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March 27, 2008

Stephen Curry

Bob McKillop

Jason Richards


THE MODERATOR: We would like to start the press conference with an opening statement by Coach McKillop.
COACH McKILLOP: We are honored to be here, to be part of this great event. It is one of the most compelling, competitive sporting events in the world. To be a part of it, at this point a significant part of it, what a joy for us and for our program.
Having the opportunity to represent our college, our community, our alums, our fans, our families, our former players, makes it so special because we know they share in this event with us, as they've demonstrated week after week and month after month.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Stephen, talk about the influence your mother has on you. Everyone is well-aware of the father influence. Your mother told you to finish strong at the end of the game. Did you hear that? Discuss that influence.
STEPHEN CURRY: In high school, she was always at every game I played. Even growing up before that. She's the most vocal in our family during games. She's the one I hear.
She has some background herself in basketball, too. I think my dad has a little more expertise, but she can throw in some pointers here and there.
I did listen to her. She's fired up every game. I kind of feed off her sometimes when I'm playing.

Q. You have played some outstanding defensive teams, UCLA, Georgetown. How do you rank Wisconsin compared to some of the better defensive teams you have faced?
STEPHEN CURRY: On film, they look very solid. Very physical, big guys down low. Flowers is quick on the outside. I think he'll be very aggressive tomorrow. I think overall defensively, they're just a great team. They compare well to Georgetown, so we've seen a defensive caliber like that. We'll be ready for it.

Q. Bob talked early in the week about not really believing in the Cinderella cliché because of the schedule you had this year. Your thoughts? Do you consider yourselves Cinderellas at all?
JASON RICHARDS: No, we don't. Like coach said earlier, we played some of the best teams in the country early on in the season. A lot of people doubted us for scheduling because we lost. Obviously it's paying off.
We really don't want that title of Cinderella. We're just a good basketball team making a run in the NCAA tournament.
STEPHEN CURRY: Same thing (laughter).

Q. Talk about how important for your point guard, how important he is getting you into offense and making things go.
STEPHEN CURRY: He has the ball in his hand the most. He's very good at getting us into our spots and not starting the play before we're all ready. He also does a great job of finding people when they're open.
In the college game, you're only open for a split second. He delivers the ball well. In the shooting pocket, gets you ready to shoot the ball. Even when things are going wrong, he's our leader on the floor and can keep us in games with penetration or making plays himself.
So that's a great weapon to have, if you have a scoring point guard, one who can lead and distribute the ball the way he does, so...

Q. Playing here at Ford Field, with your practice, was there any adjustment, what the sidelines are like? Your impressions?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's a very unique facility. I've never played on a court where the benches are below the court level. Just the amount of seats that there are out there, it's gonna be crazy with the amount of people that can fit in here.
Depth perception with the rims, on the field, it's kind of hard to adjust to. But that's what this practice is for, just to get us used to the arena and the atmosphere.
I'm actually looking forward to playing here tomorrow. I've never played in this kind of arena before. It should be fun.

Q. Jason, what was it like shooting in this environment? How do you compare it to your home gym?
JASON RICHARDS: Well, I think it's 12, 13 times bigger than what we have at Davidson (smiling). It's a lot of fun here. Practice, guys have adjusted to the depth perception, having the sidelines below the basket. That's what it's for. We had fun today. Very good practice. We shot well.
It should be a unique and different experience. We're gonna have a lot of fun with it.

Q. Can you give me a summary what it's been like since you left Raleigh, got back to Davidson? How overwhelming, emotional? Was there one moment that stood out where somebody stopped you on the street, anything?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's been one of the greatest weeks of my life, I think. When we got back, we had a greeting party when we got back on the bus. There was about 400 fans out there waiting on us when we got back. That was actually kind of cool. None of the students were there when we got back. So that's people from the community. Davidson is really small. So it was a surprise to see that many people.
Then we had a big send-off yesterday before we got on our plane coming up here at school. So people are supporting us. We've seen that. They've shown that all week. Hopefully we'll have a big turnout of Davidson fans tomorrow to be behind us. Like this week has just been crazy for us.
JASON RICHARDS: Yeah, a couple of examples. Thomas Sander got stopped at a gas station and got a standing ovation when he was pumping gas the other day. I was walking to class the other day, one of the maintenance guys gave me a ride in his little cart up the hill. Felt kind of special. Something that doesn't happen on a daily basis.

