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March 17, 2017

Tim Cluess

Deyshonee Much

Jordan Washington

Sam Cassell

Sacramento, California

THE MODERATOR: From Iona we have the head Coach Tim Cluess, Deyshonee Much, Sam Cassell and Jordan Washington. Tim, could you start off with your impressions?

TIM CLUESS: I want to congratulate Oregon. They're a heck of a basketball team. They played well from start to finish, can't say enough good things about them. I like the fight in my guys. I love my guys here. They gave me everything they had. We might not played the best game of the year, but we weren't lacking for heart. Talk about Rickey McGill for a minute. He played with a broken hand and he probably shouldn't have played, but that's how much heart he has. He's part of the spirit of the team and the guys that I have with me right now just played their hearts out until the end, so I'm really proud to be their coach and really proud to be up here with them.

Q. Take me through your emotion of the experience of being in the tournament and playing your last games with Iona?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: Oh, man, my emotions is -- I can't speak on that. Let Sam speak on that.

SAM CASSELL: I'm sad right now and my college career is over, but I liked the fighting it out in us in the second half. I want to thank Coach Tim Cluess and the rest of the coaching staff for bringing me into the Iona family.

Q. Sam, match-ups, tough to keep them out on the perimeter when they were trying to get in? Are they a tough match-up in terms of having some guys that were able to get to the basket and you guys only have a big shot blocker waiting there in the end?
SAM CASSELL: I wouldn't say that. It's just they got out in transition. Our bad shots led to their fast break layups, so that was it.

Q. Jordan, when you went down in the first half was it your knee or ankle?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: It was my shin.

Q. It sounded like you thought it was pretty bad at the time. Did you think it was worse?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: I thought it was worse, honestly, but I went back there and got an x-ray. Told me I was fine.

Q. What fueled the comeback? You guys were down 27 at one point, it would have been easy to pack it in. But you were able to get it to within 13 with 5 or 6 minutes left. What fueled that? Did you change anything?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: We went back in the locker room the second half and talked about how we gotta become a family and play hard and come together and we never stopped. We always play till it hits double zero.

Q. Deyshonee, you were a big part of that comeback. You hit three straight three-pointers, and a fourth one later on, you finished the game with five so that would have been five in the second half. Were they backing away from you and letting you have those shots? Were you in a zone?
DEYSHONEE MUCH: I just did my role on the team. I felt like that was a time to step up. I just did what I could at the time. It wasn't, let me get this shot off or -- it was just me accepting my role on the team as a scorer and I just wanted to help the guys win.

Q. Tim, obviously they have a lot of weapons offensively. Coming into it what did you want to do defensively and obviously I imagine not letting them get to the rim so easily?
TIM CLUESS: I think it started with transition and getting to the rim. We knew they could drive the ball well and they're athletically quicker than our guys but the transition wasn't good and a lot of the transition did come from bad shots, bad decisions. Had we made some shots in the first half they wouldn't have gotten as easy shots. We play small and they have guys who are 6'7" with ridiculously light and quick first step. And they do a great job of sharing the ball, so they worked it around until they could break us down; and at the 8-minute mark it was a 1-point game and we had a bad stretch of a couple of turnovers in a row and a couple of bad shots in a row and they capitalized on all of them and it went from 8 to 18 like that.

Q. Tim, do you anticipate any bit of a coaching shake-up after this year as possibly Coach Grasso could be getting looks?
TIM CLUESS: I thought I was being fired and no one told me yet. The way things go you never know. Coach Grasso deserves everything he gets. I root for him to get that job. We wouldn't be sitting up here without the hard work and dedication and all he brings to this program, so I'm rooting for someone to give him an opportunity because he's deserving of it and he's a terrific young coach.

Q. Deyshonee, when you guys were down 29-28 with 8 minutes left in the first half, did you feel like this was something you could do, enough time had passed that you could maybe keep it close to the end?
DEYSHONEE MUCH: Yeah, I mean, Iona basketball we preach competitiveness, so at that point and through the whole, you know, game we just wanted to compete. So whether the score was -- we were within 1 point or 20 points. We were going to compete to the end of the game.

Q. Jordan, Sam, overall how do you hope your Iona legacy is remembered?
JORDAN WASHINGTON: Oh, man, Iona legacy, we hang banners at Iona. We got two MAAC Championships and that's all I can say.

SAM CASSELL: Like he said, came here, won a Championship and now I have a banner in the gym. So my legacy is I helped to win the 2016-17 MAAC Championship and got to the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Tim, you talked about their transition. They shot 64% in the first half. How much did that hurt your ability to run and play the transition game you wanted?
TIM CLUESS: There weren't many misses by their team. They were getting easy shots, and they didn't have a lot of second shots. But they had enough and they were beating us up in the paint and that took away a lot of our transition opportunities.

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

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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