home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 10, 2009

Dar Tucker

Jerry Wainwright

Will Walker


DePaul - 67
Cincinnati - 57

JOHN PAQUETTE: We have Dar Tucker, Will Walker and Coach Jerry Wainwright.
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: Okay. Just little bit -- couple guys on our staff is under the weather and I'm one of them. But first of all, I thought Cincinnati did a great job this year. They're a great story. Coach Cronin has got some really good players and is well on his way to getting them back into the upper division of the Big East.
We're -- had a great game at our place and we obviously are excited beyond reason to -- for what we did today, but in due respect to Cincinnati, we know and hopefully they're headed for post-season play and will represent our league the right way.
I also have to say this: That I know there's been a lot of discussion, pro and con, and there's a lot of good points to be made. I'm just speaking as a guy that's coached kids for the last four years.
For the last four years this is our second trip to Madison Square Garden. It's our first Big East tournament win. There's a lot to be said -- I know there's a lot of other factors, financial and everything else, but to have kids go through an 18-game conference schedule as tough as ours is and not have the reward of coming to New York, I think is kind of -- it's what college basketball should be about and I know there were logistic problems. We didn't do it on purpose.
Hopefully we proved there is a lot of value in bringing everybody. We've had a tough, long season. We've kept our heads, lot of young guys and I can't tell you how much this experience will help them next year.
So even though it's a little bit of the Big East, hopefully, our young players who had the opportunity to come to this tournament will be energized by their experience and be able to represent our conference at a high level next year.
So, with that said, obviously, I'm really proud of our kids and how they approached the game and it's been a long time without a win and it's nice to get a little bit of sugar.
JOHN PAQUETTE: Questions, please?

Q. How difficult was it throughout the year, game after game not winning one?
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: It was -- it was difficult. I've said this, of course, I've said this -- I made a mistake. We're too young and we lost our senior guard. I didn't bring in a junior college player or two and, you know, I'm not looking back on that, but it made us really young after that injury and we've had a lot of close calls.
The only thing I can tell all of you is this: The kids that are in our program really have never had a bad day of practice. It's been a little bit frustrating and you run the gauntlet this year.
It's a bad year to be young in this league and a lot of our teams have faced it but they've all -- all the kids have improved. We've had good practices but certainly, you know, you walk around with a cloud. They know their record and it's been tough for them but they've done a great job in the classroom, they've done a great job on the streets of Chicago.
I couldn't be prouder of them. It's nice to have a little success. Certainly keeps them going. Instead of getting a bone, maybe a little bit of steak meat on that bone and makes them believe how hard they're working.

Q. Dar and Will, how did you guys feel at the end?
DAR TUCKER: I feel good. You know, as far as -- for us to get a win, it's been so long, just to get a win, been kind of frustrating like coach said but we pulled it out and after all that we've been doing in practice and the hard work and it does pay off.
WILL WALKER: It feels real good because we've been working real hard and also help us for next year so let the guys know we can get victories when we work hard. As long as we keep up with the hard work and practice it will pay off in the long run. Hopefully we can keep working and pushing forward.

Q. Jerry, did you sense that the team thought they could win today or would win today?
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: You know, we've been -- offense has dictated our momentum all year. We've really not been a real good offensive team but there -- I just told them, I forget exactly -- right before the 8-minute mark, Dar asked out, one of our guys asked out.
I think we went from down 7 to tie before there was a timeout and I believe at that point in time -- that was really a time where they faced fatigue and again, you know, that's not coaching.
We've all had to do that at some point in our life, you've got to find a second wind, figure out a way to do it. That's the first time this year or in a long time this year where we did it collectively. When we had the TV timeout at 8, I thought we would win the game because they thought they would win it. We obviously did some amazing things, behind the back, 2 on 1 pass.
You know, I'm more amazed by what happens the older I get, but then the kid came back and made a really nice bounce pass at the end of the shot clock. That's kind of what age teaches.
We've all been through those things in our own levels. I thought the kids really hung together and we had to Ironman it a little bit. Probably helped us that Dar was in foul trouble in the first half and we stayed close and he was rested. Will, I think went wire to wire. Jeremiah went wire to wire and Mac went wire to wire. We probably got a break, I know it sounds stupid, but to have him in foul trouble.
He was sitting next to me. He really had a good second half and one last thing, one of the key components of a team hanging together is a guy like Will Walker. Will Walker played on a 20-win team that went to the NIT quarterfinals when he was a freshman and he's, I think, kind of maintained our belief. We only have one junior in our program and he's it. He's been a really quiet leader. Been playing his best basketball the last six weeks. I think he had a real sense of we could do in this tournament and I'm sure he passed it on to the other guys.

