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March 8, 2018

Brian Gregory

David Collins

Stephan Jiggetts

Orlando, Florida

Memphis - 79, South Florida - 77

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

BRIAN GREGORY: Great game. Give Memphis a lot of credit. I thought they played with great energy today. They shot the ball really well. At the same time give our guys credit for continuing to fight with the effort and energy, I just thought it was just a very well-played game. They got some big baskets from some guys that have made big plays for them all year long in Davenport and Brewton. They had been playing so well, I think that they had six out of the last seven or seven out of the last eight, with us being the only team beating them.

But at the same time I think our guys deserve a lot of credit for the way they finished out the year, the toughness that they played with. We did a good job on the glass, which was something that we needed to do. We did a good job in terms of the attacking their pressure defense. It's just tough, it's a bitter pill to swallow when you're playing pretty good basketball and you want to continue to play and then it ends. But as I talked about in our last game, we have a lot to build on from some of the stuff that we did this year and it's going to be a hard road, but I think we got the right guys to go there, and I think the guys like Jiggetts and the other seniors that are leaving did a great job of setting a really solid foundation.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Coach, could you speak to David's effort today.
BRIAN GREGORY: Yeah, obviously great game, great aggressiveness, good decision making. As I said, could have easily been a Freshman of the Year in our league, showed it tonight. He made me look pretty smart when I said that last week. And at the same time I think having those seniors around him has helped his development. But he's got a chance to be a great player in this league. His best attributes is that he's coachable and he works hard. When you add that to the baseline of talent that he has it's a pretty good combination.

There will be parts of his game that as he looks back to today and wishes he could do over a couple things, which is what you're supposed to do if you want to be a great player. But he made good play after good play. Obviously one of the biggest one was on the transition where he found Jiggs in the corner, perfectly executed, and it helps when you got guys around you that can make you look good when you make those plays.

So yeah, take a couple weeks off and get back to work.

Q. This is the third time you played Memphis this season, second time in a week. Today they made perimeter shots, which really isn't their forte. Did they do anything different on offense, run any different actions or anything on defense differently today?
BRIAN GREGORY: We weren't as good defensively today. They were better offensively because they made some shots. They made some shots early, and we got a little bit out of our defensive system and got stretched some, which then opened up the driving game. And they attacked the paint off the dribble. Nickelberry did a good job in the first half of that. Brewton always does a good job of that.

And then when we went zone, we got too stretched in the zone. One of the reasons is because they shot the ball so well. I thought that three by Brewton was a big, big basket. Obviously he's not percentage-wise a great three-point shooter but he was 3-for-4 today.

So they played better offensively and we didn't play as well defensively. It wasn't anything new or anything different, they ran the same actions, we just didn't defend it as well and they made plays. You know what I mean? Their playmakers made play, Davenport goes 4-for-7. Brewton goes 3-for-4 from three; that's 7-for-11. That's pretty good. But as I said, you look at all the talk, you look at that team that we just played, they got everybody back. That's a 25, 26-win team next year because a lot of those guys, the junior college guys, they're going to be better that second year. You can see their development during the year. They're playing as well as anybody in the league and they got their leading scorer not playing right now.

So for overall for our league, it's just another team that's on the cusp of doing some great things.

Q. What do you want the younger guys who will be returning next season to take away from this experience and this season going into next year?
STEPHAN JIGGETTS: I would say just embrace everything they're being taught, especially from Coach BG, because he'll transform your game just like he did mine. I'm nowhere near the player I was last year. So just taking in all the knowledge and embracing everything he taught them will help a lot.

Q. Coach, how would you sum up this first season?
BRIAN GREGORY: It hurts. Anytime you lose 22 games, you're not going to be happy. But you got to be able to take a step back and kind of see where we were as a program 11 months\ago when I got the job or a little close to 12 months now, and I think we made progress.

As I said after the last home game, you can't thank the seniors enough for what they did, the sacrifices that they made and the challenge that they knew they were under. But I'm also excited about getting back to work with our young guys, our incoming guys, a couple guys that we'll sign in the spring. I think we got a really good foundation to build on. The biggest thing is you got to believe that you can win at South Florida, which we do and we know we can. But then you got to go to work.

And we got some work to do, there's no question about that. But I think we got the guys that are willing to put in the work. And as Jiggs said, you learn from a guy like him who is in the gym all the time. That's why he's grown as a player this year. Again, you look at the game that he has today, he has the ball in his hands a ton, and just made good decision after good decision. A couple tough shots didn't go in. But again those can't define where he's at as a player or a win or loss where we're at as a program because we're definitely making the right steps.

It's never as fast as the head coach wants, I can guarantee you that, but they're positive steps for the program.

Q. The last possession looked like it was well executed, did you feel lake you had a good look?
STEPHAN JIGGETTS: Yeah, I actually thought it was going down. It was a line drive, so I thought I was going to hit that, really.

BRIAN GREGORY: It looked good, it was just a little long. It was right on the money, really good execution by all five guys and good pass by David. Good read by David, and then we had some back-side rebounding. Those guys are also spotted up on the three in case they take Jiggs away, and then as soon as the shot went up, those guys got to the weak-side glass, which gave us another chance. I thought maybe JB might be able to get that shot up on the rim and maybe able to get an and-one on that, but they clubbed him pretty good. But really good execution.

I told Jiggs after the game, you know, we don't get that shot if he doesn't do the things he did prior to that play. And there was no one that was going to take that shot other than him at that point. He had just made one from almost the identical spot, he's made big shots for us all year long, so felt really comfortable with that.

Q. David, can you talk about your game today, career high. Obviously in the loss it doesn't feel as good as it would have, but how did you feel today?
DAVID COLLINS: I felt we got -- I mean, the other guys got me involved, I mean I was getting open a lot and I was just knocking down shots from other people making the right passes, playing very unselfish.

THE MODERATOR: USF, thank you.

BRIAN GREGORY: All right, guys. Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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