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March 15, 2012

Julian Boyd

Michael Culpo

Jim Ferry

Jamal Olasewere


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Long Island Brooklyn student‑athletes Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and Michael Culpo.
Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Just your feelings on being here at Ohio State and getting ready to start the tournament for you guys?
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ It's great being in an atmosphere like this, with an arena like this, to be able to play with my team, and hopefully go out there and give everybody else a good game.テつ It feels great.

Q.テつ Julian, great game last time out, winning the NEC championship, how did you guys sort of borrow that style of play to continue on in the tournament.
JULIAN BOYD:テつ That's what we've been doing since I've been here.テつ We run and gun; we run fast.テつ That's what we do.テつ For us to be able to have that and do that, we just want to carry it over here to this game and hopefully it will help us.

Q.テつ Julian, how do you guys run that way when you're playing such a physical team, Michigan State, a team that has the ability to slow teams down when they want?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ One thing we have do for us to be able to do that is defensive rebound.テつ They're going to miss, and when they do, we have to make sure that they don't get offensive rebounds, because then that will make us have to take it out and run slower.
What we're going to have do, we'll have to get stops; and when we do get stops, we have to get quick rebounds for us to be able to go and run and be able to continue the style of play.

Q.テつ Julian, there's never been a 16 over a 1; is that something that you guys would ever talk about, or what would it mean to make history like that?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ To me that's more motivation for us to win.テつ It would be great for this team that I'm on for us to make history, be a part of history.テつ So being that we are a 16 seed I don't think we are your typical 16 seed.
So, I mean, being that we are, it just gives us more opportunity and more of a chance to be able to make history and that's what we really want to do.

Q.テつ What do you mean by you're not a typical 16 seed?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ I feel we're a lot better than a 16 seed would usually be.テつ And with this team I think we've proven a lot over the past two years.テつ So we've won a lot of games.テつ We've come together.テつ We've been able to do a lot.テつ So I think we're a better team than you see as a typical 16 seed.

Q.テつ Michael, what's your take on the matchups in this game?
MICHAEL CULPO:テつ It's a big‑time program.テつ So it's going to be a tough matchup.テつ We played North Carolina last year, bunch of seven foot guys.テつ So we're used to playing against bigger players.
We know it's going to be a tough game.テつ And it's going to be a tough matchup overall.テつ So we're just hoping to be in the game with five minutes left.

Q.テつ Jamal, did you guys pay attention at all to the Syracuse/UNC Ashville game earlier today, and does that give you a little more of a boost heading into tomorrow's game knowing that staying close right up until the end is possible and beating them is possible?
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ Yeah, we watched the game earlier.テつ UNC Ashville played a great game.テつ But we're not going out there to hopefully play a great game, we're going to go out there and play as well as we possibly can and hopefully we become victorious.
We might be a 16, but I feel like this tournament is built for upsets.テつ So being a 16 playing against a 1, it's not too much of a big deal.

Q.テつ Jamal, obviously they're big inside and physical and tough.テつ How important is it going to be for you and Julian to avoid the early foul trouble in this game?
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ It's going to be huge.テつ I feel like every game this year, if me and Julian being on the bench will hurt this team.テつ So going into this one, with I guess the style of play like you said, physical, we have to just play with our hands straight up and try hard not to foul.テつ Hopefully grab the boards and just go.

Q.テつ Jamal, you had talked earlier about the necessity of being mobile inside and you planned to be able to take advantage of some bigger guys maybe with your speed and mobility inside.テつ Could you elaborate a little bit on that?
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ Michigan State, they have 6'10".テつ 6'9", 6'7".テつ Most of their bigs are heavy set.テつ Like I said on the phone, with me and Julian, with the mobility of us, I said they couldn't catch us with our quickness and speed.テつ I guess you could say that's kind of the plan going in, to put them out, me and Julian trying to create it and hopefully that will work.

