March 27, 2004
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY
Q. Tyrone and Pat, things happened so quickly in the last possession. If you can detail what happened defensively when Graham lost the ball or seemed like he was going to lose the ball?
TYRONE BARLEY: Basically Pat just came over, he saw Graham I guess lose control of the ball for a second, and he went forward. You know, I didn't recover in time enough on Lucas, and he made a big shot.
PAT CARROLL: I mean, Ty pretty much explained the whole thing. Everything just happened so fast. It seemed like the ball went loose, he tried to go for it, he should have stayed back. I mean, it just all happened so quickly.
Q. Pat and Tyrone, on the final shot by Jameer, how did it look to you guys?
TYRONE BARLEY: Normally you expect Jameer to make tough shots. So we assumed it was going to go in. Basically I was on the side, so I really couldn't tell or not. But anything that leaves his hand, it looks good, so... Just a little short.
PAT CARROLL: Really, I mean, he's the best player in America. You know, no matter -- he's been doing those kinds of things the whole entire season. So who better would you want the ball in their hands at the end of the game? He's carried us this whole season. I'm just glad everyone gave it their best at the end.
Q. Pat, when you hit that 3, how uplifting was it for you to hit that shot?
PAT CARROLL: It felt good for about two seconds, to be honest with you. You know, everything just goes so fast in this game. They came right back, you know, just matched us with their 3. It felt good right when I hit it, but it didn't last too long.
Q. Tyrone, how did you get tripped up on Lucas' last shot?
TYRONE BARLEY: Basically Graham, he did a jive step, got a little bit of space, and he lost the ball. I saw Pat coming, so I knew, you know, somebody had to be open. It was Lucas. I just couldn't get out fast enough.
Q. Pat, when you came into the game there, you hadn't been shooting particularly well, when he came back into the game about six minutes to go, what was your mentality? If you got the shot, you were going to take it, if it was open, not worry about how you shot earlier in the game? Is that the mentality you had?
PAT CARROLL: The whole entire season, no matter what, coach, he's got our back. He'll tell you you can miss 20 shots in a row, if it's the shot you've been taking all season, he's going to tell you to keep shooting that shot. Team got me open, I'm going to put it up if that's the same shot I've been shooting the whole entire season.
Q. Jameer, 17 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, four steals, but the stat that you're going to remember is 6 out of 18. Did Bobik being long and tall affect your shooting? Can you kind of tell me what happened there?
JAMEER NELSON: No, I missed some easy layups that I should have made. He's a great defender, a great player, don't get me wrong. He didn't really affect me too much. 18, doesn't really matter to me. Like Pat said, I missed 12 shots, whatever. So what? Coach going to tell me to shoot the next shot if I'm open and if I have an opportunity to shoot. The biggest thing, you know, is we lost.
Q. Jameer, could you talk about the last shot? Did you think it was in?
JAMEER NELSON: Yeah. Every time I shoot the ball I think it is in. I wouldn't shoot the ball if I didn't believe I wasn't going to make it.
Q. How long do you think it will take you to get over this emotionally?
JAMEER NELSON: Really can't even estimate, man. Something like this, everybody wants to talk about the season. You know, for me it's just leaving my coaches and my teammates. It's not even about the type of season we had. It was a great season. But everybody said this is a magical season. I think it's a better team than the season we had.
TYRONE BARLEY: I don't know, I mean, I'm so proud of, you know, my teammates that I'm not even dwelling on the negatives right now, even though this was my last game. That I had the opportunity to play with the guys on my team, that's what I'm most pleased with, so...
PAT CARROLL: Yeah, I mean, it's really just -- you know, it was just an honor. Coach told us it was an honor to have a team like this. You know, I know all the players were honored to just have this kind of season we had with the coaches, with the players, everyone. This was a magical season. It's something we're going to take with us for the rest of our lives.
Q. Pat, what is it going to be like returning next year without the two guys next to you?
PAT CARROLL: I mean, these two guys are irreplaceable. I mean, you can't -- the leadership they have, you know, like I said, it's just irreplaceable. We're going to do our best. We have some good young guys on this team. You know, like we do every other season, going to recover and, you know, work with what we have. You know, we should have a pretty good team. These two guys have put in so much over their last four years. They had a remarkable career. I'm proud of what they accomplished in four years.
Q. Jameer, after the final shot, you fell back and were laying on the court for a little bit. Several of the Oklahoma State players came over and picked you up. Did they say anything to you at that point?
JAMEER NELSON: Well, they just really were trying to help me out with my emotions, you know, telling me how much of a great player I am, about my season, and about our season as a team, telling me we really don't have anything to hang our heads about. I appreciate those guys. That's good sportsmanship. They didn't have to come over there and do that. They could have just cheered and celebrated. But those guys that came over there to really support me and my team, you know, really have to tip your hat off to those guys.
THE MODERATOR: We'll thank the student athletes from Saint Joseph's and dismiss them. The floor is now open for questions to Coach Martelli.
Q. What do you think the difference was defensively with Lucas' first half versus the second half?
COACH MARTELLI: Actually, I think that he played at a faster clip in the second half than he did in the first half. And that's actually I thought would be to our advantage. I thought he was very fast, but if we could get him to go a little bit faster, I thought that that could throw him out of sync. But he played some really good plays, and they run a lot of stuff. I just thought the speed with which they attacked, and he attacked in particular in the second half, was the difference for him. He liked that kind of game.
Q. Is it possible to put Jameer's career into words? If you can, what are some things you'll remember?
COACH MARTELLI: I don't really think that you can put into words what this guy has done. He's the greatest player that I've ever been around, but he is absolutely the nicest person that you could ever -- anybody could ever imagine or want to be a part of their life forever. You know, he's gone in terms of a uniform, but he'll never be gone from Saint Joe basketball. The numbers are astounding, the wins are astounding, but the humanness with which he did it all will be an example that will last a lifetime in Saint Joe basketball history.
Q. The press was so effective in the first half. I'm wondering why you got away from it had in the second half?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, we were in it. I thought that our -- we kind of froze up a little bit, our brains froze up. We wanted to press on every possession. Some of it was in the beginning of the second half when we didn't score and they had that spurt, it looks like we're not pressing, but we wanted to be up there pressing, you know. Already I start to have some thoughts. Some of the press in the first half was a zone press. We didn't use that in the second half, we used our man-to-man press. You know, I'll go until next October now thinking that maybe one more zone press might have been the trick.
Q. Could you describe the first two minutes of the second half, what they did that kind of turned the momentum?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, I thought that our shot selection got away from us in the beginning of the second half, and we had talked at halftime about relaxing a little bit because we were 3 for 15 from 3 at the half. That's not our numbers. We felt if they gave us 15 more 3's, really we could win the game going away. But we just kind of got a little bit frenzied. I thought our transition defense was like half a man short. Most of the game it was five men back, but on some of those occasions in the second half, we seemed to let missed shots affect our real hard transition defense.
Q. Talking about shooting, 38%, how much of that was defense and how much of it was shots not falling?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, I think that obviously they were long on the ball. Somebody had mentioned earlier about being long on the ball. That's the kind of team that has over the two-year period that has given us some trouble. But I think that, you know, when we're able to break this game down technically, our shot selection was not like on an A level. I thought that we took some shots when we were guarded, we took some shots that were rushed, we took some shots that really we were hoping to make rather than knowing we could make. So I think it was a combination of all those things.
THE MODERATOR: We will thank Coach Martelli.
End of FastScripts...