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March 22, 2013

Katie Baker

Kenzie DeBoer

Robin Selvig


THE MODERATOR:  We'll get started here with Montana head coach Robin Selvig, and also the student‑athletes we have with us today would be Kenzie DeBoer and Katie Baker.
We'll start with questions directed to the student‑athletes.

Q.  Katie, you can't help but be impressed.  They allow about 53 points a game against SEC teams.  Tell me what you see as keys offensively to getting open shots.
KATIE BAKER:  Yeah, I know that we're really going to focus on limiting turnovers.  Every possession you have is gold because of that front court that they have.
So really just limiting your turnovers, being patient, working the ball around, getting good open looks is really just going to be the key, especially against that zone.
KENZIE DeBOER:  I agree with Katie.  She said it all.  We have to be strong.  Blocking is going to be a big factor for us.

Q.  Katie, have you guys played anybody on your schedule that might be similar to Georgia?
KATIE BAKER:  Earlier this year playing Villanova and UNLV down in that tournament in Vegas.  They were big, strong girls, and quick, different style of offense than what you see in our conference.  So that can be the only real comparison I have.
We've played some good games.  I feel like we've played a tough schedule.  And Temple we played at the very beginning, they were that fast‑paced kind of game.
In comparison, those would be the games.

Q.  Katie, how different a team are you from the one that came here two years ago and played UCLA in the first round?
KATIE BAKER:  I mean, for us seniors, we're older.  We have played together for a while now.  I feel like this team, I mean, when you look at personnel, we're the exact same team as we were last year, which I think has helped us chemistry‑wise.
So everyone really knows their role and everyone has a role on this team.  But everyone has owned it.  What's great about this team is there's no one person carrying the team.  Everyone contributes and everyone has a special part.
So I think that's a little bit different aspect of the team from 2010 or '11.

Q.  Kenzie, were you able to watch the men's game last night?  Anything you could take from that game going into Saturday?
KENZIE DeBOER:  We all watched the men's game together.  It was tough seeing our boys struggle out there.
What I got out of it was we need to be confident.  I think our boys lacked a little bit of confidence.  I think they were scared.  I think us being older, having a lot of seniors, experience on our team, I think that will help us to have some confidence, go out there, know we can play with a great team.

Q.  As a 14 seed two years ago, you came within a few whiskers of upsetting UCLA.  Here you are again two years later.  What will it take this time to pull off that first‑round win, Katie?
KATIE BAKER:  Like I said, kind of composure.  Really valuing every possession, because each possession is super important, and confidence.  We're the underdogs.  We have nothing to lose going into this game.  I think knowing that, playing like that will really help us to our benefit.
But we really, kind of like Kenzie emphasized, play Montana basketball.  We're going to come out with a fight, play like it's our last.  So we have kind of that underdog tone going for us.

Q.  After being here two years ago, how nice is it to be able to come back to Spokane and play for your close fans, Katie?
KATIE BAKER:  Such a blessing.  Quite a journey here.  To come back and be here our senior year has been a picture‑perfect season for us through the ups and downs.  I think the only thing to end it great would be to make a dent in this tournament, so...

Q.  Kenzie, how great is it to be so close to your fans?
KENZIE DeBOER:  It's great.  I'm actually from Washington.  A lot of my family's coming.  We have such great support from our Montana fans.  I think a lot of them are going to make the trips over here, which will be awesome to see them supporting us in the crowd.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll excuse the student‑athletes and continue with questions for Coach Selvig.

Q.  Coach, can you talk a little bit about your defense, how unique it is.  Coach Landers talked about how unique it is you're able to switch all five players.
COACH SELVIG:  Well, I haven't always had teams that could do that effectively, but we've had a number of teams that could.  It's kind of grown into something we like to do.
I like to think we have some versatility on defense.  Georgia is a more versatile team because they can throw such different looks at you.
We play man and zone.  This year for the first time we've been about 90% man and 10% zone.  Hopefully we can find one that works tomorrow.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about your senior leadership going into this.  What are you expecting out of Kenzie and Katie?
COACH SELVIG:  I know what I'm going to get out of them.  We're going to get a team that competes and plays hard.  We've got our hands full with Georgia, that's obvious, just as we had our hands full with UCLA a couple years ago.  We had good senior leadership then.
I don't think we're going to be afraid.  I think they're looking forward to this.  They're excited for this.  They lived and died to get back here this year, their senior year.
I think we're going to get a heck of an effort out of them.  Now, hopefully we can find somebody to make a shot or two and make it interesting.

