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Utah vs. UCLA Postgame Quotes

March 8, 2013

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THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement?

COACH LEVRETS: First of all, we're really proud of our team, how well we battled in that second half after not playing great basketball in the first half. We gave them 12 [turnovers]. Seven offensive rebounds [for UCLA] in the first half to 12 turnovers. In the second half we eliminated that and competed. Other than that last segment, we were right there. So I'm really proud of our team, and we have some basketball left to play, and hopefully we can keep improving this year and into the future.

Q. Taryn, will you talk about that last segment? You guys had tied the game, gone ahead, and was it just a matter of not being able to sustain that?

Taryn Wicijowski: I feel like we missed shots that we could normally make. Whether we made it or not, obviously, missing shots after we got so much momentum took that away from us a little bit, and they made some tough shots too. They made a shot clock buzzer beater bank, so they made tough shots and we missed shots that we can make. I think that's more what it was.

Q. Coach, you went on a 15-2 run, and it seemed like when Taryn picked up her fourth foul is when things kind of shifted?

COACH LEVRETS: I agree. I think that was a huge call. But that's the way basketball works, not having one of your key players on the floor. That's the way it goes. If I comment any further, I'll get myself in trouble.

Q. Talk about Cheyenne (Wilson) off the bench tonight. TheSeattle kid comes in and gets you guys back in the game?

COACH LEVRETS: Yeah, Cheyenne (Wilson) started for us a lot down the stretch last year. You know, with Iwa (Rodrigues) playing more minutes this year, it's been tougher for her [Wilson] to get her minutes. But she's continued to improve, continues to work, and she can score. Obviously, we're going to have to replace some seniors next year, and Chey(enne Wilson) is one of those kids that are talented enough to do it. Hopefully we'll have a great off-season and see more of her playing like she did in the future.

Q. Michelle, what are you going to remember most about this senior group? You and Taryn have one more year left here, but I'm sure you learned a lot of things from some of those older players?

Michelle Plouffe: Yeah, they were such a great group of girls. They're great peopleoff the court and on the court they're just competitors. They can shoot the crap out of the ball. It's hard to replace players like that, but we're going to, hopefully.

Q. Anthony, are you disheartened by the way you guys played the last few weeks?

COACH LEVRETS: I was not disheartened ever. I know from the outside looking in everybody thought we would try to find a bridge to jump off of, but there aren't any in Salt Lake City, so they were safe. We played a very, very difficult schedule. It was not up-and-down basketball. It's a long, long year. It is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I was disheartened after some games with the outcome, but this is such an incredible group of kids. They've been through a ton of stuff in the last few years together, and nothing really seems to faze them as far as changing how we play or go about our business. I think [when] we started the year, I thought we had a chance to do something special. It probably ended short of where we all thought and hoped we'd end the season, but I love coaching them. I love being around them. It's hard to be disheartened when you walk into the room and there are 13 kids that you just love being around. I've said it over and over again, this is the most fun we've ever had as a staff with a group of kids, and it's hard to be disheartened for very long when that is the kind of kids you have.

Q. Walk me through what was working in the second half on that big run approach when Taryn said the shots weren't falling?

COACH LEVRETS: There is a great pressure on the basketball and switching, and it takes a little while to adjust that to. Especially when you don't get a practice, it takes a while. Your eyes and how we played, it takes a little while to see what you're seeing, and to be able to get catches right away. As the game went on, it gets harder and harder to do that, and we have good players. Eventually you adjust to what they're doing. We get the ball into good spots, they play well together, they play well off of each other, and I think not having "T" [Taryn Wicijowski] on the floor down the stretch is a huge part of what we're doing. We were playing great because we have good kids and they know how to play together.

Q. I asked Michelle the same thing, but what was message to the seniors in the locker room? Or what will it be?

COACH LEVRETS: The season is not over. We're going to be playing. It's probably not going to be in the NCAA Tournament. It's probably going to be in the NIT, but one of our kids said if we're going to be in the NIT, let's go win the whole thing. That is the message. The season is not over. It's not over until they make you stop playing, and we're going to take a few days off here, and hopefully get a little rest, get healthy, be students for a little while and then come back and practice and use this segment of practice time-however long we get-to try to get better, and we'll try to go beat whoever it is the next person on the schedule is.



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