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March 12, 2018

Raiquan Clark

Derek Kellogg

Joel Hernandez

Julian Batts

Jashaun Agosto

Dayton, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by LIU Brooklyn, Raiquan Clark, Jashaun Agosto, Julian Batts and Joel Hernandez.

Q. What was your reaction to finding out you're going to be playing in the First Four.
JOEL HERNANDEZ: I was surprised and happy at the same time. A lot of mixed emotions. We worked hard for this, so proud of our guys for giving everything they've got to get to this point.

JULIAN BATTS: We get to play in the NCAA Tournament. That's what it's meant to me. First Four, we get to play in the field of 64. It doesn't matter, we're in.

JASHAUN AGOSTO: It was a great feeling, being able to play in the March Madness, playing in the (indiscernible). Now all we have to do is get a dub.

RAIQUAN CLARK: Like them guys said, it's great to be able to play in the tournament. Now we're here, we just want to get some wins.

Q. What would it mean for your school to win an NCAA Tournament game?
JOEL HERNANDEZ: It will mean anything. I don't think there's been a time where our school has won the game in the NCAA Tournament. So it will be great to do that for our school and represent our school in a good way.

JULIAN BATTS: I agree. Just putting LIU Brooklyn back on the map, that's our biggest goal and that's our plan and hopefully we can achieve it.

JASHAUN AGOSTO: I agree with both of them. It would be history. We'd make history, because like Joel said, I don't think we won a game in the NCAA. So I mean if we do that, you know, our school's going to be on the map.

RAIQUAN CLARK: It will be great to win, but we just don't want to get one win; we want to keep winning. It's not about just one win. We want to keep winning. It will be good to get one win, but we want to keep winning.

Q. What has Coach Kellogg brought to the program in his first season? Can you talk about his experience coaching?
JOEL HERNANDEZ: He's brought a lot of energy to us. I feel we feed off of it, especially in practice and games. It helps a lot to get us going and stuff like that, and I feel like he's done a great job being a first-year coach. We got really comfortable with him quickly. I think that helped out in our favor.

JULIAN BATTS: I agree. He brought a lot of energy. That's his main thing; he brings energy. But he also lets us have fun. He doesn't really try to kill us with anything. I think that's a big part.

And I mean he's talked about his time coaching the NCAA Tournament, not so much at Dayton but he's talked to us about a couple of games.

JASHAUN AGOSTO: Along with both of them what they said, he brought a lot of energy and he brought a professional look. He lets us do whatever we really want to do. And I mean, with the other coaches, we was kind of limited just a little bit. But with him, we get to do whatever we really want to do. And I mean, he coached at all levels. He coached all the big names. So, I mean, you can't get no better.

RAIQUAN CLARK: Like, he let us play free on the offensive end. He don't question no shot really. So it's easy to play for him. Just gotta play hard on defense.

He talked about being in the Final Four, losing. So he just -- he basically just said that we gotta -- basically on the free throw blockouts, he don't want to lose on the free throw blockouts. That happened to him before. So he talks a lot about that.

Q. What experience do you think helped you the most this year in getting to this point?
RAIQUAN CLARK: I would probably say, like, us facing adversity in the beginning of the season, we didn't kind of figure it out. We ended up figuring it out late in the season. We came together as a family and now I don't think, I don't think really we could be stopped, but that's how I feel.

JASHAUN AGOSTO: I think it was the beginning of the season. We all had who we had new pieces to the team, so we all had to figure each other out. There was some of us that played together and there were some of us that got bigger roles.

So I mean I think it was the beginning of the season we had to really figure out, and we picked it up towards the end of the season, which you would rather pick it up at the end rather than the beginning.

JULIAN BATTS: I agree. I think we mostly came together after we had a loss from St. Francis, PA, and we had a long talk in the locker room. I think after that we all gelled and meshed together and became a true family that we always talked about. I think that was our biggest turning point.

JOEL HERNANDEZ: I feel like we had a lot of -- we had a lot of different games. We had games where we won by a lot, we lost by a lot. It was a battle, came down to the wire. So I feel like all those games, we took something from each of those games and we learned from it, and now I feel like we're playing better than ever now.

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the head coach of LIU Brooklyn, Derek Kellogg. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH KELLOGG: First of all, I would like to thank the people that are in charge of the Dayton area because the reception we got coming into the hotel and the way everybody has really made us feel like this is home is, I think, a testament to the university and also to the city of Dayton and the area and how committed they are to basketball. We're excited to be here and it's been a great experience and we're hoping to play well tomorrow night in an arena that I'm very familiar with. So here we go.


Q. What does it mean to you to get this Brooklyn team to a tournament in your first season?
COACH KELLOGG: It feels great. And one of the reasons is the kids on the team have really been open to my coaching style, our kind of atmosphere and family atmosphere that I brought from my coaching career and kind of how I do things. And to see them buy into a situation of a new coach, a first-year coach, and for them to come every day with great attitude, high character, work really hard, to see good things happen when you put that time and effort in, I think, is a testament to the kids on the team.

So I'm really happy for them. I'm happy for my family and wife and son who have been through a lot over the last year to kind of have some success here has been good for us.

Q. What was the biggest piece of adversity your team faced this year and how did you overcome it?
COACH KELLOGG: Well, losses, of course. I would just say the biggest thing was to stay committed to the process when things weren't perfect. We've had some bumps along the way of some losses I thought we could have won and didn't close out a few games there.

And I thought the biggest thing was to try to stay positive with this group. We really came in every day, worked really hard, had a good time doing it. We pushed forward when adversity hit. And sometime about three to four weeks ago our guys made one-more-step-up level commitment to defense and rebounding the ball. And I thought when we did that we were able to become a better basketball team and gave ourselves a chance in a very tough Northeast Conference to have a chance to come out and get a W.

Q. You mentioned being familiar with this arena. What was your reaction when you saw you were going to be playing here?
COACH KELLOGG: I'll tell you what, great. I'm ecstatic to be playing anywhere. And the place looks fantastic. All the renovations they've done. The way it looks for the NCAA Tournament looks great. And I've had some, I'd say okay memories here, and this is such a tough place to come in and play.

But we're excited. We're happy to be in the tournament. We were very happy to be coming to Dayton to play and I think our guys are ready to come out and hopefully play well tomorrow night.

Q. How do you think you guys will be most successful tomorrow night?
COACH KELLOGG: We like to obviously push tempo and get a fast-paced game where I think our athleticism and our individual talents per se can be effective. So the way to do that is to defend, play good defense, rebound the basketball and try to run really fast and push tempo.

Radford has done a very nice job, number one, of winning their tournament. They've made big play after big play to come away and meet us here. So I think it's two teams that are both on a mission, two pretty evenly matched teams that it should be a fun game tomorrow night. I'm excited to coach here and I'm excited for the guys to have an opportunity to play and showcase their talents on national television.

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? Thank you for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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