UConn Huskies women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma along with senior Tiffany Hayes and Kelly Faris met with the members of the media assembled at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT on Friday.

Here’s what they had to say:

2012 NCAA Women's Final FourQuotes courtesy of UConn Athletics

Head Coach Geno Auriemma
Opening Statement

It’s the same at this time of the year. Each year doesn’t matter how many times you do it. Each year, the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is a time when if you had a great year you get to add to it. If it’s an okay year you can make it a lot better. Every kid that’s part of the 64 teams that are playing is anxious to get started. Especially our kids because it’s been so long since the (Big East) tournament ended. I know the kids feel that way. We are anxious to play. I wish it were today.

On the 10 days between winning the Big East Championship and the NCAA Tournament and balancing time off with momentum

Ideally, it would have been great if we could have played a week ago on Saturday. That would have been better for us. Anytime you have a little momentum going and you are feeling good about your team and they are feeling good about themselves, you like to capitalize on it. Having to wait 10 days, it’s hard to sustain that. You have to really rely on the fact that it is the NCAA Tournament. You almost treat it like it is a fresh start so whatever happened in the regular season and whatever happened in the Big East tourney it’s gone. You put that away. It’s over and done with.

I don’t think any team that is playing this weekend is thinking about if they lost in their conference tournament. I don’t think that is a big part of what they are thinking. They are just thinking about winning one game. The first game is not usually easy to win because you haven’t play in so long. And, the engines are raring to go and you want to go and you want to go and want to play and you wait and wait and wait.

And then like Kelly [Faris] said, you show up at the game, you have to control your emotions a little bit. It’s one game and that’s what we are trying to take it as – one game on Saturday and then one game on Monday hopefully. You know nothing is guaranteed at this time of the year.

On Tiffany Hayes’ foot and how she has practiced

Those who have watched Tiffany play sees she falls down all the time but never gets hurt. What’s her pain threshold, she’s never hurt. The fact that she had to miss a week of practice means that she was really hurt. When people never get hurt, they don’t know how to handle it. So this past week has been kind of ‘What I do? How do I handle myself because I am never hurt?’ But In practice yesterday, for the first day she looked pretty good. We ran her in and out so she wasn’t out there the whole time. She did enough to be ready today and be ready for tomorrow. I couldn’t give you a percentage. I just know when is going to play and I assume she will play as well as she has in the past.

To see what Faris and Hayes had to say, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

Kelly Faris, Junior, Guard

On the NCAA Tournament and the biggest concerns about Saturday’s game

For just about any team, it’s tournament time; it’s March Madness. So we are sitting around watching the guys play. We are excited. I think we came off a good end of the tournament (Big East) so it’s always good to start the last part of your season on a good note. I think in general we are good to go and like coach said, we wish it were today. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow. At this point, I really don’t have any concerns.

Maybe we’re too excited.

Tiffany Hayes, Senior, Guard

On her playing status for Saturday

Practice went well. My status for tomorrow is that I will be playing.

On the feel of this year’s NCAA Tournament
We are under the radar a little bit. I think there are still targets on our backs but at the same time it’s not the same as the other years. We are going into the tournament with the same excitement and the same feelings about it.

On playing in her final NCAA Tournament during her senior year

I try not to think about it. It’s sad. I don’t want to leave yet, but there are six games and we have to take it one game at a time. If you don’t win one, you go home and cut it short so we are just trying to play our hardest so we can play six more games.

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