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March 15, 2019

Myles Powell

Kevin Willard

New York, New York

Seton Hall - 81, Marquette - 79

Q. Kevin, what does it say about the guy on your right and your team and your players that they could just withstand everything that happened out there and keep their poise and finally put the game away? What does it say about the growth of this team?
KEVIN WILLARD: Yeah, I like the fact that Marquette came out really, really good. Both the Hausers played phenomenal first halves, really, really tough first halves. We got down, and we were a little sluggish today, I thought, mentally. We weren't as sharp as we have been. But I thought both teams played really, really hard. Both teams fought.

I'm proud of the way my guys continue to fight even though there's times we're not playing overly well.

Q. Kevin, there's nationwide outrage right now over the way that game ended. What would you say to your players, the fans, about what happened there, what transpired, and how everybody handled it?
KEVIN WILLARD: I'll probably be -- I'm not being political, but I thought after the 12:00 mark, when they got all that straightened out, I thought the three refs did a pretty good job, to be honest with you. It was an emotional game. It's Friday night in the Garden, Big East Tournament. Both teams played extremely hard. Emotions were running, which it's the Big East.

And I thought after the scrum underneath our basket, I actually thought the refs did a great job of kind of getting everything back where the kids were playing and focused on playing, and I'm not just saying that. I thought they did.

Q. Myles, from your perspective, how did you feel your teammates responded after every particular technical or tough foul was called against you guys? It seemed like you guys made a big run, big surge every time that happened. From your perspective, what are we seeing?
MYLES POWELL: Like I've been saying to the media all year, the best thing about this team is we're fighters. Our backs were to the wall the whole time. We came together as brothers and had each other's back. Sandro did a great job for me, and I love my teammates.

Q. Are you having flashbacks to 2016 a little?
KEVIN WILLARD: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, this team reminds me a little bit of that just because we're young. We play really hard. We're scrappy. We're led by a phenomenal player, just like we were with Isaiah (Whitehead), who's as good as any player I've ever coached, but he's kind of done the same thing as Isaiah. He's kind of put a team on his back and stayed with it. It's a testament to him that he's an emotional kid and he's our emotional leader and he's our leader, and he's done a phenomenal job, just like Isaiah did.

Q. Myles, did you think that you had gotten ejected? Could you kind of just walk us through the confusion after all that went down and then you came back out?
KEVIN WILLARD: He's not going to answer any questions about refereeing. I'll answer all those questions.

Q. Could you explain the confusion there.
KEVIN WILLARD: The confusion was his first foul was a flagrant 1. It wasn't a technical foul. When they came over and said that's obviously his second, I thought James Breeding did a good job of going to the book and correcting it. So I know he was a little upset after he got tossed, but I think it was more of a scorebook error than it was anything else.

Q. Coach, Markus Howard the last two games against you guys, 3 of 25 from the field. Could you speak about the job Quincy McKnight has been able to do defensively against him.
KEVIN WILLARD: Q and our big guys have done a really good job on his pick-and-rolls, trying not to let him turn the corner. Markus is a phenomenal player, can hurt you in so many different ways. You can tell by how many times he gets to the free-throw line. He uses his body great off pick-and-rolls. But Q's worked really hard, and I thought Romaro Gill was really good in pick-and-roll defense in the second half, just using his length and being big. I think it helps, when Markus is coming off pick-and-rolls, just trying to make sure he can't see.

I think we've done a good job in all three games, after the first half of the first game, of just being big.

Q. Coach, what do you need to do now to be rested and prepared for tomorrow?
KEVIN WILLARD: Hopefully, we can get out of here at some point. (Laughter).

Oh, I'm not being funny right now. Was I supposed to be funny right now? Tomorrow is just all on emotion. Nova had a tough double overtime game. Right now it's just getting back, getting these kids something to eat, get them off their phones, to be honest with you. That's going to be the hard part. And tomorrow we'll do the same thing we did today. We'll wake up and prepare for a really, really good Villanova team.

I think one reason this game was so chippy is the fact we just played Marquette. So everybody kind of knew everybody what they were doing, and I think it's the same thing. Nova's -- we kind of know what we have to do, and they know what they have to do against us. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Myles, I know you can't talk, but could you just describe the range of emotions, thinking you're thrown out, and then coming back, and the crowd's kind of giving you a standing ovation as you come back to the court, almost like a Willis Reed moment. I don't know if you're familiar with that.
MYLES POWELL: It was crazy. Just to be able to get called back to the game. I was happy. I felt like I let my teammates down. Them giving me a second chance, I really appreciate it. It's all a blessing.

Q. When the assistant coach went back there, what did he say to you?
MYLES POWELL: He just said, "Coach said come back out." Once I heard that, I'm wiping my tears. "Come back out?" So I ran back out. Yeah, I was just happy they gave me a second chance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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