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April 1, 2024

Shaheen Holloway

Kadary Richmond

Dre Davis

Al-Amir Dawes

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Seton Hall Pirates

Semi Finals Pregame Press Conference

Q. If you can talk about the time you had to prepare for the field, given the lapse between last game and now, and what you know about the entire Final Four field. Have you guys given that a broader look?

DRE DAVIS: I think we just focus on the game ahead which is Georgia. Just trying to prepare for them as much as possible. Get familiar with the team, their system what they do. Just the individual guys and what they like to do. Just taking it day-by-day.

Q. Looking forward to coming out and seeing you tomorrow. What would it mean for each of you guys to get to the championship game in this NIT, and do you think it makes any kind of statement about Seton Hall or the BIG EAST that you guys are still playing?

KADARY RICHMOND: We just focused on winning and playing our best basketball throughout and finishing strong together.

AL-AMIR DAWES: Yeah, like Kadary said, we just focus on a step ahead. Not trying to, you know, put our heads through it like the politics area of things. Just want to control what we can control and that's put the ball in the hoop.

DRE DAVIS: Just grateful and blessed to be able to play this long at Hinkle. Just taking it a step at a time, a game at a time.

Q. What's it like for you to be coming home for this game, and you've played well in Hinkle the past couple years. How does that comfort level impact you, do you think, going into this?

DRE DAVIS: Like I said before, just thankful and extremely blessed and grateful to be able to play this long into April and be able to do it at the crib. But at the end of the day, we are just here to win a game and compete for an NIT Championship.

Q. There's only eight teams on the men's side still playing basketball now. Is that something you talk about as a group in terms of getting into April basketball?

AL-AMIR DAWES: Before we came down, or way before that, talking about the NIT, you know, we said if we were going to partake in this that we were going to go far with it and give it our best shot, and now that we're here, like you said, we're truly blessed. We all just talking it a step at a time, trying to bring the hardware home.

Q. The games in Walsh Gym, watching them from afar, it looked like an electric atmosphere and a whole lot of fun. What was that like, switching from playing in front of 9,000 people to going down to 1,500, and did you guys feel the love from Seton Hall with the fans showing up?

KADARY RICHMOND: There was no drop-off. Just the numbers, the crowd was still electric. It was still a fun atmosphere and it was very good to get out there for those last three games in front of them.

Q. Same thing I asked the players, only eight teams still playing right now, has that been a consistent message to your team the last couple days in terms of embracing this opportunity?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: Well, to be honest with you, we don't really talk about that. But I talked about it yesterday. I told those guys yesterday before our practice, I said, when this day is over, there's only going to be eight teams playing.

So for us to be one of eight is pretty impressive. It's pretty special. It's a blessing. We are not taking it for granted. We understand the opportunity. There's only 300-some teams in Division I and for us to be one of eight, it's a blessing, and it's something we are not taking lightly.

Q. You had the great run with Saint Peter's and you have this great run going on now. How different is it to prepare for these single-elimination games and how differently do you have to coach in them from a regular season contest?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: It's different. Like I said before, the run at Saint Peter's, obviously was special but that was Saint Peter's, right. I don't want to put that on these guys. This is for them.

I tell these guys all the time, this is what you play basketball for, right. You wanting to into an opportunity to play and you've got to play your best and if not, you're going home. I thought for three games, I kind of wanting to back to the last question you asked them, playing that at home.

I thought playing at Walsh, it was different but it was unbelievable to tell you the truth. I never really felt nothing like that. Just from a fan base that was so excited and so appreciative of what these young men have accomplished this year so far. The atmosphere was unbelievable. It was something that I'm glad they got a chance to experience. I'm glad they got a chance to experience that because it was big.

What was your question? I'm sorry. It's different but it's part of where we are in March and April, right. If you're not playing your best, you go home. So you've got to be your best on that day, right, and that's what I keep trying to tell these young men. Like we've got to be our best and the only way to do that is to prepare and if you win in practice, then you win the games.

Q. You're playing in this time, you mentioned the atmosphere in Walsh and what you guys experienced, this is Hinkle. What do you adjust at all or is there anything you can do in a different atmosphere, smaller gym, different gym, this kind of gym, how do the players respond and what do you do?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: I know it's a little different, right, because obviously when we come in and play Butler, the atmosphere is unbelievable here. I'm not sure how it's going to be -- four teams not from this area, well, Indiana State is, so I'm sure they are going to have a good fan base going.

You don't adjust. You just play basketball. Go out there, do what you can do. Give it your all and kind of leave everything on the floor. Indiana is known for their basketball and having good fans. So I'm sure it's going to be a good outing tomorrow night.

Q. Going to try to sneak in two real quick. What would it mean to you and the program if you guys get to the championship game and play in it, and also, how are you and the staff kind of multi-tasking the portal and recruiting while you're also playing?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: You would ask those questions.

Q. Somebody's got it.

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: I know, somebody got to ask it, right. You know what, to answer the first one, I think it would mean, right, to play for a championship was the goal, obviously, in the beginning of the year. We've getting the opportunity right now to kind of play for a championship, so that's something that we are not taking lightly. So I think it would mean everything to our program.

The second part to your answer -- to your question, is we are very active with it right now. Obviously we kind of focus on trying to beat and play well against a good Georgia team but we also understand where we are right now in the college climate of the transfer portal. So we are very active in that as well.

Q. Just checking for an update on how Elijah and Isaiah are doing, what's their prognosis and did they make the trip?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: Elijah is here but Zay is not here. Zay is still dealing with an illness.

Elijah is here. He's kind of like trying to go through and see how he's going to feel. I've got to focus on Tony with that. He's participated the last two days, so I think he's going to be okay.

Q. Happy belated Easter, I guess. I don't know when that timeline expires. You talked about how much you liked this team in the fall and how likable this group was, and you talk about setting standards in your program and the high standard that you reach for. Obviously you have two more games to win but can you just speak to, you know, what this group has meant in terms of your Seton Hall tenure and really taking the program, winning games in March and sort of sending a message to the guys that are going to come play for you next at Seton Hall that, hey, this is how we play during this month?

SHAHEEN HOLLOWAY: Yeah, I think as a coach, right, when you come in, you're taking over a program, you obviously want to put your stamp on it. I thought for the most part, year one, I was kind of trying to figure out the BIG EAST and this landscape of college basketball with the transfer portal and NIL and all that type stuff.

Year two, you kind of get a team together that, you know, from day one in the summertime, these guys bond and were together every day and doing things on and off the court. I thought this led to us having success on the court because of that.

Then for me, I just want to put my own stamp on this program and brings guys in here that fit my personality, and understand that winning is the expectation here, right. You want to come here and you want to try to win as much as you can, do the best you can. But the one thing we want to do is represent the university the right way and do things the right way. I think so far, we are trying to do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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