Villanova Pregame Quotes - NCAA Tournament Second Round
March 19, 2010
THE MODERATOR: We've got game 1 winner Villanova who advance to the second round with a 73 70 overtime win over Robert Morris. We are joined now by student athletes Scottie Reynolds and Reggie Redding.
Q. Scottie, there's been a slide recently, I know, I know you guys are happy with your effort and the fact that you're getting better every day at practice, but is it frustrating not to be able to put together 40 good minutes of basketball?
Q. Reggie, you guys are playing a team tomorrow that's experienced and tall in the front court. Those are the kind of teams that over the course of the year have given you problems. You guys are not as experienced in the front court. How are you guys going to offset that and what else have you learned about St. Mary's going into this game?
Q. Scottie, I don't know how much you've been able to look at St. Mary's, but that combination of bigs inside and great shooters, have you seen a team with that kind of combination this season?
Q. Scottie, obviously you've talked a lot about your family situation and everything. A lot of adopted children look up to you. Coach Wright said what he did with you yesterday was kind of an example for the rest of the team. How much pressure is there in being kind of such a role model and how do you deal with it?
He told us yesterday we might be able to look ten years past this game and us still go back to it and refer to it and see know what kind of game that was and everybody can learn from that throughout the years at Villanova and the teams that come through, they're going to remember that game last night.
Q. Yesterday at one point I think we counted like 12 in and outs, guys shuttling in and out of that game. It's been something that Jay has been doing all year long. I guess two parts again, do you guys understand when he's doing this what he's trying to get at? As players is it frustrating at times that it just keeps rotating in and out?
And it's plain and simple, if you're out there and you're not playing hard or doing what Coach Wright what's you to do he's going to snatch you and put somebody else in that's going to do it. And he just keeps rotating. I think in some games, it really helped us this year. Scottie Reynolds: Like Reggie said, it's different because when you're younger you really don't understand, sometimes you think it's because of a mistake that you thought or you make a mistake and you think that's the reason why you're coming out. But Coach Wright sees something totally different. He tries to make that known to you, and as an older guy, he likes to if you go out there in the beginning of the game and you don't stick to the game plan or you do something that doesn't set the tone for our team for the whole game then he's going to make a point to the whole team.
He usually picks me or Reggie out, especially this year he picked me out a lot to sit out in the first half and things like that. And it's just to set the tone for the game and what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish. And everybody has to understand that. He tries to make examples, especially out of his leaders. And you've got to be on all cylinders and that's about it.
Q. Scottie and Reggie, between the losing at the end of the season and three benchings with Taylor and you and Corey and the way you guys kind of played for most of the way yesterday, does it feel like things are kind of out of sorts at Villanova? Things aren't just running as smooth as they have been the last couple of years?
When we're on top when we're 20 1 everybody is praise go us, and we ask for it. And when we loss 5 of 7, we didn't ask for the negativity. We had to take the bad with the good, the good with the bad, and we move on from it.
Q. Reggie, you didn't get off to the start this year that you wanted to. How challenging was that, this being your senior year and everything?
Q. Scottie, talk a little bit before about St. Mary's, you certainly seem pretty well versed in at Gaels, but before Sunday how much did you know of Omar Samhan and Mickey McConnell?
They just are a real good team. A lot of people might say something about the athleticism or whatever, they know how to play the game of basketball. Their basketball IQ takes over your athleticism for most of the time.
Q. Scottie, two years ago you had a situation where you fell 18 behind Clemson and won. And then had a surprise team in the second round, like St. Mary's with an upset. Some similarities that you can draw between this or is it completely different?
Q. Just wanted to kind of ask you again about St. Mary's and your knowledge of them. When you were watching that West Coast Conference championship game, what impressed you about Samhan, especially when he refused to back down when the other guys seemed to kind of call him out a little bit?
Q. Reggie, how important is it you guys mentioned Mouphtaou and Eddie yesterday, who stand right there and erase your mistakes at defense, does it allow you to play anymore aggressively?
Q. Scottie, you're expecting to start tomorrow?
Q. I had to ask?
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Villanova head coach Jay Wright. Would you like to again with an opening statement.
Jay Wright: Sure. We're very happy to be alive another day in beautiful Providence and we've learned to fall in love with Providence this time of year. Usually we're up here and it's snowing and people are killing us in this arena and getting beat up by Providence. We're having a good time here. We have a great St. Mary's team to play. You always dread playing these kind of teams.
One of the things I like about it and don't like about it is when you watch film of them you get caught up just enjoying the style of play and admiring how they play because they're so smart and you're not really dissecting them as much as you should. But they pass the ball as well as any team I've seen. Forget their shooting, which is amazing, but just great passers. We have a lot of work to do between now and tomorrow. We had a good practice. But you've got to play these guys a little differently and it's going to be a great challenge.
Q. Between the way you guys lost at the end of the season, the 5 of 7 and the three benchings and the way you played for most of the way yesterday, does it seem like things are out of sorts at Villanova at all to you?
But I do understand what it looks like from the outside. So I can't argu e that. There are a lot of little things, but they're little things we believe in in our program and we just believe it's going to make ourselves stronger. I think they were in the past too, but they weren't in the spotlight as much and weren't as big a story. A lot of it is just college kids being college kids and learning and us trying to teach them.
Q. Who does Samhan remind you of? Is he the best big guy that you maybe have faced this year?
Greg Monroe is really good, really good. Samhan is different but might be I hate to compare the two because they're so different, but they're effective for the same reasons, because of their length, their ability to pass the ball, their great hands and their mobility. That's who I would compare him to, although completely different players.
