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ATLANTIC-10 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 12, 2015


Marcus Posley

Mark Schmidt


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

ST. BONAVENTURE – 60
SAINT JOSEPH’S - 49


COACH SCHMIDT:  I thought the first half, we didn't play the way we were capable of playing, especially offensively.  I thought our defense was critical in the first half.  We could have been down by 15, 20 points if we didn't defend, that's how bad our offense was.
But I thought the second half, we really responded.  We kept up and we played even better defense, especially on Bembry, which was a big key going into the game.  He's the known, a terrific player; if not the best player in the league, one of the top two.
And Dion, and all the guys, we switched everything.  They did a heck of a job on him.  We let Miles go off a little bit, especially the first half.  But we defended, and we started hitting some shots in the second half, and that was good to see.
The first half, it was very sluggish, but our guys really responded.  Physically they did a really good job.  We were down, I think we were plus one in the first half rebounding and we ended up plus 15.  The game is a game, to me, the most physical team is going to‑‑ and I thought our guys did a tremendous job, especially in the paint.
So proud of our effort, and now we move on.

Q.  Marcus, you had a slow start.  When you see Youssou, he has such a bad start offensively, you didn't make a shot early, are you thinking, 'Uh‑Oh, this could be a problem here' with the way the game started.
MARCUS POSLEY:  No, I just have to‑‑ starting at the point guard spot now.  So my main thing was to stay positive, two‑up, and to keep everything rolling.

Q.  As Coach said, not a great first half for you guys.  What did you say to yourselves as players that gave you the spark going into the second half to take control of the game?
MARCUS POSLEY:  Just to keep attacking.  We were getting, you know, decent shots and good looks.  We just had to knock the shots down.  But unfortunately they didn't fall like the way we wanted to the first half.  But the second half we sparked it up defensively a little bit.  Just found our rhythm.

Q.  You said you were switching Bembry and Dion on him.  What else did you to keep them this check?
COACH SCHMIDT:  We tried to switch out and limit his touches.  I learned a long time ago, you can't score if you don't have the ball.  So we tried to limit as many touches as we could. We tried to switch out so we couldn't get open looks.  We played team defense.  Every time we had the fall, we tried to get feet around him.
He's just such a tremendous player.  He didn't shoot the ball well from threes, and that gives you a better chance of guarding him but we kept him off the offensive backboard, which he killed us in the first two games.  But we just committed that he wasn't going to beat us.  Make somebody else beat us.

Q.  Talk about the play of Denzel Gregg, 15 rebounds.  He was just unbelievable.
COACH SCHMIDT:  Tremendous.  Tremendous.  Really active.  It's funny, everybody gets caught up in points, and here is a kid, he has two points but has a huge impact in the game, both defensively and offensively on the backboard, and for our three man to play 34 minutes and get 15 rebounds, that's a heck of a performance and that's one of the reasons why we had the success we had.

Q.  Maybe wasn't going great offensively in the halfcourt.  In the second half, that run allowed to you take control and you were able to get out in transition and get a lot of easy baskets.  How important was it to be able to‑‑
COACH SCHMIDT:  It's really important.  We weren't executing well.  We weren't playing good halfcourt offense and you want to try to get easy baskets and the best way to get easy baskets is to get it off your defense.  We got some steals and some dunks, and it got us going, you're right.
Our offense has to get better if we're going to have any success tomorrow.  But our defense, if we can continue to play defense like we did, we have a shot.  But we have to do a better job taking care of the basketball and executing better on offense.

Q.  One of the concerns you had yesterday when we spoke was whether or not Jay could be thrown into this situation.  Obviously he wasn't.  Now the situation gets even tighter with every game that you have.  So it's a tough‑‑
COACH SCHMIDT:  Marcus is doing a heck of a job.  If you really know basketball, to take the two guard, who has a scoring mentality, and put him at the point guard and tell him to run the team, that's a hard job.  And he's doing a heck of a job both running the team and scoring.
He's our heavy load and he's done a tremendous job in the last five or six games.  It took us a couple games to try to get our rhythm.  But he's done a tremendous job and that's such a big transition.

Q.  If I can follow that, do you have any plans now because of the situation with Jay to toss him back in?
COACH SCHMIDT:  We'll see tomorrow.

Q.  I know you kind of talked about defending Bembry already, but in two games now, the last one in Philly, as well, you were really able to shut him down there, too.  What has allowed you to really kind of take in some people's eyes the best player in the league out of the game two times?
COACH SCHMIDT:  You know, he didn't shoot the ball.  He had some open looks and he missed.  But look, like I said it was an emphasis of switching out on him and not giving him too many open looks and any time he had the ball, take an extra step to him.  Treat him like he's the best player on the court and that's what we tried to do.  Our guys were really successful and, like I said, he missed some open shots, but I think our defense had something to do with it.

Q.  There was a year you guys obviously didn't qualify but still, you guys are 6‑1 in your last seven A‑10 tournament games, gotten past the first game all three times.  What is it about your teams, especially recently, that has allowed them to have the success?
COACH SCHMIDT:  I wish I knew.  We'd be 7‑1 tomorrow if I had that magic.
I just think our guys are playing with some confidence.  We came in with some confidence, winning Florida, five games.  To me, when the ball goes up, no matter what happened yesterday or last month, it's a whole new game.  It can swing either way.  We were playing well coming in and then we stunk in the first half.  As a coach, you wonder why.  So, who knows why.
I'm glad we're, whatever, 6‑1 the last seven games.  Our guys are playing with some confidence but we know we've got a heck of an opponent tomorrow that we're going against, a team that's playing really well, and a team that's well coached.  They gave us fits the first two games, so hopefully we can play a little bit better.

Q.  If you can talk about the first two games against Dayton; what do you do the third time?
COACH SCHMIDT:  Hopefully we play better.  They are just good.  They space you out.  They have got really good guards.  You know, Pierre, I think, in my opinion is a first‑team all‑league player.  To me, he's the key to their team.  He does everything.
But they are a team that spaces you out; a team that when they shoot the three well, they are hard to beat.  And hopefully we can defend them better than we did in the first two tries that we had.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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