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March 8, 2023

Thad Matta

Simas Lukosius

New York, New York, USA

Madison Square Garden

Butler Bulldogs

Postgame Media Conference

St. John's - 76, Butler - 63

Q. Manny, huge difference in the middle, it would seem. You guys had some open looks. You played an excellent game at the same time, bunnies and 3s, and this game would have been completely different?

COACH MATTA: Honestly, it's kind of been our season. Just in terms of -- I say this, 18th year as a head coach and I've never dealt with all the things, the injuries that we've had to deal with and just being, at times, just disheveled lineups out there.

And it is what it is. And I thought those guys in the second half fought their tails off and couldn't be prouder of them, the effort they gave us.

Q. You find yourselves down early 20 early in the second half. How impressed were you with the fight they showed getting it down all the way to nine as time's winding down?

COACH MATTA: It's funny because we finally started playing the right way. When we started we were not connected, we were not together. The transition, the rebounds -- the difference in the game was the rebounding, obviously.

Those guys, they got it to 20, they kept chipping away. Huddles got better. I told the team afterwards, they've shown after the course of the season they can play really good basketball. When we're not connected, we're not that talented.

Q. Simas, you saw Myles Tate, he had been out of commission last year. So, I mean, how good was it to see him end this season, the circumstances, have a good game at the Garden tonight?

SIMAS LUKOSIUS: I'm really happy for him. It was great to see. I love him to death and I see how good he is, how hard he works every day in practice. And I'm proud of him. I wish it wasn't over.

Q. Two years in a row, great in the Garden, what's the secret to the Garden. What can you give to Butler?

SIMAS LUKOSIUS: I don't have the secret. I'd be on the winning side if I had the secret.

Q. Now that the season is over, can you now concentrate on studies? What do you study at Butler? Pretty good school. Known for basketball. Kind of curious.

SIMAS LUKOSIUS: Studied sports media at Butler. Can now focus more on that now. I probably should.

COACH MATTA: I can second that. (Laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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