"We feel very fortunate, I didn’t think we
played exceptionally well in the second half, I was pleased with
what we did in the first half and the thing that killed us was
points off of rebounds, they had 12 points each half off of
offensive rebounds and that was big for them down stretch.
I thought we would get the initial stop and they would get the
rebound and put it back in. They played harder at times, smarter
at times, had a better coach on the ?oor at times and we did
some nice things at the end that let us win.
"I think it was at the
end, Marcus made the jumper and I think it was a three-point game
when he made another little tear drop, whatever you wanna call
it, floater. P.J. played 36 minutes, he was one tough sucker
today, he’s been a pansy most of the time I’ve known him but
today he was one tough sucker.
I think his hand bothered him a little bit, he played 36
minutes and was 3-for-10. He had some good looks, but at
the same time I think that what he helped us do out there on
the court was extremely important and I do believe that was a
tough performance for him. The toughness that he showed
"It’s not fun playing with Marcus and James Michael
setting on the sideline in foul trouble, but it’s what it was. James
Michael made two big free throws for us, and then we had
Marcus and P.J. on the line, and I have a great deal of confidence
in them, they made some, didn’t make all of ‘em by any means.
Then we got fortunate the last play, if they had attacked
immediately, we were not going to foul but if we had a chance
around the five-second mark we were going to foul and try to take
the 3-point away from them but it didn’t get to that. It was
Reggie that got the rebound then, did a nice job of getting it to
P.J. and P.J. kept it away from them and that was basically it.
We are pleased with the 'W' and know we can play a heck
of a lot better, and we have to play a lot better. We’re getting
ready to play somebody who has beaten us twice by about eight
Coach, Maryland kept fighting, but
you guys were able to hang on at the end of the game. Talk
about the resilience that your team had late in the second half.
"We had two or three stretches. After we had a 12- or 13-point lead and made a huge mistake on
an out of bounds underneath where Marcus decided he would
guard Alex Len and let James Michael guard Dez Wells. That’s not a good match up and so they make three. And then
we come down, kick it away a couple times, but then we made
some plays. But they also made a huge run at us, and Leslie
made a big three in the corner across from our bench and I think
Reggie made a big three on the wing over there. There were two
or three times they made big runs at us and we had enough
in the tank to come back at them. It was huge for us and,
again, James Michael’s free throws and Marcus’s little baskets... We had enough at the end left to get it done."
What can you do differently against Miami after
losing to them already?
"Play better. Make
some shots. Hopefully not give them open shots. They kicked
us pretty hard down at their place so hopefully we will get some
fresh legs underneath us between now and whatever time we’re
supposed to play tomorrow. Tomorrow we won’t start forty
minutes late like we have every game in the afternoon session.
Game will probably be on time tomorrow. I guess we’ll have
to make plans to do that. We just have to play better, I mean,
they’re a heck of a basketball team.
"They deserve everything, all the special things that
have been said about them. They have scorers at every position,
Kadji is a tremendously difficult match up, Julian Gamble and
Big Reggie Johnson inside are a load on the backboards. Shane
Larkin has had a good a year as any point guard in college
basketball. Durand Scott today was off the charts. Trey gives
them another shooter, Rion Brown comes off the bench, gives
them another shooter. They’re a big-time team and they’ve
shown it all year long."
Coach, how would you assess the way that Dexter
and Leslie handled the offense when Marcus was out with foul
"I think they did a really nice job. We had one
turnover and Dexter tried to stop the fast break high and that
added another mistake to the turnover that he made, but other
than that, I think we did a good job handling the ball. Leslie
only made one field goal, but it was a big field goal, but he goes
to the free throw line for us and makes 6 out of 6 free throws.
Those were the big plays for us. Dexter missed two
shots in a row when we ran the shot clock down but other than
that he shot the ball well. So I think both of them really did a
good job for us. We need Leslie to do more than 1-for-7 from
the floor, there’s no question about that, but he busted his tail
defensively and goes 6-for-6 from the line, and as I said, Dexter,
7-for-12, which means he was 7-for-10 before the last two
shots, but I thought both of ‘em were crucial for us."
You talked about the loss at Miami by, your words,
about “400 points” preceding the line up switch. Does this
group match up any better? What are the challenges?
"Seems like it was so long ago,
except my memory of looking at that clock and seeing the score
as I walked off the court and the way I felt during the game is
that we had no control over anything. Smaller lineup has helped
us. We’re a better basketball team. Is it a world beater, is it
the newest thing that ever happened, the best thing that ever
happened? No. Today, 24-4 on points off offensive rebounds, so we’ve got
some deficiencies there but it was the best thing for this team.
Whether it presents any different problems for them,
we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow."
Roy, on that last Maryland 3-point attempt
were you expecting Logan to get the ball? Did you look for
something like that?
"No, we talked about two
scenarios. We hoped we would get them to throw it toward
the center line and not toward the baseline. If when they got
the ball originally, especially if we made ‘em throw it in the
back we were not going to foul, but if we got them to take three
or four seconds before they shot it, then we were going to try and
foul, as I said, when it got to the five-second mark.
"They ran that
play I think he was the third guy coming around and I think he
rushed it probably, too. I don’t think our defense made him take
that rushed shot, but if they had gotten it down to five seconds
or so we were going to try it foul and make them shoot from
the free throw line and not take the 3, but I didn’t know that
specific play they were going to run. When they started running the play, it looked like that’s
what was going to happen and we were yelling at the guys then
but that was after the play had already started."
Coach, coming in to today, Dez Wells has been as
dominant and as aggressive as any player in this tournament
and by my count Reggie Bullock kept him without a point for
the first 14 minutes of the game. How do you quantify the
importance of that?
"I think it was important, but Dez
almost carried them all the way back at the end, too. I grabbed
him and told him he had a phenomenal performance for three
days here, build on that. We couldn’t get him we were trying
to slow him down, and we couldn’t get guys back fast enough
to help Reggie, and it’s hard to guard Dez when he’s in the
open court coming at you full speed. But you look at Reggie’s
line, he is 6-for-10, 3-for-6 from the three point line, 15 points,
nine rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. That’s a big-time line. Reggie Bullock did some great things for us."