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March 8, 2000

Jim Calhoun

Kevin Freeman

Jake Voskuhl


COACH CALHOUN: We, first half, allowed BC to jump off to a 12-3 lead and Al's done a remarkable job. I watched that Villanova game the other night. They continue to compete like crazy, and that particular point in time we never really took advantage of our size. We just seemed to be playing for maybe tomorrow, but as we explained nicely at half time, tomorrow wasn't going to come as if we continued to play as we had. Second half we really took advantage of our size. These two guys just starting to go to war on the boys and completely changed the game around. I just think that our domination inside on the offensive glass and overall limited them to one shot and done, made a difference in the game. When you're in a tournament like this, you know, anything can happen. Quite frankly, as I said, we know that they're on demand, we know Troy's not playing for them. We still have to play at a certain level. I didn't think we did for most of the game but I thought coming out the second half, we did a nice job, got the spurt and we got ourselves going. So we're pleased with the win. We're -- we think we played okay. Once again, my congratulations to Al Skinner. Those kids show up every single night to compete and every once in a while he says they don't, no, they don't. Al Skinner's team, I said the same thing to someone from Pittsburgh, they do compete. We had superior size and talent. These two guys, as usual, go to war for us, both had doubles, which is going to make my life difficult next year.

Q. For Jake, in the second half, was it more just -- was anything Xs and Os you did differently? Was it playing better, that simple?

JAKE VOSKUHL: I think we just picked it up, the team as a whole. We knew we had to pick it up to match their intensity.

Q. Kevin, did it feel strange to be playing on the first day of the tournament?

KEVIN FREEMAN: It feels strange but we had to go out there and prove ourselves. There's nothing wrong with the record we have. We're looking to win games and continue in the tournament.

Q. Coach, you seem to be playing better at the right time coming into the tournament after a few weeks of struggling. What is different out there?

COACH CALHOUN: One of the things that's different is if Khalid plays with the energy as he did in the second half as opposed to the first half, we're a different team. We feed off him. Teams are built around certain things. If you have a great quarterback, you run a particular offense, everything's predicated on that. We feed off K's energy. When he was energized for those first ten minutes in the second half, we became energized. Conversely, Vosk's giving the ball to Kevin on the break, he gives it to Jake inside and life becomes much, much better for us. But I mean, biggest difference I think over the past four games, five games, I never thought we played bad against St. John's here except K and Albie couldn't make a shot. He energized that game. He played awful. He's a great player. Last four games he's been more energized, bailed us out against West Virginia, a lot of energy against Rutgers, terrific against Syracuse. These guys are terrific players but we are built for his energy. That's the way this team's been put together and we need him to be energized.

Q. Jake, is it strange in the approach not to be one of the top-three-seeded teams in terms of not as many people predicting you guys might win it?

JAKE VOSKUHL: Well, you never want it to end up that way, but sometimes it does. We just have to go out and, you know, do what we have to do to get where we want to be. So I think that, you know, maybe we're unhappy with our record, but it doesn't matter, we're going to go out and win games. It's one and done. If you don't come out and show up to play, it's done. Now you can pretty much

throw all the records out the door.

COACH CALHOUN: Tomorrow all eight teams will play. We had a terrific season overall, had a good conference, not a great conference season, and we needed to play our way into Thursday, and now St. John's, Syracuse, those people above us and below us will continue to play tomorrow. So for us, we did have to play our way in, though, first time in a couple years. These guys did it as freshmen and we actually played our way out. (Laughter.) (Inaudible) 69-68, he was pretty good that day. Not that I remember. (Laughter.) And I remind them for three years, by the way. It's a good win for us. I agree with what everybody has been saying, I have no idea who the best team is going to be this week. I think this is important and I think everybody's looking for the fact that a lot of us want to march on to next week. This is our neighborhood, we'd like to try to win as many games as we can. We're trying to get to Friday now.

Q. Is that something you can use in terms of maybe being wide open, but it may not matter if you have to play the extra --

COACH CALHOUN: We think we're as good as anybody in our league. We do. St. John's beat us twice, chance to play them again. Syracuse has beaten us, Miami has beaten us, we'll have an opportunity to play them again. If not here, hopefully somewhere else down the line, way down the line I hope. Once again, the talk is really, this stage of the season is done. We've put up some wins they've put up some terrific records. We're all within about the same. I think Syracuse has about 24. We have 22. And St. John's has about the same. Miami has 20 and they're a terrific team and there's a lot of good teams out there.

Q. Kevin, is there a sense that you're defending something or do you feel like you're just one of all the other teams that are trying to win?

KEVIN FREEMAN: If you feel like you're one of the other teams, you just don't belong here. We're a confident team, we try to go out and win every game that we play. We won it last year, we're in a different position this year. We're just looking to fight

to stay alive each game. It's not a matter of defending. It's a fight in March to stay alive.

End of FastScripts...

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