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    2011 NCAA Selection Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    March 14, 2011

    Notre Dame Women's Basketball
    2011 NCAA Championship Selection Special
    March 14, 2011

    Muffet McGraw - Head Coach

    On the selection...
    "We're thrilled to be a two seed. I think we earned it. It was a great season for us. We were hoping for a two, but you never know where they'll put you in the bracket. Salt Lake City is a place we've never been so it will be a great experience for us."

    On recent break...
    "I think we got a great mental break and now we're coming back and I think we're going to be really ready. This team gets really excited about the next game and after the loss, they're ready to get out there and play."

    On playing a team on their home court...
    "We're excited Utah is in the tournament because they'll draw a great crowd. We like to play in an atmosphere where there are a lot of people there, so we're excited about playing at Utah."

    On last year's experience in the Sweet 16...
    "It's very important, especially for those younger players. To have Skylar have that under her belt it's very important. I'm glad the other players have the experience as well, but when you have your point guard in there before it makes things much smoother."

    On being the two seed in the Dayton region...
    "I think it's great. It's really rewarding for the season we had. There are a lot of great things about our team and the fact that they're continuing to talk about us as a team presents a challenge, which is a good thing!"

    Natalie Novosel - Jr. - Guard

    On playing a lower-seeded opponent on its home court in the first round...
    "I think we need to look at it as a neutral game. It being on their court of course gives some advantage, but we need to step back and look at it like a regular NCAA tournament game."

     

     

    On carrying the momentum from the past few weeks...
    "We've been practicing hard and we had a couple of days off. And now that we're back we're rested for those tough practices coming up. We know what we have to do to win and we're going to do that."

    On Notre Dame's dynamic offense despite losing so many players from the 2009-10 squad...
    "We lost a lot of people last year, but it gave other players the chance to step up this year and contribute in new ways. I think that really brought a great balance to our team. The first game against UConn was a big turning point for us. I think we carried that through the rest of the BIG EAST season."

    On Skylar Diggins moving to the point guard position this season...
    "She's been tremendous throughout her transition. She sees the floor really well and she has great support on the court. She does a great job finding all of us."

    On being the most improved player in the BIG EAST...
    "I wanted it for the team and for myself. I knew that with everyone leaving last year, I could fill that spot and that role that Ashley Barlow was in. That's what our team needed."

    Becca Bruszewski - Sr. - Forward

    On being on the opponent's home court...
    "It's definitely going to be tough. We know what it's like to play in front of home crowds. It's an advantage, but we're going to go in well-prepared for that."

    On losing so many seniors from 2009-10 squad...
    "We had a lot of people leave and that meant a lot of people had to step up and make big plays."

    On the mentality going into the NCAA Tournament...
    "I'm going to be ready to go for every game, especially this first one. I think about the loss to Oklahoma last year and (seeing) our seniors sitting there so upset and I don't want to feel that way."

    On what the team needs to do to go far in this tournament...
    "We need to play together and focus. We've been in all types of crowd situations so I think we can handle anything."

    Devereaux Peters - Sr. - Forward

    On having such a successful outcome for the 2010-11 season...
    "We pushed each other to get better and we definitely did that."

    On being singled out during the ESPN Selection Show...
    "It feels good. It's nice to have a big role, but I don't want to think too much about it. I just want to do what I have to do to help the team. I'll do whatever is possible."

    On overcoming her knee injuries...
    "When the conference (season) started this year I was feeling good. Before that, I was excited to be back, but I really hadn't had that game experience that everybody else had. I played here and there, but it had been right after surgery. After the first part of the season, I was a little shaky and I hadn't gotten into a rhythm. By the time I got to conference play I really found where I was. I was back to where I used to be."

    On playing on Utah's home court...
    "It will provide a challenge, but we are all excited and ready to start getting ready for what is ahead."

    Skylar Diggins - Soph. - Guard

    On being the No. 2 seed...
    "We are happy. We have worked hard all year and we can't make the decision for the (NCAA) committee. I believe the work that the coaches, my teammates and I put in will pay off."

    On playing on someone else's home court...
    "I believe the BIG EAST has prepared us for this. This is another opportunity to play a good team. The caliber of teams we have faced in the BIG EAST has prepared us for this."

    On preparing for the tournament...
    "The next week of practice for us is going to be strictly business. The only thing we are thinking about right now is Utah. I think this team has done a great job of staying focused on the game that is directly ahead of us."

    Brittany Mallory - Sr. - Guard

    On all of the hard work...
    "We have put the hours in. We have had some great workouts and especially over the last week. We couldn't be happier to have gotten the No. 2 seed. Now we are looking forward to preparing in the week ahead and going out west."

    On stepping up...
    "I think that Becca, Dev, Skylar and I have done a great job of keeping the team together this season. Skylar has stepped up this season. We have a great coach leading us and preparing us throughout the entire season. We couldn't ask for more going into this tournament and so much has to do with her."

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