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March 19, 2011
Richmond Â– 65
Morehead State - 48
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Morehead State. We'll start with coach with some opening remarks.
COACH TYNDALL: First of all, I want to congratulate Richmond. They have a very, very good basketball team. Similar to us, they're an upperclassmen-oriented team and they play like it. They're poised, disciplined, then don't take bad shots.
I thought that their defense, it's kind of a sagging man-to-man, and sometimes it's a matchup zone. It's very complicated to really run any set offense against it. So you have to space the floor and drive the basketball.
I thought the first half, for whatever reason, we weren't driving it and we weren't aggressive like we wanted to be. I thought we did a little bit better job the second half.
But they deserve a lot of credit. They're a good team and our hat's off to them. These two guys here, in addition to Sam Goodman, have been great seniors for me, great leaders. For four years, they've given me everything that they have. They'll truly be missed, that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Demonte, talk about working against that defense. Looked like there wasn't a whole lot of room to shoot tonight.
DEMONTE HARPER: Credit to their defense. We really couldn't figure out what type of defense it was. Sometimes they would go with guys, sometimes they wouldn't. It was kind of tough to try to figure out what type of defense they was running.
Q. Kenneth, could you talk about what they were doing to you and your impressions of Harper as a player.
KENNETH FARIED: They really didn't do anything to me that I haven't saw or seen. But it was kind of frustrating at times where you thought they were switching, guys just wouldn't switch. Then you thought they went to double, they come double. I was kind of staggering with my offense. The whole team, we couldn't get in a rhythm. That's a credit to Richmond.
That defense is great and it's hard to play against if you never played against it.
Harper, he's good. I mean, he's good. I respect him as a player. Hopefully I'll see him in the combine and see what happens there.
Q. If you both as seniors would talk about what's happened throughout your career, capping it off with getting into the third round here of the NCAA tournament, how much it means to you guys.
KENNETH FARIED: This means a lot for us as a team, as a program. But it means a lot more for the fans.
We played Louisville. We was able to come with the upset. Then we fell short with Richmond.
Our fans back home are still proud of us. We're proud they still able to hold their head up high and say we did great things, just be a part of us. It's something they remember for years and years to come hopefully.
I just want to thank every fan that came out to support us, every fan that came to Denver to come watch us play. That's a long drive.
DEMONTE HARPER: I'm very proud of our season to this point. We had a good season. We got 25 wins again, back to back. Last year we got 25 wins, and this year as well [sic]. Like he say, the fans are great. When we first got here, there were maybe a hundred people in the stands. A couple years later, hey, it's almost packed around the whole gym.
So a tribute to the fans. The fans were great. We had two bus full of fans come down and support us. We really appreciate the support that we've had for the last four years.
Q. Compare the emotions after the first game, the hero, tonight tough shooting night, 2-15. Was that a credit to their defense or just not dropping tonight?
DEMONTE HARPER: Kind of both. Credit to their defense. They got to me on some contested shots. Kind of been struggling.
I think it's attributed to both of them.
Q. Can you talk about Richmond's offense, the ability to move it around, get it to open spots and men.
KENNETH FARIED: Yeah, they have some great players on their team, a veteran group. It was difficult for us with our zone because they was just swinging it around. They have five guys out. Each and every last one of them was shooting. We are hesitant and nervous not to get split.
They just took advantage of that.
DEMONTE HARPER: It was kind of difficult to guard 'em because they have five shooters on the floor. Each guy can shoot it from every spot. They did a good job of spacing our zone out, getting it to the high post, kicking back out, knocking down high-post shots.
Q. Kenneth, you've had such a wonderful career with all the records, accolades. Coming in nobody really knew who you were. When you leave, everyone knows who you are now. Talk about the career at Morehead State.
KENNETH FARIED: My career here. I never had time to look back. But now I get the chance to, so...
I'm going to miss it. I mean, Morehead is now my second home. I'm going to miss each and every last person that came out and supported us. I'm going to miss my teammates, playing with them, having a great time.
Even in my downtimes when I was a freshman, I thought I couldn't make it through conditioning, just having grit and toughness, and Coach Tyndall believe in me.
Demonte, my best friend, he stayed with me. He was like, You gonna make it. The team then they still pushed me, they wanted me to play.
Now it's all the way to my senior year. I'm supposed to be I guess the best player on my team. It proved tonight we had a team still. I'm going to miss playing with my teammates. I'm going to miss being coached as hard as I was by Coach Tyndall. Even though it was hard, it helped me.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. We'll continue with questions for Coach Tyndall.
Q. There were a number of times tonight you made a run, get within five or seven, couldn't seem to get over the top.
COACH TYNDALL: Yeah, as the players mentioned, the defense is one of those defenses similar to Sanford how they used to be in our league, where they force you to take perimeter jump shots. You usually have to make eight to 12 threes against a team like this to have a chance to win. Today we went 2-14 from three. As much as you emphasize driving the ball, post feeding it to Kenneth, they did a nice job of making us take challenged shots.
