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 23, 2016

Ryan Arcidiacono

Josh Hart

Daniel Ochefu

Louisville, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with the Wildcats.

Q. For all the players, Miami guards are experienced and they seem to drive the ball a lot. They've shot a lot of free throws. What do you guys see in the Miami guards and what about the plans to defend them?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: They have great drivers. They have great scorers on the perimeter. I think one of the things that we're going to have to do to stop them is not show them any space, show them our bodies and our triangles so that they don't see the space to be able to drive into the paint. But we know they're great shooters too so it's going to be a tough matchup for us.

JOSH HART: Just continue, like Ryan said. They're experienced, they're physical, they're strong. We just can't let them see space. We've got to lower to them. We can't just swipe at them. Hopefully, that will slow them down. We've got to have them see their bodies, not see driving spaces, able toward in the lanes.

DANIEL OCHEFU: I think also just adding to what they said, just guarding them as a team. Not one guy is going to stop Rodriguez or McClellan. It's going to be the whole team playing them. Us locking into the scouting report the way we did last time, focusing on Iowa's two main scorers. And a game like this is very similar.

Q. Ryan, I know you've talked about this, but just how similar are you to your head coach and to the other guys? How similar is he to your head coach?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: I think we're definitely similar in that we have the same mindset of what Villanova basketball is, just playing hard around the floor, giving it your all and just kind of knowing everything out on the floor.

I think he thinks of me as the coach on the floor, and I think I'm an extension of Coach Wright. So I think I'm kind of the bridge between coach and player on the floor and if coach is getting on some of the guys, I know how to just, like, tell them in a different tone and just kind of keep their head on straight to not get frustrated and to know we're all in this together.

JOSH HART: I just continue with what he said, just being a leader, a coach on the court. I see a lot of times, Coach Wright has tough love with all of us. He's able to kind of always be there, be behind us, talk to us, settle us down and just say what Coach wants in a little bit of a friendlier, nicer way.

So he's able to really be a coach on the court and just keep us all together.

DANIEL OCHEFU: Honestly, I don't think they're that much alike. I just think Arch is such a Villanova basketball player, Coach Wright has so much trust in him, he's out there doing exactly what Coach expects. The only thing for me personally that has them being alike is they're from Bucks County. That's pretty much it.

Q. Hi, guys. Coach had said after the game the other night that he'd had a talk with you before, saying hey, we've been here before. If we didn't play great, if we didn't win, it didn't kill us. So he's talked to you guys about having that approach. It's kind of a different approach, actually, not being afraid to fail because it's not going to kill us. How did that theme and that approach from your coach impact you guys? What did you take away from that type of philosophy? And any one of you or all of you can answer that.
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: I think we've all heard it throughout our four years so it hasn't -- it wasn't just this past game versus Iowa getting past the second game. That's just the way Coach has always been from my freshman year. He's always coached that way. Have no fear in losing as long as we play Villanova basketball for 40 minutes. Whatever the end result, we'll be satisfied. If we play Villanova basketball for 40 minutes, we'll be successful and there will be a good result in the end.

JOSH HART: The one thing with Coach Wright, he's always real with us. Sometimes he looks at the worst-case scenario. The worst-case scenario, if we lose, it's not going to kill us. We're still going to be playing -- able to play basketball. We're going to be here.

So we looked at the worst-case scenario, and we could handle the worst-case scenario. That was the biggest part is this is the worst-case scenario. We can handle this. So let's move on and let's just play basketball. Let's not play to get out the second round or anything like that. Just go out there and play Villanova basketball. That's kind of the approach he took.

Q. (Off microphone)?
DANIEL OCHEFU: Just gives us a freer mind. Just what Josh said about the worst-case scenario, the worst-case scenario for us in the Big East Tournament is we lose as the 1 seed. We've done that before.

The worst-case scenario in the NCAA is lose in the first round. We did that before. If we don't get to the Sweet 16, we did that before. Now it's just a different challenge and just getting it out of our mind, we can focus on playing Villanova basketball and keeping it 94 by 50 feet.

Q. Ryan, what are some of the things about yourself that you can see in your coach, and were those some of the things that sort of drew you to him?
RYAN ARCIDIACONO: I think we have a lot of connections, just my mom -- both my parents went to Villanova. His wife went to Villanova. My mom and her lived on the same hall. I think like Daniel said, we're from basically the same town. We went to rival high schools. I played against his younger brother. He was the coach at the rival high school I played against.

I don't think I dress as well as him or anything. I don't know. I think I'm just on the court and just I think that's the way that he wants a Villanova basketball player to be and he thinks that that's the way he wanted to be as a player. And if he could still play, I think he would pick me as the player to play him.

Q. Everyone wants to progress in the postseason. I'd ask each player, what are you guys doing better now than you were at the beginning of the Big East Tournament?
DANIEL OCHEFU: I think our team defense has gotten a lot better, and it just goes -- our younger guys are stepping up, understanding our scouting report more and locking in more. Guys like myself, Josh, Ryan, we're experienced and we've done this before. We've just got to continue staying in ourselves to demand greatness of ourselves. If we're doing it, the younger guys will have an excuse not to do it. When they mess up, we can get on them, teach them to maybe respond. When they're on the bench watching us start the game, they're seeing this is how the starters come out, committed to Villanova basketball, defending and rebounding and sticking to the scouting report. As soon as they get in the game, there's no excuse for them.

JOSH HART: Really, just what Daniel said. Coach Wright really didn't talk too much to us about on the offensive side. It was about defense, about recommitting ourselves to our defensive philosophy. I think the second half of the Seton Hall game defensively is where we kind of picked it up a little bit. Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges came in, played outstanding minutes on the defensive end. That's the reason we were able to get in the game because we committed ourselves to defense.

Then obviously we had the heartbreak at the end of that game. But just moving forward, we focus on defense, defending, rebounding, playing hard. We know we're skilled offensively. But there's going to be days where our shots will fall in that we shoot. Iowa, we shot like 70-something or 60-something percent in the second half. There's going to be games like that.

But we're focusing on the games where we don't shoot the ball well, where we can't buy a basket, but we're defending. We're rebounding. We're in the game because of defense. I think that's something that we're really picking up since the Big East Tournament.

RYAN ARCIDIACONO: I think we're starting the games off better. I think in the Big East Tournament, we struggled to start the games off strong, both offensively and defensively. We saw we got down early against Seton Hall. In the Asheville and the Iowa game, we came out knowing the scouting report and executing offensively.

I think starting the games off better is probably the one thing I would say that we've been getting better at throughout these last couple games.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, appreciate your time today. Good luck.

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