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November 25, 2019

Eric Bovaird

Tyler Cartaino

Roman Young

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Kansas - 93, Chaminade - 63

THE MODERATOR: We'll take an opening statement from coach.

ERIC BOVAIRD: We knew they were a really good team. We have been, unfortunately, we have had two weeks to sit and prepare for them and watch them way, way too much and we knew how good they were. And I thought through stretches, the first media segment, I thought we executed our game plan really well. And then the second and third one got us where we weren't locked into what we were supposed to be doing offensively and defensively and that's the moment it kind of got away.

But hey, the last time I played these guys I lost by 51 points, so 30 is not quite as bad as 51. But I think they've got a chance to be a really good team this year, whether it be a national title or whatever. So our guys came out and competed and they could have easily just laid over and quit when we were down 20 something, but they didn't and they kept battling and at least we had stretches where we played really well.

THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the players, please.

Q. For both you guys: You talk about Azubuike and the big McCormack and the big guys inside, how tough were they to handle?
ROMAN YOUNG: They're definitely tough. You don't realize how big they are until you're down there really banging with them. Azubuike, he's really elite. Whenever he gets the ball down low, just getting it up high and our tallest guy is about 6'6", 6'7". So it's definitely hard.

TYLER CARTAINO: Yeah, we tried to double them a lot and we knew even with doubles it would be hard to do, so we kind of went to make plays and get strips and that didn't happen a lot and we paid for it. But, yeah, they're really good, obviously, that's why they're on Kansas, so.

Q. Being back in the tournament this year, what does it mean, even after tonight with two more opportunities to do something in this event coming up here?
ROMAN YOUNG: Being in the tournament is definitely memorable. It's something you'll be able to tell, like, your kids one day, even your kids back home or your family back home can watch. But it's definitely special, especially coming out, playing against Kansas, a team that I grew up watching, just being from there, so it's definitely special.

TYLER CARTAINO: Yeah, it's a lot of fun coming out here even on Saturday and Sunday. All the events they have for us and the banquets and whatnot, it's a lot of fun. And then obviously the games and I think our returners and older guys know that these next two days we really do have a shot to pull out an upset. We have done it before, so it's nothing new to us and we're just going to keep our eyes set on that.

THE MODERATOR: All right, we'll take questions for coach.

Q. You talked to me at the press conference about Udoka Azubuike. He's the real deal, isn't he, and how tough were they inside?
ERIC BOVAIRD: Well, we knew they were going to be really tough inside. I told several guys that, and Coach Odom has probably seen a lot more than me, but he's the best that I've seen in all my time period of being in the Maui Invitational. It's sealing guys on the inside, catching the ball in traffic and going up and dunking it before you even have a chance to send your double team over. So he's got some, obviously I think he shoots 70 percent from the field or something like that, something ridiculous. He's pretty special inside of 3 and 4 feet, and the other two big guys are pretty tough too. So I noticed that they went to playing a lot just one big guy for a good stretch of the game and that kind of changes the dimensions of everything as far as -- the game plan we had. We thought they were going to play two bigs a lot of the time to really try to take advantage of us and double team from different areas. But I think that they went and matched up with us a little bit better when they had four basically wing guards out there and we had trouble scoring on them.

Q. How do you guys kind of move on from this one and try and get that maybe that shocker in the next day or two? What's the mindset to do that?
ERIC BOVAIRD: Well as soon as I walk out of the room, you don't have time to sulk about this. Obviously, you wish it was a closer game and you had a chance to win going down the stretch, but I've been here too many times to know that if I spend another hour thinking about what happened tonight, then I'm not going to be ready for tomorrow. We play at noon tomorrow, so as soon as I walk out this door I'm shifting focus to learning about UCLA and BYU and seeing who we're going to play and trying to figure out a way to beat them. When you play really good teams like this it takes a miracle. The miracle wasn't tonight. Maybe it will be a little bit later.

Q. Playing in this tournament as a D-II team with, obviously, big D-I schools, what's the most valuable lesson you think your players get out of this event and do you think you're going to do better than 23-8?
ERIC BOVAIRD: Well, I hope so, I hope so. But sometimes we have gone, we have come over here and we have taken three losses. And last year I was able to schedule three wins. So the record kind of shifts along those lines. But we love playing in this tournament in the fact that our previous two games against D-II teams, everything went smooth and everything was great. We had 28 assists, 30 assists, we hardly turned the ball over, we got the ball everywhere we wanted to. And then you play these teams and they have the ability to expose weaknesses. And for me, as a coach, you don't always see that in practice and I didn't see it in the game. But now after these three games, we have the ability to look at this and say, hey, this is what we need to, this is the direction we need to go, these are the things we need to work on, which you don't usually get that opportunity in Division II, so it's so special that we have that opportunity.

Q. You talked about them going small early, you guys were up at the time, I think. What dimension did that bring to them when they bring in, especially Moss, their outside shooter and that four-guard lineup?
ERIC BOVAIRD: Well throwing him in -- they have had some rough games outside shooting. So we knew that, especially if he wasn't in the game, we could help more and more on the interior, whether it be in zone or whether it be in man. But as soon as they throw four guards out there, you got to be more aware of where all four of those guys are, rather than just finding three. And Moss is a special player, he's a knock-down shooter. So we weren't that -- we knew that Dotson can make shots and Garrett and all them, and Ochai, but we were going to make them at least prove it. And I think defensively against us it helps them tremendously because they can match up with more size-wise.

Q. You said in the past that last year when you guys weren't here you were watching these games like back-to-back-to-back. Was it in person?

Q. Were you here for the games?

Q. What was that moment like for you patrolling the sideline, being in front of your bench out here again with a crowd like Kansas had and just this atmosphere being in this?
ERIC BOVAIRD: Well, last year I had the opportunity to watch 12 high-level games in row. So I was able to -- when you're playing in it you're always worried about the next opponent, the next meal, the next practice, and you don't really concentrate on what's going on. But last year was pretty special in the fact that I got to like just sit and analyze it. I didn't have to worry about where I'm taking the team to get a meal tonight or whatever. But, yeah, I mean it was a lot of fun being out there again coaching and having a chance. We were feeling pretty good the first 10 minutes of the game, you're still in striking distance and got a chance. But this tournament's the best in the world, I've been to a lot of tournaments and this one's the best in the world, everybody wants to be a part of this one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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