stand by. Please stand
by. Please stand by. Please stand
by . Please stand by. Please
stand by. Please stand by .
Please stand by . Please stand by. Please
stand by MODERATOR: Just indulge me for
a minute. Because we have some new media
members here for the afternoon session, reminder to please
silence your cell phones. When you have a question, please
raise your hand. Give your name a microphone to you. Because
we have some new media members here for the afternoon
session, reminder to please silence your cell phones. When
you have a question, please raise your hand. Give your name and your affiliation, we’ll get
a microphone to you. Please wait until we get a microphone
there. You are allowed one follow-up question as well.
That being said, welcome to Buffalo and welcome Villanova
stew student-athletes, Josh Hart,
Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds from my right to left.
Welcome back to Buffalo. Q.
Q. Josh, a year ago this time, were you sitting up
there and nobody thought you were getting out of this weekend
, now everybody thinks you’re
going to be repeat champions. So,
which is tougher? JOSH HART: I think
you were sitting up
there and nobody thought you were getting out of this
weekend, now everybody thinks you’re
going to be repeat champions. So,
which is tougher? JOSH HART: I think the — AH,
that’s a tough one. The — there was a big monk
going on back with the first
weekend thing. It was kind of weird this year not having to
answer that question that I answered the last three years,
but, you know, it is what it is. Both of them are challenge challenging. We just know we
got to be focused and readed ready
to play come tomorrow. Q.
Q. I guess maybe then you don’t know the answer to
this. But if you are lucky enough to continue to go forward
, do you think the second part of
this will become more difficult, the repeat thing?
JOSH HART: I think the hype will be a little bit
more. You know, iffer ahe we’re lucky enough to advance
far into the tournament, so the hype will
be a little bit more. So that will be something
surrounding us will be a distraction,
and we just got to focus on each other and really fall into
that distraction. We GOUS just got to focus on playing
basketball for 40 minutes. If we do that,
we’ll take the outcome .
Q. Q. Joe, Julian know for Chris and Josh. Last
Last year, did you enjoy the moment come ing
in, this year now being seniors, off last year. Are you enjoying and embracing the moment more
than you did last year ?
JOSH HART: I think it was harder last year to
embrace it, just with, you know, like I said, just — not the
pressure, but just everything that came around with the first
round exit, the last couple of years, so that was kind of hard
to embrace, because we knew, no matter how we played, that
first game, you know, we knew we were going to have to — if
we won that one, we knew we were going to have to answer that
question and we knew that was go ing to be the big story and
everything, the, you know, the next couple of days. So, you
know, and now, it’s hard to do it now. Now we have questions
about repeating, so, you know, you can’t really embrace it too
much. Obviously it’s a blessing being able to be here, this
isn’t a BRIF Lidge, but that’s what we got to just rely on
each other and focus on each other, don’t focus on anything
else. We have to embrace the time we have together at the
end. That’s really the only thing we can embrace.
KRIS JENKINS: Just like Josh say, take it one day
at a time, one game at a time. We really enjoy being around
each other, and we’re looking forward to it tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Q. Josh and Kris, you got — the
last time you guys were in this building was your
freshman year against UConn with a shot to go to the Garden.
How much is that game and what happened that year is still
a little bit of a motivation when you get to this time of
year the year? JOSH HART: Yeah, we — I
remember that one vividly. Shabazz, that UConn team, they
were tough and talented, but we try not to think about that too
much now. Obviously, you know, we knew we were playing
Buffalo. That was the first thing. We heard Buffalo, we
were like we played there freshman year. We had a tough
game against UConn there. But now, we don’t think about it. I
think the only time we thought about it was the first
time we heard we were going to be going to Buffalo. And it was
like, oh, Buffalo. So —
Q. Q. Kris or Josh or both, how
much do you think that the perception of your team and your
too coach has changed ? I mean,
you win a national championship, and it’s no longer this team
can’t win, same with your coach. Can you take me through that
a little bit, now this guy, he was a good coach before but
somehow one win makes him better .
JOSH HART: I got to answer every one, HUH? There’s
one — the blessing about coach KOIP and this program
Coach Coach Coach and this
program, nothing really changes. That’s the big
thing. He If you’re come ing off a
national championship year, you were come ing off for that 13th
year, 19th year. Nothing in this program ever changes. The
core values is still the same, the commitment to our core
values is still the same, so, I think only thing that might
have changed is, you know, his drilling in those core values
like a bill little bit more . Last year was amazing just in
terms of everyone buying in, and we
saw what can happen if we buy into Villanova basketball.
That’s something Coach told us after it happened, you guys
thought I was crazy about our core
values now, but that’s the one thing about us. Nothing ever
changes. We didn’t — never talked about repeating this
whole year. It was just about
committing ourself ves to Villanova
basketball, buying in and being the best team we can be at the
end of the year. Q.
Q. Kris, is there any downside at all in making one of
the most iconic shots in the history of college basketball?
KRIS JENKINS: Is there any downside? Yeah. After I
made the shot, there was a lot of downside , you know, just
focus on what else we have to do.
Q. Q. Is there any one amuse ing
thing that’s happened to you, though, just because of the
shot, people come ing up to you JOSH HART: KRIS
JENKINS: NAH. JOSH HART: They come up to him
everywhere. KRIS JENKINS: That’s it.
Q. Q. Josh, how do you avoid
complacency, or being satisfy ?
JOSH HART: It start was a coach , starts with us
three and then strike trickled on down. Coach
Coach is continue ing to get on us, especially us three
seniors, and we got, at max, I think six games left, you know,
possibly in our career, and coach
Coach is like, okay, let them go . We’ve had some successful
years. Let them just do what we do. He’s getting on us.
He’s continue ing to coach us, even at the end of our career,
so we’re doing that, we’re being
coachable and we listen to everything he says, and it goes
from us and it trickles strike TRISHGles on
down. When those younger guys see the seniors in their last
go-around, their last couple weeks left of their college
career still allowing themselves to be coached, that forces
them to do T. They’re great guys and they’re going to follow
our lead but we know it starts with us three .
Q. Q. I know you guys don’t talk
about repeat, but, I mean, you have to think about it
at some level. Do you allow yourself to even process — you
get that in your head? Because you know what you’re going for. DARRYL REYNOLDS: Obviously we
would like to repeat. I think every team in this
tournament wants to win the tournament. This There
isn’t a team that wouldn’t want to win.
Just like before, like in years past, you can’t look too far
behind or too far forward because you end up tripping on
what you’re doing right now. Coach
is trying to drive that home, focus on present, focus on the
next game. We can think about repeating and completely over
look the next game and you lose and you don’t have even
have a chance to make it to that point to
repeat. It’s just something we’ve been doing the last couple years is Maks making sure
we’re folk used on the next game, focused
on what we can control at the moment.
just something we’ve been doing the last couple
years is making sure we’re folk used on the next game, focused
on what we can control at the moment.
Q. Kris, how many times have you relived that shot in
your mind and thought about it, and for you personally, was it
tough to maybe find motivation again this season, given
that — I mean, that’s like the ultimate dream for any player
and you’ve already lived it. KRIS JENKINS: I don’t even
think about it or talk about it when I’m asked about it
. it wasn’t hard for me, because I still have a lot that
I want to accomplish. I’m a part of this great team with
these great guys and the lies guys in
the locker room. so when you have guys around you like that,
it’s easy to refocus .
Q. Q. how much, for any of you guy
s, MOUCH how much to you know
about mount St. Mary’s and the history of the 1 versus 16
match-up? DARRYL REYNOLDS: our freshman
year, I think we play played mount St. Mary’s at the
beginning of the year, so we got to see a little bit of their
program at that point. they are a talented team. I
think every team at this point is a talented tough team
especially the team that won their conference tournaments,
stuff like that. they’re a good team. they’re a good team
like every team in this tournament. they play fast,
they seem to play hard. they’re
disciplined in their coaching. obviously we know about the 116
match-up, the type hype that’s
built around this that. we understood that come ing into
this. it’s part of this tournament. it’s
one of those questions you’re going to have to answer with
this tournament. it’s nothing to
be upset about, anything like that, you understand what it is
and you move forward . sorry if I wasn’t talking
loud enough, I just realized I could have
leaned a little bit forward. I see him in the back, I’m sitting
here whispering, I’m sorry about that.
THE MODERATOR: you’re coachable . good work. other
questions for our Villanova student-athleteses? Q.
Q. for Josh, you mentioned having a memory of come ing to
Buffalo. you guys have been here now since Monday. do you
guys sort of feel like — and you’ve gone through a Buffalo
snowstorm, do you feel like an honorary buff lone Yan at this
point? JOSH HART: a little bit. I
thought I got to see the sun. I hope it’s not what
it’s like up here all 365 days. so, you know, I don’t want to
say go back home, but I think it’s snowing in Philly,
too. we just got to tough it through
with the weather. so I guess be lone Yans, I goes it is?
Q. you feel like buff lone Yan, what have you been do
doing in your free time. obviously you have practice
come ing up and you’ve been watching the
game last night. anything fun? have you guys had any time
to enjoy it? JOSH HART: not for really. we
just relaxed. we all watched a movie, was that
Monday night? Monday night I think we got here. we watched a
movie together, that was really about it. I wish I could
tell you we had like this epic it snowball fight and it
was amazing, but no, not really, releaks ing, taking our mine off the tournament, and just enjoy
ing each other’s company .
Q. all right. no not seeing any more questions,
gentlemen, thanks for your time. good luck
tomorrow. JOSH HART: thank you .
DARRYL REYNOLDS: KRIS JENKINS:
thank you right. Not seeing any more
questions, gentlemen, thanks for your time.
Good luck tomorrow. JOSH HART: Thank you.
KRIS JENKINS: Thank you. THE MODERATOR: Joined by
Villanova head coach Jay Wright. Coach, welcome back to
Buffalo. JAY WRIGHT: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: This is a regular stop for you. I
think once at Hofstra and another time here.
JAY WRIGHT: 2010. It is great to be back in
Buffalo. I love western New York Western New
York and I think our team is excited about this upcome ing
game. It’s pretty cool to watch a
game together last night and watch our opponent in Mount
St. Mary’s who is a tough team. Great guards. And I very
tough kids on their team. , so,
should be a good game. Q.
