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NCAA WOMEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: STANFORD


March 30, 2014


Andrew Calder

Diamond DeShields

Stephanie Mavunga


STANFORD, CALIFORNIA

North Carolina テや 65
South Carolina テや 58


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by the University of North Carolina associate head coach Andrew Calder, Diamond DeShields and Stephanie Mavunga.
Coach, an opening statement, please.
COACH CALDER:テつ As always, I want to thank Coach Hatchell with the game plan, the motivation to the players, gave them a great speech before we left, as did the women's soccer coach, Coach Anson Dorrance.
I want to say to South Carolina, Dawn Staley is a very, very good coach.テつ They're a talented team.テつ Today we were successful against a very talented team.テつ I thought we battled hard, very hard.テつ I thought it was a physical game, the way we wanted to play it.
Diamond, definitely an All‑American.テつ Slightly injured, but she's a competitor like you can't believe.テつ You're not going to hold her back from being out there and she'll be out there on Tuesday night.
But congratulations to the Tar Heels, Mavunga, Xylina, Brittany.テつ Their defensive effort was tremendous.テつ I thought defensively we were very good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll open it up for questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Diamond, what happened to you in the first half?テつ Looked like it was a knee and ankle?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ It was an ankle, then a knee.テつ The first one was when Welch was dribbling the ball in transition.テつ I'm not really sure, but I twisted my ankle.テつ Went back and got it taped up super tight.テつ Came back out.テつ Then I reinjured a preexisting knee injury that I had had earlier in the season.テつ That was it.
But coach wanted to sit me for the half.テつ Like I told him, I was ready to play.テつ I didn't want to have that burden on my shoulders of not having done everything that I could to contribute to the team win.
I think I didn't hold the team back with my injuries; I think I was still a contributor and I was still able to produce.テつ So coach trusted me, trusted my instincts, I guess you could say.テつ He put me out there and gave me a chance.テつ I did the best I could with it.

Q.テつ Stephanie, they got to within 2 with about five minutes left, then two plays inside.テつ Did you feel like that pushing it back out to 8, that was a key point in the game?
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ I guess I didn't really think about it till you just mentioned it.テつ Now that I look back, I'd say probably yes.
But anytime we came back and fought back, every time they made a run at us, we fought back, I felt like all those times were key points.テつ Even Diamond's injuries, those were key points.テつ Me getting into foul trouble, those are key points, things like that.
So I'd say yeah because then that took the lead to 8.テつ I mean, I'm just excited that I could do that.

Q.テつ Stephanie, that was a back‑and‑forth battle.テつ Tough to have a game like that.テつ I think you are probably battle‑ready at this point.テつ How difficult will it be to have one day for the Elite 8?
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ I feel like we've practiced so hard this whole year, this is what we've been waiting for.テつ We've gone hard during the off‑season and during the season.テつ I think having just one day won't really hurt us.
Yes, it's a quick turnaround, but there's things that we've done previously, so I think that will help.テつ It's not really going to change too much.テつ Having a quick turnaround won't really hurt us, I believe.

Q.テつ Talk about how important you thought it was in the first half, the defense you played.
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Definitely did set a tone.テつ I believe it gave the coaching staff of South Carolina something to think about going into the second half because we were so successful defensively against their offense.
It was new for us.テつ We had barely practiced it in practice last night I think it was.テつ So it was new for us.テつ We did a good job of adjusting to it.テつ I know I did.テつ I think I had one of the toughest mental parts in the defense.テつ I think that I did a good job of adjusting.
If I did make any mistakes, my teammates backed me up.テつ So, yeah, like I said, I believe our defense was extremely important in the first half.

Q.テつ You finished fifth in the ACC.テつ Here you are trying to go to the Final Four.テつ As freshmen, it's unusual to see guys do as much as you do.テつ Tell us, what part of the season this year was the biggest part for your growth as a player?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ I can't really pinpoint any one specific moment in time that was important for our growth.テつ I just feel like as time has gone on, we've grown exponentially.テつ We've grown faster as time has gone on.
At the beginning, it was a little bit slow.テつ We were making typical freshmen mistakes, I guess you could say.テつ At this point in the game we're growing every day, two times faster, three times faster than we were.
I can't name a specific point.テつ But as time goes on, as we continue on in this tournament, we are growing faster ‑ only because we have to.
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ I agree every day we're getting better and better on the court, off the court.テつ We do a better job of feeding off of one another, whether it's an upperclassman or underclassman.テつ I can't think of a time in my freshman year that I can say, Oh, my goodness, this is where I've gotten better, this is where I've grown.
I can just say in the off‑season, that was a lot of it.テつ Then during season every day, like I said, in every way we're just getting better and better.テつ Just the little things, the big things, rebounding, communication, just everything I believe.

