"We feel very fortunate, I didn't think we played exceptionally well in the second half, I was pleased with what we did in the first half and the thing that killed us was points off of rebounds, they had 12 points each half off of offensive rebounds and that was big for them down stretch. I thought we would get the initial stop and they would get the rebound and put it back in. They played harder at times, smarter at times, had a better coach on the ?oor at times and we did some nice things at the end that let us win.
"I think it was at the end, Marcus made the jumper and I think it was a three-point game when he made another little tear drop, whatever you wanna call it, floater. P.J. played 36 minutes, he was one tough sucker today, he's been a pansy most of the time I've known him but today he was one tough sucker. I think his hand bothered him a little bit, he played 36 minutes and was 3-for-10. He had some good looks, but at the same time I think that what he helped us do out there on the court was extremely important and I do believe that was a tough performance for him. The toughness that he showed today...
"It's not fun playing with Marcus and James Michael setting on the sideline in foul trouble, but it's what it was. James Michael made two big free throws for us, and then we had Marcus and P.J. on the line, and I have a great deal of confidence in them, they made some, didn't make all of ‘em by any means. Then we got fortunate the last play, if they had attacked immediately, we were not going to foul but if we had a chance around the five-second mark we were going to foul and try to take the 3-point away from them but it didn't get to that. It was Reggie that got the rebound then, did a nice job of getting it to P.J. and P.J. kept it away from them and that was basically it. We are pleased with the 'W' and know we can play a heck of a lot better, and we have to play a lot better. We're getting ready to play somebody who has beaten us twice by about eight million points."
Coach, Maryland kept fighting, but
you guys were able to hang on at the end of the game. Talk
about the resilience that your team had late in the second half.
"We had two or three stretches. After we had a 12- or 13-point lead and made a huge mistake on an out of bounds underneath where Marcus decided he would guard Alex Len and let James Michael guard Dez Wells. That's not a good match up and so they make three. And then we come down, kick it away a couple times, but then we made some plays. But they also made a huge run at us, and Leslie made a big three in the corner across from our bench and I think Reggie made a big three on the wing over there. There were two or three times they made big runs at us and we had enough in the tank to come back at them. It was huge for us and, again, James Michael's free throws and Marcus's little baskets... We had enough at the end left to get it done."
What can you do differently against Miami after
losing to them already?
"Play better. Make some shots. Hopefully not give them open shots. They kicked us pretty hard down at their place so hopefully we will get some fresh legs underneath us between now and whatever time we're supposed to play tomorrow. Tomorrow we won't start forty minutes late like we have every game in the afternoon session. Game will probably be on time tomorrow. I guess we'll have to make plans to do that. We just have to play better, I mean, they're a heck of a basketball team.
"They deserve everything, all the special things that have been said about them. They have scorers at every position, Kadji is a tremendously difficult match up, Julian Gamble and Big Reggie Johnson inside are a load on the backboards. Shane Larkin has had a good a year as any point guard in college basketball. Durand Scott today was off the charts. Trey gives them another shooter, Rion Brown comes off the bench, gives them another shooter. They're a big-time team and they've shown it all year long."
Coach, how would you assess the way that Dexter
and Leslie handled the offense when Marcus was out with foul
"I think they did a really nice job. We had one turnover and Dexter tried to stop the fast break high and that added another mistake to the turnover that he made, but other than that, I think we did a good job handling the ball. Leslie only made one field goal, but it was a big field goal, but he goes to the free throw line for us and makes 6 out of 6 free throws. Those were the big plays for us. Dexter missed two shots in a row when we ran the shot clock down but other than that he shot the ball well. So I think both of them really did a good job for us. We need Leslie to do more than 1-for-7 from the floor, there's no question about that, but he busted his tail defensively and goes 6-for-6 from the line, and as I said, Dexter, 7-for-12, which means he was 7-for-10 before the last two shots, but I thought both of ‘em were crucial for us."
You talked about the loss at Miami by, your words,
about "400 points" preceding the line up switch. Does this
group match up any better? What are the challenges?
"Seems like it was so long ago, except my memory of looking at that clock and seeing the score as I walked off the court and the way I felt during the game is that we had no control over anything. Smaller lineup has helped us. We're a better basketball team. Is it a world beater, is it the newest thing that ever happened, the best thing that ever happened? No. Today, 24-4 on points off offensive rebounds, so we've got some deficiencies there but it was the best thing for this team. Whether it presents any different problems for them, we'll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow."
Roy, on that last Maryland 3-point attempt
were you expecting Logan to get the ball? Did you look for
something like that?
"No, we talked about two scenarios. We hoped we would get them to throw it toward the center line and not toward the baseline. If when they got the ball originally, especially if we made ‘em throw it in the back we were not going to foul, but if we got them to take three or four seconds before they shot it, then we were going to try and foul, as I said, when it got to the five-second mark.
"They ran that play I think he was the third guy coming around and I think he rushed it probably, too. I don't think our defense made him take that rushed shot, but if they had gotten it down to five seconds or so we were going to try it foul and make them shoot from the free throw line and not take the 3, but I didn't know that specific play they were going to run. When they started running the play, it looked like that's what was going to happen and we were yelling at the guys then but that was after the play had already started."
Coach, coming in to today, Dez Wells has been as
dominant and as aggressive as any player in this tournament
and by my count Reggie Bullock kept him without a point for
the first 14 minutes of the game. How do you quantify the
importance of that?
"I think it was important, but Dez almost carried them all the way back at the end, too. I grabbed him and told him he had a phenomenal performance for three days here, build on that. We couldn't get him we were trying to slow him down, and we couldn't get guys back fast enough to help Reggie, and it's hard to guard Dez when he's in the open court coming at you full speed. But you look at Reggie's line, he is 6-for-10, 3-for-6 from the three point line, 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. That's a big-time line. Reggie Bullock did some great things for us."