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March 16, 2017

Sam Cassell

Jordan Washington

Taylor Bessick

Jon Severe

Sacramento, California

THE MODERATOR: Good morning, welcome to the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Our student-athletes today are Sam Cassell, Jon Severe, Taylor Bessick and Jordan Washington. Gentlemen, welcome.

Q. Sam, could you talk about your season and what it's like coming across country?
SAM CASSELL: It was a good season, up and down season, but we stuck together throughout the season. We won our conference. That was our main goal during the season. This big guy right here led us the whole season right here. We was his supporting cast. We are just happy to be here.

Q. Guys, this is something you've been waiting for a long time. Some of you have been here. To be in this situation where you're playing a tournament game but potentially your last game tell me about the balance of emotions is and how you're feeling in that regard?
JON SEVERE: I don't know.

JORDAN WASHINGTON: It's a good experience to come to Sacramento and knowing that we won the MAAC Championships and we are going to play a team that likes to get into transition the same way we do.

Q. Sam and Jordan, can you talk about your trip? Have any of you been out this far and what do you think of Sacramento?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: That trip is very long! I was tired of being on that plane, but I had my own row and a little bit of leg room. I've never been out here before, but it's nice.

SAM CASSELL: It's good to get out of the snow. It's good to see some palm trees and sunshine.

Q. Sam, did you ever think it would be like this, you transferring from UConn coming to Iona and sitting where you are? Did it ever go through your mind when you wanted to leave the Huskies to come here and boom you're on the big stage?
SAM CASSELL: That's the reason I came to Iona. It's a winning school, a winning background. And when I talked to these guys that's all they talked about was getting back to the NCAA Tournament. Me coming here, I just had to help to get 'em back here and we're here.

Q. Jordan, your initial reaction watching Oregon, you mentioned them in transition. They lost one of their big guys and they have only had one game without him, but what do you think about the Ducks?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: Man, we're going to run fast and play hard. They like to run fast like we do, so we're going to play hard and try to top that intensity.

Q. Sam and Jon, you guys like to shoot the 3 a lot and get up and down. The Iona teams in the past haven't gotten hot on the stage. Do you think it's due for you to be like that and do you feel like you can go out and play loose like you have every other game?
SAM CASSELL: Yes, I think so. It's Coach Cluess' game plan. If they double on the big fellow he's going to kick it out, and we have to make the shots. That's the main thing we have to make the shots tomorrow.

JON SEVERE: Just like Sam said, if we play together, we can get this win tomorrow.

Q. Taylor, are you feeling pressure? Are you enjoying all of this? I think once the game starts you will get comfortable, did you guys rest well?
TAYLOR BESSICK: We're excited to be here, so everybody is focused on the game plan, focused on practice. The intensity level has picked up in practice. We want to be here and we want to show we belong here so everybody has more focus and they're ready to go.

Q. Jordan, what's it like to match-up against Dillon Brooks tomorrow?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: Well, he's a very tough player. So we're going to try to match-up with him -- we're going to try to do a lot with him, because he's a very tough player.

Q. What are your first impressions of the arena? It's a brand new arena where the Kings play and pretty snazzy?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: We haven't gone to the arena yet. We're going to go after this, so we haven't seen the arena yet.

Q. What do you think it will be like?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: I think it's going to be very beautiful to play on this court.

Q. Taylor, you are also a transfer. You came a little earlier. What were your thoughts coming in here and once again being on this big stage?
TAYLOR BESSICK: Excited to be here, because I came here as a freshman with JMU and then I came to Iona last year, so feel good that we came to back-to-back championships and going to March Madness. So I'm excited to be here.

Q. Does it register in your mind that you have been here with two different schools? That has to be unique in and of itself?
TAYLOR BESSICK: I'm grateful to be able to come here with both schools. It's a lot of hard work and I just got lucky, and thanks to Coach Cluess I was lucky to be here.

Q. Sam, when is the last time you played your dad one-on-one?
SAM CASSELL: Last summer. I got him. Beat him bad, too slow, too slow now.

Q. Does he want a rematch?
SAM CASSELL: He's a competitive guy. He always want a rematch, but I don't want to play him again. I'm good. I'm up.

Q. Sam, you probably know he probably told you, but he had one of his best playoff series against the Sacramento Kings in the playoffs in 2004. Did you ever see that on old footage?
SAM CASSELL: The crazy thing about it before we came out here I put him in YouTube and that series popped up, when he had 40 first game. I try to study his tapes to take his moves, so I've seen it a couple of times.

Q. Sam, in regards to Oregon, they come in obviously as a favorite. Do you think you can take advantage of this in some ways that there is more pressure on them if you keep it close early on they could get tight?
SAM CASSELL: Yes, we are the underdogs. It's just up to us to go out there and play Iona basketball, and I think if we do that, I think we will be fine.

Q. You guys are a really strong three-point shooting team. Do you feel more pressure to make anymore threes tomorrow than usual?
SAM CASSELL: I don't find there is any pressure. As long as we go out there and play our games and take good shots and open shots, I think we will be fine.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? Gentlemen, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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