THE MODERATOR: With that we’ll open it up to
Q. Jay, Josh came in before and said that it’s been
tough to embrace and enjoy an NCAA Tournament when you guys
never got by the first weekend, and now talking about repeat
or whatever. Again, it’s hard to do that. What would you
tell your players about enjoying the moment, especially your
senior class. who, this is their last go-around?
JAY WRIGHT: He said it’s hard to enjoy it because
of that? Q.
Q. Enjoy it and embrace it? JAY WRIGHT: Yeah. I think what
he means is in term terms of enjoying all that lead-
up and all of the type hype , all
that stuff, the open practices and this media, because I think
they want to enjoy the end results, that’s what they want
to enjoy, and I think they
understand that. I think they understand there’s a commitment
that you have to have during this time as you’re prepare ing
and playing games, and you can get to enjoy it on the weekend,
if you get past the second him it all over again.
Q. Q. Jay, is this a little bit
weird for you at all, when you come back here knowing —
there’s the Rochester angle. There’s the Bucknell side. You
have been here before. You know this area, recruited here.
I grew up with Rick why knock, by the way, who you
recruited. What’s it like for you
when you come back here? JAY WRIGHT: A lot of — we just
had the meeting, the Coach’s meeting and Mike
Brey is in there and buzz Williams Buzz
Williams and Huggins. We’ve all — seems like Hugs and Mike
Brey and I have been in the shape spot, you know, for the
last three years, I don’t know how
that works. But coming back to western New York
Western New York is always cool. I have great
memory ies of starting at University of
Rochester, KREE recruiting in the Buffalo
area. Got ET ET getting Greg . Not getting what JOU skis.
Not knowing who I was going to get.
Not getting Christian lake from that area, knoll knowing he
was that good. Bucknell is really good, too.
We’re really proud of Nathan and those guys, so, yeah, a lot
of connections here, and we’re enjoying it. Also the anchor
bar in Duff’s, we like that, too.
Q. Q. Last year, one of the lines
you used in Brooklyn a lot was that you knew — your
team knew that you would be judged by whatever happened in
the NCAA Tournament, fairly or not. Do you still feel that way
with this group because you’ve cleaned kind of
climbed that mountaintop or does it change at
all? JAY WRIGHT: That’s something
that we discussed as a team. I just think in general,
you’re defined by what you did in the NCAA Tournament as a
college player. If you’re a team
that’s getting there every year, the team and you as a player
get defined that way, nationally , with fans, and that’s okay.
But we don’t define our guys that way within our program, and they don’t — I don’t think they
define themselves that way and we want to make sure of that
. But it is the reality, you know? There could be a guy that,
you know, doesn’t have a great career, but if he does
something in the NCAA Tournament ,
everybody remembers him forever and that’s cool, too .
Q. Q. So, this time last year, Jay,
you’re sitting up there, nobody thought you could
get out of the first Weeks weekend.
Now everybody wonders if you can repeat. Is one more
difficult than the other and the pressure you IS faked last
year is that at all ‘able to the pressure you might face going
forward? JAY WRIGHT: I don’t know if one
is harder than the other, Dana, but they are
different. They are definitely different. There’s — I would
, I would say the same level of pressure,
but it’s a different kind of pressure. In terms of being
applicable, it definitely is. I think — you know, pressure
is pressure, so you want to embrace it and try to make —
allow it to make you better, and we had a different kind of
pressure last year. It was like that second-round pressure
was crazy. And this year, it is about repeating. You’re a
one seed, and so you’re supposed to win it if you’re the one
seed, right? It’s all about how you handle that, and I think
having that pressure last year and having pressure this year,
I think makes it a little bit easier to handle .
Q. Q. On a lighter note, coach hug
Ince ins earlier said that he used to be the best-dressed
coach, better than you. And obviously, he went a different
way. I guess on the will flipside, I was going to ask you
if you’d ever consider going without a tie. We have another
tieless coach here in Mike Brey. I was wondering how
important the tie is to the coach
coaching and to the image? JAY WRIGHT: You know, the
reason that I dress that way, it’s just been the
tradition, you know? , in coach ing, you
wear a suit and sigh tie. But Hugs is — I would like to
do an article on the lines hugs give
me when you shake Hend hand s about
your attire, his attire, your look, his look. It’s great. It
could be a great article. He’s got great lines and Mike, I
remember Mike used to go with the crew neck, he was the trend trend-setter on that. I said
we had a discussion one summer, go
with the open collar. That’s the next dock look. I
don’t know if he did it because of that, but I
know we had a discussion discussion
about that, it’s important. I like –n’t I don’t know.
I like Hugs look. When you wear a
nice chute and sweeting in the huddle. And guys are trip
ping on top of you, I think why am I wearing this nice suit.
But it’s tradition. We’ll see, we’ll see.
Q. Q. Jay, did you have to worry
about this group being complacent or satisfy ied, kind
of the idea of, we won it all last year, maybe not having
necessarily the drive that they needed?
JAY WRIGHT: Definitely. I was really concerned
about that come ing into the season. Obviously, I hadn’t
been a part of the national
championship team before, so I really
didn’t know how to handle it. They hadn’t. But I did talk to
a lot of coaches and everybody said to me, there’s a deaf Nate
hangover you have to deal with. Don’t deny it. Don’t hide
from it. It’s going to be there and it really is. And we
talked about it all year. I’m very proud of my our three
senior seniors, Josh, and Darryl, and
Kris and howl. At 20 years OLGS
old, they are able to handle the maturity of getting past it.
Continue to get humble and get better. Really proud of them.
I don’t think I can would could have done that the
that at it 2. Jour staff joke
jokes about it all of the time. If we could have done what
Kris Jenkins did last year, we would have been unTROEBL Bable. All of them. I’m really proud
of them for that. Q.
Q. When do you think you shook that hangover if there
was one? JAY WRIGHT: We discussed it.
We came back — we all went to the ESPYS in July,
which is kind of the end of the victory tour, it’s the last
event you go to after the White House, and state capitol, we
discussed it as a team. Because Hey, this trip to Spain start starts the next year. That’s
over. It was We went to Spain. It was
great. Because no one knew who we were, they didn’t know we
were national champions it gave us a fresh start. But when we
got to the baggage claim in Philadelphia and everyone saw we were there, and they started
come ing up and taking picture, it
hit all of us, oh, we’re back in it. We’re going to have to
deal with this. We did get a fresh start that trip to Spain. It was really helpful to us.
Q. Q. Jay, when you were in
Rochester, some 30 years ago, grinding away and hitting the
recruiting trail — JAY WRIGHT: 20 30 years.
Q. Q. Is
Q. Is this CL where you pictured yourself —
JAY WRIGHT: Ten years ago I thought it. was. No,
not at all. I would have been happy if I could have been the
guy to replace Mike near RA at Rochester at that time. I was
just so happy to be coaching. It seems crazy right now that
you get to coach at Villanova and you would have been happy.
But you didn’t know any of this was possible. I was having so
much fun and enjoying being a coach. I loved the University
of Rochester, Mike near RA was a great coach. I would have.
At that time, Mike near RA was God to be me back then. I
was like God, if I can ever get to
do that someday. That was Moye process.
Q. Q. Kind of a combination of the
previous three question questions both with your dress
— I talked to your tailor by the way, Gabriel?
JAY WRIGHT: We got to get him under control.
Q. Q. He’s a funny way. Did you
know he coached his church league team to second
place 40 years ago? JAY WRIGHT: Oh, yeah.
Q. Q. I’m sure you did?
JAY WRIGHT: And . And the attention
paid. Now you have people, I’m calling your
tailor. People are talk bug your suits. How has your life
changed, when you look at the tournament. , you were
criticized before for not winning enough
in the tournament and now all of a sudden you win one game,
one shot, and so much has changed, if you can take me
JAY WRIGHT: You know, it hasn’t really changed that
much, just with the media and — you know, in basketball even
venue venues. That’s about it. And
in my household, please, trust me, I’m number five on that list
there. I still take out the trash and do everything I’m told
to do. But it really hasn’t like this, when you talk about
with the media. But I think I’m the
same guy. I think in the program we all try to stay the
same. I talked about our play enjoy the journey that we’re on. This is why we do what we do, to
, to be a coach and to be with
your players and to be on a college campus and to be at
practice, that’s what we love and still the biggest part of my life.
Q. Q. The perception has changed I
guess? JAY WRIGHT: Yeah.
Q. Q. Is that kind of a Weir —
JAY WRIGHT: I’m not as articulate as you guys.
That’s what I meant to say. Q.
Q. You don’t know me real well. Is that a weird
transformation to see how others view you, gets altered, even
though you wake up the same way? rid cite sized a lot for
lose ing in the second round. I wasn’t feeling bad about what
we were doing. I felt good about what we were doing. I was disappointed when we lost that
game but as far as where our program was going, winning
the Big East championship, guys were give ing our their
best effort. I felt really good. When
people are criticize ing us and I was feeling good but when
people are praise ing us, I shouldn’t feel better. You just don’t take it on one side.
That’s really why I think — I hope we haven’t changed.
Q. Q. Jay
Q. You spoke earlier about pressure, is there a unique
type of pressure that comes with a one seed and 1 verse 16
match-up? JAY WRIGHT: Yeah. I don’t know
if it’s top seed but there’s a 1-16 pressure.
We’ve held felt it before. I told
our team about, we were one seed and actually Philly guys
might — I might be wrong on this, I count on our media for
details, but we played Monmouth, in 01. We played Monmouth in
the wells Fargo center. When we were 16 feed seed and we
made a run. And the whole change turned on
us. I had never experienced that. But We
were number one seed and everybody one was go
going for the underdog. That’s a crazy kind of pressure
especially when you’re on your home court. You know those
teams can get it going and they put game pressure on you when
you’re a one seed. You got to be ready for it and got to
overcome that, too. Q.
Q. Just to follow up, on Kris, he was up here earlier
and mentioned he doesn’t think about the shot unless he’s ask asked about it. I find that to
be unbelievable. I don’t think I’d ever stop thinking
about about it. Is that just his
personality that he’s able to put it aside?
JAY WRIGHT: Well, I think it’s more his
intelligence. He’s a confident, cocky, in a good way, kid.
But we talked about it right after the season. And he’s real bright. He’s really bright.
When we talked about you still got a year left, you want to get
better, you got this for the rest of your life. He right
away internalizes that. I’m’ amazed — I watched for this.
