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ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 9, 2012


Brian Conklin

Rick Majerus

Kwamain Mitchell


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

St. Louis テや 78
La Salle テや 71


THE MODERATOR:テつ We will start with questions for the players.

Q.テつ Brian, a lot like the first game against La Salle, turnovers that they caused, similar game?
BRIAN CONKLIN:テつ Except for more high‑scoring, we didn't play the defensive game against them the first time that we did today.テつ A lot of easy buckets for them to transition, we're going to have to take care of that, Dayton or Xavier are going to be a team that pushes it in transition and we have to get rid of the turnovers and get back on "D."

Q.Kwamain, can you talk about the guards and the match‑up problems?
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:テつ The problem is that they have four guards on the court so for our bigs, it's a problem, and Brian, Cody and Cory kept fighting, and they made some big shots but we counted on Brian to defend him and it's tough because they play four guards at a time.

Q.テつ Brian, looked like the start of the second half you guys made a concerted effort to get the ball down low.
BRIAN CONKLIN:テつ It wasn't a concerted effort as much as it was Kwamain was playing such a great first half it opened up things inside for me and Corey and Cody, Kwamain was getting to the ball screens and there were some gaps and he did a great job of hitting us on the ball screens, and they were concerned about him and he hit us right in front of the rim and we were able to finish so it was what they were giving us.

Q.テつ Brian, then Kwamain, you're aware all of the Philly area teams got knocked out, right?
BRIAN CONKLIN:テつ Philly has great basketball and, you know, it was surprising to see Temple and St.Joe's go out, and they are a great team, they're going to be great in a few years and Temple is going to be back next year, along with La Salle.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:テつ Brian hit the spot, like he said, saint Joe's had a great team, Temple, it's surprise that go they lost, but they'll come back.

Q.テつ Kwamain, can you talk about the first half, it look like you were doing everything out there.
KWAMAIN MITCHELL:テつ I was just letting the game come to me, I wasn't trying to be the "man", Brian was posting up, giving me looks, and second half I was looking for my teammates more.

Q.テつ With Temple out of the tournament, is that good for you guys?
BRIAN CONKLIN:テつ We're going to watch the half of the next game, we've played them each twice, we're just going to get ready for the winner of this one.

Q.テつ La Salle scored the first basket, made it 2‑0, you guys tied it and then never trailed for the rest of the game, save for one or two separate occasions, can you talk about how they would come back and you guys would stretch the lead?
BRIAN CONKLIN:テつ Every time the coach would call a time‑out when they made a run, and we would huddle together and say "they just made their run now it's our turn" it's something that over the course of the season we've grown and when teams make a run at us, we just don't get frustrated, we just make another run back at them.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, gentlemen.テつ Coach will be up in just a minute.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, opening statement, please.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ I thought our guys played hard, I thought they played with toughness and very smart, credit to La Salle capitalizing on our errors, omissions at times.テつ La Salle is a good team, I hope they can get another chance, they deserve it.テつ With a record of some impressive victories that they have, I think they deserve it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach?

Q.テつ Rick, a lot like the first game, they forced turnovers and you guys seemed to weather the storms when they came up.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ Yeah, they're very athletic and scrappy defensively, and sometimes, you know, playing small ball is a difficult thing.テつ Second half we switched 4/5, they were not switching with Pettis and I thought Rob did a good job of switching to go a much superior athlete.テつ We had careless turnovers, we were 19 of 22 from the foul line, 86%.テつ You know, we had some lapses of not taking care of the ball but a lot of that is them.テつ You have to credit them as well.

Q.テつ Can you talk about what it takes to win these close games, they kept making run and each time they did you were able to keep them at bay there.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ Well, I mean, when you play defense and you make defensive stops‑‑ I mean, there was no way to respond to that, we're the kings of that, and the only one that approximates that would be the foul by Rob, frustration fouls, and I jumped him on that.テつ He's go the to learn to grow up.
Yeah, we know you made a mistake, not being able to score on a 5‑11 point guard, but, you know, doesn't do you any good to foul them going to the basket.テつ But our defense was consistent and we tried to defend.テつ Getting in the passing lane, so forth.

Q.テつ I think Cody drew four charges in the game.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ Cody is interesting, he's our leading charge taker and he is our worst guy on the physical block‑out.テつ You would think they would dovetail each other and there is a dichotomy there that‑‑ how do you have the courage to step up and consistently take those charges and then bail out of a block‑out.テつ He's working on it, Cody's dad I think is here, is he here?テつ He is one of the toughest players in Australian history.テつ And as Cody works toward that degree, he's much better defensively, he is doing more, playing more of a physical game.
But the charges were outstanding, and tonight he missed two block‑outs, my expectation that you can always block‑out.

Q.テつ Coach you talked about the discrepancy in size between the two teams when it came to switching defensively but in offense you out scored them on second‑chance opportunities.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ We're bigger, we should have done that, we tried to exploit post‑up situations.テつ You've got to be careful not to win the battle and lose the war.テつ Sometimes we were trying so hard to exploit the mismatch that we turned it over, but we got stagnant with our ball handling.

Q.テつ Rick, the first half you had Kwamain with the big game outside and the second half there was more inside stuff?
COACH MAJERUS:テつ We were looking for the inside stuff the first half, Kwamain took a couple of bad shots that he made, makes or misses don't make it a bad shot.テつ He had one foot inside with the right elbow in front of our bench and had the follow‑on, that was a good shot.テつ He‑‑ when we went that 1‑4 flat that time, we hadn't worked on that and I thought he could exploit that mismatch.テつ Who am I, who is covering me, who is covering my teammate, who is my teammate.テつ That's basically the way the game goes in a lot of ways and our guys play that game fairly well.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.
COACH MAJERUS:テつ I just want to commend my players for one thing.テつ We had exams this week and we took exams‑‑ I told them not to take exams, I overruled the academic people because we practiced yesterday and I don't think it's fair to take an exam on a bus.テつ It's hard to read or see or do anything on a bus but when we got in Wednesday night the guys took exams until 1:00 in the morning and all day Thursday, because this is our exam week so I'm proud of the players because we couldn't get them back into the reality of this‑‑ nor would we want to, we don't have any pro's on that team, nobody is going to make a living playing ball, they're all going to remember if they got a good education.
I was proud of how they handled that and took care of that, so thank you.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, Coach.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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