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March 15, 2015

Zach Auguste

Steve Vasturia

THE MODERATOR:  We have Zach and Steve with us.

Q.  Zach, can you talk about this team has been‑‑ I guess people have said oh, Notre Dame is a perimeter team and that sort of thing, and you guys have done a good job of showing that you are capable of playing against bigger opponents, being strong inside.  Can you talk about how would you describe the development of your inside play, both offense and defense?
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I think it starts with us being strong in self‑esteem, a great group of guys all the way from 1 down to the 13.  I don't think individuallyit's something that we strive for.  We play together as a team, and I think it's something that we have.  We don't hang our heads.  We have each other's back, and I think that's a trait that we have that makes things.

Q.  Steve, would you say that this team has played every time of opponent that you would be facing when you get into the postseason, no matter who you match up against?
STEVE VASTURIA:  When you go through an ACC season you're going to play a lot of different styles, a lot of different teams with different talents so we've got a lot of experience playing against big teams, good teams, and I think that's good for us, because you're not sure who you are going to play as you go along, so I think we're ready for anybody we're going to match up with.

Q.  Steve, following up on that, when you go into the NCAA Tournament, what do you see‑‑ and I know this is a bit of an unknown for this team, obviously, but what do you see as the pivotal keys for you guys as you try to move forward?
STEVE VASTURIA:  I think like we have been preaching all season, it's been defense and ‑‑ defense and rebounding because I think our offense is going to be there, no matter what.  We have shown that throughout the season, but being really locked in and we got the stops, and we rebounded when we needed to.  So if we can get those stops and get out in the open court, I think we will be a tough match‑up.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  Yeah, it's been, I think, pretty cool.  I think I've tried to stick to the same role all season, trying to impact the game any way I can.  Most importantly I think it all worked out.  We won a championship, and I think that's the best feeling that you can get from working hard and playing together as a team.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  Not at all really.  We were 26‑5 going in with a great record and a lot of big wins.  Really that's bigger than the personal stuff, which is a great thing, too.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  Yeah, super excited.  Tough not being in last year and having to watch it on TV but being here, watching Selection Sunday, it's a great opportunity and we're ready to attack it.  Definitely, you know, grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to getting started.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  Just a chance for me to individually get better.  (Away from mic.)  These games are going to help us get better and (Away from mic.)  I kind of took what I learned form the first two games and tried to apply that to the rest of the season.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I just couldn't let my teammates down; I just wanted to make an impact, whether it be offensively or defensively.  I let them down a couple of times early in the season with some big games, and I just wanted to be more consistent and be solid.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  Just being more aggressive, both offensively and defensively, not trying to do too much, stick to go my game.  I have great teammates and they're great distributors, they find ways to get you involved with the ball.  (Away from mic.)

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  A very completely different environment, very lively environment.  Last time we went down there we didn't have much success there, so I kind of had that on my shoulder as an ugly reminder headed into the tournament to use the motivation and go in there.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  It helps my confidence a lot, tremendously, it's going to hopefully help my teammates as well but I just want to be responsible for‑‑ (Away from mic.)

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I mean, just being there with my teammates and my brothers, it was crazy when the buzzer finally went off.  We realized we actually made it.  A lot of people didn't give us a chance, you know, so it was something that we deserved, and it was worth all the hard work and dedication you put in in the off‑season, and it was very satisfying.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I feel very confident individually in myself and with the team.  Hopefully ‑‑ I know my brothers have my back and they're confident in me, and that's kept me going throughout the season.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I think it's good.  It gives us another chance to be able to‑‑ (Away from mic.)  And gives us a high‑low look, where he can be more mid‑range and I will be down more in the low post.  And it gives us great rebounders on the team right now, and that's just another weapon that we have.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  It's a pretty cool accomplishment, and it was a fun week down there.
We were able to get the three huge wins and come out with the a championship, and I was able to make plays down the stretch, make some big plays on both ends of the floor, and it's a great honor, so I was excited and proud of it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  You know, I think we've been there as a team in those situations all year.  We played in close games, won close games and we have a really unselfish team, so everybody here has proved they can step up and make big shots, and in that moment you have to have the confidence to just know it's goin' in.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  Yeah, doesn't really matter to me.  I guess we'll see down the road.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I think we have to continue doing what we do.  We can't lose sight of our goal.  We have to be creative offensively and defensively and can't lose sight of giving up easy buckets to transition.  But I think if we play our basketball and never lose sight of the bigger picture and I think we will be fine.

Q.  (No microphone.)
ZACH AUGUSTE:  I just always felt it's kind of hanging on my back shoulder, personally, that they've never really got past that first round, but right now we want to try and see where we are at and go out there and play our game.  We don't have to prove anything to anyone, we just need to go out there and play our game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
STEVE VASTURIA:  I mean, I think like everybody said, we had dreams to go far in the tournament, but the reason we did go far is we were taking it one game at a time.  That's what we have ahead of us.  We have a match‑up for this Thursday night and we are going to attack it just like we have all season.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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