Q.テつ What are your first thoughts about playing Stanford?
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ They're a great team.テつ Phenomenal team.テつ Great coach.テつ Chiney Ogwumike in the paint.テつ USA Basketball player that is just dominating.テつ Averages over 25‑ish points a game.テつ I watched her play many times on TV.テつ Phenomenal player.テつ From the motherland, just like me, so I think that's cool.
It's going to be a great game, a tough battle.テつ Have one of my best friends, Erica McCall, that plays on the team, so that will be fun.
I feel once we get on the court it will be time to play.テつ It's about who wants it more.テつ I think it will be a great battle.テつ Up‑and‑down game.テつ At the end of the day it's who battles more and who wants it more that night.
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Similar to what Stephanie said, you've got to play attention to Chiney down low.テつ I had the opportunity to play with her on a USA Basketball team.テつ It will be nice to reunite on opposite teams.テつ She's the focal point in their offense and in their defense.
We're definitely going to do some things, figure some things out how to get around her, how to find a weakness in their defense.
Amber did a great job this year.テつ Just Coach VanDerveer and their staff, extremely smart coaches.テつ We just got to be ready.テつ Mentally it's about who's better that night.テつ We have to make sure we don't have any lapses and come out with a lack of focus.
They are at home so we're going to have to be on our toes.

Q.テつ Diamond, I'm sure this is a question you've answered before, but with your father having played so many years for baseball, what advice does he give you before a game like this, if any?テつ Do you think having a father that played at that level naturally trickles down to you?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Well, he's pretty simple before games.テつ He doesn't try to coach me or be that dad that's just annoying basically.
All he told me was, You need to stay on the floor, you can't get in foul trouble.テつ I love you, good luck.テつ That was that.
Even when I got hurt, I need to stay on the floor.テつ I got his voice in the back of my head, I need to stay on the floor.
Just having a father that's played professional, I don't think it's really affected me.テつ Maybe it has in an indirect way.テつ He's a baseball player.テつ Baseball is a whole different culture.テつ I understand that.テつ As far as basketball goes, you have to compete play by play by play.テつ I think I have that naturally.
Having athletic members of the family, it helps, because they understand.テつ I think as far as what I do on the basketball court, I think it's something that God has blessed me with individually aside from any of my family members.

Q.テつ Can you both comment on what Coach Hatchell said to you before.
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ She texted me and said, I have faith in you, I'm proud of you, go out there and play hard.テつ Words like that are encouraging, especially at times you may forget.テつ Sometimes you forget she's not here with us.テつ I know I have.テつ Partially because she hasn't coached me.テつ We've had Coach Calder with us all year.テつ Have that reminder play back in my head helped motivate me as far as getting ready for the game.
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ Similar to what Diamond said, just like the little things she said will get to you.テつ She texted me also before the game.テつ She's just like, I'm really proud of you, so go out there and get 'em.テつ I was smiling, Oh, my gosh, coach just texted me.
Just things like that make me smile, get me motivated.テつ I know she's going to be at the Final Four game in Nashville if we get there.テつ God willing, we'll get there.テつ That keeps us going.テつ Before we left, she kept saying, Well, Nashville, there's the Final Four, there's Elite 8, all these games, why not us, why not us?テつ Why not Carolina?テつ That always plays back in my head.
Next play, next play.テつ She's always saying that.テつ Next play, forget about it.テつ Say I miss a shot, Next play.テつ Not always immediately because sometimes I get frustrated, then I have to be reminded, Next play.テつ Just things like that.
Oh, my goodness, we're going to the Elite 8, Final Four is next, why not us?

Q.テつ Stephanie, you're really familiar with South Carolina.テつ I think some of the players were teammates in high school if I have that right.テつ You said you know McCall.テつ Now you're playing a team the other side of the country you don't know.テつ What does that present as far as an obstacle?
STEPHANIE MAVUNGA:テつ Like you said, I know McCall.テつ We were teammates.テつ Other than that, I don't know any of the players or the way they play.
I played against Samuelson.テつ Other than that, I mean‑‑ oh, yeah, Kailee Johnson, I played against her.テつ McDonald's All‑American games, AAU tournaments, things like that.テつ Other than that, I haven't played their upperclassmen.テつ Chiney, it would have been nice to have a battle with her previously.
I feel like our coaches do a really good job of scouting and helping us out with the things we need to do.テつ So tomorrow getting into practice, the intensity we have to have is going to be great.テつ I feel like practice tomorrow will get me ready for it and I have to also mentally prepare and have a mentality that, Okay, I'm not going to be stopped, I'm going to have to stop the other opponent.
I think the mentality is going to help, so that's that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies, thank you very much.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Calder.

Q.テつ What was the new defensive plan?
COACH CALDER:テつ I'd rather keep that a little bit to ourselves personally.テつ For us to not have practiced it very much at all, Diamond and them did a tremendous job adjusting.テつ Brittany was also one of them.テつ Latifah did the adjustments we needed for our defense.
It did help us with their post players down inside.

