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March 13, 2016

Will Wade

Mo Alie-Cox

Korey Billbury

Brooklyn, New York

Saint Joseph's - 87, VCU - 74

WILL WADE: Yeah, just took us -- give St. Joe's credit. Miles and Bembry were phenomenal tonight. They absolutely killed us. They did a great job. They were prepared to play.

I thought they really came at us early and had us on our heels, and we pretty much stayed that way most of the game.

I'm proud of our guys. We showed some fight there in the second half, which I thought Hamdy came in and gave us some good minutes, really came in there and fought and made a game of it there for a little while. But ultimately we just didn't have enough. We didn't play like we needed to play for a long enough period of time to win the game.

Our guys have fought all year. We fought there at the end. It just wasn't enough. But give St. Joe's credit. They were ready to go, and I mean, Bembry and Miles showed up and showed out big-time. Give those guys credit. They were phenomenal. Coach Martelli did a great job. They're going to represent the league very well in the tournament.

Q. Mo, what did they do defensively that was different from the first time? Looked like they doubled you a lot and kept the ball out of the post, but what did they do specifically that kept the ball out?
MO ALIE-COX: Nothing really. I just got to post, get deeper position in the post, so I could just cash and go and avoid the double-team.

Q. Either of you, what's it like going from playing Davidson to Saint Joe's? Saint Joe's kind of plays on that direct line with their offense where Davidson is kind of that screen away sort of offense. What's it like making that transition in 24 hours?
MO ALIE-COX: They were just more physical than Davidson. They set the tone of the game, whereas in the Davidson game we set the tone. We held them. We got stops that game. This game we didn't get stops, and they were the aggressor, not us.

KOREY BILLBURY: Yeah, I agree with Mo.

Q. Korey, being a senior can you talk about the mindset you have, not knowing about the tournament, that you guys will make it? Can you talk about your mindset right now with this loss?
WILL WADE: They'll make the tournament. We're going to make the tournament. We'll be ready to go.

Q. Korey, what were they doing to y'all offensively that you were having such a hard time guarding guys tonight?
KOREY BILLBURY: No, we weren't doing what we were supposed to do. It wasn't them, it was us.

Q. Kind of along the lines of your statement just before, I think coming into this week if you guys had maybe lost on Friday, maybe there would have been some debate about what your standing would be, but after two wins, even though you weren't able to come away with a win --
WILL WADE: We're going to get in the tournament.

Q. Is it still a successful week?

Q. Because you did come in here and make the statement --
WILL WADE: Oh, yeah, yeah. The goal was to get to the NCAA Tournament. We were the co-champions of the league in the regular season. We played for the conference title championship, and we're going to play in the NCAA Tournament. That's a hell of a year at any place. That's a very, very good year.

We had to fight through some things, and so I'm proud of our guys. We've got to be ready to go wherever they send us this week.

Q. Is JeQuan's head all right?
WILL WADE: Yeah, he'll be fine. He'll be fine. He's fine.

Q. What makes Bembry and Miles so effective and so tough to guard?
WILL WADE: Well, they're very different. I mean, Miles is just such a good shooter. We wanted him to put the ball on the floor. He's 25 percent less efficient when he puts the ball on the floor, but we couldn't get him to put the ball on the floor. Actually 22 percent less efficient. I rounded up.

We couldn't make him put the ball on the floor, and Bembry just drives the heck out of the ball and can hit all those mid-range shots. There's a reason those two are two of the top-five players in the league. They've got a heck of a team. They've got a good scheme. Like Paul said, they just go straight downhill at you and it's very, very difficult to guard. We really needed to establish Mo earlier kind of like we did at the end and like we did at the end at their place, and we just weren't able to establish him. Then we tried Hamdy and weren't really able to set -- that was our best way to counter balance that and counteract that was to get those guys in foul trouble or make those guys guard in the post, especially Miles, and we weren't able to get in our rhythm until too late. Once we got into it you were pretty good, but we didn't get in our rhythm until too late.

Q. Saint Joe's shot at such a good clip in the first half. Were you thinking, they're never going to be able to keep this up?
WILL WADE: No, they're a really good jump shooting team. They take a lot of long twos, a lot of mid-range jumpers, and they've been shooting them well all year. I didn't think they'd shoot 65 percent, but they're a good shooting team. Heck, we didn't exactly put up a lot resistance or contest a lot of those in the first half, either, which was problematic and hurt us. But we'll learn from the tape and get better.

Q. You've been very good defensively in the last four or five games, pretty much since the George Mason game. What changed --
WILL WADE: They're a tough -- they've got two of the best five players in the league. What do you want me to say? They're tough guards. They're tough guards for anybody. I mean, they put 90 on Bonaventure in a loss. They put 93 on Davidson in a loss. Nobody in our league has really guarded them that well. I mean, you've got to force those jump shots and contest them and hope they miss them.

We just didn't do a good enough job of that. But any time you've got two of the five best players on the court, it gives you a chance. Think about the Warriors. That's why they win. There's nobody else on any given night. They've got two of the three best players on the court. That's really hard to beat.

We've got good players. I'm not saying differently. But those two are special talents.

Q. Coach, when Ndao got ejected after the double technical, what did you do to keep your team focused on the task at hand?
WILL WADE: I think that sparked us. I think it was 29 in and we hit five of the six free throws and we were able to get it into single digits. I was proud of the way our guys battled but I thought that was a turning point. We stormed back from 13 down there with about five minutes left so when we had it in that working margin, our guys believed, hey, we can maybe do this, and maybe if one of those threes had fallen when we had it to seven or nine, I think, it might have been a different deal.

But just didn't happen. I'm proud of the way we fought. I thought we fought hard there. It just wasn't enough.

Q. Assuming that y'all are playing this weekend in the tournament, how do you keep the confidence level of your guys up?
WILL WADE: Oh, we'll be fine. We'll be fine. We've recovered well from losses all year long, and we'll be fine. We'll be ready to go. We'll be ready to go wherever they send us. We'll be ready to go on Thursday or Friday. We'll be ready to roll.

I'm not worried about that. We need to rest a little bit, recover a little bit, and then get ready to go later on this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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