Purdue University streamed all of the pre-tournament press conferences and will be available at a later date on Gopher All-Access
. Below is the full transcription of head coach Hugh McCutcheon's press conference along with team participants Ashley Wittman and Alexandra Palmer.
2012 NCAA Regionals
Conference - Minnesota
Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.; December 7, 2012
Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon
"We are very happy to be here and obviously excited to
be at this phase in the tournament. We think it's a great setup and facilities
here at Purdue and so we look forward to a good match tomorrow, so we'll see
what will happen from there."
On what goes
into stopping a great player like Ariel Turner...
"I'm not sure anyone has figured that out yet. She's
probably going to get hers and it's about us taking care of it. Purdue is more
than just her, there are a lot of dynamic weapons on the team and so it is
about trying to deal with the patterns that they have, so then we can get in
our own rhythm and get in some defensive spots so we will have a few points in
transition. But she's a handful and a good player and that's what good players
do, they score."
difficult it is to defend so many offensive players...
"The reason that the Big Ten is such a strong
conference right now is because every team has different ways of attacking you.
You get used to dealing with balanced offenses, but more importantly it forces
the athletes to read the game and make the right choice at the right time. That
has always been the most important skill in our sport and our team has gotten
better as the season has gone on. Purdue has a great offense and we will do our
best to see the game and see the spots to score a few points there."
initial expectation of being the new coach at Minnesota...
"The driving factor for me was trying to get a
different rhythm to life relative to the fact that we had a couple young
children and with the national team we were traveling very extensively around
130-150 days a year with most of the road trips 30 days in a row. My goal in
life was to be a dad, not necessarily a coach and I just figured college
volleyball was the right way to give a little bit more balance. We don't work
any less hard or that it's any less competitive, but I just don't have to raise
my kids over Skype. If I go on the road it's three or four days at a time. I don't
know how to pack for a three day road trip, but I can pack for a 30 day road
trip, no problem. It has been great that my kids and my wife get to be a part
of the matches at home considering when I was with the national team we would
be playing in other countries for four years. I get to battle in the great
conference and train some really good student athletes and human beings, but the
family component has certainly been a great addition for me in my life."
On the fact
that they have played Purdue before...
"I think it's good. At this point it comes down to
execution. None of us want to be working where we get in a situation where we
get surprised a lot and when you're playing a conference opponent there's a lot
of data. They know us and we know them and we'll go to battle. It is not a
negative by any means because at this stage in the tournament everyone is strong.
People might infer that on paper we would be favored going into tomorrow's
match, but I think it will be evenly matched."
with the lineup...
"We were just trying to be a little smoother. Our
highs were pretty high and our lows were pretty low and we wanted to be in the
middle of the wave. Morgan has done a nice job and if she gets into trouble we
know that Lindsey will come in and take over. We just want to be as smooth and
consistent as we can be."
Wittman, Junior Outside Hitter
challenges of taking on Purdue another Big Ten team...
"I wouldn't say there are any challenges, but you just
have to know that we have played them before in our conference. It's been a
while, so both teams have gotten better and worked hard so there is no taking
them lightly. We just need to focus on our game and worry about what we are
going to do out there on the court tomorrow because in the end we are
strengths of Purdue and the keys to win...
"One thing that we are going to have to focus on is
that Turner will get a lot of sets. That's one thing we have known about Purdue
for a couple years now. Otherwise it's working on our game and playing
disciplined and focusing on what we do, so then we will be good in the end."
On growing up
a Minnesota fan and getting the program back to the higher level that it is
known for being...
"It is about carrying on a legacy that past Gophers
have done because this program has been great for years and years. We want to
continue that legacy and get farther and farther each year and not stay the
same. With McCutcheon coming in he
pushes us to get better and better to do the best to our ability."
Palmer, Junior Setter
playing conference teams prepares for the tournament...
"Playing in the Big Ten is like playing in the
championship game every single night we're out on the court. It prepares us
ultimately for the outside pressures going into the tournament with the
atmosphere and the crowds, so I think we're ready."
having the home advantage...
"Ultimately it doesn't, it depends on personal players
views and how they feel about home crowds. With us going in and playing, we are
going to have a lot of fans coming in combined with the Purdue fan base it is
going to be great and a really fun atmosphere to play in."
turning point of becoming a better team...
"We were applying what we were learning in practice
and were able to not only compete really hard and be able to apply what we were
learning in order to get better every single day to get us to where we are