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April 1, 2014

Andrew Calder

Diamond DeShields

Allisha Gray

Xylina McDaniel



THE MODERATOR:テつ We are joined by University of NorthCarolina Associate Head Coach, Andrew Calder, student‑athletes, Diamond DeShields, Allisha Gray, and Xylina McDaniel.テつ Coach, can you start us with an opening statement?
COACH CALDER:テつ Yes, I said this to the players and I will say it to you.テつ I want to first thank Coach Hatchell for the respect she gave me for trusting me with her team.テつ Thank you, Coach Hatchell.テつ I want to thank the players for the respect you gave me to lead you.テつ I thank the Athletic Director and Associate Athletic Director for the respect you gave me for trusting me with the team this year.
We had the talent to get to the Final Four, and I didn't get us there, for that, I'm sorry.テつ We had some outstanding players and we battled extremely hard.テつ But next year we have a lot of players coming back, and we have a Hall of Fame coach that's going to work with them every day.
Congratulations to Coach VanDerveer, an outstanding coach.テつ I respect her so much, an outstanding woman and Stanford University women's basketball team, and Stanford University, it's a beautiful campus, and you did a great job hosting this tournament.テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ You guys did a good job of balling up Chiney in the first half in particular, and they managed to get her loose.テつ Could you just talk about what changed there and what happened that sort of shifted in their direction?
XYLINA McDANIEL:テつ I mean, the second half we couldn't play as hard as we wanted to in the post because I mean we did have‑‑ I had two fouls in the first half.テつ I believe Stephanie ended up having two fouls in the first half.テつ I mean, we're not going to be able to battle as hard as we wanted to, and that's what we do.テつ We battle hard in the post to stop the post players so I mean, that helped them out a lot.

Q.テつ Diamond, can you just tell us how you were feeling when it was touch and go.テつ I know it was really painful, but you were going to give it your all and you did.
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ I played to the best of my abilities.テつ I refuse to make excuses for myself.テつ My legs felt good and I felt able enough to go out there and give it a hundred percent, which I did.テつ Yeah, I mean, everything felt good.テつ You have adrenaline and you're warmed up.テつ Warm‑ups were a little tough just because I was stiff and cold, but once the game started and my body got heated up, I was just fine.

Q.テつ Allisha, you were hot in the first half, 17 points going into halftime feeling really good.テつ What went on in the second half with you?
ALLISHA GRAY:テつ I don't think nothing happened in the second half.テつ I think I kept my intensity in my play.
COACH CALDER:テつ I need to do a better job getting her the basketball.テつ We ran some plays for her, we just didn't set good screens.テつ We need to set better screens.テつ In the first half we were able to move on our screens a little bit and we weren't in the second half.テつ So we've still got to set better screens and come off those screens.テつ So that's my responsibility to get her a shot.

Q.テつ Xylina, you did a great job and the rest of the team did on Chiney in the first half.テつ What were you guys doing in particular, technically or whatever trying to defend her?
XYLINA McDANIEL:テつ Honestly, I was just playing.テつ My whole mindset was don't let her get the ball.テつ Don't let her get offensive rebounds, so I was just using my strength to my advantage.テつ I'm very strong in the post, so why not use it?テつ I mean, it was working.

Q.テつ Allisha, can you talk about defensively they had five players in double figures, they were kind of scoring from everywhere.テつ Was that making it difficult for you guys to figure out what you were going to be defending?
ALLISHA GRAY:テつ No, I mean, it was basically because we were in foul trouble we couldn't play as hard as we wanted to because we were going to get a foul called on us.テつ So I don't think we had the defense (Indiscernible) most players were in foul trouble.

Q.テつ Can you guys just talk about Jessica?テつ She really played great and made some big shots in the second half.テつ Obviously, she's as young as you, Allisha and Diamond, just talk about how she kind of grew in this tournament?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Jess has struggled with her confidence as far as taking shots.テつ I don't know why, because she's very able, as you see out there.テつ And tonight I recognized that I wasn't able to get open shots in the second half, Allisha wasn't able to get open shots.テつ So I told Jess at the timeout, you've got to take it.テつ You've got to take the shot for us, and she did.テつ Like I said, she's very capable.テつ So I mean, those are shots she should always take.テつ She should have been taking them all year.テつ Something in her was telling her no, but I gave her the okay about it, and I think that made her more confident.

