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March 16, 2019

Kevin Willard

Myles Powell

New York, New York

Villanova - 74, Seton Hall - 72

Q. Kevin, again, almost like last night except not a victory. What can you just say about the way your team kept coming and coming and just kept coming back no matter how many times you were behind today?
KEVIN WILLARD: I'm so proud of this team. I'm so proud of what we accomplished and where we are. I'm also excited, if we play that hard next week, I'm excited about next week. I really am. That's what I told the team. That's a good basketball team out there cutting down the nets. They deserve it. They fought hard. They had some big stops. But I love the fact my team fought, and we had a chance to win it. I'll take him shooting the last second shot every day.

Q. Myles, did the shot feel good at your hand? Just take us through your range of emotions from the ball leaving your hand to seeing it hit the back rim.
MYLES POWELL: I thought it was going to drop. Shooters usually aim for the back of the rim, and it just hit off long. We got another opportunity at it. We tried to throw it up to Sandro to see if he could tie it, but we just didn't have enough time.

Q. Kevin, you got a really nice run out of Anthony Nelson. What did you think of the way he played and prompted you to leave him in there?
KEVIN WILLARD: Ant played phenomenal. As many minutes as Q's played, when he pivoted on the offensive end, he kind of slipped and tweaked his groin, and then he sat for a while. It's hard sitting that long and then jumping back into it. And Ant, I thought, played phenomenal. He played with great confidence. I thought he played really well defensively. But Q will be fine.

Q. Myles, it's obviously a tough loss, but you had almost 80 points here in three games. Just how confident and how good do you feel going into next week? What kind of damage can you guys do in the Tournament?
MYLES POWELL: We feel very confident. We're playing our best basketball right now. This is the best time to play your best basketball. We're just going to get through tomorrow, see where we wind up going, who we're playing, and we're just going to get back and pick our heads up and keep fighting.

Q. Coach, in this game, you were outrebounded, in contrary to you outrebounding them in your last victory against Villanova. In a tough game like this, could you point to something else on the margins that caused you guy to lose the game?
KEVIN WILLARD: No. We knew going in that their offensive rebounds were going to be critical. Early in the game, it kind of got them going a little bit. They got two big offensive rebounds for threes, and then they got two big tip-outs late in the second half that kind of kept their possessions alive. It's a two-point game. We have a shot to win it.

So I thought we did a good job of not turning the ball over, and I thought we did a great job of turning them over. That's why it was such a close game.

Q. Coach, obviously, more basketball to play, but you had a young team at the start of the year, and Sandro played well this week, Anthony Nelson played well tonight, Romaro Gill has played well throughout the stretch. What can you say about how your team has grown up over the course of the year but particularly this week?
KEVIN WILLARD: I can't talk enough about how proud I am of them. This team has been -- I told them this team has been so much fun to coach and so much fun to be around, so much fun to battle with. This one hurts because I think both teams just laid it out on the line, and we had a big, big shot to win it. But I think it shows more about the heart and the character of these kids. We've gotten down, down, and these guys keep fighting, they keep believing, no matter what's going on within the flow of the game, they seem to fight everything and stay together and just keep making great plays. It's been an absolute pleasure to kind of be along for the ride with them.

Q. Kevin, did anyone on your bench or anyone say anything to you about the clock? It looked like a few seconds ran off, a little under a minute left. Did you notice that?
KEVIN WILLARD: The clock continues to run on a made basket until it hits a minute.

Q. It was under a minute then.
KEVIN WILLARD: I'm not going to say anything about the refs. Who knows? That's their job. Basically, they stopped the play. We had a 15-minute delay the other day to fix nine seconds. So you would think towards the end of the game, if time -- that's their job.

So, no, no one on the bench did.

Q. What reason were you given for the T? Have you ever gotten two T's in two days?
KEVIN WILLARD: No, first ones in three years.

Q. Kevin, Myles had 78 points in three nights. Just what can you say about how he's played, and what's it like having a guy like that next to you?
KEVIN WILLARD: I think it's exciting. I think the country already knows him, but I think they're going to get an even bigger taste next week on the national stage. It's more fun being around him, Adam, to be honest with you, than watching him play because he's a better kid off the court than he is -- well, most of the times. Better kid off the court than he is on. He's such a pleasure to be around. He's such a pleasure to coach. He listens. And I think that's why he's come from a good player to a great player.

Q. Myles, I mean, I think there's some people out there maybe don't think -- with obviously both teams safely in the tournament, but a game like this, and obviously, you didn't get it, but how much does it mean to try to hoist that trophy? How much was at stake tonight even though both teams are going to the Tournament?
MYLES POWELL: We had a good opportunity to make history tonight. I mean, we're definitely hurting from it. Everybody was comparing us to the 2016 team, and we just wanted to match their legacy. When you come up short like that, it kind of hurts.

We have a lot to be proud of. We fought. And at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for.

Q. Myles, how can you guys use this as fuel for the next tournament?
MYLES POWELL: We made it here. Everybody didn't expect us to be here. We believed in ourselves, our coaching staff believed in us. We can play with anybody in the country. So I mean, yeah. We just beat Marquette twice, Nova last week, and they were the top two teams in our conference. And today we gave Nova a hard fought. We know we can play with anybody in the country when we're playing our basketball. We're just going to get ready for the tournament next week.

Q. Coach, I heard you're the first Seton Hall coach to win 20 games four years in a row. Can you talk about that and the fact that your program is really on solid footing?
MYLES POWELL: He should have won Coach of the Year.

KEVIN WILLARD: Thanks, kiddo. I really appreciate that vote of confidence. You're the best.

I'll be honest with you, the reason this program is on solid footing, we had an unbelievable recruiting class come in -- Isaiah, Angel, Khadeen, I love when I talk about Desi, Desi, Ish, Michael. I think the career Michael's had is unbelievable. And those guys came in with the attitude they wanted to put this program on the map, and they deserve the credit because they worked hard, and then they passed on this legacy to this young man, and he's taken it by himself and single-handedly kept it going.

So I've just been lucky I got a great group of kids over the last four years, and that's kind of where we are where we are.

Q. Kevin, you've won this tournament, and you followed up, obviously, with not a great run in the NCAAs. Do you expect this team to use this and to be extra motivated and hungry next week?
KEVIN WILLARD: Yeah, I learned a lot from that year. That was such an emotional ride. We went out west, and I left too early. I've learned a lot. I have so much confidence in this group. I know they'll be back, tomorrow? I know they'll be back Monday ready to work. And as long as they come back, the way they did after we lost a tough one to Georgetown or after we lost a couple in a row earlier in the year, I know and I have such great confidence in the team that they'll bounce back. To be honest with you, I'm more looking forward to the NCAA Tournament. I have more confidence in my team than I think I ever have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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