NCAA Seattle: Bob McKillop, Davidson Players

The Davidson head coach and players Brian Sullivan and Jack Gibbs talk about the Wildcats 83-52 loss to Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Seattle...

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.

COACH MCKILLOP: Congratulations to Fran McCaffery and Iowa. They played a superb game. When we saw the matchup last Sunday, we knew it would be a tremendous challenge for us and it certainly was. Their length and their efficiency, the combination of length and efficiency really bothered us. Put them in such a terrific position to win this game.

THE MODERATOR: Take questions, please.

Q. Jack or Brian, what coach talked about, they really seemed to get out on you guys on the perimeter with their length and really aggressive defensively. How much of an affect was that on your shooting?
BRIAN SULLIVAN: Yeah, credit to them, they did a great job guarding the three-point line and disrupting us. Yeah, I don't know, I thought every shot I took was down tonight so I don't know what to say, but they did. They were alert, they were ready for us and they did a good job guarding us.

Q. When Tyler went out with his third foul midway through the first half, how did that change your game plan and especially what you wanted to do offensively?
COACH MCKILLOP: Tyler's clearly the heart and soul of our team and we missed him but we managed to make a run there at the end of the half. Cut it to nine or eight, I think. Then, actually, with a minute to the end of the second half we cut it down to six. It seemed like every shot we took, every pass we made, there was length there. I've never seen our guys as tentative as hesitant as they were. We moved the ball around the arc a lot and did not go inside out. We didn't attack and deflate with dribble penetration, which is normally a staple of what we do to get our shooters open. I think that was the hesitancy we had, because of the length.

Q. There was only a combined 10 fast break points between both teams. Did you expect this sort of slow it down, grind it out type of game?
COACH MCKILLOP: Well, it certainly wasn't our objective to have us slow it down, grind it out type of game. In order to get some fast breaks, we need to get stops. I think the inability of us to get stops in the second half in particular, I think it really significantly slowed us down. In the first half they used some patient pressure and the patient pressure prevented us from deflating the defense. So we start our offense 40 feet from the basket rather than 15 to 17 feet from the basket. The fluidity of our offense is disrupted by that.

Q. You were very complimentary of Aaron White yesterday. After seeing him in person, I mean -
COACH MCKILLOP: I saw him in person two years ago and was very impressed then.

Q. Did he even exceed your expectations by what he did tonight?
COACH MCKILLOP: No, I said yesterday I thought he was a first round pick and how high in the first round would be dictated by how he does during this performance and, or during, this tournament, and he certainly validated what I said yesterday.

Q. Iowa, can you compare them to anybody you saw in the Atlantic 10 or non-conference this year?
COACH MCKILLOP: They're a bigger version of Dayton. Significantly bigger version than Dayton. I think they're very similar to us in many ways as well. Fran runs a lot of the stuff that we run. We run a lot of the stuff that he runs. I don't know of anyone in the country that they are similar to. Maybe Virginia from the standpoint of size and versatility. Different styles of play, but incredibly well coached and deep and versatile.

Q. What effect does it have when Tyler is out for such a long stretch in the first half?
JACK GIBBS: Yeah, he's definitely the main leader of our team. He's been here four years and he had a great career here. So he knows the ins and outs of it. He's the only one I think out of the starters who played in the tournament. So he definitely had that experience. When you lose a big part of your team like that, you're definitely going to have some down play. But I thought we did a good job at the end of the second half in attacking and like coach said, we cut it down to nine in the beginning of the second half to keep that going. But it was definitely a, it was definitely harder playing without him than it is with him.

Q. Tyler had two fouls, you brought him back in pretty quickly. What was the thinking behind that in terms of him possible picking up another quick one?
COACH MCKILLOP: It was a risk. We had to risk to be successful tonight. Probably wouldn't have done it if I had that opportunity again. I would have tried to have our finger in the dike until the second half started. But I thought it impacted him in a tough way. He was put in a very difficult situation. Up to that point I thought he did a very good job guarding Aaron White. And then I think getting that third foul really disrupted his rhythm offensively and defensively. He's just such a terrific competitor.

Q. Can you describe the season that y'all had?
BRIAN SULLIVAN: Yeah, it's hard to look at now, I think just because I'm so disappointed with how Tyler and all our seniors had to go out. But I think after some time I'll be able to appreciate what we did just being the first ever at large team at Davidson. Obviously the expectations outside of the locker room were not very high and I learned a lot over the course of this season just in the belief of ourselves and what we're capable of. Obviously I don't feel that right now, but I think big picture it's a tremendous year for us.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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