Q.テつ Diamond, you guys came out just on fire in a hostile environment.テつ You guys got to be proud of the way you came out, especially in a tough situation to play?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Of course, of course.テつ You can't help but be proud especially with such a young group.テつ We never really were affected by the crowd, I don't think.テつ I know it's just easy to ignore them, basically.テつ But they did do a good job supporting their team.テつ They had great attendance tonight and great energy, and that really fuelled the intensity of the game.

Q.テつ Diamond, is it fair to say that you guys feel like you should have won this game?

Q.テつ Xylina, twice fouls have been mentioned as sort of the culprit tonight.テつ Is there a suggestion that the officiating was a little too tough on you guys?
XYLINA McDANIEL:テつ Officiating to me was just inconsistent.テつ Sometimes they let us battle in there and sometimes they'd call a foul. テつSo you really didn't know when and where you could be physical.テつ I mean, yeah, in my eyes it was just inconsistent.

Q.テつ It looked from where I was watching that it was a really physical game tonight.テつ Was it more physical than other games you've played this year?テつ Was it not physical enough then, and what do you think about Stanford moving ahead in all of that?
XYLINA McDANIEL:テつ We play in the ACC.テつ The ACC is a very physical conference.テつ A lot of people don't like to say it, but it is really physical.テつ It wasn't really a physical game to us.テつ It might have been to them, but not to us.テつ We're used to it.
I mean, yes, we should have won, but, hey, we're coming back with the same team next year, and then Megan Buckland will be well, so we'll have her as well.テつ I mean, we're just going to move forward with this.テつ I mean, it's a loss, but we're going to learn from it, and come back harder next year.

Q.テつ Diamond, your teammate just said that you guys should have won.テつ What tangible factor leads you to say that?
DIAMOND DeSHIELDS:テつ Well, there were moments where there could have been momentum shifts for us.テつ I know the free throw that Allisha uncharacteristically missed, not to blame her for anything, but there were just moments in time.テつ I know Danielle missed a lay‑up under the basket that could have been a big play.テつ There were a couple of iffy foul calls, and just a lot of stuff that could have really changed the game around.
I'm not going to blame officiating.テつ The game is over with.テつ But I do believe that there were some specific moments in times that we could have really taken the lead back, and it just didn't go our way.

Q.テつ Assuming you guys were right with Stanford in the whole game.テつ The last four minutes things kind of fell apart, could you put your finger on what happened there at the end?
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, obviously, they're very good.テつ They played well together for more than one year.テつ They executed on the week down the stretch.テつ Got some looks.テつ I tell you, I thought we got plenty of good looks to start the second half that went in the first half.テつ I thought we got what we wanted.テつ They did a pretty good job on Diamond, but Diamond's going to be, you know, she was‑‑ I'm not going to say injured, because we're a no‑excuse team.テつ We don't get any excuses, but Diamond wasn't quite‑‑ I don't want to say that, no.
I don't know.テつ I thought the game could have been more physical than it was actually played.テつ We wanted to bang her more down inside.テつ We banged her in the first half and they allowed us to do that, and we wanted to bang her more in the second half.テつ But we're talented and we should have won this game.テつ We didn't execute down the stretch, and they executed down the stretch.テつ Bottom line.

Q.テつ Coach, can you address the balance they ended up having?テつ They scored from a lot of different places.テつ Was that a problem for your defense?
COACH CALDER:テつ Well, we play the percentages.テつ You're going to have to look at it.テつ I think Ruef made two threes all year.テつ Is that right?テつ Do you know?テつ She made two all year and she made three tonight.テつ We played the percentages.テつ We backed off her in the first half and they were able to put somebody in front and behind Ogwumike, and that gave us a lot of confidence.テつ Then she made a couple of threes, and that obviously changed the game when she was able to make those threes.テつ So I thought that was big.
Then that left single coverage down inside on Ogwumike, and we weren't able to handle her like we had wanted to in the second half.テつ We thought we could play her one‑on‑one though on the inside.

