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March 15, 2018

TK Edogi

Tim Cluess

Roland Griffin

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Duke - 89, Iona - 67

COACH CLUESS: Congratulations to Duke on their win. They are one heck of a basketball team. We tried to throw a lot of things at them and they responded in a different way. And I'm proud of our guys' effort. In a game like today we have to shoot lights out and apparently we didn't. All the credit goes to Duke. I'm really proud of my guys. They fought hard all year, and I'm really proud of them for getting this opportunity.

Q. For any of the guys, I mean, you guys came out offensively really strong. They were hitting everything, you were with them step for step for the first nine minutes or so. Take me through how you are feeling at that point and how you thought the game was going?
TK EDOGI: We thought the game was going good. They came -- obviously, they came out hot, guys hitting shots. We were hitting shots back. We just needed to get a couple more stops, and maybe the game -- the outcome of the game would have changed.

ROLAND GRIFFIN: Like he said, it was a lot of 50/50 balls that just didn't fall our way. With a team like that, you need a couple more plays to go your way for you to like stay in the game.

Q. I thought you played really well, how tough is it dealing with the size of Bagley and Carter and those guys?
ROLAND GRIFFIN: It's tough. They're projected to go in the draft this year. They're physical. You got to play physical with them. But I feel like our team, we fall hard for most of the game, if not 40 minutes so I'm proud of my team.

Q. Maybe for Ricky. When it came to the size, was the idea to test them from the outside?
RICKEY MCGILL: Say it again.

Q. Was the idea to take it to the outside and shoot from the perimeter?
RICKEY MCGILL: We knew they had two bigs that was top in the country, and we tried to get them to shoot. Try and beat us that way, try to let them shoot the ball all night. Obviously, they was having a hot night, and it just didn't go our way.

Q. I mean, how tough was it for any of you guys just going up against their zone when you weren't able to get out and run. How tough was it with the length of theirs?
TK EDOGI: It's tough. They're more long, they're more athletic. We just had to try and play our game.

Q. Roland, if you had to describe to someone what makes Duke kind of a special team, everybody knows them, and what makes this particular Duke team so good?
ROLAND GRIFFIN: This particular team, the front court, most definitely. But their guard play is good, too. It can underrated at times, too, but the whole team is solid, I feel like.

Q. Coach, could you talk about the growth of this team from the beginning of this season to where they are you now?
COACH CLUESS: Beginning of the season, I think we had eight new bodies that we were trying to work in and guys didn't know each other at all. And I don't think they came with an expectation to work as hard as we asked them to work, and I think by the end of the season, they took a lot of pride in their effort. Came together as a group, trying to care about each other, trying to help each other good and bad. Even tonight when certain guys were struggling and into the locker room, teammates were trying pick them up throughout the game and after the game.

These guys have some special bonds that will last a lifetime now. Any time you lose, it's very disappointing especially on a stage like this, but our guys did a tremendous job getting where they did, so I'm really proud of them.

Q. You keep a lot of this core together next year, so how good can this team be going forward? Also, is there anything you can do going forward to not be a 15 or 16-seed in this tournament every year.
COACH CLUESS: Good questions. I do think our core is good and I think we have some players in our program sitting out this year that are really going to help us as well. We have to do a good job recruiting right now to finish off our team for next year. But we have a shot to be very good again.

To not be a 15-seed, obviously we have to do a better job in our nonleague season of winning games, not just competing in games. That means we have to get a different level kid, and it's not easy in the MAAC. Not easy with all the things we go against but we have to find a way.

We're constantly striving. I think we've had some of those guys in the past in our program, and we have to get them back in. I think getting the exposure of the NCAA Tournament again is going to help out recruiting and it's all about getting players, at every level, but at our level in particular.

The more teams in our league that get better, the better it is in our league and a better chance for someone getting a 13 or 14. Maybe I'm dreaming but that's what we shoot for.

Q. Coach, Roland Griffin had a big game in the MAAC Championship and followed that here today. Can you talk about Roland Griffin, what he means to the team moving forward?
COACH CLUESS: Roland can be one of the best players in the league by next year if he works hard in the offseason. I think his game has grown, his confidence has grown, and I still think his best days are ahead of him. He will compete against anyone. He doesn't say boo. He'll go out there and play with whatever he has. I love his attitude, will give you everything he has. Good play, bad play.

I think early in the year his effort was up and down and that was a knock on him. Little bit past midway, he flipped that switch and figured out I have to come and play every time and it's done a good job for us.

Q. Offensively from the start, could you have drawn it any better, I think you guys were tied at 19. And when it came to Duke hitting from the outside, is it one of those you shrug your shoulder and say what can you do?
COACH CLUESS: I think our guys executed well. Even when we didn't make shots, we got a lot of in good looks. You have to make those shots to try to hang around a team like this. They're extremely talented inside, outside. And I thought Duval for them came out who really had not shot the ball great, 27 percent three-point shooter on the year. Like you said, we have to pick our poison. I think he went three for four on threes early in the game.

That obviously hurt, but we still had to live with -- we have to help more inside, otherwise we're going to be lay-up every single time. We don't have size and athleticism and they made us pay. On the other end, we don't have an interior offense at pay that we cannot make shots. I think our guys did a good job sharing of ball and getting the looks, but you have to make them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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