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March 8, 2000

Ben Howland


COACH HOWLAND: What questions do you have?

Q. Coach, you ready to start next season tonight?

COACH HOWLAND: You know what, we'll take a couple weeks off here. It's been, you know, a long season. I always believed in letting the guys take a couple weeks to, you know, get mentally back together as well as physically, and yes, we'll start back up into the weight room and getting back to work. We have a lot of work to do.

Q. Ben, tonight it was 14-5 early. You came back, made it a pretty close game. What happened in the second half that turned the tide?

COACH HOWLAND: I thought our inability to be patient on offense. We were hurried. We were rushed. We didn't let it come to us. It's been kind of a problem for us all year. Villanova's a very good team. You look at the defense, they shoot 37 percent from the field. We can only muster a 33 percent. Second half I think we were one for -- I think we were, what, one for thirteen from a three. So we needed to knock down threes (inaudible).

Q. Can you talk about the press they put on at the beginning of the game?

COACH HOWLAND: Yeah, we didn't expect that. That's something I think they had thrown it down at BC. They came out, were aggressive. We had a couple bad turnovers early in the game. We fought back, took the lead. End of the first half we're trying to take the last shot, burp up a shot with ten seconds on the clock. Instead of going up one, we go into half time down one. I think we missed a big layup in the game. I don't know what the score was when Carter missed that layup, but it had to be a three or five-point game. That was a tough game for us.

Q. I think it was eight points and there were three straight trips down the floor that you didn't get anything. Do you think that did something to the guys, or no? I mean...

COACH HOWLAND: You know when you come down three straight times, I think we had pretty good looks at those opportunities but we did not finish.

Q. How did you address the team after the game?

COACH HOWLAND: It's hard to put, you know, a whole year in perspective here in just five, ten minutes because we're hurrying to get out to visit with you. When we get back from here right now, we'll get a chance to talk a little more. You know, one thing I did say, we've had a lot of adversity this year. Our guys have fought through it. We've won three of the last five games. They hung in there, never quit. Even early in this game we were down 14-5, fought right back, took the lead. So they've had a good attitude and tried to, you know, try to continue to play hard throughout the year. It's been a tough year.

Q. Did you say anything different to Brandin. There are times on the floor where it looked like he was really moping, walking down the floor a few times, looked really dejected. Is there something else you say to freshmen that you wouldn't say to Ricky?

COACH HOWLAND: Yeah. He does display his feelings a lot. He's very open in his feelings. He has to learn to be a little more -- what would the word be?

Q. Guarded?

COACH HOWLAND: That's a good one.

Q. Thanks.

COACH HOWLAND: There you go. That's just -- he finished the year strong. He brought us back the first half a couple of big threes. Brandin has a lot of talent, he has a lot of potential but he's also, you know, very young, and, you know, hopefully the maturing process will help him. He got a lot of experience this year. When I look at our stats here, they're not as -- (inaudible). When your starting forward doesn't get a rebound -- I thought Jarrett did a great job on the boards. We took a lot of bad shots tonight. Our shot selection was really, really questionable. Shooting 33 percent, some of it was their defense, some was our inability to take good shots and play with a little more discipline.

Q. Coach, I believe that Malik Allen scored 24 points in his previous tournament games and 24 tonight.

COACH HOWLAND: He's a really good player. I voted for him for All-League. He's got a chance to play at the next level. He's an outstanding player. I thought Buchanan and Medley, though, really stepped it up. If you look at their group, they have a good future, they have Bradley come in to take Malik's spot. They have a very bright future. They do a great job, I think Steve's got a nice group of kids there. They play real hard.

End of FastScripts...

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