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March 26, 2004
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY
Q. Phil, could you describe what you've done since the game ended.
COACH MARTELLI: We got back to the hotel at -- we met here briefly with indicate Lynn Ryan, our director of basketball operations, Don Dejulia, director of athletics. We met here to go over the schedule to make sure we had it cold. We went back to the hotel. We got back to the hotel at 20 of 2. We had a team meeting at 2 a.m. where they got a sandwich, soup, sent them to bed relatively close to 2:15, 2:30, at least sent them to their rooms. At that point I returned about three or four phone calls, radio shows all over the country, then I started film work at 3:00. I finished at 8:15 this morning. I went to bed at 8:15. I got up at 9:15, wrote up my scouting report. We had a team breakfast at 11:00. We've done our scouting report for them and our film at 11:30. We finished that at 12:15, then we changed to come over for the press conference.
Q. Jameer, talk about match-ups. I don't know if you guys want to get into that too much in front of this many reporters. Give us some idea as to what kind of advantages you have, what kind of advantages Oklahoma State might have.
JAMEER NELSON: I think the advantage we have is we play as a team. That's the number one thing that we do. As far as the match-ups, it's going to be us against those guys, not any individual against any individual. Just like last game, everybody wanted to hype up the match-up me and Chris Paul, Delonte. It was our team against their team.
Q. Jameer, you obviously made a good decision to come back. Would you look back and tell us maybe some of the things you're going to miss about college and college life. No one really knows until college isn't there anymore, but what do you think you might miss?
JAMEER NELSON: Just stuff like this. I've been with these guys, having fun with coach, just the rest of my teammates. Unbelievable year. One of the reasons why I came back.
COACH MARTELLI: It has obviously turned out to be a great decision, maybe a best decision a college kid has ever made, if you really want to get dramatic about it. Don't you think? The kid is the Player of the Year, lottery pick in the NBA, his team is in the Elite 8. He's two semesters closer to graduating from college. I think it's absolutely -- it should be a road map for other kids out there to see that you can do it.
Q. Coach Martelli, can you talk about the Oklahoma State team. Do they remind you of anyone you've played this year? I think they're probably one of the older teams in the tournament, as well. There might not be as much advantage or experience in this game for either team.
COACH MARTELLI: It's funny, I said that to the team today. With three of their starters, and I believe I'm correct, three of their starters are transfers. Weatherspoon is a kid from Delaware who went to prep school, then went to junior college, now he's a senior in college. They look older. Their bodies are older. The only thing that I can compare -- what I did for the team today is I compared them to Boston College, which was a very strong team, interior, Craig, Agbai, Doornekamp for Boston College is a strong guy. They also remind me of Rhode Island in our league in that they run a play every time down the floor. It's amazing, their communication is outstanding with John Lucas being a first-year player, that they really have tremendous communication. You don't see any hand signals. You don't really see a call. But they execute. I think without exaggerating, I have 40 pages of plays that I think they've run in the three games that I watched on tape. Obviously, we can't get them all that information, so we're going to try to find one more tape before we practice. I'm going to try to quantitate what plays they run the most. That's what we'll concentrate on today. It's their strength hopefully against our quickness. So it should be a unique style. But they are a tremendous defensive team also.
Q. Jameer, going back to the Chicago camp, you declared for the draft. Can you recall or put a percentage on the likelihood that you felt you would be staying in the draft before you went to Chicago?
JAMEER NELSON: Well, actually at that point I didn't know what I was going to do. It was like a rollercoaster. Every day it was like up and down. I had no clue what I wanted to do until I got information from Coach Martelli who couldn't have done any more. Just took the information he gave me and made my decision.
Q. Pat, what gives you the most trouble with your shot as far as a defender, the type or style of defender?
PAT CARROLL: I mean, it's really the defender that's just going to stick on you. I mean, most of my offense is predicated from these guys penetrating and kicking out to, you know, Tyrone, myself on the perimeter. I mean, these guys create my game on offense. You know, the guy is just going to stick on me, not help.
Q. Pat, last night Wake Forest starts, there has to be a point that Jameer drove so much they had to go to a zone. How often does that happen? How often does that happen where a team thinks they have to play man, they realize that's not going to work, they have to pick their poison and switch defenses on you, then you beat that, too?
