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April 1, 2023

Dusty May

Nick Boyd

Alijah Martin

Houston, Texas, USA

NRG Stadium

FAU Owls

Semi-Finals Postgame Media Conference

San Diego State - 72, Florida Atlantic - 71

COACH MAY: Extremely proud of the guys' effort and the ride they've taken us on for five or six months, however long it's been. These guys laid it on the line every single practice, every single workout, weight session, film session.

They put a lot into this, and sometimes it doesn't go your way. There's only one team in this tournament that's going to end on a win, and unfortunately it's not us this year.

Q. Can you go through the emotions; obviously an abrupt ending with the buzzer-beater. What do the emotions feel like for you guys?

NICK BOYD: It's a bittersweet moment. I'm not dwelling on it much. I'm ready to get back to work. I'm happy for our team. I mean, we put FAU on the map; that's most important to me. When I came to this school and I committed here, I said this is what we're going to do.

And we took it to a new height. All I can do is smile and be appreciative of the run we went on and know next year you're going to hear it from FAU again. You're going to see us in the same position, and it's going to be a different outcome, I promise you.

Q. Alijah, you kept your team in this game, 26 points, most out of anybody through the entire game. Despite this loss, how do you look back on your performance and the effort for the team tonight?

ALIJAH MARTIN: I thank my teammates. They did a really good job setting me up and trusting me, and Coach May trusted me, too.

But just looking back on the performance, it just wasn't enough. Not to take credit of what we did, but I mean, we're going to be back. We're not going to hold our head too low. We'll be back at it in a couple of days.

Q. The whole country is cheering for you. What's it feel like to know that you've established yourselves as really good players, but every NBA player is watching. What's up with that?

ALIJAH MARTIN: It feels good because we really took this university from the bottom to the top. And to know what we did to put in to get here, it just feels amazing. Just gotta keep our heads down and keep going at it.

Q. I know there's not one point in the game that you thought you were losing it. Knowing that the buzzer had sounded, seeing that ball go through, can you both -- what was the emotion?

ALIJAH MARTIN: Just thinking, like, just knowing that our season's over. We had fun. We never really wanted the season to end. Even if we was going to win the national championship, we were going to look forward to another game.

That's the type of guys we are. We compete every day in practice. We bring it every day. And we're just hardworking guys. And to realize that something has come to an end, it was devastating.

NICK BOYD: I was in shock when the buzzer went off. But, I mean, it's the game of basketball. We had our fun when we did that at Memphis. And it just didn't go our way this night. Like I said, we got the whole team coming back. Owls ain't going nowhere.

Q. Talked to D-Wade at halftime about you guys. He said those are some dogs out there. What's it mean for a guy like that to assess your team in that way?

ALIJAH MARTIN: Much respect for D-Wade. It feels good to know that a legend is giving us some credit. And just feels amazing.

NICK BOYD: I mean, you grow up watching D-Wade. That's an outstanding compliment. And, I mean, yeah, I appreciate it.

Q. Was it sort of frustrating in that second half, I know there was a point where San Diego State got a lot of offensive rebounds, can you just talk about maybe that sloppy second half, are you kind of looking back at that point?

ALIJAH MARTIN: They went on a run. Getting extra possessions. And that was really the turning point of the game. But just looking back at it, we're not really going to allow that to happen again. We've been through that one time, and we're not going to let it happen.

Just ready for the offseason to get better, get stronger, be more physical. Let's do it.

NICK BOYD: If you look down the line for our losses, every single time we lost we kind of lost the rebounding battle. So just to pinpoint that right there. We're definitely going to look into that. And I know Coach May will be cutting up film 20 minutes from this.

And, I mean, like I said, we're just ready to get better, keep working. And we've got a group of guys that are coming back, hungry, determined, and the sky's the limit for us.

Q. Can you sort of talk about that buzzer-beater at the end of the game by San Diego State, and how important is it also to look back at what you guys have accomplished this season, taking the program to the next level there?

