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March 22, 2015

Archie Miller

Jordan Sibert

Scoochie Smith



THE MODERATOR: We'll have the Dayton Flyers first. Please stand by for realtime text. We're joined by Dayton head coach Archie Miller and student-athletes Scoochie Smith and Jordan Sibert.

COACH MILLER: Congratulations to Coach Kruger and Oklahoma. It's an impressive team, and he's a terrific coach. It was a lot of fun preparing for them and competing against them. I wish them well. For our guys, it was a really tough, hard-fought game. I felt the start of the game, the wind, the legs, they kind of shocked us a bit. But once we sort of get our feet on the ground a little bit, we became ourselves and quite frankly we were right there. But we just had a couple of plays not go our way. And give them credit for making them. But it won't take away from the season. I'll remember this season for as long as I live regardless of how long I coach. There will never be a team of seven people duplicate what we did, win 27 games with six scholarship players, a freshman, three sophomores. It will never been done again. And like I told these guys, they've got nothing to be ashamed with how they've competed and how they represent what we do, and continue to build on our program and a guy like Jordan being a senior, I couldn't be prouder of him and what he was able to accomplish and to be a difference-maker for us the last couple of years really was a script that you couldn't have wrote any better. And, again, just these guys did a great job.


Q. How much was fatigue a factor? I know you guys talk about never getting tired, but you went ten minutes without making a field goal late in the second half?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: We don't get tired. We're still not tired. Won't be tired. We're going to work out over the summer and be back next year and improve.

JORDAN SIBERT: Yeah, just we just didn't make shots. Had nothing to do with us being tired. Just some shots didn't go in. It's basketball.

Q. Obviously it's disappointing the way this ended. But giving the numbers that you guys had this season, the way things went, were you able to be -- how happy are you and proud are you of the way you guys were able to persevere and get to this point?
JORDAN SIBERT: We lost the game, but one thing that I can say is I'm so proud of my teammates. I'm so proud of this program and what we've been able to do. I'm not a selfish person at all. I mean, of course I wanted to win for my team. Stats, I don't care about that, I just wanted to win. But we started the season together. We went out together. And I couldn't be more proud of these guys. Like, these are my brothers, regardless. And I love them and I appreciate them sticking with me, fighting every day.

SCOOCHIE SMITH: We just had a good season, just staying together and unfortunately we tried to win a game and do it for the Jordan in the senior and try to make it remarkable and improve on last year's run and we came up short.

Q. What was it like at the beginning of the game when they were so hot from 3-point range, and then what was it that you guys were able to do to have that 15-0 run and get back in it?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: They just shot real well from beyond the 3-point line. And basketball is a game of runs. So we just stick with one another and try to run them off the line and played a lot of team defense to get back in the game.

JORDAN SIBERT: Just to go along with what Scooch said, just try to run them off the line. I mean, their first, I think, four or five baskets came from the 3-point line. We knew we just had to limit that. And other than that just keep playing team defense, do what we've been doing all year.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. I'll ask you the fatigue question. Obviously they're not going to acknowledge it. Was fatigue a factor, do you think?
COACH MILLER: Part of not acknowledging it is they were not allowed to acknowledge it all season. We didn't let any outside words or noise or excuses creep into the team. And it's one of the reasons we were able to be successful. Fatigue played a role. I think to start the game our legs weren't under us. But I did think we fought hard to get back. And I think the rest of the game was much more like ourselves. But Jordan's really beat up. He's got knees, he's got ankles, he's got this, he's got that. All the guys, when you log the amount of minutes they've had year-round, it's tough not to have some fatigue. But I'll tell you, I didn't sense that tonight's win or loss was due to fatigue. I thought Oklahoma did a great job adjusting in the second half and some things that they did I thought put us on some islands where we weren't successful. And then offensively we weren't able to generate any two-point baskets. The size bothered us, the physicality around the basketball, we couldn't get any easy ones. But for the most part, I think if you watch the game, I thought you would have said those guys were playing really hard.

