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March 22, 2021

Anthony Polite

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indiana Farmers Coliseum

Florida State Seminoles

Postgame Media Conference

Florida State 71, Colorado 53

Q. Obviously big kudos to you tonight for the offensive performance you had, but could you talk more about how you guys play on the defensive end? You're the stingiest team in the NCAA Tournament right now, Colorado had their best sequence, back-to-back threes, got within one, and then you guys just sort of put the pedal to the metal and put them on lockdown. Talk about the mentality that this team has to focus on defense first before anything else.

ANTHONY POLITE: That's something we harp on pretty much every day, defense, defense. That's what wins championships, defense. Scouting report is try to take away the point guard, and we stick to it.

They still did a great job but it was more difficult for them to find shots and get in a rhythm. We just stick to the game plan, and we were able to come away with good stops.

Q. Up until 2017, or through 2017, you hadn't been to Sweet 16s, and this is three in a row. How remarkable to be part of that, being here for all three of them?

ANTHONY POLITE: Guys that have been before me, it's been building and we just trying to keep that going and just try to play as hard as we can for Coach Ham and the coaching staff. They do an amazing job coaching us on the court and off the court. And you can see we play as hard as we can on the court. And that got us here, and we're going to keep pushing to go as far as we can.

Q. Can you talk about what you guys did to McKinley Wright, just bothering him, the defensive plan, and how you went about executing it?

ANTHONY POLITE: He's one of best point guards on the West Coast. And he's very ball dominant, and we try to keep the ball away from him as much as possible. And it frustrated him. Pretty much stick to the game plan, and that's what we did for the entire night.

Q. How good was it to see that first three go down, just to break the seal, and I assume you guys go into a game knowing you're a good shooting team. What was the confidence level going into tonight, the team as a whole and especially you shooting the basketball?

ANTHONY POLITE: We went 0-for-9 last game, I think it would be impossible to do that shooting the three. We are all confident and very good shooters. Shot it and it went in, and I'm glad it did.

Q. 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals and only one turnover. Where does this rank amongst the best all-around games of your career and can you sustain it as you keep going forward?

ANTHONY POLITE: It's probably my best game, definitely statistic-wise. I'm going to keep giving my effort at 100 percent, keep coming out with a defensive mentality. And seeing shots go in is just going to boost my confidence, keep shooting them. Defense first. That's what got us here. That's what's going to keep making us win, and that's how I'm going.

Q. You lost Pat and Devin last year and brought in Scottie Barnes this year. What is it about Coach Hamilton's staff that gets you to play so deep in the tournament and you play together?

ANTHONY POLITE: The culture we build, we buy in. We love one another. We hang out all the time and talk basketball, and we're extremely close outside of basketball; that on the court, that just makes everything a lot easier.

Q. You take on Michigan in the Sweet 16. Is there anybody in the ACC that reminds you of Michigan?

ANTHONY POLITE: I'm not sure. Michigan is a very good team. We have a lot of good teams in the ACC as well, but I'm not sure.

Q. Staying in the bubble, what did you bring to entertain yourself and spending that much time in a hotel room?

ANTHONY POLITE: Yeah, right now, March Madness, we just watch a lot of games. I feel like we bond like that, just watching games, and just talking, laughing, bringing up stories that happened in the past, and just having a good time like that.

Q. You said defense is what carries you guys and that's been the case, but there have been some slipups late in the year defensively for you guys. Is it just a matter of playing in the NCAA Tournament and knowing it's one-and-done?

ANTHONY POLITE: Definitely staying consistent defensively and taking care of the ball is the biggest things I feel like we got to focus on to keep pushing through.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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