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October 25, 2017

Ryan Luther

Jonathan Milligan

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. Ryan, just what you can say about the adversity that you've witnessed at Pitt and just growing through that adversity and moving forward.
RYAN LUTHER: Yeah, a lot of new changes here. Of course last year was Coach Stallings' first year. I ended up getting hurt that year, as well. It didn't -- the year didn't go as well as we'd planned, but we're excited for this year. Got a good group of guys.

Q. When you think about the 2017-18 season, how will you know you are off to a good start?
RYAN LUTHER: I think that is going to be -- start with preparation these next couple weeks, you know, being a young team these next couple weeks are going to be really important, and then really the first couple non-conference games and a couple tests in our non-conference schedule will kind of let us know where we're at.

Q. Kind of going off of that, seven freshmen on the team this year, just what you can say about how the summer has been and what you've taken away from these guys coming in that obviously are going to have to be effective right away.
RYAN LUTHER: Yeah, it's definitely been an adjustment, but the guys got in here this summer, and we got to work right away. A lot of young guys, but a lot of guys who may come off more experience than what their age would suggest. But also a lot of good kids, a lot of hard workers, so I'm pretty excited because the coaching staff, you know, everyone listens to the coaching staff really well, and just trying to help age this group as quickly as we can.

Q. You talked about the change in coaches last year; through that, learning different personalities, what's your takeaway about adjusting? Was it hard for you to adjust? Was it hard for the team to adjust?
RYAN LUTHER: There's always an adjustment period. You know, when a new coaching staff or a lot of new players come in, a lot of people don't know what to expect. But I think we've really grown together a lot. We learned a lot about each other. I think we're coming along pretty well so far.

Q. When you think about the young guys that are on the squad, this time next year, what names do you think we'll have been talking about in reflection for 17-18? Who do we need to be looking out for?
RYAN LUTHER: I think a couple of the younger guys, Marcus Carr. He's shown a really high level of maturity for just being a freshman point guard. Also Parker Stewart, the way he's able to shoot the ball, and Jared Wilson-Frame, Shamiel Stevenson, their play making and athleticism is really something that's jumped out so far.

Q. You come from an athletic family. Your twin brother plays basketball at Elon. Obviously there's a lot of football and basketball. How much does your family during times you're not involved in school, how often do they talk sports? Are they giving you feedback, criticism, highlights, high fives?
RYAN LUTHER: A decent amount of feedback and criticism, but yeah, definitely when we're around each other, we're talking about sports a lot of the time. Just something that we all bond over and spend most of our time growing up doing.

Q. Tell us about your teammate Ryan.
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: Ryan, I've watched him grow into a leader, watched him develop and improve in a bunch of facets of his game. It's been a pleasure to see him get better.

Q. Jonathan, speaking on the back court for you, some of those incoming guys, the young guys that are going to be on this team, what you can say about the talent that you have back there and maybe some specifics on who you're excited about having back there with you.
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: Jared Wilson-Frame, Marcus Carr, Shamiel, who can play inside or out with his body. He's very physically imposing. They were sponges. They're ready to learn. They come to compete every day, and it makes the job easier.

Q. Why Pitt? Why did you choose that school?
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: To be on the biggest stage, to be in the ACC. I like the town, I like the people, the coaching staff.

Q. To look at Kevin and just what he's done as a head coach, you said that he's part of the reason why you chose to go to Pitt. What is it about him that's so special and what are you taking away from him so far?
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: He's a great offensive mind. As a point guard he sees the game in a way that can help me learn and mature and to grow. He allows us to get up and down. He allows people to use the tools that they have, and he's big on execution. You know, it was a lot to learn there.

Q. Being a senior and being a team leader, having so many freshmen on the team, what are your expectations as a team leader?
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: Like I said, we have a bunch of young guys, but they're sponges. My expectations are still to compete and win games and to have toughness.

Q. You play with a lot of emotion, a lot of smiles on the court sometimes, a lot of furled brow. How do you know when to release your emotion and show that joy and when do you know how to buckle down and show that mean-looking face?
JONATHAN MILLIGAN: I've been playing my whole life. It's a feel. I enjoy the game. I enjoy playing the game. I enjoy competing and playing hard. But there's those moments where you've got to be tough and you've got to be gritty, and being at University of Pittsburgh, having some toughness is something that we uphold.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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