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March 23, 2006

Jim Les

Patrick O'Bryant

Marcellus Sommerville


THE MODERATOR: On the stage for Bradley, we have head Coach Jim Les and student-athletes Patrick O'Bryant and Marcellus Sommerville. We'll start with a statement by the head coach.
COACH JIM LES: I guess my statement will be the same statement I told the team in the locker room after the game, and first of all not to hang their heads because that was an awfully good basketball team we played. There's a reason why they're the third ranked team in the country and the No. 1 seed.
We needed to play our A-game. And I think in order to win this game, we didn't play our A-game. The reason we didn't was because of what they do and how they play.
I thanked our seniors, who I have one of them up here. When I recruited them, I asked them to be the cornerstone of putting Bradley basketball back on the map. They did that in a big way, probably in a way bigger than I had imagined. I thank them for that. Their legacy will be carried on now. They'll be forever in the annals and history of Bradley basketball as bringing us back. For that I'm very proud to have been associated with them.
This team, it was a privilege to coach them. They gave me everything they had. To the young guys, I told them it was great to get a taste. Now we've got a taste of what it's like to be here and to play at this level. We don't want this to be an every 50-year, we don't want it to be an every 10-year, we want this to be an every-year occurrence. That's going to be our task as we approach the off-season and getting ready for next year.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Throughout this tournament you have been getting off to quick starts. Tonight you didn't. What was the difference in tonight's game?
MARCELLUS SOMMERVILLE: I thought they came out really aggressive. They allowed themselves to get easy buckets to start the game. That's what led to their breakout 7-0.
Q. Patrick, could you just talk about some of the things that coach mentioned at the top, the impact that you guys had in central Illinois and what you started here with this program this year?
PATRICK O'BRYANT: I think we started a great tradition. You know, like he said, we put Bradley basketball back on the map. I think it's going to really help us out down the road even with just recruiting and stuff. I think next year we need to come back and try and have the same kind of season and hopefully get farther.
Q. You heard a lot about their athleticism. Was it as good as you had heard when you saw it up close?
MARCELLUS SOMMERVILLE: I thought tonight they definitely got out and got some easy baskets with their athleticism, got a lot of tip-ins and run-outs. Yeah, they really are athletic.
Q. Where does Carney fit in in terms of the players that you face? Is he one of the best players you've gone up against?
COACH JIM LES: He's an awfully good player. He hurts you in a number of ways. He can knock down shots in the perimeter, he can get to the basket with explosiveness. His transition points are big. He's also a long defender who creates a lot of problems just initiating your offense. I was very impressed with him.
Q. Patrick, you really out-rebounded them in the first half. Seems like Memphis did a better job in the second half. What changed there?
PATRICK O'BRYANT: I think they just started attacking the glass a lot harder and using their athleticism to their advantage. I think -- I don't think they came as hard in the first half. We were able to get a lot of rebounds on them. The second half, I'm sure they probably got yelled at for it or whatever by their coach, and they just came after it harder.
Q. Patrick, what was the difference defensively on you in the second half? Did they do anything differently?
PATRICK O'BRYANT: You know, I don't think they did. They said -- my guards were telling me they were digging every time. I hadn't really noticed it at all. I didn't really notice it much in the second half either. I don't think they really changed anything.
Q. Could you talk about the feeling now having gotten this far but yet having it be over.
MARCELLUS SOMMERVILLE: You never want it to be over. Now that it is, I mean, you feel real down that you couldn't get that one more game. I mean, I'm really privileged that I had this opportunity and everything, just really proud that Bradley basketball has done what it's done this year, and Coach Les has done what he's done this year. I'm just extremely proud that I was a part of it.
Q. How much did Memphis' depth wear on you guys?
PATRICK O'BRYANT: I don't really think it weared on us because we're used to playing a pretty up-and-down type of basketball. I think we kind of pride ourselves on making the other team tired and not getting tired ourselves.
I think it was just the fact that every player they brought in was just as athletic as the last one. I think that presented us with a lot of problems.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions for the student-athletes? Players, thank you very much. Questions for head Coach Jim Les.
Q. I'm wondering what you said to Tony when he walked off the floor after his fifth foul?
COACH JIM LES: I just said I was really honored to coach him. He gave me in two years everything he had on a daily basis. I not only respect him as a basketball player, but I respect him as a person. I just said he's got a lifelong friend. "I'm going to miss coaching you, but you've gained a friend for life."
Q. The feeling after the emotional high of the last couple weeks, yet having it end.
COACH JIM LES: Well, it's bittersweet. We've had a rule all year where for 24 hours we'll either celebrate or pout. So I guess I'll stick to the rule of we'll pout for a day.
I think when we get back home and we sit back and look at our body of work for the year, I think this group, this team, this program can be extremely proud. Like I said, now it's the goal to continue to build on it. Hopefully the trickle-down effect from the exposure we received and from the experience we have can carry us now for yearly runs like this.
Q. The Memphis players and coach relished the idea of being in an up-and-down game, liked the tempo. Did you think the tempo got a little too fast at times for you guys or did you have any thoughts about pulling it back?
COACH JIM LES: I thought we played fast in certain instances which took us out a -- a little bit out of what we wanted to do execution-wise. Really that's a product of their pressure. That's usually something that we do to other people. We get up in pressure and so it speeds them up, now there's turnovers, bad shots, those kinds of things.
I thought, you know, it was kind of the reverse tonight. Their pressure, their length, their athleticism bothered what we were trying to do. That created some mishaps.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? Thank you very much.
COACH JIM LES: Thank you, and go Wichita.

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