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March 14, 2018
Q. Guy, I'm just curious, how much do you relish -- the way you run things is so different than what OU does. I'm just curious, how much do you look forward to sort of the challenge that covering Trae, guarding Trae, provides?
JARED TERRELL: In transition today, just trying to corral the ball. Trying to get the ball out of his hands and just loading up on the weak side.
Q. Does he remind you of anybody, is he sort of a -- his range?
E.C. MATTHEWS: His range is unlike anybody we faced this year. That alone makes him very different. But we got a game plan for him. We're going to try to get the ball out of his hands and make other guys create shots for the team. We take pride in our defense. We're going to accept the challenge. It will be real fun.
Q. This is basically for any one of the players that wants to comment. I'm just looking for some insight what it's been like to be coached by Coach Hurley, and what he is like as a guy to deal with not only as a coach and you're the player, but as a person. Does anybody want to give some feedback on that?
STANFORD ROBINSON: It's been hard.
No, it's been fun. Coach Hurley is a passionate coach. He doesn't want to -- I'm sorry, he doesn't want to see anyone fail. He's going to push you every day to your limits, and he's going to strive for greatness every day, and he's going to make -- he's going to make you put out your greatness. So he's a great coach and I love playing for him.
Q. Jared, I saw you nodding your head --
JARED TERRELL: You got a coach that's passionate, comes to work every day, ready to go and always ends up -- and just a loud body, just getting on you, and trying to make you a better person, just as well as trying to make you a better player. It's kind of hard not to like him.
Q. Much like the Sooners who had a hot start to the season and then kind of finished on a lower record towards the end, you guys, 4-4 to end out the season. How is this an opportunity to maybe press the reset starting in March?
E.C. MATTHEWS: They have to answer question, so.
STANFORD ROBINSON: Please, ask them.
ANDRE BERRY: March is a whole new start to the season, so now is a clean slate pretty much.
Q. For any of you guys, Trae was in here before, talking about how we have respect for you guys as guards, your seniors. Do you think some of these one-and-done guys get too much attention and too much love on ESPN compared to seniors like yourself and some of the other seniors around the country and why do you think that is?
STANFORD ROBINSON: I mean these players that come in one-and-done, they're very talented. Let's not get that wrong. They had a lot of hype coming out of high school, so I feel like that helps them when they get to college. Everyone wants to see -- everyone's interested in what the youngins are doing, you know? If you've been around for a while, it's kind of like you're the old news. Everyone's into the new news.
Yeah, they get a lot of hype, well deserved, but I do wish, like us older players can still get some of the recognition that these young players do as well.
Q. Seniors versus one-and-dones?
E.C. MATTHEWS: For me, I think everybody's journey is different. It depends how much -- I don't know -- how much clout you got coming out of the high school. It's rare to see four-year guys now, but, I don't know. I have respect for if you're a one-and-done player, if you're a four-year player. Everybody's journey is different. I don't know. I don't really know how to answer that question, but I respect everybody.
Q. For E.C. and Jared, obviously Trae had so much success in the first half of the season and in the Big 12. In the second half of conference play, it seemed like those teams seemed to figure out a little better way to defend him.
For you guys defending him tomorrow, what have you seen from tape on him? What's the strategy and what will be the challenge facing him the first time?
E.C. MATTHEWS: We can't tell him my strategy.
STANFORD ROBINSON: Top secret.
E.C. MATTHEWS: Yeah. We had watched a lot of tape on him. Once he crosses half court, he's liable to shoot the ball from anywhere. So, we know that's something that we have to take notice of, and, like I said, we have a plan to speed him up.
Our defense, we take pride in that, as you know. We have guards that's going to -- you know, it loves the challenge. We're not going to shy away from that. We have a plan. Hopefully, it works tomorrow, hopefully.
Q. Once upon a time, Jared, you were committed to Oklahoma State. Do you ever kind of imagine what that path could have presented for you, and if you had been a regular season opponent for a team like Oklahoma?
JARED TERRELL: I really don't think about that much. I mean, it crosses my mind sometimes, but being here for four years has been a great experience. I wouldn't want to have went anywhere else. I just enjoy my time here.
