Connecticut Press Conference

Providence College fell to 1-10 in the Big East and 11-14 overall after their gut-wrenching 94-89 double overtime loss to Connecticut, but the Friars fought to the end and left it all on the court. After the game, an emotionally drained Tim Welsh met with the media. Here are some selected excerpts from his press conference:

"With a game like this, it's hard to know where to start. We played a great team, an elite team, a team that I respect tremendously, with a Hall of Fame coach. Our guys played toe-to-toe with them for forty-eight, forty-nine minutes. All the close games that we've had this year, the kids have really hung in tough all year. They're together."

"We played the best rebounding team in the nation even. Unfortunately, their size wore us down. They attacked our zone well, their point guard found the gaps. We needed a stop and a free throw, and we didn't get either. They really wore us down in the second overtime going inside."

"Ryan is one of the great players in the nation, one of the great players ever. We're basically doing it with one guard. We have a lot of freshmen and young players who aren't quite ready yet. They're not ready for this type of game, but they're growing up quick."

"It looked like we were going to do it, when we were up four, but we missed some free throws in the middle of the second half that came back to haunt us."

"You have to pick your poison against Connecticut. They were really hurting us inside because they execute tremendously. We went zone pretty much all night. On one possession, I thought I'd switch up to man-to-man, but they attacked it right away for an easy dunk. I thought maybe we'd throw them off with a press, but they were getting looks every time down the court. We were gassed inside."

"I didn't want to foul, but we were trying to get our traps going. They have turned the ball over this year, they are known to spit it up, but not tonight. Marcus Williams is very underrated. He's really a pinpoint passer. He knows how to attack a zone well and looks for gaps in the back of the zone. He made some really good plays. The biggest was that runner when we were up four and drew the foul."

"On the last play of the first overtime, we like to spread the court, Donnie with the ball and Ryan up top. I thought Donnie might have pitched it back to Ryan, but Connecticut has a lot of athletic guys with long arms and it's not that easy. You have to be careful there, because if you try to pitch it back and it's not open, Connecticut makes the steal and races down for a layup to win the game."

"We've already proven that we can play with anyone but now you've got to win. I've never been through anything like this – not as a player, an assistant or a head coach. We always seem to come up a nickel short. The kids are in the locker room pretty depressed right now."

"On the last play of regulation, we ran a play for Ryan. I want Ryan to have the ball, but he was doubled. He made a great pass to Herb. Herb played with a lot of confidence tonight. He's just a nineteen year old kid from the back woods of Kinston, North Carolina. I was very worried about where we were going to get inside defense. We've been manhandled inside by a lot of good players this year. Tonight, I thought Herb grew up a lot. He stepped up and played a heck of a game."

JIM CALHOUN: "We just played Syracuse and Carolina and I can tell you that Providence competed equal to either of those teams. They came in 1-9, but they came here tonight to win. You can tell a lot about a team when you play them, and Tim has Providence competing as hard as any team that we've played."

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