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NCAA WOMEN'S 1ST & 2ND ROUNDS: IOWA CITY


March 22, 2014


Tia Gibbs

Shoni Schimmel

Jeff Walz


IOWA CITY, IOWA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined here by Louisville.テつ We have Tia Gibbs and Shoni Schimmel.テつ We'll have an opening statement from coach.
COACH WALZ:テつ First, just like to thank the University of Iowa.テつ Everything has been first class since we've arrived.テつ We're excited to be a part of this group of four teams that are playing here the next few days, looking forward to the opportunity to competing again in the NCAA tournament.
It's a fantastic event and one we're honored to be a part of.
THE MODERATOR:テつ At this time we'll direct questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Shoni, what does it mean to be starting now in your final tournament?テつ How determined do you feel you are?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ It feels great to be able to know we're getting ready to play soon.テつ It has been a while.テつ We've been anxious, but we're excited at the same time.
We're looking forward to getting out there and playing a game of basketball.テつ With it being my last one, you know, kind of the same thing.テつ It's basketball, so I'm excited to play, ready for anything.
We're going to be prepared each and every single game to come out there and win.

Q.テつ Tia, do you feel you're under‑seeded for this tournament?テつ And playing on a visiting court?
TIA GIBBS:テつ I don't think we feel under‑seeded.テつ I think we're just excited to play.テつ Tournament time is tournament time.テつ At the end of the day, it's six games to get the trophy, six opponents no matter what the seeding is.
I think as we all can watch men's basketball, nobody cares about the seeding but the fans and the media.テつ To players, a game is a game.

Q.テつ Tia, can you talk about what it's like for you to play in your final tournament, having to miss last year's, what your motivation is this year.
TIA GIBBS:テつ Well, you know, last year we got a taste of everything.テつ We made it to the Final Four.テつ I think for all of us, whether it's our last year or not as seniors, we want it back, we want to get there and actually win it this year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Walz.

Q.テつ Could you address a little bit about your seed, if there's frustration there being fourth in the country but having to be a three and come to a place that's a pretty tough place to play.
COACH WALZ:テつ No, we're just honored to be in the tournament.テつ We lost three times to UConn.テつ When the draw was about to be announced, we were just concerned if we'd be in it.テつ When you lose four times, it's tough sometimes.
We're thrilled to be here.テつ I mean, we hosted the first two rounds last year, so we were a five seed.テつ Purdue was the four.テつ Purdue had to come to us and play.
It is what it is.テつ We're not even concerned about our second‑round game yet.テつ We have to play a very talented Idaho team.テつ They're coming in here tomorrow night to win also.テつ We don't look past anybody.テつ We give the respect that's due to each team.
We'll focus all of our attention on them for tomorrow night.テつ If we're fortunate enough to advance, then we'll worry about whoever we're playing next.
It's what it's about.テつ It's great to have the opportunity to play, if we do advance, in front of a great crowd.テつ We're expecting a great crowd tomorrow night for both games from everything we've been told.
You're going to have to win.テつ It's just a matter of who you're going to have to play, where you're going to have to play.テつ So, like I said, we're honored to be a part of it.テつ I'm proud of our kids.テつ We had a very good year at 30‑4.テつ I thought we played a very good non‑conference schedule to prepare us for this.
Even though we only received two bids from our league, you have very talented teams that did not make it.テつ South Florida is a team that was talented enough to be in this tournament, for sure.テつ Unfortunately for them, they did not receive the bid.
Rutgers is a very talented team, too.テつ You have SMU.テつ So we have enough teams in our league that have prepared us for this.

Q.テつ Can you give your comments on Idaho, things that have stood out to you.
COACH WALZ:テつ They're, first off, a group of young ladies that play extremely hard.テつ They're a very well‑coached, disciplined team.テつ They shoot the three extremely well.テつ You have two players on their team that have taken over 250 threes.テつ One through four all have the ability to step up and knock it down.テつ Take 26 threes a game and make nine of them.テつ We're going to have our hands full.テつ There's no question about it.
We're going to have to be on our A game at the defensive end of the floor, for sure.テつ We're going to have to make sure we pick up players in transition and make sure we're there early, try to do the best job we can to make sure they take contested shots.

Q.テつ Give your comments on two of the players you did not have last year, Tia and Asia, that you have for this run.テつ What do you think is their mentality, that they get to participate in one final tournament?
COACH WALZ:テつ I'm really excited for both these young ladies.テつ Tia is a player who missed the past two years with injuries.テつ She was granted a sixth year by the NCAA.テつ So she's getting her final chance to play in an event like this.テつ She really does not have the aspiration to play after college.テつ Her body probably couldn't take it.
She's just thrilled and excited to be out here.テつ She brings the ability to score the basketball for us.テつ She shoots the three extremely well.テつ She does some really nice things on the defensive end of the floor, as well.テつ So she's a big plus for us.
Asia Taylor has had a very solid year the entire season.テつ She's really an X factor for us.テつ She's really a hard matchup for a lot of teams, especially when she's making a 15‑foot jump shot.テつ You have to guard her to shoot the ball there.テつ She drives it so well.
She's been doing a nice job of rebounding for us at the offensive end for us.テつ We're going to need her to play like she has this entire season in order for us to try and make a run in this tournament.

Q.テつ Can you talk about what the last six weeks have been like for Bria, how much pain she's been in and how she's feeling now.
COACH WALZ:テつ She's feeling fine right now.テつ She had some knee soreness for a while.テつ We shut her down for about three or four games.テつ She had been playing extremely well up to that point.
You go about two weeks without playing, and it's taken her a little bit of time to get back into the flow of things.テつ I've been very pleased with how she's been practicing the last two weeks.テつ Looking forward to seeing how she plays tomorrow.テつ I'm expecting big things from her.
She brings an element to our team that we need with her athleticism, her ability to get to the basket, her ability to defend.テつ She rebounds the ball well.
So we're going to need her to play at the top of her game if we're going to get past the first game here tomorrow.

Q.テつ In the days preceding Selection Monday, was there a site you thought you might be coming to?
COACH WALZ:テつ This is one we had actually picked out.テつ There were two or three that we had kind of done our homework on.テつ We thought we'd be very possibly coming to the state of Iowa.テつ It was just a matter of if it was going to be Iowa State or here.
You look at some neutral sites, too, as a possibility.テつ But then once you start breaking down, you know, the host teams, where their seeding was going to fall into place, it's not that difficult to kind of get things narrowed down to two or three sites.
So this was one that we had anticipated that could be a possibility.テつ We're excited to be here.テつ I mean, they draw well.テつ Very knowledgeable fans.テつ And that's what you want.テつ You want the opportunity to come to play at a place where it's going to be exciting.
We're fortunate to draw close to 10,000 every night.テつ There's nothing better than when you go out to play and you have a great crowd in front of you, even if it's on the road.テつ We'd rather play in front of a loud, hostile crowd than in front of nobody.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH WALZ:テつ Thank you, everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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