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March 27, 2008

C.J. Anderson

Derrick Brown

Josh Duncan

Sean Miller

B.J. Raymond


THE MODERATOR: Coach Miller, opening remarks, please.
COACH MILLER: Well, obviously anyone who watched the game here tonight saw a phenomenal game. We won the game. West Virginia lost. But you needed a little luck when it is this tight with so much at stake, and a couple balls bounced our way.
And at the same time I think our team showed why we had won 29 games coming in and now have won our 30th. This group of kids is very resilient. B.J. Raymond, making shots at the end. Josh and C.J. doing what they did. I can't be any more proud of a group than I am of our team and the people at Xavier University, and any Xavier basketball fan I'd have to say would be equally proud.
We found a way to win in a fantastic game. We're very thankful to be moving on and excited as well.

Q. B.J., on the play with 2 seconds left on the shot clock, I'm guessing out of the huddle the play wasn't designed to go you to on the other side of the court for the 3?
B.J. RAYMOND: First I want to give all thanks and honor to God.
The play was actually to give Josh a lob. But my man kind of dropped off on him to take away the lob. I kind of squeaked out behind the 3 and Stan saw me and made a great pass.

Q. I believe you scored all 8 of your points in overtime. In March, sometimes it doesn't kind of matter, it sort of matters when you do things as much as how you do them.
B.J. RAYMOND: Yeah, I just want to thank Coach for having a lot of confidence in me to put me back in the game. When I was kind of a nonfactor for the first 40 minutes. And I knew when I got back in there, I had to make something happen, whether it be grabbing a rebound, getting a steal.
But luckily he called the play for me to roll it to the top. And I was open and I knocked one down. All I needed was one to get me going, so ...

Q. Josh, talk about your performance and how important it was down the stretch to keep your poise.
JOSH DUNCAN: Yeah, I just tried to play aggressive. You know, take what the defense gave me. We did a good job of playing team ball and everybody -- you know, we didn't break down in tough situations. We all stayed together. That's been the key part for this team, just staying together in tough situations and not getting frustrated or rattled.
So I think we did a good job of staying together.

Q. Derrick or Josh, I was wondering if you could talk about you were down by 6 with 3 minutes left in overtime. You made a 13-3 run. Can you talk about that 13-3 run, what was the key to it? What sparked it?
JOSH DUNCAN: Basically just not giving up and believing that we were going to come back and win. We knew West Virginia was a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough game, went down to the wire. But basically just believing and not giving up.
Like I said before, we have been in so many tough situations throughout the year. Instead of easily giving up or panicking, we stay poised, stayed together. And we were fortunate to pull it out.
DERRICK BROWN: Just pretty much what he said, just staying together as a team. We have been in a lot of close games all year and we had to fight it out at the end.

Q. Josh, you drew a fourth foul really early, relatively early, but you were able to stay in the game. How were you able to do that? And did it affect your game at all?
JOSH DUNCAN: Yeah, I had a silly foul going over the back. But I just tried not to let it get to me. Obviously it was frustrating, but I knew my team needed me to stay confident in myself, stay poised and just come in and play with confidence. I just tried to do that.

Q. You didn't change the game at all?
JOSH DUNCAN: Obviously I knew I had the fourth foul, but, I mean, I couldn't let it make me tentative. I probably would have hurt the team if I did that.
Like I say, I just tried to stay confident.

Q. B.J., you referred to yourself as a nonfactor first part of the game. How do you go from being a nonfactor to hitting those shots? Did you, I guess, have as much confidence as your coach did?
B.J. RAYMOND: As a player, you always have to stay in the game.
Going and making the shots, I shot that shot probably 100,000 times in my life. It is easy once you shot it that many times. So it really wasn't like the shot wasn't pressure. It was simply just making sure I caught it pretty well.

Q. When you went to overtime, did what happened in your last game last year come up at all?
JOSH DUNCAN: I mean, obviously that happened last year. I don't think anybody was necessarily thinking of that particular game. We were thinking about not giving up, though. Obviously we gained experience from last year and we tried to advance this year further than last year.
But basically, you know, we just didn't give up. It was a tough situation. Everybody -- couple people were in foul trouble, me being one of those people. We just didn't give up really.
C.J. ANDERSON: We really weren't worried about what happened last year. We were pretty much just trying to focus in on the moment. That's something that Coach Miller always say, focus on the moment, concentrate on the next play. Once we got down or whatever, we knew there was still a lot of time left.
Like Josh keeps saying, we just didn't give up and we believed in ourselves and what we can do. And that's what happened.

