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March 8, 2018

Tubby Smith

David Nickelberry

Kareem Brewton Jr.

Kyvon Davenport

Orlando, Florida

Memphis - 79, South Florida - 77

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions.

TUBBY SMITH: Well, certainly we were really happy to get the win. But I've been impressed with South Florida the last few weeks. They certainly came to Memphis and beat us pretty handily, and we had to hold on to get the win today. So Brian Gregory and his staff have been doing fantastic job.

But I'm really proud of how our guys hung in here today, finished the game. Even though we lost the lead there, we still did the things to get the win. And this post-season play, anything can happen. You got to really be focused and I thought we were focused and did a good job to finish it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please?

Q. Kyvon, how motivated were you guys, given the loss to them last week and kind of everything that's been going on around the program the past few days?
KYVON DAVENPORT: It was a tough loss, but we knew we couldn't hang our heads over it. So we just got after it, after practice and pushed each other and made each other better. And we knew we had to come out here with intensity from the beginning because we play well once we get going from the beginning, get going early. And what really helped us out was our defense; more deflections we got and the stops we got really helped us out on offense.

Q. Tubby, there have been some reports about your future about your agent came out today and said you continue to have the support of the administration. Do you feel like you have that support moving forward?
TUBBY SMITH: Yeah. I feel pretty comfortable, pretty confident about what we have done this year, and how we have and how we are growing the program and the type of young men that we're recruiting.

Q. Tubby, how tough have the past couple days been for you and your family? There's news that came out before the game about G.G. as well. How have you guys, how have you been dealing with everything that's been going on?
TUBBY SMITH: Well, it is part of our business. It's the profession we chose. And unfortunately there you are, hired to be fired usually unless you're in some program that's just unbelievable and you're getting all the -- you're doing everything right. But he did a good job there, the best he could, so I'm proud of him.

Certainly -- yeah, it's always tough when that happens, whether it is your family or friends or anybody in the business, no one ever wants to see that happen, but it's part of the culture now. It's like that's something that's celebrated at the end of the season, by a lot of people.

Q. David, what do you think, it seemed like, was it home cooking, how would you describe what got into you there in the first half and why you were able to kind of break out like did you?
DAVID NICKELBERRY: Definitely my teammates and my coaches, they really pushed me to play strong, compete, get after it, and even in practice they just do the same thing, push me, so I can get stronger, play harder. So that's what I do.

Q. Kareem, you obviously know about the reports and rumors about your coach. How did y'all put it out of your mind?
KAREEM BREWTON JR.: We really didn't think too much of it. That's not our business. We are here to play basketball, so that's all. That's the only thing I got to say.

Q. Kareem, what happened late, you hit the big shot that kind of stemmed the tide a little bit, but what do you think you guys can take from what happened late in this one to the game tomorrow? What do you think you learned from what happened here?
KAREEM BREWTON JR.: I feel like we should execute a little bit more, get back to us running our plays, because I feel like we got out of that a little bit at the end. So pretty much just, we just got to keep ourselves confident and just keep running what was working through the whole game.

Q. Kyvon, do you feel like this team is capable of making a run through this tournament? You've now won six of seven. Do you feel like you guys are clicking enough?
KYVON DAVENPORT: Yes, I think so. We're playing comfortable and we're playing smart. We just really got to stay focused and execute and keep working together and moving the ball and everything will take care of itself.

Q. Coach, congratulations on the win today.
TUBBY SMITH: Thank you.

Q. What would you like to see your team do a little bit better tomorrow than they did not do today?
TUBBY SMITH: Well, we were, I thought our defensive intensity was right, we got off to a good start, we made shots, I thought our taking care of the basketball like Kareem said, just executing in crunch, in clutch situations and taking -- I thought we had a couple of questionable shots there, but then went back to just execution, especially in the late game. Make our free throws in the end, all those things, make our layups -- just finish. We just have to finish around the basket. I thought we had a couple chances to finish around the basket and we didn't. So that's where we have to get better at.

Q. I was wondering if you could speak to David Collins for them number 11. He had 30 today. Just what kind of problems he posed for you.
TUBBY SMITH: Hey, he's created a lot of problems. He's a talented freshman. He really is. He's going to be a star in this league. He's so physical and he's very deceptive, as far as he can fake like he's going off the screen and he's a good ball handler, and you've got to honor his outside shooting. So he really gave us all kinds of problems trying to keep us in front of him.

But I'm impressed with that young man. They have done a good job of developing him and it helps, he's getting to play, getting playing time, in a program where you've got an outstanding coach and coaching staff that's going to work, Brian Gregory's going to make sure he does the things he's supposed to do to be a good player, because he's developed a lot of outstanding players over the years.

Q. What do you recall about the two Tulsa games and what do you think of Tulsa and the matchup that you have today?
TUBBY SMITH: Those games, when you think back, I'll have to go back and watch film, but I know at our place we really played well, shot the ball well, and but there they made the run in the second half. We kept -- we would get it close but I was very impressed with how they controlled the tempo and then their matchup zone gave us problems, especially late game. And Frank Haith, with that matchup zone they do, they create a lot of problems for us. We did some things the first time we played against them that was new, but they made the adjustments in the second game, and that's one of the reasons they were able to beat us.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Memphis, thank you.

TUBBY SMITH: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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