PAT CARROLL: I mean, it's really tough playing against this team because you have such great penetrators. A lot of time there's four guys in the game at one time where they can all shoot the three. Like you said, it's really pick your poison. You can get hurt both ways really.
Q. Delonte, Jameer, how important has it been to have a guy like Barley come off the bench, give the defense, having guys like Pat Carroll, the importance of the other players on the team?
JAMEER NELSON: I think that's just what we do. We find ways. Every game somebody else stepping up. Everybody wants to key on myself and Delonte. That really gives everybody else the opportunity to really create things for theirself.
DELONTE WEST: I definitely have a tremendous amount of respect for Tyrone as a player, just for the fact that he's a senior player, you know, he's not in a starting position where a lot of seniors have attitude about that or when they get in the game, they just out there, out for theirselves. He's the ultimate team player. He does what his team needs to win. For him to bring it every day in practice, give us what we need off the bench, I mean, I think all the guys, you know, all the guys on the team, have definitely a tremendous amount of respect for him. He's a leader. He's definitely one of our leaders on this team. He definitely goes unnoticed.
Q. Phil, earlier in the year when there continued to be these criticisms of you guys about what you weren't as a team, you weren't big, do you think people that are seeing you more get a sense of what you are and maybe a better appreciation for the way you do play to your strengths and how unique your style of play has been this year?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, I don't know. I don't know what they see or what they completely understand. All along I've made it pretty clear, we don't want anybody to cheerlead for us. We don't need cheerleaders. But to be a reporter or to be involved in this game in any way, shape or form and not to appreciate how this team goes about their business, not only how they play basketball, but how they handle all of this. And this has been an absolute frenzy since the Eagles lost in the NFC championship. These guys never blink. They'll look at me, "Coach, what do you want us to do today?" John Bryant and DJ sitting up here, no one ever talks to them. No one ever talks about them. But all they -- all they want to do is win tomorrow. That's a tribute to this team. I've said this repeatedly to this group. The greatest strength of our group is the team. It will remain the team, no matter what they want to say about Jameer and Delonte, what they want to say about our perimeter. It's confused me for people not to -- to supposedly know the game, be involved in the game, not to at least appreciate it. Don't cheer for us. Don't jump up and down. This isn't the best thing ever to happen to college basketball. But, man, this is really some story in a year after coming off of what we came through last year in college basketball, that I believe should be celebrated and applauded.
Q. Pat, Phil, you went through a stretch early in the year when you weren't shooting the ball very well. How did you come through that period? How did you sort of reenergize yourself? Phil, how tough is that to do for a player who has been part of the program, to sit him down?
PAT CARROLL: Well, I mean, really, you know, the strength of this team is how everybody is just out looking for the team's sake. Everyone is a team player. Nobody's trying to reach for their own ends. Everyone is a team player. You know, as long as we get the wins, that's our main goal, that's our main objective. We weren't worried -- I wasn't worried about how much time I'm going to get here. I knew it's upon myself, you know, I got to step up my game and play better. As long as we got the wins, though, everything was going well for me.
COACH MARTELLI: I thought the hard thing, Chet never really moved into the lineup, we haven't changed our lineup. This is the lineup we went with from day one. Tyrone started one game, John volunteered to not start Tyrone's senior night and asked if Tyrone could start in his place. But I think -- and no one has been hurt, right? John was hurt, so Dave Mallon started one game, Chet started one game. I forgot that, John.
JOHN BRYANT: I was hurt (laughter).
COACH MARTELLI: You know, John, we missed your double-figure screening that night.
JOHN BRYANT: Thank you (laughter).
COACH MARTELLI: But really the hard thing for Pat is that I knew how hard Pat had worked on his game all summer. I had seen that he was playing better basketball, but he wasn't shooting the ball better. We had several conversations about I didn't want to identify it as a slump, that it was incumbent upon him to shoot the ball better. You could see him take our shooting machine and be in there two and three hours on his own trying to come out of it, trying to come out of it. And the two shots that he made against Xavier that really broke their backs at Xavier helped him to kind of jump-start this whole thing. I read his statistics. I think he's over 50 some percent since the Atlantic-10. It's significant for this team because we're not going to go or we weren't going to go just on the backs of two scorers. We needed a third scorer, and in a lot of cases a third and another half scorer. A lot of that was from Chet and Tyrone.
