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Western Kentucky News Conference Quotes

March 21, 2014

 Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard

On facing Baylor on their home court:
"I think the biggest thing is no matter what team you are playing, you still have to make sure your team is focused when they walk into to play. I think the greatest thing about it is that Baylor has had a bunch of success, but Western Kentucky has some trophies too in our trophy case. The thing about it is it's been awhile. What we try to talk about is trying to make sure we can get back to this point in our program and continue to let our program grow."

On bringing success back to Western Kentucky:
"I think it's very important. It's awesome for me to have the opportunity to sit here as a former player and have an opportunity to relive some of those glory years. It's really important to our team. I talk about it all the time. We are sure that it's something we have displayed on our campus and in our locker room and everywhere else. Each and every day it's important for us. At the end of the day, I want them to be able to enjoy this moment, but also be able to be ready to come out and compete like we have been the whole year."

On confidence in playing on the road:
"I think the biggest thing we try to do is make sure to keep things as normal as we possibly can. We tried to make sure we got here early and got some practice in and just do the things we've been doing. I think a big thing is knowing and understanding this is a whole new environment. But we went to Vanderbilt and played this year, we played on the road in Puerto Rico and we did a lot of different things. I think that's what it's about when you're trying to help your program grow and get back to the point where you need to. That's what it's all about."

On the ups and downs of the season:
"I think the biggest thing you have to understand and know as a coach is you know adversity is going to come and when it happens you've got to prepare to get your staff and the players and everyone all back on the same page. When things happen, what I did is I just went to players individually. When I talked to Kendall Noble, when I talked to Micah Jones, when I talk to people I get them to understand and know that we're going to have to step up. Chastity Gooch had already stepped up and has been playing phenomenal. I give Kendall Noble a ton of credit and Micah and not just them, but Chanell Lockhart and our whole team. It's been a lot for us to get here and this has been a team effort all the way across the board. It goes back to Alexis Govan too when she found out that she was going to be out, she's a very, very unbelievable competitor so it was really, really hard for her, but to her credit she's earned her coaching stripes and now she sits on the bench and she helps coach and she does a lot of things that's really good for this program and for this team. Any team goes through challenges. What I'm most proud of is that we never gave up and in every situation there's been games where we've been down, there's been situations where we might now have played as well, but to be able to sit here and say that we went on an NCAA 10-game win streak at the end of the season is a credit to those young ladies in that locker room."

On turning the program around in two years:
"I'm very fortunate that Dr. Ransdell and Todd (Stewart) and everybody believed in myself and gave me the green light to hire the staff and everyone else that we did. We just hit the ground running. At my press conference we talked about having the ability to be able to recruit and continue to keep working and that's what we've tried to do and we went out and added some pieces to the puzzle and Kendall got healthy. We're just super fortunate and super excited about where we're going and we're going to keep trying to grow so we can be the best that we can be, so we can the have the opportunity to put ourselves in a position every year to have an opportunity to play in the NCAA. That's what it's about."

Freshman Guard Kendall Noble

On being in the NCAA tournament:
"I think it has finally sunk in (that we are in the tournament). We are excited that we have the opportunity to play in the tournament. We are going to go out there and try our best to get the win."

On how important instituting different defenses will be in Saturday's game:
"It's really big for us because it helps us a lot. Our defense helps us get easy baskets and gets our offense going smoothly. Whenever we switch over defenses it makes it hard on the other team. Most of the time they don't know what defense we are in, and it helps us a lot."

Junior forward Chastity Gooch

On the challenge of playing Baylor on their home floor:
"We are coming in here confident on our 10-game winning streak. We just have to keep playing the way that we have been as a team, keep communicating and focus on defense. That helps us with our confidence a lot."

Sophomore guard Micah Jones

On first round opponent Baylor:
"We are excited. They've had a lot of success over the past couple of years, and that's what we are trying to get back to with our program. It's a great opportunity for us to come here and play Baylor."



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