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    Notre Dame Basketball Media Day

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    Notre Dame Basketball Media Day
    October 15, 2009
    Purcell Pavilion - Notre Dame, Ind.

    Women's Basketball Players

    Junior Forward Becca Bruszewski
    On having too much offense...
    "I mean I guess it is a good and bad thing because it is more of a challenge in practice. We are really going to challenge each other. The competition is going to increase. We are going to fight for playing time. Our pick-up game has increased (in intensity). The entire defense has. It's really good."

    On freshman Skylar Diggins...
    "Skylar fits in perfectly, her and Kaila (Turner) both. Their shots are falling, they are looking good, and they are working through the offense. She is just a normal freshman. They all go through the transition of a faster-paced game. I can see that in pick-up. She has adjusted well, her and Kaila both."

    On what has changed in her own game...
    "I think just maybe my game smarts. When I was a freshman, I was really intimidated and when I was out there, you could tell I wasn't really playing how I play. And last year, I got a totally new comfort level, both inside and outside. Coach (McGraw) kind of let me do whatever I could and just gave me the confidence."

    On team chemistry changing because of high expectations...
    "I don't think it really changed the chemistry much. We all get along. We are all great. Practice-wise, it will be a little more intense fighting for those five spots and playing time. It's been so far, so good. We are just looking forward to it."

    On playing time possibly dropping because of depth...
    "I think everyone is. Coach (McGraw) said that when we get into the season, she is going to do what the team needs at that point in time."

    On what she worked on this summer...
    "I did a lot of ball handling, shooting drills, pull-ups, and conditioning so I can play the four and five."

    On motivation after last year's disappointing loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at home...
    "Right after the loss, we cracked down on the defense to the extreme. We are going to work on playing 40 minutes on both sides of the court. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it was learned. I mean we aren't going back."

    Senior Guard/Tri-Captain Melissa Lechlitner
    On getting rest during the game...
    "I mean there are 14 people on the roster. A lot of players, we can rotate in and out. If someone is feeling a little tired, we can get a quick sub for them. It should be a lot better with the variety of players we can throw into the game."

    On preseason expectations...
    "You try and ignore it. It is great to be recognized preseason and everything, but at the same time, it has no importance on our season and how we play as a team. We just try and take it with a grain of salt."

    On what she wants to do as a senior...
    "Personally as a senior, I want to do some big things. All five of us as seniors have talked about what we want to do and we have high expectations for what we want to do as seniors. We really want to accomplish some things this year."

    Junior Forward Devereaux Peters
    On playing on a team with great talent...
    "This is a great team. I'm really excited for this year. I have played on some good teams and this is obviously a really great team. We are going to be something to watch for this year."

    On coming back from her injury...
    "Slowly but surely getting there. It will probably be a few months before I am fully healed and back on the court, but we are taking it one day at a time.

    On freshman Skylar Diggins...
    "She is doing great. Obviously she has a lot of pressure, being from right here in town and the media all over her and everything, but I think she has played really well with all of us. At first, I think she was kind of nervous because you could tell it was a lot, but we have accepted her and she has been playing great with us. I'm excited for this year."

    On her feelings when she comes back healthy...
    "It will feel wonderful. It has been a long time (since I was completely healthy). I will be really excited."

    Senior Guard/Tri-Captain Ashley Barlow
    On the toughness for the team to adjust to Skylar Diggins joining the team with all of the publicity and media surrounding her arrival...
    "She is just so humble about it. She meshes well with us and we all get along with her, and everybody on the team gets along with each other. Our chemistry is great."

    On having 14 people on the team...
    "It's a lot of people, but none of the girls are worried about it. We're just all looking to go out there and have some fun."

    Freshman Guard Skylar Diggins
    On her initial thoughts on the upcoming season...
    "I'm so excited to actually put a jersey on. It's starting to get real, and I'm about ready to play a game tonight, and you just have to tell yourself 'Let's go, Let's go'. I'm so excited and this is what I've been waiting for. This is what all the hard work has been for, and I just can't wait to get in my jersey and play. I'm so excited for my family to be around and see me play, and Coach (McGraw) has told me to try to get rid of the pressure, but I'm just ready to get started."

    On the pressure of the upcoming season, and what she has to prove...
    "I don't have to prove anything. I'm just coming out here to play with a great group of girls, and they've really welcomed me. We're excited and ready to get started with the season."

    On her worries of all the girls getting enough playing time...
    "I'm not too worried because we are just trying to win. Nobody here thinks about themselves. It's all about the team here, and I've seen that in practice already."

    On coming off the bench...
    "I just want to win games. My opportunity will come whenever it does, and I think it is better to be in at the end of games than in the beginning. I've just been like a sponge in practice, learning things from everybody."

    On her biggest adjustment from high school to college...
    "It's more physical, and the pace is different. As the weeks have been going by, we have been doing a lot of conditioning, and I've definitely been hitting the weight room. It helps a lot, and I can tell that I'm adjusting."

    On the physicality of the BIG EAST...
    "No pit-pat fouls in the BIG EAST. They're going to let you play a little bit. I'm excited and ready for that. In a conference like the BIG EAST, what more could you ask for in women's college basketball?"

    On her thought of a full-court paced game...
    "I don't know if you know this, but I went to Washington (High School), and we kind of had that style of play there. (Laughter) Coach (Marilyn) Coddens was definitely an 'in-your-face'-type defensive coach, along with my dad (current Washington head coach Maurice Scott), and we definitely spent most of our practices on defense. And I can see here that that's going be the case too. It's not going to be hard for me to adjust because I've been used to that kind of style. It's just a lot more intense."