Q. For any of the seniors, a lot happens with coaches in leagues like the A-10 when they have success. Other leagues come, that are -- Power Five conference come and try to lure them away. Coach's brother was at Buffalo for a year or two, they tried to lure him away to Arizona State. Do you worry you'll find your coach will be gone and do you check Twitter and what do you think has kept him around?
JARVIS GARRETT: I would say, on that question, I feel like we never really felt like he was going to go anywhere because of his loyalty to us. He always told us that he had our back no matter what, and that he wasn't going to go anywhere and we trusted him so we believe he was never going anywhere.
Q. Do you find yourself checking Twitter and see rumors, seeing what Zagsblog has?
JARVIS GARRETT: We check it sometimes. I mean, we're not going to lie. We checked it out. We just took his word on it and that's what we went with.
Q. Guys, how big a factor do you think it is that you're a veteran ball club? You were here last year. How do you think that will impact this game? Trae's young and some of the other guys that play a lot are young.
JARED TERRELL: Just keeping our composure. We've been on this stage before. We know what it takes to win at this level. We got to stick to our game plan and play how we've been playing all year.
Q. Andre, you're behind a couple really good players last year Kuran Iverson and Hassan Martin. You're going to start the game playing tomorrow after playing one minute in two NCAA games. Can you speak to what an opportunity that's going to be and how excited you're going to be for it.
ANDRE BERRY: It's a big opportunity. I am going to play well. My brothers have our back throughout the year, and the past three years I've been here. Tomorrow is a good experience for me. I feel these guys have my back and Coach Hurley trusting in me that I'll do a good job. Right now, I'll focus on the win pretty much.
Q. Stanford, can you just talk about the finish you guys had in the tournament last year and how that's going to affect your guys' motivation to maybe continue after tomorrow?
STANFORD ROBINSON: Yeah. What I mean, one of the questions before, it's all about the experience. Experience is going to given us confidence. We took a close loss to Oregon last year, and, you know, a lot of people didn't expect us to even be in that game.
Just for us to accomplish things like that, the 9-0 win streak that we went through last year, and then the 16-0 win streak we went this year, and you know the ups and downs we went as a team, it all gives us confidence, and we always got each other's back, so definitely it's going to be a big run, it's going to be a great run.
Q. Coming from Tulsa, a lot of Oklahoma fans don't know much about Rhode Island basketball, the first time the programs have met. A lot of them are saying that I heard on my trip. Looking forward to facing Duke in the second round.
What do Oklahoma fans -- obviously the players respect you guys, but what do the fans know about Rhode Island basketball?
JARVIS GARRETT: Google it.
STANFORD ROBINSON: We're just going to keep coming at you. We're not going to stop until zero is on the clock. Hopefully it's a great game but on our end, we're going to keep coming at you with hard defense.
Q. When you first got there, what do you remember the program being like. What gave you hope and belief that you all could become what you have now?
E.C. MATTHEWS: When I first got there, it was very quiet. The fan base was not that large. People didn't really pay attention, you know, to our program, our basketball team throughout the country. And I remember, it was me and Hassan Martin, a senior last year. He graduated but we came in. Coach Hurley had a vision, and we were kind of the first guys to start that. And each year we would get more recruits, more people to commit there. I don't know.
Over the years our program just grew and we got better and it became what we are now. Hopefully, if five seniors leave it continues to reach new heights. Rhode Island has been on the map if not this year -- I mean if not last year, definitely this year.
Q. This is for the seniors, just to follow up on what you said before, not everybody stays four years. What does being there for four years do for you as a player and as a person?
JARED TERRELL: For me it was more maturity, just growing as a person, learning how to carry myself on and off the court and on the court. Just my game overall, learning how to handle different situations, becoming a better player skill-wise, being able to shoot better, learning how to handle different situations throughout the game.
E.C. MATTHEWS: Definitely. I think staying in school longer, you just become more mature. You learn how to handle certain situations on and off the court, things to support your family in the future, and just the relationships you build, they last forever, so staying in school is definitely a great thing for me.
JARED TERRELL: Thank you, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports