Inside the Locker Room: Marquette

Daniel Novinson brings a plethora of information to the Stanford faithful including the officials' statements, a Trent Johnson interview, in-game notables, and post-game reactions from several players after Stanford's most memorable win since Nick Robinson launched an off-balance three, and Stanford's most important win since Mark Madsen was fouled ten years ago to the date.

If they're going to play this way, I'm going to stay away all the time. – Trent Johnson, postgame

Officials:

In-game statement:

With 3:36 left in the first half of today's second-round game in Anaheim between Stanford University and Marquette University, Stanford Head Coach Trent Johnson received two technical fouls for unsportsmanlike behavior. Specifically, he was out on the playing floor, and out of the coach's box, disputing calls. The first technical foul was assessed by David Hall. After Coach Johnson failed to comply with instructions to return to the Stanford bench, a second technical foul was assessed by Curtis Shaw, resulting in Coach Johnson's ejection from the game.

Official Curtis Shaw's post-game interview with pool reporter:

One pre-designated reporter serves as the pool reporter and is allowed to interview officials post-game. Agree or disagree with the calls, it's great that the Tournament readily made the interview and in-game statement available to the press.

On why Johnson wasn't allowed on the floor during a media timeout:

A timeout doesn't begin until we report it. We had never called a timeout. We had a foul [on Hill], followed by a technical foul for being out of the box and as my partner came out to tell me what we had, he [Johnson] then continued out so the timeout had never been granted.

During a timeout, coaches are allowed to stay in the vicinity of their bench. They are not allowed to walk out on the floor and continue to complain. He was warned in the first half visibly with a ‘stop' signal. ‘Trent, that's enough.'

I guess the best explanation I can piece together is that Johnson thought we were at the four-minute media timeout, as it was the first stoppage of play at under four minutes. Thus, presumably Johnson just stayed out on the court and continued to protest Hill's foul after Hall whistled the first technical, which led to Shaw calling the second T and the auto ejection.

On the first technical:

It was a combination of complaining about the call while he's out of the coaches' box.

On the earlier bench warning:

Both benches were warned for standing up during a live ball, which is part of the new bench decorum point of emphasis. Both benches were warned during the first half. That has no effect on the play that occurred with the coach.

Perhaps the new points of emphasis partially explain why five of Trent Johnson's seven technicals in his four years as Stanford's head coach have come since Feb. 14. Also interesting to note that the earlier warning had no effect, he was getting ejected anyways. It was the first head-coach ejection in an NCAA Tournament game since Bob Huggins was yanked from the Cincinnati sidelines in the first round in 2003.

Notes

Mitch Johnson's 16 assists shattered Brevin Knight's old school record of 13. (Knight had 13 assists in five different games.) It's also tied for second all-time in the NCAA Tournament, behind only UNLV guard Mark Wade's 18 in the 1987 National Semifinals.

Stanford is 3-1 in Regional Semifinal games.

Stanford is 20-1 this season when shooting over 40 percent.

Stanford is 2-2 in overtime this year, and 1-2 in overtime in the NCAA Tournament.

It was Brook Lopez's fourth 30+ point game this year. [New motivational tactic: maybe Trent Johnson should say he doesn't have a guy who can score 40.]

Jerel McNeal's 30 were a career high. Ousmane Barro's foul-out was his fifth of the season.

15 of Brook Lopez's 20 shots in regulation came from the low right block.

Trent Johnson:

On the late season:

I don't think we struggled at the end of Pac-10 play. We got beat by good UCLA and USC teams. I thought we beat very, very good Arizona and Washington State teams. I don't think we were struggling. I think the league we were in was very tough.

On whether he thought this could be a Sweet 16 team:

I thought in the beginning of the year, early October, we had a chance to be really, really good in our league if we'd come through healthy and our offensive efficiency would pick up. The last time I felt good was when I was at Nevada, the year we were a Sweet 16 team.

On whether Brook's time off helped:

We played without him before last year because of his back surgery. He was able to practice this year, so it helped some guys get playing time, but also him to be practicing and continue to get better.

On whether he's put his ineligibility behind him:

Yeah I'd say that. That's been behind since he started playing, I'd like to think.

On Brook's shot:

Brook's very gifted offensively, a very good player. He doesn't feel pressure. But the reason we were able to get it to him late in the clock is because of Mitch, who got it to him.

On whether he takes the blame for his ejection:

Yeah, no question. I take responsibility. Like I said, they have a hard job to do, they have a hard job. The responsibility was on me. I don't duck responsibility. I don't place blame.

On players saying he was teary-eyed in the postgame locker room:

After the game was very emotional for me, very emotional because of what we're talking about. And the story's never been about me, it's them. I was emotional because I apologized to them because I put them in a tough situation. I did it. I did. No one else. … The fact of the matter is, Daniel's seen how far we've worked, how far we've come. We as coaches see it every day. As much as the story's the coach was thrown out, let's write about how the coach was thrown out, how the players came together, how no one thought we'd be in a position to get to the Sweet 16. That's the story, not the coach being thrown out of the game.

