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 18, 2016

Jay Wright

Daniel Ochefu

Ryan Arcidiacono

Brooklyn, New York

Villanova - 86, UNC Asheville - 56

JAY WRIGHT: Great start for us. I think it came down to our two seniors right here, Daniel and Arcidiacono, having the experience to understand how good of a team Asheville is. We try to tell those guys after the game, Coach McDevitt and their players, that's a young team. They're freshmen and sophomores, man. They're going to be around. They're really good, very well coached. The score doesn't indicate how tough they are.

What the score indicates is we have two seniors that got a bunch of young guys to understand, if you don't bring it 100 percent against a team like that, they'll beat you. They're good enough to beat us, but we played well because we really brought it and we had great leadership.

Q. Ryan, late in the first half there, it's still a four-point game coming out of a time-out, you chased down a three that you missed. A couple passes later, Mikal hits that three in the corner and triggers four straight threes for you guys. Can you take us through that play, what's going through your mind, and how important that play was to us.
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: It was definitely important to us. We were just catching and shooting, being aggressive against their zone. I think they're 1-3-1 they are really aggressive on it and you can't be very passive. You have to attack it look for your open shots. I think we were able to get in the lane and take out for a couple open threes, and just ran a good play at the end of the half that we run every single day with like 4.9 seconds. So we were just aggressive against the zone.

Q. Daniel, the first half, you seemed a little bit hesitant. Was the ankle bothering you? Compare that to the second half where you seemed a lot more active.
DANIEL OCHEFU: It wasn't bothering me. I think I was just -- everything mental. As soon as I started going, I eliminated everything in my mind and just started worrying about playing Villanova basketball.

Q. For both Daniel and Ryan, the question you were asked before about that time-out just beforehand, did Jay say anything to you guys in that huddle that stood out, or did you guys say anything to your teammates?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: No, I mean, I think we all just -- we understood what was going on. We just tried to keep grinding and keep playing Villanova basketball. There wasn't anything in particular, no speech or like crazy speech, but we just tried to go out there and just work on the little things. By doing that, we were able to be aggressive against their zone and make some shots and get some stops.

DANIEL OCHEFU: Exactly what Ryan said. I think we weren't expecting ourselves to be blowing them out at all. So we weren't surprised that it was a close game, and everybody was in the huddle locked in. Coach was on us, and we all responded defensively. The stops is what really got us that run.

Q. For both players, when you guys are playing so close to home and it's a pro Nova crowd and the place gets loud, do you feel like it's any kind of advantage when it's a pro Nova crowd like that?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: We know the Nova nation travels well, but we try not to focus on that. We definitely hear the crowd getting louder, but at the same time, we try to focus on 94 by 50 feet and the players on the court, and we just try to focus on each other and not let any outside distractions affect how we play.

DANIEL OCHEFU: It's always great to be able to play close to home and have our fans cheering us on and giving us that advantage. As Ryan said, we just try to focus on what we can control. That's our effort and our attitude. And keeping it 94 by 50 feet, something we worked on all year, and we just have to keep getting better at it.

Q. Guys, I guess just going into the second round again, are you especially excited at a chance to get into this game and win it considering how the team has done in the tournament in recent years? And are you tired of hearing those questions about how the team has done? Coach McDevitt was here before saying you guys are probably tired of hearing about it.
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: We're just excited to be able to get a win in the first round, and we're just excited to be able to play again. I think any opportunity you get to play, especially with the guys that we have, we're looking forward to it and eager to get on the court and just play with each other on the floor.

But I know the people have been asking the questions, and they're allowed to. They have every right to ask them, but it's definitely going to be a game we look forward to just because it's our next game.

DANIEL OCHEFU: Exactly what Ryan said. Everyone's been talking about this next game coming up for the whole year, even before we got in the tournament, but it's very humbling for us to be able to get this first win. Just going forward in this game, we can't think about the shortcomings in the past years. We have to focus on the things we can take care of that will help us get this "W" on Sunday.

Q. Guys, how long did it take for you to get over the loss of the Big East Tournament? And how much are you using that as additional motivation in March Madness?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: I would probably say that night and probably the next morning, but we try not to let anyone see us down. We always try to keep a great attitude. We definitely had to get better from that game. There's definitely a lot of little things and just minor things we could fix for the upcoming game against Asheville.

I would say we got over it pretty quickly, but it was definitely tough right after the game.

DANIEL OCHEFU: We got over it extremely quickly. We had the selection show the day after, and we found out we were playing UNC Asheville. So everybody just eliminated that loss in their mind. We learned what we could from it, and we started preparing for UNC Asheville.

Q. For Daniel, you like to get your teammates involved. Were you thinking pass first half more than shot?
Or was that not the case?

DANIEL OCHEFU: I was just trying to be aggressive, doing what my teammates expected me to do. Their defensive plan was kind of tripping me up in the first half mentally, and I was making some of the wrong decisions. So Coach got on me in the locker room in the huddles and responded and made the adjustments that we needed to -- kicking the ball out to shooters like Ryan, Josh, guys cutting, and scoring when I couldn't.

