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The Tar Heels spoke the media in Newark Saturday.
The Tar Heels spoke the media in Newark Saturday.
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Tar Heels Meet Press, Practice Saturday
Release: 03/23/2013



Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell

Opening Statement

"We have had a good year thus far. We were not ranked in the preseason and started the year in the WNIT which we won. We got off to a good start this year. We have had some really good wins. Our conference is really strong. Our leadership is good. We are just excited to be here. For most of these kids, this is the first time they have been to Delaware. It is our first time playing here. We have heard about the traditions here. It should be a great environment and a great game.

On not making NCAA Tournament last year and using it as motivation

"Last year is over and this is an entirely different team. We had a lot of injuries last year. You have to use anything in your life that you don't think is what it should be to motivate and set some goals for this year. So far, we have had a good year but we want to make it better."

On Albany and facing the 14th seed

"I know quite a bit about the team and I have known their coach for a long time. She's always done an outstanding job, so I know they are a well-coached team. We watched the men's games over the last couple of days and watched our men's team play. As you get in the NCAA Tournament, you know that everyone is pretty good or else they wouldn't be here. Everyone has a chance. Any team can have a good game and any team can have a bad game. Our players know that every game is important and you don't look at rankings or seeds."

On Elena Delle Donne as a 7th grader

"She was about as big then as she is now. Her team came to our camp and she was impressive. You don't see a kid that age as skilled as she was. Her basketball intelligence was absolutely incredible. I got to visit with her dad and we offered her a scholarship before she left because we knew that she was going to be a great player. As good of a player as she is, she is just as good of a person. Elena has continued to get better and I am sure she has not been a disappointment to anyone."

On the differences between the two teams' defenses

"We place a lot of emphasis on defense and you utilize what you have in terms of players. We put a lot of different things out there against Maryland [in the ACC Tournament] and we have done that all year. Albany is a very experienced team with starting four seniors. They have intelligent players and they are well-coached. I am not surprised at what their numbers are."

Senior Krista Gross

On Albany

"They're a great team and very athletic. They are a great defensive team. We just have to make sure to do what we do."

On having several leading scorers and rebounders in games this year

"It makes us a big threat. It's easier to stop teams that have a consistent player who scores all of their points. With us, you can't stop just one person because all of us can contribute on any given night."

Senior Tierra Ruffin-Pratt

On her mindset as a senior after missing the NCAA Tournament last year

"We were just motivated throughout the year because we didn't make the tournament last season. We just learned to work harder and our leadership is a lot better than last season."

UNC North Carolina Women's Basketball

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