He was addressing an out-of-town reporter (L.A. Times, I think) and so I was used as an example of a local, beat guy.

On the difference in coaching:

We've been doing the same thing all year, so it was not that much of a change. Ollie's done a good job of making the in-game changes.

Taj Finger:

On Mitch Johnson:

Everyone looks to him – he's the captain. We definitely look to him for emotion. … I think we did get rattled before we went into halftime. Everyone was kind of yelling, trying to do too much. He kind of calmed everyone down. Before we went into halftime, once Coach J got tossed, everyone lost their heads a little. Mitch was able to calm us down and be the leader of the team.

I ask about his initial reaction after Brook's final shot:

‘Holy crap! We're probably going to the Sweet 16.' And disbelief. ... But I felt calm. I knew we were going to win that game. I had a good feel the whole game. For him to hit that is not really a surprise.

Kenny Brown:

I ask about Coach J's ejection:

I didn't see anything. I have no clue what happened. … I mean I'm sure it's happened before, but to get tossed that quick was a surprise.

I ask about his shooting:

With our focus on the post it was important to hit big shots and have a threat at both ends of the spectrum. It was important to me to knock down shots for my confidence myself, and my team's confidence, especially when we were down or it was close. That's very important for the team.

I ask whether he thought he'd play as much as he did:

No honestly, but I was ready to go. I always try to prepare to be ready to go. Coach hinted to me a little that I'd play, but not this much. I'm glad I came in and contributed.

On his reaction after Brook's shot:

I was just ecstatic. I was ecstatic. I can't describe it. Everyone was jumping and grabbing each other because there were still 1.3 seconds left and cheering. It was the best feeling. It was like when got selected as the last team last year, a similar feeling, just awesome.

On whether it was Brook's best game:

I would say it's up with best games because he was very frustrated at the beginning and did a good job of keeping his composure and coming back. He showed what could do being double-teamed, making big plays.

On the twins' improved passing:

This is since last game, when they've had to pass, it's been just awesome. To each other, to us, just a couple of times, it's been dumped to Rob back to Brook, back to Robin. I think that gives us another threat.

On his hometown and the Sweet 16:

I'm from Dallas, a few hours away. I'm so excited. If we play Texas, all my friends go to Texas, I'll be on Facebook, saying ‘Come to the game!'

Brook Lopez:

On Johnson's ejection:

I was sitting. I was on the bench. I didn't realize what was going on.

On Johnson's postgame address:

He thanked us for just pulling tough and hanging together.

On his final shot:

I was just hoping It'd go in. I give it a lot of practice. Coach is constantly telling me, ‘go left shoulder.' It went around [the rim]. I was hoping it was in.

Fred Washington:

On his reaction after Brook's shot:

He hit it. I looked at the clock, saw one second, and ran back just in case of a homerun play. I actually didn't hear us call timeout, so I just was back, ready, and didn't hear it. There was still enough time for them to get a good shot off.

On whether it's sunk in:

No, it probably won't until tonight or tomorrow. I've never experienced anything like that before. It's amazing.

On the game:

It was amazing, one of games you watch that you've never been a part of and wonder. Going back and forth like that, it's first time I've ever been a part of a game like that in college. We stepped up. That was big time. We were making mistakes, we weren't rebounding as well, but despite all of that, we got it done.

On Marquette's fight:

McNeal is a 30 percent three-point shooter. He hit like eight [ed: four]. Their guys stepped up. Dominic James is as quick as advertised. That's a good team we just beat.

On the Sweet 16:

We're going to the Sweet 16. Whether it's Texas or Miami, we're going far away – Palo Alto to Houston, but I hope we'll get a warm welcome. … I'm going home happy. I don't know who we'll play and I don't care. I'll celebrate for the rest of the day.

On Coach Johnson's ejection:

When we saw they announced he got kicked out, we all were like ‘what?' Usually, they'll just call one technical. I guess the guy had a quick trigger today. Coach O said, ‘We just have to play the best basketball of our lives now.' Coach O, again at halftime, said ‘Okay, the best 20 minutes we can play.' We went up and down, up and down, and got it done.

On whether Stanford's history of Tournament struggles weighed on him:

None of us have ever made it past the second round, and I'm the only one who's made it past the first. It's all new and hopefully we're young and dumb enough to make more noise.

On whether it's easier after last year's NCAA experience:

It's never easy. People point to last year as inexperience, we just got killed. They played great, we played bad, I don't know if you need experience to play bad or good. We just played horrible last year. We know every game is do or die. You win now, you're ending guys' careers.

Anthony Goods:

On his initial reaction to Brook's shot:

I was excited because it meant, just 1.3 seconds go and we're going to the next round. I had feeling he'd knock it down. He'd been hitting that shot all the second half. Fred and I were in great position for a tip-in.

On Coach J's ejection:

I've never seen someone get ejected. I've seen technicals from Coach J. I don't know what happened.

On whether Marquette's guards lived up to the hype:

Definitely. They were great. One of the better backcourts we've played all year.

On what he knows about Stanford's possible next opponents:

I know nothing. Texas, D.J. Augustin, is a great team. But whoever we face, we'll prepare on Monday.


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