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Stanford Players Talk About the Matchup With Hampton

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 16, 2012
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March 16, 2012

STANDFORD HEAD COACH TARA VANDERVEER

Opening Statement:
We're excited to be here. It's kind of hard to believe the Tournament is here already, we've worked really hard this year so we're really excited to be playing and really excited to be playing against Hampton.

Talk about Hampton, what you've learned and what you think might be some keys to the game tomorrow.

They have an excellent team. They present you with a lot of quickness, a lot of team speed, which helps them on offense. They penetrate really well, they knock down perimeter shots and they're a terrific three-point shooting team, especially [Choicetta] McMillian. The quickness also is very effective for them defensively, they're very aggressive, quick defensive team so that's the main thing you have to deal with. We counter that with maybe size.

Talk about the reward of being a 1-seed and coming all the way across the country to play a team that you probably don't know a lot about, basically in their back yard.

We're excited to be here. I credit Old Dominion and compliment them for hosting. We really need more host sites out in the west but we're excited to be here and have the opportunity to play at a neutral site. I think that's the reward for being a 1-seed.

I understand that you had some plane issues on the way out here with having to change a tire and re-fuel, can you talk about that a bit?
The most important thing is we got here safely. I think most of our players were able to get some sleep. I think it was just a little bit different than some of the trips we've had in the past. They did change tires, we did stop and refuel, but we got here and we got here safely and our team is rested and ready to go.

Can you talk about how you think your freshmen are going to handle this situation, particularly Amber [Orrange] since she'll be playing a guard spot and taking on a lot of responsibility?
Amber has been improving every game and I personally have a lot of confidence in Amber. I like her defensive quickness and I like her offensive quickness with the ball. She's a very intelligent player, I know that she's been working really hard. I also know that the two people on my right [Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle] are going to really help Amber just to stay poised and stay with things. Its going to be a very good challenge for her but I have complete confidence in what she can do. You know at this point, no one asks you what year you are when you check in the game. You're either a player or you're not. We know they're players.

Can you talk about the history of playing here in Norfolk, where the NCAA women's tournament started?
I was here for that, I was very young then. You know, Old Dominion, Norfolk has a great history. You know Marianne Stanley was the coach , Anne Donovan, Nancy Lieberman, fabulous team and fabulous tradition. Wendy Larry built on that tradition when she took her team to the Final Four, building on the tradition that was established. Fans here, whether it's Hampton fans or Old Dominion fans, they appreciate great women's basketball. We're excited to be here playing in a place that has so much tradition in women's basketball and we'd like to think that we have a similar tradition on the West Coast.

With all the talk about Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins do you feel that your players have gotten the recognition they deserve after the season you've had?
It's kind of like, when the tide rises, all the boats go up. So when there is attention for her, it's for all of women's basketball. She deserves a lot of credit in terms of how great of a player she is and the great season Baylor has had this season. So instead of feeling slighted, I think its just the opposite, it creates more sunshine for all of us.

Sophomore Forward Chiney Ogwumike

Talk about being the 1-seed and coming cross country, also there was a little big of grumbling from Hampton about being the 16-seed, what do you guys think about having to come so far?
I think the beauty of the NCAA Tournament is that seeding doesn't matter. Everyone is extremely competitive and on any night you can get a great game, despite the seeding. Being a 1-seed is great, in the validation of the hard work we have put in throughout the season but there is still the understanding that other

teams are seeded differently. Basketball is a game of matchups, seeding does't matter either way, if you win, you go on, if you lose, you go home. It doesn't matter what number goes in front of your school. We're just excited to be here, we've worked hard but we don't consider the seed. We try to keep the focus on us, and just doing what's good for our team.

With all the talk about Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins do you feel that you have gotten the recognition that you deserve after the season you've had?
Each college and University begins the year trying to gain notoriety in a sport. I think every women's basketball player, coach, fan wants their team to succeed. I'm just really proud of how our school handles our ability and our team. We know that we import basketball as part of our lives but we truly like our academic life as well. So we focus on what were good at and what we like to do. We like winning, we like playing for coach Tara [VanDerveer], and that's what we're doing. So we're going to keep doing what we can do and not what others tend to perceive about us.

What has it been like playing with Nnemkadi [Ogwumike] and how motivated are you to win for her?
Oh I'm extremely motivated to win for her. Every game from here on could possibly be my last game with her. She's worked so hard and has really been the epitome of what our team hopes to achieve. I'm just really excited to go through this tournament with her. There is no better captain in the country.

Junior Forward Joslyn Tinkle

Talk about being the 1-seed and coming cross country, also there was a little big of grumbling from Hampton about being the 16-seed, what do you guys think about having to come so far?
I agree with Chiney [Ogwumike] and Coach VanDerveer. We're very excited to be out here. I mean, who wouldn't want to be closer to home and closer to our fan base, but we're lucky and fortunate enough to have family, and fans that are very dedicated to our team who follow us out here. We appreciate them tremendously but we're excited. We're excited for the atmosphere that Hampton is going to bring, you know they're very close to home and there is a lot of excitement there and we thrive in that kind of environment.

What has it been like playing with Nnemkadi [Ogwumike] and how motivated are you to win for her?
I agree [with Chiney]. I mean obviously I come from a different standpoint, I'm not

related to her but I've been able to play with her for the last three years. I think its just really special when you have someone like Nnemkadi, she is an excellent friend and she's like a sister to us all. I think we can agree with Chiney when she said we play every game for her, and all the other seniors. We owe it to them for leading us and all they have done for us and for this program.

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