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March 11, 2011

Idris Hilliard

Carl Jones

Phil Martelli


Saint Joseph's – 93
Duquesne - 90

MODERATOR: We're joined by Saint Joseph's University head coach Phil Martelli, the student-athletes Carl Jones and Idris Hilliard. We're going to ask Coach Martelli to make an opening statement and then we'll ask questions of the student-athletes and dismiss them and then take questions for Coach Martelli. Coach?
COACH MARTELLI: I'm absolutely delighted for the players. I just told them that, what better way to spend spring break than playing basketball?
So, you know, you all saw it. I would just be repeating myself to say that it was hard fought. It was a little bizarre. The biggest thing to me going into the game is if we limited our turnovers, I felt we could really be in a situation where we could make this a 60-point game. And after the start of the game, it looked like it was going to be 60 points at halftime.
I thought every guy for both teams did what you're supposed to do. They played all out, emptied out everything that they had. And as I said, I'm delighted for these young guys to have a chance now to play even a more meaningful game tomorrow.
17 turnovers is a lot for us, and we have to shore that up because the Dayton team will come at us in waves. Where they have bodies, we're going to have to have minds and hearts.
But we're delighted to play another day. And my sense is that you're going to see an awful lot of Philadelphia in Atlantic City tomorrow at 1:00 o'clock.
MODERATOR: Questions for Idris or Carl.

Q. Idris, as a senior, how have you seen this team really kind of grow, particularly in the last two weeks with all these wins and what you've done today with all younger guys?
IDRIS HILLIARD: You know, since these freshman got on campus, and all the young guys, we always had a lot of talent but had to learn how to play the game and learn how to adjust to college basketball. So they're getting better and better everyday, and I think you're starting to see that.

Q. Carl, can you just talk a little bit about the development of this team, just kind of talk about the belief you come here and win games here and make a run in Atlantic City?
CARL JONES: To me it's like just more about confidence because we were a really young team and we got a lot of losses, but as we win, we get a lot of confidence with each other and learn how to play with each other even more. So to me, the teams is just more about confidence, knowing that we can win instead thinking that we can win.

Q. When you fouled out, what was going through your head, what did you -- what were you thinking as you --
IDRIS HILLIARD: I felt like kind of just my teammates, I was hoping we could pull it out so I can get another chance to play again tomorrow.

Q. Carl, you had one of the big last second shot clock 3-pointers but you saw that lead dwindle and the pressure seemed to increase. What were the last ten minutes of regulation like for you with the ball in your hand most of the time?
CARL JONES: It was real nervous, I was, and I was also real tired, exhausted, but I just tried to do whatever I had to do to win the game, whether it was score, pass, rebound, defense, just try to win the game.

Q. Carl, similar question to what I asked Idris. Just in the last couple of weeks or even going to the Charlotte game or this tournament, has there been a moment or anything where you really felt or sensed this thing kind of click for you guys?
CARL JONES: Yeah. I'm going to say the moment was probably a halftime at the Charlotte game when everybody probably was down or we was up and wanna come like that, and everybody kept -- it was like the first game, everybody kept their head up. Even when it was real close, kept their head up, and everybody knew we were going to win the game in the second half. But that was the turning point in the season for me.

Q. Why do you think (Off Microphone)?
CARL JONES: I want to say because of confidence. Confidence. Everybody got involved in that game. Everybody knew that they can do something to help the team, whether it was sitting on the bench, whether it was cheering or whatever. Everybody just knew they could help the team in some kind of way.

Q. Idris, you've won basically three elimination games now. What does that tell you about this team?
IDRIS HILLIARD: That we've got a lot of heart. We may be young and -- but we got a lot of heart, got a lot of confidence, got a lot of belief in each other, and it's just coming out more and more with every win.
MODERATOR: Thanks guys. That means you can leave. Take questions for Coach Martelli at this point.

