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March 5, 2020

Porter Moser

Cameron Krutwig

Keith Clemons

Tate Hall

Lucas Williamson

Aher Uguak

St. Louis, Missouri - Arch Madness

THE MODERATOR: Our final session, 3:15 to 3:30, featured the Loyola Ramblers. They're the No. 2 seed. They'll play the winner of Valparaiso and Evansville. That game will be at 6:00 on Friday. The student body is represented by Cameron Krutwig, Aher Uguak, Lucas Williamson, Tate Hall and Keith Clemons. The head coach is Porter Moser. Porter, please.

PORTER MOSER: Obviously, everyone here is excited, just like all the other coaches have probably said. Just excited to get going. The valley does such a great job with this tournament that it makes you want to tip it up and get going. We're here. I'm proud of these guys. We're excited to get going.

Q. Hey, Porter, how are you? So I wanted to ask about the sickness. I know last week, Bruno was out because of being sick -- not out, but not playing, and then Cameron got hit by it. I just wanted to see if everyone is healthy and feeling better.
PORTER MOSER: Everyone feels great. Bruno feels better. Cam feels better. Thankfully, no bugs. We're all good.

Q. I'll ask from the Valpo perspective, since they could be a potential opponent. I know they're not locked in. But I think the first couple years -- last year, you beat them pretty good. This year, it's been a couple of five-point games. What has that team shown you in their kind of maturation coming into the valley, kind of like what you guys have done?
PORTER MOSER: They've got a lot of good pieces. Obviously, Javon scoring the way he does, he affects in passing defensively, but they've got some other -- the way they shoot the ball, they're really dangerous. What did they hit, 17, 18 threes against Bradley with Fazekas? McMillan shooting from that 5 spot. Kiser has hit a couple of threes against us. I think they're shooting it, and they've got some guys that can go downhill. Freeman is so athletic. Sackey is so athletic. I think they've got a nice blend of guys that can shoot it.

They've always defended hard. It's just crazy to think they're on the play-in game. I heard Matt on his -- 9-9 you wouldn't think you would have to play on Thursday night. It just shows you the depth of our league, and it shows you that anybody can beat anybody, but anybody can lose to anybody.

Q. To the players, how are you guys feeling going into tomorrow? Some of you, this is your first Arch. Some of you, it's not. Just from that perspective, how are you feeling?
THE MODERATOR: Lucas, Tate, and Keith in that order.

LUCAS WILLIAMSON: We're always excited. Arch Madness is always fun to play in. Just getting ready to go and can't wait until tip-off tomorrow.

TATE HALL: Obviously, I'm really excited. I was here last year and sat on the bench and took it all in. Saw how it was, saw how Arch Madness was. I'm excited and ready to get going.

KEITH CLEMONS: Same. First year here, obviously excited, but treating it like any other game, same mindset, going to get the win.

Q. Lucas, can you give me a good Javon Freeman-Liberty story from high school, something that maybe encapsulates his toughness or his drive?
LUCAS WILLIAMSON: Wow. One thing I do remember -- weirdly. I don't know why I remember this. I just remember in the state championship game, I just remember the chaos that happened going into overtime with that last play. I just remember he had the confidence to take that last shot. Although it didn't go in, we just found a way to win in that overtime game. That's just one of the many things that happened on the court, off the court, but me and Javon are still cool.

Q. Cameron, Lucas and Tate, you guys were all named to some All Valley teams. How does that help you going into this weekend?
THE MODERATOR: Cameron, lead us off, please.

CAMERON KRUTWIG: First and foremost, it's a team award. It comes with team success. I know Keith's won Sixth Man of the Year. I was First Team. Tate was the Newcomer. It all comes with team success. You couldn't have done it without all the other guys that weren't mentioned. We came in second. So we were pretty well represented on the teams, like you said. Just kind of echoing what those guys said, I think we're really excited to kind of be here and to play.

We've had a good week of practice, and we've been tightening up the screws. We've been kind of prepping for both teams, not really locking in on one specific team until obviously the game tonight. I think we're really ready to go and super excited.

THE MODERATOR: Lucas and then Tate.

LUCAS WILLIAMSON: It's a good feeling, but at the end of the day, we have to go out there and play basketball and play our best basketball and beat teams. It's a good feeling, but we're more focused on winning games this weekend.