Q. Coach, last night both Dwayne and John got into foul trouble early with Williams inside. How are you going to prepare them for the tough physical presence of Oklahoma State tomorrow?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, first of all, today when we spoke about last night's game, we always do a recap, plus and minus, I complimented both John and DJ. I thought John's defense, when he went back for DJ, having the four fouls, he really fought Williams. He wasn't going to be able to do much with him because Williams is just bigger and wider. When Dwayne went into the game, when he went in with five minutes left, I told him that we expected him to get every rebound. He just about did in that last five-minute stretch. They've been prepared. They've been knocked, told how they can't play, that kind of thing. All they've done all year is fight tooth and nail with whatever front court we've had to face. So they'll be prepared for Graham and McFarlin, Crawford, all these guys that come in the game who look like they're linemen. But just like Tyrone and Jameer didn't guard Paul last night, we all guarded Paul last night, we will all guard the lane tomorrow night. That will be the preparation. John and DJ know we're going to be there and we're going to give them help and support so they're not left on an island. They can't do this alone. If it just becomes a one-on-one, we're going to be trouble in the lane. We can't allow that to happen.
Q. Talk about in a game that's so much talk about guards, talk about up against their big men. They don't have a lot of size, but their athleticism. What you expect?
JOHN BRYANT: Well, I think coach said it all right there. He said that it won't be just me and DJ, or DJ and I against McFarlin and Graham. It will be the team defense. We know it won't be one-on-one, and our team will be there if we get D off the dribble. We're looking to do the best we can with them, with our match-up. We take it personal every time somebody scores. Like coach said, we'll just keep fighting and do whatever we can for us to stop our man.
DWAYNE JONES: We'll just have to battle in the lane. I mean, we've been doing it all year. We'll just have to do it again. I mean, nothing's going to change. Doesn't matter, as a team we're just going to have to step up.
Q. Coach, keeping in mind that it's a team effort that has gotten you guys where you are this season, do you feel like Delonte has gotten a little bit overlooked? His talents when he's out there are pretty extraordinary. Jameer gets a lot of attention. How do you keep that from overshadowing the team?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, one of the things, it's multi-layered, I would say, the answer to your question. First of all, Jameer doesn't accept any of the accolades personally. He passes those to his teammates. Each time that we talk about, you know, whether he was Player of the Week, Player of the Year, All-American candidate, he always deflects that to his teammates. A point, like with this team, there was a stretch in time where Jameer won like six Player of the Week awards in the Atlantic-10, Delonte won three in a row. We always announced it and the players applaud, pat them on the back. Then Pat won the award. The loudest applause of the year went for Pat. That speaks volumes about this group. So one is Jameer not really focusing all this attention on himself. Two is the team approach to this whole process. And the third thing is Delonte's approach. He only believes in one thing. I've never been around a guy as competitive as Delonte. If we're doing shooting drills, he thinks I don't know, he will absolutely, positively cheat in the drills to make sure that his team wins. If he gets caught, he gets angry at the coaches for catching him. We have to like get him over the hump in a lot of ways. We are very competitive in practice. We keep score in everything. We let them call their own out of bounds, sometimes their own foul. You don't want to be against Delonte calling out of bounds or calling fouls. The fourth part of that is I think he's dramatically underrated, I really do. I think it's wonderful that Jameer was an AP All-American. But when I saw the third team, I just think there's a mental block in the voters saying there's no way Saint Joseph's could have two of the Top 15 players in America, can they? And we really do. I believe that Delonte should have been -- I think it's wonderful -- a wonderful acknowledgment that he was an honorable mention, we're appreciative of the people that voted for him, but he's really one of the 15 or 20 best players in America and should be acknowledged as such.
Q. Jameer, Delonte and Phil, I read Phil said Tyrone gives you guys epic battles in practice. Is he indeed the best defender you guys go up against on a daily basis? How has that improved you all?
SPEAKER: For me coming in with Tyrone, we were battling, when we came as freshmen, so he really put forth like a lot of effort on defense against me. I believe that made me a lot better, a lot tougher, really helped me to become a better scorer. He's the glue of the team. He brings it every day in practice. Every time he steps on the court, you know what he's going to bring.
