home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 13, 2018

Jim Boeheim

Tyus Battle

Frank Howard

Dayton, Ohio

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by student-athletes Tyus Battle and Frank Howard, as well as coach Jim Boeheim. We'll open the floor for questions for our student-athletes.

Q. Tyus, could you describe all the ups and downs, the guys who have left the team, the guys who have been hurt and how you guys somehow managed to make it to the tournament this year with all that other stuff going on?
TYUS BATTLE: I mean, there was definitely some ups and downs throughout the season. But we have a special group this year. These guys just kept on playing. We fought through injuries, fought through guys leaving.

It was all about the heart that we had on this team this year, and we got an opportunity to make it here and we're going to make the most of it.

Q. Frank, have you been sick and what's your deal?
FRANK HOWARD: Yeah, I've been dealing with strep throat for the last few days. But I've been taking the meds, getting a lot of sleep. So I'll be fine.

Q. Obviously you guys are known for your zone, but for teams that have not seen it a whole lot outside of conference, what is it that you think makes it so effective for both of you?
FRANK HOWARD: I just think our zone is very different from a lot of different zones out there. I think we have very unique zones, the mixture of length, athleticism and activity level, when it's good. I think it's very hard to attack it.

And I think after you play us a few times you may be able to get familiar with it a little bit or maybe respond to it, to attack or whatever. But I think when you haven't seen it up close and personal at all, I think it can be very difficult to attack.

TYUS BATTLE: Yeah, just like Frank said, we're long, athletic, versatile. We have a 7-foot shot blocker down low, and even if he doesn't block it he'll change your shot, so it makes things tough. And we're both 6'5" and 6'6" on top. So that's a lot of length.

Q. Frank, with guys leaving or guys getting hurt, how have you adapted after each one of those to kind of keep this thing moving forward?
FRANK HOWARD: You know, from both those guys, you know, they brought something different to our team. So I have to -- me and Tyus have to pick up the slack on those two different areas. You know, Geno is more of a scorer, defender. And Howard, he control the game and he knows how to make the right plays.

So every game is a little different for me. I feel like some games I have to focus on scoring more and some games I have to go out there and put guys in the right spots and get guys like Tyus the ball. So I just try to go game by game, try to figure out what the team needs and what would be the best way to attack.

Q. What was your guys' reaction to getting into the First Four, and what was the feeling in the locker room?
FRANK HOWARD: Well, I wasn't there. I was at home. But I got the calls from the guys. I was just as happy as them. I was upset I couldn't be there.

But we understand this is just the beginning. We don't want to get too high on this. We want to still have perspective and still understand what we're here for. So we're all just focused. We're ready to work. We just are happy to be here.

TYUS BATTLE: I mean, man, the locker room was crazy. Going into it we weren't sure if we were in or out. I don't think anyone was too sure. But when we found out we were in, everyone in the locker room went crazy. But just like Frank said, we can't get too high, too low. We're here and we have to win games and keep this thing going.

THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? Frank and Tyus, thank you for your time. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH BOEHEIM: You can open the floor.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Boeheim.

Q. You were in position to actually coach against Bobby Hurley. As a player, do you see any of those qualities that he demonstrated as a player?
COACH BOEHEIM: No, Bobby was an unbelievable player. I started watching him when he was in high school, really. Known his father for a long time. We recruited his school a long time. And he was a player that just gave everything every play. And he coaches the same way.

And he's done an incredible job both at Buffalo and now coming out to Arizona State. His whole family is probably as intense as any basketball family. And his mother probably leads the way. Nobody knows that.

Q. What are some of the challenges Arizona State presents to you?
COACH BOEHEIM: You know, obviously the start to the season, they're a top five team in the country. And when you get to a tournament, that's what you expect to see them play at that level. And they obviously shoot the ball extremely well. They push the ball up the court as well as any team in the country. They're as good an offensive team as anybody in the country.

Any team that has multiple scorers is always a difficult team to play defensively against. And they have multiple guys that can shoot it and get to the basket and push the ball up the court.

Q. What's it like coaching a special group of guys? And how do they compare to teams in the past that you've coached in the tournament?
COACH BOEHEIM: Well, this team has done everything that you could ask them to do. It's obviously -- you know, we have three guys that play 40 minutes every game. And really cannot take them out of the game. And it's been a challenge for them when you go over the course of the season, when you get certain stretches where you play Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It's a very difficult league. There's no games that you can take off. And you have to give maximum effort every play.

We were in those kind of games all year. So I think that this group deserves, in my mind, I give them a tremendous amount of credit for how they've hung in there. And obviously we have some tremendous challenges health wise all year with a number of guys.

And guys played hurt all year long. Everybody on our team. We have seven guys now. One's hurt all the time and the other guy's been hurt about six weeks. And the five starters have something going on with them. But they've hung in there. They deserve an awful lot of credit, I think.

Q. Piggybacking off of that, does this year compare to any other year in terms of injuries and departures that you've had over the last 40-some odd years?
COACH BOEHEIM: Well, we don't always -- we try to have nine guys or 10. I mean, ideally, the year we won the championship we had nine. We played eight. I mean, that's the right number. Everybody's happy. You just -- when you start with nine, you can't afford to have anything from an injury standpoint go wrong.

And we lost a guy late this year or coming into the summer, or at the end of the summer that obviously hurt us in our front line. We lost a guard early that we didn't expect to. And then when Howard got hurt, that was, I've never had a team with two guards, recruited guards of the team. I don't know of any program in the country that's had a team that has two guys that were recruited in the back court.