When the guys do shooting drill
drills at the end of practice or doing competitions, you would
think one time it would slip, I hitity big shot, I’ve ever,
ever seen him mention it and ever, and it’s really impress
Q. Jay, in an era now when play ers are kind of go come ing
and going because of one and done and things. , do you
think a program such as yours is more
equipped to repeat than others that perhaps would look more
likely repeat champions? hope, I hope so. I
hope our experience is really valuable in this, you know? And
usually what gives you a chance to repeat is a lot of return returning players, a lot of
returning good players. When Florida repeat that entire team
came back to repeat. Our team didn’t come back to repeat
and we lost two great seniors. But we do have — I think the
key is the number of quality players returning, you know? And
, as you said say, because of one
and done, if you’re going to loose lose a lot of those
guys you’re not going to have the quality
players returning. So I hope it Q.
Q. We keep going back to the wardrobe. Windsor, double
Windsor and is a pocket square necessary?
JAY WRIGHT: Straight Windsor. No. It’s not always
necessary. It depends on the outfit.
Q. THE MODERATOR: TV guys asking that.
Q. JAY WRIGHT: You all good? questions for coach? Thank
you, guys. I want to recognize Mike Sheridan, athletic
director, to who can help you with any of your needs, thank
you very much.
JAY WRIGHT: Thank you .
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports please stand by please stand by.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We’ve joined by Wisconsin
student-athletes, far right, to my far right. please stand by.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We’ve joined by Wisconsin
student-athletes, far right, to my far right. Ethan Happ,
Nigel Hayes and Bronson MODERATOR: Okay. We’ve joined
by Wisconsin student-athletes, far right, to
my far right. Ethan Happ, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig.
Gentlemen, welcome to Buffalo. We’ll go ahead and
take questions, please praise your hand. We’ll get a microphone so our
student-athletes know who we’re talking to.
Q. John Vogel with the Buffalo new, Nigel, you heard
they introduce you as student-athletes. What does
being a student mean you to?
NIGEL HAYES: That we just participate in school,
yeah. I don’t know. It’s just — it’s funny, but it’s a
term, so —
Q. Q. Bronson, you goose guys
have obviously been seeded far better in past tournaments. How
much does that make a difference to you, you guys,
come ing into this tournament. Is
this something you feel like you need to prove you’re
incorrectably ly seed come ing into this one?
BRONSON KOENIG: Nose. I feel it’s a program.
We’ve always been underestimated . It doesn’t really matter to
us. It’s nothing new. We are just looking to go, get a win,
play our game .
Q. Q. For any of you guys, the Big
Ten seedings weren’t great come ing into this
tournament. I know it’s about Wisconsin and going as far as
you guys can go, but do you take PISS you off a little bit that
the Big Ten gets seeds like they got?
Q. ETHAN HAPP: I mean, I guess no, but at the same
time. Like we want the Big Ten to do well. A lot of people
from the outside said the Big Ten wasn’t very good but really, it was just that there wasn’t a
lot of disparity from top to bottom, so, there’s a lot of
good teams. It’s not just that — it’s just that we didn’t
have one or two dominant team THE MODERATOR: Anybody else?
Q. look at — when you
guys looked at Virginia tech and saw they don’t have a lot of
big guy, do you guys instantly think, okay, this is going to
be a fun game for u-we’re going to pound it inside, good luck
trying to stop us. When you guys have an a good inside
game like that, does it make you lip
lick your chops when you see a game
against a smaller team? JAY WRIGHT: NIGEL
HAYES: No, not especially after you watch
film. They have not as big guys like us. But they shoot the
threes extremely well. Three is as good as two. They also
are good teams in the tournament and the type of defense they
play make it difficult where it’s not just one-on-one, and we can take advantage of those
smaller guys. it’s going to
be a challenge. The same way their mismatched guard feels the same way we go chasing them
around . Q.
Q. Ethan, do they compare — did Virginia tech compare
to anybody you’ve seen this year ? Is there somebody you can
sort of — look at film of, and get an idea what you’re going
to see? ETHAN HAPP: Not a team that has
that many weapons that shoot the ball that well,
but I guess a team that we just played, Michigan, is one that’s
kind of identical, some of the stuff they run, obviously having
one through four being able to shoot the three really well .
Q. Q. For any of of the players,
when you guys clicking in games like the Big Ten semifinal
s versus some of the losses you had later in the year,
what’s the difference? What’s clicking for you as opposed to
winning, like when you have some losses?
BRONSON KOENIG: Yeah. I think the difference is,
just playing together, playing as one unit and having fun do
doing it. There’s definitely a disparity in games that, you
know, where we lose compared to the ones that we win, we’re
not share ing the ball, the ball is not popping around as much,
we’re not playing inside, outside. It’s been our strength
and staple all year and allowing our
defense to lead into our offense. That’s the things that
we do in order to — being successful.
Q. Q. Nigel, you guys are as
tournament a tested a team as there is. What do you think
experience means in this game especially?
JAY WRIGHT: NIGEL HAYES: I think it helps deal
with the distractions that come with it.
It helps to deal with keeping your emotions in check. For
instance, we have the know tricks
on our team, Bronson is our point good. Tricks is dealing
can issues so Bronson can show him
how to deal with the attention that comes with this. How to go
outened their and play, I’m sure he’ll be extremely nervous
for his first game in the tournament. It’s a wig deal.
So we’ll try to share that knowledge and comfort with the
rest of us knowing that we are here, we’ll have fun. At the
sale IP same time we need to focus
because we know we have a job to do. .
Q. Q. As mentioned, you’re one of
the most tournament test tested teams. How is each year
fun and how is this year different from previous years .
ETHAN HAPP: I mean, this year’s fun, just because
it’s — personally, it’s with a group of seniors I’m
definitely going to miss next year. And I don’t want it to be my last game with them tomorrow,
or even this week, so he we want
to continue to play, and we have a lot of fun off the court as
well. So that’s what makes it a special team, but I think
that Nigel is on the money when he said that us being in the
tournament for, and those guys being in so many other years
definitely helps us with the emotional part of it.
Q. Q. For any of the players, what
makes Wisconsin such a good defensive team overall and
then why is maybe a three-point deep is not a strong
suit compared to other parts of the defense?
NIGEL HAYES: We practice defense all of the time,
they do defense all of the time, all of the time. That’s what
we do in practice, is practice defense. You’re good at what
you do often. Sometimes we get away from that in games and
those usually result in losses for us. If we can get back to
those principles we worked on, we should be pretty good as far
as three-point percentage not be ing that good defensively, got
to be better on our close-outs and contest. Got to get the
twos’ that we wouldn’t. Obviously the three is the one
we want. We have to definitely do
that against a team shooting tomorrow 40% or higher as a team
Q. you’ve taken the most
growth in your game from freshman year to sophomore year? Where do you see the most
improvement? ETHAN HAPP: I mean, I just feel
like I’m getting more familiar with the game it
self. I mean, if you saw, at the beginning of last year, I
was not very good and then I slowly got better with more game
experience I had, and not having more game experience into
this year, I think just having time on the court, not
only playing with my teammates but also just seeing things,
what to do and what not to do, I trying to take my game one
step at a time to the next level , but we still got a lot
long way to go .
Q. Q. Okay. I want to recognize
Patrick Herb who is over here on — Patrick’s here, the
Wisconsin athletic communications director. He can
help you in we any other needs
you have with Wisconsin. That being said, thank you for your
time today. Good luck tomorrow . .
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports .
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Wisconsin head coach
Greg guard. Coach, welcome to Buffalo. Let’s get started
with questions at this time. Would you please raise your
hand? We’ll get a microphone you to. And go ahead and get
started. Start right here with .
Q. Q. This team has been to many
tournaments, obviously. Have you noticed anything
different this time about how play
players are embracing it for? GREG GARD: No. I don’t think
so. I mean, obviously, anybody that’s in our
program has been to tournaments every year. I think
that’s something that we constantly remind them of and
make sure they don’t take it for gone to 19 straight NCAA
Tournaments is an astonishing accomplishment. It’s also a
tribute to the players and coaches that have been here
before us. But that’s one thing
specifically with our younger guys
that they understand that it takes a lot of work to get here, but I haven’t noticed anything
different that they’ve gone about the process the same way.
I think they appreciate where we’re at, and this is a reward
for having a really good regular season .
Q. Q. Norm wood from the
daily Greg, Ethan was talking earlier about
a comparison between Virginia Tech and somebody you guys have
already seen. He mentioned Michigan just because of the
number of shooters that Tech has and it’s similar to what you
saw with Michigan. Is that an a fair assessment and given
that, is it a tough match-up for you
because you guys have struggled defending from the perimeter at
times? tough match-up because
they’re a good team. Regardless of matchup, you get to this
point in time in the year. If you’re still playing consider
yourself fortunate. Most likely your opponent will be playing
too. I said all of the time average to bad teams are on
spring break right now. I think comparatively, I don’t think
there’s nobody — maybe some personnel things here and there. Seth alley Len reminds be me
a little about Derek Walton from the ball in ball screem
situations, things like that. Probably built a little
differently than most teams be ing played. I might have
to go through the nine conferences and look look
at some teams there. They buzzed on a heck of
a job there in three years with how they share the ball,
the way they can spread the floor with obviously a lot of
shooters. That’s going to put a regardless of any comparison
and who you played in the past. We’ll have
to obviously be extremely sharp in terms of rotations and
things tomorrow might night .
Q. Q. You obviously coached against
buzz a number of times when he was at car Marquette
. How aware were you back then of his
coaching quirks and oddity ies that he built his representation on?
GREG GARD: He’s like rain man? Q.
Q. Yeah? GREG GARD: I knew that in 2002.
Did you talk to Buzz earlier in the week, too? I
just was with him for a little bit at our coach’s meet
ing. 2002 I’m a first-year is playing in a tournament in
Hawaii. Buzz at the time was at Colorado State as an
assistant. We got together in my hotel room to share scouting
reports. They were going to play LSU, we were playing Hawaii
, so we exchanged third day
tournament urn note s from the tournament. Just the questions he asked, and pulling
out of the air you can tell he’s very inquiz live, and
very detail-oriented. I gave him a couple looks like what the
heck are you talking about. Obviously, 15, 16 years later,
look where we’re both at. I knew then, not knowing really
who he was, that was the first time I met him. Obviously years
later, he ended up at Marquette, and then on to here,
to Virginia Tech. So, he was sleeping floors at juke cos in
Texas when I was sweep sweeping floor
floors at junior highs in Wisconsin. So, he’s had to work
his way up. He’s had to do it the
hard way. He hasn’t had anything handed to him. I have
an appreciation that. Because I think there’s some similarity
there’s with my career trek and the places you’ve catch
coached at em and embraced and loved. I I
know he would say the same thing s about the places he’s been
at that are obscure and nobody really knows they exist. You
have an appreciation for that when you develop or come through those ranks. Like I said, I
have a lot of respect for buzz for how he’s gone about his
career, and the places he’s gone And how he’s stuck with it and
kept grinding. So, his number analytics are sometimes over my
head when he’s pulling out those number us.
