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March 10, 2011

Jimmy Butler

Buzz Williams


Louisville - 81
Marquette - 56

Q. How much were the legs a factor tonight three straight games, three straight nights?
COACH WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think that's hard to quantify. I think it's easy to justify but I think it's hard to quantify.
I thought Louisville was great. Anytime a team scores 50% of their points from the 3-point line it's probably going to be a long night. I thought we were okay at times in the first half and I thought we were really bad in the second half. But to play the 14th ranked team in the country who has had five days off who has been studying us live since we got here to say that the reason they beat us the way they did was because we had no legs I think is a soft answer. I don't think we've been soft since we've been here so I don't want to leave here with a soft response.

Q. Buzz, the Big East can provide so many highs and lows, you have to be the leader through it all. What do you say to your group after tonight?
COACH WILLIAMS: We were 6 and 7 after we played St. John's at home so we were five games remaining, three at home, two on the road. We won three of those five over a 10-day period and -- excuse me, we won three in a row over a 10-day period and then we lost two in a row to finish the season over a seven-day period so we finished 9 and 9. You could argue that according to the media all we had to do was win one of those last two, and then we came here. We landed in New York not knowing conclusively what it is we had to do. I thought we played well against Providence, and then, you know, the people that still thought that we had work to do, whether that was true or not, I thought our guys responded last night.
When you think about the last 23 days of our guys' lives, emotionally, mentally and physically, there have been a roller coaster of up's and down's and I thought through it all at the very end they answered the bell and I thought that their character was revealed and that's what I said in the locker room, we're one of 37 teams that will have their name announced as an at-large team on Sunday and this previous Sunday we were practicing at 10:00 in the morning doing things we did on the first day of practice not knowing where we would be playing or if our name would be announced so I think that speaks to all of the guys that are in the locker room, our players, assistants, managers, support staff, because I think it's been a hard grind over the last 23 days.

Q. You guys gave up 37 three's here and you include the Seton Hall game. How important is that going to be for you to shore that up?
COACH WILLIAMS: If you don't guard the ball teams are going to shoot open sides. When you play major teams they're going to have guys that can make three's. We didn't guard the ball well tonight. We didn't guard the ball well against Seton Hall. I know entering tonight, teams shot 31% from two's and 44% from three's. And 44 is a little too high and 31 is good enough to continue to play. So we need to be able to guard the ball so that the ball handler doesn't force help, which allows for open shots.
Jimmy, you guys had only seven assists tonight. Were you guys too individually oriented on the offense or was that just what -- a cause of Louisville's tough defense tonight?
JIMMY BUTLER: I think we weren't being selfish but we at times thought if I made that shot or he made that shot then it would start a run and things like that and we got away from looking for the open man, making that extra pass and that led to the seven assists.
How is it to go through the grind of the 18-game season knowing top to bottom you're playing in the toughest conference in the country?
JIMMY BUTLER: It feels good to know that we were a decent team in the best conference in the country. I think we work hard and at the end of the day like Buzz said we get our name called on Sunday and that's a dream that everybody has had on my team since we were little and it's a relief we won't have to worry about that too much longer.
Chris, zero shots in 18 minutes, he's not a go-to guy offensively but he's been doing things in the post is that more on him not demanding the ball, Louisville's zone or what?
COACH WILLIAMS: I would say a combination of all of it. Chris has done a good job of sealing his man and being in a position to get a deep catch. Our guys are much more comfortable throwing it to him inside. I thought too many possessions, we played free-throw lines and extended above and against a zone. You can't do that which is why Chris didn't shoot a shot, which is why we only had 7 assists, partly why we had 12 turnovers.
So a multitude of reasons but all of our post guys need to get touches whether or not that turns into a field goal attempt is dependent upon how they're playing the post but it's a collection of all those things.
Since both of you have been hear you haven't been able to make that deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Were you looking to take anything out of this conference tournament that could help you in the Big Dance?
COACH WILLIAMS: I think we've been pretty good in New York. We haven't been great but I think we've held our own. During Jimmy's tenure entering tonight he was 5-2 in his tenure at Marquette and each year has had a different scenario. In Jimmy's first year we were 10-2 and Dominic James broke his foot. We started out the second year for him, 2 and 5 and went on to win 9 of 11 but both of those years we arrived in New York knowing that we were a NCAA Tournament team. In year number three it was the worst Big East record that Marquette has ever had in Big East play we finished 500 and he came here not knowing where we would be the next week and we won two and got blitzed in the second half tonight but what we accomplished while here, 5-3, that's probably a little above average. You always want to recruit, coach, live, to try to put yourself in a position to win a championship.
Not just to go 5-3, but to win a championship. Each of those years there is a story behind it. I think Jimmy has been a big part of it since he's been here and as he just mentioned in his last answer, for three consecutive years he will win a ring for going to the NCAA Tournament, and, you know, he has a losing record as do I, in the NCAA Tournament so hopefully we can play past the first weekend and he can have a winning record as a collegiate player in postseason, very few guys do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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