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March 20, 2015

Archie Miller

Dyshawn Pierre

Jordan Sibert



THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from Coach. Then we'll turn it over to the student-athletes for questions.

COACH MILLER: Really proud of our guys. They continue not only to defy a lot of odds, but they just have an incredible toughness about them. And our experience, especially with the five core guys that have played in the NCAA Tournament now have won five games in the tournament in two years. I think it's a big reason why we're able to continue to play the way we are is because they know how to do it. And it's a credit to them. Every single guy to a man, from Darrell to making shots, to Bobby Wehrli playing -- blocking shots, whatever, you name it, whatever it is they do what it takes. And proud of them. Excited to advance. And I know we've got our work cut out for us on Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Dyshawn and Jordan.

Q. Jordan, can you talk about the defense again you guys had active hands, blocking passing lanes. Seemed to stifle them the first ten minutes of the game. Just how your defense helped you in a tight game in the half.
JORDAN SIBERT: When we were prepping for them, Coach told us to make them feel uncomfortable, whatever we do to make them feel uncomfortable, switch up our defenses. We know Dunn is a great ball handler. He was great in transition, great facilitator. So we just wanted to play a team defense, and just make it uncomfortable for them.

Q. Dyshawn, how tough was it to maneuver inside against them? Obviously they're a very big team. How did you guys adjust to that?
DYSHAWN PIERRE: Just moving the ball around. We had a lot of -- we have a lot of confidence in each other and just making the extra pass and knocking down shots. Our shots weren't falling down in the first half. The second half a lot of us stepped up and made big-time shots.

Q. Both players, how did you while away the hours waiting, and you get close and it's almost delayed by an hour. You know what I mean, how did you deal with that, the start of the game?
DYSHAWN PIERRE: We were excited to play. We just started to prep a little bit more with the time that we had and just staying excited and being ready for the game and that was about it.

JORDAN SIBERT: Just mainly staying off our feet, staying off our feet, trying to recover as much as we can. Getting extra treatment, extra prep, like Dyshawn said. Just staying together. We love being together and enjoying the time we have, so just staying off our feet and staying together.

Q. I'm not 100 percent sure that the math is right but you guys played five games in eight days. Is that right? Give me a little sense, Dyshawn and Jordan, how you're feeling right now?
DYSHAWN PIERRE: We feel fine. We have a good opportunity ahead of us right now. We're not focused on how much games we've played, really, we're just focusing on the next one coming up and getting some rest.

Q. Your teammate, Kyle, can you put into words how valuable he is for you guys on the defensive end?
JORDAN SIBERT: His toughness, I'll tell you, Kyle is the driving force on defense for us. And his toughness is something that's unmatched. And without him, you know, we wouldn't have won half the games this season. He's the starter on defense and he leads the way, and without him, I don't know that we would have got that win tonight. He did a terrific job on Dunn tonight.

Q. Jordan, was there a sense that eventually your shot was going to get there tonight? You know what I mean. You were starting with 2 of 10, hit a few down the stretch. What was that like, the intensity and how much did that add to the frustration of shooting at times?
JORDAN SIBERT: It's rough. It's rough when you're having an off night and you're rushing shots and you can't figure out why they're not falling. But we got a technical. Even though I was off, Coach put me to the line to shoot the free throws. When you've got your people who are around you who believe in you like that, it's not that hard to get your rhythm back and start believing in yourself and find your shot again.

Q. Both players, what was the atmosphere like? Did it feel like UD Arena?
DYSHAWN PIERRE: We have a lot of fans wherever we go. One of the greater fan bases in the country. And we appreciate our fans. And it was a really nice showing tonight by them.

JORDAN SIBERT: It was like a home game. They came out. They supported. We had a great, great crowd again, just like we had previously in our First Four games. And we needed it. Whenever we made stops or made a big run, we heard it from the crowd and just like before, they gave us that boost we needed.

THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss the student-athletes at this point. Thank you. Coach is ready for questions.

Q. Would you mind touching on the atmosphere a little bit. It was obviously a very pro-Dayton crowd?
COACH MILLER: It's powerful. I think our fans continue to be on front and center stage right now. It's a great time of the year for them to be on front and center stage. But knowing that we're playing in Columbus, I had a hunch what it was going to feel like. And I remember playing Buffalo last year, playing against Syracuse and thinking: My gosh, this is like Carrier Dome, and I think it feels like a home game for us. I mean, it's an incredible feeling. It's a genuine fan base. They're excited, and we appreciate them.

