Following breakfast and study hall, the Florida State women's basketball team practiced for nearly an hour at Maples Pavilion, the site of the Seminoles' NCAA Tournament first round match up with Old Dominion. The 10th-seeded Seminoles (22-9) will play 7th-seeded Old Dominion (24-8) Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Prior to Friday's practice session, Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau, senior Alicia Gladden and sophomore Mara Freshour participated in a press conference. Here are quotes from Florida State and Old Dominion's press conferences:
NCAA Women's Basketball Press Conference Quotes Stanford University, March 16, 2007
FLORIDA STATE Head Coach Sue Semrau:
"This is the first time in our school's history that we've been in the tournament for three years in row. We're proud to have become the program that we have been working for the last 10 years. We have a young team, a balanced team, we have good size, we have good speed and we have continued to grow up in a very difficult conference.
On Alicia Gladden:
"Alicia Gladden who has been to the last three rounds, she's been really under the radar nationally, balanced on both ends of the floor, 1st team All-ACC defensive team which is a five player team. This team was picked b y the coaches and is quite an honor, especially in a conference as talented as the ACC."
On Mara Freshour:
"Mara Freshour has really stepped into a leadership role, she has been our point guard all year after transferring to the position and we have been extremely pleased with her progress."
On having a lower seed and being an underdog:
"After the seedings are announced we don't pay much attention to seeding. We were told we would wear the dark uniforms but it doesn't really matter about the seed, it comes down with how we match-up with the opponent, whoever that might be."
Update on Shante Williams:
"She's been practicing for the last two days, her hip is of concern to us. At the same time she will give us a little bit of added depth that we have needed the past few games. We will see how she is today and hopefully she will be available to us this weekend."
On ODU guard TJ Jordan:
"I have seen a lot of her on videotape, she is a tremendous shooter, anyone who makes 100 3's in a season is a legit shooter. She's not just limited as a three-point shooter, she does so many things well, and is just a tremendous scorer and someone we will pay a good deal of attention to." On Old Dominion: We're very excited for this match-up, Old Dominion is a tremendous program, Wendy Larry has her teams playing well year in and year out. It will be a great match-up tomorrow, they have equally as much size and speed as we do. Wendy and I talked about how we flew across the country to have a brawl out west. Overall we are looking forward to tomorrow's game."
What you've learned about ODU:
"We saw a little of them the other day in practice and we know their a good transition team and we match-up very well. We want to try and overcome their play and take advantage of them."
"We know the history and tradition of their program, they know how to win and we need to show them that we know how to win too. We know that they have strong post play and that their guards are just as good as ours too, we know were going to match-up well."
OLD DOMINION Head Coach Wendy Larry:
"This is a great time of year and we are excited that we're here. We're certainly glad to not be in Hartford where they're expecting 14 inches of snow. What a great match-up: Old Dominion and Florida State. Two very physical front lines, two very athletic perimeters."
On their schedule:
"We added three players to our roster that were not a significant part of us last year because of injuries. Putting three players, three significant players, into our roster was quite challenging and we had to learn how to accept some roles. That was probably one of our most difficult non-conference schedules in our history, in a long time. We really struggled with a number of contests. Certainly Virginia was ugly early. Tennessee got a little bit better. We took a step back in Charlotte. We came back home and really put together a fine performance against Rutgers, which really, I think, catapulted us into our conference and made us believers. That we could play together. That we had accepted roles at that point in time. Our depth has been really key for us. On any given night, somebody else steps up. Obviously, TJ and Sherida have really been huge for consistency that they bring us. We had some just terrific performances in our conference tournament and not just all from TJ and Sherida. Tamara Ransburg who was one of those ladies that has been out for two years (due to knee injury and transfer) has a lot of rust to shake. Here we are at the most exciting time of the year, and she's playing her best basketball. As is Tiffany Green, who was out with a broken foot last year. With that being said, certainly Sherida, Tiffany, Ta(mara), Megan and Jessica will have their hands full with the front line that Florida State has. The physicality of their league. The challenges they have every night in their league. The seed that Florida State received is not indicative of the strength of their team. They are a very good basketball team and Sue has done a great job with them this year."
On Megan Pym:
"She just plays passionately. If we can get Megan not to think so much sometimes, I think she would take another step in the right direction. The most important part of the process is keeping her on the floor. She has a tendency to pick up some quick, silly fouls. She has certainly heard that loud and clear that her availability is very important to us."
On 10th Anniversary of Old Dominion/Stanford Final Four game:
"My greatest memory of that year was the tremendous team Tara had. For most of the season, they were the favorite for the National Championship. We played them early in the year, at our place, and we were able to defeat them. Maybe one of the very few losses they had throughout the entire regular season. To be in the bracket we were in, and I think, first of all beating Purdue at our place. To go to Purdue and play them in the regional tournament and then having to play Sue Gunter and LSU and then to beat Florida in the regional championship. Knowing what was your first step in Cincinnati was an unbelievable task. That semifinal game, I still think it ranks among one of the best semifinal contests in NCAA Women's Basketball History. It was a catapult for an Old Dominion, at one point in time, was a pioneer in our sport. To be in the championship game with Tennessee, unfortunately we didn't cross the finish line. That victory over Stanford was such a huge victory for our program that it took a little steam out of us in the championship. I have a postscript to that. Two or three years ago, we played an exhibition game against a West Coast team. Kate Starbird was on that team. She came in and threw up about 40 against us that night. Ran by the bench and told us she has never forgotten. We know that 10 years have passed, but in fact history lingers."
On getting acclimated to time change:
"As far as coming over here it was a little long because we had to pick up Middle Tennessee. Other than that everything was comfortable. We had Subway, so that was cool, on the plane. In the time adjustment, me personally, I've been waking up at 6 o'clock every morning due to the time difference. Other than that, I'm getting adjusted."
On match-up with Florida State:
"I agree with TJ. We got to come out and play our game and play defense. We need to not worry about them."
On poor rebounding against JMU:
"Every practice we've had. We just got to check out. It's nothing that's not fixable, so if we check out, play together. Just do what we have to do."
On getting acclimated to time change:
"I'm pretty much used to the time. The flight was good. It was long for me, but other than that, everything went good."
On match-up with Florida State:
"I think their post-players we've pretty much seen. I think the key is containing them and penetration."
Story & Interview conducted by www.seminoles.com
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