May 30, 2021
Towson , Maryland, USA
Le Moyne -12, Lenoir-Ryne - 6
THE MODERATOR: We're joined Lenoir-Rhyne head coach Greg Paradine and student-athlete Eric Dickinson. Coach, an opening statement.
COACH PARADINE: I just want to congratulate Le Moyne on a great effort. They're a great team. Really proud of our guys, the way they fought. It was back and forth. They just put that 5-0 spurt in the third quarter that opened things up.
We weren't able to catch them, but they're a great defensive team. They showed they're true champions. And I'm super proud of our guys today.
Q. Eric, I was curious, Coach mentioned Le Moyne's defense. Could you take us through what makes them particularly tenacious in the fact especially in that third quarter, when it's a tie game and five in a row, what characterizes their defense that makes them so tough, do you think?
ERIC DICKINSON: They're definitely big guys, long guys. They're rangy. I had 25 on me. Then they came out in the third quarter and had 33 on me. They pressed down, kind of denied me the ball. At the end of the day, it made it tough to run the offense. And overall, their size definitely plays to their advantage. They're long and rangy. They can get out, take the ball away from the guys that need it.
Q. Eric, how would you kind of size up, how things started off there for you? I think it was 5-5 there at halftime. Were you feeling pretty good? How frustrating was it as they were able to kind of pull away bit by bit there in the third and early fourth quarters?
ERIC DICKINSON: Yes, they started off -- in the first half. And then half, it's 5-5. At that point we thought it's anyone's game. 0-0, pretty much. And then definitely that 5-0 run in the third definitely made it tough on top in not being able to really get touches on the ball on offense. And at the end of the day that compiles on itself. That was the difference today.
Q. I know you had some other options, but you decided to come back to Lenoir-Rhyne. Now that you're kind of reflecting and -- how can you reflect on your career here?
ERIC DICKINSON: Definitely it was a no-brainer to come back here and finish this year as a fifth-year due to COVID and stuff. My freshman year I came in, it was the first time going to the NCAA Tournament with guys like Mike Hamlin, Ben Corrigan and coach and the staff. Now me leaving this year, sets a precedent for us to be here on championship weekend here at the Final Four and at the national championship.
So I'm just glad I got to take it one step higher than when I got here as freshman for the upper classmen that set that bar high for me as a freshman. And now I get to make it one step higher for our freshmen and our underclassmen now. It's a good honor to have with me.
Q. Just to elaborate. You mentioned Le Moyne's defense and a quick scouting report from your player there. What are your thoughts about what makes the defense so effective especially today?
COACH PARADINE: You know, they are. They're big and they're physical. I think when they switch matchups a little bit, that played to their advantage. They stretched out on Eric a little bit. But not only are their poles big, but their defensive middies are big, strong kids. And I think on the wet track, our speed advantage was a little bit negated get. They were able to get their hands on us, and we weren't able to get back and forth in the middle of the field as well as we wanted.
But those guys, you know, they do a great job defensively. You can see the last two games, they've taken two high-scoring opponents and pretty much shut them down.
Q. At the other end of the field I know they're very opportunistic when they get their chances. Did you feel like that was as much as anything for them on the offensive end, that they simply cashed in, rebound here or a one-on-one there as much as anything else?
COACH PARADINE: Yeah, it was funny, I think No. 4 went out of the game, we were putting a short stick on him. We were having a lot of success. Then he went out of the game and they kind of played, they were able to play 6-on-6 a lot more when he went out. And I think that changed the momentum. They were able to play their style a little bit. They're opportunistic. They've got tremendous stick skills. They shoot the ball really well. They were very efficient offensively. And that's what Le Moyne is.
They play great defense and are very efficient offensively.
Q. What do you think, just being on this bigger stage and they have a ton of experience here and Coach Sheehan has a ton of experience, what do you think you learned about the experience in handling the weekend?
COACH PARADINE: I think our guys handled it great. I think we were ready. I think we were prepared. Le Moyne is just a really good team. I think that third quarter we had a couple of not atypical offensive possessions and that's really where the game kind of swung a little bit. But we were prepared.
It was a super event. Our fans and our guys were excited and ready to go. I just tip our cap to Le Moyne for being a great champion.
Q. Being a ten-year-old program or whatnot, being able to get to this point, how much appreciation is there for just how far things have been able to come for you guys?
COACH PARADINE: It is. It's really special. All our alums in the stands. And we weren't satisfied just being here. We felt like we were a team who could win the championship. We're disappointed. But it was an unbelievable experience for our guys and hopefully we can continue to grow and take that next step here in the future.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports