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 25, 2016

Jim Boeheim

Trevor Cooney

Michael Gbinije

Chicago, Illinois


JIM BOEHEIM: You know, I think it was a great basketball game. Gonzaga has got a tremendous team, and those two guys are as good as anybody that we've seen all year. I give these guys an unbelievable amount of credit. We were in a big hole with not that much time to go. We got a couple steals off the press, and Mike just went after it and just had -- he wasn't going to be denied getting that ball and putting it back in. But he's been great for us all year.

Of all the players I've ever coached, he's the most underrated player that I've ever coached.

Q. Trevor, while they were reviewing the out-of-bounds play, what's going through your head, and Mike, too, what's going through your head with 11 seconds left?
TREVOR COONEY: I think they were just looking at the time. I don't think they were looking at the play. But I mean, I did my rotation and made a nice steal and then they made a call.

MICHAEL GBINIJE: Yeah, from my perspective I thought he did get the steal and called a time-out, but it was a different outcome. Thankfully we got the stop when we needed it.

JIM BOEHEIM: It was important that we made a stop at the end because after looking at that picture after the game, it looked like he was not out of bounds, so that would have been a tough way to lose. But I don't know if they could see that picture or not. I don't know what happened. I don't know.

Q. Trevor, after kind of everything you guys went through with last year not being in the tournament, Coach's suspension, this year not knowing if you were going to be in the tournament, and now being in the Elite 8, can you describe your emotions the last two years?
TREVOR COONEY: It's been a fun ride. Certain things have happened, but this group has stayed strong and we're fortunate to have great coaches to lead us in the right way, and everyone has just come together.

Q. Jim, on those replay reviews, by rule they have to have indisputable video evidence to overturn it. Would you rather they change that and give deference to the review where they actually have a better picture?
JIM BOEHEIM: I didn't see -- the only picture I saw, somebody showed me on a phone. I don't know if that's a good picture or not, but on that picture he was clear in bounds. I don't know if they saw that one or not. I don't know. I honestly don't know.

Q. Jim, do you think the end of the Pittsburgh game in the ACC Tournament helped here tonight, especially with the press?
JIM BOEHEIM: Well, I think everything you do all year long helps. I think everything that happens happens for -- to help make you a better team. We fought back many times this year. We've been -- we were seven down with 1:22 to go against Virginia Tech, and that was a bigger hill to overcome. But these guys have fought all year, and every game we've been behind, we've been in some tough situations, and they've battled through them all year.

The difficulty with this game is I think that they didn't really believe that Wiltjer could shoot out there. We felt like we made it clear that we cannot give him any space, and we gave him space in the beginning. We're not a prolific offensive team. We can't really spot people 10 points. We really dug a huge hole for ourselves. We had a couple guys that just didn't move up on him. He's a really good player against zones because he can shoot the three, he can play from the high post or the short corner. He's an excellent -- I thought we did a good job on those two guys, and they had 42. I thought we really did a good job on them.

I think the problem in this game was our offense. And a lot of times when we lose this year, it's been our offense. We got rushed a little bit. We had some good looks that we didn't make the shots, missed a couple lay-ups, and you know, the one thing in the last two games in the tournament, we were even at halftime, and we played a really good offensive second half in both games. That's why we got separation.

We just couldn't get our offense really going tonight. At the end, we just let Mike take it and try to get to the basket. He's a strong guy, and he did it. He won the game for us.

Q. Given what you said about Wiltjer as you were setting up your last defensive set with 11 seconds to go, were you telling the guys to get on Wiltjer?
JIM BOEHEIM: Well, yeah, I didn't have to -- I didn't tell them that. I think they knew that. But with 11 seconds, it's hard to get a good shot against the zone, and you know, I thought once they had to throw it out, I thought that gave us enough time. Tyler Lydon, for a freshman, made an unbelievable play because he normally stays back there, but both their big guys were high, so I think he saw that, and he read where Perkins was coming, and he just came up. That's a pretty big play for a freshman to make. Our last two defensive stops were Trevor making the rotation on that penetration was -- he made a great play. That's a tough play to make, and he made a great play on that play, and then the last play. So we made two tremendous defensive plays at the end there.

Q. Jim and Mike, the sequence where you had the bucket to make it 61-60, I think Tyler Roberson kept it alive two or three times, how big was he on Sabonis and getting you guys second- and third-chance opportunities?
MICHAEL GBINIJE: You know, he obviously didn't have the height that he had, and I thought Tyler Roberson down the stretch, he competed, kept the ball alive, like you said, tripping it up, and I saw the ball, I tried to grab it and put it in quick.

JIM BOEHEIM: Both Tyler Lydon, both Tylers really were competing on the backboards at the end there. That's not a strength of ours, but they both -- they gave us opportunities, really tremendous effort, tremendous effort from those two guys.

Q. The ACC got four Elite 8 teams. What does that say about the strength of the conference, and how did that help with you guys in your tournament run?
JIM BOEHEIM: Well, I think the year was tough, and we had a lot of tough games. We've had a lot of games like this. I think that all helps you. I think that in my mind, I thought from the beginning of the year that Virginia had a little glitch early, but I thought Virginia and North Carolina were the two best teams in the league. They're both really, really good basketball teams, really well-coached teams, a lot of leadership, a lot of senior leadership.

I thought Iowa State was really a good team, and Virginia just dominated most of the game that I saw today. I saw a lot of it. I didn't see it all. I was watching our girls win. I was so happy for them that they beat South Carolina today. That was a great accomplishment for Coach Q and his girls. It was fun to kind of -- I was kind of watching that. I probably should have been doing something else, but I enjoyed watching that.

Our league is tough. I mean, you can't -- I learned a long time ago that it's a foolish game to say one league is better than the other. There's just too many variables. I think the top conferences are very, very good, and it's an imperfect system to say, well, they did better in the NCAA Tournament. I mean, you can use that, but I don't know. It's very difficult. We were so happy to beat Dayton. Dayton had beat us two years ago. We were so happy to beat them. We were kind of underdogs a little bit, and then -- Michigan State getting beat, everybody -- obviously they're a great team, but I've always felt if you're playing a team that beat that team, you've got a pretty tough game.

I thought Dayton was pretty darned good until we beat them, and then all of a sudden they weren't any good, and then I thought Middle Tennessee was pretty good until we beat them, and then they weren't any good. So I guess now Gonzaga probably won't be any good tomorrow morning.

But we really played well in this tournament. This was our worst offensive game, and we had enough to make a couple plays at the end and win the game.

Q. A short turnaround day, day and a half. How much does it help that you've played Virginia, you know them a little bit from conference play?
JIM BOEHEIM: It doesn't help us at all. I know them; that's the problem. They know us and we know them, and what I know about them, I don't like. They've got a great team. I'm going to try not to think about that for another 10 or 15 minutes. They've got a great team. I think Tony Bennett is one of the best coaches I've ever seen. I've seen a lot of coaches.

Q. Is that the second biggest block in Syracuse history?
JIM BOEHEIM: Yeah, it's a little ways behind the first one. (Laughter). Hakeem would not appreciate me saying anything about that one.

Q. Trevor, during the comeback there, you had to steal on the press underneath the basket and another one there at mid court. Can you take me through both of those plays?
TREVOR COONEY: Just making rotations. It's what we do every single day in practice, and I saw my opportunities and I took it. The one at half court, that was our press working, and everyone was making rotations and we were able to get the 10-second call.

JIM BOEHEIM: He made really almost three steals at the end of the game. That was pretty good. Really good defense, really good.

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