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March 10, 2016

Dan Hurley

Jared Terrell

Brooklyn, New York

UMass - 67, URI - 62

DAN HURLEY: Obviously tough way for the season to end. Kind of like the game was a little bit of a microcosm of the season. I thought our guys showed a tremendous amount of resiliency, character, toughness. We got knocked down early in the game. Obviously Jabarie Hinds and Trey Davis, two amazing senior performances. I think that's what this time of year is, seniors not wanting their teams and their careers to end. They certainly played with that type of efficiency and desperation, and I was just so impressed by what our senior gave us, Earl Watson, today, 15 and 15 for a senior, 34 minutes. I thought he was incredible today.

But again, it was the story of the season, down big. Most programs would have folded, maybe lost by eight or 10, but come back, take that one-point lead, and obviously just didn't make enough plays down the stretch.

But loved the way we fought. Loved the way we fought the whole year. Obviously we needed to win a game here, possibly two, to get to the NIT, so that's probably it for us this year. But I couldn't be prouder. I'm not sure how many programs in the country could have withstood the multitude of things that went on that these guys had to deal with the whole year, and it's an incredible group of kids to coach.

I think our program showed its culture and character this year to have a good year.

Q. Jared, you guys got off to such a good start against UMass last week. What did you feel like was the difference this time?
JARED TERRELL: Defensively we started off slow. Jabarie Hinds started off real quick. He was scoring the ball at will, and shots for us just weren't falling. We got some of the good looks that we usually get and make but they just weren't falling for us.

Q. When you made the comeback bid and made the three, what were you feeling at that point?
JARED TERRELL: I was feeling good, but I knew it wasn't over and I knew that we needed to get a stop at the end of the game. That's what it was going to come down to, and it was unfortunate that we didn't get it.

Q. What has this been like playing in all these tight games, having so many games come down to the end? How hard have you had to fight just about every night this season?
JARED TERRELL: Just like you said, it's been pretty much like that every game this season, and I think it's just setting us up for next year. The younger guys who are in those type of games are getting the experience. So I think it was good for myself and Jarvis along with the freshmen, and I think we'll be able to pull through in these type of games next year.

Q. Jared, could you talk a little bit about what the season was like from the players' perspective? Coach talked about how resilient you were and how you all came together with the injuries and everything.
JARED TERRELL: When E.C. went down in the first game, it was really tough for us mentally, emotionally, but we're strong minded, we're strong guys. We were able to withstand some of it, but it just took a toll on us, not having a lot of guys, playing seven guys pretty much the whole season. It takes a toll on your body, and I think it showed tonight.

Q. How significant was the three-pointer that Davis hit? Can you talk about what that did at that point?
DAN HURLEY: Yeah, it was a tough shot. It would have been a tough enough shot if he was going left, but for a righty to go right and hit that step-back shot, you know, it's like we made the adjustment, did a much better job in the second half on Hinds, and then Trey Davis, he's a slick kid with that one-point lead, he was able to get to the free-throw line, and then obviously made both of those and then hit that dagger three there which really just -- that was the kill shot, and an incredibly tough shot. Those guys made tough shots. Jabarie Hinds in those isolations, he did his best Nick Van Exel impression. He was hitting some tough, tough shots in the first half, and then Trey Davis took over in the second half.

Q. You talked a lot about what the guys have kind of learned through all the adversity. What have you learned about yourself through this time?
DAN HURLEY: Yeah, I learned a lot. Years like this, taking a team through the season, the only guys on our roster today that had ever played an Atlantic 10 game prior to this year were Jared, Jarvis and Earl Watson. Of the eight guys we had left standing at the end, only three of them had ever played in an Atlantic 10 game. This team had never played together.

You learn a lot about coaching. You learn a lot about how you need to lead, how you need to motivate, how you need to focus on coaching your team when you're limited. And I learned a lot about the strength of the program we've built. I learned a lot about the culture of our program. I don't know how many teams in this conference could have lost their two first-team players and be sitting here with the record that we had going into tonight's game and sitting in here now. I'm not sure how many would have gone .500 in the league and had a chance to get win 18 today. I don't know how many.

Q. Massachusetts had struggled some down the stretch of the regular season. Your team had handled them quite well just recently. Is there something about postseason play that would allow this kind of turnaround tonight that we saw?
DAN HURLEY: I just think that they -- I thought their two guys made some incredibly difficult shots and made some -- made a lot of plays, in particular Hinds. It's really disheartening when he's hitting contested 19-foot step-back jump shot after step-back jump shot. We talked about if we kept their guys under 40, we would win the game, and we gave up 49 and we lost by five. We had to keep those three guys under 40. We knew we weren't going to be a -- we're not going to score it prolifically with the group we have now. We had to limit those guys a little bit more, but credit to them, they made some incredibly tough shots.

Q. Assuming you don't get the NIT bid, any interest in that new Vegas tournament or are you guys definitely done?
DAN HURLEY: Yeah, I think you saw the condition that Garrett was in out there tonight. He's pretty much shot. I couldn't ask him to play in any other tournament besides the NCAAs or the NIT. Jared Terrell is on fumes. These guys have played long, long, hard, difficult minutes. Two sophomores carried our team pretty much the entire year. This is a shot group that needs to -- we all need to get to the off-season and just really focus -- obviously we have the potential to be special moving forward. We've all learned a lot from this year, and we're excited to get started on our future.

Q. What do you see from your guys in the tough start tonight?
DAN HURLEY: I just thought that we -- I thought it was a byproduct, honestly, of going out there and having five of our eight guys being freshmen and sophomores. I just thought that we were -- for a conference tournament game, for a game where you lose or go home, I just think it took us a while to get the energy level up. I feel like maybe when we played them last week, it came a little bit too easy for us and it disarmed us a little bit potentially to start the game, and then we just -- digging out of that hole and then just not enough to finish.

Q. You've talked a couple times about the culture of URI basketball and learning about it this season. What do you see as the culture right now?
DAN HURLEY: We've recruited some incredibly talented players that have bought into the work ethic that we emphasize as student-athletes, the preparation, the commitment, the competitiveness. Again, we had the season we had, and I don't know what it ended up being, seven, eight, nine, 10 losses by five points or less during the course of the season. It's just amazing to me this group of guys, how they fought all year long with seniors quitting, ACLs, concussions, necks, jaws, fractured kneecaps, high ankle sprains. I just don't think they could have given our program any more, and that's culture. That's character, and that's having the right kids and coaches.

Q. You mentioned going into the off-season and how excited you guys will be next year because you're going to have something special. When does the mindset turn to that? Do you take any time to maybe refresh and rest, or do you go right back into that in a couple days?
DAN HURLEY: Yeah, there's no way I'm going back into it. This has been the toughest year for me just because it could have been -- just you kick yourself. You kick yourself kind of the whole year about what it should have been, what it could have been. Obviously we give these guys a couple days and spend a lot of time meeting with them tonight at the hotel and sharing our thoughts on the season and obviously travel back home tomorrow. We'll be back on Saturday doing something together as a group to celebrate what we accomplished as a group this year, again, that not many programs could have withstood.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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