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NCAA MEN'S 1ST & 2ND ROUNDS: JACKSONVILLE


March 19, 2010


Lavoy Allen

Fran Dunphy

Juan Fernandez


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

Cornell 78
Temple - 65


THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you could give us an opening statement about the game and we'll get to questions for your players.
COACH DUNPHY: Well, I thought Cornell just played terrific basketball. I thought they looked like a very fresh basketball team. I thought we battled for the most part and then the early part of the second half when Wittman goes on that little run, I thought that if we were going to make a run, that kind of stemmed the tide for us a little bit for us, or for them. But very, very well-coached. I thought they were good all year long. I thought they were great today. They were really impressive to watch, and whenever they needed a basket, they got it.
Obviously our offense was not bad in terms of numbers, but we didn't turn it in the second half. We just could never get over the hump. Every time they needed a big basket they got it. Hat's off to Cornell and how they played, and good luck to them.

Q. Juan, was the aggressiveness of their defense on the perimeter something that you guys anticipated?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Yeah, we played against aggressive teams during the whole year in Richmond in the A 10 Finals. We just couldn't find a way today, and that was it.

Q. Lavoy, you guys had a great season, and you come in with a great seed and lose in the first round. How much does that hurt you guys after this game, losing by double digits at a game like this?
LAVOY ALLEN: It definitely hurt a lot, especially for our two seniors, Ryan Brooks and Luis Guzman. Like you said, we had a great season, but we just couldn't get it done today.

Q. Lavoy, do you even now have any kind of feel for how it would be best to defend this team?
LAVOY ALLEN: I'm not really sure. You know, in the beginning, their shooters, they went off, and so once I tried helping out on that, Jeff Foote got put on a little guy, so it was easier for him to post.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much. Questions for Coach Dunphy?

Q. Fran, were you at all surprised at the pressure on their defensive end, how aggressive they were?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, they've guarded well all year long looking at their defensive numbers. They've done a really good job. I thought we made some really foolish mistakes in the first half. I thought we had some decent looks. We did not shoot it great in the first half, but our numbers are not bad.
We turned it a few too many times, but one of the turnovers was an offensive foul. One was Juan had a rebound. He tipped back thinking it was going to go to our guy, and they laid it in the basket. A couple of those kinds of things, but no, I wasn't displeased with our offense. We just didn't do a very good job on the defensive end.
Again, that stretch in the second half where Wittman just went crazy with those threes, just again, we're trying to get back into the game, and he's not allowing it.

Q. It seemed like at the very beginning obviously they were more focused on three-point shooters than anything else. Could you break down exactly what you guys were trying to do early obviously once the game began in terms of focusing on foot as opposed to the three-pointers or vice-versa in terms of what exactly transpired?
A. Yeah, we were trying not to let them get too many threes. In the first half they go 2 for 7. I was in all honesty pleased with that. Wittman made a couple in the corner which I don't think we defended very well. Other than that we did a good job on it. The fact that Foote got a couple of baskets on us pounding it down inside, I had no problem with that to be honest with you. We needed to score a little bit more, a little bit better at the end of the first half. I thought we had a couple of decent looks at the rim, didn't get it to go down. But I wasn't displeased with how we defended or our strategy to defend in the first half.
Again, we made some foolish mistakes that led to easy baskets. We fouled Dale 40 feet from the basket one time and gave them two points. We can't afford to do that.
But in the second half, Jaques makes a three, Wittman makes a number of threes, Dale made a couple. They just really plays extremely well. They looked great out there, and running their offense, again, I'll have to wait and see how we played defensively as we go about watching the film. I thought we needed to switch one time, Wittman came off a screen, we had practiced it and looked at it for a long, long time. We just didn't get it done during the course of the game.

Q. I think you scored on eight of your first nine possessions in the second half and just couldn't get any closer. At that point with your players, is it hard to keep them in it, because you really were executing pretty well on offense.
COACH DUNPHY: Yeah, I think we did a number of really good things, I just think you have to give credit to Cornell. And again, a couple of those jumpers by Wittman where no time and no space, they were just catch and shoot. Sometimes there's no defense for that. Did we do great? No, I don't think we did. But I think I need to give as much credit to Cornell as we possibly can.
So again, I was okay with our offense. We just didn't do a very good job on the defensive end.

Q. I was with you the other day or last week when the tournament seeds were revealed, and you were feeling helpless at that point. I was curious to know what is the feeling like when you see a game unraveling like that and you can't get out there on the court and do anything about it?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, I don't need to get out on the court. I'm not very good. But it's just the flow of the game goes that way, and there's not a lot -- you don't have enough timeouts. There's not enough changes you can make defensively.
Again, I give great, great credit to Cornell. They played great. They deserved to win the game. Their guys stepped up and made shots when they had to. Again, any time we were thinking about making a run as we just talked about in the first part of the second half we were pretty good on the offensive end, and we just couldn't stop them.

Q. How big a deal was it that Lou got two early fouls? It seems like a little bit of the rash of turnovers happened right after that in separation.
COACH DUNPHY: Yeah, Lou had a fabulous senior year, and I thought his effort today was terrific. We didn't need for him to get out of the game at that point, and we did throw him back in there a little offense-defense toward the end of the first half. It was a difference. I think he was a steadying influence in many ways, so it was a difference. But we needed guys off the bench to try to help us a little bit, and they did a pretty good job, but Lou is in many ways a heart and soul kind of guy, and we were missing him.

Q. Actually one of my Wisconsin buddies asked me to ask you this. What do you do to defend these guys? You kind of have to pick your poison and go with it. What would you do if you were Wisconsin knowing how these guys are on a roll now and they've got their confidence?
COACH DUNPHY: First of all, I don't think the Wisconsin folks need my help, especially after today. But what we did was try to -- if Foote was going to hurt us down low, that was a two-point shot, and we would have lived with that. So again, our strategy in the first half I was okay with.
In the second half they just made great, great shots, and Jaques made a big shot early in the second half, too. We scraped a little bit, we didn't really want to scrape that much. We scraped a little bit on Foote. He kicks it out, Jaques made a three. Those are big, big shots, but again, I think the Wisconsin guys will have their own strategy. But I don't want to mislead anybody here; this was a great effort by a very good basketball team, and they played well and they deserved to win the game.

Q. At any point in the game, did you see sort of negative body language from your team?
COACH DUNPHY: I didn't, no. I thought we were depressed sometimes, but I -- when we sat down in the huddle, it's always a chore that we all have to say, all right, we've got a chance here, let's keep plugging away. But I wouldn't say it was negative body language. I think it was a bunch of guys saying we're playing as hard as we can, and we're swimming upstream here.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

End of FastScripts




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