I thought a couple times, you're exactly right, got it to five or six, had the ball, couldn't get over the hump. I think we had it maybe to seven, had a deflection. I thought Terrance was going to get a layup or a dunk. Kind of lost it right back to him.
It's a crazy, crazy game. I say this all the time. The game will hurt you no matter who you are. You're going to have nights like Thursday where you literally can't explain how good you feel, and then games and days like today where you can't explain how much it hurts. That's basketball.
But I'm fortunate to have these two guys, Demonte, Kenneth, and certainly Sam, that played their hearts out with me, in addition to the rest of the team. They played hard; we just couldn't get shots to drop.
Q. This was a battle of two guys who are going to go on and play at the next level. Can you talk about your impressions of Harper?
COACH TYNDALL: I like Harper. I think he's a skilled big man that can step out. I think he'll be a guy that will certainly get a good look from NBA people because of all the ball screening they do at the next level. He can pick and pop, make that 17- and 19-footer, which Kenneth doesn't. But Kenneth does some things around the rim and athletically that Harper doesn't.
I really like the Harper kid. I thought he played hard. He has good hands. He can run. He'll block a shot or two. I don't know where they have him projected, but he's a legitimate NBA candidate, for sure.
Q. They have so many ways to hurt you offensively. How much was going through your mind of what to try to do defensively against them?
COACH TYNDALL: Well, you know, we said going into the game, if we could hold them to 25% or less from three-point range, we'd have a chance. They went exactly 25%, 4-16. They're so skilled at every position. In our league they resemble Eastern Kentucky. They're a better team than Eastern Kentucky, but better players, but the same style of play where even their five man is skilled, so it's hard to press them because they bring their five man back, and he catches. Now he's not going to create off the dribble, but he's good enough to find the open man and make the next pass.
They're a hard team to turnover. They're a hard team to get sped up. Like us, they're a veteran senior-dominated team that have been in big games. They played with poise. We tried some traps to keep them off rhythm. They're pretty skilled. They make the right decisions and the right plays.
Q. Had Kenneth been doubled-teamed as much as Richmond did throughout the season? Did that play a factor in throwing you out of rhythm on defense?
COACH TYNDALL: Kenneth has been double-teamed, triple-teamed, quadruple-teamed. He has faced every defense imaginable. I don't think them limiting Kenneth to 11 points was really the key. I think them making us take challenged shots from the perimeter. You look at our guards, T-Hill goes 2-7, Demonte goes 2-15. Your guys that made big shots and scored a bunch against Louisville went 4-22.
Again, those guys are good shooters. I don't think they necessarily took many bad shots. But that's how Richmond plays. They make you take tough shots over the top of their defense.
I don't think the way they doubled Kenneth had too much bearing on it. We've seen that all year.
Q. Reflect back on this season now that it's over, what it means. Also moving forward, how do you go about replacing guys like Kenneth and Demonte? Talk about the future of Morehead basketball.
COACH TYNDALL: First and foremost, a guy that means the world to me in Wayne Martin, he had the school record for 25 wins. So for us to tie the school record of 25 wins is quite an honor and quite a privilege for me. When you look at our five years, we went from 12 wins to 15 to 20 to 24 and now to 25. So we've improved the program each and every season.
Attendance has grown dramatically every year. We have a true program now with some good players returning, although they didn't get to show it a lot this season because we played seven guys, most of those guys were upperclassmen.
I really feel like our program is on solid ground. We'll have 10 of our 11 guys will have graduated once these three seniors graduate in May. So we're doing a lot of good things in the community, on the floor, in the classroom. I'm very, very proud of what we've accomplished to this point. I really feel like the sky's the limit in continuing to grow our program.
Q. I was going to ask you where this program was five years ago and what it's taken to get to this point?
COACH TYNDALL: When we took it over, I think most people realize they were coming off a 4-win season. Out of 300, I believe 31 Division I teams, we were 326. That didn't waiver my excitement to be the coach at MSU. You know, I think that if you would have said we've done what we've done in five years, no one would have believed you.
You have to have great players, great assistant coaches, great president, great athletic director that support us tremendously. Like I said, five years ago I don't think anyone would have predicted we'd be 40 minutes away from the Sweet 16.
Q. Can you talk about the emergence of the Ohio Valley Conference?
COACH TYNDALL: I certainly think we're one of the best mid-major conferences in the country, when you talk about the Missouri Valley, you talk about the Atlantic-10. Those leagues may be slightly better than us top to bottom. But the upper echelon of our league, the Murray States, Morehead State, Austin Peays can be in any mid-major league in America. I think it's an underrated league. The thing I like about our league, it's a fan-supported league. There's some fan rivalry with us and eastern Kentucky and Austin Peay and Murray State. It's a very balanced league, it really is.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach.
COACH TYNDALL: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports