NCAA First Round Quotes

Maryland Athletics
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First Round Media Availability
Comcast Center • College Park, Maryland
Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brenda Frese, Maryland Head Coach:

Opening Statement:
“Obviously, we’re thrilled to be getting started and to be a part of the NCAA Tournament. I know that we’re more than ready to get started. Obviously, we have a tremendous opponent in Army. When you’re playing Army or Navy, you’re lining up against kids that are going to one day serve our country. We have tremendous respect for everything they do every single day in terms of what they go through. We know we’re playing the best of the best. They are going to play hard for 40 minutes. They’re a very smart team. They’ve won a lot this season; winning the Patriot League regular season and the tournament. They are led by two-time player of the year Kelsey Minato who no question is the real deal. When you talk about a player putting up 41 points against Holy Cross and 27 at Ohio State, she’s legitimate and will be a difficult matchup for us they we’re going to have to have great team defense to be able to contain her. Extremely well coached and I know they will be ready to play. For us these last two weeks we’ve spent a lot of time fine tuning so we’re ready to tip the ball and get started.”

On getting of to a good start:
“I think for us it’s just how we’ve practiced the last two weeks. Obviously, there will be a sense of urgency. I know our seniors, when you have three in the lineup, are going to help set the tone. Really all five [starters] will. They know what’s at stake at this point. I think you’re going to see two teams that both want to have quick starts. Both teams are going to compete hard and sometimes you have to play that out in terms of what that’s going to look like from the tip. Both team are going to come out ready from the tip.”

On whether this game is like the Navy game in the 2012 NCAA Tournament:
“Absolutely think so. I remember in that game just how physical it was and how tough they were. It was a team that you obviously can’t take lightly and you have to compete for 40 minutes. I just remember their strength and their discipline and this is going to be no different with Army.”

On preparation for the last two weeks and preventing rusty play:
“I can guarantee that no game will be tougher than what they’ve just gone through the last two weeks. I feel like this window is similar to what we experienced during the finals break. We went a long way off, like two weeks. Actually, it was pretty exciting when we came back in that stretch. We were really fresh and ready to perform and hungry. That’s the one thing I would say in terms of how we’ve been competing and how hungry we’ve been. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see how we’ll respond.”

On free throw shooting:
“We got back to one of our famous drills that we really like, the players do. It’s a free throw ladder. They really enjoy that drill because there’s a ton of running in it. We’ve been able to get back. It may be some of it a byproduct of who’s at the line recently shooting for us. At the end of the day, we’ve been a very good free throw shooting team. So being able to get back in the gym and rep a lot of free throws, which we’ve been able to do the last couple weeks. We have great shooters on this team; we should be able to shoot the ball well.“

On concerns about Army:
“First of all, they’re extremely disciplined when you talk about their defense. They do a really good job holding opponents under their averages. They really make you have to work in terms of the offensive end and they do a really nice job. Like you said, [Kelsey] Minato does so much for them, but she has a really high IQ. She’s able to make everybody around her better. When you take a possession off and you lose sight of some of the other players, they’re all very capable of being able to put up some quality points.”

Alyssa Thomas, Maryland Forward:

On getting off to a good start:
“We’ve just been focusing on ourselves and having the energy from the start. I think last week we really took care of that in practice and got after it and really worked hard.”

On whether this game is like the Navy game in the 2012 NCAA Tournament:
“They want it. They came in and played hard from the tip and we expect the same thing from Army”

On her thoughts about playing in her final NCAA Tournament: “It’s just all about coming out and playing your best game every night and just giving everything you have left. You can’t really think about this being your last game because you don’t want to think of that. It’s all about playing hard.”

On being 12 points from breaking school scoring record:
“I knew I was close, but I didn’t know how much. It’s not really on the top of my list right now. It’s more about trying to get a national championship and coming out to play hard each and every night.”

On appreciation for kids from Army and Navy:
“I just have a great respect for them. They get up 6 a.m., do runs, play basketball and after this they’re going to serve our country. So only the utmost respect for them.”

Lexie Brown, Maryland Guard:

On playing in her first NCAA Tournament:
“I’m just really excited. It’s just a lot of excitement. Coach B and all the coaches have really helped us wrap our minds around what we’re about to get into. Nerves have kind of gone away after two weeks of tough practice. I think I’m just ready to start playing.”

On preparing for her first NCAA tournament game:
“Fortunately, I don’t have to prepare for a hostile environment because we technically have a home game. I’m expecting everybody’s best game. We cannot come out slow. I’m just really excited to play. I don’t think we’re gonna have any slow starts. I’m so grateful we actually have one home game and then hopefully a second home game also.”

On her appreciation for kids from Army and Navy:
“I think it’s incredible what they signed up to do. I can’t imagine doing anything like that. We complain about having tough practices and homework, but they’re preparing to lay their lives down for us and serve our country. So I have the greatest respect for all of them.”


Dave Magarity, Army Head Coach:

Opening Statement:
“First of all, I am thrilled to be here. It’s pretty exciting to be hosted by your former boss [Kevin Anderson] here at the University of Maryland. Kevin Anderson and I have a long history. It was a thrill to get to this point. It’s been a great journey the past four years with this group. Overcoming a tremendous disappointment last year and surprising everybody and winning a regular season championship and being a one seed, and then having a devastating loss in the first round. This team has shown an incredible amount of resolve, I thought. In all my years doing this, and I’ve been doing this quite a while, this team probably improved and learned from their mistakes more than any team I’ve ever coached. I’m proud of what they did. I think it’s been a special year for us. For us to be able to win a championship and secure a NCAA bid on our home floor was really special. It’s been a great run for us and a great ride.”

On defending Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas:
“She is a special player. As a three-time ACC player of the year, watching film has been an adventure for my staff and me. She is going to be a tough cover for us. There is no way around it. She is about as versatile a player as I’ve ever seen. This young lady is different. The way she plays and the way she controls the tempo of the game, creates a tough match-up.”

On the late Army head coach Maggie Dixon:
“It’s a very emotional thing for me. It was a good fit at the time. Everybody that I had known during my years competing against Army made me feel like I was needed, but more than anything, it was Maggie [Dixon] and her brother Jamie [Dixon]. I certainly have no regrets. [Kevin] allowed me to do something special and hire my daughter as an assistant coach. I look back on the sequence of events and have nothing but great memories of Maggie [Dixon]. She is such a fabric of our history and these young ladies have bought into that.”

On how he has changed as a coach:
“The players might not agree with it, but I’m probably a little bit calmer than I was. The time I spent with Maggie Dixon, I was the big teddy bear assistant coach. I could go home after practice without all the headaches. I told Army if I stay, I’m not going to be the same person. It was tough, the first couple of years were rough. I don’t think I’ve ever been tougher on a player then I have been on Jen Hazlett and the reason is that she is one of the most talented players that I have ever coached, male or female, and I’ve had some pretty good players. She just stepped up big time this year; had a wonderful senior year and helped lead us to this point.”

Kelsey Minato, Army Guard:

On matching up with Alyssa Thomas:
“She does it all for Maryland. She shoots, she rebounds, she passes. It will be a tough match-up for us. You can’t really stop her you just hope to contain her. We are going to try to throw stuff at her and get her out of her game a little bit.”

On defense being the key to the game:
“Defense is what propels us to win games and to be productive on offense. It all starts on the defensive end. I think our defensive toughness has been a big part of our success this year. Maryland is obviously a really good team and one of the best rebounding teams in the nation if not the best so that’s definitely a big part of our game plan, controlling the boards and trying to box them out eveyr possession because when they get defensive rebounds, they go right into their transition break and that’s hard to stop. Defense is the overarching game plan.”

On the team’s trip to Walter Reed:
“Just to go there and see the people in rehab and the people who are fighting to get back and do what they love doing was just really humbling and put things back in perspective. It showed us why we’re playing basketball at West Point and who we’re playing for. It was really special for me and the team to see that.”

Jen Hazlett, Army Guard/Forward:

On making her NCAA debut:
“I think everyone on the team is just excited to get to this point, especially for me, it’s taken four years, and everyone else a little less time than that. We are here now and we are just going to enjoy this moment and cherish it.”

On Coach Magarity:
“He has changed quite a bit. My freshman year was a big transition for me coming out of high school. It’s a different ball game in college, a lot more pressure is on so I understand why coaches get the way they do. Coach only does it because he cares and he wants us to play to our potential. I learned to trust him and what he has to say about my play and my game. I really learned a lot from him and I have changed completely from my freshman year to now and it’s all because of him. He’s definitely mellowed down, but he still has his moments.”

On representing the Patriot League:
“We’re going to represent the Patriot League well because we are one of the toughest teams that I have ever been a part of and everyone is just ready to play and we’re going to compete. We have some tough girls on this team, we’re all going to the army so we’re pretty tough girls and we play like that on the court.”

Olivia Schretzman, Army Forward:

On the team’s confidence:
“I would say we are not intimidated just based on who we are as a team, cadets and people. We gotten to this point not individually, so we are not going into this as individuals. We work together and that’s how we’ve been successful. Together we are not intimidated and together we fight.”

On coming together as a team:
”I think what brought us together at the end was our toughness. We had a rough patch near the end of the season. Our only loss at home was to Holy Cross then we lost a tough one to Colgate and as captains we looked for what we were fighting for and our toughness definitely made us stronger and made us the best team in the Patriot League. Tomorrow, you’re going to see a lot of that toughness come through. We’re not going to underestimate the enemy, but at the same time, we’re going to compete like we have the past 27 games.”