Q.テつ For any and all of you, your thoughts on the NCAA pecking order; you're a 16 and kind of down in the food chain.テつ Last year you were a 15, and I know Coach Ferry said he thought it should be higher.テつ And I think he said the same thing this year.テつ Is the only way out of moving up that food chain to win a game like this?
MICHAEL CULPO:テつ Yeah, I guess‑‑ I think eventually a 16 seed or a 15 seed‑‑ excuse me, a 16 seed is going to beat a No.1 seed.テつ But, you know, there's a lot of good teams that are in the NCAA Tournament.テつ So sometimes you don't get to see that you won, the past few years, this is only our second time in the tournament in a long time.テつ So, yeah, it's tough.
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ To answer your question, yes, I feel like, for the committee, I guess, to understand mid‑majors can play with big‑time schools like Michigan State.テつ An upset like this would have to be pulled off.テつ I guess they would‑‑ after that they can reconsider how they do their seeding.
JULIAN BOYD:テつ For me, I agree with Jamal.テつ That is something that I feel we would have to do.テつ But at the same time just like Coach Ferry said, it's not about seeding, it's about matchups.
And for us this year being a 16 seed, it's not something that we want to be, but being that we're a 16 seed matching up with Michigan State, I feel it's a much better matchup than if we got a 15 and played like a Missouri or something like that.
So being that we are a 16 seed, I feel like this is something that we will be able to pull off.テつ And if we did, I feel like that's something that like he said the committee would see and maybe next year if we were able to make it we might get a higher seed.

Q.テつ How did you find LIU Brooklyn, or how did LIU Brooklyn find you, and tell me about the San Antonio pipeline?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ Well, this was actually the first school‑‑ actually the second school that actually recruited me.テつ And I actual thought‑‑ my whole senior year I didn't talk to them, and I actually forgot about them, to be honest.
And one day Coach Perri called me, and I forgot about him, and he started telling me more about stuff and I came on a visit.テつ When I came, I've always wanted to be in a big city, the bright lights, I've always been very attracted to that.
So when I came, that was definitely something I got being in New York City.テつ And also with the coaching staff, Coach Ferry, Coach Perri, I thought they actually wanted me to be, they just didn't want me because of my basketball skills but because of me as a person.
And that's just something that also brought me in the coaching staff and definitely the bright lights.テつ And I guess ever since I came it's opened up, people in San Antonio have seen that I've been successful here.
And I guess it shows that you can be successful coming here no matter where you're from.テつ So I think that's definitely helped them come in more.テつ And we've definitely got a lot more people from San Antonio now and it's definitely helped.

Q.テつ Julian, I've seen over the last couple of days a few comparisons between you and Draymond Green in terms of everything you do for your team, what do you think of those comparisons and what they mean about your game?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ Definitely a great person to be compared with.テつ He's an All‑American player, Big Ten Player of the Year.テつ He's definitely an NBA prospect.テつ He's a great player.
So to be mentioned with him is something that as great, and I feel that there's things that he does that is kind of like me in the same sense.テつ So once tomorrow comes, it will be a great matchup.テつ And it's definitely an honor.

Q.テつ Coach Ferry has called you guys a melting pot because you're from all over the country.テつ Do you guys feel like New Yorkers?
JULIAN BOYD:テつ Me, no.テつ I'm still from Texas.テつ But because there's not‑‑ there's really not that many people on our team from New York.テつ So I'm definitely around people from Pittsfield, Massachusetts and Springfield, Silver Springs Maryland, I don't even know where he's from.テつ So it's definitely people from all over.テつ But at heart I'm still a Texas guy.

Q.テつ Do you guys feel like New Yorkers?
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ I'm from Maryland, but I love New York.テつ So that's a plus, I guess.
MICHAEL CULPO:テつ Celtics all the way.テつ (Laughter).

Q.テつ There's a lot of players in this tournament who don't have the advantage of experience in the tournament.テつ And you guys have that.テつ Knowing what you know a year later, what's important coming into this in terms of mentality?テつ Is it nice to be loose this time?テつ You're going to be focused, what is it that you need to bring into the tournament?
MICHAEL CULPO:テつ I think the biggest thing is staying poised.テつ There's a lot of media attention.テつ It's a big atmosphere.テつ But at the end of the day the game's got to be played between the lines.テつ So just stay poised.
JAMAL OLASEWERE:テつ Like Mike said, stay poised and stay composed.テつ This game will get hairy and we can't lose our heads.
JULIAN BOYD:テつ I agree with both of them, but I feel having that experience, you're not as jittery, you don't have the butterflies like you did last year.テつ You know what to expect and you can come in and just play like a regular basketball team and not worry about the NCAA logos and all the attention and stuff.テつ It's another basketball game.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.
Next up we have LIU Brooklyn head coach Jim Ferry.テつ Coach, an opening statement.
COACH FERRY:テつ We're obviously extremely excited to be back here for the second year in a row.テつ I got a bunch of guys, some tough‑minded kids that are all looking forward to this challenge of taking on a great Michigan State program.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions?

