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Feb. 4, 2015

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Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright

Opening Statement        

“We had a good defensive effort tonight. We did a good job on (Matt) Carlino. We were obviously concerned with him coming in know that Dwayne Wilson and he have the ability to come into a game and put up big numbers and take over. I thought we did a good job on them but I thought they did a good job on us defensively. They created a lot of turnovers; we haven’t been that sloppy with the ball (all season). But you have to give them (Marquette) credit because they were scrappy defensively.”

On slow start in the first half

I think our defense kept us in it while we were really sloppy offensively. We turned the ball over in the first three possessions … We were finally able to get some turnovers and score on the transition and that is what got us going … We were sloppy offensively tonight but you have to give Marquette credit for that too because they change up a lot of defenses and they are very aggressive in causing turnovers. Granted they give up easy baskets sometimes but they still create a lot of turnovers.”

On outlook of the season so far at the midway mark

I like our leadership … We have been in different situations and I like how (our leaders) have handled them. Like tonight, you start off not playing well at all but they don’t lose their confidence or their focus. I thought offensively we were really good for a while and we have lost that but in turn I think we have been getting better defensively. We have been good enough to win but we are still a work in progress.”

On the team concept of defense and how that can improve

“Our defensive rebounding needs to be consistent day-in and day-out. The two games we lost, we didn’t create any turnovers to get ourselves the easy baskets. I think that is an area we can get a lot better in.”

On upcoming game against Georgetown

“When you are in a league like this, you know that a game like this … When young players see two and seven, they haven’t been in the game long enough to know that a good, scrappy team can come in and get you. You really have to just worry about one game at a time because each game has a life within itself. This Georgetown game… Last time they played us good; they outplayed us. I know our guys are excited to play because they want to see how far they’ve come since that game.”

On how the team accomplished a win after starting out ugly

This was a good experience for us to start like that and come back with the big win. We have had games where we started like that that didn’t turn out so well like Seton Hall and Georgetown. While we may have played poorly offensively we just kept getting stops. There was one point where (Marquette) was up six to four and I thought to myself ‘wow we are lucky it isn’t 18 to four’. We came out focused on Carlino, he didn’t have anything for a while until he hit those two threes and then one right at the end of the half … You can learn a lot from every game, even the wins; and we learned a lot tonight.”  

On Phil Booth’s play so far this season

We are really fired up about (Booth). He is playing behind some older, great guards and that is the only thing keeping him off the floor because he has been great. He has just continued to get better and better every time out. He plays with great confidence. He is going to be a big part of our future.”

Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono

On importance of experience

“It’s pretty important, going through my freshman year we went through ups and downs but we were able to keep it even keel for the most part. Last year we had a couple slip ups and towards the end of the year we didn’t play very well. With this team, we’ve all been through it before so we aren’t afraid of anything. We aren’t afraid of missing shots. We just want to come out and play harder than the other team. We know that eventually we will start making shots if we keep on playing defense." 

On getting a win when team doesn’t play as well as expected

“I think it’s pretty important just to know that we can play well defensively and not make shots. We had everything really go against us in the start. Like coach said we were just playing sloppy. It’s very encouraging because we know how good of an offensive team we can be. But it all comes down to the defensive end. We weren’t even getting off shots in the first five minutes, but our defense was very encouraging.”


Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard

On what they have to do this time against Georgetown 

“Just stay focused, it’s not like we have to do anything drastic. We do what we do, like we did today. It’s going to be ugly and not very pretty but we’ll grind, rebound the ball and get stops. Like coach said if we do what we’re capable of, we’ll be successful on Saturday.

On what went through his mind during Villanova cold streak at beginning of the game 

“Honestly I didn’t think it was that bad. We we’re getting stops. I didn’t really worry about offense. I was just worried about the defense and I though that phase of the game went fine.”


 Marquette Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski

On what he said to his players post-game…

One, that we played a heck of a basketball team. I think the very first thing is that you have to give Villanova a lot of credit. This Villanova team reminds me a lot of the Villanova team that went to the Final Four, which we competed against in the NCAA tournament. They have an outstanding combination of veteran, tough guards and rock-solid size. I would say the biggest thing that I thought was disappointing was that at the start of the game, we had a chance to have a lead and we missed five or six point-blank layups and I thought that really affected our spirit, obviously besides affecting the scoreboard. We are a team that needs to play with great energy, enthusiasm and spirit. I thought missing a couple of those early opportunities took the wind out of our sail. And we were never able to regain it; a lot of that was because of Villanova. 

On what Villanova was doing to take control of the game…

Well Villanova, in terms of our conference, puts unbelievable pressure on the ball. A majority of the teams in our conference don’t play that way. And it can knock you back. Their defensive pressure on the ball is outstanding.

On Matt Carlino after his fall during the game…

It was a very scary fall. All indications right now is that he is good. But as good as you could be when you have a fall like he had. 

On how they might have taken themselves out of the game…

The start of the game. We’ve been in some real battles and we’ve had a chance to win some of them. At the end, that affects you. At the start of the game, not being rewarded after getting the ball right by the rim. We don’t have this depth of experience and guys who have been in it. It appeared based on tonight that our psyche right now is fragile.

On the different lineups used during the game…

We were in horrible foul trouble to start the game. We have to do a much better job. We can’t have nine fouls and none for us. We have to play much stronger obviously. We were in bad foul trouble, so we had to play some different lineups. Our guys showed flashes. It’s a tough game to find any positives.

On the quick turnaround and having to play Seton Hall next…

Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. This isn’t a league that has a lot of pity. People can beat you; that’s what they do. We have to move onto the next thing as well. We’ll talk about the things that we need to do better, certainly; and there’s a lot of them. But we hcaave to be ready to play Seton Hall. Again, Villanova’s one of the best teams in the country; they’re as good as a team that we’ve played.