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March 12, 2003

Perry Clark

James Jones


PERRY CLARK: Obviously it was disappointing from our standpoint from the standpoint that I thought. Early in the game we had some opportunities both from the foul line and from the field to make some shots, and I think whenever you come in and you are a 6 seed and you are playing a team that has been playing as well as Seton Hall, I think both for your own psyche and to try to put them back on their heals I think you have got to sake some plays early and establish yourselves. I don't think we ever made any plays early in the game to establish ourselves and I felt like we had opportunities to do that. I felt like once we did not do that I thought that they started doing a lot of the things that have led hem to a lot of success this year. Andre's penetration getting guys, good looks. I thought that you know, we locked up on the perimeter people pretty good but he got a lot of layups it seemed like for Whitney and the other post people. And then I thought we started to press a little bit and I think that just kind of made it worse. And that showed up in our turnovers. I thought we had a lot of unforced turnovers and we were trying to force the ball a lot of times into James and Darius when they really weren't in position to either receive it or be effective with it. And it just kind of snowballed on us. So certainly it wasn't the type of effort that we wanted but you got to give Seton Hall a lot of credit and we just go from there.

Q. Did you guys underachieve this season; how do you assess it?

PERRY CLARK: Certainly we're not happy with our season. When you say that, we have had some things that we have had to deal with, injuries and other things that have maybe not let some guys step up and certainly perform the way that they would want to. But again as I have told you many times, we don't talk about it because nobody really wants to hear it. But certainly there were some things that happened to us that I think affected the way we played. To play so many people as competitively and as closely with a young group as we have, but when you keep coming up short at some point I think it starts to weigh on you. And I did feel tonight a little bit of that pressure once we got down, again guys -- we were trying to make basically plays that weren't there and I think that if we had had a lot of success this year we wouldn't have been doing that, but because we hadn't, I just thought we pressed a little bit with that.

Q. First half they go 16 of 25. A lot of inside shots.

PERRY CLARK: Again, defensively you know -- we have been a team where when one thing happens to us we're not able just to keep it at one thing. I think it distracts us from us doing some other things we were doing. Like in the second half I thought we came out, defended well early but we weren't able to score, and then we stopped defending, I thought as late in the second half as well as we were defending earlier. Certainly Barrett's penetration and he got them a lot of easy shots. I think that's why they shot the ball as well as they did.

Q. Could you just elaborate on Barrett a little bit?

PERRY CLARK: I think certainly he had the strongest influence in the game for them. I think he gets the ball where they want it. He gets guys easier shots than maybe they are able to get on their own. He doesn't turn it over. And he's what every coach wants in a pointguard. And I think our turnovers especially in the second half really came back -- really hurt us because we never really were able to get in any offensive flow. At times this year it's really affected both James and Darius because it's hard for them to be -- they have had to go out of their areas to try to get the ball and to get shots. Certainly Andre Barrett eliminates that, but he has been in the league for a while now. And he's matured and he has gotten better, and he's playing like a veteran.

Q. James, talk a little bit about when you get down 15-5, then 26; does it sap a little bit of the enthusiasm?

JAMES JONES: Not really. We have been in that situation, I mean, too many times for my looking this year, but it's a long game. The Notre Dame/Saint John's game showed that they were down by 21, they came back with like four minutes to go and the game was close. So in a conference like this with the teams that we play, I mean, 20 points, even though it's a big gap isn't really a lot. Defensively you just have to be able to be able to be aggressive and get stops. We didn't put together a string of stops late in the second half. Like you said, we stopped them and we were playing pretty good defensively and offensively we weren't in sync; we were out of rhythm. Some guys missed shots and some passes, one thing led to the next and everybody was frustrated and that's when they put on a little run. That has been like the story of the season. Just those spirits where everything hits the fan, we're not playing good basketball at all.

Q. You and Darius -- (inaudible) what is it about the BIG EAST tournament?

JAMES JONES: The BIG EAST tournament is where guys give their heart; the desire and the effort is totally different. They come together even though you have to play teams night after night after night so you can't really spend too much time preparing, I mean preparing for teams. So you just really have to go out and play all guts. That's what teams do. They come out and play hard. Today I might have been guarding about seven, eight different people and all of them were playing me all out. It starts to weigh on you after a while where you are starting constantly beating and beating and beating them. Mentally that's the toughest part because in the course of trying to play good defense, offensively you are taking a beating because you are not in sink and rhythm. All those added pressures culminate into a bad performance.

Q. Has Darius given you any indication of what he's going to do? He had said earlier in the year he would like to test the waters after the --

PERRY CLARK: No. At the end of the season I am sure he will sit down with his folks and they will -- we'll work together and do whatever that they want to do but we haven't even discussed it.

End of FastScripts...

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