Q. B.J., you said you shot that shot 100,000 times. You mean you shot a 3 or you shot a 3 with a clock winding down like kids do on the playground?
B.J. RAYMOND: I shot a 3 (laughter). Like I shot that shot 100,000 times. When you grow up, you always do that three, two, one, so maybe I shot it like that a couple times (smiling).

Q. In sequence, I think about 90 seconds left in regulation, I think they had four shots, an Alexander jumper and three chippies and a lane and miss. Can you talk about how you took control of regulation from there and how in the tournament it does come down to a pinch of luck?
COACH MILLER: It really does. You put yourself in this position. That's the beauty of making the tournament and once you're in it, anything can happen. We needed a couple fortunate bounces to come our way, whether it be a missed free throw by West Virginia. Like you mentioned, that sequence, we struggled to rebound because we were smaller at that moment. They missed them. You know, that's what it comes down to sometimes.
At the same time, to accompany that, you have to make big plays at the end of the game. And we had a number of people make big plays. I think the bigger picture in the game coming in, in West Virginia's 10 losses, the one common thread was their three-point shooting. It seemed like the one factor that was consistent is they didn't shoot as well from three. Couple of their players struggled from three. Their percentage was down as a team.
And just looking at our game, they were 1-11 from three. I think it was more of the same. When you accompany that with the fact that we were 11-19 from three, that was the difference, us going 11-19 from the three-point line, them going 1-11.
When you think about that discrepancy, they certainly did some things better than we did because usually when that's that tilted, it is a big margin of victory for our team.
But West Virginia is a heck of a team. Joe Alexander is an impossible matchup, and we're also fortunate that he fouled out. That helped us.

Q. On the play with two seconds left on the shot clock, you called time. Just talk about -- you didn't have much time left after that. Were you getting kind of frantic as he was looking forgot to get the ball in. Is that an instinctive play on B.J.'s point to float on the three-point line or do you teach that as a safety valve?
COACH MILLER: No. What we did, if you watched the play, two guys split wide. The biggest thing we wanted is Drew Lavender to be at half court but the last thing we wanted was a turnover or a quick shot that would lead to a breakout by West Virginia.
Once that happened, we had a back screen and because they were going to switch, the guy who cut off the back screen needed to come back to the ball. Obviously Duncan is our go-to guy in any late-game situation if it's not Lavender.
With B.J., it just made sense to space him out. You can always skip it to him. And my thought was if Josh got the ball, at least he would have -- B.J. would have his man taken care of by being wide. It worked out. I mean, it wasn't a great play that I drew up. It was a terrific pass by Stanley Burrell and an amazing shot off the bounce by B.J.
In these games once in a while you are on the wrong side of the coin, once in a while you are on the right side of the coin, and today was our day.
And, also, our team kept fighting when so many, I know, other teams or a weaker team could have easily cashed it in as they got that big lead.

Q. Coach, did any part of you early in the game look up with your jaw dropped a little bit when you were up 28-10?
COACH MILLER: No. We knew West Virginia would come back. If you watched us in the first two rounds of the tournament, against Purdue we were down, I think 9-0, maybe 15-4. Against Georgia, we were down nine points at the half. And you get this late in the year, there is no bum teams left. You know, teams have the ability to fight back and West Virginia played a lot of matchup zone. They've shown that down the home stretch of the season.
And it is difficult. It's not as easy as a coach to call plays and put people in position. Your guys have to instinctively play against it. I thought in the second half we did a much better job of attacking that on offense and we didn't defend nearly as well as we did in the first half.
You know, in the first half, our defense was in place and we struggled against their matchup zone for most of that first half. So it was almost a tale of two halves and obviously we made a couple big shots in overtime.

Q. Can you comment on Duncan's game and the fact that he was able to be so effective after he drew that fourth foul?
COACH MILLER: You know, Josh Duncan reminds me of a lot of the great players that have played at Xavier in that he has really put it together in his senior year.
I'm here to tell you there is not too many forwards in this country that have played any better than he has through the month of February and March. And he could have very easily been a candidate for the player of the year in our conference. We brought him off the bench for no reason. We started to win with him and we kept it.
But he has emerged as our best player, especially offensively. You look at him physically, he is really hitting his stride right now at the right time. We had a kid last year do that, Justin Doellman. Romain Sato and Lionel Chalmers did it their senior year. David West, James Posey, so many of the great players. Josh has emerged to be that guy.
And you don't advance in a tournament unless you have one player playing at a high level, and sometimes more than one. He is that player for us right now.

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