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March 17, 2016

Bill Carmody

Anthony Thompson

Robert Champion

Malachi Alexander

Spokane, Washington

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Are you guys running on adrenaline right now or how are you feeling?
ROBERT CHAMPION: No, we actually got some pretty good rest last night. The time change actually ended up helping us, I think. It was like a four our flight and when we ended up getting in, we really only lost an hour. We got a lot of rest today. We have were able to sleep in and get some good breakfast and kind of keep our feet up. So I think we're pretty well rested right now.

Q. Was making this a month ago even a thought anywhere that you guys could get on a late run and get here?
MALACHI ALEXANDER: Yeah, for sure. I think, we didn't think this far ahead, but we knew what we were capable of as a team. The outside world might not have seen that, but we knew within us that we were capable of making something special happen if we were able to put a solid 40 minutes together.

ANTHONY THOMPSON: We knew we were capable, what we were capable of, and we stuck together through all the tough times and tough losses, we were able to stick together and things came together for us. And we were able to get some victories in our tournament and then momentum just took us on from there.

Q. What time did you guys get into Spokane and you obviously said you got a little bit of rest, but that schedule's had to be a little hectic since that first game.
MALACHI ALEXANDER: We got in around 12. Pacific time. So, yeah, but then we got some good rest on the plane and then the time change helped us. And then we had a late breakfast and we have been able to get pretty well rested since then.

Q. Oregon's guy said they're not really paying attention to the seeds in this game. Are you guys?
MALACHI ALEXANDER: Not at all. I think watching these first few games in this tournament, you got to come out ready to go, no matter who you're playing. We're for sure going to be ready because we know what caliber team we're going up against. You just have to be ready to go from the jump.

Q. Everybody talks this year how the 16's never done it. Is that something that you guys have talked about in the last 24 hours, that this could be sort of a historic performance?
ROBERT CHAMPION: Yeah, obviously, it's in the back of your mind that a 16 team has never beaten a 1 and how great it would be for not only our school, but for all the kind of small schools that get in here and get a chance to play a team like Oregon.

But I think when it comes down to it, we're just going to approach it just like another game. I think that's how we made this great run in March, and I think that's how that we're, why we're playing such great basketball, and I'm pretty positive that's what we're going to do tomorrow.

Q. You didn't start this last game, but you ended up scoring the most points. Couple huge threes. Can you talk a little bit about that performance and the play in game there. And when you guys play, when you play well, when you're able to hit those shots, it seems like you guys are able to win. Can you talk about that?
ROBERT CHAMPION: Yeah, I've kind of been in and out of the starting lineup this year. Coach came up to me about before the Loyola game, and we had five losses in a row and they were all pretty close and we decided to have EG start. And I think that that was key for our team, we changed defenses and EG brings us great energy at the beginning of the game.

And it just is something that I think we all kind of embrace this had team mentality that whatever you need to do to help the team win, that's what we're going to do. So I didn't have any problem with coming off the bench or anything lake that. So it's been good for our team.

Q. What have you guys learned about Oregon?
ANTHONY THOMPSON: Well we haven't really done much scout yet. We go out there for practice today, we'll go with the personnel and some of the sets they run and see what they will be able to run against our 1-3-1 and what defense they run.

Q. Follow-up on that, so you're playing No. 1 seed and you haven't had a chance to scout them so far?
ANTHONY THOMPSON: We just got in, so we just had breakfast and then we haven't really done much yet. When we get out on the court we'll go over their personnel and then we'll also go over the personnel before the game tomorrow, so we haven't really done too much.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, guys. We'll bring coach up in just a moment.


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions.

COACH CARMODY: Well, as I said in Dayton, people say, "Are you happy to be here?" Yeah. I'm really excited, the team's excited. The Holy Cross family is excited.

So, we had a tough game last night, came down to the last literally, the last play of the game, and we got in here a little late, but we're excited to go. We know we face a very tough opponent in Oregon, had a great year, very, very well coached. Good players that play together. So we definitely have our work cut out for us.