Q. Coach, obviously, game out there being played right now, but the chance to play Temple in a Big Five game in the tournament, how special would that be for you and the program?
JAY WRIGHT: Honestly, a lot of mixed emotions about those games. Growing up in Philly, every time I coach in one of those games, I've got to pinch myself that I'm in it. In Philadelphia, that's like an Auburn-Alabama -- it's like living in Alabama and playing an Auburn-Alabama football game. That's what those games are like. But on the other side, the coaches are really good friends, and I hate coaching against my friends.

Like for Philadelphia, I take -- we all take great pride in Philadelphia basketball. I'd like to see Temple win this game, but then I'd have to play against them, and I really don't enjoy that, to be honest.

Q. And just to follow that up, if you did play Temple, does it have a different feel just because of the finality of the whole thing, that one team will advance and one team will go home?
JAY WRIGHT: Definitely. Any game you play in the NCAA Tournament, it just takes on a whole different vibe. In '09, when we played Pitt in the final eight, I remember people saying, well, it's just another Big East game. It was not another Big East game. It was just so much bigger. The finality brings a lot more to the game.

Big Five games are big in Philly, trust me, but this would be bigger.

Q. Do you remember the last time in an NCAA Tournament game you were warned to stay in the box?
JAY WRIGHT: No, but I probably was once, but I'm not an angel. So I don't remember.

Q. You said that it was the two seniors that were the difference in the game, right? But are there times when you can sense that even they need you to be a little bit more demonstrative or emphatic?
JAY WRIGHT: Yeah, they're just -- they're playing. Players, they're like thoroughbreds. Thoroughbred horses have a jockey on them. They're born and bred to run, but they still have a jockey that needs to push them sometimes. Those two are the best.

Like I said, that UNC Asheville team is very, very good. And these two have been through a lot of games. They know that kind of team can beat you, and they just stayed on our guys about all the details -- preparation, when we were watching film, telling them how important everything was. And it's really because of those two on the floor that we really played well.

Q. Following up on what I asked of Daniel, the first half, he looked -- tentative may be the wrong word, but when he got the ball, he neither passed nor went himself. Either one is fine with you, I know. Is that what you got on him about? I don't care what you do, just do something.
JAY WRIGHT: Yeah, and you heard him say their attack confused him a little bit. They were mixing up their coverages. At some time, they were coming at him right away. Sometimes they were waiting for him to put it on the floor, and he was getting a little confused because one time he'd pass it out, they didn't come and get him. The next time they doubled him. He fought through the double-team, and he was -- they were doing a good job.

In the second half, we told him, just choose score first. Just go, and then if they come, trust your instinct. You'll make the right decision. And he did. He was great.

Q. Jay, you've told us all year whenever the question in the second round has come up, let's just get to that point. Now that you're at this point, how does it feel that the questions that are being asked are relevant?
JAY WRIGHT: Yeah, it's really exciting for us. It really is. And it's really probably what our biggest concern was. All season, if we would have answered those questions and we lost this game today, we're idiots. To talk about that and to know how hard it is to get there would really be unintelligent. And that's really what we told our guys during the year.

We said, guys, it's the job of the media to ask that question. It's their job. We can't answer -- and if we answer, we're idiots because we might not even get -- we might not get to the tournament. We might not get past the first round. So we can't do anything about that until we get there.

I'm happy for them, how they've handled everything to get to this point. And now everyone's going to ask the question. We've got to go do it. That's the bottom line. If we don't do it, it's failure. But there's nothing wrong with failure in sports if you give your best effort.

Q. Coach, can you talk about Bridges contribution off the bench, 26 minutes, 12 points, 2 of 4 from three-point?
JAY WRIGHT: He's big for us. He's really big for us. He's just continually gotten better throughout the season. He gives us great size out there on the perimeter, and he's starting to really make good decisions. He gives us a drive game where he can get to the basket and score with his length. One of our best perimeter defenders. He did a good job on Whitehead, believe it or not, even though Whitehead had 26. Whitehead was that good in the Big East final. He's really big for us. He has a great future, but he's going to be really important in this tournament.

Q. Coming into the game, their three-point "D" was really tough, 28.5 percent, 5.8 threes, and you had 13 threes and shot like 46 percent. Was it something you saw, or just making sure you kept swinging the ball and reversing?
JAY WRIGHT: Really it was Daniel. In their conference, they don't play as many people in -- they can guard guys one-on-one inside, and then they can get out on three-point shooting. They started on him early. They did a good job on him early, and we weren't really hitting threes -- I don't know how many threes we had in the first half. We hit two late.

We had four in the first half?

Q. You had four in the last 2:30.
JAY WRIGHT: So they were doing it. They were doing what they do. They were guarding us one-on-one in the inside and taking away the threes. But when Daniel got it going, they had to come after Daniel. And also defensively, I know it doesn't look this way, us winning by 30, but we've watched film of those guys -- Hughes, Thomas, Sutton -- those guys took the ball to the basket and scored on everybody. Daniel and Darryl did a great job of just keeping their hands back and not fouling them. That way, we got some in transition too.

So they usually score so they don't give up any in transition, and then they can guard one-on-one in the post.

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