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March 7, 2018

John Giannini

Tony Washington

Amar Stukes

Washington, D.C.

UMASS 69, La Salle 67

DR. JOHN GIANNINI: This was an emotional loss. Obviously it's the last loss of the season. It's an emotional loss obviously for our seniors. It was unfortunately typical of our season. We just couldn't get over the hump, especially in close games. You know, our record in overtime games and games that came down to the last shot is not good.

You know, we give effort to put ourselves in position to win games, and we've just come up a little bit short. But I'm proud of our guys, and I look forward to Johnny, B.J. and Amar and Tony, being, you know, family for the rest of our lives. As a coach who has done this for a long time, there's nothing better than former players, because at that point, the relationship is not about basketball any more, and it's actually more personal and more meaningful to see these guys go on in life.

You know, 1-for-16 on threes is a huge factor. Their offensive rebounds late was a huge factor. You know, I thought Pookie's shots were great shots, and he gave great effort to create them and just by bad luck they didn't go in. I don't think our team or Pookie have anything in that area to feel bad about, other than the because didn't go in the basket.

UMASS, listen, in this league, everyone's good. UMASS has beaten Providence. They have beat earn Georgia. In this league, you have good teams without good records because of the schedules we play.

So I have a lot of respect for UMASS. They beat us. They made the extra plays. They defended. They got, as I said, some really big offensive rebounds and they deserved it.

Q. Amar, knowing that this is the last go-around in the Atlantic 10 Tournament for you guys, and when the shots aren't falling; that sometimes maybe it can compound on itself, knowing what this tournament is for you guys, and when the shots aren't falling, it can multiply?
AMAR STUKES: I don't think it multiplies. Just we didn't hit shots today honestly. That's pretty much what it was. We've already played against UMASS. I mean, we were prepared. We just didn't make the shots.

Q. Tony, when the shots weren't falling, they went inside to you. How important was it for you to do some scoring and to keep it in there, and can you talk about the frustration when you guys are seeing shots that just won't go in? Not bad shots; they just don't go in.
TONY WASHINGTON: I was trying hard to get the offensive rebound and whatnot, but traffic got inside for me and I just had to do my part and tried to score as much as I can, or create for other players on the team.

Q. For either of you, I assume you guys practiced the last second, 3-2-1 play. Is it more about positioning or about having the exact strategy in mind, or how do you guys do it in practice and how does it work out in practice?
AMAR STUKES: I mean, you can't really draw up exactly what situation you're going to be in, like where exactly the players are going to be. But I mean, we came up with some late-second plays and we really just wanted to get the ball to Pook. He's the fastest player on our team. We know he can get up the court in four seconds. He's accustomed to making clutch shots, so we got the ball to the right person. Just didn't go in.

Q. Amar, you guys had several time outs, 14 seconds left. What were you saying it each other at that point in the huddle?
AMAR STUKES: We really just needed to buckle down and get a stop. That's all we walking about, was either get the stop or we going home.

Q. Is it difficult on the sidelines when the shot aren't falling, but you're still in the game and it gets to a point where you just need one to go in, and it doesn't; it's a good look, but it doesn't go in.
DR. JOHN GIANNINI: Yeah, I think, you know the answer to that. We were a shot away and one for 16 on threes is historically low, probably our lowest of the season. Those shots Pookie had were great.

So yeah, it's disappointing. Like I said, UMASS deserves a lot of credit. I thought their overall defense was good, and I thought they really hurt us on some offensive rebounds late. But yeah, you're right, one of those balls goes in and we win.

Q. Amar is a kid who has worn a La Salle uniform for a long time and I know you recruited him for a long time and he's been part of the program for probably even past the five years that he has been. If you could just -- what has it been like coaching him these last five years and what will it be like without him?
DR. JOHN GIANNINI: I can't say enough good things about Amar Stukes. Sometimes words just don't do justice. I trust him in every way, shape and form. He's going to be enormously successful in life. He's never been anything but a pleasure to be around. He's never been anything but a phenomenal representative of La Salle.

I just told him, I remembered I was on vacation in August when he committed to us, and I remember the moment vividly and it was meaningful to me then and it's still a very meaningful moment because I just appreciate having the opportunity to coach him so much.

Q. Can you talk about the contribution you got from the inside players, such as Tony and B.J., because it looks like when you needed offense, getting the ball inside gave you --
DR. JOHN GIANNINI: Yeah, we did. We got a big one from B.J. late but Tony was really the mainstay and it's really neat it see Tony play his best basketball at the end of his career. He's always helped us and he's always done good things, but you know, he was just terrific today. He's had some terrific games late in the year.

I'm just really happy for him. He's just another wonderful person and it's too bad he didn't get the win today because individually he certainly played as well as anyone in the game and deserved a positive outcome.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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