March 18, 2013
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Holly Warlick
(On the announcement wait)
"Well, it's kind of strange. You just keep wanting to see your name come up and obviously we're excited that we did. Proud of the two seed, didn't know we would get a two seed. Glad for that and nice to know who we're playing and ready to get going."
(On being in Baylor bracket)
"I don't know what they think. Potentially we could possible play Baylor for the third time in Brittney Griner's senior year. Any bracket is going to be tough, and so we're going to take it one game at a time. We've got some solid teams in Knoxville; we'll go back watch tape tonight and get focused early."
(On bracket placement)
"I don't know. I think this whole team is surprised a lot of people, so nothing really phases us I don't think. We're just excited to be in the tournament and where we are. To beginning of the year losing your first game to UTC and that was a challenge for us. To start there and end up where we are now is a great tribute to these young ladies and how hard they worked all year."
(On not looking ahead)
"We can't. You cannot just think oh we're going to play Baylor; you've got to take care of teams here. I've actually gotten the chance to watch Syracuse play and they're a great team. We've got big games ahead of us before we can even think about the Baylor matchup."
(On underdog role)
"Yeah, we've been doing it all year, we've been the underdog. I think we've beaten teams in the SEC when we've needed to, and I think this team enjoys the underdog role."
(On surprise of being in Baylor bracket)
I mean of course. I don't know many people that would say I'd love to be in Baylor's bracket. I think everyone in Baylor's bracket would want to be in the other ones, but it is what it is. They play the game, and we have to play the game. I just keep in mind that we had ten loses and were playing number one UConn and we upset them to go to the Final Four and ended up winning. So anything is possible obviously. We're going to play the game and hope we get that opportunity."
(On this being chance for redemption)
"Well I think any game is a chance for redemption for us, because we were ranked twenty-something before we even started this journey. I think the opportunity to play and these ladies perform, and whoever they play we're going to be ready."
TENNESSEE SENIOR Taber Spani(On the bracket)
"Honestly, we're just excited. You never know, with these things, where you're gonna go or what it's going to look like. We're just excited about the opportunity we got. We're all focusing our entire efforts on getting ready for Saturday."
(On matching up with Baylor again)
"Everyone knows and respects Baylor, and we all know they're a great team, but we also believe in who we are and what we can do. They call it March Madness for a reason. You never know what's going to happen."
TENNESSEE SENIOR Kamiko Williams(On approach to NCAA Tournament)
"Really just take it one game at a time. People count us out, but we're here and got a two seed. We can't look past anyone and we're a young team, so that's going to take a lot of Taber (Spani), myself and Ariel (Massengale), but I think we'll be fine."
(On No. 2 seed)
"It is what it is, I think we all expected it. We're just going to focus on one team at a time and take it from there and just prepare."
(On starting in Knoxville)
"It's great, most definitely. Two home games are wonderful. I'm sure the fans will travel with us, though so it'll feel like a home game in Oklahoma City. Now we just have to come out with a W each game."
TENNESSEE JUNIOR Meighan Simmons
"I mean I'm just happy that we're in the position to actually get into the tournament. This is what we've been working for all season long, and it doesn't matter what seed we're in as long as we go out there and take it one game at a time."
(On being in the same bracket with Baylor)
"I think with me honestly sitting here, you know God has a plan. You can slay the giant at any given time, and I think when we get in positions like that we're able to make adjustments and learn from our mistakes the past times we went against them. Continue to play hard, take it one game at a time, not think too far ahead, and when that time does come to be prepared."
(On the team's mentality all season)
"It's going to help us because we're really able to bounce back when our backs are up against the wall and continue to step up. Everyone steps up. Izzy's been out so Jasmine and Bashaara have stepped up in those big positions. We've just been able to make some major adjustments based on injury and continue to move forward and take one game at a time. We continue to have high energy and make sure, from the coaches down, that we're staying focused."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE Cierra Burdick
(On placing in bracket)
"Yeah, we definitely weren't expecting that, but you know we're going to play with the cards we're dealt. We're going to see how far we can go on this journey and I'm really looking forward to it because I think we can make some noise."
(On possibility of facing Baylor)
"I mean, we obviously know them pretty well. I think ever team in the country knows Baylor pretty well. We know Brittney (Griner) is a huge force inside, Odyssey (Sims) is the head of the snake, but I think we have the talent to if we need be lock them down. I mean who knows, they could get upset and we've got to take care of business to get there. So when the time comes we'll prepare for them, but right now we're focused on our first game on Saturday."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE Isabelle Harrison
(On thoughts going into the tournament)
"I'm very excited, I can't wait for us to start playing and getting into the flow of things. I just especially want the freshmen to get to experience what happened last year and it was a great experience, so I'm just excited and ready to play."
(On No. 2 Seed)
"I think we're ready to go out and take care of business with whoever we play. Whoever we play, we'll just give our all."
(On goals for the tournament)
"We are definitely going to focus more on defense because we know how much of a factor that was in the preseason. Also just tuning into our scout reports, which are very little things, but they will all add up in the end."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE Ariel Massengale
(On No. 2 seed)
"Well, that's what the selection committee gave us and so now we just have to take our cards we've been dealt and go out and play."
(On team goals for the tournament)
"Just our defense, mostly, which I think can get better and it's also something that we've emphasized and also something we've gotten better at. We know that (defense) wins championships."
(On being in the tournament)
"I'm excited. This is the best part of the season - it's what you play for and the reason why you come to Tennessee, because it's the best. I'm a firm believer in that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. We'll just start off taking it one game at a time."
TENNESSEE SOPHOMORE Jasmine Phillips
(On the NCAA tournament)
"It's a great experience to be able to be a part of this. Coming from last year, just filling out brackets, and now I get to enjoy the experience and be here and participate in it. It really means a lot."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN Andraya Carter
(On the bracket)
"It feels good. We just have to work and take it one game at a time. It's nice that they ranked us as a No. 2 seed. That's kind of an honor. We just have to take it one game at a time."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN Bashaara Graves
(Thoughts on the brackets)
"I'm just ready to play and I'm ready for the competition. I can't wait to get out there and show everyone what we have to offer."
(On No. 2 seed)
"It's great, it's a great seeding and a great bracket. Baylor is a great team - they're the defending national champions, so if we do make it to the Elite Eight where we have to play them, then it will be a great game and we'll put up a great fight. From there, we'll see who gets to go to the Final Four."
(On being a first-timer in the tournament)
"It's my first time, so of course I'm going to be excited and anxious. I'm ready to play."
(On playing at home)
"That's going to be awesome. Playing at home is always awesome and we have a great atmosphere. For it to be the first round of the tournament, there's no doubt the environment will be great."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN Jasmine Jones
(On No. 2 seed)
"As long as we're in the tournament, Baylor is a great team and it's a good opportunity for us and now we can just wait to see what happens."
(On thoughts entering the tournament)
"I'm very excited. This is my first year and getting as far as we have is really cool. As a freshman, I just have to do what I have to do to help out. We've gotten this far, so we have to make the best of it now."
"I'm not at all (pleased) with where we are. I'm glad we're in the tournament, but we still have a lot of work to do and some time to get better."
(On home games in Knoxville)
"We have great fans and a lot of support, which is great and it will definitely help."
TENNESSEE FRESHMAN Nia Moore
(On the No. 2 seed)
"It's awesome. I'm overjoyed."