Q. How do you play him?
Q. How much pressure is it that he's obviously looked up to by adopted kids? You talked yesterday about how much you put on him to set an example. How much pressure is that and how is he able to deal with all that pressure?
But he tries every time he can personally if someone meets him to always talk to people, he goes out of his way. And we do put a lot of pressure on him. One of the things about this group of guys and Dan mentioned about all the little things we're going through, just young guys, and sometimes our older guys. We put him in charge of awful it. He's got to take the brunt of it. He loves the responsibility. He loves impacting other people and I think that's he really lives his life for other people, he really does, I think that's what's most impressive about him.
Q. You said earlier that St. Mary's is a team that you have to play differently. I wondered exactly what you meant by that. Two, your team has had a history of really struggling in the first rounds and then putting that behind them and marching forward. Can you talk about how that happens or how you're able to do that?
To answer your first question, you just can't go they look like a team, you could just go get in them and guard them one on one, and these guys shouldn't go by you, but you can't play them that way. They're so good. They're so quick, even though they don't look quick, they're quick. They're really ball quick meaning they catch and pass quickly. They make decisions quickly. Their handles are super quick. They get down low on their drives.
So we're going to have to adjust to their personnel. A couple of guys are great off the dribble, a couple of guys are great shooters and passers. That's what I mean you can't just play them the same as everybody else.
Q. Similar to last month or so of the season your focus has been on improving the defense of this team, you almost take the offense not for granted, but the offense has been there. Playing against a team like St. Mary's where interior shots on paper look like they're going to be difficult to come by and you're going to have to get those good outside looks, which you really didn't get yesterday. And maybe it's unfair because Morris is such a good defense team out there. Did you put emphasis on the offensive end looking at this game as much as you have any game you've been trying to prepare for recently?
I think offensively we probably gave the same as we do, but defensively, we were most concerned with defense in practice today.
Q. Even before the five out of seven to end the regular season it looked like your defensive numbers were slipping, so it maybe has been a 10 or 12 game trend. And Robert Morris yesterday had some significant success getting to the rim, getting to the basket, getting to the offensive glass. Do you think the book is out, so to speak, that Villanova is what it is defensively? What are you trying to do to sort of bandage that against a team that threes on paper looks like it has the capability to expose some things you might not be good at?
Q. Picking up on that, 10 or 11 guys in your rotation for most of the season, including that game the other day, which goes to your point, I think, about the other team passing quicker, making quicker decisions, it seems to slow you up. It seems to frustrate you at times. You use the word excited about this team. But where you are right now, did you think you would be somewhere else by now with this team?
We've got here a lot of different ways. We've won some games we shouldn't have won, and yesterday, you know. It's just not it's not the way we want our Villanova basketball teams to be yet. But they're working at it. No one is fighting it. We're working at it and I love the resiliency of this team, I love how we're working at it, I really do. Things just don't work out the way you want all the time, that's what a season is.
You like every season to be, you know, you play great, you play your best at the end of the season. And sometimes you're not playing the best at the end of the season but you find a way. And that's what this group is doing right now.
Q. You mentioned yesterday that the last 40 minute game you played was at West Virginia. How frustrating is it to not have been able to have done that since then and what do you have to do better? I know you talked about defense, but what do you have to do better to get closer to that 40 minutes?
We did a lot of teaching on the board, watching film, walking through defensively. Because we want fresh legs. And we did some smoothing. But most of the time was spent on defense. I think for us to play a 40 minute game, it's usual I where our breakdowns are is defensively and rebounding.
Q. Randy Bennett, what he's done the last years at St. Mary's, he's built a solid reputation in the Bay Area and the West Coast. How well known is Randy among East coast coaching circles?
You know, it's interesting, Randy and I were joking about it. I always love to stay up and watch those games. I think basketball guys in the East like watching those games and they watch those St. Mary's, Gonzaga games. I think everybody knows him pretty well.
Q. You said defensively you are what you are. But this late in the year, can you get that much better than you have been if they continue to develop like that and how have they developed throughout the year?
Just getting Mouphtaou, he's still taking his medication, just getting him he's still not 100 percent. He's got to come out. He gets tired. But just getting him to know what we're doing, and everyone can trust him. And Maurice Sutton is the same thing. Maurice is a different character in a lot of ways. He's a wonderful kid, but just getting him to understand what we were doing.
Both of them were big factors in that game yesterday and maybe it's not too late. Maybe those guys can get it going, and make us a better defensive team and a better rebounding team.
Q. Great play at the end of the regulation, where you threw it in, well designed. Whatever assistant drew that up, you should give him kudos?
Q. You watch Robert Morris like the two freshmen guys, I don't know how much you saw the Ohio U game, they had a freshman guard, No. 5, who was terrific. I see freshman guards in the Big East, the ACC, the Big Ten, I expect them to be that good right an wasn't it was surprising to me, maybe it shouldn't have been, that teams at that level had kids that good as freshmen. Are there that many good players around, are they exceptional kids, how do we account for that?
Q. When you were talking about Samhan and the impact he has on the game, obviously yesterday it seemed like they ran a lot of stuff through him. But it seemed to be Richmond's lament that he was difficult to guard. How difficult is that for a team to focus their energy on stopping him when he's surrounded by the cast that he is?
It's like everybody you had Kareem Abdul Jabaar, he goes inside, he kicks it out. Now they play that way. That's unique. That's another way that you can't play them the same way. It's really difficult, because you don't play against that all year. And when we used to play four guards years ago it was an advantage because no one played that way. Now everybody does and it's not really an advantage, because everybody knows how to guard it. It is old school and it's good.