Q. Q. And there’s obviously a large
disparity in tournament experience between
these two rosters. Do you see that play out at all on the
court when the game’s happening or
is it really being able to hand all of the outside stuff?
GREG GARD: Yeah. I think you get to this point in
time in the year. Experience may have been a bigger thing
back in November. Now we’re through this point. They played through a rigorous conference
schedule we had, too. We’ve both seen tournament
environment, . I think you can kind of
throw that out. They’ve got guy s that had exBS PEERMENT
persons in game environments. Sometimes
that’s overblown because we already played 30-ing some
games eve each. It’s a matter of who has
done what they’ve done all year better for the 40 minutes all
night. We’ll doe the things we are successful at and we’ll
try to counter with what we’ve been got at all year. .
Q. Q. In terms of what you’ve been
good at all year, with the size advantage you have
against Virginia Tech, you just kind of lick your chops and say
let’s pound the ball inside and see if we can take advantage
of the size, and try to get them into foul trouble?
GREG GARD: They utilize what they do pretty well,
in terms of how they are reaction in the gaps and ability
to put pressure on the boast
post and they defend — they throw us
different defenses at you, make some zone accommodations in
with their man, switching some switching and they will
trap in the post here and there, so, we
try to attack in terms of, there’s a plan going into it,
but also, we have to adjust to what is available, and that’s
why we like multi dimensional players that can play inside,
outside, and do a variety of things, and try to be a balanced
team the and not be one aspect of
the game or score ing dependent. We always like to touch the
post. That’s been a constant, a main STAI in our program for
a long time. That may be post player, may be via cuts, that
may be via dribble attack and and buzz’s term is paint touch
es, and ours is very similar in term
s of we want to get the ball to that high percentage area as
much as we can .
Q. Q. Greg, even the Big Ten
Tournament your bench came through the couple, first two
nights and last night didn’t score. What do you think is the
reason for that inconsistency GREG GARD: I think each game is
a little different in terms of opportunities that
present them SAFs selves. The second
day in the Big Ten Tournament we played with a lead so I was
able to play a little depper deeper and intentionally
give those main guys a little more of a break.
When you have a 25-point lead you’re more likely to be able to
play some guys down the stretch. That, I think, that
game maybe went to that a little at who can take advantage of
opportunity ies. Match-ups is one thing. Michigan, I didn’t
feel we we got into enough of a rhythm to go a whole lot
deeper on the bench. I wanted to give
our upper classman the best chance to try to get back and be
caught up and win that thing, so, it’s a game by game decision
in terms of who and how much. A lot of it is personnel driven.
Basically what I’m seeing on the floor, and obviously, I
think Saturday’s game, even to some extent Friday’s game,
because we had a lead there that I
could be a little more flexible with guys I’m putting on the
Q. Q. Q. Greg, as good as you guys
have been on defense there career
year, three-point defense is not as much of a forte Tay, why
is that and what do you have to do better in that regard
against Virginia Tech perhaps? GREG GARD: I think one thing
that kind of gets lost in the shuffle here is our
percentage at times gets higher, be but also if you look at our
attempts, they usually are the fewest. I think we give up the
second fewest threes in the Big Ten second to Michigan. I
look at it, there’s two bays waste to look at it. You
look at percentage and how many threes
are they’re give ing up. You We try to
run people off the line and minimize the attempts. Probably
I look at that more than what is
the percentage that we’re give play different ways. We don’t
extend quite as much so that allows — sometimes we can
compress things a bit more and sometimes that allows us to
have a higher percentage shot against you, try to take away
the other parts of the offense’s
ability. So I know where our percentage — I know where it
ranks and I also look at the attempts given and there’s a
counterbalance to that either way .
Q. self, what does it mean
for you, being from Wisconsin, climbing up through the ranks
from Wisconsin, different school s, just personally, what does
it mean for you, you know, being able to lead the badgers to
another tournament? GREG GARD: Well, obviously you
take great bride pride in it, because when I was from zero
to 23 or 24 the badgers were never in the NCAA Tournament so
to come through that span of your lifetime and never see
Wisconsin in an NCAA Tournament, s
it it obviously has a special mean
ing right now. My kids know no different. I have a 15, 13 and
8-year-old and they’ve never seen an NCAA Tournament without
Wisconsin in it. Having as you SMENGSed grown up in the
state and coached at three different schools, my last time
in Buffalo was 1995, Platteville played in the Final
Four and won a national CHP here in Buffalo state. That is,
when Buffalo came up on Sunday, that’s right where my
mind went to was ’95 and the last time I was here. So, I
you have those kind of memory ies and
connections and in the state. I think when you are leading
your home state school there’s an extra sense of pride in
that. Obviously, I know we represent the state in badger
fans and alumni across the country,
but obviously, those in the state, it’s a little extra
special to it. , because I’m one of
them. I sat in that seat or watched it on TV or whatever for a lot of years and have witness
ed how far the program has grown over that time.
Q. Q. Greg, what do you see from
your guys when you’re clique ing like you were in the
Big Ten semis, versus some much the losses you had LARL in the
year. What’s the difference for you when you watch the game
on TV or on film itself? GREG GARD: Well, the ball moves
. The at’s pretty obvious. The The wall moved
well. I thought it moved well on
Saturday. Not quite as well on Sunday. We went through a
little stretch where Koenig was banged up and missed a game.
That impacted us when you have a player like that that’s not
in rhythm or in sync and has a rhythm to trickle to other
guy guys. But all of our better
team ES have had very good spacing, ball movement. Have
different guys that can score from different areas, being able
to stretch the floor a little bit with bigs that can shoot the
ball. That rhythm that we got into over the last three,
four games is something we try to replicate offense ively.
Maybe not as much with last Sunday’s game, but that also had
to do with Michigan. I thought they did some really
good things to us, and obviously ,
offense ively, they were hitting en on all cylinders so we were
playing catch-up most of the game. Just try to get in rhythm
. Share the ball, take care of the
ball. The ball moves pretty well. We don’t overdribble when
we’re in rhythm. And at time and pound it too much. So,
try to stay away from that and more of the other.
Q. Q. What do you remember about
Buffalo from that buff state tournament and what did
do you notice about the city this
time? GREG GARD: Well, there wasn’t
this much snow here, I know that. And I remember the
gym being orange. He confirm it was on and blank. We played
Steve Alford’s Manchester storm. At that time two other teams
met for a national championship. They came in 31-0, we came
in 30-0. So, we took the team to an Italian restaurant which
I find out now is out of business Because I chatted with
coach Ryan, or traded messages over
the week. He When it was announced
we’re come ing here. He said hey take the team to, I think
it’s car mine’s that’s what we guided
decide TUD was. But we find out now
it’s out of business. But my second year coaching we
got to a national championship. I mean, got spoiled pretty
quickly. It was a great time. Steams Seems like a
hundred years ago but it was fun.
Q. Q. Greg, free throw shooting not
a strong suit for you guys how much does that person
you concern you going up to a
Virginia Tech team where Buzz try ies to go out of points to
GREG GARD: Them trying to get points at the line
and us shooting free throws are two opposite things though.
They don’t foul very much and we don’t try not to foul up
much each etch specifically, they two guys
that get their the most, Hayes and Happ. our guys
have been working on it all year. Hopefully we’ve seen
progression in a positive way, in
the last week, more in game environment. They’ve been okay
in the practice environment. It’s
been the game environment where we haven’t been able to
capitalize on it, so, mainly, I want to make sure we’re getting
there, although I know they don’t foul a whole lot and don’t
put teams to the line a whole lot and they try to get there a
good bit. You look at — you analyze numbers going back to
the lady behind you’s question, about Buzz’s analytics, you look
at three throw attempts and those type of things. Numbers
are similar. Albeit, it’s different. Maybe a method to do
it, but still trying to get the same result of making more
free throws than the opponent attempts. Speaking of ’95 that
team made 200 nor free throws than the opponent attempted
which may be a record. Hence why
they went 31-0. They were pretty good getting to the line
and converting there. So, yeah,
that’s just what we’re — we’ll try to get there as hopefully as
we can. Hopefully Ethan and NIENLle can get in a rhythm and
get some confidence going in a
live environment. Q.
Q. Coach, we wish you best of luck in the late game
tomorrow against Virginia Tech. Sports Please stand by Please stand by joined by right to left. Elijah long,
junior Robinson, Kris Wray. It’s been quite a long 48 hours. We’ll open up to questions for
these gentlemen right now. Q.
Q. Greg Q. Kris, can you dedescribe what
that moment was like when
Mount St. Mary’s, right to left.
Elijah long, junior Robinson, Kris
Wray. It’s been quite a long 48 questions for these gentlemen
Q. Kris, can you dedescribe what that moment was like
when you grabbed that ball at the end of the game last night?
JUNIOR ROBINSON: I think the word was necessary.
It was necessary. Like we talked about. In moments like
that, especially in watch, if a team gets their hand on the
ball, more times than not it actually goes in, he could throw anything. So it was just
necessary to get the ball.
Q. Q. For those of us who have not
seen a lot of Mount St. Mary’s basketball for any of
he the three of you, how how would
you describe the way you play and what was the key to your
success in the tournament run and last night this?
JUNIOR ROBINSON: I think we just cause caused a lot of chaos on the court. We play
really fast, really hectic. We take a lot of threes and defend
the three well. That’s just being able to play together, and
our love for the game.
Q. ELIJAH LONG: Definitely, a
little word that is mayhem, it’s like a controlled
chaos, and it’s just trying to turn the ball, the other team
over a lot. Just fast break, a lot of fast breaks, alley-oop
dunks and just being able to play off each other’s energy.
