home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 17, 2016

Brad Underwood

Brooklyn, New York

BRAD UNDERWOOD: We're very excited about the opportunity to be here again. It's our third year in a row, and I'm extremely happy for the five seniors that were on this year's team. For them, they've set a great, great foundation for our program, a culture of work, and to be able to finish the year as conference champions and go 18-0, gut it up for two games. You talk about pressure is knowing you have to win two more to come to the tournament. But I couldn't be happier for that group, as they're very deserving.

It's a great challenge, playing a very good friend, who has a tremendous basketball team, finishing second in the Big 12. Arguably, the best conference in basketball. So I have tremendous respect for Bob and the job that he and his staff have done. They play very, very hard, and we're going to have to match that effort tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned Coach Huggins. In the one year you spent working with him in '06/'07 at Kansas State, what are some of the things that you picked up from him?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well, there's two things that Huggs did that were unbelievably impressive to me. One is, as a head coach, I've never been around or had seen anyone who spent as much time recruiting as he did, as a head coach. Fabulous, fabulous recruiter and spent tremendous time.

The other thing is he's the single best communicator with people and with players that I've ever seen. Just had an unbelievable way of effecting young men in a positive way and can get on him and get the best out of them on the basketball court and then just so caring and so involved in their everyday life. It's a reason he's been successful and as a hall of fame coach approaching 800 wins. His players love him to death, and it was a great learning experience for me.

Q. Coach, I just wondered, you've got to tell us your best Huggins story.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Wow, I can get in a lot of trouble with this. No, I don't know if I would get into a whole lot of that. There's so many. There's one thing about Huggs that people don't realize because they see the intense, the passion, and yet he's a guy that is probably as easy to work for as anybody out there, and literally laughter is a part of his everyday life. I just photobombed one of his interviews over here and jumped in it just because I knew he'd do it to me, and it's something that he's funny. He's so magnetic.

And I'm going to say this on a serious note, he's got such a magnetic personality. When he left Kansas State to go to West Virginia, he impacted so many people's lives, and one of those was my wife's. I look over, and she's crying when he's getting on the plane to head out. There's very few people who can do that. That's probably not a story that's funny, but it's so meaningful because it's who he is as a person. I think he's impacted a lot of people's lives, not just as players.

Q. Brad, I guess two parts. West Virginia has its reputation for its up tempo or its pressure defense. Your team pressures a lot. I guess, for people who maybe haven't seen as much as your team, what's the difference between the pressures? And the other part of that, in a game like this as a coach, as much as you want to value the basketball, do you have to sort of accept that there are going to be some turnovers here.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: I hope there's not, and I hope there is. No, we're different in this way. West Virginia, they're unbelievable in the full court, and it's not the way they press. It's the effort with which they do it with, and it's unrelenting for 40 minutes. They play so hard. A lot of people press, but it doesn't work.

I like to think that we pick up full court some. We mix up our defenses in the full court. But ours is more half-court oriented, taking passing lanes away, denial. We have a young man in Trey Pinkney at the point who's as good on the ball defender as I've been around in my time as a coach. But it's a culmination of we don't want anybody to have any one possession easy, whether it's a baseline out, whether it's a sideout. There's total pressure on the offense the entire time. And over the course of 40 minutes, we've been able to force turnovers because of the little things -- loose balls, taking charges, diving on the floor. All those things are things that we take a great deal of pride in and we have to do tomorrow and win those battles if we're going to be successful.

Q. Coach, first off, final score Yale won 71-75. Wanted to get your final thoughts on stopping Devin Williams. He had 31 against Kansas in his last game. It seems like that will be a big focus for your team defensively in the half-court.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: I don't know if you stop him. One thing he does an unbelievable job is he plays to contact. So he gets to the foul line a great deal. And then when you've got a team that has -- is number 1 in the country in offensive rebound percentage in terms of getting the ball back, that's a great start. Try to keep him off the foul line. Try to make his touches hard. And then block him out.

Now, a lot of people have tried that, and it's a credit to Devin because he's been successful in most every game out there. So very good player. We're going to have to work. We're going to throw a lot of bodies at him. We're not going to do it with one person. Sometimes the best post defense is good perimeter defense. So we've got to make ourselves active and then just try to limit his touches the best we can and make sure we get a solid block out on him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297