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March 21, 2008

Frank Haith

Lance Hurdle

Jack McClinton


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Coach, we will start off with you.
COACH HAITH: Thank you. Obviously a great win for us. I thought we were little stagnant the first half offensively. Defensively we were really good. Second half we got going. I thought we were more patient with our offense and we got some buckets in transition. I thought that was a key for us. A big part of that, too, was our ability to get some defensive stops, which I thought we were able to do consistently.
THE MODERATOR: Our players, Lance Hurdle, Jack McClinton. Questions, please.

Q. Jack, can you kind of talk about how you got yourself going? Looks like were you trying to go to the basket a little bit more. Did that help you out a lot?
JACK McCLINTON: Throughout the whole game, they were playing for me my shots. I was being covered. The second half I was trying to be more aggressive, trying to drive the ball. And once I was able to get a couple drives, the defense was kind on their heels which opened up me for my shot.

Q. Jack, want to talk about specifically your ten-point personal run there at the start of the second half. They were up most of the first half and the second half. You scored ten straight. Can you talk about what was going on with you at that point?
JACK McCLINTON: I mean, my teammates were setting good screens. I was making shots. I mean, I don't know. We just got on a run, and my teammates kept going to me, and I was able to make shots.

Q. What made you decide to start driving to the basket more late in the first half? That really seemed to be what turned the momentum in your favor. Just the way they were defending you?
JACK McCLINTON: Definitely at halftime I was thinking about things I could do to make my team better. They're playing me for my shot. Let me try to do something different, come off screens. Try to drive the ball. It was working for me at first, like I said, and once I started driving, I was able to get my shot off.

Q. Frank, Coach Frank, what type of adjustments did you make at halftime? You were down by five at half, and then it seemed to be a totally different ballgame in the second half. Why do you think that was?
COACH HAITH: Drive the ball. We just told them to drive the ball. We want to dominant the paint area. Whether we drove the ball, got the ball inside to our bigs, we wanted to -- that was the game plan going into the game. We didn't execute that in the first half. We knew they were going to push out on us. We wanted to get the ball in the paint. We just kept emphasizing to our guys, "Continue to drive the basketball."
Q. Lance, when you see one of your teammates like Jack have a night like tonight, how much fun is that for you guys to watch?
LANCE HURDLE: It's a lot of fun to see him do that and big weight off our shoulders. When he's hitting, he's hitting, he's hot. I told you before when he's hot, we're really good. So it was good to see him have one of them games.
THE MODERATOR: Let me pass this along very quickly your questions right now for the players. We will dismiss them when we're through with them and continue with the coach.

Q. Jack, you were one of the guys that were sick this week, and did that have any affect on you? How sick were you? Talk a little bit about that.
JACK McCLINTON: I had a fever a couple days before the game, but, I mean, our trainers got us on the meds. Felt pretty good for the game today. I didn't feel that bad.

Q. Jack, just talk about what it feels like, how much fun it is when you're in that kind of flow and every shot seems like it's going in for you.
JACK McCLINTON: It feels great. My teammates got me open. I trusted my teammates, and we did it together. It wasn't just me. It was a team effort, and we came home with the victory.

Q. Jack, you didn't score your first basket until about three minutes or so left in the first half. Did you get flustered out there? Or do you just stay patient, knowing that the game is going to come to you?
JACK McCLINTON: Coach Haith tells me defense is going to be on their best the first couple minutes of the game. Let the game come to me and relax. That's what I tried to do. As the game progressed, things started opening up and I was able to take advantage.

Q. Lance, just for the -- your defensive side against the Gaels, did you guys just figure down the stretch to let them shoot-out side jumpers? Didn't seem like they were making anything, at times they were just jacking up shots.
LANCE HURDLE: No. They're a really good three-point team. We tried to keep them from getting to the basket and contest when they shoot.
THE MODERATOR: Other questions for the players?

Q. This may seem like an obvious question, Jake, is this the best game of your career especially concerning the situation and circumstances?
JACK McCLINTON: I don't know. That's a good question. What do you think? (Laughter).

Q. Best we've ever seen.
JACK McCLINTON: Maybe it is. I'll have to watch films. Sorry.

Q. Jack, you talked about earlier about the ball bothering you at the ACC Tournament. How did it kind of feel out there today?
JACK McCLINTON: It was great, great feeling.

