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March 8, 2018

Anthony Grant

Josh Cunningham

Trey Landers

Washington, D.C.

VCU 77 and Dayton 72

ANTHONY GRANT: Really proud of our guys. I thought our guys battled. Give VCU credit. They made enough plays at the end of the game to be able to close it out, but really proud of the effort that we got today, all year long. Just appreciative of the sacrifices that our guys made over the course of the year, and this is an opportunity for us to learn and grow from this experience.

Q. 70-65, you got the lead and you're feeling good. What did you think went wrong? Looked like the offense got tentative in the last couple minutes?
TREY LANDERS: I think we had two shot clock violations, they were flying around on defense and ended up getting stops which kind of ended up hurt being us because we couldn't convert on the end of the floor.

JOSH CUNNINGHAM: Like Trey said, we got late on the shot clock and that's what affected us.

Q. Do you think your offense ran better inside-out, you got better looks, and at times, did you get away from that?
TREY LANDERS: I feel like we got a lot of clean looks, especially in the first half, we just didn't hit the shots. Second half, was pretty much more of the same thing, we're an inside-out team, especially when you have a guy as dominant as Josh; him being able to pass the ball, moving around him. I feel like we got a little stagnant the second half but at the end of the day, I feel like we had a lot of clean looks.

JOSH CUNNINGHAM: I think we were 50/50. We just weren't making shots.

Q. What happened on that play where you got your bell running and how did you feel there for a second?
TREY LANDERS: I was coming over the foul and Williams ended up coming over and he kind of head-butted me, but it wasn't nothing crazy. I'll be fine.

Q. Coach, you gave your guys offensive freedom, including the guards. How hard is it to teach guys to actually go inside-out on a consistent basis, when they know they can shoot; you give them the green light?
ANTHONY GRANT: I thought, you know, like Trey said, I thought we got some looks today that didn't go for us and that's the game of basketball.

So my thing with our guys is just make sure that we're being as efficient as we can in terms of generating the type of shots we want. We missed some inside today. We missed some outside today. We left a little bit on the table at the end.

At the end of the day, you know, with the five-point lead, VCU was able to get a corner three. They were able to get a drive against a contested drive to finish and then a tough shot overextended hands by Williams at the end of the game.

You know, so that's the game of basketball, and the thing that you ask every day, you can't control whether or not shots fall every night. You know, obviously we would like to have a couple possessions back that either resulted in turnovers or opportunities that we felt like we didn't take advantage of. That's the game of basketball. You know, so I don't know if that answers your question, but that's just part of it, man.

Q. How are you going to remember your first season here?
ANTHONY GRANT: You know, I'm going to sit back like I always do and reflect, but like I said, at this point, what I feel is I'm proud of that group that we had. There was a lot that this team went through over the course of the season. But that group in that locker room, there was tears being shed because they wanted the season to continue. They wanted to continue to play with each other.

So right now, that's what's on my mind is I'm grateful for the effort that those guys gave us, the buy-in that they had in terms of what myself and our staff asked of them, the sacrifices that they made for us over the course of the year.

Joey Gruden as a walk-on leaving, you know, we've got a group of guys in there that need to learn from this year's experience and you know, experience sometimes can be the best teacher. So we need to grow from this and look forward to getting ready for the NCAA.

Q. You mentioned the young guys at one point. You had four freshmen in in the final minutes. Do you feel like as a group, they got better as the season went on?
ANTHONY GRANT: No question. No question. I noticed the same thing from where we started, to where those guys finished being able to be out, and basically another freshman in Trey because he didn't really play last year, out there as a crucial time and hold their own, I was proud of that.

I think obviously at the end of the game, we'll look at things that we could have done better, plays that we could have made, rotations or whatever it is, but this team grew. You know, they grew and you know, they understood. They learned what it would take and now we've got to take that next step as a team to be able to win games like these.

Q. You guys were down throughout most of the second half and you finally get that lead, up five a few times. What happened there? Did they just get a little tentative with some of the shot clock violations?
ANTHONY GRANT: I have to go back and look at it. One of the shot clock violations, we were disjointed offensively. Ended up with a fadeaway shot on the baseline that just was a bad offensive possession.

The other one, VCU did a good job defensively, a couple deflections that didn't go out-of-bounds; that the possession continued, got deflected out-of-bounds and we ended up with a late clock situation with no time-outs. We just couldn't -- it was good defense on their part. That's basketball, man.

And we were in a zone possession, they got a swing around the perimeter, found the guy open in the corner and we didn't make the rotation that we needed to make and he got a clean look and he made it. You know, I thought the zone bothered him for a while -- his ability to get the other shot that they made, that gave them the lead, were both contested, tough twos, you know, that those guys did a great job of finishing. I thought 'Stas did a good job of being vertical and contesting the one, and then at the end of the game, Williams' shot over Matej.

Q. Offensively?
ANTHONY GRANT: Yeah, probably once I look at the film, probably a lot of things I'd like to change. You can always go back and look at it and say, oh, you know, let's do it over, but in the heat of the moment, you know, you've got to to live with that.

Q. How do you think you did defensively against Tillman throughout the game?
ANTHONY GRANT: I thought second half, you know, he was able to get it a little bit more going than he did in the first. I thought our guys as a team did a really good job. Give them credit. They had other guys that stepped up today for them.

You look across the board, they had five guys, almost six guys in double figures today. They got good play off of their bench with some of the plays some of the guys were able to come in and make for them. Yeah, I give their team credit.

Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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