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March 22, 2008

Stephen Curry

Max Paulhus Gosselin

Bob McKillop

Jason Richards


Q. Maybe just starting with Jason and getting all three of your thoughts, just on Georgetown, what you know about them, they lead the nation in field goal, percentage, defense and basically just give us some thoughts on Georgetown.
JASON RICHARDS: They are one of the best teams in the country, they have the No. 2 seed even in the Midwest. They have some great players, and like you said they are a very good defensive team. They are athletic, they are big. We looked at some of the stuff but overall they are a very well-rounded team both on the offensive and defensive side. It's going to be a tough matchup but we'll be ready for them tomorrow.
STEPHEN CURRY: They are a very physical team. I think they are a little bigger than us from top to bottom. So it's going to be a key for us to get rebounds and control the inside. I know they could shoot the ball very well from the outside, too. We've just got to get a hand in their faces and make them shoot tough shots and when we get possessions, make rebounds and keep doing our transition game we have been doing all year.
MAX PAULHUS GOSSELIN: Trying to add to what Jason and Steph said would be hard; I think they covered most of it.

Q. You have played some really good teams this year, many top-ranched teams, but you didn't beat them. So does it help you or do you not know that you can beat them?
JASON RICHARDS: Well we did just beat Gonzaga, a ranked team in the country, but that's helped us throughout the season. Obviously they are tough games, tough losses and we gained a lot of experience and learned a lot from those games, and that's definitely going to help us when we play Georgetown tomorrow.

Q. I think it was after the NC State game, after all the near misses you said endurance seemed to be lacking; have you developed that more and did it seem like it was there more yesterday?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think we showed yesterday that we have worked on that all year. We could have easily let go of that game and kind of quit. Like six minutes to go, I think we were down nine or something like that. So definitely showed that we were trying to be a consistent team for 40 minutes and just fight to the finish.
Like Jason said, the experiences we got earlier in the season with those big-name schools that we played will definitely help us, so I think we'll definitely make that a key to play 40 minutes.

Q. For each of you guys, got a rough count on messages and texts you've gotten since yesterday, or have you guys all shut down your phones and not bothered to look at this point?
MAX PAULHUS GOSSELIN: I feel like it's definitely different from what we're used to. It's different, even the Facebook if you guys are used to that, is quite crazy right now for us, but I feel like it's not something we focus on. Just funny to look at and then get over it and think about the next game.
STEPHEN CURRY: I think the record on our team for yesterday was Andrew had about 170-something. So it's tough to compete with that.

Q. I'd like you to talk particularly about Georgetown's defense and Stephen, particularly, if you can talk about they are bigger and quicker and they are going to have all kind of plans for you, I'm sure. So basically my question is, can you do it again?
STEPHEN CURRY: If we stick to our system, I think we'll be fine. We're pretty good at setting screens and cutting and working without the ball to get open.
So I know they put a lot of pressure on the ball and if we can get real tough with it and just keep moving on offense, we'll be fine, just keep moving and get good looks to start the game coming out, getting some open shots and getting our confidence going and feeling the flow of the game. I think if we just stick to our system and try not to do anything that we haven't done all year, we'll be fine.
JASON RICHARDS: He pretty much nailed it. Great response. I got nothing. (Laughter).

Q. Every game imagine you are a marked man for the opposition. After yesterday's 40, what do you expect from them tomorrow on you and how do you sort of deal with that going into a game?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think since like halfway through the season, people have just been chasing me around screens and hedging out. The big men have been doing a great job of getting in the passing lane so I can get an open shot. Our big men have adjusted to that great by slipping screens and getting open that way, too.
I don't think we're going to see anything different. It's just going to be different players on the defensive end. Like I said, if we just stick to our system, not going to try to do anything special or anything that I'm not capable of, so not worried.

Q. Who is the most physical defense you guys have faced up to this point, and when you're coming off screens, do you have a way of communicating, where it seems like you have several different options how you might play and run off of it?
STEPHEN CURRY: I'd say UCLA was probably they are big at every position, and they are very physical. But it's a good thing having this guy next to me, Jason. He sees a play before it happens so, me or Max or any guards coming off a screen, he can read the big men if they are going to hedge or if the guy gets caught up in the screen and he knows which pass to make. I think it's very helpful to have him out there being our quarterback and our leader running the plays and finding whoever is open and getting them the ball.