SPEAKER: Well, I have to go against the guy every day in practice, you know. We definitely match up. He definitely don't allow you to take any days off. Not that I would. But, you know, I mean, he's mainly noted for his defense, but he's a guy that has offensive capabilities also. He can burn you on both ends, you know. He can get inside your head mentally on defense, and then he can come down, knock some shots down. The guy, he's definitely a player, you know. Like I say, he's mainly noted for his defense, but he's just a player that accepts his role.
COACH MARTELLI: I thought that, you know, Jameer came in and made this big splash, Tyrone has a little imp in him in a way. He'll tell people that he wasn't told that Jameer -- the day Jameer said he was coming to school at Saint Joseph's, I told him it was his ball. Tyrone was brought in late. We didn't give him a scholarship until June of his senior year. We had a kid leave. We had a scholarship, and Tyrone didn't have one. We took him. Tyrone knew exactly what he was getting into. He won't admit that today, but that is the truth. But I thought that Tyrone really made Jameer the national freshman of the year because Jameer was not guarded like that anywhere during the year. When you saw Tyrone, Tyrone and Dwayne Lee in a lot of way are such tributes to their high school coaches because they're exactly where they're supposed to be on every single possession. One of the things that Tyrone will leave, he'll leave a legacy behind at Saint Joseph's because he and Jameer now have Dwayne Lee ready when Dwayne Lee's turn comes next year to run the point for us. Because he is absolutely relentless in the way he approaches basketball. It's been really a joy to coach a guy who really gives up everything for the team each and every time he takes the floor.
Q. Phil, it's a common theory that college basketball has fewer and fewer dominant big men. Do you subscribe to that theory? How do you see it's affected the game and a program like yours in particular?
COACH MARTELLI: You're speaking with the exception of John Bryant and DJ being big men. I think what has happened is I think the hardest shot to make in basketball is to throw the ball to a guy whose back is to the basket, and there's a guy standing between him and the basket. That's a very challenging shot. The guys that can make that shot are really in the NBA. So in college basketball, the bigger players have become much more European in their style. They've become much more like Garnett than they have Shaq or any of the old-time centers that we've had. It's had a dramatic impact on college basketball because I think everybody likes to open the floor up and now dribble drive because you're going to get your layups on dribble drives, you're not going to get them by throwing them to some behemoth down around the basket. Everybody has a way of trapping down on the post, for every team there's several varieties. We probably have six or seven varieties of ways to trap down on the post. So you're not going to stand around and get beat on a guy shooting layup of layup after layup. It has changed the game. I think it's good for the game to open the floor. I am dramatically opposed to the trapezoid lane. I don't think that's the right way to go. I think we have to continue to develop big players who can do the drop steps or the jump hooks, but not a lot of them in college basketball today.
Q. Phil, why do you think more people haven't appreciated Saint Joseph's this year? Do you think we no longer pull for the underdog? Do you think we're in love with the name brand? Will you be more comfortable if someone else in a public forum would diss your team right about now?
COACH MARTELLI: I think probably I have to take responsibility for more of the general public not liking our team. I seem to be very abrasive. I'm not very media friendly. We don't really open up our program. We really cloister our program. So I can only imagine that people wonder what we're doing in those closed doors when we have open practices and 300 people wander in, what the hell is going on here with this group. I don't get it. I really don't have an answer. As far as somebody talking about us, I mean, the players will speak to this. I've never uttered the names of any of these naysayers to them. I've never brought in an article and said to them, "Look what this guy wrote about us." I haven't mentioned to them that, "It looks like we're an underdog tomorrow." Not one time have I told them, "Fellows, we're an underdog tomorrow, even though we're 30-1, the No. 1 seed." I haven't said that once to them. That's wasted motivation to me. The motivation that we have is that these guys love basketball, and every single guy on our team plays basketball for one reason: to win the game. We just want to win our next game. We don't care what was in the past or what's in the future. It's only about winning, winning basketball games. I think that as the stakes have gotten bigger here, the audiences have gotten bigger, I think we're getting more than enough appreciation for the way we've played and the way we've gone about our business this year.
Q. Beginning with Delonte, I'm sure each of you have had a lot of coaches in your careers. Could you each just give a very brief description of what it is you like about Coach Martelli, what trait you like about him, what trait you think you would like to see at the next level?
