Texas Players Discuss the Upcoming First-Round Game With WVU

March 16, 2012
By ODU Athletics

March 16, 2012


Opening Statement:
Really excited to be back in the tournament. We had to fight and battle for our spot here so we're very excited. I'm especially excited for our three seniors. They've all had tremendous careers here at Texas so we want to go out the right way. Just really looking forward to the tournament.

Thoughts on what West Virginia does to teams defensively:
West Virginia is known nationally for their defense. They do a great job. They remind us of Texas A&M with their defensive style, really up and in the passing lanes, and very physical as well. They really make you work for every single pass and because of that I think you have to have good guards. Fortunately we do. Their defense creates a lot of their offense and if you don't take care of the ball they'll be off to the races.

The loss to Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament, do you use that as motivation?:
I don't think it's useful anymore. It was one of those rare occasions where no one on our team really played well. We couldn't buy a basket and that just doesn't happen often. I think its one of those games we just have to put behind us.

Having to battle for a spot in the tournament, does that increase the motivation level? How much do you want to win, both personally and for Texas, a NCAA Tournament game?
I think the three seniors and I, we want to win an NCAA tournament game. I was able to accomplish that in my first year here, but we collectively haven't been able do that yet. So I know we are all going to do everything within our power to win.

The challenges of West Virginia's top players Ayana Dunning and Asya Bussie:
Well, Caldwell is a really great player for them as well on the perimeter, but the two posts, they are their go-to players. They're big, strong, physical, and can shoot that 15-foot shot. They work extremely hard and I feel like they work in tandem very well together. Maybe the best two posts I've seen as far as their work ethic and control.

Do you think the BIG EAST conference is rougher, more physical than other conferences?
I think West Virginia definitely is very physical. They remind us a little bit of Cal on the boards with their physical style so I would say West Virginia is, but the conference as a whole? I don't know that it's any more physical than the others. If you look at the BIG 12, it's actually a very physical conference, and we have teams within our conference that are very physical as well. I think every conference has it's teams that are more physical than others and I would definitely say West Virginia is one of the most physical teams in the BIG EAST.


Can you give a sense of the hunger that you all have to get some wins in the tournament?
I think we've been through so much together, but we haven't been able to get over the hump and get a win. This time I think we've done some good things in our past couple wins, aside from the (Texas) Tech game, that we're going to build on that to go out and get a couple wins.


Can you give a sense of the hunger that you all have to get some wins in the tournament?
We've been through a lot and to win a NCAA Tournament game would be icing on the cake for us. It would prove that we've been working really hard as a team and that we deserve to be here.

What makes West Virginia's two posts so effective and what is the biggest challenge for you and Cokie (Reed)?
I think they (Ayana Dunning and Asya Bussie) work really hard for the ball. They're able to work inside and outside, but I think that's one thing that we've seen in the BIG 12. We've played against posts that are really talented and play really well and I think that will definitely help us tomorrow.


How eager are you to play again, just to get the last memory of the last out of your system?
I think I'm very eager to play again just because we haven't played in so long that I'm not used to this long of break. I would say that (Texas) Tech game is already out of my mind. We watched the film and saw what we did wrong and we worked on it to get better. I want to remember the games before that where we trusted each other and we were working hard and I think that's what we're going to bring when we West Virginia.

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