Texas A&M: The day after the Final Four, on to the title game: Videos and quotes



Sydney Carter on her knowledge of Notre Dame before today

Well, I’ve seen them play a couple times on TV. And I just think they have really good chemistry on their offensive end. I think Skylar Diggins is a great point guard. And I think she does a really good job of running her team and finding the shots that she’s used to taking in there. And I think she takes really good shots. But I think they have a complete offensive team. And I just think they work really well together.

Sydney Colson on her knowledge of Notre Dame before today

Pretty much the same. I’ve seen them play a few times as well. Going into their UConn game, we were talking about how they have played them three times before.

And this is their fourth time playing them, and they could possibly get an upset just like us against Baylor. And we were confident that they were going to go out there and do it, just because, you know, so much is on the line. And at some point you’ve got to go out there and get a win before it becomes embarrassing for your team.

And they went out and they battled hard. They’re a physical team just like us, so I think it’s going to be a really good matchup. Just like us, they have an all-around good team, and not just like one player who can potentially go off.

But like Syd said, Skylar does a good job for their team. She’s a good point guard. And it will be — at least we’ll be used to guarding a left-hand point guard since we had to do it with Baylor four times this season. That may help us out a little bit because guarding a left-handed guard is unorthodox in our game. But they’re a good all-around team.

Coach Gary Blair on the matchup against Notre Dame and getting fans to come to the game

I think it’s, first, a great matchup. First, I think it’s also good to see two new faces in the Final Four championship game. I think I know we screwed it up for ESPN, well, Notre Dame screwed it up by beating Tennessee.

You don’t have the Pat-Geno show and we screwed it up because now you don’t have the Brittney Griner and the dunk possibility, and everybody wants to see the dunk.

But why not just have two pretty faces like me and Muffet there, and it’s good for the game of basketball right now. Don’t take anything away from what Pat and Geno and Tara has accomplished. But right now for our sport to grow, we need Texas A&M and Notre Dame in this game.

We need also the fans of Indiana. Whether or not they’re Notre Dame fans or they’re University of Indiana or Butler fans, we need them at this ballgame.

Okay. It will be embarrassing if we don’t have a sell-out with a team from Indiana in the state of Indiana. We’re getting as many Aggies up here as we can get. And we’re converting a lot of others.

And we are trying to convert and we’re working hard on that. The styles are similar. They’re more physical with their half court defense. We do it with speed in fronting the posts and pressuring the ball.

They do it by old school ball. They know how to play. Their guards have always got their forearms out. Mallory and Novosel, is that how you say it, they’re just smart. Now Skylar is similar to Colson. They’re out there, they’re flying around, and they’re very similar to what they like to do. But the post players, I think size-wise we match up a little bit better than what we did against Stanford with the size. God, Stanford was just so huge.

What was happening, Danielle, we had to convince her to use her mid-range game instead of her low post game, because they were building a campfire around her there. So she had to get the shots there.

Notre Dame runs their stuff. And what’s good about Notre Dame, it’s a five-person team, not a one-person team, and all five people can score.

If somebody’s not hot, they use her as a screener or defensive player, and that’s the way this team is here.

So I think you’re going to see balance. That’s why you have all five starters up for both teams. They all deserve the questions from y’all. Because they’ve got the answers. They have the answers, their style, and one and two kids from the bench, that’s all you’ll see.

Okay. This kid’s already gone 80 minutes, and she’ll go another — I think she’s played just about every minute of almost every ballgame in the playoffs, and she’ll go a little bit harder. And I want that one down on the end to get 40 minutes out of her, too, without making this a little bit grayer. Okay?

But, you know, she made that behind-the-back pass. We’ve seen it before. We’ve seen it completed. And I about went bananas.

But I knew she would come back in and make the right read at the right time and the right play, and the pass was harder to make than the shot that Tyra White made. So give credit to the pass, instead of the shot. The shot was good because Tyra’s the best kid we have at finishing on the driving layup.

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Notre Dame point guard Skylar Diggins on facing Texas A&M