Q. Jerry, can you talk about regrouping in time for tomorrow considering you did play those guys 40 minutes today?
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: I know our guys will tell you, we practiced at 9:30 every morning. We're really getting done at noon to go to class so in some ways getting you will -- we were in pretty good mental condition this morning.
We have a big test -- we're going to have to find a couple other guys to play, there's no question and I do believe that when you get to taste something good you'll find another breath. We won't be able to do anything on the court. We'll just look at tape.
Providence was our second game a long time ago. They've changed, Coach Davis has done a great job with his team. In all honesty, over last few games all we've done is concentrate on ourselves and guys have done a pretty good job.

Q. Was there a panic or concern about going down as one of those teams take didn't win a game in the conference? Were you guys worried about ending your season and sort of being on that list of teams forever?
DAR TUCKER: When we was in the locker room we just said we're going to have fun, we ain't going to worry about what happened. This is a new season, Big East tournament. That's what we thought about. Brand new start for us. That's what we thought. That's how we was going to come out and play as far as the game.

Q. Just wondering, you were down 7 early in the second half; how did you keep -- after all the games you lost, how did you get what you did?
DAR TUCKER: Just keep doing what we're doing. We already had momentum. It was just fatigue, we were a little bit tired. After the timeout we got a little bit rested. I think we caught our second breath. We kept pushing, kept working, doing what we do best.

Q. Did you get any sense when you started to come back that they started to panic a little bit?
DAR TUCKER: Yeah, a little bit. When we got down by like two, they started to foul us a little bit and really relaxing because most of the time they was focusing on Will and hopefully that's when I came in and tried to do what I do and that was good.
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: The biggest difference in the game for us, and I think we had a fourth guy in double figures, we've had three guys do the majority of our scoring and Matija Poscic had a couple baskets early. Jeremiah Kelly hit a couple of big 3s to keep us in it. When we got the fourth guy with double figures, it made a difference. Their box score, you know, they got a lot of 6s and 4s. And Deonta Vaughn is obviously a terrific player.
We had that happen to us -- Will has had games where he had 30, 31 but we haven't had the balance and to win in this league you have to -- you're fourth and fifth guys got to get points. Hopefully that will give some of those guys confidence for the rest of their careers.

Q. How much were you guys looking to the Big East tournament as the chance to almost have a way to salvage what has been so tough --
DAR TUCKER: Say that again.

Q. How much were you guys looking forward to this tournament as an opportunity to almost salvage what has been a tough season that you can have a moment like this, something you were really looking for?
WILL WALKER: Yes, because we feel it's now or never. We need to get our respect now. People have been throwing dirt on us all season because we've been losing. This is a chance to get a little bit of respect now and --

Q. So your coach talked about what it was like for you guys on campus, that was a little bit difficult from a student perspective; can you take us to what it's been like on campus having not been able to win a game?
WILL WALKER: It's a little tough. We try to stick together and just hang out with each other, not really separate too much. It really brought us close together those losses, helped us come together as a team. It made us stronger in practice because instead of getting relaxed in practice after winning, we started going hard because we were losing, so we had to go hard so we had something to push for.
COACH JERRY WAINWRIGHT: I might make a specific comment to that. Obviously we're in a pro town. The Bears, the Cubs, there's rise and falls and the mood of our town is oftentimes dictated by sports.
We are the number one university in terms of diversity in the country. We're an urban university and I think what happens with our guys is there's more of a -- more -- they have a really -- we don't have football, obviously.
We have a real good relationship with the student body and really I think they would agree, our students have been great to us. You know, there may be a comment or two but really the university has been behind the kids. They really have been and now, we're next to the Bulls and the Blackhawks and obviously we're a story because things haven't gone well but I think from -- I think we've had a lot of comfort at the university, I really do, and the university has really backed the kids and we're obviously proud that we're able to give them a win.
JOHN PAQUETTE: DePaul, thank you.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297