Q. You mentioned it during your statement about the numbers you guys had and the accomplishments you guys made, how was this group able to do that given the limitations of that?
COACH MILLER: Tremendous togetherness. Tremendous togetherness, and there was a tremendous chemistry on the floor that we were able to develop a lot of it due to the returning guys understanding how we win and then they also got tremendous chemistry as the season progressed because they played so many minutes together. They sort of, you never really saw for long stretches guys not doing their job, so to speak. So I think it was a combination of there was experience level there. There was a lot of improvement in some of our players from last year to this year, and I think us being able to keep our best players on the floor helped. But there was a unique togetherness on the floor and chemistry because I think a lot of it was just due to the amount of playing time they did together.

Q. I don't give a rip really about etiquette, John and I are seniors. We want to say thank you for answering our questions for four years and are you sad it's over especially this team?
COACH MILLER: Of course. When a season comes to a conclusion you're always down, especially the way we went down fighting all year, to get to this point. But it's very unique to have a group deal with so much and then find a way to not make any excuses and as a coach you want your guys to be together and be unselfish and play in the right way, and I think that's the definition of this group. This group will go down in the Dayton books as a very special one for how they handled things. But yeah, I'm sad, when you're happy with your players and you love coaching them, you want to keep going. And especially when you've experienced this tournament like we have in the last couple of years, advancing is something there's nothing like it. But we ran into a really good team and I wouldn't be surprised if Oklahoma isn't playing in the Final Four.

Q. Talk about Davis. It seemed like he was growing up before your eyes, canning those shots?
COACH MILLER: Darrell is a terrific shooter. He went through an amazing streak, I don't know if I've seen one right there about the end of December, early January, I think he made 18 out of 19 or 19 out of 20 3s, and then went through the freshmen ups and downs and bumps and grinds. And he finished really well. The A-10 Tournament he didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but he worked very hard and he stayed with it, and he stayed with it. And without him we wouldn't have been able to advance. And today I think you saw a little bit of a glimpse of what he can be as he gets older, more experienced, stronger. He's a game changer from behind the 3-point line. And I think he's got to develop some other areas. He's got to get stronger, number one, but to be able to go through this year, play the amount of minutes he did, you know, learn through some mistakes, my hope is his growing spurt will be like our sophomores this year, and I think Darrell's got a bright future.

Q. You were up 49-40, I think that Bobby Wehrli hit the 3. How good were you feeling at that point?
COACH MILLER: Really good. Defense was getting stops. And we were able to get out in transition and we were able to make some shots. When we make shots, our team's a little bit different. It felt good. And then right after that we gave up a big 3. I think Booker hit one that cut it right back to six. That was a really big play. And then as our lead was still within five or six, we had two really back-breaking turnovers that sort of got their momentum back, and then for us, we're a team that does a great job of really attacking the paint through different positions, and our forwards really have success sometimes with mismatches. I felt like Oklahoma's front line did a great job staying in between us and the basket. And we had very tough two-point shots that a month ago or whatever are a little easier to finish. You knock a couple two-point shots down, you need some easy baskets. We weren't able to get that. And credit to their defense, you know, I think they're the number one defense in the Big 12. They also didn't foul. And we're a team that gets to the foul line a lot. And we didn't get to the line today either. So they did some nice things, taking that away from us.

Q. Coach Kruger has now taken four teams to the Sweet 16 or beyond, what's the significance of that to you?
COACH MILLER: He's a Hall of Fame coach, and every place he's been he's done it the right way. And every place he's been they play so hard, they play together. I remember going to Arizona when he was at UNLV in these last couple of years and we played them. And he did the same thing there and Hall of Fame coach. A great guy, too.

Q. In the past four years that you've been here, especially the last two, can you just talk about the fan base, kind of the reenergizing of the fan base and the following of the team and just the numbers out here tonight?
COACH MILLER: Well, I mean, it's been well documented. I think one of college basketball secrets. I think that's why our fans are so overwhelming when we get to the point of this type of stage. People are enamored with it. But we have that all year-round. We have that at home all the time. I do feel a sense of pride right now that they're able to enjoy some of these march moments that we're able to develop. I think this is the first time in two years -- I believe this is right. The first time in 48 years that a Dayton team has won and advanced in the tournament in back-to-back years. 48 years. They have a lot to be happy for right now. There's some good things going on. And we gotta keep building on it. But one of the reasons we're able to build on success is our fan base is so good. So hats off to them. They pretty much took over Columbus for us. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have been here anyway.

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

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