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March 10, 2013

Chiney Ogwumike

Amber Orrange

Tara VanDerveer


Stanford テや 51
UCLA テや 49

THE MODERATOR:テつ We welcome Stanford head coach, Tara VanDerveer, Chiney Ogwumike, and Amber Orrange.テつ Coach?
COACH VANDERVEER:テつ I want to compliment UCLA.テつ They have a talented team, and probably the best compliment I could give them is how much they've improved throughout the season.テつ They played a great game.
Having said that, I think our team found a way to win, and that's what I'm most proud of.テつ It was a struggle all day.テつ With the foul trouble we were in, it was so extreme between yesterday and today.テつ But we have to adjust.テつ But we had great leadership at the point guard.
Tournaments are won by guards, and Amber was the best guard on the floor.テつ She took care of the ball.テつ She ran our offense.テつ She had huge shots for us down the stretch.テつ You know, she basically played almost three games in three days.テつ I wasn't really sure that our team was built for three games in three days with this caliber.
But people really stepped up for us.テつ Bonnie came in, hit some big shots.テつ Mikaela Ruef hit some big shots, timely shots.テつ Our team had to grit it out.テつ And quite honestly, we haven't had to do that a lot this year.テつ And we learned a lot about ourselves.テつ So I think we'll be better because of this experience.

Q.テつ Coach, in the first half, your stars had two fouls.テつ Was there ever an idea to put them back in as UCLA was coming back in?
COACH VANDERVEER:テつ I guess that's just how I feel about it because of the nature of the way the game was being called I wanted Chiney in the second half.テつ And I thought it was a good opportunity for her to rest, same thing with Mikaela.テつ I really have confidence in Chiney.テつ If it had not been three games in three days, I would have played her.テつ She's gotten that out of her system, and that it's not going to happen.テつ You know, in three games in three days, I just said let's let her rest a little bit.テつ We need other people to come in and help us, and I thought we did struggle running things offensively.
I thought we were in more trouble without Amber.テつ We just couldn't run any offense.テつ They're athletic.テつ They're aggressive, and we struggled and turned the ball over too much when she was out.
But we have played a lot without Mikaela Ruef, and the person in the first half that kept it together for us was Bonnie.テつ She did a great job.

Q.テつ Amber had a game somewhat similar to this in the NCAA Tournament last year.テつ I'm wondering if you think this is the best game she's played at Stanford?
COACH VANDERVEER:テつ I wasn't sure that yesterday wasn't the best game.テつ I mean, I'm just saying up until yesterday.テつ But she's had a great tournament.テつ She did play a great game against West Virginia.テつ Also we had more around her last year, so I do think this was the best game.テつ She had Nnemkadi to throw to or Chiney or even Lindy helping her out.テつ But Amber put our team on her back today.テつ She got to the basket, made some nice passes.テつ What I was most proud of was when she had a turnover or made a mistake, she had resolve, and got back and got a big steal.テつ A lot of players if they make a mistake, they hang their head or get discouraged.テつ That just made her madder and made her play harder.

Q.テつ Amber, what were you thinking in the last couple of seconds of the game?テつ Was it kind of team on your back?テつ Were you thinking, I'm going to do this?テつ Were you kind of willing it?
AMBER ORRANGE:テつ I was just thinking I want to win.テつ I want to win.テつ I'll do whatever it takes.テつ I just looked for opportunities to take chances on plays on offense and defense and luckily it worked out.

Q.テつ Amber, with that last play, yeah, you want to win and everything, but what did you see?テつ How likely‑‑ I mean, the shot clocks are coming down, how likely did you really see and feel that?
AMBER ORRANGE:テつ Well, first I was looking over at Tara to see what time she wanted me to go at.テつ Then at like ten or 11 seconds, I used the screen, and she kind of overplayed me left, so I spun back right and luckily the shot went in.

Q.テつ Was there any time in the game, especially late in the game, that it passed through your mind that you might be the first team to be in the tournament?
AMBER ORRANGE:テつ I don't think that we would have been the first team that would have lost it.
COACH VANDERVEER:テつ Actually we lost to Arizona State in the first tournament, and we lost to UCLA, and I believe that was 2007.テつ So we would have been the third.

