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Morgan State at Virginia
WNIT First Round
March 17, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan:
Opening Statement
“I thought that our first half was a really good way to start. We shot the ball well and we defended well. We got a chance to play 10 of our 11 players in the first half, which was great. In the second half, we decided to sit some players early to save their legs a little bit.”

“We played everybody and gave everybody a pretty decent amount of time, but when you do that, it really hurts your chemistry and hurts what you’re doing. But I felt like it was something I needed to do. They were playing hard and they were playing hard in practice. I just wanted to give everyone a chance to play in the postseason. This was a great opportunity to do that.”

On whether the team was well rested:
“We took five days off. We practiced Sunday through Tuesday, and the players really looked refreshed and a lot more rested. I thought they had a lot more enthusiasm and they really just seemed to have a lot more pop in their step. It helped us to take that time off.”

On pre-game emotions:
“It’s just really hard. It’s hard to coach right now; it’s hard to do everything right now. I love these kids sitting next to me, I love my players, I love the people I coach with and I love everything about this place, so this is hard. It’s really, really hard. My emotions – I just can’t control anything that’s coming. Normally, I’m pretty under control and in control of everything that happens to me. But right now, I’m in control of nothing.

“I think I have a great staff and I really didn’t have to worry about coaching tonight. The players took that out of my hands right away. They took care of business and that’s all they needed to do. They were pretty much on auto-pilot tonight.”

On message to team:
“I told them that it gave me a chance to stay a little bit longer with them. Our rallying cry is that we really want to stay together as long as we possibly can, so that’s really what we’re trying to do. But I don’t want to put pressure on them. I think that they’re a lot more resilient than I am in this, so they’re just out there playing. That’s all I want for them to do – go out there and play and have fun. They’ve earned this. They’re going to get better as basketball players by doing it and I think it’s great for them.”

On coaching final games of UVa career:
“I put pressure on myself everyday, so I don’t think there’s any more or any less. I’ve just been trying to enjoy every minute that I have on the court with them. Even with my staff and it’s in a staff meeting. All I’m trying to do is be the best I can be under the circumstances; try to be the best coach I can be on the floor and enjoy what I’m doing.”

Senior Guard Paulisha Kellum
On Coach Ryan since her announcement to step down:

“She has been about the same. She has shown a lot more emotion in pre-game speeches and she is looser at practice, but she is pretty much the same. She is going through a rough time right now, but we are focused on the season and prolonging it as much as we can.”

On ending her career at the same time as Coach Ryan:
“I feel honored to be a part of her legacy and to have her help me develop my legacy. Coach Ryan is a Hall of Fame coach. What better way to play your career than for a Hall of Fame coach? I am happy for my seasons and her seasons here.”

Freshman Guard Ataira Franklin
On Coach Debbie Ryan:
“She puts her heart and soul into every practice and game, and we just want to play with our own emotion on the court.”

On the idea of playing for a different coach next season:
“It is a little strange. We just do not know what will happen, and we are a little afraid of change. I think it is a blessing to have had a year with her. She has told us several times that she will always support us. I have her number and she has mine, so I do not think our relationship will change.”

On seeing bench players play well:
“It is definitely fun to watch them play well. Everyone is always excited for everyone else in the game. We just wanted everyone to score.”

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