WVU Players Talk About the Matchup With Texas

March 16, 2012
By ODU Athletics

March 16, 2012


Opening Statement:
Well, needless to say we are really happy to be here, and it is great to be so close to home. We took a flight to get here and it only took 40 minutes so it was really nice. We are real proud of our players and team. We lost eighty percent of our offense last year and five seniors and this year we have one senior, two juniors, and the rest of them are freshman and sophomores. We are just real proud of our team and are happy to be here and are looking to get some wins while we are here.

On Facing Texas:
Their leading scorers are their guards. They push the ball extremely hard and look to score early. They have some shooters and they will also look to post up on you. The post players have great size so we are going to have our hands full with them. I think we match up well though with Aysa (Bussie) and Yaya (Ayana Dunning) against them. Our guard will have to play well against them as well.

We expect them to play very hard and expect our team to play equally as hard. It is a good opportunity to see how we play and how they play. They are a good team with a good coach and program. We are a pretty physical team so we will come out and do what we do.

High Points and Low Points of the Season:
How much time do we have? I am just kidding. We had some games that were unimpressive. In the beginning and then went with Yaya (Ayana Dunning) and Aysa (Bussie) together to get us some more scoring options and rebounds. The Notre Dame game was important to us and then we had some big games at home and were able to win some of those. We aren't worried too much because if we can score one more point then the opponent we are going to be in shape. We had one win that was 39-32, so the bottom line is our players need to do a good job to get the win in a basketball game. However there were some games early in the season that were tough losses. I do not want to put a low point on the season against any particular school.

On Players Coming Home and How They Were Recruited:
We had followed them all along during their high school and AAU careers. People think Morgantown is people with no teeth sitting on couches but once they came down to the school they were impressed with the campus and its facilities. Linda (Stepney) and Crystal (Leary) are excited to be back. They were singing 'We're coming home' before we got on the plane and after we got off their families were outside with signs and it was all great.

On Facing Taller Guards:
I've seen tape several times that they post their guards. They are going to be aggressive so we need to get some weak side help and stop the ball early. That will be big for us; it is not something that we have not worked on before.

Linda Stepney's Stress Fracture:
It was getting to the point where she was sitting out not playing. It was a decision between doctors and family and us, and she still has some pain, but she is fine.

Brooke Hampton's Status:
Brooke (Hampton) is fine. She has been practicing the last few days and she is 100%.

On Gail Goestenkors' Accomplishments at Texas:
I cannot imagine what coach has done the last six year and she has a great program. We have a lot of respect for Texas and I think our players will come out and play extremely hard.

Junior Center Aysa Bussie

How do you match up against Texas' 6'4" post players?
I think we're the a little bit more unique in that Yaya [Ayana Dunning] is able to hit the outside shot as well as drive it in when she needs to and just work the high-low really well. We can match up well with them and I think it will make for a really exciting game. We've been doing this for the whole season so I think Yaya can hit that outside shot and pull the trigger really well.

Moving to Big 12 next year - is the matchup with Texas a sort of audition and do you feel you need to play really well because of the conference change?
Personally I think we're really excited for it. We didn't end our season in the Big East the way we wanted to so we would like to head in to the Big 12 with a bang.

What's the energy for the players like?
I think we're all really excited. I'm happy for the freshmen, Linda (Stepney) and Crystal (Leary) because they'll get to play their first NCAA Tournament at home. It's being near home that we will get a lot of fan support.

Talk about starting tomorrow's game about an hour earlier that what you're used to.
I don't think the hour makes that big of a difference. I actually like playing the early game so we can just get up and get ready for the game. You don't have time to think about anything but the game.

Redshirt Junior Center Ayana Dunning

How do you match up against 6'4" post players?
I've been able to practice against it, and prepare for it in the pre and post-season. Every day in practice I play against Aysa, who is about 6'4" and a bit taller than me. So I get to work on shooting around her and shooting over her. I've had to learn how to play against a taller player and make shots over top of her.

Does Texas remind you of any Big East opponents?
I can't think of any team in particular, I would say they're more like a combination of teams. For the inside, I would compare them more to Syracuse with the taller inside players and several bigs. We've played against the bigger, more aggressive guards all season.

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