Q.  With both teams really strong defensively, can you talk about what kind of a game you expect the style to be tomorrow.
COACH SELVIG:  It will be a battle.  I think Georgia, they've probably always been good defensively.  I think they're pretty physical.  I'm kind of glad we just came off the Northern Colorado game.  That's just a slug 'em out from the start.  Stepping into the NCAA tournament, you don't want to be going, Oh, they let you do this and that.  These ladies are big and strong.
We got to be ready for a battle.  That's one thing these ladies have always risen to.  We're going to compete, fight tooth and nail for every rebound, every loose ball.  That's the nature of this team.
We got here pretty much 'cause we defended people every night.  Georgia probably will say the same thing.  You look at their record in that league, the number of points they've given up, it's really remarkable.  It's not very many.

Q.  Because of the defensive strengths of both teams, how important is your guys' ability to hit some shots from the perimeter, hitting threes lately?
COACH SELVIG:  I think it's important.  What you're not going to get on Georgia is any easy baskets.  Probably not going to get transitions unless we get a steal or two.  They're so solid fundamentally and they play really hard.  He's got enough depth.  They're not going to get worn out.
When we get good looks, we got to make 'em.  When we're good is when we find a couple kids making shots.  We've done that a lot this year, but I think the three would be important.
I don't think we're going to get a whole bunch down low.  We have a number of different kids that can do that.  So I do think that's critical.

Q.  Coach Landers talked at length about your relationship over the years.  How does it feel to be part of such a big legends' club here in Spokane?
COACH SELVIG:  I don't know about legends' club.  I've watched them for years and years and years.  We went down and played at their place in a NCAA one time, a 16 seed, got to play them on their home court.  I don't know if that was a good thing or not.
He's recruited up around Missoula.  I had a chance to visit with him a lot.  They played in the regionals.  We hosted the regionals, I can't remember what year it was, but Georgia was at our place, Texas Tech.  A program I've followed quite a bit.  I admire what he's done.
For one thick, we pride ourselves at our program as being good defensively, and I think Georgia does the same.
Bill, I've known for a lot of years, too.  Of course, Kelly.  It's a fun group of coaches here to be around.

Q.  Kelly felt like an infant this morning with you guys.
COACH SELVIG:  That's Kelly saying that.  He's not really an infant anymore.  I think he's doing okay.

Q.  I had the pleasure of covering Katie Baker for four years in high school.  What a player, and even a better person.  Can you talk about her impact at Montana, what she's meant to your program?
COACH SELVIG:  Well, Katie is really a wonderful person.  She has been a blessing to coach.  She's positive every day.  She went through knee surgery and she never was down one minute.  She lost 15 games one year.  She had her appendix out one time in the middle of the season.
She's very strong.  A bad game, she doesn't come in without a smile.  She's a great friend for all these ladies.  She's a great teammate.
You know, it's been a thrill to have her.  And she competes every minute of every game and every second of every practice.  What coach doesn't love that?

Q.  Kaylee Valley (phonetic), a recruit you've signed, in the same mold as Katie.  You recruited her maybe to be a point guard.  Can she have an impact with you guys?
COACH SELVIG:  Pretty excited about her.  She's the kind of player we like to get.  She's a versatile kid, maybe point guard.  She could play inside, play a lot of different places at our place.  She's also a young lady that really competes and will be good on both ends of the floor.
Next year we have a lot of open things.  We have four seniors, three that start.  I have redshirts returning, there's going to be competition.  I've seen Kaylee play a lot.  She was at our camp.  Very excited about her chance to come over and be a heck of a player.

Q.  Can you talk in general, your team seems well‑equipped to handle Georgia's physical style.  Could you talk about how the game has evolved over the last years and how you approach that as a coach.
COACH SELVIG:  You know, it's not a game for the meek, and it hasn't been for quite a few years.
The difference is, a lot of times when we got to the NCAA, played someone in the top 20, there was a big difference between strength, speed and quickness.
With my team this year, I think we've got pretty good strength.  We're not as athletic as Georgia, speed and quickness, things like that, but we have one of my stronger teams.
We won't get knocked around that much.  We might get knocked around some.  But that's the nature of what this game's become.  Endlessly people are watching and they're sitting down by the floor at a women's basketball game, they can't believe how physical it is.
But it's been that way for a while.  Usually those really physical teams were in the Final Four, and there wasn't so many.  Now there's a lot more parity.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.
COACH SELVIG:  Thank you.

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