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March 16, 2017

Seth Allen

Zach Leday

Buzz Williams

Buffalo, New York

Wisconsin - 84, Virginia Tech - 74

THE MODERATOR: Joined by Virginia Tech head coach, Buzz Williams, as well as Seth Allen, Zach LeDay. We'll open right up with questions for our student-athletes. At this time, please raise a hand we'll get a microphone you to.

Q. Seth, they made 13 threes and their point guard obviously had eight of them. Was that just them being very hot or was there anything defensively that you think you guys could have done better defending the three?
SETH ALLEN: I think we talked about their three-point shooting, especially Bronson. A lot of it came off of offensive rebounds, some off of us trying to dig in the post. They did get hot. I think he hit like three or four in a row at one point. But we just had to do a better job running them off the line. But we were really focusing on trying to pack it in and trying to play tighter defensively.

Q. Zach, you guys were able to cut your deficit to one point on five different occasions in the second half, but never able to tie it or take the lead when you had a chance. Just how frustrating was it that you were able to battle almost all of the way back but never quite get there to even the game up?
ZACH LEDAY: I just know I had a couple opportunities. That's just my fault. I've got to be better as a leader and make them shots. You really don't think about that, you're thinking about getting stops and playing as hard as you can. We weren't really thinking about the score. I know I wasn't looking at the score for a second. I was just out there playing as hard as I could for my teammates.

Q. Seth, in the first half we saw you limping. Seemed like something was going on with the foot or anything. What was your physical condition tonight?
SETH ALLEN: I kind of got beat up a little bit, but I was fine in the second half.

Q. Seth, you guys were 7 of 17 from three. Was their three-point defense tough? Did they give you hard looks, tough looks?
SETH ALLEN: I don't know. I'd say that they got some really -- they're a really good defensive team. Some of the looks, we didn't touch the paint. We executed out of bounds under pretty well. The threes we did get were all from paint touches. A lot of those were -- we shot a lot of threes late. I remember I shot two in the second half that was late. But 7 for 17 -- what percent is that? 41? So, that's okay.

Q. Obviously, it's tough after a loss, but is there any room for both of you guys for pride right now, whether in each other or in the rest of your teammates or in Buzz?
ZACH LEDAY: We went out there, we fought as hard as we could. I guess at the end of the day, they made more winning plays than us, but we're going to have pride no matter what. We went out there and played as hard as we could and we gave it our all. We just came up short.

Q. Seth, why did you want to come over and give Zach a hug when he fell down?
SETH ALLEN: Because Zach's like my brother. We came in together and this is the last game we play together in college, so I just wanted to tell him I love him and that's it.

Q. For each of you, you helped turn this program around in the three years in Blacksburg. How will you remember your time in Blacksburg overall and this special season? How will you remember it?
ZACH LEDAY: This year, specifically, I was just really focused. I wasn't really focused on my time. To be honest, I wasn't thinking about my time in Blacksburg or anything. I was just thinking about basketball. Every day, all day, how I can get better. How I can get better with my team and help us win. At the end of the day, we fought as hard as we could. I literally dedicated my whole life to this program this season this past year. I don't have any regrets. I wish we could have won. I'm really mad that we didn't win. But at the end of day, these are my brothers for life, and Coach Buzz is like a father to me. I'm thankful I was able to come here and glad we got to this point.

SETH ALLEN: Same here. I enjoyed my time here. Like Zach said, this season we made a deal with each other. We didn't get on any social media. We just stayed in our house. We just went to the gym and shot, and we tried to be the best leaders we could and follow Coach Buzz because he's one of the best leaders we've ever seen or the best leader. And we were just trying to fight every night. It's hard to change a program around. You have to be an everyday digging person. You can't take any days off even when you're beat up.

That was always our mentality. We knew that it wasn't going to be easy, and we just wanted to just follow Coach Buzz and coaching staff's lead and just try to play and work as hard as we could when the cameras weren't up on our face.

THE MODERATOR: Seth, Zach, congratulations on the season.

SETH ALLEN: Thank you, guys. Thanks, everybody.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Williams at this time.

Q. Buzz, with as little depth as you had, and you knew Seth was hurting, Justin Bibbs said that he saw, at least during halftime, at points during the second half where he was grimacing. Did you have a discussion at any point during the half, I need you right now, there's nobody else I can rely on right thousand?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: No. We didn't discuss it. He knew, our team knew. He has really bad turf toe. Our team doctor was here. Obviously he played less minutes than normal. But that's part of it. We've obviously endured a short roster all year long, and an even shorter roster since Chris's injury. Hate that it happened to Seth in what ended up being his last game, not just for Seth but the importance that Seth brings to the other six guys that he plays with. But that's not why we lost. But it was a part of the story for sure.