Q. Q. Just for any of you guys,
what have the last 24 to 48 hours been like from playing,
you know, a thrilling game in the NCAA Tournament to travel
traveling here and getting ready to
face the overautopsy all top seed.
JUNIOR ROBINSON: As far as traveling, we’ve
ave . JUNIOR ROBINSON: As far as
traveling, we’ve done this — a three-week trip. We
try ied to keep it one game at a is. Whether it’s nonconference, tournament and now NCAA
Tournament. THE MODERATOR: Junior? Of.
JUNIOR ROBINSON: He had that three week -week trip where
we he played I don’t know how many
games and how many days. But we’re used to it. It was pretty
hectic. It was kind of fun, too. Now we get to come and
play another game tomorrow night.
Q. Q. Junior, you talked about it’s
kind of controlled chaos, how does that style fit
your style of play? JUNIOR ROBINSON: Really fast, I
mean, we don’t really play — we played
controlled but we play really fast and
sometimes too fast, but we just find a way to stay — keep our
control and stay calm. Q.
Q. Does it suit your personal style, though?
JUNIOR ROBINSON: Oh, yeah, it does. I like playing
fast. I like a lot of three, like dunks. So, we do a lot of
that. So it fits my style perfectly .
Q. Q. Junior, I guess you’ve had
your share of doubters in your career. What have people
said since you’ve come on the scene now, and obviously, are a
pretty good play never what have you thought about all of
the doubting you’ve received over your career and how have
you handled that mentally? JUNIOR ROBINSON: I’ve emGraced
it. It’s kind of like a chip on my shoulder to
prove people wrong that height really doesn’t matter. It’s
about the heart that you have and
the passion that you played the game with. I mean, each came,
I’m going to probably be the short effort est player on
the court. Actually, I’m going to be the
shortest player on the court. So, I just have to come out — I
come out and play the my hardest
with the heart that I have for the love of the game and for
the love of my brothers.
Q. Q. Just wondering, I mean, it’s
not just playing a one seed, but, you know, like many
people, I’m wondering if you guys were actually watching last
year that championship game
and Nova winning it and knowing what it’s like from them to
now and knowing you’re playing in the NCAA Tournament.
ELIJAH LONG: Yeah. I think someone asked a similar
question yesterday about that. And I don’t think any of us on
the team would have guessed that we’re going to play Villanova Villanova, you doe know what
I mean? But it is March Madness .
It’s a humble ing experience but then again they’re just human
beings just like us. We’re go ing to goat out there and play. The one thing they do well on a
consistent basis is play hard. I don’t think they ever take a
possession off defensively or offense ively. We just got to
match that intensity and you never know what could happen at
the end .
Q. Q. Quick question for Eli. Eli,
you are the first Canadian player Mount St. Mary’s
history and here we are play to play so close to home.
What is like that like for you? ELIJAH LONG: It’s funny. I’m
part of a group for tickets and supposedly 26 of my
family members come up. But I didn’t get all of those tickets.
I only have nine, only nine people can come up. But other
than that, you know, it’s amaze
amazing, because my parents only don’t get to see me a to
play in person a lot. Sometime
They’re always in Canada. Sometimes they can’t
cross the border or they’re just busy so moments like this
come along, and I can play an hour away from my house, it’s
surreal. I thank God for it. God always has a plan, so, it’s
a summable ing experience. Q.
Q. For junior, Muggsy Boeks talk ed a lot about watching
you last night and being really impressed with what he saw.
Has you heard any of his comments and how neat is that to
kind of put yourself on the national
stage a little bit and to get some of that recognition.
JUNIOR ROBINSON: Well, I haven’t heard heard that. That’s the first I heard it.
Thanks for telling me. It’s an honor, because he’s a
hall-of-famer. So it’s a great feeling
to just be recognized because just because I’m short and
doing things that nobody thought I
could do. Q.
Q. Just a follow up for Elijah, you talked a little bit
about growing up just an hour from here. Did you ever make
trips to Buffalo as a kid or anything like that?
ELIJAH LONG: Yeah. I had one of my face basically
family friends, he played for a Buffalo team in New York, so I
made trips up there to see him. Other than that, the only
time I travelled to Buffalo to get airports, because they’re
cheap, the flights are cheap. I would drive here past the
border to catch a flight, either to my high school or back to
the mount. Q.
Q. Kris, you guys always talked about being locked in.
Did you get a chance to en Joan joy the win or straight
to ill Nova and being knocked locked in
and ready to play tomorrow? A. JUNIOR ROBINSON: I mean,
we definitely get a chance to talk about this. We just
enjoying the whole ride as a whole. We have to take
everything for each experience. I
feel for us to enjoy it and look back later on, we have to
focus at what we have at hand. You don’t want to look back at
it to say you celebrated too early when you have it well.
TARIK PHILLIP: Q.
Q. What are you guys most excited about or looking
forward to when you play against Villanova tomorrow night?
THE MODERATOR: Pardon me? JUNIOR ROBINSON: Any of us can
Q. What you are you most excited about or looking forward to?
THE MODERATOR: Anybody in particular?
JUNIOR ROBINSON: I think it’s going to be a hard
hard-fought game. We’re go together make it a grinded out
game. We have to come out and try to compete with them at a
highest level that we can compete at.
ELIJAH LONG: One thing I’m looking forward to is to
see, not only about what’s going to happen tomorrow, but what
we’re go egg to have in the future for next year, you know?
It’s going to battle test us and get us bread ready for
not only tomorrow, but in the future for
next year, whatever that is, because that’s a great team, so,
I think it’s prepare ing us now of us but months, and probably
hopefully years ahead of us for the team that we have now. Q. For anybody, did any of you
see video or anything of Kris Jenkins winning shot last
year and have you had a chance to watch him on TV this year,
knowing that Jenkins is back and player of the year Dan
candidate is Lieutenant
also on their team? A. JUNIOR ROBINSON: I’m
pretty sure everybody Waugh watched
the game. I’m pretty hype about it. Just watching the game,
so saying Marcus page made that
shot before and seeing that, it’s
good for the game of basketball, overall, I can’t really say I
watched too many of the games this year, because I’ve been
focusing on what we’ve been doing. We had done our scouting
, in preparation for the game.
Q. Q. For any of the guys, 16 is
never beaten a one. I’m sure you know that. Do you have
a mentality? Hey, why not us? JUNIOR ROBINSON: I mean,
records are meant to be broken, and we have confidential
ce going into this game, that if
sure you know that. Do you have a
mentality? Hey, why not us? JUNIOR ROBINSON: I mean,
records are meant to be broken, and we have confidence
going into this game, that if we take care of things the way
we’re supposed to ahead of ourselves, in the manner that we
can, why not?
JUNIOR ROBINSON: I just want to state, everything
to gain and nothing to lose. .
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? Not seeing any, guys, good luck,
first game tonight against Villanova. Appreciate you being
here. Thank you. Oh, I want
wanted to introduce mark Vandergriff, athletic
communications Mount St. Mary’s he can assist
you with any other needs you have to with their team . coach. Jimmy Christian.
Coach, congratulations on a first-round win. Welcome to
Buffalo. Great to have you here.
We’ll go ahead and open up for questions at this time. We’ll
get started right in the center here.
Q. Jamion, you’re facing the second very fast turn
around for the week. Can you talk about the turnaround,
having a day to prepare for it? THE MODERATOR:
JAMION CHRISTIAN: First of all, I think our
travel couldn’t have been more smooth
getting here. Buffalo is great for us when we got here. We’re
excited for the opportunity to be here. You’re playing great
games like this, great environmentses , your
enthusiastic e assism carry ies. We had a
enthusiastic bunch . There’s challenges in every
game you play. Villanova is an excellent
team. They’ve Ben excellent for 50 years. They’ve been on
this stage move than us. The biggest challenge starts with
the PRE personnel, just the professionalism they lived with
every day. We got to do a group
great job making sure why understand their personnel
really well. Just understanding, we
have to go out and be us, play our game. There’s five
game guys on the floor. Ball jumps up.
The team that plays the about best thereafter every
day has an opportunity to win.
Q. Q. Are you able to play freely
now, as a 16-seed going against the one? Is all of the
pressure off of you? JAMION CHRISTIAN: I don’t
really acknowledge pressure. I think pressure is
what you put on yourself every single day. We try ied to do a
great job of doing that in practice every single day, so, I
don’t know if that really exists in our world. You know,
we’re going to go play freely because that’s how we play. I
have such a Grete belief on in the
guys we have in you are on our roster.
We challenged ourselves to the highest levels this season
playing six NCAA Tournament team s,
playing on the road against some of the very best. You have
to believe at some point that your preparation has you ready
for the moment. Q.
Q. How different does this feel being here now do doing
this as opposed to that first four and do you feel like this
is a different level, getting here?
JAMION CHRISTIAN: You know, no. I think it’s a
tournament setting. I think the NCAA does a great job making
sure they’re poxing teams to feel as as comfortable as
possible and with the short turn around
before, I think we’re really well prepared for what ewoo he
need to do. We have a short turn around for University of
New Orleans and even a shorter turn around for University of
Villanova. So I think . Q.
Q. Coach. Jim Fallon is a Nate ive fill Philadelphian,
coach coached at Mount St. Mary’s for
many years. Did you play for him first of all?
JAMION CHRISTIAN: I did. I played for coach for
three years. Q.
Q. What did you learn from him and how you have you
apply ied his teachings to the coaching
style now? JAMION CHRISTIAN: I think the
first thing I learned you got to have really good
players and good guards. He was him to into retirement.
Let’s make sure you have really good
players that allows you to be a good coach. One thing coach is
good with, he gave his guards a ton of freedom. Every day we
came into hack practice and did
similar things. Allows the guys to be free and playing with a
lot of confidence. catch watch our team play,
he they see resemblance in his teams .
Our team try ies to play that way. We try to take outside
shot. And try to play stage ing y
defenses. If anyone remember’s coach Fallon’s teams playing,
830 victory ies, his teams did that ose things really well.
Q. Q. You preach being locked in.
How long did you let the guys enjoy last night’s win
and when did sort of the focus become all about VIL
over illanova? JAMION CHRISTIAN: We got just
an amazing group of give
guys. We’re excited to see these guys get on the stage and
perform. They really enjoyed in the locker round room and
really excited about the opportunity in
the rock locker room. About ten
minutes in there. Already settled in and asking questions
about Villanova and started eagerly asking when he s
question when they can watch film and start
prepare ing. They set a goal for
themselves. They’ll continue to focus hand achieve that goal.