Q.テつ (No microphone)?
AMBER ORRANGE:テつ That didn't really cross my mind.テつ I just wanted to win for my team now, and I think we all felt that way.

Q.テつ Chiney, how did having, I guess, a career low and all of that kind of struggling the last two nights to get shots in, but you've talked all year about the rest of your team, and it's one team.テつ (No microphone)?
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:テつ Today was a great day as a team.テつ I think throughout the year, what I've been telling you is exactly how I felt.テつ Every game we look for someone to step up.テつ I knew the day was coming when things would be really hard for me, and I really hoped it wouldn't be the Pac‑12 championship, but it was.
I think it just shows that we have a lot of players on our team that may not match‑up on paper as you see an advantage.テつ But, mentally, mental and physically.テつ It's 4‑1.テつ Mentally, Amber was strong in this game, and even Bonnie.テつ Just keeping things together.テつ Joslyn playing a full game.テつ All of those little contributions that you make, getting a stop here, affecting the play, taking a charge, everything.
So I think tonight was a true testament to team basketball, and what we mean.テつ We're sisters at Stanford.テつ No matter what situation, we stick together.テつ Yeah, I'm just really proud of this team and their effort.

Q.テつ Chiney, I know players have a hard time talking about themselves, and I realize that it's a team game.テつ But as far as yourself on the national scale, looking at it, can you talk a little bit about where you should stand, especially with a tournament like this, minus this game, as far as how you've carried yourself?
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:テつ Coach, what is the thing you say about team accolades?
I mean, yeah, we definitely want the big trophy, but any individual award is in response to a team effort.テつ So even though I'm redirecting it again, I think it just shows that it's a team sport.テつ I just hope my presence today was enough to give Amber confidence.テつ That is the only thing I hope.テつ I think she did a pretty good job on her own.

Q.テつ Chiney, what exactly was Brewer doing and along with the double teams?テつ Can you talk a little bit about how they were able to keep you down to three points?
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:テつ Yeah, I don't think I got into the flow of the game that much.テつ Val sort of plagued me and mentally too.テつ But they were just bodying.テつ It's been a very physical tournament.テつ I'm just trying to adapt to how each player plays defense.テつ I think that every time I caught the ball, when I was thinking about getting the ball, the team, UCLA was anticipating it.テつ So kudos to them and their defense.
But Coach told me with like about 7 or 8 minutes left, "Chiney, you can't do this by yourself."テつ After that, I knew this is Amber's night.テつ She had the best feel of the game out of anyone on the floor, and I trusted her.
It's hard to just run out to the perimeter and hope or try to get an offensive position.テつ But it's not hard when Amber's on your team.テつ Yeah, she's a hard worker, and it proves that hard work always beats talent when you work hard.

Q.テつ Chiney, you were in Amber's ear quite a lot as soon as the game ended.テつ Do you want to share any of it?
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:テつ I was just saying thank you, thank you.テつ She was more talking to me.テつ I try not to be an emotional person, but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself.テつ I have to play well in order for us to win.
I think today proved it's not true.テつ As long as you're a team that you play hard, and you fight, and you play for 40 minutes, you can win no matter what the situation if you believe in yourself and stick together.テつ Yeah, Amber was telling me, I got you.テつ Don't worry.テつ I got you.

Q.テつ Amber, you have been one of the most improved players in the whole conference period.テつ Can you talk about what you've been doing in practice and just progress to get to this point?
AMBER ORRANGE:テつ I lot of it is on the mental side of the game.テつ Thinking of things when they don't go your way.テつ If this would have happened last year, I probably would have shut down and had a really, really bad game.テつ But a lot of times we focus on being mentally tough and sticking with things.
COACH VANDERVEER:テつ I think Amber has grown a lot.テつ She is one of the hardest workers on our team.テつ Two of the hardest workers are sitting up here.テつ They are in the gym.テつ Amber loves basketball and is very passionate about it.
So, first of all, she works really hard.テつ That shot wasn't a lucky shot.テつ She works on it.テつ The second thing is I think she's getting tremendous mentoring from our assistant coach, Kate Paye.テつ Amber watches video with Kate, and Kate has really helped Amber and has been a really special coach for Amber to work with.

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