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March 10, 2011

Jim Boeheim

Scoop Jardine

Brandon Triche


Syracuse: 79
St. John's: 73

COACH BOEHEIM: I thought it was a great game. First half we got a little stationery against their defense and made some bad turnovers, turned it over 12 times in the first half, three turnovers in the second half and that is the difference between scoring 32 and scoring 47. I thought Chris and Scoop bounced back with a big second half and Brandon got us going and at the end Ricky and Fab made some great plays when we were one down. Ricky made a great play and C.J. made a play, in the out-of-bounds play, brilliant play we set it up for Ricky and Fab. So that's pure coaching again. Ricky made hitting that one to Chris coming down the lane for the lead was a difference maker but we made steals in transition during the course of the game when they had a chance to score we got the ball and we scored.
It was a big difference but it was not turning it over, St. John's is very good. Hardy is a terrific player. He made some shots that you almost don't want to take but he made 'em. He's a terrific player.
I thought their inside guys did a great job the whole game but I've said for two years now when you sit around till Thursday it's not good. I think it's difficult for the top seeds to do that. I'm glad we won so that everybody doesn't think I'm crying but it's -- I don't think it's a good way to do it. But this was a real good win and St. John's is a real good team.

Q. Coach, the -- (No microphone.)
COACH BOEHEIM: He has had good practices. He did play well against DePaul. I think he played him at Georgetown and he made a couple of big plays against Georgetown but having the ten days of practice that we've had in the last -- we played two games in 15 days, something like that, and I think those practices were huge for him. He's worked hard in practice, but, you know, he made a couple of really good plays out there.
Those were not easy plays. He ducked under the one and the other one he caught and finished. I mean, he made a couple of really good offensive plays out there.

Q. Talk about the overall improvement of Brandon and Scoop and how they're getting better and better this year?
COACH BOEHEIM: I think they've gotten better. It's their first year of really playing together. They both have point guard skills and turnover skills sometimes, too, but, you know, Brandon has stepped up his shooting and given us somebody to go to that we didn't have I don't think early in the year.
They played well together. I thought Dion did a good job for us in the first half tonight and I went with the veterans the second half and I think our backcourt has gotten better and been a big difference down the stretch.

Q. Last year at this time when you lost in Onawaku --

Q. You didn't have a bye.
COACH BOEHEIM: He's been on a bye his whole life, yes, sir.

Q. Last year you lost Onawaku and it looks like Kennedy might be gone for the season, can a team overcome that?
COACH BOEHEIM: Look at Georgetown. I don't think they have won a game since Wright went down. They went from a top-10 team to what is it, I think they've lost four in a row. You can't absorb a loss like that especially if you have three key guys. You can maybe lose a guy if you have great depth and he's not a key guy. Last year we had great depth so we were able to survive a little bit and win a couple of games and we could have won the third game in the tournament but it's difficult to lose a guy like that, there is no question about it.

Q. Coach, you said you didn't like waiting around until Thursday to play. Conversely Connecticut is going to be playing their fourth game in four days?
COACH BOEHEIM: They're a team that can do that. I think they really can, Kemba Walker can play eight nights in a row, and they play a lot of guys and I don't see that being a factor tomorrow night at all. I mean, the year we won four games we were playing six guys and it was a factor.
We got through it. We didn't have much left.

Q. Could you breakdown the Connecticut match-up?
COACH BOEHEIM: I don't think Connecticut played well. It was like when we played St. John's the first time, I don't think St. John's played well so I didn't take anything out of the St. John's game and I don't take anything out of the Connecticut game. I don't think they played well, Kemba had probably his worst night of the year and we know that won't happen tomorrow night.
I watched the game today and I thought Pittsburgh played great. I don't know what they ended up shooting but they had to be shooting 60% from the field. I don't know what they ended up but it looked like they shot in the high 50s, and it looked like they played great and Connecticut played better. That's, you know, that's a tremendous team and for Connecticut to beat them says a lot about how they're playing, they played great today.

Q. When you guys lost the four straight during the regular season and it was revealed that Jim Boeheim can't coach, what did you learn during that spell?
SCOOP JARDINE: We learned our identity as a team, we were in the hole and had to dig ourselves out, Coach continued to coach us and keep us level headed throughout the whole losing streak and we knew what we had to do and the things we had to do to overcome that and I think that was the best thing that could have happen to our season because we found our identity and stayed together through the whole thing.
BRANDON TRICHE: We stayed together and Rick and Scoop as leaders they brought the whole -- brought the whole team together and it was mostly about efforts, the time we were losing we were having loose rebounds and loose balls and I think we were trying to make great offensive plays instead of concentrating on defense and now that we're moving we're hard to beat.

Q. Brandon on that out of bounds play did you see Fab all the way?
BRANDON TRICHE: No, I seen Scoop cutting and then I see Fab I get him a lot because he is really big, he used it and was able to make a great play.

Q. You guys handled St. John's pretty well, they played better today, what was better about St. John's today than what you saw them in Jan?
SCOOP JARDINE: They beat us up on the glass. They beat us with second chance points and hard did I had a great game today, and the first game like Coach said they didn't play too well and today they were click and go he was making shots for them and his other teammates and they did a great job of going off the rebound.
BRANDON TRICHE: I think they were being disruptive defensively, the first half we had turnovers, and they weren't getting too much action and movement off of those. They contained us, we got a few open shots and knocked 'em down but they were getting a lot of passes and things like that that we struggled with.

Q. Jim, there are seven-ranked teams playing today, and a very good Marquette team, how do you see the Big East going forward from here into the NCAA?
COACH BOEHEIM: You know, the problem with the NCAA Tournament is you're going to have games just like today with whoever you play and if we don't make that one play where Rocky gets the rebound and hits Chris and they get the ball and score we loose. That's the way it's going to be in the tournament, it's -- you can't look ahead and say well in the tournament they won or lost, because any of the teams you're playing, they're all good teams around the country, there are so many good teams out there, our league, we have the most this year put all the teams you're going to play in the tournament they're all good teams. We played Michigan and beat 'em 3 points on a neutral point, we played Iona and they could have been a tournament team and we beat 'em 6 points at home. We played two or three other teams, you know, that are going to be in the tournament that we just barely snuck by.
The games are going to be just like this one. College basketball is equal. Everybody's got good players, there are good teams. They're not mediocre teams, they're good teams and there is a lot of them and when you play one of those teams in the first game if you don't play to a high level you can get beat and I mean any team I don't care what seed you are. The first game you play if you don't play at a high level you're going to get beat. The goal is you want to play at a high level but that's the way the tournament will be, and I think all our teams are ready but it's just like Pittsburgh today I thought they played great and it could have been a second or third round NCAA game and Walker hits a shot and beats you. That's college basketball. There is nothing you can do about it, you just got to get ready, give it your best shot and see what happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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