Q. How many different defenses have you faced this year and did anything yesterday surprise you or during the season?
STEPHEN CURRY: I've seen it all and yesterday they played a zone and this was pretty effective on shutting out the wings and not letting us get any length. I wouldn't be surprised if they throw their big bodies to shut down passing lanes and force us to go outside, I know the big men will be ready to take on the challenge with the guys they have down low, and maybe shooting some mid-range jumpers and just trying to get alternate shots that we haven't seen, I guess, recently.

Q. I'm sure a lot of teams have attempted -- given maybe your lack of bulk, beat you up physically; who tried to smack you around physically the most this year?
STEPHEN CURRY: I couldn't tell like a specific team. I mean, I see it a lot, cutting through the middle, trying to get open, I get elbows and shoulders just to get me off my cut. So I think I'm pretty good at getting around it and maybe using my quickness to counteract my lack of size and just using screens well to get spacing and staying out of congested areas with big bodies down there.

Q. Your front lines, you're 6-6, two 6-8 guys, can you talk about the challenge of Hibbert tomorrow and what you'll try to do up front?
MAX PAULHUS GOSSELIN: I don't know if you got this right, but I'm a wing man, I'm not a post player, so I won't play Hibbert --

Q. I'm saying your front line as a whole.
MAX PAULHUS GOSSELIN: I feel like our post players are definitely able to handle size. We've played against some great big men during the season. We've played UNC. We played Hansbrough and Thomas, Boris did a great job, and I think these men will do the same thing, even though Hibbert might have a couple inches on a couple other guys I need. I feel like it's going to be effort and heart and I feel like our team is going to be all of that.

Q. Did all of you watch the UNC/Georgetown game last year, and what were your thoughts on that Georgetown, sort of the bad guy locally around here, because there are so many Tar Heel fans; were you cheering or did you care one way or the other?
JASON RICHARDS: I really don't remember the game, but obviously being here in Carolina, I think it might help us, since they play after us, to have their fans. Yesterday was unbelievable. The whole arena started cheering for us which is very nice and hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow.

Q. You talked yesterday about how the win over Gonzaga was a stamp for your program; what would a win over Georgetown mean for Davidson?
COACH McKILLOP: We haven't gotten to the point where we are even able to think about that, other than to focus on three very clear objectives that we have; that is, to get better, have fun and play to win.
When we start losing sight of those objectives and start fast-forwarding to what people will think, if; I think we spend too much energy on things we have no control over, and that might be an evasive answer, but it's an actual message that I delivered to our players for the last four months. And it's a discipline our team has and a discipline we as a staff have.

Q. Can you talk about Georgetown's defense and field-goal percentage, they are No. 1 in the country and stuff. Without getting into game plan, what you expect they are going to try to do with Steph.
COACH McKILLOP: They are a team of defenders and that's what makes them so efficient defensively. So first, establish the foundation upon which their defense is built; they do it as a team. They talk very well. They have a great break on the ball. Their length is good. Their quickness is good. They guard the ball and they are alert and ready off the ball.
So with all that being said, you have to find a crack here, you have to find an opening there. You have to find maybe a miscommunication, which is rare, and try to capitalize. You need to steal points against them to be successful.

Q. A couple of years ago, Jim Larranaga at Mason said no one was going to have more fun in the tournament than Mason. You mentioned having fun. How do you balance trying to enjoy what you're doing and trying to keep these guys focused day-to-day?
COACH McKILLOP: This is one of the most exhilarating sporting events and overwhelming sporting events to be part of. The more times you participate in it, the more you have a sense of comfort with how to do things. And it's not just the game. It's all the celebration that surrounds it. And once you have experienced it before, you know how to maneuver yourself through the mine fields of temptation and disaster that present themselves daily. And I think our guys are pretty smart about that. For many of them, it's their third time. For some of them, it's their second time.
So the guys who are going to be on the court tomorrow have been here before. And we've been trying to smell the roses for the entire year, because we came into the season with great expectations. We received a lot of fanfare in the October time period because of the schedule we had. We got knocked to the map but never lost sight of where we were heading or what we were hoping to accomplish.
And in the process of going through the season, when you go 20-0, I can't tell you how difficult that is to go 20-0 in a Conference that's as challenging as our Southern Conference is, and every night, trying to defend an unblemished records. And then go into a Conference tournament knowing that it could be one-and-done, so we've been through that, as well.
At some point, you can be a basket case if you don't understand the perspective of what you've accomplished, where you are and what you're enjoying, and so we've been able to do that.

