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November 27, 2019

Tom Crean

Rayshaun Hammonds

Anthony Edwards

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Georgia - 80, Chaminade - 77

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for the players.

Q. Anthony, on that last possession they tied it, up real big shot, kind of the underdog story. What are you thinking in the last nine seconds there?
ANTHONY EDWARDS: There's no way we're going to lose to these guys. So obviously my coach is like, get the ball and get down hill. I got the ball across half court, I looked at the clock, it was like five seconds. I said, well, I know they're going to pack it in, so I'm just going to pull up for the three.

Q. Were you worried they were going to send a double at all?
ANTHONY EDWARDS: Yeah, I was, like, their coach just told me out there he was hoping I passed the ball, yeah.

Q. For both you guys, if you don't mind, if you could just talk about how tough Chaminade played you guys.
ANTHONY EDWARDS: I mean, they're a great group of guys. They played hard, scrappy. They never gave up. We went on, like, a 7-0 run, 9-0 run. They fought back, hit big shots. No. 10 hit a lot of three-pointers they needed in the clutch. 13. They're all great players, but I feel like they was coached and they watched great film on us, so they competed really well.

RAYSHAUN HAMMONDS: Basically what Ant said.

Q. How important was it to get this win, after two tough games to begin here, how important was this win and Rayshaun, can you start with that one?
RAYSHAUN HAMMONDS: It was big. Going into December? We got a tough slate in December with Arizona State and SMU and the other teams. So it was kind of great to get this one and we're trying to get on a roll now.

ANTHONY EDWARDS: I mean, we needed the win. Every other team that played those guys, they won by a large number of points but we weren't coming in worrying about that. We were just, like, we need to win. We're 0-2 out here and we're playing for seventh or eighth place, and we're better than that. So we had to just come out and will our way to a win.

Q. Anthony, how would you describe the experience of being out here on Maui for these few days and the tournament setting, the crowds, the lights, I guess, everything that went into these three games?
ANTHONY EDWARDS: I mean, at first when I got here and landed, we came to the gym and had practice, I was like, are you telling me this gym be lit? Like because it was so small. So first thing I was thinking, like, no way. So when we got to the first game versus Dayton, it was crazy. They had a crazy crowd. But I had fun. I feel like the best fun I had here was the win. But we went jet skiing yesterday and that was the most fun I ever had in my life, man. I want to do it again. So that was probably the best thing about Maui.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you both.

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

TOM CREAN: We told our team, and I knew they would have a hard time believing it, that the toughest game of the year would be today. And it didn't matter if it was going to be Chaminade or UCLA, it was going to be the toughest game of the year because mentally when have you the comeback that we had yesterday and then there's the emotion of it, the pageantry of it, the atmosphere of it, it's very, very, very, very difficult, especially when kids. We have so many kids, nine freshmen, a summer ago they lost a game at 10 or they won a game at 10, they turned around and played at 6 in an AAU tournament or they played at 6 next morning, they played at 10 they're so used to just turning right back around. And a lot of times understanding that playing to play is not even close to what gets it done. It's playing to win. And we had some moments today where we didn't do a very good job. We had some moments today where we did. But I think in the case of Anthony Edwards, of all the attention that he had yesterday, to have the game that he had yesterday, to be a national, probably international story yesterday with that second half, and to come here today and to fight through it and not play great but to get better inside of the game, he found things for us offensively, he wanted big challenges defensively, and he's wired to take and make that shot that he made. And I couldn't be prouder of him because what I want to have happen for him is everybody to see him not only as a great player and as a really good person, but a pure winner, just like I want it for everybody else.

So we got a lot of contributions from guys. We had some that didn't do as much. That's part of it. That's part of tournament play. They went small, which it forced our hand. There's tons of room for us to get better when it comes to how we defend the ball, when it comes to the activity of our hands, on shooters, and then we got caught watching the ball, some on the cuts. But that team is really good and I coached against them now four times, I believe, Chaminade. With Coach Izzo, my first year with him as an assistant 25 years ago. We won by two. When I was at Marquette, I think we won by three or four and turned around and played Duke in the championship later in my first year at Indiana. We won 72-70. So I'll take a three-point win over Chaminade and say that we're building the margin of victory for us. They're a really well coached, outstanding program. He does a phenomenal job. And to have that many new players play the way he wants is a tribute to who he is as a coach.

Q. That final shot by Anthony, where he went, the way it all developed for you guys, was that kind of what you were hoping for?
TOM CREAN: Well we wanted to go to the rim because we had time. And we didn't know exactly what kind of pressure they would bring. So really we were going to be comfortable with Anthony or Sahvir bringing it. The other one go opposite and get a screen in the middle of the floor from Toumani Camora. Ray's our best inbounder. And we swung Donell Gresham to the other side of the floor so we opened up the right side once Anthony had it. But he's wired to take that shot. So we're going to have to continue to, he's very, very courageous, all right? And wants those shots. We just got to continue to understand that there might have been a path to the rim too, but we're coming out of here with a victory so we'll take it.

Last thing I want to add is it, obviously, coming to Maui never gets old, never will get old. Being a part of this tournament will never get old. It's one of the greatest sporting venues, okay, for a competition, I should say, in all of sports. And I think you would find many, many college basketball coaches past and present that would agree with that. But it's that way for a reason. It's that way because every year they come in here and they do everything they can possibly do to make it better than it was the year before. And Dave Odom deserves a ton of credit for that, as does Steve and all the different people that are from the organizations that put this on. And every time you come, you can't think that it could be better, right. You have to deal with the basketball. The basketball is incredibly intense. It's nerve wracking. You're playing great competition. All those types of things. But when it comes to the absolute way that this tournament is run, it is, it is second to none. And it's just an absolute honor to be invited and it's an even greater honor to be a part of something that is so first class in every possible way.

So on behalf of the University of Georgia -- and I've said this before to Dave -- I want to thank him again personally, I want to thank everybody that's involved in this tournament, okay. Everybody from Tommy Bahama. Everybody from Maui Jim. Everybody that makes this what it is. Because from the moment you touch down to the moment that you leave you know you're in the presence of incredible first class and you know you're in something that they take very, very serious being second to none and it's that way for a reason. So very honored to be here. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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