Q.テつ Do you think Ruef was the X‑factor tonight?
COACH CALDER:テつ Ruef was no question the X‑factor, because she doesn't make those threes and we're still right on top of her.テつ We're on top of Ogwumike, they're still struggling to score.テつ We went off the handoffs outside.テつ She was an X‑factor obviously in the game.テつ She was the difference in the game for them.テつ For their ability to score.

Q.テつ Just to clarify, you said you wanted to bang her or you thought you banged her in the first half or in the second half.テつ You're talking about Ogwumike, right?
COACH CALDER:テつ Yeah, we thought we could have banged her more.

Q.テつ Is it in your mind being physical with her the key to beating the Stanford team?テつ How do you think they'll do moving ahead against the competition next week?
COACH CALDER:テつ I don't know.テつ That's hard to say.テつ UCONN's got the best team in America, great coach, great talent.テつ I mean, they're clicking.テつ You take something away from them, and they've got counters left and right.テつ That will be a difficult game.テつ I don't want to say Ogwumike with her talent is a great enough talent to win a game, but Connecticut's just unbelievable.テつ They defend.テつ They move the ball like you can't imagine.テつ They're really skilled, really impressive.

Q.テつ (Indiscernible)?
COACH CALDER:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ No question.テつ You've got to be physical with her.テつ She's too athletic.テつ She's too athletic.テつ You can't put your body on her.テつ She just drives around you.テつ You've got to be able to put your body on her.テつ Try to get her away from the basket.テつ She's not as good the further away she gets from the basket.テつ She's outstanding down in there low.テつ Outstanding down around the basket.テつ So you try to bump her and move her away from the basket as much as possible, and that's what our game plan was.

Q.テつ Coach, you apologized to Tar Heel Nation earlier saying that you apologize for losing.テつ But do you guys overachieve being that you beat the No. 1 seed here and you beat the No. 2 seed which is actually the home team?テつ Do you think you're being too hard on yourself?
COACH CALDER:テつ I think we had the talent to get to the Final Four.テつ I don't think there is any question.テつ That was my job, my responsibility to get us there.テつ If we're not there and we've got that talent, then I take that responsibility for UNC, and I am sorry.
But we'll continue to work.テつ We have a Hall of Fame coach coming back next year, so that will help us out, and we'll roll from there.

Q.テつ Coach, I've got to commend you guys.テつ You guys played great tonight and throughout the tournament, your group is very confident.テつ Do you think when they go home they'll at least acknowledge the fact that Chiney is probably in better shape than anybody in the country in terms of her physical conditioning and got them late.テつ Up here they're going to be very confident and feel that they could have overcome anything, but that's part of their maturation, right, that they have to see how great players get it done and kind of incorporate that into their own game.
COACH CALDER:テつ Yeah, but if you talk about‑‑ Diamond knows how to get it done, trust me.テつ She's an unbelievable basketball IQ.テつ She knows what to do.テつ She studies great players,テつ studies Michael Jordan.テつ She studies those players and she knows how to get it done.

Q.テつ Andrew, yesterday we talked about experience and maybe having a little bit more veteran experience than you guys did in games of this magnitude.テつ Did you feel like that played in your world tonight?
COACH CALDER:テつ Maybe more Coach Hatchell experience than Coach Calder experience, how about that experience right there?テつ We did some things at the end that I wish I could replay, but I can't.テつ I don't ever look back and say at that time and moment, you know what, this is the decision we're going with.テつ This is what we're going to do right now, and I'm not going to look back.
But obviously, having a Hall of Fame coach on the bench could have made the difference in the game.テつ We'll never know.
Let me say it's a really tough day to lose.テつ But Tiger Woods is not playing in the Masters, and that's bad too.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach Calder.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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