Dayton Media Opportunity - March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015

Dayton Head Coach, Jim Jaber

On senior leadership helping relax the team ...
“I don’t know if we’re relaxed, but we’re focused. We’ve been practicing very, very well and I think we’ve had very strong practices. We don’t have to beat them up about little things during the season, they know what they’re doing, they know what to expect. Film has been good, practice has been good and so I think having them as seniors in a veteran team with seniors and juniors, everyone has been through the drill. I think that’s advantageous to us, for sure.”

On Iowa State ...
“They shoot the ball very, very well. They make nine 3s a game and there have been games where 40 to 50 percent of their offense has come from the 3-point line. They want to spread you out, attack the rim, and (Nikki) Moody is a great distributer. If she can get into the lane and we have to help, then her team is beneficiaries and we have to be very mindful of that. Bill (Fennelly) has always run a lot of junk defenses and so we will see a diamond-and-one, 2-3 zone, triangle-and-two, so we have to make sure we run our sets with respect of what they’re doing. We just have to be disciplined when we’re running our stuff. When we run our stuff, we score. When we break down, we’re a mess sometimes, so we have to stay disciplined with what we do and not worry about what they’re doing.”

On the team having balanced scoring ...
“That’s proof positive that players make the coach. We have some scorers on our team. Amber (Deane) has really played well in the middle towards the end of the year, as has Kelley Austria and the dynamic duo that was just here. We have balance. That’s how we play. We emphasize sharing the ball and so this year, I think (Andrea) Hoover may have averaged 18 points a game and that’s kind of an outlier for us. We don’t really have 18, 20-point scorers, but yet we score in the high 70’s, low 80’s. It says something about how we share the ball and everyone’s ability to score it. If we’re on tomorrow, then I think we have a lot to worry about with Iowa State, but I think they have a lot to worry about with us too, if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

On the Atlantic 10 and its strength ...
“I think it’s a very good league and it’s probably undersold. Our (league) RPI was six, so after the big five, we were right there. Three of our teams got into the WNIT and George Washington. Jonathan (Tsipis) has done a great job there, they’re a wonderful team. They’re very, very talented and they play very, very hard. The league is improving, the bottom of the league is moving up. Teams like Rhode Island, UMass are doing a really great job. Stephanie Gaitley has done a great, great job there and they’re a tough out. Last year they beat us in the championship game and then almost beat California in the NCAA Tournament First Round. Richmond is back in the postseason, Duquesne is back in the postseason, so there is a lot of quality teams. I think Davidson is going to take a little while to get A-10 caliber performers, but they’re well on their way. I think the league has prepared us for this weekend and so we’re excited to be here. I think we’re seasoned and I think we’ve played a good non-conference schedule and the conference is strong.”

On the men’s team NCAA Tournament game last night ...
“I was fast asleep by 10 o’clock, so I don’t know what happened, but I think the kids did get together and I think they may have watched it on somebody’s laptop. They were talking about it today at breakfast. There is a lot of mutual respect and pride and we’re excited about what the men are doing. It’s really been another magical season for Archie (Miller) and the men’s team. It’s been scripted, and I think he’s taken great advantage of it.”

Dayton Student-Athlete, Andrea Hoover

On her first NCAA experience comparing it to her senior year...
“Definitely the first time, there were a lot more nerves coming in as a freshman and just being in that spotlight was really exciting and just being there, I was excited. Now as a senior, and being here for the fourth time, we are really focusing on our goal of getting to the Sweet 16 and focusing on Iowa Stat. So right now, it is really just getting past this first game and focusing on today’s practice.”

On her initial thoughts about this region...
“I was really excited. I thought this was a great spot for us. It’s only like two hours away from Dayton so a lot of fans are traveling here for tomorrow’s game. And you know just being excited for a getting a matchup with Iowa State and overall just excitement, being in the NCAA Tournament is an exciting time, so we are just really focusing in on tomorrow’s game.”

Dayton Student-Athlete, Ally Malott

On if she feels nervous about playing in the NCAA tournament ... 
“I always have a few nervous before a game. But we have a little bit of experience, this is our fourth time here, we’re hoping to make it past this first weekend and we are just really excited to get started.”

On what advice you have given to freshmen starting point guard Jenna Burdette ...
 “Jenna is such a smart basketball player, and I think for her it’s all about her confidence level. So I think If we can encourage her and tell her to treat it like any other day or practice or game she will be OK.”

On what the team must do to start the first half of their NCAA tournament game ...
“I think you have to use your nerves positively; you have to come out excited and really push up the tempo, which is something we like to do. I think if we can come out and start running on them and be consistent throughout the game, and consistency has been a problem for us this year, so if we can put two halves together I think we will be OK.”

On what the team needs to do to win ...
“Iowa State has five people on the floor that can shoot the three, and so a big key for us is to keep them in front and not let them get any looks. For ourselves we just have to push the tempo, which will be a big thing for offense. They do a bunch of different defenses, so we need to run our sets and do what we do and not let them affect our offense.”