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March 23, 2016
Q. This part of the week, weekend has a different name, different location, different arena. Does it feel different?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Yes and no. It feels different because we're one of 16 teams that are still left playing. But the focus is still the same, and we're still down to business.
So we're just ready to play again and we're excited to be here. But at the same time, like I said, we're ready to get going. We've got business to take care of.
Q. What have you noticed about the biggest differences between this weekend and the Sweet 16?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Nowadays, the media coverage is obviously a lot more. All eyes are on the 16 teams that are left. So that's really the biggest difference. Everything else is really the same. What it comes down to is we're going to get down to playing basketball.
So it's not too much of a difference. It's a different city and a lot more media.
Q. You have a band for warmups?
RASHEED SULAIMON: I know. That was kind of interesting. Anything, I guess, to help us get going. We're all for it. So we're glad to have the band here supporting us. Tomorrow, we're expecting a big crowd from the UMD faithful. So it should be exciting, and we're ready to go.
Q. Last couple weeks, you guys have been talking about being locked in. Where's the mindset of this team going into Kansas?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Same thing. We're locked in, we're ready to go. I can't wait to play. We had a good shootaround just now. We've been having a good couple of practices and watching film and everything like that.
So we're still locked in, and we'll be ready to go tomorrow night.
Q. Has Coach talked much about his connection with Kansas and his time there?
RASHEED SULAIMON: No, Coach is 100 percent locked in on us. He's excited for us as a team, this unit, what we accomplished this year to be here and the opportunity that we still have going forward.
He hasn't talked that much about him being there. He's our coach. He's our leader for Maryland and we're ready to go out there and win for Maryland tomorrow.
Q. Rasheed, how has the fan presence been down here? Have you seen Terp Nation since you got to Louisville?
RASHEED SULAIMON: We just got here earlier this morning. So we haven't really seen much. But having the band here and a couple fans that were there for shootaround, it's been good. So we're expecting a bigger turnout tomorrow and a lot of support coming our way.
Q. I know you said you're locked in, but how much is Houston, Texas, hometown in the back of your mind? You can get back there and play?
RASHEED SULAIMON: We have two games to get there. So we have this game coming up before anything else. So there's still steps that need to be take taken before I can even think about that.
Of course, it will be a dream come true for me to go back home and finish my career in Houston. Like I said, we have a tough game in Kansas tomorrow before we can even look forward.
Q. Number one thing that has to happen? What's number one on your mission to -- I wouldn't say fix, but to correct from Sunday to the next game?
RASHEED SULAIMON: I'd just say we've got to continue to play great defense and rebound. We've got to finish possessions with rebounding. Kansas is a great offensive team. So we have to be locked -- I keep using locked in. I'm trying to look for a different --
Q. That's my fault.
RASHEED SULAIMON: Trying to look for something different. We have to be locked in on defense, but we also have to close out each defensive possession with a rebound. They're a great rebounding team, and if we give them second-chance points with a team like that, they can get hot and it will be a really tough night for us.
Q. Being the underdog, in this type of game according to the national press, whatever, do you kind of embrace that type of role?
RASHEED SULAIMON: It's a game. Anything can happen. Underdog, no underdog. It's two great teams going out there and playing. I'm not really focused on what the media are saying. We're not focused on what the media are saying. We know we have an opportunity to continue to extend our season, and we have the utmost confidence in ourselves and we know we're going against a great team tomorrow. It will be a clash of two great teams.
Q. Rasheed, how have your bodies adjusted, a long week and a long plane ride, a short time?
RASHEED SULAIMON: There's no excuses at this point. Everyone's fighting for a chance to take home that title. So it's no excuses. Everyone's feeling good. My legs feel fresh. I'm sure everyone else's legs feel fresh. Tomorrow night at 9:40, we've got to be ready to go.
Q. Talk about putting 3-point shooting and what happened to you guys on Sunday night in the rearview. Have you been able to do that?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Yeah. We're not worried about that. That happens. We're just proud of the fact that despite the low shooting percentage, we still were able to finish that game out and win and advance. That starts with our defense.
So that was an anomaly. We're a great shooting team. We have great players. We have great shooters and we have the capability to get and create open shots. So we're not worried about that. We're going to feel 100 percent confident in all our shots tomorrow. And that more than likely won't happen again.
Q. What's it like for you a year later to get to the Sweet 16 a year ago and you're not involved and now here you are at the heart of it.
