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March 17, 2011

Orlando Johnson

James Nunnally

Bob Williams


Florida – 79
UC Santa Barbara - 51

COACH WILLIAMS: They're really good. They're really good. I mean, they shoot it, they defend it, they're unselfish, they play together, extremely well-coached. And I think that they're exceptionally good with a lead. I mean, they just put a foot on your throat and didn't let off at all. I mean, that's a quality you love to see in a really good team.
One of the things we chatted about is you've got McDonald's All Americans that are playing the game as unselfishly as they play it and the way they play it, they're a good basketball program, well-coached, and they buy in.
We never got ourselves into a rhythm in the game. The second half we played better, but I mean, that's when you're down the amounts we're down at halftime, it's not a consolation on that.
But it's a really good basketball team we played against that stepped on our throat and didn't give us an opportunity to be in the game.

Q. Orlando, is it disappointing to come here, second year in a row, and not have a little bit better showing this team?
ORLANDO JOHNSON: Yeah, definitely. You just get to these points, and you know, in the tournament, you guys -- we talk about giving ourselves a chance, but we didn't give ourselves a chance from the get-go. Like coach said, they just jumped out and they never even -- we never even saw a chance at the lead. We had it 1-0 and that was about it. It just sucks because you want to put on your best foot forward in these type of games and show you can compete at this level with these teams, and it just hurts when you just can't get it done.

Q. For both players, can you talk about how Florida defended you, especially in the first half when you guys were only able to get 18 points?
JAMES NUNNALLY: Um, you know, they defended us like any other team. They're a real good defensive team. A lot of help side, cut off our driving angles, kind of forcing us to pass it out, let our teammates make shots. We passed it out, we had faith in our teammates that they could hit those shots, the shots just weren't going on. Things weren't going our way in the first half. Like O (Orlando) said, they jumped off to a big lead and never looked back.
ORLANDO JOHNSON: Just like James said, we had some good looks, and I think -- but the thing that killed us the most was just our turnovers in the first half. We had ten and they had four -- I mean, we had four assists and they had like 14 assists to like four turnovers, so transition points, too, and the transition baskets are just not going to help you at all, either.
With us, I guess it's back to the drawing board for me and James, for the juniors, but this is still another great experience. Just wish we can get back here again and maybe change it up again next year.

Q. Chandler Parsons had a couple of three-pointers during that first run. Now that you've played against him, talk about his skill set and what you think he brings to their team.
JAMES NUNNALLY: He brings a lot. He's their glue guy, passes the ball well. He had eight assists in the first half, got his teammates involved, he rebounded and he scored it. When he was left open, he took good shots. He's just an all-around good player.

Q. Orlando, when Jaimé broke his wrist was that kind of an emotional -- did that deflate you guys emotionally out there?
ORLANDO JOHNSON: Yeah, it did, because Jaimé is one of our brothers and you never want to see one of your brothers go down in a big game like this. We always want to be 100 percent whenever we step out on the court, and when one of your guys is down it hurts a lot. And you could see on his face it was hurting him a lot knowing he couldn't be out there to help give us somewhat of a chance. You've just got to commend Jaimé for just being the warrior he is, because he's battled through injuries all season. He's tried to get back to being healthy. And when he was healthy, you've seen the type of player he was. I just hope he gets healthy again and gets back to work.

Q. James, was it one of those things where when they started getting the roll the shots became tougher for you guys? Were you trying harder to get it back quickly?
JAMES NUNNALLY: I don't think shots became tougher. We knew we weren't -- just off of one shot, one shot wasn't going to be able to get us back in the game. We had to keep grinding. Like I said, we had good looks, we just didn't convert. We had a lot of turnovers, and that's what shot us in the foot.

Q. Can you just talk about their defense in the first half? I mean, you had ten turnovers but a lot of them were forced and they were able to make you work for everything you had to get.
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, they did, they defended extremely well. Not only are they -- they have really good feet, they move their feet really well. Their scheme is very good defensively, they're long. It's a good combination.
You can see why Chandler is MVP of the league. He's dynamic at both ends of the floor. He's a much better defender than I thought he was, and he's a very good rebounder.
We had a hard time getting the ball where we like to get it and we had a hard time staying in what we were doing because they rattled us early. We didn't execute -- we executed better in the second half than we did the first half. First half early we ran things we wanted to get, we had looks that we thought we should be taking and we didn't get the ball to the right man because we were rattled. So we got rattled pretty early in this game in terms of the type of looks we were getting and getting the ball where we wanted it.

Q. It looked like Jaimé broke his wrist pretty early in the game and it looked like he tried to play with it for a while. At what point did you realize that he was hurt?
COACH WILLIAMS: Well, we realized he was hurt as soon as we saw him holding his wrist. And then he talked to the trainer and we just didn't realize the severity of it. You know, he's broke a bone in the wrist. He tried to go back in and play, and Jaimé is a warrior and wanted to help his team. He apologized after the game because he felt like he hurt the team trying to go back in and play with it. I told him that was a bit silly. We knew early he was hurt. I think he hurt it in the first three, four minutes of the game.

Q. Just talk about their backcourt. I know you were talking about how hard they were to defend yesterday, and I guess you saw that tonight, just the impact they had in the game.
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, they're awful good. They're lightning quick, they handle the ball. You have three great ball handlers that you put the ball in the hands, two of them are lightning quick and the other one is just really gifted in terms of some of the passes he makes, they're pro plays. The bounce passes inside and that, and then staying in front of them with their quickness was a real challenge for us. And the idea that you can't pressure them at all, I mean, that's got to be a nice feeling as a coach to know you can't be pressured, and those two guards together really take away the ability for people to come out and pressure them I would think. They have accumulated a great nucleus of talent that should have an opportunity to take them a long way. I mean, anybody that thinks they're -- in my opinion overrated as a 2 seed, I think you're wrong.
We played Ohio State last year. This team, it was more dominant than Ohio State was last year when we played them. They had a lot more, a lot more versatility in terms of weapons and the way they're going to hurt you. Ohio State was extremely perimeter-oriented last year, and this group has a great inside-out combination.

Q. After a game like that what did you tell your players in the locker room afterwards?
COACH WILLIAMS: Well, we actually tried to take them back to -- you know, the last thing you want to do is leave them hanging their heads in the locker room feeling bad where they were when they came off the floor, and obviously we're disappointed in our performance here. We didn't play the way we would have liked to have played. But as a coach I think your job is to take them back to where we cut down the nets in the Honda Center and thank them for the turnaround that we made late in the season and the emotional commitment they made to each other and how much they grew late in the season, and try to take them back to their accomplishment of winning the last four straight and winning the Big West tournament and doing that, and the fact that there's so many teams in the country that would have liked the opportunity that we just had.
So from that standpoint you try to leave them with something that makes them feel a little better, take them back to a time where they felt a little better about themselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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