TATE HALL: Going off of what Lucas just said, it's a good honor, obviously. That's why you work in the summer, you workout to be the best player you can be, but at the end of the day, it's a team game, and we're locked in on one thing, and that's winning one game at a time.

Q. Aher, about a week ago now, but you had your first career double double against Bradley. How did that feel, and how do you kind of build off of that going into Arch Madness this weekend?
AHER UGUAK: I think mainly it's just doing whatever I can to help the team. Bradley had, I think, a 20-0 run, and we were kind of down, and I was in foul trouble. So as soon as I got in, I told myself do whatever you can to help the team win. I think I should do that every game to help my team out.

Q. This is to Porter and Cameron because you guys were at the luncheon earlier. I wanted to ask, Marquise Kennedy had the biggest smile on his face, and I want to hear from your guys' perspective what it was like to see him go to his first kind of thing and get that award.
CAMERON KRUTWIG: Yeah, we're super excited for Marquise, not just me and Coach but all the guys. We had kind of a team meeting, and Coach announced that he won it. We were all silent, and Coach was like, Quise, you won Sixth Man of the Year. I don't think he was expecting to win that. We were all super excited for him and happy. It was a good moment kind of in the locker room. It's just a testament to his hard work and really accepting his role.

As a freshman, you just want to come in and contribute literally any way you can, whether it's playing 10 minutes, 15 minutes, stuff like that. So he's accepted his role on the bench, and he's done it really well.

PORTER MOSER: It might surprise people outside looking in, but not us. Marquise smiles all the time. He's got a big smile, and I think he was -- I mean, it was a nice banquet. He was dressed up in his nice black suit, and he was just enjoying himself. He smiles a lot with us. I know he gets very stoic on the court and business-like, but for him to have that big smile, I don't think the smile was for him receiving an award. He was just excited about the atmosphere of being there and all that. That's just the way he is. He's a fun-loving young man.

Q. I'll stick with those same two, Coach and Krutwig. I just looked at the starting lineup that's up here is 16 and 6 this year. It's been a good change since Keith joined the lineup. How has that developed, and how can you ride that wave into this weekend?
CAMERON KRUTWIG: Yeah, I think through the whole year we've been building chemistry with each other. That started in the summer when all of us got to campus and started doing workouts and stuff like that. We've been building chemistry, and it's just kind of developed through the year. You always want to be playing your best basketball towards the end of the year, and that's just developing chemistry, knowing what guys are going to do, and just playing together as a team.

PORTER MOSER: I think it was more -- we probably never even knew that stat up here. It's something that we don't think about with the starters. What it was is Keith got healthy. It gave us another contributor. It took a little pressure off Marquise. Marquise got thrown into playing the point guard right out of day one, having to replace two 22-year-old Larry Bird trophy winners in the backcourt.

So it more speaks to we got Keith healthy, in the mix. We don't look at it as starters. These guys never do. We're looking at all hands on deck. We need -- to win this tournament, you need strength in numbers. You're going to need a lot of guys contributing. It's going to be no starting five wins this thing. You're going to need guys off the bench. When that starting lineup happened is when Keith got healthy from his surgery and just gave us another primary ball handler. We just have a ton of confidence in Keith at the point, and it just keeps going from there.

Q. This could be something or it could be nothing for Porter and Lucas. I notice you're wearing the 2017/18 warmup jackets right now. Is that a conscious choice to channel some of that energy, or is it just clean laundry day and what was on top of the hamper?
LUCAS WILLIAMSON: This is one of my favorite hoodies, not just because it's Sweet 16 and Final Four, but also it's just a nice looking hoodie.

PORTER MOSER: I think I look great in it. Just kidding. It's my favorite hoodie. I'm the same with him. But the patches are nice, but we don't -- we are -- you got to have -- and I've said this before. You've got to have amnesia because that's not going to get you where you want to go, but you've got to remember what it took that to get you. The hoodies aren't symbolic. It's just we like it, right?

Q. Cameron, I've got to ask. You were preseason MVC Player of the Year, but then you didn't end up being Player of the Year. What was the reaction to that?
CAMERON KRUTWIG: Credit to UNI and A.J. Green. They won it outright. Congrats. You can't really compete with that. I don't think I -- I mean, it would have been nice, but it doesn't really matter now. Everyone is 0-0 now, and now it's just about winning the tournament and just competing at a high level, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much and best of luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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