Remaining 4 coaches speak matchups, and way more


Georgia Amoore, Taylor Soule, Elizabeth Kitley and coach Kenny Brooks on the dais Thursday. Virginia Tech Athletics photograph.

Previous to Remaining 4 play Friday, workforce coaches answered questions from the media.

Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks on making the transfer in 2016 from teaching his alma mater, James Madison:

Once I was at James Madison, I felt like I used to be so busy making a life, that I wasn’t dwelling a life. It was a blur. I watched my children develop up, and I missed quite a bit. I missed an entire lot.

So when the Virginia Tech alternative got here alongside, my spouse was on board as a result of she understood that the challenges that I wished to perform, I wished to check my wits towards the very best, and she or he knew that. However my kids had by no means moved. Unprecedented, they’d by no means moved earlier than of their lives. They lived in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their grandparents lived there. Their cousins lived there, their aunts. They’d a standard life. They didn’t have a coach’s household life.

I taught them to hate Virginia Tech as a result of we have been James Madison, and we have been all the time battling. My oldest little one was on board. My child lady, she didn’t know what was happening. She was simply going the place daddy and mommy went. My center little one was reluctant. She mentioned, I’m not going. She mentioned, I’m staying right here.

In the end, someday I used to be sitting, as I used to be considering, I used to be sitting on my mattress really, and my center little one Chloe, the one who got here to the match with me in 2017, she laid on the mattress with me, and she or he mentioned I don’t need to be the rationale that you just don’t exit and get what you deserve. So she mentioned, I’ll go. When she mentioned that, I simply misplaced it.

Proper then and there, I knew that they have been going to be integrated in the whole lot that we did at Virginia Tech. In consequence, it’s helped us — household environment. They’re round. The youngsters know them. Georgia and Liz come to my home on a regular basis, whether or not I’m there or not, to see my spouse or to prepare dinner, to bake, or do no matter.

So it’s simply actually helped our tradition, incorporating my household into the whole lot, and it’s helped me turn into a greater father. I’ve had extra dinners on the dinner desk with my children since I’ve been at Virginia Tech than I ever imagined having at James Madison.

On the Hokies belonging within the Remaining 4:

The No. 1 seed means we belong right here. We’re not a No. 6 seed who’s made a match or a run and it’s very shocking. We should always anticipate to be right here. Lots of people ought to anticipate us to be right here. Due to the title on the entrance, as a result of it hasn’t had a historical past like a Tennessee or a UConn had, individuals are actually fast to doubt you.

Our youngsters have seen that. Like they talked about, they’re basketball junkies. They know the whole lot that Charlie Creme says. They know bracketology each second. They know the whole lot. Earlier than I can textual content them as a result of anyone made a very good transfer, they’re texting me, did you see that transfer that such and such made? They’re basketball junkies.

So after they see the whole lot that’s written about them and folks writing them off, I like the best way they’ve dealt with it. They’re not offended. They’re not offended like, we’re going to show you flawed. They’re so assured in themselves, okay, we’re going to show ourselves proper. We all know how good we’re. We all know we belong right here. We all know we’re a No. 1 seed.

We didn’t simply occur to get fortunate to get a No. 1 seed. We beat numerous actually good basketball groups convincingly, and we anticipate to have that. So because of this, being right here just isn’t a shock. We’re very lucky, we perceive that it takes numerous exhausting work and a few luck, however we anticipate to be right here.

LSU coach Kim Mulkey on the relationships she has along with her former gamers:

Initially, let me make it clear. You’re not in touch with all of your former gamers. Some don’t such as you. You then’ve acquired those who you keep in touch with.

People who don’t such as you, it’s often one in all three causes: You both needed to self-discipline them actually exhausting, dismiss them, or they didn’t get sufficient enjoying time. However you hope that, when your profession is over, you’ve got extra that love you and such as you and recognize you than don’t.

I feel, as I inform them on a regular basis, faculty are the best years of your life, interval. They’re the best years of your life. You’re not paying payments. You’re not altering diapers often. You’re simply attending to do what everyone would like to do, go to highschool at no cost and play basketball.

Nicole, I inherited as Baylor. She was one in all my, if not — properly, she and Sheila Lambert have been my two guards. So pleased with her. She’s been capable of go to state championships within the state of Texas, and it’s going to be good to see them. I’ll have a few of them out on the courtroom in a minute who have been a part of the 2005 Nationwide Championship workforce.

That’s why you coach. You coach to influence lives, and you might not notice it as a student-athlete the influence a coach has till 10, 20, and 30 years down the street.

On whether or not or not transgender athletes needs to be allowed to compete with non-transgender athletes:

I hope I reply this in a really delicate approach as a result of I feel everyone knows transgenders. I feel everyone knows individuals who is probably not like we’re.

I had a dialog with Debbie Antonelli. She has a particular wants little one, and we discovered the Particular Olympics for them, didn’t we? We discovered a spot for them to compete. And I feel that with time, perhaps you will notice a league or one thing for transgender athletes.

