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March 17, 2015

Emmy Andujar

Steve Masiello

Shane Richards

Rashawn Stores



THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the head coach of Manhattan, Steve Masiello, as well as Manhattan student-athlete Shane Richards, Emmy Andujar and RaShawn Stores.

COACH MASIELLO: Credit to Hampton on a terrific win. Congratulations. I wish them the best of luck. Just an off night for us. I thought we came out. I thought we let our offense dictate our defense a little bit. We didn't really play typical Manhattan basketball, I thought. But give Hampton the credit for that. But I couldn't be more proud of a group of seniors who, if you would have told me four years ago they would bring us to three MAAC championships, back-to-back NCAA appearances off a team that was 6-25, I would have signed up for and taken it in a minute. They've totally changed our culture and put Manhattan back on the map where it belongs as one of the better mid-major programs. And that's a credit to these players, the seniors and what they've done. I'm extremely proud of that. It was a terrific year for us. We came up a little short on Dayton and now we've got to go back and build on it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes only.

Q. For all of you, just didn't look like yourselves even from the very start. Could you just explain, do you guys know why that was that you just didn't look like you were comfortable all night?
RASHAWN STORES: I'm not sure. We just didn't bring our culture, like Coach said today. We didn't play our style. We just came out a little flat.

SHANE RICHARDS: I don't have too much to say. Give them credit. They played a good game.

EMMY ANDUJAR: They outplayed us, obviously. We didn't play our brand of basketball. And like Coach said, we let our offense dictate our defense.

Q. Emmy, could you talk a little bit about No. 3 for them. I think he ended up with like 11 of 13 rebounds. He's a 6'6" guy, but he obviously plays tougher than that. Could you talk about what it was like going up against him in the post?
EMMY ANDUJAR: He just showed he wanted it more. Obviously they play power basketball. It shows that they went to the line a lot more than us. They only took seven 3s. We took 25. Like I said, we didn't play our basketball today. They obviously wanted it more than us. And they stuck to their game plan. We decided to play -- I don't know what we were playing today, so...

Q. Emmy, picking up those two fouls in the first half, how frustrating was that, and did you feel like that threw you off your rhythm?
EMMY ANDUJAR: It was frustrating I couldn't be out there for my team. Obviously I sat the bench probably 10 minutes that first half. But the lead wasn't that much. I mean, we still had a lot of basketball to be played. And obviously I didn't play my best game today. So we came up short.

Q. RaShawn, obviously you guys couldn't set up the press early because you weren't scoring. But defensively why do you think it took a little bit to kind of bring the energy that you guys usually have?
RASHAWN STORES: We let our offense dictate today. We got the time, missed a couple of shots. Guys, we just wasn't getting to it like we usually do. It wasn't like a made basket or not. We just stay up, whether we make it or not. We just let our offense dictate today.

Q. Is there any element to possibly looking ahead to Kentucky?
RASHAWN STORES: Not at all. We was focused on Hampton. We just didn't come out ready to play.

Q. Shane, for you, in particular, was it just an off-rhythm night from a shooting standpoint, from a 3 stance? What was going on there, because you looked close a lot?
SHANE RICHARDS: It happens. You make shots, you miss shots. A lot of my shots were good shots. They went in and out. Can't do anything about that. It just wasn't falling.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. How distracting was all the Kentucky talk, do you think, for your guys or just for the program?
COACH MASIELLO: I don't think it was distracting at all. I mean, we fought our normal protocol of how we prepare. So, no, I don't think we were distracted.

Q. Steve, coming in, obviously you like the fact your guys played in a game like this last year, that they had the experience that Hampton didn't have. Early on, looked a little tight, looked a little rattled, were you surprised by that?
COACH MASIELLO: I was. When you see us shoot 57 percent from the foul line, and I think we're 1 for 5 at one point and just wasn't our brand, just wasn't us. But you have to give Hampton credit for that. I know we're all caught up in whether they had a losing record, they're 68 and we're 67. They came out and played tonight. They played good basketball tonight. Give them credit. I'm not going to sit here and say Manhattan didn't show up in the NCAA Tournament. We're a good team; they're a good team. They did things that bothered us. So give them credit. I still think we could have done things. I thought we let our offense dictate and we didn't come out with that same type of fire power that we normally do. And they did.

Q. How much did the foul trouble between Emmy and Ashton change what you wanted to do in the first half, and Ashton again in the second half?
COACH MASIELLO: When you take a BCS-level player who is our MVP of the conference tournament, arguably our best player, out of the game, you know it's going to put you in a bind. But that's happened before. I mean, that happened in the MAAC Championship. We played through foul trouble before. It's not what I want. It's not ideal for me. But again there's no excuse. There's no excuse for not winning. We can sit here and give all the theories you want. We lost. There's nothing anyone can say that is going to make us feel better about this loss. We lost. Even if we came out, shot terrific, played with more energy, if we lost, we still lost. If you lose, you lose. And I don't feel good about that. My guys don't feel good about that. There's no rationale that's going to justify a loss this time of year. That's part of the game. That's part of the madness.

Q. You still go into halftime down 7, with all that stuff, you made a run, looked like it was one or two plays away from taking the lead, do you think that's what it was or is that credit to them?
COACH MASIELLO: I mean, I thought we fought. We fought all night. It's just we'd get a turnover then have a 3-on-1 and Emmy turns it right back over and they get a 3-point play out of it. We get a turnover and then we hand it right back to them. I think we might have pressed a little too much. Not defensively ourselves. I think we might have wanted it a little too much and instead of just relaxing. I think guys wanted to deliver. But that's what this tournament does to you. And this tournament, I've seen it do it to a lot of very good teams that I've been a part of where it can change your identity, not intentionally. No one has malice doing it. It's probably the biggest stage in collegiate sports, if not all of sports. And this tournament can do things to you. You think though when you're there before, you should be ready for it. And we weren't tonight. But, again, Hampton deserves the credit.

Q. With a smaller team, they were able to compete pretty well on the boards, and it ended up being pretty even. Could you comment on what you saw on the boards?
COACH MASIELLO: Smaller where?

Q. Two guys, 6'2" and then a guy 6'6".
COACH MASIELLO: That was their back court and their 3 man. Their five man was 6'9" and their 4 man was 6'6", where were they bigger?

Q. I was asking about Quinton especially. I think he's like 6'6" and he ended up with 11 of 13 rebounds. Could you talk about what you saw from him?
COACH MASIELLO: You could ask that. I thought he was a terrific player. I thought he had a blue-collar mentality. I thought he competed. I thought he really mixed it up really well. I thought he used his size to his advantage. I thought him and Emmy are very similar bodies. And I thought both of them really competed against each other. Emmy had 11 and 8. And he had 15 and 13. I think he had 10 rebounds in the first half.

Q. One other thing about him: Is he an SEC athlete, do you think, Chievous? Is he that athletic?
COACH MASIELLO: It depends where in the SEC. I don't know him. I recruit in the MAAC. I played in the SEC. I don't know if he was -- the 4 men I played with were pretty good. So it's unfair for me to compare him to that. He's not Tyshawn or Scott. But he's a very good college player. I could see where his size, though, his ability to do things can cause mismatch problems for some bigger 4s at that level, because he is pretty mobile. Similar to what Emmy does to people. Unfortunately, he didn't do it tonight.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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