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March 21, 2019

Justin Robinson

Ahmed Hill

Ty Outlaw

San Jose, California

MODERATOR: We welcome Virginia Tech student-athletes to the dais. We have Justin Robinson, Ahmed Hill, and Ty Outlaw. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Justin, haven't seen you since Sunday. Kind of just want to get a sense of what you've been able to do this week in practice and kind of at this point how much you feel like you'll be able to play, what kind of role you can play on Friday.
JUSTIN ROBINSON: The same thing I've been doing in practice, just the idea of getting back in a groove, incorporating more things into what's been going on, get in more of a flow, getting my wind back, running a lot more than I had been and just trying to get back in a groove with my team.

Q. Ty and Ahmed, what's it like having five back? I mean obviously you guys have played, what, a dozen, 13 games or so without him. You've had to adjust without him and sort of change your mindset and the focus of what you guys do on both ends, which you guys have been really good at the last couple of years when you've had adversity late in the season. Now he's back again. Is it easier to sort of switch back to the way you were before, or does it give you some versatility now because you've played without him and kind of know how to operate without him?
TY OUTLAW: I would say it's like riding a bike. As soon as he got back on the court, I immediately felt his presence and felt better with him out there with me, because I've been at Tech for four years now, and I'm used to playing with him more than other guys.

As far as the versatility, we learned how to play without him, so with him it's going to be even better. So things I might have struggled with when I was playing with him I'm better at now, and just the things I wasn't as good at, I've learned to just improve at them. So with him it's just going to be a plus.

AHMED HILL: Yeah, I would say the same. I think with him it's easy to do what I did with him, and now I think without him I learned how to play more and be more of just a player instead of what I was.

I think I improved a lot. So I think it will be very good for him back. I'm happy he's back, and we're ready to play.

Q. Justin, to finish up, what's your sense now, are you like I'm 100 percent back to my old self, I can give you 30 minutes, let's go, or is it, oh, my first game back, haven't played in a while, I can give you maybe five, ten minutes off the bench, or somewhere in between?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: One thing I learned throughout the process of being hurt is to kind of gain maturity in it. So I think the overall idea of not worrying about my minutes or how much I'm going to really impact the team in regards of playing on the court, I just want to win, and, I mean, it's kind of a revenge game for us, so I'm going to do whatever it takes for us to win, whether that be in two minutes or 30 minutes.

Q. Ahmed, he mentioned the revenge thing, but I'm wondering, is there anything -- have you guys talked much about that game last season against Saint Louis, and is there anything you can glean from that, or is it ancient history?
AHMED HILL: We kind of talked about it as a team, not necessarily with the coaches, but kind of within ourselves. We knew we kind of let that game go last year. They were obviously a good team. They beat us. They earned it. But we felt like we deserved to win. We knew we was a better team, and we're just trying to come out here and play.

Q. For all you guys, Ty, it's been a minute for you, but you guys have been here now, what, this is your third time. Does this feel different in a way in the fact that there's less sort of awe and check out all the lights and the scene and all that stuff and now it's more businesslike? Does the awe ever wear off?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I think we've kind of made it a norm for going three times in a row, so I think the third time's a charm for us we believe. And I think we learned from the past two years of being kicked out in the first round, and hopefully we can build off of those two years and make a run at it.

AHMED HILL: I would say the same. Last two years we've been kicked out first round, and for our program it was like awe, but now I think it's just more business. We came here to win the whole thing. All this is pretty cool, but it's just a game at the end of the day.

TY OUTLAW: They said it all. I don't have anything to say.

Q. To follow up on that, what did you learn from losing to Wisconsin, Alabama the last two years? What do you have to do differently this time around to get a W, and do you feel like you're maybe bringing a better team to the NCAA than you've brought the last couple of years and maybe a team that's more capable of winning?
TY OUTLAW: I would say, because we've been twice before, all year, especially us seniors, have been preparing for this. The first nonconference game we were preparing to be a tournament team, not just playing nonconference. So we're way more prepared, and we knew what it was going to take to win around this time of the year. So I'd say we're just more confident and levelheaded going into it.

JUSTIN ROBINSON: Yeah, to add onto that, I think the way we schedule things, everything plays out well for the nonconference teams going to our conference games, and now our conference games going into tournament, I think Saint Louis kind of has the same sort of style of Georgia Tech where they switch up their defenses, and I think us having reps of playing against it before will help us in the long run.