COACH MAY: Obviously we're very proud of the ride that we just went on. Our players, their consistency, their effort, day in and day out, their camaraderie amongst themselves, they're special, special people. And their parents should be proud.

We're anxious to get better, our program. That's the way we've been from day one. You're always in good standing in our program if you're trying to improve.

I didn't have my best game. A couple of guys didn't have their best game. And we're not going to dwell on it. We're going to hug each other for this season, and then we'll start thinking about how we can improve individually and collectively.

Q. When you're able to process, whether it takes a week, a month, what will be the memory? What will you look back at when you think about this entire ride?

COACH MAY: How impressive it is for 18- to 22-year-olds to never -- we talked about, they never felt themselves. They're all about the work, the process, doing it together. Different guys stepped up each and every night.

So the wins, the banners, all the stuff, you know, the young guys chase that stuff. I'm just proud to be a part of this group and to see them -- they're ready for the real world. That's our job when they're done here. The winning's awesome, but these guys, they're going to go into the real world and be ready to knock it out of the park. So just proud to be a member of this team with this group.

When I look at a picture, man, I'm going to smile at the contributions from so many people because there's a lot of guys in that locker room, staff, players, who really did it together.

Q. What is it like to have players like Nick and Alijah who are just ecstatic to get back to work tomorrow rather than come out here with their heads down?

COACH MAY: I love coaching basketball because I get to be in a gym, and all you need is guys who want to learn and improve. We don't have all the answers as a staff, but we're looking for them. And these guys don't have all the answers as players, but they're working to be the absolute best they can be.

I'm proud of how they are and how they acted. Their families, our families, everyone that sacrifices so much -- these guys just took everyone on a heck of a ride. And I've got chills just thinking about our guys and what that picture is going to look like.

Q. I'm struck by just how resilient Nick and Alijah just came across as, and it wasn't really sad, mopey, at all. What's it say about the program and the culture you've established in Boca, that that's the response after a crushing loss like that?

COACH MAY: It just shows that a group of like-minded people have come together to try to do something special and bigger than themselves.

I say it all the time: In this era, it's hard to find great teammates, even when things aren't going well for them individually. And we have a locker room full of them. That's why we had the year we had. They work incredibly hard. They care about people. And it was never about them as individuals. It was about us as a collective unit.

Q. As was said up there, you had the buzzer-beater against Memphis to win it. Now the shot goes in against you. You sat there with your hands on your knees for a while. Tell us what's going through your mind, if anything.

COACH MAY: We're so obsessed with the next thing. If we win this game tonight, our players would sit out and want to watch the next game, and then we'd go back, and the assistant coach who prepared the scout, we would start asking questions. And these guys would sound like 35-year-old NBA veterans answering those questions.

And so the hardest part is there's no next. Mike Forrest isn't going to be in our locker room, a guy that gave a lot to this university, has an engineering degree. He's a champion, Final Four participant, and he's not going to be with us anymore.

So each season there's change. That's the hardest part. But the only sadness is just that we don't get to do it again tomorrow. The NCAA makes us take a couple of weeks off to regroup, and we'll get back to work again.

Q. You look back on this run in March Madness, getting a game-winner against Memphis, beating FDU in first round and getting past Tennessee and surviving Kansas State in the Elite Eight. While it's ironic you started this tournament on a game-winner and then lose to a game-winner, how do you look back on this tournament, and what are your biggest takeaways moving forward into the American next season?

COACH MAY: These guys have created memories and a legacy for a lifetime. People will be talking about this group for the next 50 to 100 years.

And as far as getting ready for the American, we'll be obsessed with being the absolute best we can be individually and collectively before next season. And we're not chasing this again. We're going to get in the foxhole, and we're going to work like crazy every single day, with a great attitude, and we're going to enjoy the work, and then this is a byproduct of that consistency and that unselfishness.

We're not chasing this again next year. We're going to have a similar hunt that we had this past season where each and every day trying to enjoy the work and enjoy doing it with who we're doing it with.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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