Q. Buzz, did they do certain things keeping you from having one of those 10, 12 three-point games that you have?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: No, I mean this appropriately. I think with what has transpired over the last nine games with each passing game, the scouting report has skewed towards that. If you're shooting -- we were shooting 51% as a team from the field over the last nine games. 47%, I think, from three. So, I think teams are focused on -- we're playing for the most part multiple guys on the floor that can shoot it from three. So, they're a great defensive team, and I would say that that was a part of their plan going into the game.

Q. Buzz, last year, Seth and Zach both said that the N.I.T. tournament was a jumping-off point for you guys for wanting to have a good start. How do you view this game and experience in getting back here for the first time in a decade as a jumping off not just this year but for years to come?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: The thing I mentioned, obviously it's emotional any time you come to the end. Our last game, postgame locker room, this is my tenth year as a head coach. It's always been the same, and the one thing that I said different tonight than I said last year, to answer your question, is, as emotional as you are, it's important that you go back to the hotel, and write down all of the things that you learned. Good things, bad things, basketball-specific things, person things, student things. Because in order to use this as an opportunity for growth, you can't wait until after the Final Four. Because that's what typical kids do.

And I think what we've asked of our staff and asked of a very young roster, and in some ways a very depleted roster for various reasons, we've asked them to be men in so many respects, and so I think this, all of this, all that comes with this, is an opportunity to learn. And I think the best way to learn is to flush it all out of your heart and your soul and your brain and make sure that you have something that you can go back to. And just because of my relationship with those guys, and I don't say that in an arrogant way, I think they'll heed that advice, because I think it's important. I'll do it. I've always done it. There's a lot to learn from all of this and you have to dissect it in the right way.

Q. Buzz, you got a lot of pieces coming back next year. How much will you and this program and this team miss those two seniors that just left?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: I don't -- you probably know this. I'm in the bottom percentile in saying hello. And whatever percentile you think I am in that regard, I'm worse in saying good-bye. I don't say hello to my wife when she calls me; I don't say good-bye to my wife. That's the way I've always been and that's why I'm perceived, sometimes, I think in the wrong way. Man, I'll miss those kids.

Figuratively, those guys have carried a lot of water since they've been here, and for whatever reason, they have never resisted anything that I've asked of them. And not because they're good players, they're really, really good kids. And what they've been able to help us establish in a very, very short tenure, way faster than I believe we've been given credit for, I owe them for life, and my children owe them, and our staff owes them, and those other kids on our team owe them, and we're so thankful.

Q. I know you're not real big on negative thinking, but even for a second, do you allow yourself to think about, what if I had Chris, what if I had Kerry, what if I had even Johnny. These guys that can give you more minutes and especially bigs?
BUZZ WILLIAMS: Well, no. I think the reason why is the pace of this is just so fast, you know? And when you excel and give yourself time to go, well, if we did this and if we had that, this could have happened, for whatever reason, my whole career, there's some lemons, let's make lemonade. An you know why Zach and Seth are so good? It's because they didn't have any other choice.

And if you look at our staff, really and truly, the only guy whose resume looks like they belong is our trainer. You know, he's got all of those initials after his name. We send him all over the country to all of those conferences. But I think one of the things that I admire so much about our guys, they never paused either. Overtime game against UVA, you were there, the next morning Chris gets the MRI. That afternoon, the doctor comes to the office and we Face-Time his parents, but then we have to leave immediately after that to travel to Pitt, and part of it is because of the pace of everything.

But part of it is as a leader, I'm inspired that the fabric of how we go about things is, what's next? And that's a quote-shirt, but they believe it, and I believe it, too. And I think that they've been such an example of that. You know, the thing that I'm disappointed, Chris was Player of the Year in Virginia. He was a part of our first four recruiting class. I hate it for him that he didn't get to experience this in uniform, you know? I made the decision on K., Kerry, and called his dad, after the win at Michigan, and I said, in my heart, I don't think I would play my son, but I want to be honest with you, if I played your son, we would win two more games, and those two games could decide which tournament we play in. And he goes, Buzz, you need to play him. And I go, I know. As a coach, I need to play him, but in my heart, I can't.

And Pig -- Tyrie -- he's really good, and the things that he's been through in the last seven months, I've never seen in my 23 years as a college coach, ever. And what Tom Gabbard has done for Pig, I've never seen an administrator fight for. And Devin Wilson, he says to me, after the spring football game, Coach, what do you think I ought to do? I said, well, the only way I can answer that is, I think if I could tell my children that I played college football and college basketball at the highest level possible, I think I'd do that. Toughest guy on the roster. Best defender on the roster.

And I knew when he said I'm playing football, I knew that meant he wouldn't play basketball this year. And I think that you have to make decisions individually, but those decisions have to be sustainable collectively. And I think, like Berman said, of all of the guys that are returning, on paper, it will be the highest number of the years of experience at Virginia Tech. This group had seven years of experience at Virginia Tech, and we played 33 games with the last one being here. It's pretty good.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks. Coach.

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