Dec. 21, 2013
Villanova Head coach Jay Wright...
"I was very proud of our guys being prepared for that game. I thought we came out well. As coaches you know that's a very dangerous team. Their offensive numbers are crazy, staggering, and we knew that's the kind of team with their guards it's going to be tough to turn them over. They could give us a tough game and they did. If our guys didn't come to play we get beat today, and our guys came to play. They have break coming up and everybody has been talking to them about the Syracuse game, and it's really a pleasure to coach guys that could focus on the next game and have respect for their opponent and that's the best thing I think we did today."
On keeping the team focused:
"It's something we really try to teach but we really try to teach everything. Like parents you try to teach but it's (comes down to) what's their character. For Josh (Hart), he's a freshman who comes with character and the ability to concentrate. Darrun (Hilliard) has always been like that with character and the ability to concentrate. We've all seen it over years, these are games that are difficult and if you play a good team like they are, that score is not indicative on how good that team is, I'm telling you they are a really good team. That's what I was most pleased with, you could tell with the way we started the game."
On how to approach all the attention and rankings:
"We try not to talk about that too much because we try to talk about the next game. That's what was real difficult with this game because you and everybody you know were asking about Syracuse and that's natural. As coaches you know we've all been in these games and that's the kind of team that could beat you because their talented enough and they have great guards that could control tempo. We were trying to talk to them about the next game. I don't think rankings bother them but sometimes when you have a big game like that coming up and its Christmas break, that's what gets to them, and again I was very proud of that (focus)."
On the secret to prepare freshmen:
"I think there are certain guys that are prepared a little bit better than others and I think Kris (Jenkins) and Josh were really well prepared. Darryl Reynoldsis actually well prepared; we just have so many guys at that spot. I think it's a big part of this team and Darrun was really articulate with the fact that we got guys with a lot of experience and they spend the time teaching our young guys. I think that helps our freshmen too, these guys are prepared and have been taught well by the upperclassmen."
On the program's best start since the 1960s:
"That's a great start. I'm very proud of that because there have been a lot of great teams here at Villanova. I didn't realize it was that long ago and I'm really proud of that. I'm happy for these guys and I'm happy for our program."
Freshman guard Josh Hart...
On thinking he's one of the best freshman in the conference:"I wouldn't say that. I'm just kind of feeding off my teammates. Their just finding me in good spots to score; so I just got to really attribute my success right now to my teammates because their doing everything to get me open and get me shots."
Junior guard Darrun Hilliard...
On the ability of the team to focus on the task at hand:
"I think that's the amazing part of our experience. Guys like James Bell, JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan (Arcidiacono), Daniel (Ochefu) and myself just know we kind of been here before and on any given night you could get beat. We saw that last year with Columbia and the year before, it's just an attribute to our experience. We're going to let the coaches keep pushing us and we're not going to take a step back. We'll wait till March or April to kind of relax. That's an attribute to the older guys and the experience we have."
"It will be a lot of fun but we got a lot of work to do ahead of us before that game. We got to go through film tomorrow and get our bodies right for that game. We got two practices here and up there so we got to get prepared. It's going to be a good game and we got to come out and do what we do best."
Head Coach Kevin Baggett...
"I thought Villanova did a really good job of taking us out of some things we wanted to accomplish. Those guys are really good defensively. They really did a good job offensively, being aggressive. They're definitely worthy of being ranked eighth in the country, and I thought those guys did a really good job today."
On letting Villanova take over in the second half:
"I was disappointed. I thought for the first 17 minutes of the game, I thought we played fairly well, and then for the last three minutes of the half, I thought we really let it get out of control. Then we talked about coming out and being ready to go in the second half and we didn't, and they built a larger lead."
On Villanova outrebounding Rider 37-29:
"I thought physically in some areas, our guys got outmatched today. Those guys really did a good job. We can't rebound those missed shots, and that's going to hurt us. They got some second shot opportunities which helped build the lead. I was disappointed in us for not being able to block out and get those rebounds."
On takeaways from the game:
"I think every game helps you. Obviously we need to go back and work on some rebounding, some blocking - there's always things you can go back and watch film and work on. Our press wasn't working very well, so we need to go back and work on that. You can learn from every one of your games. We certainly will go back and watch film. It starts with competing, and I thought we could've come out and competed better in the second half."
Freshman Guard Jimmie Taylor...
"We didn't match their energy. We just came out sluggish and got away from our game plan. We didn't hustle, we didn't get the loose balls. There were guys diving all over the floor, but none of those guys were our guys. We have to credit the other team doing what they're supposed to do."
On the second half:
"In the locker room, we said we couldn't have any regrets. We're going to regret that second half because we didn't play like we were supposed to."