Our team is different. They enjoyed it for about ten
minutes, I would say and they reset
pretty quickly and are pretty ready for
the next challenge. . Q.
Q. Junior Robinson hit big shots last night. He got
that neat note about him being the short Ertz player in the
NCAA right now. What should the country know about him and
what makes him special as a person, as a player, that type
thing? JAMION CHRISTIAN: I don’t think
he’s one of the shortest guys. I think he’s one
of the best guards and people really get a CHAUNS to notice
that. Our back court is exceptional, and our back
court is exal P with Elijah long and — I
think you get a chance to see these guys play together.
Elijah was not able to fully be out there. I think these guys
with in about the back court can be as good as
anyone. And they can play with anyone. Junior has a PRE
then mouse douse hard. JUNIOR ROBINSON: Tremendous
passion for winning, tremendous passion for his
teammates. His respond anyway ET
helps him GAK good plays. the country needs to know
about him he’s got incredible heart. He’s got incredible
passion and he’s going to try to attack every moment out
there. They are really going to enjoy watch ing him play.
Q. Q. Coach, if you could talk
about your style of play offense ively, and then your
style of play defensively in terms
of man-to-man Joan zone, just to learn a little bit four
about what you guys do at both ENT ends
? JAMION CHRISTIAN: Yeah. We’re
going to play — on the defense we’re he playing
predominantly man-to-man. We have
some stuff in there. I feel real men play man-to-man
defense. I ear woo he agoing to do
a great job trying to stay man-to-man. We’ve done a great
job all season long against many opponents. Even in
nonconference in against a tough
schedule. Iowa state is one of the best offensive teams in
the country. I have a lot of confidence. We play a lot of
different styles. We play two styles. Throw the ball to the
low post and attack from there but pre don’t DOP NANTly
the game will play four GAUFRDs out.
Similar to Villanova. Shoot 24 of 25 threes over YO
overnight. We shot at 36% this past past year
which is a pretty high percentage. We try to space you
out and make outside shots. That
opens the floor to Elijah long and junior Robinson gets you to
the rim. We’re able to do that and make 15 threes tomorrow
night it will be a good day. Q.
Q. In follow-up to that. What would you say overall
are the two, three, biggest strengths to the ball club and
what areas have you struggled most with an area that needed to get better as the year involved
much? JAMION CHRISTIAN: Our
versatility I think on our roster we have a lot of guys
that can guard a lot of different
positions and a lot of guys that can handle. A lot of guys we
are able to put defense in tough predicaments on offense.
Wrist Chris Wray played point guard in
high school. He’s a third or fourth ball handler on the floor
for us who can make plays and decisions for us. That’s one of
the biggest trends is our versatility. Again a lot of
guys that can shoots the ball to
the outside and a lot of guys can get the ball toity right
guy. Defensively, we had to just learn how to play with
physicality, just being able to rebound the basketball. We’re
still a very young team. That kind of go comes and goes
with young teams but we’ve done a
good job of that as of late over rebound the basketball and
finding enough ways to make some tough plays.
Q. Q. Two questions. One, what is
the biggest concern about Villanova and number two
did you ever feel at the begin
beginning of the season you have a shot at defending national
champ? JAMION CHRISTIAN: Biggest
concern, really, Villanova, how well they play.
They are as connected as a program, not just a team ax
as I’ve ever seen. Everything they
do from practice to the game carry ies over. They just do a
PRE tremendous job of playing
together and carrying over the thing
things that they work work on and that’s always a big
struggle for a coach to is trying to get
his team to do that. Coach write did
a good job getting his guys this there to buy what he’s trying
to do and he’s been great with those guys app what was the
second question. JAMION CHRISTIAN:
? Q. Having a chance at national
championship? JAMION CHRISTIAN: It’s always a
tremendous opportunity. That’s one much
the biggest things. That gall ball
goes up TOORLT. It doesn’t matter if they’re national
champions or not. That’s the Rae aality. The team that puts
together the best game plan and the team that follows the best
will have the best opportunity to win. They’ve done that 30
30-plus time this year. That’s the challenge that it is.
Tomorrow is a new day, the ball will go up. Reach We’ll
have an opportunity to play against one
of the best. We’ll consider ourselves one of the best. 65,
64 teams left in the tournament. 64 teams still has
a chance to win a national title. I would consider our
team as good as any.
Q. Q. Coach Christian, I know that
many of these Villanova players come from the D.C.
/INTLOSH area. That’s the predominantly area you recruit
from as well. You knew them on the recruiting trail before they
were Wildcats. What was it like facing guys that you’ve
seen grow not only in your own program but within theirs?
JAMION CHRISTIAN: Josh harding and Chris Jenkins I
had a chance to watch these guys play for a long, long time
just being in the D.C. area. Josh I know better than Kris.
Josh, I had a chance to watch him grow up from a person
getting adjusted at school to the person he is now as one of
the best players in the country. One thing that’s excite ing to me — I’ve always known him to
be one much the best people I’ve ever had a chance to
recruit and get to know. One of the
best things to me being a guy from a days istance is getting
a chance to watch the country get
to know him and what a an amazing person he is. He’s a
guy that reality ied his own destiny on this thing. He not
only worked on his game he work ninny I’m looking forward
to continue to ROOFRT root
for him after this, but tomorrow we’re
obviously going to be on different sides of the coin.
Q. Q. You MAENGS mentioned your
nonconference schedule pretty challenge ing, how does that
prepare you for tomorrow night? JAMION CHRISTIAN: Well , we’re going to play for
a against a team that’s complete on all
ends. When we played that nonconference schedule we had to
do that. We played six steams in the NCAA Tournament.
At least eight teams this were in there and Texas team lost in
the of final they had a I feel like to be the best
you have to challenge yourself against the best. You
have to look in the mirror and see where your weaknesses are
against the very best. If you do that against anyone else it
short changes us. I think you the
fact we’ve been in a lot of games is a big strength for us. Understanding the level of
physicality, understanding the level of execution you got to
have, understanding how fast you because those all change
depending on the level that you’re at. I think that’s the
big strength of our team, having the
fact that we’ve had to do it time and time again and we’ve
got experience do ing it.
Q. Q. What is this does
this mean for you, this tournament. What
does it mean for you in the program and how is the program
go going to be able succeed and
capitalize on being part of the field?
JAMION CHRISTIAN: We got a tremendous basketball
tradition here at Mount St. Mary’s. As mentioned coach
Fallon coached for 49 years. He is in
the college basketball hall of fame of mate made it to 30
wins. >>We’re all continue ing on a
legacy that’s pretty large. I always consider our
tradition way more like Carolina older tradition. It’s been
around for a long time. A lot of home games are filled with
people who KAPT to mount games as children and now their
children come, so on and so for. You don’t see that in many
places around the country. A lot of places have old new
traditions. We have a tram ma that likes to support our
basketball Prahm. move ing forward they time you get
to be on a stage against the
biggest chance it shows how much tomorrow SA is a chance to
show how much progress we’ve made since
last time we worry here in it 008. Against Toronto. we
have great players in our program now, this helps us
recruit well and bring in quality
guys and bring our product better.
Q. Having already been on the big stage last night, how
does that help you go nothing tomorrow night?
JAMION CHRISTIAN: I feel like settle ing down is
important in any tournament set ting. I think that’s really
important to be able to do. It’s just being able to — to
understand like the bounce of the bull is different the
neutral site is different. We should be pretty comfortable
with that. The only issue, really, Villanova has all of
their guys back basically from last
year and they played pretty well they’re going to be pretty
settled as well. I think both teams are
pretty settled in pretty early on. I look for it to be a
pretty competitive team throughout. .
Q. THE MODERATOR: Any other question necessary all
right, Coach, crackses on get RTS ting here and good luck
tomorrow. JAMION CHRISTIAN: Thanks so
>> FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports please stand
by. Seth Allen ail . THE MODERATOR: Okay, now,
joined the Virginia Tech student-athletes, Seth Allen,
Zach LE day, gentlemen, welcome to Buffalo. Glad to have you
here, we’ll open for questions at this time. Please raise your
hand, we’ll get a microphone you to. If you please give your
name and affiliation.
Q. Q. Mark
Q. Guys, obviously, Wisconsin has got a lot of size.
How worry ied are you about having to deal with those guys
in the paint, especially when you
got a team that’s trying to avoid foul trouble?
ZACH LEDAY: Just going to go out there and play as
hard as possible. Every team is bigger than us. It’s not
nothing new, we’re going to play as hard as possible, try to
box out and get the rebound. THE MODERATOR: Seth?
SETH ALLEN: I agree with Zach. That’s kind of been
our Achilles heel all season, so we’re used to it. We just
got to fight hard for rebounds and position, and limit them to
Q. Q. Guys, what have you been
doing since you got to Buffalo, with this being your
one and only NCAA Tournament experience of your career, how
much are you trying to soak everything in this week in
Buffalo? SETH ALLEN: We’ve just been —
we practiced. They going to lift in the morning.
We eat, we watch a lot of film, we do home work. We chill
together. I mean, it’s all snow the hotel for walks or golfing
or nothing, but we do a lot of things in the hotel, a lot of
like team stuff. ZACH LEDAY: Yeah. We just
chill. We don’t really do nothing that much.
THE MODERATOR: No golf trips? .
ZACH LEDAY: No golfing in the snow. They have some
snow — snow people. THE MODERATOR: Angels? ZACH LEDAY: Yeah. Whatever.
SETH ALLEN: Oh, we went to the Buffalo Bills
facility. ZACH LEDAY: Oh, yeah, that was
cool. Forgot about that.
Q. Q. Two of the last three games
you blew second-half leads. What do you take away
from that and what are you going game.
Q. SETH ALLEN: Would you say that
Q. Two of the last three games you blew second half
leads wake forest and Florida state. What do you take away
from that going into the I with WI game?
SETH ALLEN: I think that we just got to just play
our game, take it possession by at a time. We can’t get
ahead of ourself if we’re up and or
down. We take it by media time-outs,
and try to win media time-outs. I think if we look ahead like
for a whole game, we look ahead of a whole game it’s hard for
us. So we just break it down in little bits, it’s easier tore
us. Q. for
Q. This is for both of you guys, what is it like as a
former starter come ing off the bench and what do you think it
has brought to your your team having you two come off the
bench with all of the scores you
that you do? ZACH LEDAY: I say that it helps
our team, because anybody can take any row
role and no one’s entitled to start or
anything like that, so, just by playing that, and seeing how
hard you got to work, it doesn’t matter who starts, it’s
whoever plays the hardest and I feel like we give a big amount
of energy come ing off the bench, and it gets other
people’s confidence up. I guess people
like starting, it doesn’t really matter to us. We just
want to come and play as long as affecting the game.