Q. Jason, describe your role with this team.
JASON RICHARDS: Coach calls me the quarterback on the team. He has tremendous confidence in me. That's something I love in coach. My role is to kind of get the guys in their spots, set guys up, run the offense. Like Steph said before, not run before everyone is set. Mostly it's to get the ball to Steph. He makes a lot of shots, so it's easy.
I try to be a vocal guy on the court, calm guys down, just try to be a team leader. That's my role.

Q. Your dad played with the Milwaukee Bucks at the end of his career. Did you live in Wisconsin? Do you have any memories of that? The fact you played Georgetown last weekend, does that give you an advantage?
STEPHEN CURRY: We actually lived in Charlotte that year. That was the year he left after the Hornets after 10 years, so we stayed there. I came up one -- maybe one week throughout the whole year. I'm not really familiar with Milwaukee.
I wouldn't say an advantage, but it's a help to have experienced that and play the same kind of system defensively from game to game. We can maybe apply the things that worked last week on Sunday to Friday's game. That's something that's going to help us.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, players. We'll continue with questions for Coach McKillop.

Q. The bus loads of students that are coming up on Davidson's dime, maybe that speaks to what Davidson is about.
COACH McKILLOP: The sense of intimacy that exists on our campus is unparalleled in NCAA Division I basketball. You hear all about the free laundry. But when the Board of Trustees votes in a meeting on Thursday to go into their personal pockets and put out the money so that every student can go to this game with a free bus ride, free hotel room, and free game ticket, that reaches a level that's unprecedented.
I'm stunned by it, thrilled by it. I just hope that we have a great relationship between the academic arena and the athletic arena. You always concern yourself when you cross that border. I think we have a sensitive enough faculty, that they will understand that this is a very unique opportunity. If there are missed classes, Davidson students generally are accountable and responsible. They will handle their responsibilities in the right way.

Q. You faced a lot of different defenses this year. What makes Wisconsin so difficult to face or maybe so unique? What kind of a challenge do they bring?
COACH McKILLOP: As they are systemic offensively, they also are systemic defensively. Their back court, either one of their back court players, can be a defensive stopper. Their front court players understand their roles and also understand their athletic talents.
They play long. They play physical. They play quick. But I think the most important and significant aspect of their defense is they play like a team. If you beat one of them, which doesn't happen often, you're then gonna have to face someone else because they really react to each other very well with alertness and readiness off the ball.

Q. You said you were numb in Raleigh. When did you get the feeling back and have a chance to really absorb what had happened? Has there been a moment or two thinking back on it?
COACH McKILLOP: I don't know that I could ever imagine the feeling that this would generate on our campus, in our community, and within me personally. I am at ease now in my life. I have never been more at ease, more comfortable, more grounded than where I am right now.
I think it's a response to the pursuit of something and seeing it happening right in front of your eyes, knowing the investment and realizing how many people were part of this investment, and now are sharing in this investment.

Q. I notice the court is a little different setup than you're used to. The coach can either stand directly in front of the bench at a lower level or high up on the floor. Which will you do and are you worried about tipping over or having problems in that area?
COACH McKILLOP: I'm usually active and engaged. I tried to do a dress rehearsal out there prior to our practice to find out what was most comfortable for me. I'm delighted that CBS has two-and-a-half minute timeouts because it's going to take me that long to get down from the court, down the steps, and kneel in front of our bench. So I'll probably be up on the main court during the game.
I appreciate the question about the size of the arena. I hope you all understood, Jason Richards made the comment 12 or 13 times bigger, instead of saying hundreds or a thousand times bigger. He was right on the money. That tells you the Davidson intellect (smiling).

Q. Can you talk about Michael Flowers and the matchup with Stephen?
COACH McKILLOP: Jeremiah Rivers is a sensational defender. There was a team of defenders from Georgetown accompanying Jeremiah Rivers and the defensive staff. Steph has faced Marcus Ginyard, who is one of the great defenders in the country. He faced Westbrook from UCLA, one of the best defenders in the country. There are some unsung names that played for a variety of teams in the Southern Conference. Michael Flowers could have been or should have been Big-10 defensive Player of the Year, top two or three defenders in the country. Steph has a very big challenge in front of him. Our team has a big challenge in front of them. What Michael Flowers has is a great team of defenders accompanying him in their defensive game plan.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
COACH McKILLOP: Thank you.

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