Q. Semifinal game and in the play-in game, Champion came up as your leading scorer, you brought him off the bench, can you talk about his contributions and what that meant to you the other night?
COACH CARMODY: He wasn't starting in the beginning of the year, and then we weren't playing too well, and so he started for most of the Patriot League season.

And then right before our first game in the Patriot League, we just decided to go with Eric Green, who had been injured and been coming back. And Rob gives you a little more instant offense and Eric is the kind of guy that has to play a bunch of minutes and then he'll get, not necessarily filling up the stat sheet, but four rebounds and a couple steals, a block here, and really tightens up our defense.

So, and I actually asked Rob right before the game, the Loyola game, you okay with me starting him because -- well, I asked him because I knew what he would say. But he said yeah, of course, coach, no problem. And it's done very well. And he's made big shots in big times throughout the year.

Q. Have you guys had a practice today or anything? Are you just going to do the shoot around type thing out here? Or practice later?
COACH CARMODY: No, we're not practicing. No. Come on. Five months, you know, what knowledge can we impart on them? We'll go through this here, and we'll have a little walk through, maybe tonight, tomorrow morning, show a little bit of film of Oregon. And then we just, you -- there isn't too much you haven't seen, types of defenses and offenses. Certainly the level here of athleticism is not what we see all the time, but -- and our guys are aware of that. So we'll try to do what we do and do it well and certainly be aware of what they do. But we're not going to practice. I think right now rest is more important than that.

Q. What time did you guys get into your hotel last night?
COACH CARMODY: I think about 1 o'clock. It was about 1 o'clock. 1:15. Something like that.

Q. Four hour flight?
COACH CARMODY: Yeah, they said -- it was only about three and a half, actually. So it wasn't so bad. And they slept on it, so.

Q. Do you think that your style of play where you play at a slow tempo and --
COACH CARMODY: Who says we play at a slow tempo? Have you seen us play?

Q. I have not.
COACH CARMODY: Oh, there you go.

Q. But looks like you're the 10th slowest team in the country.

Q. So you play at a slow tempo. Do you think that that and playing a lot of 1-3-1 defense and taking a lot of three-point shots, do you think that that makes you more able to compete with the level of athletes that Oregon has?
COACH CARMODY: Well, just to break that down a little bit, the 1-3-1, the three-point shots, everyone takes a lot of three-point shots these days. And you're being left behind if you don't, I think. That's one.

Two, we're playing a 1-3-1, and I bet you if you took last night's game, and you went through with that stop watch and see who took more time, on each possession, all right. I'll bet it would have been Southern. And it might be true of a few other teams that we played in the last couple weeks.

So, you want me to make it easy on them? We'll play them man-to-man and they'll score right on us. This is the way we figure we can win, you try to win the game, that's the objective, and we tried a lot of different defenses this year, man-to-man, different kinds of zones, matchups, and this seems to be the most effective. So, I don't know if it makes you more likely or more able to beat a higher seed like a No. 1 seed, but it's the way we play and it helps us, we think it helps us have a better chance of winning.

Q. There's been a lot of talk around here today about a 16 never beating a 1 seed. You were obviously part of one of the more exciting 1-16 games back in 1989. What do you remember about that game?
COACH CARMODY: I thought my guy got fouled. Actually, I was an assistant coach, but I think Mourning slapped his hand when he took a shot, but, yeah, it was just a great game. It was sort of not unlike this. I remember Selection Sunday, when it was only about 20 minutes, and Princeton, we had won the Ivy League title, and I sat down with some chicken wings and I was going to just watch it and see what where we were and the first thing that came up, the first three words as soon as it opened up, as soon as it opened up the show they went right to it and it just said, Providence, Georgetown, Princeton. And I just couldn't eat. Because they just demolished everybody in the Big East tournament. Just like Oregon beat Utah a week ago by 30 in the final, Georgetown was doing that in the Big East. And the Big East was extremely strong then, terrific teams. So I just, that's what I remember. Now the game itself, it just went back and forth. We took care of the ball. I think we only had four or five turnovers for the game and we gave ourselves a shot to win.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.

COACH CARMODY: All right. Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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