SETH ALLEN: I think coach Buzz always tells us to
embrace whatever’s in front of us, whether be a game, a role,
anything. I think me and Zach did a great job of just
embracing our role comes off the bench. It’s hard sometimes.
Guys getting past their first win and we come in on our first
win trying to keep up with them, they are already loose. It’s
been tough statement sometime, but you just got to
fight through it and keep going. We just try to play
hard off the bench and just bring energy and excitement to
the game. Our teammates, they know all of us can start like
any of us. We play seven, eight could start — we play a lot of
guard, so you could really just put anybody in there. So it
doesn’t really matter who starts. It’s about month
who finishes and guys,
so, I mean, anybody, you could start — we play a lot of
guard, so you could really just put anybody in there. So it
doesn’t really matter who starts. It’s about who finishes
and who is on top at the end of the
game. Each team. Q.
Q. So Q. Seth, you said win the media
time-outs. That sounds like a Buzz thing, what do you
mean like that? by that?
SETH ALLEN: Each game has ten media time-outs.
Each four American, we just try to win the four minutes. We
call them like ATOs. Like after time-outs. So, when we come
out of the time-outs, we try to win those possessions.
There’s a one possession for them and one possession for us. And that’s what counts towards
an ATO. When we talk about winning media time-outs, so, if
it’s 16 minutes and be me and bench. When it hits 12 minutes,
we want to do better, get more
stops before it gets 12 minutes than the other team. So,
instead of it being like, DF halftime, let’s win. We try to
break it into media time-out. Let’s see win this media
time-out. HETS Let’s see how we do this media
Q. So it’s the time on the sideline?
SETH ALLEN: Yeah Oh, yeah. Q. We talked about how what
it meant to get to the tournament and you said how
hungry you are for more. Kind of
a silly question, other than advance ing, what would a mean
win mean just in terms of direction of
the program and for you guys in validation as well?
ZACH LEDAY: I think it would be huge, just for
everybody just to keep this run going. It’s been a special
story. We don’t play that many guys. We’re small, all of
this stuff that’s been rumored about us. It’s really special
and we just want to keep it go ing. We just want to play
together as long as possible and play as hard as possible for
each other, and just be there for one another, so, it would be really special to get wins in
this tournament and just keep on with this one.
Q. Q. You guys watched film as
from of Wisconsin what stops stands
out about Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes, who of the better inside
players you’re going to be facing this year?
ZACH LEDAY: I say they have very unique games.
Happ likes to back you down and get you under the basket.
He’s really good as pivoting and going different ways. He’s a
good defender as well. Gets a lot of steals. He leads the
team in a lot of category ies. Hayes is very percent
versatile. He likes to do a lot. Bring the
ball up. He can rerebound, shoot the mid range to three
-pointers. He can get on the glass. I say what’s big for us
is just keeping them off the glass, contesting our shots.
Not falling for the moves and just keeping them off the glass.
I think that will be fine if we do that.
Q. Q. When you watched the
Wisconsin on film, do they remind you of anybody you played
with? Is it Is it like playing
Virginia, maybe or anybody you dealt with before?
SETH ALLEN: They’re similar to Virginia. They’re
like a Big Ten version of Virginia, kind of. Being that
they play slower than most teams,
they kind of want to control and that is how they play. Like
the style of play they have, and they have like two really
good post men, so throwing it in and playing out the post take takes patience, and they want to
guard you for long, so you can’t take quick shots against
them. They’re a really tough team, kind of similar to
Virginia except they play a little
bit more one-on-one ball than Virginia does. They throw it up
in in just space and let him go to
work whereas Virginia come ing off down screens and just try to
bull lull you to sleep a lot.
Q. Q. Other
Q. Oher in questions for their size and all that,
is it this a tough match-up. You say oh, I think we’ll shoot threes against these guys, it’s
not going to be too bad? What is your assessment how
photograph tough a game this might be for you or
not? SETH ALLEN: I think we just got
to go into it play playing our game. Part of it,
you want to know what the other team does. You want to know how
they play. You can’t bend towards their style. You got to
just enforce how we play and we play fast, we play hard, we
play against each other, we play smart. So, I think that’s
really what is most important going into tomorrow night. Are
we going to play like Virginia Tech or is Wisconsin going to
control the pace, and we’re go going to play it their stale ?
Q. Everyone is obviously very excited on Sunday, when
you guys got in. What’s been the mood of the team like since
we last saw you on Suns day? What’s it been like at the hotel the last few days?
THE MODERATOR: Everybody is looking at you, Zach.
ZACH LEDAY: You know, we’ve just been going, going
crazy, running up and down the halls — no, I’m playing, but
everybody was very happy when we got in. We wanted to see
where we were going. We saw we was going to Buffalo and it
was snowing and stuff. That was cool. I’m from Texas, I
don’t really see is no snow like that. After we found out
where we got in, everybody was all business then. Everybody
been watching film. Even the young boys been watching film,
just watching how Wisconsin play s. I think I watched six or
seven other games. I watched the Michigan game like three
times in like the past two days, so, I mean everybody is just
watching film and just getting ready for the match-up and just
trying to get used to Tennessees and stuff like that,
that’s important, trying to get an advantage on your opponent
in a short amount of time in a tournament like this. That’s
what everybody has been doing. That’s what I think, so —
Q. Q. Zach THE MODERATOR:
Zach, Seth, thanks for your time .
Good luck tomorrow. JAMION CHRISTIAN: Can we have
these? THE MODERATOR: Yeah. . JAMION CHRISTIAN:
A. Please BUZZ
WILLIAMS: Please stand by. .
. THE MODERATOR: Joined now by
Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams. Coach,
welcome to Buffalo. Great to have your team here. Go ahead
and open up with questions, if you please raise your hand,
we’ll get a microphone you to. Please give your name and
affiliation before you ask the first Q.
Q. Mark Q. Hello, Buzz. I know you’ve
had some days to look at Wisconsin, how do you go about
defending big guys like Happ and Hayes, especially for a team
that wants to avoid getting in foul trouble?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Yeah. It will be a constant stress
for us. I don’t know that we have a simple answer, and I
don’t know if one answer is suffice. I think we’ll have to
do multiple things. Both of those
guys are better than our guys. Both of them can get you in foul
trouble. Both of them are very good one-on-one scorers.
They have three really GUD one-on-one scorers, but within
15, 16 feet, both of those two guys are really good.
Q. Q. Buzz, you mentioned Sunday
night that your job is kind of to get these guys not to
be satisfy ied with the participation trophy and want to
hang a around a little bit while.
Have you been satisfy ied with the level of focus that they’ve
had between having a little bit of fun and enjoying the
experience and dealing with the task at hand, or will you
really have that answer until 9 :40 tomorrow night?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Well, I think the only way to judge
it, norm is daily. I think their concentration level has
been SU push. I bush. I don’t want to be a task master
as a coach relative to not be being satisfy ied while at the
same time, this is a memory of a that what I said didn’t come
across in a negative way, but I also think that it is part of
my job, part of my role, to push them to be their absolute
best. And that doesn’t mean that they’re going to win every
game but since Sunday night, we had to abort our original
travel plan because of the weather. I thought they handled that well. We’ve become the
most diverse program ever, relative to altered travel
plans, so they kind of thought it
was normal. But our two practices here, and our three
film sessions thus far have been
outstanding. And I think that things change when you’re
playing games after spring break,
because guys understand the magnitude of what it is, even if they haven’t done it as . As
best they can, they understand that
something about this is different, and I think our guys
have been really good .
Q. you brought Zach and
Seth off the bench, what went into that decision, and, more
importantly, what has been it given you, because us it must
have given you something because you
stuck with it? BUZZ WILLIAMS: Well. , it
started in the right way. We scrimmaged South Carolina on
the last Saturday of October, and in the first ten minutes, as
you would expect playing a team coached by Frank, Seth got
hurt, so we then — that was
on a Saturday. The Thursday before our second scrimmage,
which was at George Mason, Zach got on an offense ive rebound
which is rare, and got hit in the head
and obviously, they’re making movies about concussions now,
and so he was out for the next 14 days. Our first game was the
second Friday in November. Seth was healthy by then. Zach
wasn’t healthy by then, but both had missed a lot of
practice, so it just started, as it
would for anybody else. And I think what’s happened is the
Dean, our freshman center who starts, was forced into that
role and I think he’s handled it fairly well, and it’s
probably kept Zach out of more foul trouble than we would have
anticipated. For Seth, because he’s a ball guard, he can play
any position, so it — we’ve only suited up eight guys all
year long but the last eight games we’ve suited up seven, so, there wasn’t ever a lot of
maneuver ability, but over the last
eight games there’s been zero maneuverability, and as it
transpired, Tom, what I mentioned to our team was I
think it was best for our team and it was
right in how it started but as it evolved and morphed into
something else, I thought it was a great example of what I
want our program to be and that’s to be selfless. So two
red redshirt seniors, the two
oldest players on the team, you can argue the two most
productive placers on the team. The only guys that would be
considered to get some sort of STREFRNL to get an all
conference vote to come off the bench and in an unspoken way and you’re the only one that
ever had the sense to ask, I kind of like that I get to
answer it on this stage because I
think it speaks to the fabric of what we want to be about.
Q. Q. I want
Q. Q. High, mark on a lighter
note we had coach Huggins in here
earlier, and he was talking about the origin of his game-day dress, is he was sweating a lot
in a suit at halftime and decided I’m going to do what I’m
going to do. Your battles with this have been well
documented, and I was wondering if
you ever considered going that out route?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Coach is first ballot hall-of-famer.
He’ll be the next guy that’s in the hall of fame that’s still
employed as a coach. There’s only three of those left in our
world in college college basketball and he’s one of
them. Coach can wear wherever he wants to wear.
