. 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