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November 27, 2019

Anthony Grant

Ryan Mikesell

Obi Toppin

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Kansas - 90, Dayton - 84

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

ANTHONY GRANT: Well right now I'm very, very proud of our team. Our guys battled three highly competitive games in three days. These guys gave everything they had for each other. They battled it out all the way through the end. Obviously it's a tough loss. But like I told them in the locker room, whatever it was five, six days ago when we came here we wanted to find out what we needed to do as a team to continue to move forward, and I think these guys did a great job of answering that. They fought obviously to the very end. You got to give Kansas credit. Their guys were able to step up and make plays, enough plays to be able to come out with the victory. But these guys battled and hopefully as we move forward we'll learn lessons from this. There will be some things that we'll look at it and it will be tough to watch and some things that we'll learn from.

And it's six games into the season, so we're excited, honored to have a chance to compete here in a great tournament and, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks coach. Open it up for questions for the players.

Q. Obi, can you talk about what it was like battling with Udoka in there. It seemed back and forth. Great battle.
OBI TOPPIN: Yeah. Udoka's a really good player. He's a really strong, big man in the post. I don't really know what to say, but like he's a really good player and he showed it today.

Q. Can both of you talk about Jalen's shot and how you felt going into overtime after he made it.
RYAN MIKESELL: It was a good shot. I have seen him make shots like that all the time whether it's in open gym or in practice and whatnot. So I knew when he had the ball in his hands I went straight to the rim and I told him, like, just let it go. And he's a competent shooter and fortunate enough it went in. And then going into overtime we thought we had a chance. They made a little more plays than we did, but it happens sometimes. It's basketball.

Q. Obi, the moment's kind of gone viral now. You hit a three in front of their bench and it looked like you turned around before you even made it. Can you just describe what happened on that play?
OBI TOPPIN: I don't remember turning around, but when I shot it just felt good and I just started running back on defense.

Q. For either of you guys: Can you guys speak to what you guys think you showed throughout this tournament to people around the country and for Dayton basketball?
RYAN MIKESELL: Yeah, I thought it was obviously a really good tournament. We got to the championship game. Fortunate -- I mean, unfortunately we wanted to win, but we went out here, we competed for three days straight, we kind of showed people what we can do one more of a national level. I'm really excited about this group. I think we have a lot of talent and just keep improving as the season goes on, so hopefully we're playing our best basketball at the end of March and hopefully make the tournament, make a good run in the A-10 division and go from there.

Q. For both you: I know you guys wanted to be a better three-point shooting team, but in the last three days you showed how improved you are. What's been the key to making all those threes?
RYAN MIKESELL: I think just trusting our preparation. We take a lot of shots, we work on it all the time in the off-season. In practices we see guys, it's no surprise that we come out here and hit shots because we put in a lot of work and we keep telling each other just shoot it. You put in that work, you put in that preparation, just have the confidence to go out there during game time and let it fly. Yeah, we just keep building, we build each other's confidence up. If someone misses a shot we're always tapping them on the back saying, good shot, let it fly, just keep playing.

THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll let the two of you get back to your team and open it up for questions for coach.

Q. Down the stretch they kind of went old school. They went inside. Were there some things you were thinking about in terms of wrinkles? I know you just isolated on him and made them shoot over the top --
ANTHONY GRANT: I'll go back and look at the film. But he did a great job. He was able to finish plays in the post. He was able to finish his free throws tonight. He did an outstanding job. So I'll look at it. I'm sure I'll go back and look at some things that maybe I could have done differently to maybe help with that. But they had some guys out there that did a good job of keeping us honest in terms of the spacing they had on the floor. It was hard to go to him with two guys based on where they were spaced. But give them credit. They did a great job getting him the ball. He did a great job finishing the play.

Q. You mentioned it a little bit, but how much did your team grow in these last three days?
ANTHONY GRANT: Yeah, I mean, I think coming into the tournament we felt really good about what we had. Every game you get challenged differently. So six games into it, I think we know some things more than we did three days, three games ago. But it's six games in and there will be all types of challenges. The one thing I think all of us in the room that have been watching basketball for a while, you don't, you can't act like you've got anything figured out, because you don't. At the end of the day we had a chance today to compete for a championship against a great team. This was about what Kansas did. They did a great job of being able to come in here and win a championship and we had opportunities. So we'll go back and we'll learn from this and hopefully it will make us better for the next game to come and the games after.

Q. A lot of different guys made big plays, but Ryan Mikesell really took over at times and showed the ability to draw fouls, get to the basket, make threes. What did you think of his play?
ANTHONY GRANT: I thought Ryan played really well. I thought we got great efforts from a lot of different guys tonight. Ryan, at times, he talked about, someone mentioned Obi having to guard Azubuike in the post and Ryan had to guard him, Trey had to guard him, different guys had to guard him. We did a lot in terms of guys making multiple efforts to try to do what we needed to do. Tonight with the way they elected to defend, a lot of times they put a big on Ryan, so we tried to exploit the matchup there and I thought we did a good job of understanding that in the second half. They kind of got away from some things maybe that we had seen on film. But that's a part of the game. You make adjustments and there was a lot of adjustments going back and forth throughout the night I thought on both ends. They threw some zone out there, they switched matchups out there, just did a lot of different things that our guys had to adjust to.

Q. You just mentioned the zone. I think it held you scoreless for six minutes or so in the second half late. You got it to OT but how big was that zone that they put out?
ANTHONY GRANT: I think we hit two threes back-to-back against the zone. I think they did hold us scoreless for six minutes, but I believe that was man-to-man. I got to look, go back and look. I don't remember the exact segment. But they're a really good defensive team. I think coming into the game they may have been No. 1 in the country or Top-5 in the country in defensive efficiency rating. So we knew that coming in that they could pose some problems with their speed, with their size, with their athleticism on the defensive end.

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