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March 13, 2015

Archie Miller

Kendall Pollard

Jordan Silbert



COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Great game.  Really hard‑fought game.  Thought St. Bonaventure really did a great job, and playing them already twice this season, for the third time, they were really ready.  Made some adjustments and they were sharp.  Kept us on our heels.  Our defense really had our work cut out for us most of the night.
But we found ways.  We had ten steals in the game.  Guys stepped up and made some big plays; in particular, I think these two guys made some of the biggest plays down the stretch for us.  But all in all, it's a great team effort for us.  We are very fortunate and happy to win the game.

Q.  Career‑high 26 today; is there a feeling they didn't see you as much and you wanted to show them what you had?
KENDALL POLLARD:  I just wanted to go out and be aggressive.  Last game I suffered a concussion, so didn't really play too much.

Q.  Can both of you talk about the final play by St. Bonaventure, what you saw and how you defended it?
JORDAN SILBERT:  We just wanted to try to get the ball out of Posley's hands.  He did a great job all game and we wanted to try to key in on him.  Credit to Kendall who did a great job of getting into the passing lane and getting that steal.
KENDALL POLLARD:  Just tried not to foul.  Just played good defense and just came up with a big play.

Q.  Can you just talk about those free throws at the end of the game?  Same thing as VCU.
JORDAN SILBERT:  Just looking at my teammates, just telling me, you know, just shoot the shot, telling me that we need them.  I think I missed two; I don't really remember.  Just my teammates and my coaches just giving me the confidence to go out there and shoot and embrace the moment and step up to make shots.

Q.  Can you talk a little about Kendall, just the way hecarried you guys early in the game?
JORDAN SILBERT:  Kendall did a great job of being aggressive.  I think they did a great job of pressuring us and making the game tough, and he handled their aggressiveness extremely well.  He led us today and we just tried to piggyback off his energy and it was great for us.

Q.  Can you take us through that go‑ahead three that you had?  Seemed like you were a little quiet down the stretch but then in that big moment, seeing your shots.
JORDAN SILBERT:  I don't really know exactly what the play was that we called, but I know Kendall, he had a great drive through the lane and he kind of went in the air and I was just trying to get to an open area.  I think he and Kyle were open, but Kendall did a great job of finding me.
It was just a shot that I shoot all the time.  My coaches always tell me, if you're open, shoot the shot.  And they believe in me; my teammates believe in me.  So when I had that opportunity, it was a normal shot, and it was great to have my team uplifted by it.

Q.  What was it like going against a big guy in there?  You really had to work for your points.
KENDALL POLLARD:  It was challenging.  Just tried to use my quickness and aggressiveness to get around him and make tough shots.

Q.  You had a lot of close games in March last year; with a lot of new guys, does that help you in a situation like this?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  There's not really that many new guys.  The heartbeat of the team are the five returning guys.  That's the pulse; that's sort of the core, and that core played in a lot of big games together all year.
They have done it through March and they did it all year long this year.  They have logged a ton of minutes and played a lot of games together, and they have been in some tough spots.
I think every game at this time of year sort of feels like this.  And they have expected that.  I don't think there's anything easy.
So we have been in the moment.  I think Darrell did a great job tonight; young guy, first conference tournament game, was able to play 15 minutes.  He banged two threes.  And Bobby, in his six minutes, was able to get us a bucket, as well, and sort of hold serve.
We'll see how we do moving forward.  We need those two guys to sort of help us a little bit more, but we are not going to get shaken up a whole lot.

Q.  Can you just talk about how difficult it is in general to beat a team three times in a season?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  We didn't talk about it.  I think when you talk about things, it starts to get in people's minds, and it's like games, we never discussed it.  I think the one thing about beating a team twice in a regular season, in my opinion, you can do it again, because you've already done it twice.  So that's the way we looked at it.
But we didn't really talk a whole lot about it.  We were very nervous about the game.  I think St. Bonaventure is coached by one of the more underrated coaches in all of college basketball.  Coach Schmidt does a phenomenal job; he always has.
Those guys were spaced well today.  They shot the ball extremely well.  Dion Wright, in particular, from three, that threw a monkey wrench into what we were doing.  He hadn't done that coming int.  And this is the first time that Marcus Posley had really gotten off on us all season.
So we got to see the best of those two guys, and they were a very, very strong one, two punch and Cumberbatch really improved, as well.  He was able to make some big shots tonight and he had played well coming into the tournament.
I feel bad for St. Bonaventure because in my opinion all freshmen point guards, one of the best point guards we've seen in the league for a while as a freshman wasn't able to finish the season for them.  When he comes back next year, they are going to have a nice backcourt with him and Marcus.

Q.  Only eight turnovers.
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Last Saturday, we were uncharacteristically beat ourselves in a lot of areas at La Salle and I think as people watched La Salle today, you can see.  Why they are very tough to score on.  But we turned the ball over way too much.  We had not been turning it over leading into the game.  That was a big part of not giving the game away today.
And Scooch was great.  He played like a true point guard.  His pace up and down the floor was terrific.  He got a couple big free throws on pushes.  Just in general, he played really well I thought.
The key for him is going to be his recovery.  I don't necessarily know if he's going to be able to do 37 more minutes the way he did it tonight.

Q.  The teams that had played the day before against teams that had not‑‑ seemed like they had a little bit more jump.  There were some great games that maybe you wouldn't expect.  Do you think that had any impact at all?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Absolutely.  I love playing and getting a win, because you feel so good about being able to advance and stay overnight, and you get another day to prepare.  To me, it's the best feeling in college basketball is this time of year when you're able to win and stay.  You don't want to win and go home.
I really believe that maybe that doesn't work out well for you in four games in four days, maybe five in five days.  But that first win can really give you some confidence.  Looking at the teams that have been playing and won a game, they are accustomed to getting out on this floor; they played on it last night, and I think that's an advantage.
I also think the team that earned the double bye or got a bye, they have an advantage, too.  You have to be willing to take that first punch from a team that's already gotten on that floor and sweated a little bit.

Q.  Obviously you'd like to win by ten or 15 and breathe a little easier but to win in this way how much does that help in a survive and advances tournament?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  I'll win by one.  1‑0, you give me 1‑0, I'll take it.  They feel all the same.  You're not going down and breaking down film.  You're not getting down on performances this time of year.  It's so hard to get a win.  There's so much at stake for so many people, players and coaches, and I think this venue is terrific.  Our guys were very excited to play here, and they will be very excited to play another one here.
I mean, we're in the semifinals, Saturday semifinal.  Couldn't ask for anything better right now. 

Q.  Did you get hit by some beer as you left the court?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Something came out of the stands.  Not sure what it was, but it hit right in front of us or on some players on the way out, and I think it was addressed in a quick manner.

Q.  You talked about Pollard's play tonight, the way he gave you energy and grit, especially at the start of the game.
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  I've been saying it for a long time, and he was voted the most improved player in the league, which I'm very proud of for him.  He's very proud of it.  But I also think he's one of the best players in this conference.  He's been an ironman for us.  He plays inside; he plays out.  He goes against guys like Enduewa (ph) and he just competes.
He's a soft‑spoken kid but he's very competitive.  He loves to win.  He's been a part of a lot of winning before he got to us, and he's a big reason why we've been able to win so many games since he's gotten here.  But he's got a lot of room to keep growing, but tonight, I mean he put us on his back.  He was a true‑‑ he was a warrior tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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