RASHEED SULAIMON: I'm with Maryland now. I'm not thinking about the past. I'm thinking about the future I have with this team right now. We have an amazing opportunity in front of us. Since I've been with this team in August, we've worked so hard.
We set our goals and we deserve to be here. We feel like we still have a chance to go further. So I'm just 100 percent locked in with our group that we have this year and moving forward.
DAMONTE DODD: Frank's a really talented player, a really athletic point guard. Good kid. Like I was just telling him after the Hawaii game on FaceTime the other day, you know, we have to play each other.
Plus, our old coach put us in a group message and there was a picture of me contesting one of his shots. So a lot of people are bringing that up. Like I said, Frank's a good player, he's a good person. Should be a fun game.
Q. Seems like a lot of Maryland players know a lot of the Kansas players. Does it feel like you guys know this team maybe a little more than other teams you've played?
DAMONTE DODD: I would say we know this team more off the court. But, I mean, we haven't really went over personnel, things they do on the court. But like you said, I know Frank's game. I'm sure Jaylen and Jake knows Wayne Selden's game. I think Diamond played with a couple of players in USA. So I think we know this team. Like I said, I think it's going to be a really good game.
Q. You said that just recently that the pressure is off you guys now that you're in the Sweet 16, you're underdogs, you're not expected to win. Does that (indiscernible) you guys?
DAMONTE DODD: Like I said, our mindset is to come out and have fun and try to win every game, advance to the next round. So I wouldn't -- I don't say that wouldn't really bother us at all. We're just going to have fun and just play basketball.
Q. I was wondering how much Coach talks about his time at Kansas. Maybe not during the season, but have you heard much about it at all?
DAMONTE DODD: I mean, he always brings up one story and how they lost the game on a rebound. Other than that, he really doesn't talk about Kansas much. I mean, we know we're playing them. Now that we're playing them, it's just another game to advance to the next round.
Q. Are you guys familiar with his time there at all? Have you taken any time to look up his playing days? He was a lot littler then and he's pretty little still.
DAMONTE DODD: No, we haven't, but they just showed me a video of him and it was actually hilarious. Everything he talks about as a coach that he wants us to do, especially defensively, that's what he was doing on the clip. So it's pretty cool seeing that.
Q. Change your mindset at all, like maybe you'll listen: Oh, wow, he did it, he's not just saying that?
DAMONTE DODD: No, I always believed him. I think we always believed him, because we go out on the court and do it, it works. So he must be telling us the truth. Like I said, it's always cool seeing your coach playing in college to see what he was capable of doing.
Q. When did you see the video?
DAMONTE DODD: Literally like a minute ago.
Q. Very cool. Seems like a lot of the time what a team breaks the huddle with says a lot about the team. The first time you guys broke the huddle today was "we will." What does that motto mean to you?
DAMONTE DODD: To me, it means we're going to do the little things. When I say the little things, that's rebound, dive on the floor for loose balls. Just be locked in to personnel, different things like that. You just got to be able to, like I said, do the little things. That's what that means. And I think that's how this team got this far, by going by that motto.
Q. You talked about the familiarity with everyone. Diamond said that you guys feel like you're the best team in the country. Are you even -- there isn't a moment of being fazed at all, is there, for you guys in the tournament? It's just business as usual?
DAMONTE DODD: Yeah, it's definitely just business, just coming out and you've got to get better each game. That's what we try to do. That's what got us here so far. We've been having fun each game while we've been playing. So we do feel that we're the best team in the country. You've got to come out and play like that.
Q. People didn't believe that you were --
MELO TRIMBLE: Yeah, my whole life, nobody believed that I was related to him. Once he gave the shout-out, then people really believed.
Q. Were there teammates in particular --
MELO TRIMBLE: Oh, not them. I never told them because I didn't think they would believe me. But just growing up, kids in my neighborhood never believed me and stuff like that.
Q. Any teammate that you know that's really into your uncle's music?
MELO TRIMBLE: Dion Wiley, Diamond Stone, I know they listen to him. And they didn't know. They were shocked when they found out.
Q. They found out, literally, when he posted it?
MELO TRIMBLE: Yeah, when he posted it. They didn't believe me. I was like hey, he just gave me a shout-out. They're like, no.
Q. You never talked to your teammates about it?
MELO TRIMBLE: No. They would never believe me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports