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March 15, 2015

Archie Miller

Kendall Pollard

Jordan Sibert


VCU – 71

COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  I want to congratulate VCU on a tremendous tournament run.  I think Shaka has done a great job of having to balance losing Briante Weber and dealing with some injuries with Treveon Graham; a lot of people started to say they weren't this and they weren't that.  I think they just needed to some time to re‑figure themselves out, get some confidence; and this tournament I really felt allowed them to do that and they really played fantastic.  They really earned the Atlantic 10 Championship sort of the hard way.
I thought we played extremely hard.  I thought we battled for three days.  You know, I'm not sure what it's a tribute to, but we are a pretty good shooting team.  And I thought we had some open shots that if they just go in a little bit, the game could have been different, but it wasn't the case.  Our guys really battled.  They battled very, very hard in the game and I'm very proud of them for the way they came up and played.

Q.  The free throw line‑‑
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  It's what we've done all year.  I think coming into today's game, we were ranked second in the country in free throw rate, which is an awesome statistic to have at your disposal.  We are a rugged team.  We are a physical team.  We made 21; they attempted 21.  That's sort of how we play.
But their 3‑point shooting was the difference in the game.  It's so unbalanced; they made 10 and shot 37 percent.  Uncharacteristically in these last three games, we have really got dinged from behind the line and hopefully we can get better at it as we get ready to play our first‑round game this week coming up.

Q.  Three games in three days with your bench, do you feel like that may have had an effect?  Looked early on like maybe Pollard was a little slow.
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  I think that's natural with our team because we played so many heavy minutes that you're not going to be as fresh every game as you can three games in three days.
But I thought we had a lot of hard plays made all over the three days.  Yeah, I think the bounce around the basket and the shots from deep, of course, I think that that sort of plays a factor in it a little bit.
But that's why VCU is good.  They have got some depth.  They have got some guys that are used to playing their roles in those type of minutes every day.  I don't know, we'll watch it.  We had good looks.  These guys, they have battled hard all year.  It's hard to say we didn't ‑‑ we're finally tired.  I didn't think we played tired at all.

Q.  Coming out of the time‑out at 1:13, they go to the 1‑2‑2, first time they showed itall weekend.  How did that effect ‑‑ 
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Under the two‑minute mark when they went zone, is that what you're asking?
Yeah, they flipped it right there.  They went zone.  It the was a good decision on their part to flip defenses.  We had a play called, didn't work and they got a big steal out of it.
I think they played it one more time and we ended up, Kendall got a bucket right underneath the basket.  It was a game‑changing play, a little bit just in terms of getting a two‑possession lead.  We had the play called.  Just didn't execute it.

Q.  Scoochie had a very good game today.  In this year, what ways have you seen him improve overall?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  He's become a really good point guard for us.  He runs our team as well as it's been run all year.  To play three games in three days and have the tempo and the push that he had all weekend was a big key in why we were able to win games.
Today he had to do all the ball handling in the halfcourt.  We put him in high ball screen situations and he started to really deliver.  He got downhill, he finished, he got fouled, and I think he may be the one guy that I look at and say just from a legs perspective, he had some really good looks and he was short on all of them.
Hopefully we can get Scoochie back.  But he's turned into a terrific player.  He was by far and away, a lot of these guys had great weekends, but Scooch was really, really responsible for in a big way how we had some success.

Q.  Obviously you wanted to win this one, but you guys are pretty much in the tournament.  Can you talk about having this loss to carry into next week?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  It hurts.  I think I told these guys in the locker room, if you me at the beginning of the season you'll play for the regular season title and the conference championship title, would you take it?  Yeah, absolutely, and we were in those positions.
Today and last week against La Salle be the building blocks to getting through the wall, so to speak, to win the Championship of this league.  That's what we want to do.  That's why these guys come here.  But to go to back‑to‑back NCAA Tournaments; Jordan coming to Dayton and being a part of back‑to‑back tournaments; Kendall being recruited here to become a perennial, every‑year tournament team, that's what we are trying to do.
To build two in a row is awesome; to play in the tournament is going to be a great feeling.  This will Sting.  Selection show will re‑energize us I think.

Q.  Jordan, what are your emotions coming so close in the regular season and again today?  Are you still proud of this team?
JORDAN SILBERT:  Absolutely.  We've accomplished a lot.  People didn't think we would get this far; they doubted us as soon as we lost our players.
I'm extremely proud of these guys.  I know we're all frustrated about the loss.  Everyone wants to win.  I'm extremely proud of these guys.  We never gave up and I wouldn't trade these guys for anything.

Q.  You ended the first half on momentum, picked it up in the second half, and then Jordan had that strip, Treveon in the corner.  What's going through your mind?  Are you thinking things are switching at that point in time?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  Momentum had changed.  We talked about it when you play VCU, 3‑point shot in the press and the crowd, can feel like eight points, 10‑points and it really isn't.  We knew we would go through runs during the game.
They were really shooting the ball well, though.  We were closing out short.  They were confident shooting the ball in the first half.  I think the last one in particular that went in was a dagger.  Didn't feel good going into halftime.  They even came out in the second half and again they made some open ones, and finally I thought our pressure picked up.
I thought our ability to cover the three‑point line was better.  Being able to‑‑ 11 steals, it shows we were active again.  I think in the conference tournament, if I'm not mistaken, our team had over 30 steals or close to 30 steals.  Our activity off the ball, our quickness, being able to get defensive stops which leads to offense, is usually when we are at our best.  I thought it changed momentum.
We had our opportunities.  We were right there in a one‑possession game, two‑possession game.  Just to me, just a couple open shots, a breakaway layup that goes wrong; you need those things to go well for you when you are going for it all.

Q.  No bench points tonight.  Moving into the next tournament, do you think that will be a problem?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER:  That's not a first.  Bobby did a great job in this tournament and Darrell did a great job in this tournament.  Darrell had some really good looks, and I would tell him to shoot that ball every single time.
Bobby did a tremendous job in this tournament.  We wouldn't have played for the championship without him, and he also played 15 hard minutes and got three good rebounds, two offensive rebounds.
So their job is to hold serve.  We are not that team that's built with the productivity or firepower off the bench.  Their job is to come in, hold serve, stick to the script, and they did that.  I think that was a big part of it.
Looking at the game, shot 27 free throws and only turned it over ten times.  Second‑chance points, maybe a little bit.  But to me, the 2 for 12 from the three, that's probably the difference in the game.

Q.  Kendall, can you talk about you won the paint points tonight.  Was the game plan more to try to post‑up or attack the paint from the outside down low?
KENDALL POLLARD:  For me it's alwaysto attack the paint.    Yeah, we just tried to take on the side and ‑‑ just finish.  Didn't do a good job.

Q.  Could you take us through that play and your decision on the trap with Treveon in the corner; what were you seeing?
JORDAN SILBERT:  You talking about the steal in transition?  Well, when we scouted, Coach just kept saying, make sure jump to the ball and just be in help and try to help each other.  They passed it back, and I just wanted to just make sure I was just there in the gap just to help Dyshawn just in case he got by.  It wasn't like a set play we ran or anything.  I was just trying to help Dyshawn out, and he dribbled right into me.  It was a good play and it kind of gave us a little energy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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