THE MODERATOR: Dwayne.
DWAYNE JONES: For me, he's just a hard-working coach. We just feed off of that. He's a great motivator, keeps us well-prepared. That's what I really like about him.
SPEAKER: I think his dedication and love for the game. I mean, he told you guys earlier that he's been up all night preparing us and trying to prepare us for this next game. That tells you a lot about our coach, how good of a coach he is. Not only him, but the rest of the coaching staff, they put in a lot of hours. I think it tells you what kind of coaching staff we have and why we're so good.
THE MODERATOR: I'll dismiss the players at this point because they have their individual breakouts to go to. Coach Martelli will remain on the day as.
COACH MARTELLI: They all haven't spoken.
SPEAKER: I don't really think of Coach Martelli as a good coach (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: That's why I cut them off, Coach.
COACH MARTELLI: I'm here to announce that Dwayne Lee will start at point guard tomorrow night (laughter).
SPEAKER: What do you want me to do, coach?
COACH MARTELLI: Go ahead, Pat.
PAT CARROLL: We definitely have one of the hardest working coaching staffs in the nation, and that starts with Coach Martelli. But really I think the thing that distinguishes us, our coaching staff from others, is that some coaches, you can't really get close to them. They're almost like on another level, especially with the head coach. But Coach Martelli, he's a player's coach and he really communicates well with his players, and he treats us almost like we're his friends, you know what I mean? He's just a genuine guy that he's going to help us through things on and off the court. That shows every day.
THE MODERATOR: Delonte.
DELONTE WEST: I love my coach, you know. The biggest thing that stood out to me about Coach Martelli, it was actually the day of my home visit when he came into my home, you know. I definitely considered some other schools. But the biggest thing that stood out to me was just a genuineness of his personality. He came into my home, he set me and my mother down. He said, "You know, we are going to be the guys that are going to be the big influences in my life for the next four years." He told my mother, you know, he was going to help me grow as a person and as a man. Just after we seen that, I mean, it had nothing to do with basketball really. I was sold. I just seen the passion in his eyes. He has this Italian thing that he does, like the Jeddi mind trick. I don't know. I was just sold. I was just sold, just on his personality, what type of person he was. I just knew that this is the type of guy that I give my all for on the court every day.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.
COACH MARTELLI: You didn't say anything. Go ahead.
SPEAKER: Coach is such a genuine person, it's hard not to like him. No matter how many times he hollers at you, it's all for the good. One of the biggest things for me coming to Saint Joseph's was because of him and the coaching staff. They were so real, as far as coming to support me at my high school games, really recruiting me, just being loyal to me. I think that's what a lot of guys, high school guys, take for granted. They always want to go to the big schools because of the name. They don't really want to take into consideration that you have to play for this guy for four years, you have to like this guy. I think that's the biggest thing that should be really thought of when you're making a decision.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, players. We'll now go into their individual break-out. Coach Martelli will remain here to answer additional questions. First question for Coach Martelli. Microphones, please.
Q. When you started putting this team together three or four years ago, did you think a moment like this or a run like this for the Final Four would be possible?
COACH MARTELLI: I never thought that it was possible, nor did I think it was impossible. I don't believe that anything is impossible when you have a passion for the game of basketball like we have at Saint Joseph's. And I know that we had special players. I didn't know that they would be this special. I never put my team in a box. I don't say, "You know what, we can win 15 games, maybe the first round of the NCAA tournament would be good enough, we're going to struggle to finish second in the Atlantic-10." We have not had a discussion about team goals in my nine years as a college coach or my seven years as a high school coach because I don't believe you should put your team in a box. To say that I sat around and dreamt about this, no. But I didn't dream that it wasn't possible either, if that makes sense to you.
Q. Along those lines, when practice did get underway and this group came together as a group, did you get a feeling early on that something special could happen? Was it pretty early in the season?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, what had happened was that this team improved every day in practice. You could see they had a fire and a fight to them that was unique to any of the teams -- my other eight teams prior to them. But really at halftime, after we had battled Gonzaga, we were a little bit shorthanded. Dave Mallon was injured. We were shorthanded in the post. We were down eight. But I was really impressed with the confidence that we showed and the fight that we showed. I remember saying to the assistants after the team went out, "We have a chance here to do something extraordinary." 30-1, in the Elite 8, I would never, ever imagine that. But I thought that we had a chance to do something extraordinary based on that night and that first half's performance.
