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March 21, 2015

Dee Davis

Myles Davis

Chris Mack

Jalen Reynolds

Matt Stainbrook



COACH CHRIS MACK: Coming into the game the thing we felt like was probably the most important aspect of how we handled ourselves on the floor was being able to limit our turnovers, and we didn't do as good of a job as we needed to in the first half. When we did take care of the ball, we got great shots. We shot such a high percentage from the field, and, you know, it's one thing to talk about it and prepare in a 24-hour period of time. Your guys have been through the wars. It's hard to really go full speed in a practice the day before you play such a meaningful game. It took our guys, I think, a half to realize how much of a gambling attitude and type of style of play that Georgia State employs. In the second half we go four turnovers and we continue to shoot a really high percentage from the field. I thought all these guys up here had terrific nights. Dee has been playing as well as any point guard I've coached for the last month and a half of the season. He makes us go. Myles who hasn't shot it well down the stretch, I thought his two buckets the other day were huge for his confidence. He didn't miss a shot in shootaround today and was lights out today. Jalen was a man inside, did a great job of being able to finish, and I don't know how many centers that you can have around college basketball that you can feel equally comfortable with him on the perimeter as in the post. Matt calms us down and does a great job of being able to recognize what kind of pressure they're putting, what kind of zone they're putting on our team, and find the right guys. I'm tremendously proud of this group. The older guys have been through a lot, and they've continued to maintain our culture and believe in one another, and really excited to be moving on.

Q. Myles, you guys missed three shots in the second half and I reckon my question is, "Are you kidding me?" 88 percent, miss three shots. What kind of offense do you have to be running out there and what kind of mindset do you have to be in to pull that off?
MYLES DAVIS: Well, I didn't even know we only missed three shots in the second half. That's crazy. I think the best part about this team is that we are a very unselfish group of guys. You can get a different scorer every night, and the best part about it is we're going to give each other confidence and confidence and tell each other to keep shooting as much as possible. We just stuck with it, and I'm so proud of this group of guys, and I just love being on this team right now.

Q. Dee, you've been through so much during your time at Xavier, and to get back to the Sweet 16 now for the first time since your freshman year, what does that feel like for you.
DEE DAVIS: It's a great feeling. Like he said, we've been through a lot. My freshman year we made it to the Sweet 16, you know, with Tu Holloway. You know, the initial point guard played a lot of minutes so I was more so watching him and I just did my part. Being able to do my senior year and having a major role on the team, it feels great.

Q. Their coach said that the biggest thing they tried to do was confuse opponents and make a disconnect between the point guard and his coach, but you were immune to that today. How were you able to weather that storm?
DEE DAVIS: Oh, no, we always stay connected. We've got to know what each other is thinking. That's my job as a point guard is to be a coach on the floor. I didn't feel any disconnect at all.

Q. Matt and Jalen, I noticed in the post that you guys seemed to have a lot of chemistry down there, working with the bigs and you getting the rebounds, Matt, and Jalen, putting it in the basket. How did you develop such a chemistry? You guys pretty much seemed like you took control of the post.
JALEN REYNOLDS: I would say Coach Pegues, that's the way he prepares us, just taking our time down there, trying to get the shot we want, and just trying to finish through contact.

MATT STAINBROOK: Yeah, a lot of it is patience and trust. I know Jalen is a really good player, and I think he equally thinks the same about me, where we don't care who's scoring, we just want someone scoring. And I always have trust in him when I give him the ball and cut to the hoop and dive that he's going to finish the play, he's going to score the bucket, take care of the ball. I think a lot of it's patience, trust, and we've practiced a lot together and have good chemistry.

Q. Jalen, you mentioned after the Ole Miss game that you kind of wanted to put that game behind you. It wasn't your best game. To come out and have one of your best, what was working well for you and can you talk about your reaction there at the end when you fell to the floor in ecstasy?
JALEN REYNOLDS: First and foremost, just want to thank God because without him we obviously wouldn't be doing what we're doing right now. I just knew how bad I wanted to win this game, how bad my teammates wanted to win this game, so I knew I had to step my game up, and it turned out well.

Q. Chris, I just looked at some numbers, and I believe that heading into this tournament, eight of the last nine games you've played you've played against opponents in the Big East, including the tournament, who at one time had been ranked in the top 25 in the nation. In order to finish games like this, what kind of benefit is that to be able to play in a league like that all year long and get that kind of experience?
COACH CHRIS MACK: Well, it certainly helps because you're put in a ton of those situations down the stretch. Virtually every game that we play and have played has been a close game. Even if the margin says 10 or 12, that simply isn't the case. You're talking about a two, three possession game with a couple minutes left and free throws maybe ice it, being able to get the basketball into the guys, the right people at the right time, and again, we played some tremendous teams. I think we've been put in a lot of situations. When you have seniors, and again, I keep saying it, but Dee has seen a million different zone defenses, presses, end of the game situations. Matt, as well. They calm your team down. They settle your team down, and I thought down the stretch we did a great job against the pressing and trapping and steal the ball type team.

