Post-Game Press Conference

Read on to see what Miami's head coach and a few of its players were saying following the team's win over Illinois Sunday night.

COACH LARRANAGA: Well, the very first thing is, is our hats are off to Illinois. I thought they played the best defense on us that we have seen. They were so active in their man to man pressure and so much so, after the game was over I was still kind of stunned and when I shook hands with John Groce, their coach, I was speechless. I didn't even know what to say to him. Because I thought his kids played their hearts out, our kids did too, and very, very fortunate to come away with a great victory and a great team effort.

Q. Shane, just that 3 pointer with a minute to go. What were you thinking?
Shane Larkin: Well, Kenny set a high ball screen and they had been staying with me the whole game, the big had stayed with me and tried to make me give up the ball. And the guard actually got back to me and I just tried to make a move to the basket and he cut me off, so I just stepped back and shot the three. And it went in.

Q. Did you think twice about that shot or was instinct?
SHANE LARKIN: I have made that shot in the Carolina game and I kind of had a mindset of shooting that shot when I came off the ball screen, so I just had a lot of confidence. My teammates had confidence in me and coach did too, to call that play in that situation, with that amount of time left in the game. I just wanted to go out there and make a big play for my team and I guess luck was just on my side when I shot it.

Q. Ryan, can you just talk about the game you had today and to be able to step up and score that many points that many clutch situations and also the free throws down the stretch.
Rion Brown: It was very exciting out there. I had a blast. I really thank my teammates because without them penetrating and kicking it out, I definitely wouldn't have been able to get those shots.

And they have to respect Shane and Durand on those drives. And they did a great job of finding me. And on the free throws, the only thing I thought about was just Sweet 16, don't want to end this for those seniors. And I just wanted to knock it down for those guys.

Q. For Shane and Kenny, did y'all talk any amongst yourselves about the fact that Florida and Florida Gulf Coast are going, you all wanted to be the third Florida team to get to the Sweet 16.
KENNY KADJI: Well in the game we didn't have any idea that they were going to the Sweet 16, so we focused on the game. I think we were just talking about it just before coming here and it's great to have that many Florida teams in the Sweet 16. It shows that we have a great basketball state.

SHANE LARKIN: We were just talking about it walking over here. It's great. The state of Florida has great basketball teams. Florida Gulf Coast was a team we played early in the season and they beat us. And a lot of people gave us grief for that. But now it's just showing that they're a great team and for everybody who said that we weren't a great team because they beat us they're showing how great of a team they are.

So just for us, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast to be in the Sweet 16 is a great feeling and it just proves that Florida has great basketball teams just like everybody else in the country.

Q. Kenny, did you knock that ball out of bound at the end or did the officials make the right call?
KENNY KADJI: I mean I don't know. It was so many hands, you know, I don't know who touched it last. I just tried to make a play on the ball and everybody was getting out there and there was a couple hands. So I really don't know.

Q. Just expanding on what was asked earlier I think it's the first time in history that three teams from the state of Florida in the Sweet 16. Just what does that say about basketball in the state and the programs that have developed there?
COACH LARRANAGA: Well I think you have three very different situations. Billy Donovan has been at Florida now a dozen years, he's done a fantastic job. He's got a very strong foundation. He's won a couple of national titles and continues to recruit great players.

In the infield on the other hand, this is only their second year of competing at this level and he's done a fantastic job of bringing in players that many of them I thought went under the radar screen.

Because when we played them early in the season and they beat us at their place, our players left there with a great deal of respect for them. They played a great game, their players are tough and hard nosed and Andy and his staff have done a great job.

At Miami, we had a lot of pieces in place and then by adding Shane Larkin and to Tonye Jekiri kind of gave us all the ingredients we needed to go on a run this year. And we're very, very happy for this senior class as to how well they have been able to play winning the regular season, ACC title, winning the tournament championship and now earning the right to play in the Sweet 16.

So for the state of Florida, as Shane said, there's not only a lot of good college basketball being played in the state, but a lot of good high school basketball being played in the state.

Shane is from Orlando, Kenny played at IMG, and a lot of the players at both those other schools are also in state players.

Q. Can you just talk about Shane again. I know we asked about him after every game, but can you talk about what he did out there at that moment to be able to make that shot.
COACH LARRANAGA: Well, there are a number of things that build up to that moment. As I said in my opening statement, Illinois played great defense on our guards. And what ended up happening is Shane and Durand kept finding Rion Brown. And Rion had the great game. So now towards the end of the game they're not going to leave Rion. And now it's up to Shane or Durand to make a decision.

They went to the basket both of them did. Shane got one of his shots blocked. So I think that as I've told you this a number of times, he has such a high basketball IQ and I have the utmost confidence in him to make decisions and choose the play that he wants to run. And whether he makes the decision to shoot or pass, he's always right.

Now doesn't mean we always score, but it's a decision that afterwards I think to myself, you know, that was a great choice. And tonight, as he said, he drove a little bit, seeing if he could get by the man. And when his man was able to shut off the drive, he backed up and buried a three like he did against Carolina late in that game and he has a lot of confidence in his ability to shoot that shot and we have the utmost confidence in him.

Canes Time Top Stories