    On her thought of an arena full of people that have come to see her play...
    "I don't think that. I guess I'm from the community so I know a lot of people. But I'm just really excited. I don't really think that there is any pressure. I've been playing basketball for a long time, and I've played in front of a lot of big crowds before. I'm just ready to get started, and I don't know what else to say. I don't know if you guys understand this, but this is all surreal to me, being in this jersey. We've got a game in 2-3 weeks, and I'm ready for it."

    On any possible disadvantages that could come about by attending a university so close to home...
    "I've come to one of the best academic universities in the country with a huge athletic program, tradition, and I'm having a really good time."

    Fifth-Year Senior Guard/Tri-Captain Lindsay Schrader
    On being here five years...
    "I think I'm just going to stay here forever because it feels like I have been here for a long time. But I'm glad to stay; it's one of the best decisions that I have ever made since coming to Notre Dame. Everything happens for a reason and I'm glad that I'm here for my fifth year. This year is going to be something special and I can't wait to be a part of it."

    On expectations...
    "We have high expectations on our end. I'm not going to promise you a national championship, but I'll definitely promise you that this team is going to give 110 percent all the time. We're not going to stop running, we're not going to stop shooting, we're not going to stop until we reach all of our goals. My personal goal is to get to the Final Four. I want to go to San Antonio."

    On the way last year ended, with a loss at home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament...
    "It's still in my mind. Last year has not only driven me this summer, but the team as well. It makes us work even harder."

    On the competition for playing time and chemistry...
    "This team has chemistry. We have great chemistry, which makes a good team. I'd give my heart to anyone on this team, that's how close I am to them. You have to have a team like that or you're never going to get anywhere. Everybody wants to play, everybody wants to win. I think that's the main mindset of this team: they want to win. If it's being on the sideline cheering, or if it's getting rebounds and scoring no points, that's fine with me. That's the attitude I'm going in with."

    On winning...
    "I would do anything to make this team a winner, anything, anything possible. If that means scoring 30 points a game, hey, I'd be happy to score 30 points a game. But if it's getting five turnovers a game, hey, I'll do it. I'll do anything and I don't care about the personal stats, I only care about this team. This is the last go-around, so I might as well do it right. I just care so much about winning. We've come up short the last couple years, but I'm a winner, I hate to lose. This year, it's definitely going to be different because the whole team has that attitude."

    Junior Guard Brittany Mallory
    On having fun...
    "We're really comfortable with each other. We didn't lose anyone and we have great additions in Skylar (Diggins) and Kaila (Turner). We're really excited for this year."

    On the potential for this year...
    "We're super excited. We're excited for practice to start, that's our main focus and we want to start off on a good foot. Once we get everyone back, we're going to be great. We are very excited for this year."

    On depth...
    "It's been very competitive. We're excited about the different options we can have with everyone coming back. It's just going to be a great year with playing time and different matchups. It's going to give opponents a tough look at us."

    On freshman Skylar Diggins...
    "She's showing a lot of commitment to our team. She's excited to learn new things, to get out and practice, and we're all here to help her."

    On using last year's first round exit from the NCAA tournament as motivation...
    "Last year left a bitter taste in our mouth, but we're excited about seeing how far we can go. We're looking at the BIG EAST first, but our whole season will build up to the NCAA Tournament."

    Freshman Guard Kaila Turner
    On the excitement of playing for Notre Dame...
    "It is an amazing experience being with the players that I am with, just their caliber. It's nice being able to play with the people that I used to play against. It's just a good experience."

    On what she adds to the team...
    "I bring more of a distributing game. I try to get everyone involved."

    On the team's potential...
    "It's going to be an exciting year. We have a lot of talent here. It's just such an overwhelming experience to be here."

    On goals for the next four years...
    "I definitely want to win a national championship. Everyone that plays basketball wants to win a national championship. It would be amazing."

    On freshman Skylar Diggins...
    "She's a very vocal player and likes to get everyone involved as well. Above all, she is definitely a scorer. She is a good scorer I've noticed."

    Senior Center Erica Williamson
    On returning from injury and looking forward to the BIG EAST season...
    "I think coming back from last season and going forward to this season, we're really looking forward to really being the presence that a lot of people expect us to be. At Notre Dame, we have had a lot of expectations in the past and this year it's going to be really important to fulfill those. We had a terrible end to the season last year and this year we are just eager to play and eager to get started so we can start to right our wrongs a little bit."

    On what the biggest factor will be on making a successful NCAA Tournament run...
    "I think the biggest factor will be how our team can adapt to different situations that we put ourselves into, or that we're put into by other teams. We are such a unique team that we have so many different diverse skills with all of our different players and how deep we are. I think it's going to be unique how we react to the way different teams play us and how we rebound from difficult situations."

    On the differences from last year to this year...
    "I think the fans are going to see the spirit of our team this year. This year, there is something unique about our team chemistry. We are all excited to play and we are all happy with each other. People will notice how much we love each other as sisters and how much we love each other as teammates."

    Sophomore Forward Erica Solomon
    On expectations...
    "They are extremely high. Last year didn't end as well as we wanted it to, but I think this year is going to be a lot better."

    On looking to the NCAA Tournament...
    "You have to take it one game at a time. We can't think about the tournament right now ... we try to take it one game at a time. It (last year's NCAA first-round loss) was a big motivation in the offseason."

    On having too much talent...
    "It's not possible to have too much talent on a team. It is a threat in every way. We are pushing everybody to the max, both offensively and defensively."

    On defense...
    "We're improving a lot in the defensive area. It's going to be one of the main words that comes up a lot. Coach (McGraw) will mention it a lot more than once. Defense is a big key."


     

     

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