Q. When you talk about the third time being the charm, what's the vibe of the team? How determined? Can you get a feel of how determined you guys are this year to finally get the NCAA Tournament W?
AHMED HILL: I think we're very determined. Our coaching staff did a great job of breaking down film, telling us what we need to do and what's the best plan to win, as they did all year. So as the players who just gotta go in there and execute it, it's not going to be easy, but we know we got the talent and the heart to do it.

Q. Justin, you talk about how they remind you a little bit of Georgia Tech, which is interesting, but on the offensive end they don't shoot the three real well --
JUSTIN ROBINSON: (Knocking on wood.)

Q. But they try to get paint touches and things like that. Do you see some things on that side that remind you of anybody?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I don't know about them not shooting the three well. I think any team can have their given night. But I think the idea of crashing the offensive glass is probably along the best of what we've seen, but they kind of resemble in my opinion like a Florida State that's undersize, like they're going to try to bully you at the rim and get offensive rebounds. I think we've had a good test of that.

Q. Guys, obviously you were in that 8-9 game the last couple of years. Now you're a 4 seed. You're expected to win this game tomorrow. How much pressure do you guys feel to, okay, we're the four seed, we're one of the big dogs now, we gotta win this thing?
TY OUTLAW: I don't think there's any pressure as far as the seeding because if you make the tournament, you're good. So no matter who you're playing, and I think UVA gave us a good example last year losing to a 16 seed. We know not to take anybody lightly. So we really not care what seed they are. We're going to take them serious. We're not going to underestimate anybody.

JUSTIN ROBINSON: Yeah, I would add to that. There's 64 teams here, or there was out of 351, so everybody that's playing now is a good team. So I don't think the seed really matters. Everybody can play. It's just about who wants it more.

Q. For Justin and Ty, you guys have one of the most colorful coaches in the country. What's your best Buzz Williams story, and it can't involve sweating?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I think his everyday lifestyle around us. I say it every time I'm asked about it. He's a life coach rather than a basketball coach, and I can't really single out one story. I just think the blessing of being around him every day, and I think that's just the overall gist of having somebody like that in your corner and being your head leader and head honcho of the group.

TY OUTLAW: Yeah, the same. Like you said, he's one of the most colorful coaches. It's hard to pick out one thing when you're around this guy every day. You can name stuff all day. So I can't really single out one moment that would take away from the other moments we have with him. He's just great to have.

Q. After going to Buffalo and Pittsburgh the last two years, do you guys like being out here in California, and what have you been doing so far?
AHMED HILL: It's way better than Buffalo (laughs). Way better. I can wear shorts and no shirt. But it's way better. I love the scenery around here. It feels amazing. Seems like home kind of, home feeling.

TY OUTLAW: Home as in Georgia, not Virginia Tech.

JUSTIN ROBINSON: Not Blacksburg.

Q. On that topic, I notice you went to In-N-Out last night. How was that?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: It was good. It's our second time going. We played in Anaheim, what was that, two years ago, and we got the chance to experience it. So to get another feel of it again was really good. The burgers are good.

AHMED HILL: I had two Double Doubles (laughs).

TY OUTLAW: I didn't go. I went to a wrap place around the corner. I didn't want to slow myself down for the game. Moderate.

Q. Obviously you guys are all -- as opposed to the last couple of years now, this is it for you. Your next game, if you lose, that's going to be it for your Virginia Tech career. How was the mindset different this year as you're seniors now in the NCAAs?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: For me especially, it's a little emotional in the sense that I'm going to try to do everything in my will for us not to lose, meaning that I've been out 12 games and haven't been able to play. I think just the idea of knowing it's win or go home, I think we would much rather take the pressure of pain rather than the pressure of regret.

AHMED HILL: For me, I just want to come out here and have fun. Normal times a lot of teams come here stressing about games, whether they win or lose. But I think it's just another game. You should come out here and have fun and play to the best of your ability. You don't want to stress too bad because it can go good or bad. That's my take on it.

TY OUTLAW: I would say I'm trying to take in everything outside of the game as well, the hotel we stay at, the view from the window and how long it took to get here or the food we eat every day. That's the type of stuff I want to remember, because I know I'll remember the game. But I just want the whole experience, because I'm not going to get it back.

MODERATOR: All right. We'll end it on that note. Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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