Talk about heading to Hattiesburg, Miss. for the Conference USA tournament.
"I told the guys (Sunday) we didn't know, certainly when the game was over, where we were going to be seeded or who we'd be playing. All year, we've been competing extremely well in the league. Certainly getting a series win (versus UTSA), I think we can play with anybody in this league. We just got to go down and play with confidence, have some fun, keep it serious but we want it to be light so they're relaxed. I think we're as good as anyone. I just hope we get hot at the right times."
Is it good to face a team you just played in Southern Miss?
"I think it is. The more recently you've seen them, the closer you are to knowing what they're about. It's a little bit more difficult when you've seen a team two or three months ago because they may be an entirely different team with injuries or guys getting hot. So, there's some familiarity with seeing a team we just saw two weeks ago. I thought our kids played really hard in that series. It's always a tough place to play. I know their fans will be out. Our guys are excited about it."
Have you guys decided who is going to pitch in Game 1?
"We're certainly looking. We're probably leaning toward Reid Love. We'll make that official tomorrow. We always like to give our guys, especially coming off a short week, a bullpen day to see how they recover and make sure everything is heading in the right direction before we make those. But I feel like we'll go with Reid Love."
Talk about your situation as far as not having a contract. Is there extra pressure on you to win in this tournament?
"The only thing I'll say is the exact thing I said at the beginning of the year: I can't focus on things I don't control. What I do control is coaching these kids and going down and winning a conference championship. We'll see what happens. That's really where my focus and energy and my direction are right now."
How important is that first game in a double elimination tournament since you want to stay in the winner's bracket?
"It's really important if you don't want to use about 15 pitchers. That's important. In every game you get in those tournaments, you put yourself in the best chance by winning Game 1 and advancing and not getting in that loser's bracket early. It's a long trek if you get in that loser's bracket. That first game is important to get off on a good start."
Luke Lowery had the big play on Sunday. With Travis Watkins going down, how important has Lowery been from a dependability standpoint?
"Luke has really improved, number one, behind the plate. That was the biggest issue. If you saw us playing (Eric) Tyler some early, it was because we knew he had a ways to go. I think because the catching position is such an important position, I think he's done a great job down the stretch here.
Certainly, he's got some offensive ability. He's got bunt game, we know that! But it's been huge for him to step up the way he's stepped up here over the last two to three weeks and emerge as our everyday catcher and as a guy we can jam in there in the five or six hole if we need to."
Is there any situation this week where we could see Ryan Williams start?
"I would say the scenario is if I get three complete games and we're in the championship game and he hasn't pitched. So there's your scenario!"