Monmouth head coach Dave Calloway

Monmouth head coach Dave Calloway talked about his team's loss to Mississippi State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Opening comments:

Disappointed in his team's play. - "I was a little disappointed in how we came out in particular on the offensive end, and allowed them to score a lot of their points. We had 10 turnovers in the first half and they had 19 points off of them. That didn't allow us to control the tempo. We had to keep it in a half court game, but we didn't do a good job of that in the first half."

Still proud of his team. - "I am still proud of our guys. I think that we represented Monmouth University and the Northeast Conference well. I feel strongly that we will be back. We were in the NCAA (Tournament) a few years ago and played Duke. And they went on to win the national championship. This year we were a little bit better and better prepared. We'll just grow from here."

Q and A:

How good do you feel Mississippi State is?
"They are very good. They are a top 10 team in the country from what I have seen. They are probably as talented as anyone in the country. They have the inside presence with (Lawrence) Roberts who is extremely talented. I'm sure he is going to have a heck of a career in the NBA. I think that (Timmy) Bowers sort of makes them go. I know he didn't have a lot of points tonight, but he had 9 assists and only 2 turnovers and he gets the ball up in transition."

How valuable of an experience will this be for your guys?
"After the game I told my players we went to the tournament three years ago and the following year we were picked to win the league and we wound up coming in fourth. That can't happen next year. We have to use this as a learning experience. We will probably be picked first again. We have our top four scorers back next year. We play 10 and 11 guys deep and the majority of those guys are back, including the first-team All-Conference player who will probably be a pre-season pick as player of the year."

Did this have a different feel than the Duke game three years ago? You were making threes in the first half, which kept you in the game for the first half.
"I felt we had a chance at halftime. I looked down at (the stats) and didn't think we could have played any worse. Yet, we were still only down by 12. At halftime against Duke, it was pretty much over."


Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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