Q. On that same vein, guys were talking about the inordinate number of voice mails and text messages they have got and that sort of thing. You said smell the roses, but is there anything that you can do to sort of keep the outside influences from being distracting at this point and I'm curious how many voice mails you've gotten since yesterday?
COACH McKILLOP: You can look at it as a challenge or an affirmation and it can give you more energy and that's the way I've looked at that time is I've channeled that from either a voicemail or text message or e-mail and say, we've really made a statement to the people from the 40s and the 50s and 60s and Davidson's alumni base, to people back in Davidson who may have declared yesterday, Davidson Wildcat Basketball Day in the town and everyone supposedly wore black and red. I understand the campus was overwhelmed with support and enthusiasm and energy.
When you're able to do that by performing as a team on a basketball court, it gives you a great sense of pride. I think our guys have channeled that as just affirmation, and what they have done is not a fluke and what they have done is something to be very proud of.

Q. What have you told your bigs about going up against Roy Hibbert?
COACH McKILLOP: He's a challenge because we have not faced someone of his size all year long. I would be foolish not to allude to the fact that our guys have played against Kevin Love and Tyler Hansbrough, just to name two of them who are pretty darned good players.
Not that we did anything extraordinary against them but we hung in there with them. Yeah, we came out on the losing end, but we learned some valuable lessons and I'm delighted with the way our guys learned lessons. To me, that's why we went through the schedule we did; to expose ourselves and learn lessons, and it's been a season of lesson-learning for these guys. I think we are ready to move to that next step and go on to another lesson, which is playing against a team that is as talented and as deep and as defensive-minded as Georgetown is.

Q. You answered most of my question just now --
COACH McKILLOP: I'm pretty good at being evasive.

Q. What do you gain from scheduling those top opponents early in the season, and I'm wondering what you lose, when you don't win those games early on?
COACH McKILLOP: Confidence is very fragile, it's like glass, when it drops, it can break into a lot of pieces. I think sometimes we were not glass this year, we were more plastic and so that was the experience, and we didn't break into pieces. You can only do that if you didn't have the experience that our senior class had. They were 16-0 in the Southern Conference and get to the NIT and advance to the third round, they won the Conference tournament as sophomores and juniors and now winning it again as seniors and going 20-0 in the Conference gave them a lot of ammunition to look back in their memory and say, okay, we've done this before and we can do that well. So the experience factor played a big role in our ability to respond and not get knocked to the mat.

Q. The guys in the locker room were talking about how often you reference the Sports Illustrated stories you have in your office in the 60s. I'm curious as to how important that time is to you, and how much do you think the players benefitted from the 100th anniversary and reception in meeting some of those people from Davidson's past?
COACH McKILLOP: Well, to me it's a recollection of my youth. I was a player against Davidson on that last Sports Illustrated cover, the '69 issue of December -- '68 December issue when Mike Casey, Mike Scott and Mike Malloy were on -- Charlie Scott, Mike Casey and Mike Malloy were on the front cover and Davidson finished I think third or fourth in the country that year and I played in East Carolina at the time so there were a lot of memories for me.
I grew up in the time period where people wanted to go to Davidson College -- not people, players wanted to go to Davidson College. I think we are starting to get some attention. I think people out there are starting to say, hey, that's a pretty good school and academically it's challenging and they play a great schedule, so it really means a lot to me as a former player, but also now as the coach of a program that's starting to attract attention.
But I want to be clear, what Left Driesell accomplished is still a bar that we are far away from reaching and that is one of the hallowed stories in college annals.

Q. Can you tell me exactly what has it been like for you the past week, people back home reaching out to you?
COACH McKILLOP: It is kind of amazing how players I coached in 1972, '73, '74, at Holy Trinity or '80,'81,'82, '85 at Long Island's Lutheran or teammates from high school in '60s or guys I played stickball or stoopball or punchball with in the streets of South Ozone Park, they connect. That tells you what this experience is about and what this event is about; how it's national in scope and it is something that's embraced by everyone in the country.
It's just wonderful for me to be able to talk to someone by either text or e-mail or phone that I haven't talked to in 50 years. It's funny when you see them, and you look a lot shorter than they were when you were younger.

