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March 15, 2012

Anthony Evans

Chris McEachin

Kyle O'Quinn

Pendarvis Williams


THE MODERATOR:  We will open it up for a statement from Kyle O'Quinn, then we will take questions.
KYLE O'QUINN:  This is the first time to be here.  We are very happy to be here.  We want to make our families and our school support very proud.

Q.  Pendarvis and Chris can you talk about their ability on the perimeter and the different number of opposes they have as far as the guards go?
CHRIS McEACHIN:  We watched Missouri very well, their guards are talented, and they push the ball on the break so we have things we need to do to contain them.
PENDARVIS WILLIAMS:  We are aware that their guards are good shooters, and that Phil Pressey is a really good penetrator.

Q.  Kyle, could you describe how Coach Washington refined your shot‑blocking technique?
KYLE O'QUINN:  He gave me a couple of tips going into it with confidence, little tips he gave me that help keep me in the game longer, also game‑changing shots, instead of putting them in the stands, different situations.

Q.  Do you remember the first conversation that he had with you about it?  The details and specific things that he talked about?
KYLE O'QUINN:  Before he was actually on staff, when he was on campus in the interviewing the process, I said "You're a good shot‑blocker, but I can make you a better one."  And when he got on staff, he did. 

Q.  The teams that play four out, one in, what Missouri does, does that help you in your preparation?
CHRIS McEACHIN:  I believe it does.  In our conference we have smaller teams and Missouri is not one of the bigger teams in the Big 12, and we feel like we're prepared for that and ready for that.
KYLE O'QUINN:  This is not the type of game that we haven't seen a game plan, yes, we are going against better players from a different conference but the style of play is what we see a lot in the conference and we step out of conference we see this, guards getting up and down exploiting us on transition, so it's not something we haven't seen before and we're comfortable going into the game.

Q.  You guys lost to Marquette the first time and the second time.  They have athletic guards, kinda like Missouri.  What did you guys do the second time against Marquette that you think will transfer to this game?
PENDARVIS WILLIAMS:  Well, the second time we had a little more support out there, at the Paradise Jam, being the underdogs, we had confidence with two nonconference wins that we had gotten.
CHRIS McEACHIN:  We changed our defensive scheme and that threw them off balance so that helped us get back into the game.

Q.  You haven't lost in a while.  How does that role feel and how much extra confidence does it give you going into the tournament to be on a good winning streak?
KYLE O'QUINN:  When you're on a winning streak you go into every practice and game with a certain level of confidence, so that helps.  It's like a snowball affect, you keep going in that direct and it gets bigger and bigger.  I think we have won seven now, and coming off our conference championship, we have a lot of confidence.  It's not like we're coming off a losing streak, we know what to do to win, we just have to perfect it.
PENDARVIS WILLIAMS:  It's always good when you're winning and around this time it's either win or go home, but you have no choice to play hard, so you can win.

Q.  Missouri has so many offensive weapons.  Is there one particular guy that stands out that you say "that's the biggest problem"?
CHRIS McEACHIN:  Not really.  You have to respect each one of them as individuals.  We understand that Phil Pressey is a great player, Denmon can move with the ball, English has a great shot, and Ratliffe is a solid player, so we respect them all in their own right.
KYLE O'QUINN:  When you have five players averaging double figures you look at the highest and work your way down, so you look at what you can do to stop them that night and hopefully we can step up and stop each one of them.

Q.  I wonder if you could talk about the feeling of being in the tournament and if there is any sense of awe about it and if not how are you dealing with that, it's such a new experience?
KYLE O'QUINN:  With it being such a new experience and the first time the school is going to it, being part of that you take that as an initiative of going in there and trying the to win the thing.  You're in it to win it, but it also being a first experience you're taking everything in, being at press conferences and interviews, you have jitter bugs, but at the same time you have to enjoy the experience.

Q.  Pendarvis and Chris, when you have a shot‑blocker behind you like Kyle, how does that affect you guys?
PENDARVIS WILLIAMS:  Well, when we get beat we can have trust that he can get the shot blocked because he's a great shot‑blocker, so if we get beat we know that we have help.
CHRIS McEACHIN:  It gives you more confidence on the perimeter playing defense, we don't want anybody to beat us off the dribble, but if it does happen he is there to help us out so it gives you confidence for the whole team chemistry.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for the Spartans of, Norfolk?  Gentlemen, best of luck.
COACH EVANS:  Everyone is excited about being here, the team has worked hard for five years, the staff has put in a lot of work.  Kyle is possibly the only player that has been with us for the run, and he was there in 2008 when we lost to Morgan State and it feels good for him to get there.

Q.  Coach, what do you say to your team to get over the first time in the tournament the big under going to, new experience?
COACH EVANS:  We try to stay focused, trying to keep a normal routine, as normal as possible, all the media attention and everything is great but we have a job to do, we're here to play a basketball game and after this we're going to go practice and do the things that we have done all year long.

Q.  Coach, like most teams you have a height advantage over Missouri, how do you plan to use that to your advantage?  We have seen some teams go small to try to match them or make them match the other team, how do you plan to handle that?
COACH EVANS:  We are hoping that our length will pose problems for them.  They have four great guards.  We can post‑up a little bit but we think that Kyle is our best chance of creating mismatches against them and hopefully he can kick it out to shooters to make shots.

Q.  Appears from your results that your team showed resiliency, you had a couple of bad results and came back with wins after that.  What was able to make your team being so resilient?
COACH EVANS:  We hadn't lost two games in a row all year long, so we refocused and started playing good basketball again.  We weren't defending like we had been in the stretch.  We started defending, getting out on shooters and were able to get back on the right path.

Q.  A lot of coaches that have faced Missouri referred to Phil Pressey as the guy that gets everything going.  Can you talk about what you've seen out of him and the best way to defend him?
COACH EVANS:  He is, he is the engine that makes them go, he can penetrate and shoot the basketball.  I don't think you can stop a guy like that completely; you try to contain him, limit him on what he does and try to make him give the ball to other people.  That's some of the game plan, not all of it.  Some of it.

Q.  Coach Washington has worked with Kyle on his shot‑blocking.  To your eyes, how has that refinement gone and how is he better at it than he might have been a year or two ago.
COACH EVANS:  Before he was trying to block the shot to the rafters, and Coach Washington sat him down and said flick your wrist, keep it in play so we can start a fast break off of it, and there are times when he tries to throw it into the stands but that's okay, we can deal with that.

Q.  You shot the three‑pointer better than you had in the regular season in the conference tournament.  Did you feel like you were a better three‑point shooting team than that or was it a hot streak?
COACH EVANS:  It was a hot streak, Chris and Pendarvis are two of our better 3‑point shooters, so we didn't shoot the ball during the course of the year as well but their legs and their focus came back during the playoffs.

Q.  You mentioned a five‑year process for you and your staff, four seniors on this team, seems like you've been pointing to this moment, how great is it to get to this spot?
COACH EVANS:  It's great, it really is, when we lost in the championship game I was absolutely heart broken.
We worked hard to get so that point and as a coach you know there are certainly opportunities to get to the championship, we knew we were going to have a good basketball team, and it turned out to be our season.

Q.  Coach, I realize you're from Brooklyn and that helps, but how do you get all these kids to come down and play for you?
COACH EVANS:  When you're growing up in NewYork all you see are tall buildings, you see trees, grass, Virginia Beach, all those things you can sell to a young man.  There is a lot around and they come to the gym, we have a 7,000‑seat arena on campus and a great football stadium, and it's a great atmosphere and when they come on campus they want to be a part of that.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?  Thank you very much, Coach.  Best of luck. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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