Q. Lance, can you just talk about as a team how you felt you played and what you're looking to do going forward?
LANCE HURDLE: I think we played well in the second half. The first half, you know, we just had a lot of jitters. I don't think we played too bad. We had a lot of jitters. Second half was Miami basketball. We're really excited about how we played. It's just a blessing to be here in the tournament, period, so we're just excited.
THE MODERATOR: Anyone else? Guys, we appreciate it very much. Thank you.
Questions for Coach Haith.

Q. Coach Haith, we're the hometown newspaper of Patrick Mills, the point guard for Saint Mary's. Not to take the spotlight off the magnificent effort of your team out there, but I was one wondering, just to help me do my job, if could you comment a little bit on Patrick's game.
COACH HAITH: I think he's terrific. He's as good a point guard we played against all year. I thought he was -- he had a great game defensively, also. He did a great job. He guarded Jack most of the first half. He has great pace to his game. He's a tough matchup because he not only can shoot the three ball, but he's great at getting ball to the hole. I mean, for only a freshman, he's going to have a bright, bright future.

Q. Frank, can you talk about the team's struggles at the start of the game. You started off one for ten. How did you guys get out of that?
COACH HAITH: I think the guys mentioned a little bit in terms of just the jitters. This team, you know, was excited about playing. They wanted to play well. I thought we were playing really, really hard, and sometimes when you play really, really hard, you're trying to hard. And our execution wasn't that bad, we couldn't make shots. We were missing some shots in the paint area and took some jump shots, and we just missed them.
I didn't want our guys to get fretted by that. Talked to them about getting lost in the game, getting lost on the defensive end and not put so much pressure on the offensive end, because I thought it was going to happen.

Q. Frank, are you getting used to Jack having these huge second halves? It seems like it happens over and over again.
COACH HAITH: Hey, I love it. Let's keep it going. He was outstanding today. Jack was terrific, and, you know, he obviously got into a rhythm, and I think he scored like ten straight points, maybe more than that. You know, when he gets into those rhythms, he's a tough guard. And the key thing with Jack is just being patient, you know, and as long as he's patient, just let the game come to him. And I thought that's what he did in the second half.

Q. Jack kind of passed off on whether that's the highlight game for him. From what you've seen, where does that fit?
COACH HAITH: Some of you guys were in here the other day and talked about his dad's highlight tape he sent me. It's the best game I've seen him play. He's had games where he's gone on a roll, but the magnitude of this game, the stage, you can't -- I mean the lights are not any brighter than this and thus far in his career. Maybe they'll get brighter if we keep winning, the performance today was outstanding. I can't imagine him having a better performance than today.

Q. What are your emotions going to be like watching this next game? I'm sure you'd like to play 15 seed. One of your good friends out there as well.
COACH HAITH: I always pull for Texas. He's my best friend. I love the guy. I really don't want to play against him, but, you know, if we don't win, I want to pull for Texas because of what he's meant to me.

Q. Frank, just wanted to ask, Jack said he was sick. Were you at all concerned about his condition, where he was at physically?
COACH HAITH: Little bit I was because we had some guys that were really under the weather. Jimmy Graham, he seems to be like this, he hasn't practiced since last Friday. We had the ACC Tournament game, we lost, and he hasn't done anything until yesterday. So I was worried about his conditioning, his wind.
Jack didn't practice until yesterday, and he was a still a little sluggish yesterday. And so I was a little bit concerned. James Dews is another one. Those guys had fevers.
You know, they're on antibiotics. It was amazing that they're able, particularly Jack had the kind of performance that he had.

Q. Frank, maybe not Jack specifically but in general, how easy or difficult is it to preach patience to a scorer and not letting that scorer get frustrated by not getting buckets as often as he would like?
COACH HAITH: Well, you know, Jack is older, so maturity -- you're hoping as much as you can continue to -- Jack has seen that play out for him before. If he hasn't, you know -- he's seen the flow of the game just happen, and then all of a sudden it happens for him in terms of he gets loose and gets open.
So I think if it hadn't happened before, I could see him being, you know, impatient, but he's been able to understand if you get lost into the game, you'll have an opportunity as the game progresses on.

Q. Frank, obviously a big win for you personally for this NCAA Tournament win. What does that mean for the program from where you guys were last year to take this stuff out, your first win here?
COACH HAITH: Obviously this team has been last season, we had a tough season in terms of injuries, in terms of losses, in terms of suspense. It's very gratifying, no question for this program. I think it helps us as we move forward in terms of the building process. I talk about this being the ladder, and we continue to build, and there's no question. I think there's more this program can do and we're still building. We're not where we want to be. We're still growing as a program and this helps. There's no question.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations to you. Look forward to seeing you again on Sunday.

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