Q. Coach, I was just wondering, as good as y'all were on offense, Georgia State still was scoring the ball effectively. Are you worried about how you played defensively this game?
COACH CHRIS MACK: We didn't play our best. You know, Georgia State had something to do with that. They've got an NBA prospect that a couple of his shots were 26, 27, 28 feet. We tried to go back and forth a little bit between zone and man. They did a good job attacking. Ryan Harrow changes the complexion of the game when he's on the floor because he's so quick, he's so explosive. They have three players, R.J. Hunter could have played anywhere in the country out of high school, Kevin Ware did, played at Louisville, and then Ryan Harrow, you know, NC State to Kentucky. Those guys are legitimate high major players, and there was a lot on the line. They wanted to win. I'm proud of our group that we were able to make the plays when we had to.

Q. Chris, your thoughts on playing Sean in the Sweet 16, and then also just curious when you talk about maintaining the culture, how tough is it to maintain the culture while also, during the transition, making sure the program is yours and not his?
COACH CHRIS MACK: You know, it wasn't necessarily tough to maintain the first couple years, but we hit some speed bumps, some self-inflicted, others not. We had a couple ineligibility rulings that I thought were unfair at the time and still have issue with, but it's in the past. And we were down to eight scholarship players, and we're playing walk-ons in Dee's sophomore year, and it was very, very difficult. But these guys continued to come to practice every day, believe in one another, believe in our message, and we've got more players on scholarship that have gotten better under the leadership that these guys have provided. As far as playing Sean, it's really tough. I don't think it's tough for anybody up on the stage because they don't really know Sean. They didn't recruit him. I recruited all these guys that play for me. But Sean gave me a heck of an opportunity to come back to my alma mater. He put a lot of responsibility and trust in me. He ultimately really pushed for me to become the head coach, and for that I'm eternally grateful. It's hard to play against one of your best friends in the business. But it really won't matter to our guys, nor will it matter to Arizona, because they don't know me from a bucket of paint.

Q. Chris, I don't know if one of those eligibility issues has anything to do with Jalen, if that's one of the guys you're referring to, but what does it mean to see him have a game like he had tonight, considering what he's had to overcome in his career there?
COACH CHRIS MACK: Yeah, I'm really proud of Jalen on a couple levels. You know, number one, and I think Dee and Matt can attest to it, when Jalen was first starting with us as a freshman, he had a real tough time remembering defensive principles and where to be on offense. And the growth that Jalen Reynolds has had in that sense, they always talk about how the game slows down for guys as they get older. It's really slowed down for him. He knows when he makes a mistake now defensively. He has gotten so much better. You know, that's on a larger scale. If I flip it and talk about a smaller scale, Jalen played terrible against Ole Miss, and he put his head down and he was really disappointed in his play, and we talked a lot between games about just having a next-play mentality. And for him to turn around and have his best game after the performance he had against Ole Miss, says a lot about his resiliency and the message getting through. Our team needs him. If he plays at a high level, there aren't many power forwards in the country that are better than him.

Q. Matt, a question for you. You played at two schools, but came into this tournament without a win in the NCAA Tournament. Now you have two heading to the Sweet 16. How special is that for you personally and what is special about this team, do you think here, in the last four weeks or so?
MATT STAINBROOK: Yeah, no, it's really special. It's something where, on the ride over, I was trying to explain to some of the freshmen that this opportunity doesn't come a lot. I spent two years at Western Michigan and we didn't do anything. I spent my first year here, we made it barely and nothing happened, and making the Sweet 16 is not something that's really common among teams. I think our team is doing a good job of realizing that and taking the opportunity for what it's worth. You know, what's really special about our team is that we've grown a ton. I think at the beginning of the season we were a little -- not battle tested. We were a little -- had a learning curve, and over the season, we've done a good job of learning from our mistakes and getting a lot better. I think it's great that the Big East has been able to test us with some really tough teams, and I think the fact that we've grown as a team together has made us really special at this point.

Q. We've been watching the NCAA for a few years now, so my question is for Coach Mack and Mr. Davis. How do you remain poised going back to college next week, the student body, the campus, everybody is going to be going bananas. Are you going to get enough sleep as you prepare for the next situation?
COACH CHRIS MACK: Honestly, we won't be around campus that much. We're going to get back here probably late tonight. The coaches will take the next 48 hours to really get up to speed with a system that we know fairly well, but personnel that we don't. These guys will be in classes on Monday and we'll be flying out on Tuesday, so our time on campus will be very, very brief. I guess that's why we'll handle it. But these players next to me, they came to Xavier in large part because the expectation is to get to the tournament, is to advance, is to be relevant, is to be on the big stage. I don't think anybody is going to be awed in any sense of the imagination about being on a bigger stage.

DEE DAVIS: For me personally I don't have too many classes. I've got one at 1:00 p.m. so I'm going to have a lot of sleeping time. I think our guys are going to be fine. I think we're on a fine line right now, made it to the Sweet 16 for my second time. I'm going to make sure that they're ready, and I'm pretty sure Matt is going to do the same thing. I'm not too worried about us getting rest.

Q. Jalen, kind of similar to what I asked Coach, but you had to go through a lot of adversity in your career to get to this point. How were you able to stay focused and remain on track and kind of keep your head looking forward?
JALEN REYNOLDS: Well, just a system that they prepare for us, it's just an everyday thing. Just obviously putting it behind me and just moving forward. Just kind of can't let things affect you, just keep moving forward and focus on what's more important, and that's winning games and being the best I can be.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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