So in a lot of ways we're very fortunate that those two guys got through the year. I think we're really fortunate for that. And with the amount they've had to play. So, again, it's been -- we've never been where you have six -- five healthy guys and two guys that are not really healthy that are playing.

So this has been a unique type of year. You just need eight guys and if you have seven healthy guys that's really all you need. There's a lot of teams in this tournament right now that really only play seven guys. And there's a couple of teams that are exceptions to that. But for the most part, if you look at the great teams that have played over the years in this tournament, three or four guys play most of the time and two or three guys play most of the rest of the time. And then there's maybe one or two guys that play a couple minutes here and there in the big games, the tough games. But we're a little bit under where we'd like to be, for sure.

Q. Are you looking forward to the coaching matchup against Bobby Hurley and his family's history?
COACH BOEHEIM: You know, I've known the Hurleys for 40 years, going back -- actually before that, when I was an assistant coach. Bob Hurley, you can make a good case that he's the best high school coach that ever coached. No one has more, has worked harder at the game than Bob Hurley did.

I've been around him for a long time and watched him and watched his practices and teams and there's nobody more prepared and more involved in coaching than Bob.

And Danny and Bobby are very, very similar. They'll never be as good as their father, but they're pretty good. Bob Hurley is one of the great coaches that ever coached basketball anywhere.

Q. You've experienced a lot of locations and a lot of NCAA Tournaments. How has Dayton stacked up so far with some of the others?
COACH BOEHEIM: This is great. This is a great place. It's better to make the comments after the game, but I feel this is like as good as any place we've been. And I think it will be. I'm anticipating a little bit. But I think it's a great place to host this tournament.

The people here do a great job. They want it here, and there's a lot of first-round sites that you go to, that I've gone to over the years that aren't really that good. So this is obviously seems like a great place, and I'm sure I'll have that same feeling after we've been here for a couple of days.

Q. You mentioned all the minutes that Frank and Tyus have to play, that they don't come off the court. But their guards and I don't know if that makes them able to play more. But with Paschal and the minutes he's had to play, how has he been able to kind of, especially late in the year here, keep going the way he has because we know he's been --
COACH BOEHEIM: It's his first year. And I think he's growing into what he's doing. And people don't sometimes realize that he really didn't play that much high school basketball here and kind of new to the game.

And his freshman year he played very little, 10 minutes, maybe, a game at Providence. And he sat out a year. Then last year he got hurt after a few games and really never played more than 15 minutes a game probably last year.

And then to come into this year and I think he's made a great adjustment. I think he's really at the level of playing time and experience of a freshman. So I think he's gotten better. I think he can get a lot better.

But overall, he's had a really, really solid year. He's the reason our defense is better this year than it was last year. He's the main reason that are defense is better this year. We didn't have that center presence last year. That really hurt us. We were a really good offensive team last year, and we were not -- we were a terrible defensive team.

Q. Would this team be more inexperienced and a little bit younger, how do you tell them to approach this tournament, it be a win or go home?
COACH BOEHEIM: When you play in this tournament, obviously it's very important. Everybody knows the importance, but you have to try to approach it like it's your next game and you try to get them ready the same way you would because with this team and every game was crucial for us. We couldn't let any game slip away.

Even in the Wake Forest game, Wake Forest is a very good offensive team. We had to have that win. But every game we played during the year or going back to the beginning when we played Toledo and Eastern Michigan and Oakland and Buffalo, we knew those games were going to be important. We knew those teams were going to be good -- and Iona and Texas Southern. Three of those teams got into the NCAA Tournament.

And so we knew every game we had to be prepared. We couldn't have a game like, well, we're just not quite ready tonight. Because we couldn't win against those teams.

And this team has been focused all year. They've done really the best, I think, they could do. And that's unusual. You don't -- if you're honest, you really would not say that about every team. Every team slips here or slips there or doesn't come out, not necessarily doesn't come out to play but doesn't come out and play well.

This team's done everything they could do. We have our shortcomings on offense. But there's never been a lack of trying to get things done. And we approach tournaments -- we have approached tournaments for a long time, let's try to get ready and try to play the we can play. But you're on the edge every game, you get used to it. We're used to having to play well. And obviously in this tournament you have to play well.

Q. Did you recruit Bobby or Danny, because --
COACH BOEHEIM: We didn't recruit Danny. P.J. got him early. I figured that would be enough punishment for Danny, having to play for P.J. But we did recruit Bobby. It was a confluence of -- we obviously were at the top of our game back then and we recruited Bobby. And that was the year Kenny Anderson was in the same class. And there was a couple other -- I think it was Kenny, I hope I'm right. It was a great guard, I think it was.

And we did recruit him. He came up. But we kind of -- it was really Duke got in there. It was really, we focused that year on Kenny. And we recruited both those guys that year, my recollection of it is.

Q. [Inaudible]?
COACH BOEHEIM: We recruited -- Bob and I were, have been good friends for 40 years, and we never really got anybody there for a long time. A couple of guys we might have been able to get, we didn't really like that much. And a couple other guys -- I mean I go back to Mandy Williams [sic], when I was an assistant coach, who ended up at Marquette, that we recruited.

And there was a number of guys that we kind of -- we never really got locked in on a guy that wanted to come and that we wanted. It was always that -- and Terrence was the first guy that really came and had a good career for us. But I would go pretty much every year down to St. Anthony's to watch a practice and talk to Bob.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297