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March 18, 2016

Jim Boeheim

Michael Gbinije

Trevor Cooney

St. Louis, Missouri

Syracuse - 70, Dayton - 51

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and student-athletes Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney. Coach, an opening statement.

JIM BOEHEIM: I think our rebounding was tremendous today. Tyler was great. Eliminated second shots, opportunities, and that's what has hurt us at times this year. And the second thing, we had 11 turnovers the first half. We had to do something with that. And we were scoring but we had too many turnovers. In the second half we eliminated that, and we had one run there where we had really good ball movement and got some good looks. Mike, Trevor and Malachi all made a three, and that was really the difference in the game.


Q. Trevor, I know this past week you talked a little bit about a little extra being that it was Dayton. The last time you guys lost. How good does it feel now, especially with the margin of victory after this one?
TREVOR COONEY: It feels really good. To win a game in the NCAA Tournament feels good and to beat a team that beat you last time adds a little bit to it.

Q. For both Mike and Trevor, seemed like they were doing a really good job defensively against you, and what's it mean then when you guys have a guy like Malachi who can step in and give you offense like he did today?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: Malachi did a great job this game we just played. He was aggressive. He got in the lane and made plays when we needed him.

TREVOR COONEY: He was just really aggressive. He took what the defense gave him and he got in the lane and made plays.

Q. Jim, how much advance scouting have you done on the next opponent, on Michigan State? What do you know about them already?
JIM BOEHEIM: We don't do anything until we get through this game. We'll do that tonight and tomorrow. And we have every game, every tape they've played. I've seen Michigan State 10 times, probably, this year. All 10 of those games won't matter because they played man-to-man against them all 10 games. So all those tapes don't help us at all, you know.

Q. The Eastern Michigan, the one team you've got a former assistant, is that a game you use when you scout them?
JIM BOEHEIM: Yeah, we'll look at all the games. One assistant has already broken Michigan State down. He's watched all the tapes and got it broken down. We'll look at that breakdown and look at some individual game stuff as well tomorrow.

Q. Coach and also the players, how much problems do you think your zone defense gave Dayton today?
TREVOR COONEY: We did a good job just getting off to shooters. We did a good job getting over-under screens. We knew they were going to do that and did a good job of defending that, and we took away what they wanted to do.

MICHAEL GBINIJE: Yeah, whenever they got the ball on the inside we did a great job of just chesting up and eliminating and getting rid of their second chance opportunities by rebounding.

JIM BOEHEIM: The second opportunities were one thing. The other thing we didn't want them to do is to get set from the three-point line. First half they got a couple of good ones, but a couple of them were in transition. But the second half we didn't really give them that opportunity. They got the ball inside, but their 6'6" guys were shooting over our 6'10" guys. They missed some shots around the basket. They're shooting over guys and we were there. The thing we did well in those situations, we came in and got the ball off the backboards. We struggled a little bit this year rebounding against everybody. It's not just one or two teams. We struggled rebounding the ball. And that was really the difference in the game, to be able to get the -- not let them get second chance opportunities.

Q. Mike and Trevor, when Dayton's coach, Archie Miller, was in here he said after missing a few good shots and getting the ball inside and not scoring that it got deflating. Did you sense any frustration on their part?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: When they started to miss shots, definitely, we went on a run at that point. And that gave us energy. As far as them being deflated, I was paying attention to Syracuse, I wasn't too focused on them at the time.

TREVOR COONEY: We did a good job taking away what they wanted to do, took away their first and second options. And I think after that they didn't really know what to do or how to attack the zone. We did a good job.

Q. Jim, I know you've talked about Tyler Roberson, you expect him to get those rebounds when he's not being boxed out, but have you seen an individual performance on the boards like that since Derrick Coleman. He fell one short of Coleman's record of 19.
JIM BOEHEIM: The big game this year at Duke was incredible. He needs to go get it, he needs to go get the ball. And we can't have him getting 18 and then getting four. It's just not consistency that you have to have. And he was very good today. And we need him to be consistent like that. And it's really a huge key for us, for him to be able to do that. And I thought he did a good job offensively moving and screening and doing some other things. And he was good in the half-court defense. He was helping. I thought, again, he was tremendous tonight. We didn't shoot the ball that well. We didn't shoot it that much better than they did. But we rebounded the ball and we got opportunities off those rebounds. And we got to the foul line. We wanted to get to the foul line. When we're successful, we make some 3s, and we get to the foul line. And that's what we did. That's what we did today.

Q. Mike and Trevor, have you guys heard any of the stuff going on about whether you guys deserved to be in the tournament this week, and do you take any satisfaction from today's win as far as that goes?
JIM BOEHEIM: Nobody that said we didn't deserve to be in obviously doesn't know anything about basketball. So we didn't think about it. They were just doing it to be cute and that's -- we don't need to react to those things. And these guys don't listen to that stuff.

Q. After not getting to do this last year, how much fun is it to come in, get a victory and advance?
JIM BOEHEIM: Well, I think it's obviously, when you miss the tournament and you're used to going to the tournament, it's always difficult. And it's great just to be in this tournament. It's not that easy to get into it and to win a game and advance is not that easy. And we're very happy to be able to do that this year, after not being in the tournament last year.

Q. In years past, Syracuse has been known for being a highly ranked team. This year coming in as a 10 seed does it feel like it's less pressure than years past?
JIM BOEHEIM: No, you want to win, it doesn't matter what your seed is. When you come into the tournament, you want to win. We don't worry about pressure. We never have. We just try to play. And if we can play well and we can win this, that's good. But that's just a media term that really doesn't matter to me.

I mean, we just want to go out and play -- we think we can play with anybody. We don't look at it as we're an underdog or whatever. We just think if we can play and play the way we are capable, that we can beat anybody. And I think that's college basketball. I think that's the way you should think. There's upsets but they're not as big of upsets as it looks like, because these -- teams are good. There's a lot of good teams.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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