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March 18, 2016

Archie Miller

Charles Cooke

Scoochie Smith

St. Louis, Missouri

Syracuse - 70, Dayton - 51

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the Dayton Flyers, head coach Archie Miller and student-athletes Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke. Coach, an opening statement.

ARCHIE MILLER: Well, clearly congratulations to Syracuse. They played a very good game and caused a lot of problems with their zone a little bit. And I thought on offense we missed some opportunities early in the game and late to convert some two-point baskets, some easy ones, free throws or a couple of open ones. It started to deflate us a little bit. But all in all, as I told the guys in the locker room, in particular, going to miss Dyshawn and Bobby, those guys started us off a couple of years ago and gave us an opportunity to even be here today. And these two guys next to me as well.

You know, you have 25 wins, conference championship to be back here for our third year, very disappointed in the way we played. But also very proud of where we're at right now.


Q. Steve's the kind of player that would typically be able to handle Syracuse pretty well. What did they kind of do to neutralize him in the second half?

Q. Yeah.
ARCHIE MILLER: To be honest with you, I think Steve had some opportunities especially early in the game, a couple of dunks. He also probably had three to five just offensive rebound opportunities that he didn't either snatch up or put in the basket. But in Steve's 19 minutes or so he had a better impact I thought on offense than defense. But he'll get better. He's got to get stronger, I think that's the big thing for him.

Q. Coach, what was Syracuse doing on defense in that zone to cause so many problems?
ARCHIE MILLER: It wasn't what they were doing, really. I mean, I think when you look at the first half, you're going to see two dunks, two break-away layups, probably three treys that, they're wide open if those go in. We may have a lead at the half. To start the second half between, I think, a 1-for-5 start from the foul line and then a couple more two-point baskets, just started to get a little bit deflating. I gave our guys credit. We tried to hang in there the best we could. We just didn't have enough juice on offense. We need to make some shots against that zone. Their zone is their zone. They didn't do anything different today than they ever do.

Q. You know, they outrebounded you by 20. How difficult was it to keep them off the glass in general and to keep Tyler Roberson off the glass in particular?
CHARLES COOKE: He's really active. Dyshawn tried to put a body on him at all times but we lost him a few times throughout the game, and he just ended up getting a few loose balls there but I mean just really active on and off the board through the game.

ARCHIE MILLER: Rebounding was a big thing coming in, and I thought for the first probably 10 to 12 minutes, maybe even, 12-minute mark of the first half we were doing a nice job. Our defensive rebounding was pretty good. And then about the last eight minutes of the first half he started to go to work on us a little bit. He had four rebounds at the half. He was actually on pace for 18, at halftime. We said he's on pace for 18. And he got 18. He's very active. Clearly that's his job, one of his roles, and he's done that to a lot of people this year. We just weren't tough enough on the boards in general, I think, to get out-rebounded by 20. That's a disaster when you're playing against Syracuse. So we'll look at it and we'll get better from it. But he definitely had a big impact in the game.

Q. Scoochie, how disappointing is this to get to this point and not play your best game as a team?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: I wouldn't say it's a disappointment, because it's a blessing to be here. There are a lot of teams that aren't here that wish they were. We just didn't play the way we wanted to play today. And we tried to keep fighting and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

Q. Archie, you guys did a great job on Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije, so how big a factor is it when a freshman like Malachi Richardson steps in and scores like he did today?
ARCHIE MILLER: In watching film he's a very talented guy. He's not like a freshman. He's got a green light. He's big. And he's a problem. I thought for most of the game we had bodies in front of him. You're not going to hold those guys down. They've done a nice job. But he clearly, early in the game, got going. Made a couple of threes and then a couple of drives, and I thought he was very aggressive the whole game. You have three guys out there that can really get going and it only takes one guy to sort of change the game a little bit. And I thought he was their game-changer.


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