Hoyas Feeling Loose for Baylor Battle
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Georgetown is a loose team. Ten devil-may-care, don't-know-any-better freshmen and sophomores assuring that coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has no choice but to relax and go with the flow.
She learned that the day that two of her freshmen came into her office to ask her what was wrong.
"They said, 'You look a little tired.' And I said 'Because you won't do what I want to do,' " Williams-Flournoy said. "And they said, 'But coach, you make us really nervous when you are just standing there looking mean.' At that point I had to kind of figure out that this group feeds off me and will do exactly what I do. So I had to learn how to relax a little bit and not be so uptight."
The fifth-seeded Hoyas advanced to the second round Saturday night after defeating No. 12 Marist in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, 62-42.
The Georgetown players smiled and giggled through their press conference appearance the next day, cracking jokes and jibes with their head coach.
Williams-Flournoy made a joke about her lack of sleep and then jumped in to tease forward Tia Magee when Magee was asked about nerves in her first NCAA appearance.
"You are asking the most nervous-pervous on our team," the coach said. "She would say yes no matter who we played."
The coach seems to be adapting to her team's personality.
"My god, my kids are always loose," Williams-Flournoy said. "This group we have now is just really fun, energetic and really happy to be here. But they've been happy since we got here. They've been happy since we ended the WNIT last year ... they've loosened me up quite a bit."
Georgetown (26-6), which has already collected the most wins in program history, is making just its second NCAA appearance in school history. The Hoyas went to the Sweet 16 in their first tournament appearance in 1993 when the NCAA field was 48 teams.
This is just the Hoyas' second NCAA appearance and the first for this young group. Next up is a big challenge in No. 4 seed Baylor and the unstoppable force that is Bears center Brittney Griner.
Georgetown's challenge will be to combat Baylor's size with its speed and press.
"Ideally we want to jump in it. We want to trap things. We want to get in the passing lanes, we to take away what they do," said guard Monica McNutt. "If we can't get a steal, we want them to come down to half court with about 10-12 seconds to run their offense. We know that's going to be key to this game because we don't want to wear our post players out trying to hand with (Griner)."
McNutt, who led Georgetown with 14 points in 16 foul-limited minutes against Marist, thinks her team's experience against Connecticut's Tina Charles will help prepare them for Griner.
"Tina Charles is no secret at all," McNutt said. "She gave us the business when we played UConn. UConn is a very great team and she's a great inside presence and you know, she's a senior. Brittney Griner is only a freshman, and she still has a ways to go. Not that she hasn't accomplished a lot already.
"We have to deal with her, but we're fully capable of doing that, so we're pretty confident."