Q. Coach, there was many twists and turns in this game. But did you think there was maybe one or two key plays or a sequence that kind of turned it in your direction?
COACH MARTELLI: I think the biggest play of the game was Charoy Bentley keeping his head about him when all heck broke loose and he found Ron Roberts for the dunk to tie the game. Otherwise, we were gonna go home and, you know, woe-is-us type of thing. I thought Charoy really gave us a senior moment.
And then the other big play, and no one will ever talk about it, is what Todd O'Brien just did on that last play. We switched everything and Todd O'Brien stayed down on a guard and never raised up, giving him a chance to kind of jump into him and, you know, putting the onus on the referees. So those two plays kind of stand out to me.
I'll have to debrief at some point. Be a long night ahead getting ready, but those two plays jump out.
I thought in the second half, when we got that lead to 11, we really played with a lot of composure, and a lot of it came through Tay. Six turnovers, you know, we gotta talk to him, maybe hold back a piece of chicken from him tonight at dinner or something.
But he really played a -- until he got tired. When he got tired, he got tired from the head down, like from his brain down. He threw -- there was just some plays. I'll take care of it, though.

Q. Coach, where this team --
COACH MARTELLI: I'm sorry I missed you last night. Had it in my bag and just slipped my mind. I apologize.

Q. You got a pass, Coach. There was a video earlier this year of a hawk was buried by one of the -- somewhere, and I want to ask you: Are reports of the hawk's demise greatly exaggerated after what's happened in the last three games?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, the hawk never dies. I mean, that was -- you know, and one of the things to get back to a question was over here, these kids always played with heart. We just weren't good enough. Like when we went through January, we weren't good enough, and I hadn't coached them well enough. And when we came up with a way to play, they got a little bit more confident.
Yeah, look I'm not selling falsehoods. We've won six of ten. That's monumental for where we were. It was a great -- that was a great gimmick. That was the Temple student body, and it was a lot more pleasurable, to be honest with you, that they did it that way than some of the other experiences that you could have on the road. I salute them. The Temple student body was great that day.
We didn't answer the charge. We didn't talk to the team about it.
But, you know, heart hasn't been the issue. Playing good basketball has been the issue. And, you know, it's true, the hawk will never die. You know, we're wounded. A guy in the Inquiry wrote that we were on our last breath or some such thing like that so he could get people to read his column.
But we're just -- we were just -- we were circling. We were circling there, and we couldn't soar. And now the last three games, we've been able to soar a little bit.

Q. Bob Ford from the Inquiry.
COACH MARTELLI: It wasn't you. It wasn't you.

Q. I might have thought it. I didn't write it. If you polled a hundred coaches, eight seconds left, up three, be 50 guys who say: I'm thinking more about fouling than I am about defense. Other 50 would say: I'm thinking more about defense than thinking about foul. Your philosophy?
COACH MARTELLI: Practice. If you practice it, if you practice it, and you practice it again and you practice it again and you practice it again, then you do it.
To be honest with you, there were moments on that sideline I felt like Sybil. There were so many voices in my head, and a lot of them were assistant coaches and then the assistant coaches that sit right behind in the stand that paid a lot of money, they're all assistant coaches, too.
I was trying to calculate it in my brain to say that 7.7 if they cross half court and there's 5 point -- and now you're blocking out Monster and Saunders with two freshman, that's really all the things -- and you have to make that decision like that.

Q. The great games that Roberts and Hilliard had today, was that part of your game plan, to get big guys on a smaller Duquesne lineup? That's been said a lot about the Dukes. Was that part of your game plan to get big guys to get that kind of production out them, and were you expecting to get that kind of production out of those two guys?
COACH MARTELLI: One of the things that Duquesne does is they switch a lot and they'll give you a mismatch in the lane. But what they're fabulous at is they fight and they front that low post and then they bring another guy over.
I thought what we did to establish Ron Roberts and Idris was that we broke their primary pressure defense down and were able to make some drop passes. Yeah, that's what I thought. Idris and Ron both did a great job.
We wanted to pound the glass. We really wanted to pound the glass, and we were able to do that.

Q. Speaking of the last, I guess, eight seconds, with Duquesne being sort of poor from the free-throw line, did it ever cross your mind to foul and put them on the free-throw line?
COACH MARTELLI: Well, only if we had practiced it. We've never practiced it. And my thing would be if you do it, then do it. You know what I'm saying? Like if you practiced it, go ahead and do it. If you haven't practiced it, then you've gotta trust that they're not going to throw in a 3 and, you know, break your heart. Thank you.
MODERATOR: I also want to congratulate Phil Martelli on his 300th career win. Congratulations, Coach.
COACH MARTELLI: Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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