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March 10, 2016

Ed Cooley

Kris Dunn

Ben Bentil

New York, New York

Butler - 60, Providence - 74

ED COOLEY: Really, really proud of our kids. Proud of the way we came out, withstood a run. We try to pride ourselves on not giving up threes; 7-for-10 in the first half that they made. 2-from-18 for twos. We chart those things.

As the game went I thought we had great rhythm today. Kris great leadership. Ben, I told them in the locker room, I was a fan today. Normally I'm not a fan, but today literally I was a fan to see the ball going in the net like that, and he scored it every imaginable way -- drives, shots, step-backs. I'm like, man, I got to get him the ball any way I can.

Kris came in the huddle and said, "Where do we get him the ball next? Can we throw him the ball here?" I said, "Kris, I don't know. Give him the ball. He'll figure it out."

That was a great offensive display. I haven't seen that in a long, long time in our league. God bless him. Proud to advance. Really happy for our team, happy for our school.

Butler was playing as well as anybody in the country. As well as anybody. Definitely, definitely a tournament team. I thought today's game was more about seeding for each of us. You know, but we're going to face another tough team tomorrow. But that Butler team is really, really hard to prepare for when they shoot the ball like that.

We're looking forward to advancing. Hopefully we can play well tomorrow.

Q. Kris, can you talk about identifying the hot hand, seeing Ben was hot, to keep feeding him. Talk about the mindset of the rest of the guys as you watched him.
KRIS DUNN: It was simple: Don't shy away from it. If you see somebody has a hot hand, try to get him the ball in the best spot that he can score in. Congrats to Ben. He did an amazing job today.

Q. It seemed like your defensive game was on the money, too, to hold them to 36%.
ED COOLEY: Our guys were dialed in the last couple of days preparing. We're hungry. We're trying to get better. We went through a spell where we weren't healthy. There was a lot of question marks around our team. Our guys have some grit and fight. When people doubt you, you can't doubt people who are hungry. I think our kids played today with passion and a purpose. They followed a scouting report. They followed a plan.

Q. Ben, your coach said a moment ago he was a fan today, I was wondering how you responded.
BEN BENTIL: I said, "Thank you." Because he did a great job to get me the ball at the right spots. Thank God the ball went in. I said, "Thank you."

Q. Ben, any particular match-up gets you excited? They seem to have switched an awful lot of different guys at you.
BEN BENTIL: From the beginning of the season Coach told me I'm going to be a match-up nightmare. I let that sink in. I did. I tried to take advantage of whoever was put on me, I tried to make the best out of it.

Q. Butler is usually a tremendous defensive team, as well as putting points on the board, as you said. What is it like to be in that kind of zone? Sometimes you were grabbing the ball and barely looking at the basket and it was going all net.
BEN BENTIL: Once again, my teammates found me at the right spot. When I'm at the right spot I try to make it and it went in.

Q. Ben, you're averaging almost 30 points per game in the month of March. What's doing this for you? That's incredible.
ED COOLEY: Divine Providence (laughter).

BEN BENTIL: I would say my teammates. Playing with a great teammate like Kris, he will get you the ball in the right spot. When you have a hot hand, he'll make sure the ball is in your hand. It's all on my teammates.

Q. Obviously these guys have gotten -- he had an injury earlier in the year, and he was kind of sick. Are you guys fresh now and is there a renewed emphasis now going forward tomorrow against Villanova that you're refreshed and charged?
ED COOLEY: We had a triage center for about four weeks. Guys with a virus that went through our team. All teams go through it. As we're trying to build our depth, our younger guys I thought got a little better during that time. He was on his ankle for about two-and-a-half, three weeks.

So I think when we're healthy, I think we're a tough out. There's no mistaking our identity is Kris and Ben. But I think our younger guys are growing and developing as well. They'll have their time hopefully some time soon.

Q. Can you talk about how you guarded the three-point line the second half.
ED COOLEY: Point of emphasis. I thought we did a poor job when we were scouting, not paying attention to detail from the three-point line. The second half I thought the guys did a better job.

Q. It was more locating?
ED COOLEY: Attention to detail. Just attention to detail. Who and when they want to shoot the ball. And credit them, they made some tough shots even when we did contest them. Dunham, man, I'm tired of playing against that kid. He's a great player. He's a great player. I love how he plays. He plays the game the right way.

Q. Kris, from your viewpoint, how has Ben kind of changed and improved his game over the last year?
KRIS DUNN: I mean, he's been doing an amazing job in the summer. He was working out. You could definitely see the improvement in his game. He got quick feet. So a lot of five men can't guard him. He improved his shot. Everybody can see it. He was shooting phenomenal. He was shooting the ball lights out today. He's actually kind of quick. He can take the guys off the bounce, as he showed today. You can see the hard work he put in. I'm just happy it paid off for him.

Ben is a great person. He's a great leader for us. Congrats to him.

Q. Can you talk about facing Villanova? Won one, lost one. Obviously a big challenge.
KRIS DUNN: We're going to have to bring our "A" game. This is a disciplined game. They have a lot of shooters. We're going to have to go out there and play with that same energy we had. That joy and go out and fight. I really think this is going to be a street fight. That's how we're going to have to do it. Go out there and fight and hit shots and make big stops.

Q. Ben, Coach said that he let you shoot. Did you have any premonition that today would be something special?
BEN BENTIL: Every day is special for me. Just waking out of bed, seeing my teammates is special. So coming out there to play felt special already.

ED COOLEY: Great answer. I'm proud of you.

Q. Kris, you picked your spots today and went to (inaudible). Are you becoming more trusting in your teammates late in the season?
KRIS DUNN: I always trust my teammates throughout the whole season. As a point guard you have to know when to score and when to get the ball to your guys. Really, they've been stepping up huge down the stretch. Really always trust my teammates. I believe in my guys and I know what they can do.

Q. You mentioned your supporting cast. Talk about Jalen and Kyron.
ED COOLEY: Sure. I don't think Kyron is getting enough attention to what he's bringing to our team. Six assists, no turnovers. Didn't shoot it well from the floor. He gives us a different pace. He gives us a different look. He's really, really fast. Jalen making a couple of big shots for us today. Even Drew came up with a big deflection. Didn't play much. Ryan is a threat on the floor.

We're just trying to enjoy March. We're trying to will our team to be the best that we can be. You're playing in the - "the" - greatest tournament in America in the Big East, and the greatest tournament venue here at MSG. I hope all of you that are writing here today understand that these kids are special, but our league is more special.

THE MODERATOR: Providence, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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