs in the second half, we were only dealing with four minutes at a time, so all we could do is deal with that.

Q.テつ Are you surprised at all it never got into single digits?
ALYSSIA BREWER:テつ I say I wasn't‑‑ like our togetherness is so good.テつ Like our coach said, our seniors, and everyone stepped up.テつ So even when they started making a run, we came together so much that we had so many offensive weapons to stop it.テつ Like, it wasn't just one player looking for their own.テつ It was so well, that we didn't break apart.テつ I'm not surprised.テつ If we would have saw that some person didn't talk or next person didn't talk.テつ I was surprised that it wasn't, but we were so together the whole game that it wasn't.

Q.テつ Cori, we asked Cal this question.テつ How do you put this game away?テつ You guys play again tomorrow, so maybe it's a little easier.テつ But this is probably arguably your biggest win of the season in terms of Cal's ranking.テつ How do you put it away and turn around and play tomorrow?
COACH CLOSE:テつ How deep do your goals go?テつ This was someone ‑‑ Cal was our opponent today that was in the way of what our goal was to come win the Pac‑12 tournament.テつ So, if your goal goes deep enough, you put it away and start focusing on what you have to do to prepare for the next formidable opponent.テつ That's easier said than done.テつ It takes mental discipline and habits of preparation.テつ That's why we don't just turn the switch on excellence.テつ We've been practicing excellence all year long. テつOur thing is, hey, we just stick with our routine.テつ We pay the price to prepare the way we need to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally, and we give ourselves a chance to go and accomplish our goals.

Q.テつ Coach, I think it would be fair to say that the Pac‑12 in the past has been an underappreciated conference by the selection committee.テつ This year it's hard to argue with four teams in the top 25.テつ Can you make the case now for where you think you should be seeded?
COACH CLOSE:テつ Well, you know, I can tell you that I believe we've got a 1 and a 2 for sure in Stanford and Cal, and I believe we've proven not just with this win, but with other wins we've had in the top 10.テつ We beat Oklahoma early at their place when they were number 10 in the country and they were healthy at that point.テつ We went down when Texas was undefeated.
So I think we made an argument.テつ I think the reality of the situation is that just because you're asleep some of the time when we're playing out here on the west coast, doesn't mean there is not great basketball going on.テつ And I've been singing the praises for the depth and the growth of this conference, and I think we're just scratching the surface.
The committee does a great job.テつ I'm not going to second guess that.テつ They're going to do their homework, and they're going to look at our body of work and seed us where we've earned.
But I am really excited about the direction of the Pac‑12 conference.テつ And we've made a big jump this year, but we're going to make a bigger jump next year.テつ And this is a very spectacular time to be a part of Pac‑12 women's basketball.

Q.テつ Coach, can you talk about preparing for another game on back‑to‑back days going into tomorrow which is so important?
COACH CLOSE:テつ This is what we knew going in. When you're running on the track in September and October, you're preparing for this.テつ They're hydrating, and they're calling me hydration police, and this is what you've been preparing for.
So this is a matter of your heart and your mind overpowering anything that's happened physically.テつ And both Stanford and us and Colorado and us all three teams play a lot of players.テつ So whoever we're going to face, we're going to face a team of great depth.
But it's not going to come down to that.テつ It's going to come down to mental focus, togetherness, toughness.テつ It's all those intangible things that.テつ Great players go make plays, and it just has to do with how deep it goes.

Q.テつ I wanted to follow up on my previous question.テつ You felt the selection committee would give you the seeding you earn.テつ Can you put a number on that?
COACH CLOSE:テつ I'm not smart enough for that.テつ I did the mock selection with the coaches in Indianapolis, and I have a great amount of respect for the amount of work that goes into that.
I believe we're probably a 3 or a 4, would be my guess.テつ But I really do have a lot of respect.テつ I'm actually a representative for the Pac‑12 conference on that committee.テつ I get a chance to talk to that committee about once a month through the year, so I've had my chance to have a chance to make them aware of the great body of work of not only my team but the other teams in this conference.
For us, it's a matter of we're just proud to represent UCLA, and we think that's such an honor.テつ So whoever we get a chance to do that with in March Madness, we consider it a privilege, and we're excited to make a deep run in the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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