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March 19, 2012

Draymond Green

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Talk about what the Sweet 16 means to you.テつ They don't hang banners for it.テつ Three times for you there.テつ What does making it to this level mean?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ You know, it's another opportunity to possibly reach a Final Four.テつ We've never been excited about making it to Sweet 16s.テつ It's just one of those bumps that you have to go through in order to make it to the final destination.
It's always a great honor.テつ Maybe even after your career people will look back on it, Sweet 16 is all fine and dandy, but at this point, you could even see it after our celebration after the game, the hugs, it's just another step in the road to get to where we're really trying to go.

Q.テつ Today coach talked about how yesterday's game was a learning lesson for you, but you were able to do it in a positive way.テつ How much do you think the young guys grew up and learned what it takes to win NCAA tournament games?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ I think they really grew up.テつ To fight through some adversity at halftime, everybody responded, particularly B. K. and Travis.テつ They didn't score or anything like that, but they made their presence felt on the game.テつ They were very solid defensively.テつ Trice did a better job of controlling of tempo when he was at the point.
Particularly for our young guys, they grew up.テつ Keith as well.テつ Keith started off struggling with the way they was playing him and different things.テつ He got his head together and was able to make some things happen for us as well.
I think overall not even just our young guys, everybody grew up from that game yesterday.テつ I think it can help us down the road.

Q.テつ I don't know how much you've been able to look at Louisville or watch them.テつ A few years ago they didn't press you too much in that game.テつ Sounds like your coach expects a different kind of thing this year, more reliant on getting after people.テつ Do you expect that?テつ How do you handle that?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ We've been pretty good at breaking the presses over the years.テつ This year we did get pressed.テつ We're going to attack.テつ A lot of people make a mistake.テつ A lot of people just try to break the press.テつ We're not just trying to break the press, we're going to make you pay for pressing us.
I think they are going to try to press us a lot more.テつ This team is a little more reliant on pressing than the last team we played in '09 was.テつ We expect them to come out and try to press us.テつ We'll be prepared.テつ We'll have multiple guys handling the ball.テつ We really going to put an emphasis on that, taking care of the ball.

Q.テつ You were one of the only guys on the team to play in the 2009 game.テつ Do you take anything from playing a Rick Pitino team from 2009?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ I know they're really going to get after it defensively.テつ That's one thing they did when I did play my freshman year.テつ They got after it defensively.テつ They're really going to push the tempo.テつ That's not going to change.テつ That's his philosophy.
If I can take anything away from that '09 game it's going to be knowing the tempo of the game because they're going to try to push it.テつ Last time they thought they were going to run us out the gym, we ran them out the gym.
We have to make sure we're conscious of the tempo and make sure it plays into our hands and not into theirs.

Q.テつ Kearney was emotional on the sideline when he came out of the game.テつ Did you talk to him about that?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ I mean, I know what he was going through.テつ I did talk to him about it.テつ Just let him know, You have to be careful because we all know what was wrong with you.テつ We know what was going on with you.テつ We know you were upset with yourself.テつ But it won't be perceived like that.テつ Perception is reality.テつ You have to be very careful of controlling your emotions and when you let your emotions out because it can look as you're coming off as a bad apple, bad teammate.テつ It wasn't that.テつ It was completely opposite.
Talked to him about channeling his emotions, knowing when to be so emotional, when you can let your emotions out.テつ Although we all knew it was for the right reasons.

Q.テつ You talked yesterday about how the hype was getting to you a little bit about the Player of the Year, All‑American stuff.テつ How was that throwing you off?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ It wasn't affecting my play.テつ Most people will get big headed by it.テつ I felt like I had something really weighing on me, started kind of worrying about those things.テつ When you hear about those things, I'm not really the type that's about individual awards, but those are great accomplishments.テつ When you hear about those things, of course you want them to happen.
I think I was starting to really think about those things too much.テつ It still never comes before winning.テつ It was kind of weighing on me all the times.テつ I'm sitting there thinking what can possibly happen, what can possibly go wrong.テつ It was really stopping me from being me, being the happy person that I am around my teammates, just always having a smile on my face.テつ That's really what it was doing to me.テつ It wasn't affecting my play or nothing like that, making me big headed.テつ It felt like a weight on my shoulders.
I've been fine with it ever since I talked to coach, not really worried about it.

Q.テつ Do you hope the shot Keith made at the end will boost his confidence in terms of his jump shot?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ I know he'll be able to make them after making that shot.テつ I just dare somebody to play him like SaintLouis did.テつ If they play him like that, he's definitely going to knock down shots.テつ He knocked down four or five jump shots yesterday.テつ That's really what took us to getting the win, that was the difference in the game.

Q.テつ About six years ago you and your teammates from Saginaw High played for the State championship.テつ Can you talk about your journey.
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ It's been an amazing journey, coming off two State championships, two straight Final Fours.テつ Having the down year last year, kind of getting it back together this year.テつ It's been a great journey.
Through it all I think the most important thing has been just becoming a man, aside of basketball, the Final Four banners, the Big Ten banners.テつ I think the most important thing is the way Coach Izzo and his staff has helped develop me into a man.テつ I think that's the thing I'm most proud of more than anything.

Q.テつ Do you embrace the role of being the 'coach on the floor' and being a cerebral basketball player?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ I mean, that's just how I play.テつ If I see something that I know I can help guys out, I'm going to help them out.テつ You better be saying something than leaving something unsaid and wanting to say it later when it's too late.
That's the way I approach the game.テつ With me having more experience than anybody else on my team, I know a few more things.テつ I try to share those things.テつ Coach always talks about a player‑coached team is better than a coach‑coached team.テつ If that's his theory, let's make it happen.

Q.テつ They used the pick‑and‑roll with the ball this last game.テつ Is that something that's becoming a little bit more of a weapon, especially with you and Derrick have a good chemistry on that?
DRAYMOND GREEN:テつ Me and Derrick, the way he roll, he carve out so much space when he roll.テつ Sometimes people use to switch it.テつ If they switch it, I can break their big down.テつ If they don't switch it, they're going to set enough screen where my man isn't going to get over it anyway.
I think that is something that works out pretty good for us.テつ Of course, teams are trying to figure out how to guard it.テつ There's so many options off it.テつ People don't pay attention to it.テつ The guards are still involved if needed.テつ We've just been getting to the first option off of it.
I think that is something great for us.テつ A lot of teams probably will struggle with that.
Thank you.

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