Where I’m from, the way I was brought up, you should always
tuck your shirt in, and you should always tie your shoes,
and if for some reason you never college degree, it’s the most
respectful thing to start out in a tie, and so it’s partly,
mostly, just because of how I was raised and if I had as much
equity, and I never will, as Coach hugs, I might get that
company that sponsors him with the bull pullover, I might
do the same thing.
Q. Q. Buzz, you’re dealing with a
bunch of guys on your team that haven’t been in the
NCAA Tournament, don’t know what guys in haze and — that have
had 11 wins. is that a re Lee lit legitimate
concern, is do you think that’s that
experience is overblown? BUZZ WILLIAMS: I don’t think
it’s overblown or at all. Four of five starters in some
capacity, have played in a Final championship game and
played in a sweet 16. We have a roster full
of guys who, tomorrow night, that will be their first time
ever playing on a court that has can’t compare e compare
to the job that Coach Ryan and Coach guard have
done nor the experience that their rosters that. I think
when you look at how Wisconsin has played, what were they, 7-5
when Greg took over? And then it wasn’t — thats what December
15th after corpus Christi, they were 7-5 and they ran it to
9-9, and then they end up in the sweet 16 and coach Alvarez
has to hire him and they go to the sweet 16. And then they
beat Syracuse, they beat Oklahoma
Oklahoma, two Final Four teams from last year, and in
nonconference play. They beat Georgetown. They beat
Carolina, didn’t they? Played Carolina but lost, right, and
then started 10-9 1 in nonconference play. I mean, I
— obviously, I loved Coach Ryan
forever and I’ve known Coach GA think the consistency of the
program and what they’ve met, the Hokies, we’re not even in
that same sphere .
Q. Q. Buzz, we know you love your
football coach? BUZZ WILLIAMS: You have to
introduce yourself, please.
Q. BUZZ WILLIAMS: When I get fired, I’m going to do
Q. You have to wear a suit from that anyway?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: I can wear a pullover.
Q. Q. Was it special for you to
meet with Sean McDermott? I
We saw you got to go to the Bills’ facility and what did he
tell you that particularly captured your attention?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Yeah. I have way more football
coaching friends than I do basketball coaching friends and
for whatever reason, because of kind
of how those relationships started, I’ve been able to
develop really sound relationship
us with multiple NFL guys. I love coach McDermott’s story,
right? He’s 42 and he started in the lowest position he can in
Philly for Andy Reid who is a first ballot hall-of-famer, and
I thought it would be cool for our guys to see an NFL
facility, but the way that it all started, because I don’t
have a personal relationship with Coach McDermott, is as a
former manager, I’ve always taken great pride in the manager
‘s s that we have had within our
programs, and a former manager from Marquette is the assistant
to the head coach. It was the first person that coach
KOICH Coach McDermott pyre hired and so we now
that have two guys in the NBA that are former
managers, one guy in major league baseball
Major League Baseball and one guy in
the NFL and all of them were awful as managers but I’m are
proud of what they’ve become as
adults. So, that’s how it all started. It was really cool.
I did not expect Coach McDer Mont mott to send spend
time with our team but he said what you think he
would have said with more power and gusto because he’s an NFL —
he’s one of 32 guys in the world that does what he does.
Q. Q. Buzz, having played Wisconsin
when you were at Marquette all those years, in
prepare ing for this game, did that help, I guess? Are they
pretty much running the same stuff than they did under beau?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: These two guys will probably answer
that getter better. I do think that it’s helped. It was
like the Cowboys and Redskins on
Thanksgiving day every time Marquette
played Wisconsin. There are similarity ies in what they do,
and how they do it. I would say
that their practice itinerary ies
are somewhat similar. There are also unique differences.
Part of it is because of their personnel. Part of it is
probably what Greg is infusing into the program that is his
own beliefs, not that that would be negative to Coach Ryan,
but there’s for sure similarity us. Going back and looking at
all of my notes and practice plans and all of that stuff in
the six times we’ve played them, I didn’t do that at the start
because I didn’t want that in infiltrate ing my brain as I
was studying them for this year, but
I looked at it all yesterday, and there are — I showed our
players our practice plans, and see, I’ve already told you this,
and, look, I was saying that in 2012, too. So, there are for
sure similarity ies. Q.
Q. Buzz, I don’t need to tell you that you surprised a
lot of people when you left Marquette to take on this
challenge ing rebuild. Here you are your three years in the
NCAA Tournament. Is that time line about what you expected?
Are you ahead of schedule? BUZZ WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don’t
know. I’ve never been smart enough to answer that
question. Obviously it’s been asked a lot. The first
thing I would say, Marquette completely changed my children’s
lives and forever I will be grateful. They hired me — I
don’t know many A.D.s and presidents that will hire a head
coach with a lose ing record, particularly a lose ing record
after only one season. , particularly when they hire him,
and it’s eight months removed from him resigning from that one
year lose ing record. So, I know it’s been maybe said and
described in different ways. I’ve — in the right way, I want
to process it all, because I don’t think that it’s all me.
But all of the things that were written in both of your papers
in the journal Sentinel Journal Sentinel, I
have zero negative to say about
anybody, or any day that I was employed at Marquette,
incredibly grateful. specific to the time line, the
time line as of today is 1,090 days
if you were counting at home, and there’s no way that you can
be an agent of change as a single person in an organization
and think that it will ever change. Dr. Sands had been
there three months before I was hired, web Babcock Web
Babcock our A.D. has been there two months before I
was hired. Selfishly I liked that I was the first major
sports hire because they want that to work, but I think that
in order to get to this point, in this league that we’ve
competed in, we finished in last place in year one. That was
the fourth con sense secutive year that they
had finished in last place, and multiple media out
lets said I committed career suicide. The thing was, I had a
history of people saying that, because that’s what had
happened when I resigned at New Orleans, and it’s always not
gratifying. It’s always another written is not completely
always the truth, but what can be quantify ied, other than
word words, are the hearts of people
that care, and what’s happened at Virginia Tech is just a lot
of people care. That’s it. And the 13 NCAA Tournament games
that we played at Marquette before
I was 40 years old, that happened not because of me, not
because of Jimmy Butler Jay crowder, it’s not that. There
It was a lot of people that cared.
That’s it. And I’ve never looked
at the job as, well, by this day, we’ll be successful, or by
this day we’ll be successful. This time last year, we were
playing in the N.I.T., and I can’t tell you how humbled I was by that. It was only the third
time in the history of the ACC that there had been an
eight-game improvement. If In the history
of, in my opinion one of the beg leagues ever that there had
been an eight-game improvement. But it was the first time
that that had happened from the last-place team and we did it
in our second year. we’ll only suit up seven and we
made municipal mill Tim
the decisions to redshirt guys because I believe it was right
for their life not because we were making a push to go to the
NCAA Tournament. So, to be in this position, I’ve never
look looked at it on a day basis.
I’ve looked at it on, today, did sustainable for their lives in
the long term. That’s it. And it’s
not he me. It’s not Seth Allen.
He’s average at best. He’s not received an all conference
vote. Zach LeDay, he’s below average at best. He has
receive received one all conference vote
in two years, so there’s 14 other head coaches. So, that’s
28 opportunity ies for a vote. He’s got one out of 28. So, you
— then how did it work? That’s just a lot of people
doing a lot of work for the right
reasons in the intent of their heart is right.
Q. Q. Hey, Buzz. It’s documented
that you and Frank beam beamer have a great relationship
. Have you talked to him since Sunday and has he given
new any advice going into this game?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: I love coaches in general,
particularly old coaches. Old people seem to think I’m
lined kind of like one of those wind-up
toys. You just wind him up and there he goes. Coach has been
great to me from the very begin
beginning. I met Coach before my press conference at Virginia
Tech, and since he’s retired, I would say our relationship has
increased by 100 percent and that’s because he has nothing to do other than watch “Ellen”
every day. So, I think that he just — he’s more aware of
what’s going on, and I’ve been overly kind to him on purpose,
because I want somebody to do that to me. If I ever am able
to get to that point. What most people that are retired say
, is make sure that you spend more time with your family and
love them the way they’re deserve ing of it, and the next
thing is, I Joan the moment becauses it
enjoy the moment so
it’s s it
because it’s so hard to get. Q.
Q. Do you have a second-half outfit in case you sweat
through your suit tomorrow? BUZZ WILLIAMS: I always do. I
did it in year one and year two. What I try ied to
do is incorporate vests, so that the sweating — I mean this
in the right way — it’s the silliest thing ever, right? When
you get your car fixed, does the mechanic sweat? You know,
the guy that builds your house, the carpenter, I think he
sweats. And I know it’s funny, and
I know I’m not the best looking guy in the world, but I’m just
working real hard, that’s it, you know? And I know it’s turned into such a — it’s beyond silly
to me, to be honest. Semi offense ive, right? All I want
to do is help our guys as much as
I can. If that means I sweat, who cares. That’s kind of the
way I feel, so I just wear a vest so it doesn’t become viral
Q. that playing Wisconsin is
kind of like playing Virginia. How is has that maybe been
beneficial to you guys this week maybe in preparation?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Well, they would be the only team
that we’ve played that’s similar in philosophy, relative to
pace of play, relative to their defensive thoughts, this
Wisconsin team throws it in inside much more than this
Virginia team, but that’s personnel-
specific. Last year, Virginia’s This will be Wisconsin’s
play played 34 games, and three of
their 34 games, they’ve had 70 possessions, three. This will
be our 30 — we played 32 game that have had 70 or more
possessions. The three games for Wisconsin that have had 70
possessions in it were all in overtime. And so just that in
and of itself is very UVA like. You know, when we played
Virginia the second time, they were — pace of play relative
wise, I don’t say any of this to be negative, they were the
second slowest team in the country. Well, we’re not fast.
, about but
we’re for sure, not comfortable let’s play it real slow and
walk it up. And so I think that while will be a lot of of
the game. At UVA they just destroyed us on
of offense ive glass. When you’re playing a team as slow as
they are, when they get a second opportunity, we’re just
going to guard them for 30 more seconds. And their offense
helps their defense, right? A team
that plays as slow as they do. Their defense is always going
to be good, because on offense, they hold the ball, sort of,
if that’s the right way of say ing it, and so I just told our
guys, it’s — UVA, they just happen to wear red, and they
have really good players that have
experienced this time of the year
in winning. Q.
Q. Bill Dyer is here from the athletic communications
office of Georgia Virginia Tech. He can agist you
— BUZZ WILLIAMS: Why don’t we
bring Dyer up and ask let