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March 17, 2017

Archie Miller

Scoochie Smith

Kendall Pollard

Indianapolis, Indiana

Wichita State - 64, Dayton - 58

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the University of Dayton. Coach, will make a statement.

COACH MILLER: Congratulations to Wichita State with a terrific team, all they're advertised and more. Their depth, their length, their ability to rebound the ball is all spot-on.

I was really proud of our team. I thought that was one of the hardest played games we've been in a long, long time. And I think it was anyone's game for a good portion, and you got to give them some credit for some timely shots, rebounds, and then we sputtered.

We sputtered with about seven to six minutes to go and just had a hard time scoring, but I think everybody has a hard time scoring on them. But a couple of these guys next to me and two more that aren't here, what they've meant to our program and how their legacy will be laid out, it's something special.


Q. Scooch, what was it like hearing your name, Scooch, as you walked off the floor the last time?
SCHOOCHIE SMITH: It was a good feeling, a little bitter sweet. Had a terrific journey here with the rest of my fellow seniors, and it was real good. But proud of what we accomplished, all four of us, and we're not living for ourselves. We're living for the kids back at home from where we come from, giving them faith. Where we come from, people don't get this opportunity to play four years of Division 1 basketball in the NCAA tournament. So we're just living for everyone else back home as well.

Q. Archie, I don't know if you heard Gregg Marshall, but he closed by saying that he believed Dayton deserved a better draw than this. Do you have any response to that?
COACH MILLER: Like a 4 seed, like a 4 or 5 seed maybe. 30-some wins and you look at the numbers across the board, I mean, every coach studies the analytics. They're a team that can beat anybody on a neutral court at any time, and I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't pushing towards another second weekend. They're a great team, and they're really well coached, maybe as fun of a team to prepare for as we've had.

Actually, it was a lot of fun to be in the game playing against them because you kind of want to stack yourself up against sort of how they do things to see how your stuff works. We battled. We battled really hard. We were right there.

Q. Coach, Xeyrius struggled today, probably his worst game of the season. How do you get him to bounce back from this?
COACH MILLER: It will be motivation. A year ago, Xeyrius didn't get in the game. If he got in the game, it was probably a couple minutes. You saw him grow up month by month. Wouldn't have been here without him. He'll turn himself into a much more diverse player is a big key from him.

From a size perspective, you saw older guys in there tonight. That's what he needs to look like physically. When you shoot the ball at that size how he does, you can really start to see the blossoming of what we can be with him as years go by.

He didn't have a great night, missed some open ones, but he played hard. He really did. He played hard. Guy shoots 45 percent from 3 on the year as a sophomore. Compared to what he did a year ago, he's got a great, great future because he's a great kid, and he works very hard.

Q. Coach, Kyle didn't do much on offense, but he just laid his heart out there on defense. What does that say about him?
COACH MILLER: All these guys, Kyle's a special kid. He's been a special kid from day one. He's won I don't know how many games for us by never scoring a point. When you have guys like that, you know, those are the true team guys. They never care about scoring points. I thought he battled tonight.

I looked at Frankamp's numbers, and I think Landry probably made some timely ones in the second half. But, I mean, he's a big reason why we were able to contain their perimeter. He did that for us all night. Just a winner, man, one of the best guys I've ever been around.

Q. Coach, is it different preparing for a game as the higher seed versus the lower seed?
COACH MILLER: No. The numbers are the numbers. They go out the window right after they call your name, and then you start preparing to play a game.

I think these guys will tell you, I don't think we've ever approached a seed in our lives. I think we've always approached the team because we feel like we can beat them, felt like we could win tonight. We just didn't.

Felt like if we would have advanced, these guys would have been ready to try to do it again. That's the hallmark of a team that believes in themselves more so than anything else. I think the culture that these guys have helped create, it's going to be hard to carry the torch for everybody behind them every year like this. They've set a serious standard in a way to do things. There are no excuses ever made. I think regardless if Wichita State was a 4 today and we were a 10 or a 12, at the end of the day, you've got to play the game and that's how we approached it.

Q. For the players, coach mentioned you sputtered in the second half. From the 14-minute mark to the 2-minute mark, you were 1 of 16 from the floor. What was it about Wichita State's defense that made it so hard to score on them?
KENDALL POLLARD: They're a real connected defense. They were tight and playing aggressive. We just couldn't make shots. We're a pretty good offensive team, but the ball just wasn't falling for us tonight.

SCHOOCHIE SMITH: Of course you've got to give them credit because they're the ones defending, but I think it's more about us. We just had to step up and make shots, and a lot of people on our team, they couldn't get their shots to fall, couldn't get a flow. That's just sometimes how the game goes.

But we played hard enough to stay right in the game.

Q. Scoochie, no player wants to go out, obviously. If you do go out, do you want it to be like a game like today where it's a scrap and it's a brawl like you guys had with Wichita State today?
SCHOOCHIE SMITH: Makes you feel a little better about yourself, going out giving it your all. But as a competitor, you never want to go out on the bottom. So it was just a bad moment, but we did so much in my four years being here, we revived Dayton basketball, and I couldn't be happier.

Q. Archie, I know you just lost, but your name's been linked to the Indiana job. I just wonder what your thoughts were. I know it's close.
COACH MILLER: No thoughts.


COACH MILLER: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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