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March 14, 2017

Bennie Boatwright

Jordan McLaughlin

Dayton, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Bennie Boatwright and Jordan McLaughlin from the USC Trojans. Questions.

Q. Guys, I wonder for both Jordan and Bennie can you tell us what you recall from last year's game with Providence, how it ended out and your feelings about it other than you lost it?
JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN: We remember it. It's something that's in the back of our minds. It wasn't one particular thing at the end. I mean, we know what happened at the end, but it was just the thing over the course of the game that we could have corrected. So we watched film on it and we gotta learn from our mistakes.

BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Yeah, like, I could say the same, tough loss, tough way to end the year, but we're excited to be back in the same position, and we're ready to play.

Q. Bennie, I'm curious how you've recovered from your injury and did you ever think that this year would be a total washout for you?
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: It's been tough being out for about 15, 16 games in the year. It's tough to get a rhythm back, but I feel like I'm back and I'm getting better each game.

Q. Did you ever think it would be the end?
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: I didn't think so. I knew I'd work hard enough to get back playing.

Q. Your travel yesterday, I understand it was a little problematic. Just talk about that a little bit.
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Yeah, yeah, it was -- the plane, something was going on with the plane, so we had to -- it was delayed for a couple of hours. We went to the shopping center and got food and all that. And then we finally left around -- what time did we leave?


BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Five, got here around 12:00 Eastern time. So it was just a different day.

JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, it was just a long day. Anytime a flight's delayed you're spending all day at the airport, it's a long day. But I think some of us got some good sleep last night and we'll get some good sleep tonight and be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Guys, could you just tell us how different you are this year than you were last year when you played Providence, how your team has evolved and where you feel like maybe your strong points are as opposed to your weak points. Bennie?
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Yes, a year of experience makes a big difference for -- I can speak for me, Chimezie and I, being freshmen, last year we didn't know what to expect coming into the game. But this year we know what to expect.

I feel freshmen, while I was out, they got a lot of minutes, they got to get better while I was out. Now they're finding their roles and I feel like we're ready to play.

JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN: I'll say the same. The experience. The experience helps a lot. This is my third year, second time in the tournament. And I'm just trying to be a leader and lead our younger guys, especially our freshmen, they've been doing an exceptional job this year. And Bennie and Chimezie, they've gotten better they've got new roles on this team from last year. And everybody's taking on their role and accepted it. And I think that's one of the big things for this team.

Q. Jordan, I'm curious, you guys won one game against the top three teams in your league. All three teams are Final Four level teams or are regarded that way. How do you think your team benefited just going up against UCLA, Oregon and Arizona?
JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN: It was good. We weren't able to come out with wins, but we know we're able to compete with top competition. When we played UCLA at our home we won that one, and the other two times we played them, we played them pretty tough.

And the same with Arizona and Oregon. Those are really two tough teams. And I feel like going up against them two times and UCLA three times, you know, we know we're able to compete with a high caliber team.

Q. Both of you, you guys have been traveling quite a bit lately. You were in Vegas last week and then back to L.A., and now you're out here in Dayton, Ohio, and potentially playing three games in the next five days. How well rested do you think your team is headed into this?
JORDAN MCLAUGHLIN: I think we're pretty well rested. I mean, once the season starts, nobody's 100 percent health-wise. But you know, it's just a matter of getting treatment, you know, in between hours. All the technology and stuff today for treatment and stuff is ridiculous.

So it helps us a lot. We're always taking care of things in the hotel with our trainer. And I think everybody should be fine.

BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Yeah, like J-Mac said, getting treatment each and everyday, keeping your body fresh, stretching, ice baths -- I think we'll be ready to go. But it's a part of basketball. And this is what we're here for. So we're excited.


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