I simply assume that I’m delicate to these on one aspect, and but I’m additionally delicate to these on the opposite aspect. Does that make sense? Is {that a} good, politically appropriate reply so I don’t get in bother?

You’re going to search out this extraordinarily fascinating. When this subject grew to become obvious, after I was at Baylor, I had that dialog with the athletic director, and I’ll depart it at that. So I used to be form of forward of the curve. I had a dialog. What if? I by no means acquired a solution. And I’ll depart it at that. However I used to be very a lot conscious.

However I additionally need you to know that I’ve conversations with transgender individuals who don’t imagine that they need to be competing towards organic females, and I discover that actual fascinating. So that you ask questions. You’re human. You need to hear sides of tales and give you what you assume, however on the finish of the day, no one cares what I feel. No one cares. However thanks for asking that.

On whether or not or not she has spoken with Brittney Griner since her launch from captivity in Russia:

No. However I’m glad she’s again. I’m glad she’s protected, she’s sound. I feel everyone is. However no, I’ve not.

South Carolina coach Daybreak Staley on what she sees within the matchup with Iowa star Caitlin Clark, and if she senses further movitation/”juice” from her personnel:

The juice is within the profitable the Nationwide Championship. Our gamers don’t actually care about something apart from that. So we’re — once more, we’re sturdy in our beliefs and what we do and the way we’ve executed issues.

And at this level, we simply need to win, and that’s their method. I like them for that. They’re not letting anyone factor or anyone individual distract them from the purpose at hand.

On what she has realized from earlier Remaining 4 appearances:

I don’t assume I can keep in mind. There’s simply actually numerous stuff that it’s important to do. So should you don’t know that and also you’re experiencing it for the primary time, it’s exhausting since you don’t really feel such as you get sufficient time to prep, and it’s the largest stage of faculty ladies’s basketball.

In order that’s what it’s, simply put together for lengthy days and fewer prep time. However when you’re right here, you’re not going to create any magic. You’re not going to create any magic. I do assume relaxation is equally as vital as getting out on the ground and figuring out.

So simply the expertise of getting again right here and figuring out and the place to focus.

On whether or not or not she would contemplate taking the boys’s teaching job at Temple:

No ideas. I don’t need to coach within the males’s recreation. It’s chilly up there too.

On what has pushed her:

But it surely was one in all my lifelong desires as a toddler rising up in North Philly within the initiatives. I solely noticed ladies play two instances on tv: That was the Olympics, and that was the Nationwide Championship Sport. That was the driving drive in me wanting to perform that as a result of at the moment that was the largest — it’s most likely nonetheless the largest factor apart from enjoying within the league.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder on receiving a message from former Hawkeye coach Vivian Stringer after the workforce superior to the spherical of 4:

It wasn’t a textual content, it was a voice message, which tells you the age of each of us. Who leaves voice messages anymore? However I like voice messages as a result of you possibly can hear the passion of their voice versus studying it on a textual content, and she or he undoubtedly had numerous enthusiasm.

Her love for the Hawks is robust, and I’m grateful — you have been speaking about mentors, and for the gamers, Vivian was definitely one in all mine. So I’m very grateful to have her assist, because the final individual that took this workforce to a Remaining 4. That basically means quite a bit.

To take our workforce again right here, generally as a coach, while you’re at some place for therefore lengthy, it does get a bit previous. You’re like, properly, it’s been since ’93 since they’ve been within the Remaining 4. So, sure, it feels good to be again right here once more, completely. But it surely’s all the time the individuals that you just’re round.

To me, this group of ladies are particular. That’s what makes the yr particular to me.

On workforce camaraderie:

We love being round one another. We actually do. We form of joked about that. We got here straight from Seattle. We didn’t go residence. We’ve been on the street collectively for 2 weeks now, and we’ve loved each minute of it.

In case you didn’t just like the individuals you have been round, this might be a chore. It could not be a lot enjoyable. However while you belief the individuals that you just’re round, when you’ve got respect for them, when they’re doing their job, it’s such a comforting feeling, and also you don’t need it to finish.

This has been a enjoyable season for us, and so, yeah, we are not looking for it to finish.

On Caitlin Clark and coaches adjusting to working collectively:

Her freshman yr, I undoubtedly had some instances I used to be pulling my hair out. There’s little question about it. Simply she needed to discover ways to play with different gamers that have been good gamers. In highschool she needed to do all of it on her personal. I keep in mind going to her highschool video games, as she mentioned, and children yelling “overrated” to her from the stands. I simply would like to see them in the present day.

However truthfully, she did check us her freshman yr. So we needed to study — it was give and take. It wasn’t all controlling what she did as a result of I feel, while you attempt to stifle anyone like that, you’re ruining a bit little bit of the kind of participant they’re. What she does on her personal is particular. I feel, should you have been making an attempt to inform her precisely what shot is, as a result of what shot for her is completely completely different than what shot for anyone else is. So she has a bit separate algorithm, fairly truthfully, than different individuals as a result of she will be able to do issues different individuals can’t do.

We needed to get her to grasp methods to play inside a system a bit bit with out placing out the hearth of being Caitlin Clark.



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