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March 12, 2003

Randy Foye

Derrick Snowden

Jay Wright


COACH WRIGHT: A tough way to end the season and a couple of big rebounds we didn't come up with. Everybody saw. Just the little things you have got to do at the end of games to win. We just didn't get it done. Made big plays. Sweetney made big place. Hit that 3, that last 3 when it was a one-point game and they hit the 3 then; the clock was a killer. We just had to play for limited possessions. Just didn't work. They hit big shots, we didn't. When you play that way it's going to come down to you making plays or them and they were making plays.

Q. After you got to within 43 -41, were you going to go for a foul there or just try to play straight-up defense? Before the 3, 43-41 then they worked the clock down --

COACH WRIGHT: No. We thought -- right. We felt we could get a stop. We wanted to get a stop and have a one-point game and try to work the clock, I mean you don't normally do that, but it's your best shot. We tried to shorten the game. Closed with four fouls. We didn't -- we would have been happy to start the game if it came down to us having the ball last possession. That's what we were hoping for.

Q. Are you more disheartened after this one? Seemed like after Pittsburgh you were pleased; it was that close under the circumstances after this game are you not feeling as happy that it was close?

COACH WRIGHT: As you know, it wasn't that I was happy. I just didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if the guy was going to respond. In this one we had time, we played the game, we had the style. In the Pittsburgh game we didn't know who was going to play. We had some time. We were ready to win a game. And we should have. I just look at this one as a game. That one had so many other circumstances around it. This was a game we were ready, they were ready; we both knew what each other was going to do and we didn't get it done.

Q. Talk about the effect of their pressure on wearing you guys a little bit. Pitt didn't come out and challenge but they did all 40 minutes challenging you.

COACH WRIGHT: We thought that that was going to be probably a more difficult game because of style of play. The start of the second half we just -- we played almost like we did the rest of the season; wasted two possessions start of the second half like there were going to be you know, hundreds of possessions in the game and it wasn't a big deal. Our start of the second half hurt us as much as anything. When you play like that you can't have one possession when you take off. We turned the ball over the first two possessions, didn't get a shot. So they did a good job. They started -- they went to a 1-3-1 and forced us to play. It was a more difficult style to play against even though Pittsburgh is a great team, but the style was more difficult.

Q. How much of a factor was fatigue at the end of the game?

RANDY FOYE: It wasn't much fatigue, like I think we prepared ourselves to come out and play a 40-minute game by drinking a lot of water and keeping fluids in our bodies, so it wasn't a lot of fatigue.

Q. You seemed to really struggle to get shots. Was that more the nature of what they were doing defensively or more the way you wanted to work it down right to the end every time, the shot clock?

COACH WRIGHT: It was a combination. We wanted to run the clock down, but they are a good defensive team they are athletic, long. And I felt there were times we could have made an extra pass or two rather than sometimes our -- I liked our confidence with the ball. We got tough guys. These guys are strong with the ball but sometimes I thought we could have made extra passes and taken an easier shot. It was a combination.

Q. With the situation like this, with guys being asked to do more than usual and maybe being asked to do different things. Did you feel you had to do more coaching? Was it more of an effort to get these guys through 40 minutes?

COACH WRIGHT: Not in the game. Actually the game was easier. We didn't have as many substitutions to make. I didn't have to think about that stuff. But the practices were actually enjoyable because we put in everything we knew and the guys were really into it, very open, so coaches like practice -- the game actually was a little bit easier because we didn't have many choices. There wasn't a lot of decisions to make there.

Q. Derrick, how hard is it to end the season on this note? Everything that's gone on the up-and-down during the year, how hard is it to call it quits --

DERRICK SNOWDEN: It's pretty hard on everybody, but I mean, everything teams goes through ups and downs during the season. It's just how you react. I think in that situation it was just -- execution was the big factor in the game at the end and I mean, we just didn't execute.

Q. Are you guys taking the attitude like it's not over, there's still something to play?

DERRICK SNOWDEN: If we play we would be happy to play. We don't know what our situation is in IT, we would be more than happy. Right now it's hard because we lost. As long as we get to play more games I am happy with that, the whole team is.

Q. Last night you watched the women obviously -- did you use that at all and motivate the guys today like anything is possible?

COACH WRIGHT: Yeah, I was actually at a Villanova function and these guys were all in the room together in the hotel watching it together. So we always meet at 10 o'clock the night before the game. I was with Villanova people, everybody was fired up, they were all fired up. We did. We talked a lot. Some great things that happened to Villanova, and back to the Villanova/Penn game in '71, and the national Championship game in '85 and I think this game, this Villanova/Connecticut women's game ranks up right there with that. We wanted today's game be one of it. Probably wouldn't have been as big as that. We talked about we can do special things at Villanova. I am proud of our effort. I am proud of the way the guys responded to this situation and hopefully they are not finished responding to that situation, but you want to win games. I think we're good enough to win these games. We didn't, as Snow said, there were possessions we didn't execute, start of the second half, end of the game a little bit. We got to learn that as a basketball team.

Q. Did you speak with Coach Harry Perretta?

COACH WRIGHT: I talked to him last night, and we were driving down Seventh Avenue today and he was on Seventh Avenue screaming at the bus, I swear he was. He's crazy. Actually I did -- I saw him before the game; didn't get to talk to him before the game. I talked to him last night.

Q. You don't get a map ahead of time to know how to handle a situation like you have been through in the last week or so. Did you go through your mind handling it a different way like in terms of not junking what you usually do and okay if we got 7 games we're going to play as standard a 7-man rotation as we might and keep with what we have been doing all year long and playing it out that way, did you weigh the different options of how to handle the situation?

COACH WRIGHT: Honestly, no. Because our other two guys were walkons - not that they are not good kids, but I honestly worried about them getting hurt in a game like this. So I knew we were going to have 5 and what we tried to do all year was get our nine-man rotation to be a strength for us where we can wear people down. We struggled with that as some people know. So I knew right away we were going to have to play five guys and shorten the game.

Q. As a coach how do you balance the feeling of the pride you have for your kids now with the feeling of knowing that they did things themselves to put themselves at a disadvantage?

COACH WRIGHT: I am probably past that now and I am trying to just concentrate on basketball and how we all handle it, our seniors drove themselves up here today, and Gary and Andreas got in the locker room about ten minutes before the game because they got stuck in traffic. Changed in the locker room, did our shirt and tie. I am more -- I have spent less time on basketball than I have trying to talk with our guys, make sure the guys that aren't playing are okay and make sure they know the rules when they can get up here; when they can't; who can go to the banquet; who can't. It's a credit to these guys that are playing honestly because and our assistant coaches have been handling the basketball part of it preparing them for games, and being with the guys that are playing and we have been trying to be with the administrators and the guys who aren't playing figuring out who can play what game, who can travel to the BIG EAST, all that stuff. So I am more concerned with the guys that aren't playing. I really feel bad for them. We have talked enough about what you learn from this now. Now I am just looking at some guys that didn't get to finish their career on the court.

End of FastScripts...

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