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March 20, 2009

Toney Douglas

Leonard Hamilton

Chris Singleton


Wisconsin – 61
Florida State - 59

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and have an opening statement from Coach Hamilton and then take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH HAMILTON: I thought we got beat by a team tonight that stuck with their game plan for 40 minutes on the offensive end. They did a very good job of executing when the game was on the line. I thought that their experience showed. They got -- we lost a couple of their shooters on some baseline cuts and lost our defensive discipline. We have been accustomed to getting the stops we had to have all year long and tonight we just came up a little short.
You got to give Wisconsin credit. I thought they did a much better job executing what they wanted to do offensively than we did our defensive schemes that we have been accustomed to executing so well all year long.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. For Toney, can you talk about, it looks like you had to work hard for those 26 points tonight. Just talk about them, going out there and grinding and how hard it was to get those 26 points tonight and score.
TONEY DOUGLAS: I don't really think it was hard. I just pick and choose how the defense was playing me. We missed some shots. During the game I started hitting a couple. My teammates started hitting a couple and I just went from there.

Q. Toney, talk a little about tonight what Wisconsin was able to do in the first eight minutes or so they held you without a shot. What were they doing to keep you from getting some open looks?
TONEY DOUGLAS: Honestly, that was the -- I don't think they did nothing like that, to tell you the truth. I was just getting my teammates involved. But at the end of the day, I'm going to do what have I to do. So that -- there you go.

Q. Your view of that last defensive situation where Hughes kind of hit the spin around. Were you surprised that he put the shot up? Were you expecting him to pass it off?
TONEY DOUGLAS: Yeah, that was a tough shot he made. He was kind of off balance and the ref said I fouled him, but which I don't know how, but he called the foul. And that's what happened.

Q. Chris, what was Wisconsin doing to kind of neutralize the rest of the team? You're the only other guy on the group other than Toney that had double digits. What do you think they were doing overall defensively to kind of keep everybody else at bay?
CHRIS SINGLETON: They focused all their attention on Toney and then we just missed a couple shots. I think that we had good looks, everybody had good looks, and we just missed a couple shots. They didn't do anything special.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you, guys. We'll excuse the student-athletes and take questions for Coach Hamilton.

Q. Solomon barely played in the second half. Was it just matchups or what was that about?
COACH HAMILTON: Yes, more than anything else it was matchups. We felt that they went real small and they made it difficult for us to matchup with them with their kind of a small forward type player that he had to defend that were shooting threes. Obviously he was matched up with Landry and Landry, I think, shoots something close to 37, 38 percent from 3-point range. They had four or five guys shooting between 36 and 40 percent from 3-point range. They were 1-10 in the first half with those shots and they started hitting them in the second half. And we thought that we would probably be better off with guys who could defend them a little better from the perimeter. We knew going into the game that that would probably be the challenge for us.
We felt very fortunate the first half that they did not hit those shots as well as they have been hitting them all year. The second half I thought they did a much better job of connecting those shots and I think it probably made a big difference in the game.

Q. In the first half you had pretty even shot distribution, a lot of guys involved with the offense. In the second half it was mostly Toney, but really, just three guys getting shots in the second half in the overtime. Is that something that Wisconsin took away from you or was that just the way your offense flowed?
COACH HAMILTON: Well, all year long we have been -- we have always had different guys step up and contribute. Tonight Uche got in foul trouble, he had two good looks and they didn't go down. Derwin Kitchen missed I think one wide open three and four point blank layups. Luke Loucks missed a 2-point blank layup. Deividas Dulkys, all his jump shots were wide open, they just didn't go in. We had good looks, unfortunately they just didn't fall for us tonight. And you have some of those nights where your looks just are not falling.
Not having Solomon on the floor and they kind of dictated that, we probably could have gone and played some zone defense, but we decided not to because they're such a good perimeter shooting team. I'm not real sure it's as much what we didn't do as I just think that Wisconsin did a very good job of executing and making shots that we had on the other end that didn't go down.
Bohannon, I think went along the baseline there and three times and well, twice, and hit wide -- he hit jump shots where he just did a great job of sprinting along the baseline, catching it, and knocking down a tough three. A lot of guys have difficulty doing that going full speed off a baseline screen, catching it, turning and facing and knocking it down.
And the other three that he hit it was fairly well contested. But that's what an experienced player will do. And we couldn't, we didn't duplicate that on the other end.
But at the end of the day we still have a 3-point lead, with less then a minute and something to go and that's where I thought that we lost our defensive discipline. We -- I would like to have us stay solid and not gamble and given them an opportunity to at least take a shot that was contested. We lost our discipline, they made a layup, and it's a one point game now. And then we got the rebound Deividas coming down the floor and he lost his balance and stepped out of bounds. It's one of those games where we had a couple too many mistakes there towards the end in order to be the team that's executing and making the right plays when the game was on the line. You have to give them credit for that.

Q. Is there a stat from this game that really stands out in your eyes? Is there a stat that you normally look to see how your team does? Is there one stat that you rely on?
COACH HAMILTON: Well, we very seldom allow people to go 7-14 from 3-point range. Our defense has normally been pretty good in those situations and we normally been able to get the stops. When we have had to have stops our defense has been well built enough -- and I think we're 7th in the country in field goal percentage defense. So that's why I said to their credit they did a very good job of executing.
And I think that we gave pretty good effort, but I think their execution and their experience in those situations of knocking the shots down was a little bit sharper than our defense was tonight.