Q. Coach Miller, can you talk about Wehrli and what he gave for you tonight. Boy, he just came through big time?
COACH MILLER: Bobby's done a great job for us all year. I think one of the things that Bobby has done right now, because he hasn't logged the amount of minutes that the other guys have, he's got a great bounce about him. From the offensive rebounds to the blocked shots and the way he's moving, he's got a great freshness about him, and he's played in enough games now that he feels he belongs. And I'm proud of Bobby. Bobby was on the bench last year, and he never took his warm-up off. And he's developed. He's been coached, he listens, and he's a valuable asset to us right now, and I think he's carved out a heck of a niche.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about Kyle's defense, another stifling game defensively against one of the better guards in the country?
COACH MILLER: He's got a great energy about him. He's playing to win. Watching him tonight against arguably what I thought was -- still probably do think so -- Kris Dunn is probably the best point guard in all of college basketball. He is so fast, delivers the ball so fast. Kyle was able to at least contain and keep him in front and be tough, especially when they were setting ball screens, and I thought just in general his energy level here, to be able to play the amount of minutes and as hard as he's playing against some of the guards he's playing, it's sort of one of the big, big reasons why we were able to win. It's one thing to shoot well and make free throws. It's another thing to have just a total attention to detail and locked in on defense against the other team's best guys. And it's not easy to do. But on this type of stage and this type of environment, he's ready to go.

Q. Used to being smaller than the opponent? This was a different level of smaller. How did you combat the fact, both on offense and defense, their size?
COACH MILLER: We are who we are. We are who we are. There's no real fear of being small. I can't change the fact that we're small. But we can be nasty on defense. We can play quick. We have to play hard. And we know there's no room for error. So when you play with that type of urgency, defensively, it tends to work out in your favor. There were a lot of plays in that first half that just incredible help, incredible quickness and we've relied on that all year. And sometimes, like I said big is overrated. We're getting hit pretty good on the glass right now, but we're not turning it over. Those are two things we have to have intact. As we move into Oklahoma, the 3-point line and the way they shoot the ball that's going to be a whole other concern. We'll get back after it. But we have a quickness about us. And I also think our guys, they believe in what we do. There's no asking questions. They execute the plan to the best of their ability and the results kind of speak for themselves.

Q. A number of guys went through this last year. You talked about how that's helped. Specifically what, just they've learned and how to maintain energy, bring energy? What is it about having gone through this?
COACH MILLER: Learning how to win. And not learning how to win and saying you hope you play well. Winning by executing on both sides of the ball. There's got to be a plan intact. And we've really improved our defense, and our offense has evolved. Our guys believe in what we do. We know if we're not getting the job done, there's not a whole lot of change. We've just gotta do it better. And I think figuring out how to win big games started a year ago. And it went all the way through tonight. And I think being in the tournament with so many guys that played a year ago is a benefit. You may be shorthanded. But five players that started the game tonight played in an Elite Eight a year ago. I mean, there's some familiarity to the game and how it's played at this stage. And I really believe that even after the game tonight, as happy as I was and as proud as I was, those guys expected that to happen. Whether it happened or not, I don't know. But believing you can win, believing in what you do, those are the most important things you have at this time of year.

Q. You told us about your team's experience. But what about your experience, you're five and one now in the NCAA Tournament. I don't think you used timeouts tonight, not that you had to, but the way you coach the game, the way you go through this game at this point, sixth NCAA Tournament game, how do you feel coaching-wise, confidence-wise?
COACH MILLER: I feel the same. I'm concerned as much about every opponent and how we have to plan and prepare. But I'm very, very confident in what they absorb and what we're trying to do. It's one thing to go out there with a group of guys that aren't together or hope they play well. It's another thing to take a group of people who absolutely sell out every single day. These guys have practiced at times this year with four players available for practice. Four. You have an ankle sprain, you have an injury, you have a guy that needs a break, how do you practice with four? But the four that are practicing, they're practicing. And I think it's just a tribute to them. It doesn't really have a whole lot to do with me at this point. The culture sort of is growing, and I think the guys on our team have great character. They have great togetherness.

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