Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women's Basketball Pre-NCAA Tournament Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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March 16, 2004

Arizona Women's Basketball
Pre-NCAA Tournament Quotes
March 16, 2004

Head coach Joan Bonvicini

What are your thoughts about Michigan State?
"We know Michigan State is a good team, and the game is going to be exciting. We have some similarities, with both teams being tall up front, both teams go about seven players deep, and both teams are fairly young. We start one senior, they have a senior who comes off the bench."

"Both teams are young, but that is where the similarities end. In terms of playing style, they are more of a zone, match-up zone team. Michigan State puts pressure with some presses, and they like ball control."

"Michigan State is one of the best teams in the country in terms of defensive points allowed, and we like to get out and run."

How do you feel about your team?
"I feel really good about our team. I think we are peaking at the right time. We have a very good basketball team, I believe the best team we have ever had at Arizona."


What are your thoughts about playing on the road?
"The last three weeks we were on the road. We played up at Washington and swept that series, and we were at San Jose (Calif.), which was more of a neutral site. We have a good team, and I have a lot of confidence in our ability playing on the road."

What are your thoughts on your team's No. 9 seed?
"I have coached a long time. This is my 16th year of coaching teams in the NCAA Tournament. This is the lowest seed of any team I have ever coached. This is the lowest seed of any team I have had at Arizona, and this is the best team Arizona has ever had."

"I was surprised. I was even more surprised to be sent to Austin, Texas, rather than Tempe, Ariz. The West didn't get any respect whatsoever. Speaking on the behalf of not only Arizona, but also the Pac-10, the schools from the West are coming out with a chip on their shoulders. I hope every team from the West does really well."

Junior guard Dee-Dee Wheeler

Has the rest from a long break helped the team?
"Our team is rested, we needed the rest. We go about seven players deep, so our team will benefit from the time we have had to rest and prepare."

What do you know about Michigan State?
"Michigan State is a team that likes to play physical, similar to Big Ten teams. They are not quick compared to us and other teams in the Pac-10. Wwe like to get up and down the court and run. So, they are a team that is very different from us in terms of playing style."

How prepared is Arizona for this game?
"Stanford really prepared us. Stanford is one of the best teams in the country. It prepared us in terms of outside shooting, and playing against Nicole Powell, who is one of the best players in the country, prepared us for other great players we will face."

"We take from the Pac-10 our transition game, so hopefully that will help us."

How do you feel about playing as a No. 9 seed?
"It shocked us. We wanted to go to Tempe and play close to home. It shows that the Pac-10 teams didn't get any respect, and that the West coast teams didn't get any respect."

"We have to take it one game at a time."

Senior guard Aimee Grzyb

Will Arizona come out and play hard because of its low seed?
"It doesn't seem like the Pac-10 gets any respect. All we can do right now is play our best and hope that the other Pac-10 schools do the same, and gain some respect by winning."

How do you feel about playing in Texas?
"That is going to be difficult to play in Texas. We first have to play Michigan State, and we have been slowly learning about them. We know that they are a very good team."

How comfortable is Arizona playing on the road?
"I think that we went on the road at Washington and started a trend of winning on the road. We then went to the Pac-10 Tournament, and played all right there on a neutral court. The first round of the NCAA Tournament is also a neutral court, so it is something that we have faced before."

How do you feel Arizona will respond from the long rest?
"We are going to be ready, we need the rest. A lot of our starters were banged up, and a little rest will not hurt us at all, it will help us. When it comes down to it, we will be so excited and energized to play, you won't notice the break between playing games."

"We have been conditioning a lot at practice, playing a lot of game situations so we can stay in shape and get ready for the Tournament."

What do you know about Michigan State?
"We know that they have very big post players. They like to run the zone, and they are a great zone team. They pride themselves on defense. I know that they are one of the top defending teams in the nation in terms of points allowed."

How did the Pac-10 Tournament get Arizona ready for the NCAA Tournament?
"In the Pac-10 Tournament, it was one-and-done, if you lose you are out. Being on the road and that will help us out because it is the same situation we will face in the NCAA Tournament."

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