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March 9, 2017

Buzz Williams

Seth Allen

Zach Leday

New York, New York

Florida State - 74, Virginia Tech - 68

Q. Buzz and Seth, obviously when Zach picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench, they scored 11-straight points while he was on the bench and took control there. How much of that was just Zach not being out there and how much was that just the deeper team that they started wearing you down and the depth situation kind of kicked in there and that was a big factor in the second half?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: We struggled with foul trouble for anybody, whether it was this game or any other game. Their length, their athleticism, their second shots, our turnover rate, not being able to maneuver guys because of foul trouble obviously plays into it. They're a really good team, so it's all of those things combined.

SETH LeDAY: Yeah, when Zach got his fourth foul, even with Zach they're a really great team. I just think that we didn't handle business on the defensive glass, and that was a big separation tonight.

Q. Coach, the size differential seemed to be very present there. Your thoughts on the size differential playing such a big part, especially in the rebounding game?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Yeah, 20 percent of our losses this year have come to Florida State. I would have to think through all of the losses, but when teams get that many more shots than we do, it's typically because we're struggling to get a rebound to finish the possession defensively. We're going to play 6'6" and under. That's the team that we have, and we've done all right. But yeah, if a team shoots as many more field goals as we do, it's a struggle for us.

Q. Buzz, it's been 10 years since a team has left the ACC Tournament pretty much knowing they're in the NCAA Tournament.
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Say it again now?

Q. It's been 10 years in Blacksburg since a Virginia Tech team has gone home from the ACC Tournament with the fate that they're going to get this year. How much different does that make bowing out of a tournament than say last year where you knew maybe NIT, and Seth, as a player curious what it's like knowing that you have very significant games still ahead of you?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: We're thankful to still be playing. I mean this in the right tone of voice: I can't speak on the last 10 years or 11 years because we haven't been here. And that's not to be disrespectful to those that were in these chairs. We're grateful for the chairs that we sit in. We're thankful to still be playing back to back nights. I think we managed it as best we could. But that we get to go home and know that we have another opportunity, there will be 68 teams that will be 0-0, and we want to keep playing.

Q. Zach, not to put too much emphasis on that fourth foul, what did you see in the play when the whistle was blown? Did you think it was kind of a big moment?
ZACH LeDAY: I was just trying to get around in the post, had my hands straight up. The ref made the call, he must have seen something. I'm not sure. But I can't put myself in those situations because that's not helping my team, and I've just got to be smarter than that, just try to get myself out of those situations and just keep playing hard.

Q. How much different does it feel this year going home to such a significant future as opposed to last year when it was the NIT and maybe not quite as big a deal?
SETH ALLEN: That's a good question. Like Coach said, we're grateful for the ability to play. I think because we took care of business in non-conference and preseason and in the conference, it gave us the opportunity to still be playing, and I mean, it's a blessing. We're going to be grateful for it. We're going to treat it the right way, and we're going to prepare as best we can for postseason or wherever God lets us play.

Q. Coach, can you talk about Zach's performance battling guys two, three, four, five inches taller than he was tonight?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: That's all he knows. I don't mean that condescending. He doesn't know any different. He's a little taller because of his length than what his height actually says. I think it's hard to measure someone's heart, but he plays with incredible fight. For him to do what he's done here over the last two games obviously allowed us to still be here today.

And not to say that it's not about Zach, but I think per position, pretty much we're always shorter. I think our style of play fits our personnel, and I think we've adjusted over the last eight games to what's best for us, and I think it's a more narrow lane than what we were accustomed to prior to that. But I think it speaks to our staff and the work that they've done to make those adjustments and the willingness to the kids to be able to try to execute that.

We had a turnover rate of 21 percent, so 20 percent of the time we gave them the ball. They got 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 13 more field goal attempts than us, and we got beat by six by the 16th-ranked team in the country, playing seven guys on back-to-back nights. But it's just a very specific recipe that we have to follow, and it's a very fragile line of doing that per possession on both ends of the floor.

I think that we're mixing and matching defensively in the right way. We can't get in rotation. We have to keep the ball in front because it is going to come down to a rebounding situation; can we finish the possession with the rebound.

To your point, Zach or Seth or 5 or whoever were smaller, and being transparent, less athletic. So our guys are willing to accept that, which speaks to who they are, and I thought there were multiple times tonight that they could have stopped, and they didn't, and I think that's why, to Aaron's question, I think that's why we're still playing, and not to expand on what Seth said, but in the right sort of way, I think our guys have felt as though they've been playing postseason since Valentine's because they understood what was at stake, and I think that it speaks to the toughness of who they are that they understood that postseason was now, and that's hard to understand. Those are the only two seniors on our team, and that's a heavy burden to carry figuratively, and I think they've carried it really well.

And so I think on Sunday, if you're able to be there, I think they'll remember whatever questions you asked the rest of their life. He's never played, he's never played, and there's not a player in the locker room that's ever played in the NCAA Tournament. So for them to chase that since Valentine's Day and not even really completely understand the chase, that's great wisdom for their life.

Q. For the players, you had to play last night; they did not. You played seven guys, they played 12. How much of that had an effect as the game wore on there?
SETH ALLEN: I mean, our bodies are fine. I don't think that we were fatigued. I think, like Coach said, we turned the ball over too much. They got 13 or 14 more possessions than us, and I mean, just mathematically it's hard to win when they get that many extra possessions, and we still only lost by six. So I mean, that just shows the fight with our seven guys in our locker room and our program, our coaching staff that we ain't never going to give up, no matter how bad we play or how we play. But when we tighten things up, we're a really good team to watch.

ZACH LeDAY: I think just to piggyback on that, we did turn it over too much and they got a lot of offensive rebounds, but I wouldn't really say them having 12 players really made that much of a difference. Only five people can play for each team, and we're all going to go out there and play as hard as possible.

I know everybody, my team is going to play as hard as they can and give it their all, so if we just cut down on the turnovers and just keep on boxing out, then I feel like we could have won this game, regardless of them having 12 and going deep.

Q. Zach, Coach mentioned you deal with a height disadvantage a lot. Is this maybe the most extreme example that you've experienced in your whole basketball life because you were guarded by 6'9", 6'10", 7'1", and 7'4", and that sounds about as extreme as it can get.
ZACH LeDAY: To be honest, I don't really look at the height. I just feel like if I play hard, I'll be able to help my team win no matter how tall I am or how tall another person is. I know I can just do what I can control. I can't control how tall I am. I can't control how tall they are. I just need to keep on playing hard and boxing out and keeping those big guys off the glass, and that'll help our team.

BUZZ WILLIAMS: He did pretty good to have 22 and 9 and those guys he played against last night, 31 and 15. That guy, you won't cover that guy again. He'll be one of those ACC Hall of Fame guys in 10 years. That's 43 points and 24 rebounds, and he played 64 minutes. So per-minute played, if you add all of those guys up, he probably held his own.

Q. You guys had seven three-pointers in the first half. I don't think you had another one until the last minute of the game. Did their defense do certain things to make them tougher looks for you from three-point in the second half?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: I think their defensive philosophy is pretty much the same. I think that's the first time they've played zone in the last month and a half. I thought we did well in the first half attacking the way we need to, free-throw make, free-throw attempts was pretty good. Some of those threes down the stretch were quick on purpose. Some of those threes were without a paint touch based on time, scoring and momentum. You're right, we typically make more, but that's probably about the amount that we average attempting. But I don't think that they changed. Obviously every team is going to play us that way to some extent.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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