PC: Pack Trio Talks Saint Louis

ORLANDO, FL -- NC State's T.J. Warren, Jordan Vandenberg, and Ralston Turner discuss Saint Louis with the media.

T.J. WARREN: It was a very quick turnaround for us. We came in from Dayton this morning, about to have a light little shootaround, so we'll be prepared and be ready to play.

JORDAN VANDENBERG: It was kind of weird getting somewhere at 4:30 in the morning and having to prepare to come in today. But we got a pretty good night of sleep. We got to sleep in a little late, and we should be ready to play tomorrow.

RALSTON TURNER: It's been a very quick turnaround. We got here very early this morning and tried to sleep in, so it kind of feels like today is already gone almost. But we're preparing for tomorrow, so we should be ready.

TJ, have you had any time to even think about Saint Louis yet at this point?
Yeah, we had a get together this morning, going over their sets and the way they execute. We understand that they start five seniors, so pretty veteran team, and they should be ready to play. We're just going to come out with a lot of energy and aggressiveness and be ready to compete, so it should be a great one.

No.12 seeds have had a lot of success versus No.5s in the tournament. Do you like being No.12 and what does that entail as far as the match-up goes?
I don't think we really pay attention to the seeding. I just think that we're just happy to be here and excited for the opportunity to play. Whether or not what history said or not, you still have to play the game tomorrow. History won't win the game for us.

JORDAN VANDENBERG: I agree with what Ralston has to say about that issue.

T.J. WARREN: You've got to be ready to play. Seeding really doesn't matter, just got to be ready to play regardless of the situation.

TJ, in last night's game you passed the legendary David Thompson for most points in a season for an NC State player. When you found that out what were your initial thoughts?
It was a great honor. It's been a long season. It's just another accomplishment, but really not focused on that. We're in this tournament, and that's the main priority for us, to win as many games as possible. It's just a great opportunity to be in this situation right now.

You think back to the beginning of the season, the game at Cincinnati and then North Carolina Central, this team has come such a long way since the beginning of the year. I'd like all of your perspectives on does it seem like a different team now? Talk a little bit about the process of improving so much.
Yeah, it's a little different from those games seeing as though I wasn't playing in those games. But yeah, we've grown as a team. We have a bunch of young players that learned to play together. We're not even close to the same team we were last year. We had to grow during the season to get our chemistry working correctly, and as we showed throughout the ACC season we went from a team that couldn't really close games to a team that proved we could play with some of the best teams in the nation.

T.J. WARREN: Going through the season, like Jordan said, he wasn't with us early in the season with the loss to Cincinnati and Central. It was an adjustment. As the season went along, everybody was willing to get better and everybody was adjusting to each other well. Chemistry is flowing right now, and I feel like we're playing our best basketball right now in this month of March, so it's great for us.

RALSTON TURNER: I think one of the things we did early on is we had so many new faces. We had a lot of turnover from last year, and sometimes it takes a while to kind of come together. But I think as the season has gone on, we've grown, and we've really come together as a team.

Jordan, you guys have played back-to-back games in conference tournaments, but when you factor in the travel between here and Dayton, is this even a tougher situation than a conference tournament situation?
I wouldn't necessarily say that. It seems like we get a day off in between and we get a day to recover and we get through some rehab and everybody, whereas in the conference tournament it was daytoday to day, and any anything lingering injuries you had, you didn't really have time to get treatment or recover from. I've already had like three, four sessions of treatment and I should have a couple more before tomorrow morning so I think this is actually a little bit easier than a conference tournament to have a turnaround of at least a day in between.

When it comes to SaintLouis, I've heard them compared somewhat to Virginia in the ACC because of their solid half-court defense. Just your thoughts on that; do you see some comparisons?
Yeah, you know, like Jordan mentioned earlier, they're a veteran team, so they know how to play. They have a physical style of basketball, and we're just going to be ready to match that. We're still going to have to be able to execute our offense through the physicality, and on the other end we're going to have to do a good job of defending them.

T.J. WARREN: Yeah, like Ralston said, they're a veteran team. We've just got to be able to match their competitiveness and come out aggressive with them and try to get out on transition to shake up their half-court defense. That starts with our defense on the other end. Just continue with that.

JORDAN VANDENBERG: I mean, there's some close comparisons between them because they're both really good at playing defense. Saint Louis is like a top five defense in the nation, but we've got a lot of offensive weapons at our disposal: TJ, Ralston, they combined for 42 points last game, so I think we can have a good showing against Saint Louis. They're a veteran team as everyone keeps saying, but I think we have the chemistry to go out there and have a good showing.

TJ, last night you might not have started off the game as well as you would have liked to but obviously finished strong. How important is it for you when the rest of the guys recognize what you're going through and step up?
It's great. Ralston had a phenomenal game. He hit some big shots. Tyler did a great job facilitating, getting everybody involved. Jordan had a lot of great, athletic plays in the post. It's great when everybody is contributing and playing well.

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