Q. When one guard scores 40 points, it's hard not to be the other guard, but I thought Jason Richards kept you afloat there in the first half against Gonzaga. Can you talk about his scoring and what he does for you guys?
COACH McKILLOP: He made two big 3s, and of course, he got to the foul line. You know, getting to the foul line can somewhat relieve you from an opponent's run, and admist it all, he had those two fouls which usually we sit somebody but I put him back in there with the second foul in the first half and he was able to keep us in our flow, in our rhythm. He's the quarterfinal. You know, you take Tom Brady out of the game for the Patriots and you're in trouble. You take anything quarterback out, you're going to be in trouble, but he's as valuable to us as Brady is to the Patriots.

Q. Gonzaga had so many defenses against them yesterday; can you talk about how quickly with his basketball IQ?
COACH McKILLOP: He's able to go up against those defenses well, you heard Steph speak in front of you, and he has a sense of poise that is unparalleled I think for a 20-year-old, and that's the way he is on the court. His poise, his presence, is the result of experience, just as his poise here in front of you people is experience.
His dad has told him tremendously well, and he has a keen eye. He watches things. You listen to him in a film session and he'll talk with Coach Methany or Coach Fox and ask questions that are so insightful. So he has a great basketball IQ and understanding. And he's physically gifted. He has an ability to change speeds very, very quickly. He has great feet. He can set his feet very quick and of course he's got a group of teammates that just have outstanding trust in him and willingness to do anything at all to help him fully capitalize on his skills.

Q. I'm curious to know how important pace will be tomorrow, because it seems like usually the more athletic team is also the team that wants to go a little faster, but tomorrow might be opposite; is pace going to matter for you guys?
COACH McKILLOP: Not at all. We will try to play at our pace. We will try to play at our tempo. Georgetown will try to do the same thing. If you think you can sleep on Georgetown and think they are going to walk the ball up and throw 30 passes, I think you're making a misjudgment. You're watching tape on them and you're watching them play and they are very willing to outlet it quickly, to shoot an open three quickly or dump it into the post quickly, and yes, they do have the patience to throw and I think we do have the same kind of patience and discipline in our offense.
I think it's a contrast not of two different styles; it's a contrast of maybe terrific athleticism against a team that doesn't have that kind of athleticism but is willing to play the same type of pace and same type of game.

Q. Two-part question for you. I was talking to Steve Rossiter and he said that when you offered him, it was after he played like the first game that he had ever played. So first part of the question, what did you see then that led you to believe that you still wanted the kid?
COACH McKILLOP: Toughness, coachability and a work ethic and that's the foundation of our recruiting process. Talent is big, but the toughness, the willingness to be coached and the willingness to work, a work ethic. I think that's something that's lost not in the just in basketball but in the world today.

Q. Just talking about how he's the son of a New York City firefighter, right, and he's met guys down there whose fathers are the CEO of major companies, the ambassadors to foreign countries. As a guy who comes out of the city, also, can you appreciate what this experience, what this opportunity is for him and his family?
COACH McKILLOP: We are all CEOs in some part of our lives. Steve's dad is a CEO, although it's a different company.
Interestingly enough, Steve's dad was a high school player the Mt. Signor Farrell (ph) when I was coaching at Holy Trinity and I coached against him. So you really get to feel pretty old when you recruit the sons of former opposing players that you coached against.
Being a member of the New York City Fire Department is one of the great companies in America today.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about, well, Georgetown is not very popular in this neck of the Woods, and you guys are, and do you think this is going to be bigger tomorrow?
COACH McKILLOP: I heard your question when they were playing Carolina last year; Steph was probably on the golf course. Max was probably in a cheese factory in Montréal, and Jason probably was fending off three or four female suitors. (Laughter).
I don't remember where I was or what I was doing, but I know this; we had great support yesterday from this audience here, and I got word back from our people that a lot of the Carolina fans picked up and supported us.
I don't know whether that's a statement about Carolina's feelings for Georgetown, or it's more a statement about their respect for a school within the State of North Carolina, as well as their respect for a school that played them the beginning of the year and played them very well; and I take it more as a measure of respect for those two reasons.

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