Q.テつ Was there a turning point during the season as far as a loss and how much has Ivory contributed with the players?
COACH CALDER:テつ I think when we went to Duke and won at Duke.テつ Diamond and Allisha had tremendous games.テつ I thought that was a tremendous turning point for them to realize that we can beat anybody.テつ We followed that up with a win the very next week at NC State with seven thousand something people.テつ Coach Hatchell always gives them a great speech about playing on someone else's home court.
I think when we played and won at Duke, played and won at State, will have us ready to play here at Stanford.
Ivory has been tremendous.テつ She knows all the tricks of the trade from the WNBA.テつ She had had a tremendous coach this past year.テつ One of the best things that Ivory brings is her competitive fire, her enthusiasm.テつ Also I think she made the most threes in the WNBA this year.テつ She shot over 40% at Carolina.テつ I think she's helped us tremendously with our shooting.

Q.テつ When Diamond went down twice, slams into the bottom of the basket, were you wondering, Why did I let her talk me into this?
COACH CALDER:テつ She's a competitor, like I said.テつ No, I don't second guess that.テつ I don't second guess anything, any decisions I make during the game, because if you do that, you'll beat yourself up all the time.テつ I'm not interested in beating myself up.
We made a decision, me and the other staff members.テつ I also talked to the players.テつ I'll communicate with Diamond.テつ Where do you want the ball on the floor?テつ We do a lot of communicating.
I'm not going to second guess myself in any of those situations.テつ I knew Diamond was a competitor and she'd continue to play and she'd be out there on Tuesday.

Q.テつ You mentioned Brittany.テつ Did you plan to put the ball in her hands at the end of the game?
COACH CALDER:テつ That answer is a yes.テつ We were up one.テつ Her freshman year we were up two at Maryland and she missed a one and one.テつ They came back and tied it, won it in overtime.テつ Then we played Maryland in the ACC tournament and were up one.テつ I put her in the game.テつ Brittany knocked down two free throws, we got up three.テつ We got the rebound, beat Maryland.
So tonight the emphasis was to get the ball to Brittany at the end of the game.

Q.テつ What is it about this system that allows young players to flourish so quickly?
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, I think we don't try to tie them down as much when they first get there.テつ We want to play a style of play where you can play and read and react without us saying going from PointA to PointB.テつ We have some set plays, don't get me wrong, that we do that.テつ But we give them a reasonable amount of freedom, give them the good shot rules, we and try to play out of that.テつ We want a fast break.テつ We want to give them a certain amount of freedom to read a certain screen, et cetera, to make plays.テつ I think that freedom they get helps them to continue to develop and they want to play at Carolina because of that.
This is about the program.テつ I'm just following the blueprint from Coach Hatchell from the beginning of the year.テつ That's what I'm doing.テつ It is the program.テつ She helped build that program.テつ It's a tremendous program.テつ I'm just kind of following it along.

Q.テつ Will you give us your first thoughts on Stanford.
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, other than I need to watch 'em actually.テつ I was so into South Carolina.テつ Obviously Coach VanDerveer, outstanding coach.テつ Olympic gold medal, won that.テつ Won two national championships.テつ They're very talented.
We'll come up with a game plan.テつ We'll put our heads together with Coach Hatchell and come up with a game plan and go from there.
I can answer more tomorrow about Stanford.テつ I know‑‑ I can't pronounce her name.テつ I need to buy some vowels.テつ Ogwumike is a tremendous player, as is Samuelson, et cetera.テつ Talented and well‑coached.

Q.テつ What's the challenge with playing defense against a triangle offense?
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, that's why Phil Jackson runs it.テつ It keeps the floor spread.テつ It's a team offense.テつ Everybody is touching the basketball.テつ It has post‑ups.テつ It has down screens, double down screens for open threes.テつ It has also a backdoor offense in it.テつ It's a complete combination.テつ It's just a great offense.テつ It's a very, very good offense.テつ I think it has everything in it that you want so you can go against a team that pressures you, you can go against a team that plays sagging man, and you also have a post player that can take advantage of that.テつ Again, I think that's why Phil Jackson runs it.

Q.テつ Why do you think you don't see more of it in the women's game or the men's game, pros or college?
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, I think with the rules of driving and hand checking, et cetera, I think if you're playing a lot of sagging man, and you see more of that in women's college basketball especially, but men's college basketball a certain amount, too, if you play sagging man, you got everything clogged up.テつ If everybody sagged inside to three, it has a tendency to clog it up.テつ NBA, you have illegal defensive rules.テつ The floor stays spread all the time.テつ If your pressuring people, the floor is going to stay spread all the time.テつ I think it's a great offense for that.テつ Coach VanDerveer does a tremendous job with it really.

Q.テつ You played against Stanford with different players, but in Spokane you did have that slugfest of a game.テつ You've seen the triangle there.テつ I'm wondering if something that can help you as you get into this tonight and tomorrow?
COACH CALDER:テつ Yes, I do.テつ I believe it will.テつ Latifah Coleman played in that game.テつ We have a player on our team that did play in that game.テつ Hopefully that will help us.テつ We have a copy of that tape so we'll be watching it, see some of the things that we were successful with.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, thank you very.
COACH CALDER:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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