Q. Eddie Sutton put his team in football pads for a couple practices this season. One, have you ever done anything crazy like that?
COACH MARTELLI: I've often thought about that. I really thought that was a wonderful idea. We don't have football at Saint Joseph's, so I don't know where I would come up with the pads. I don't know if I've ever done anything -- when you're young and you're a high school coach, you do all those crazy things. You roll the ball on the floor, tell guys to dive, you tell them to block out without out of bounds or without regard to fouling. A lot of stupidity, to be honest with you. But I can't remember doing anything quite that extreme. But obviously they got his point because they're fierce-playing guys now.
Q. About the construction of this group. When you began to put it together, did the personnel determine the way you wanted to play or did you have a model in mind when you went on the recruiting process? What was it that convinced you that this model could work?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, the recruiting model that I use is, A, I want to have competitive -- I want guys that will compete. I think the second thing, and this has been underreported about our team, to be honest with you, if we can be underreported, is that we have winners. State championship, played for the state championship, state championship next to him, Nelson, Pat Carroll's team won like 104 teams when he was in high school, John Bryant's team his senior year lost three games, Dwayne Jones a game or two, Chet, state championship, Dwayne Lee, two state championships, Tyrone Barley, state championship, Dave Mallon, school record for wins. I believe in winners. You can't teach kids to want to win. So, one, it was competitiveness. Two was winning. The third thing, and that sounds odd, but I really have been driven to find kids that love basketball. Every kid out there that is at this level likes basketball because it's his means to an end. But I want guys that love basketball because then they'll let me coach them. So this team has been put together in that fashion. The style of play came out of, to be honest with you, idle doodling in the summer because I was convinced after Jameer's sophomore year that we had to figure out a way to get the 75 points to win any game. I think if you can get to 75 points, you can win any game in college. I would doodle it up, say Delonte is going to start, Pat is going to start, Jameer is going to start, but the other guys were unknown. Dave Mallon, Alexander was a fifth year senior. I kept doing the numbers, and I couldn't get to 75. The only way I could see was to make our defense be our offense. That's when we came up with this plan of all-out man-to-man pressure, not trying to steal the ball, but to pressure the basketball, make you uncomfortable, and make you give it to us, not turn it over, but give it to us and see if we couldn't create some layups. It was really out of desperation and a feeling in the middle of the summer that, you know what, I can't figure out how we're going to get to 60, let alone 75. If it's 60, you're going to be in these games 60-59, and you're going to lose half of those, in my opinion. But the recruiting, I stay true to that. Every kid that I recruit now, I ask him the question, the first phone call I make to him, "Do you love basketball or do you like basketball?" When they answer the question, I'll say, "Do you know the difference?" That's how I open my first recruiting call to every kid we're interested in now. I only want to be around people that love basketball.
Q. In an era where there's almost paranoia in some teams, their point guards calling out the play by covering their mouth, Oklahoma State literally have flashcards that announce the play. Have you ever seen anything like that? Is it because they have so many plays that they can afford to do that?
COACH MARTELLI: In our league, Xavier, if you watch them tonight, they flash to the sideline, they use a grease board. My guess is that one of their coaches is an offensive coordinator, just like in football. He writes up a play and he flashes the grease board to the players. It's hard to scout that because the tape that we now watch, A, you're not allowed to scout in person, so you don't really see what the play is. It's ingenious. Pacific does it. We played Pacific in the tournament in '97. That was the first time that I ever saw it. They have great big cards and they hold them up for the players to see. I didn't know that Oklahoma State did it until you just said it. I said earlier that I've been amazed at their ability to communicate to a point guard who is in his first year in the program because they run these 40 plays like snap of a finger. I have seen it before. We tried it. We tried it in like some of the noisier arenas that we've been in in the last couple years, but it hasn't worked for us. I'd rather try to yell or get a hand signal, you know, not run that many plays, try and play basketball than run plays. Seems like that has worked for us so far.