Q. Can you just talk about what you think Toney's legacy is going to be at Florida State?
COACH HAMILTON: Well, I think most people will look back and see that he was first-team all-conference and the defensive Player of the Year and was just about unanimous, two points short from, two votes short of being unanimous all-conference. And probably runner up to Player of the Year. And he was instrumental in having one of the best seasons that they have had in the history of the school, going 25-10 and playing for ACC in the championship game. I think all those things will be things that people will remember.
But what I will remember most is those mornings that I would come to work 7:30, 8 o'clock and Toney would have already gotten 500 shots up in the gym. And I would leave in the evening 7, 8 o'clock at night and he would be out there running lines in the gym by himself, working on his conditioning. And his dedication to working and getting in the weight room and always had a bottle of water that he was carrying around to keep himself hydrated, always working on his flexibility trying to make sure that his muscles were flexible enough.
And then the thing that though will stand out even to a tremendous extent is his, he, along with Uche and Brian's ability to find ways to communicate with the players when he was the leading scorer and they like him following his lead, listen to what he had to say, and gave him the direction, because of the experience that he's gone through.
Each night before every game we have a scouting report meeting and we go over our game plan and then he go back to the dorm and have another meeting with his team at 11 o'clock each night and they would meet again under his direction and talk about what players talk about and how they would try to get ready for a game.
But those things I think about are how I like his character and the unselfish spirit. And one of the reporters asked him why didn't he take a shot earlier, well Toney really, there are times in some of the biggest games we have had where he would take very few shots in the first 10 or minutes or very few shots in the beginning of the second half, he always tried to get his teammates involved. And he would step up when he had to, realizing that he couldn't win all the games by himself.
We're young, we have six first year players we're depending on that need his leadership and guidance. So that's what the legacy that I will remember that I think that will, in my opinion, be as good, equal to the statistical achievements that he displayed.

Q. With so many young players heavy in the rotation for you guys, just looking forward, what, how strong do you feel this group is going to be now that they have had this experience with the success they have had this experience at the NCAA tournament and you've got a lot of guys with a lot of tall he went that have a lot of years ahead of them?
COACH HAMILTON: Well I feel very good about the future of our program. I think that each and everyone of them have made tremendous progress. Chris was -- I mean he's capable of a double figure night, had 15 against Duke. Solomon I think will be just as effective as the minutes he plays, he's got to get a little stronger so he can become a little more physical. And he's a long, lean, slim youngster that has a little difficulty holding his position down low because he has such a high center of gravity. But I think he'll get 10 or 15 pounds heavier and with his shooting touch and the way he runs and jumps I think he's going to get much better.
I expect -- I think Xavier Gibson could potentially be one of the best players that we've had at Florida State. I love Deividas Dulkys and his attitude and competitive spirit. I think's great shooter but he was a little inconsistent this year. Luke Loucks, tremendous ball handler, passer, gives a great chemistry. Jordan DeMercy, great athlete, that gives us great defensive presence.
I just think that the future's very bright for our program I think we had a great recruiting year, I expect some of those guys to come in and make equal to the same kind of contribution that these guys made coming into this year. A lot happens between your freshman and sophomore year. These teams, they have, um, they, more than anything else I think they have gotten a taste of the leadership that you got to have and then the chemistry that needs to exist on a team in order for it to be successful.
So I think they, I think they will return and keep things moving in the right direction. I feel very good about the potential of this team. I'm excited about working with them and I think that and I mean it tonight in our meeting tonight with our coaches, um, they told the players how much fun it was to coach them. And sometimes, you know, when you trying to demand the most out of your players, and sometimes that's all, that's not always easy to do, to have harmony and camaraderie when you're trying to get them to push themselves out of their comfort zone to in order to improve.
But we had really a lot of fun with these guys and they accepted the coaching, they worked hard and without a whole lot of issues, so I'm expecting to have another great year equal to this year next year.

Q. Coming into next year with so many guys, do you expect to see an alpha scorer like you had with Toney or do you see a more even distribution like you're seeing underneath him right now, or do you think you're going to need that one guy like you had with Toney to score?
COACH HAMILTON: I think most teams that, that are successful normally have even distributors on the offensive end. I expect us to have four or five guys averaging double figures next year. Similar to the teams I've had, I had at Miami. I think those type of teams are much more difficult to prepare for than those teams that maybe have that one guy.
Toney was just so talented that even though they knew he was the one guy that would step up, people had a very difficult time stopping him. I don't know whether we're going to have these guys as sophomores step up to where Toney was as a senior, and he's a fifth year senior, so he had been around awhile.
But I do feel that we'll have guys that are capable of having big games. And I think that I'm encouraged by the potential that they have. I think they understand this bunch will work as hard as they have to work to improve and we'll have areas that we suggested. So I'm encouraged by that.
But I think we'll be a team with, that you really won't know who is going to have a big night. I do think we have guys that are capable of having big nights.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts

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