Q. Not excluding Tyrone, you really allow Jameer and Delonte to run your offense from a point perspective together, kind of interchanging roles. How important is it for you to have trust in Delonte as a point position player as much as Jameer?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, I think to get Jameer off the ball is really important because when you're coming down the floor and everybody can see you as you dribble at them, I think you're easier to guard. So every once in a while when Delonte takes the ball, we have a couple sets that we run just with him as the point guard, but it also frees Jameer up to become a little bit more of a scorer. This scoring that Jameer does is not like really his personality. It's not really his game. His game is much more distributing the ball. But he's just on such a run and a roll here that we have to have ways to have him off the ball. You know, these people that want to deny, let them deny, we'll try to crack them with the screen, free up Jameer.
Q. When did you first become aware of Eddie Sutton? Can you share your thoughts about him being sort of a warrior in the game, he's almost 70 years old, has never played for a championship?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, when you start to get in this business, you look at the guys like Bob Cheney, Bob Knight, have done it for a long time. When you see people flame out so quickly anymore, schools not really giving people a chance to stay with this, you notice guys like Eddie Sutton. I checked their media guide early this morning. He's been a head coach for 45 years. I'm only 49 years old. He's been coaching my whole life as a head coach. I just think it's remarkable. I'm looking forward to learning as much as anything when we compete against him. I've come in contact with him through some clinics that he's done for Nike and I've done for Nike. I don't really know him. Certainly admire anybody that can be doing this at the age of 70 and doing it as well as he's doing it. I mean, this is his 14th and 15th year, winning games at Oklahoma State, it's astounding that guys can keep doing it, because they believe in what they're teaching and they can really, really teach the game of basketball.
Q. That summer, where were you doing most of the doodling? Exactly how tired are you now?
COACH MARTELLI: I'm not tired right now. I think a little bit later -- actually, what will happen is when we get idle time, we are going to leave here and go back to the hotel, rest a little bit before we practice, that will catch up to me. But I am a noted insomniac. I've never slept after a game. It's just adrenaline. I stay up until my newspaper hits my sidewalk, go out, pick up my newspaper, read, then go to sleep. That's why when people say, What about the NBA? I look really bad for 49 years old. Can you imagine if I had to do this a hundred nights a year. It would be really detrimental to my looks. So I'm not really tired. I forget what the hell you asked me for the first part of your question.
Q. Where were you doodling?
COACH MARTELLI: I was doodling in my office at times. I doodle when I was on vacation. Yeah, at the Jersey shore with my good friend Gene Oriama (ph). I'm trying to figure out how to get to 75, and he's trying to figure out how to keep his margin of victory under 75 that year, because that was the year he had Bird and Cash, four of the top six players in the WNBA draft. I'd be doodling, worrying. He'd be telling me, "We're on vacation." I'd think, this isn't vacation to me, this is torture. Literally, he's trying to figure out how to keep the spreads under 50.
Q. Over half the six teams remaining yesterday were teams that start three guards, at least three guys 6'4" and under who are clearly perimeter players, and you're one of them. Does this say more about the big-man problem in America going on or of a desire of coaches to play that way?
COACH MARTELLI: I think it says more about the number of kids in this country that can play who are 6'4" and under. To be honest with you, they're a little bit easier to get. If there's a kid, let's say there's Bob Ryan in Philadelphia, let's say he's 6'11", we're not getting him, we're not getting him. Maybe Temple can get him because John Cheney is going to know the brother-in-law's sister on the third cousin's side, something like that. Carolina may come in and get him, Duke. We're not getting him. We're not going to get that kid and that size. I think there's so few of them and they all move up, like in recruiting all the big kids drift up. They might not belong at some of the places that they go, but they all kind of go that way. Now you look around and say, "You know what, Delonte West is pretty darn good. I think we can get him. Because of his love of basketball and improvement, we can make him an all-league player." I think it's a proliferation of the perimeter player in high school and in the circuit where we can recruit. I do notice that, though. And I've noticed people in our league, and I take this as a side compliment, a lot of teams in our league started to play with four small guys, maybe not as small as our guys, but they started to put a fourth perimeter guy out there and said, "You know what, what the heck, maybe we can get our layups off the dribble instead of trying to throw the ball in the lane."
THE MODERATOR: Our time is up. We'll have to cut it off, and thank Coach Martelli.
COACH MARTELLI: Thank you.
End of FastScripts...