Q.テつ What are you seeing from your kids?テつ They've been here before, a lot of them, and what are you seeing this year in terms of the maturity after having the experience of being in the tournament before?
COACH FERRY:テつ Obviously like anything else, when you have experience with something, you're a year older, they've improved as basketball players.テつ They've matured as basketball players, and having been on this stage before they approach it better, they know what to expect.テつ We competed with North Carolina in last year's tournament.テつ I thought there was great focus coming in in regards to the scouting report.
There's actually great focus on intensity in practice the past couple of days as well.テつ I think they've taken more of a business‑like approach to the whole thing.テつ I think that just shows from their experience.

Q.テつ You don't have to tell me.テつ People know what Michigan State brings year in, year out.テつ But what are some keywords to think about when facing Michigan State?
COACH FERRY:テつ Toughness.テつ Toughness.テつ They play the right way.テつ What people don't realize is they run more than people think.テつ Conversion defense is going to be a huge part of this basketball game.テつ And they have a star.テつ They have one of five of the best players in the country on this team that does everything for them.
They play basketball the right way.テつ They have a great coach.テつ It's going to be a physical, tough basketball game.

Q.テつ Can you talk about how important it's going to be for Julian and Jamal to match that physicality especially with Draymond and Derrick Nix, the tough guy they have inside?
COACH FERRY:テつ It's one of the biggest keys to the game.テつ Not only do they have to match the intensity, you have to do it by being very smart because they can't get in foul trouble.テつ It's not only Draymond, it's Payne, it's Nix, it's all the guys.
They're a physical, big, aggressive basketball team.テつ Our kids are pretty tough.テつ We're strong.テつ We play hard.テつ We've just got to make sure we play smart.

Q. テつYou talked about how tough this team is.テつ You have kids from all over the country.テつ They have a little New York edge to them?
COACH FERRY:テつ Yeah, I think it epitomizes New York.テつ We have kids from all over the country.テつ Like I heard somebody say, the melting pot is the melting pot.テつ We have kids from everywhere.
They fit right in New York.テつ They respect everybody, but they don't necessarily fear anybody.テつ I think that's the approach of a New York person.テつ They think we're rough around the edges.テつ We're not.テつ We're like everybody else.テつ But the things we experience and our approach to things, we've got to have respect for these guys, no question about it.テつ But I don't see these guys backing down from anybody.

Q.テつ Two years in a row now‑‑ but both years I think the seeding disappointed you a little bit.テつ How do you break through in this kind of pecking order, food chain thing, with the Selection Committee?
COACH FERRY:テつ You know, like we talk about as a program, you focus on what you can control.テつ We put the body of work together.テつ The committee decides on it.テつ The seed comes out.テつ Okay.テつ We're disappointed, but so be it; you gotta get to work.
In looking at it, probably just better off to go out and play every big‑time school in the country and trying to compete.
But then, again, we get 10 of our first 11 games on the road because no one wants to play us.テつ That's kind of a tough thing to do, keep taking these kids on the road night after night after night.テつ So there's got to be some type of medium that gets figured out in there.テつ But we'll figure it out.

Q.テつ I guess following up on your statement about scheduling in the future.テつ Is that part of the idea what the deal is with Barclays, to be able to, if they're not going to come into your gym, maybe they'll come in there and you can get some, quote, bigger games?
COACH FERRY:テつ Absolutely.テつ I think John Suarez, our athletic director, and I talk about that all the time trying to play against opponents on a neutral site and getting some of the bigger schools, play Seton Hall in the Barclay's Center next year, trying to get another Big Six program to try to come in and play us as well.テつ So it's not on our campus where people have a hard time beating us, but maybe we get on a neutral site where it's not us having to go on the road 10 out of our first 11 again.
So it's definitely going to help us.テつ Because, again, I think everybody in the country wants to get into New York.テつ Brooklyn is a hot place right now.テつ Everybody wants to get into downtown Brooklyn, ala Coach Calipari, so they'll try to get in there.テつ So maybe that's an advantage to us so we can get some games in there.

Q.テつ How challenging is it to prepare for a double blade sword in the post with Payne who is long and lanky and Nix who is wide and physical?
COACH FERRY:テつ Extremely difficult.テつ This whole scouting report for this whole team is difficult.テつ Because they can beat you in a lot of different ways.テつ They play with great speed and conversion.
They have exceptional 3‑point shooting.テつ They have versatile 4 man that just does everything possible as a basketball player.テつ They have big‑time bodies up front that can beat you and bang you in different ways.
So as a staff, we've sat down and we've figured out what things we might be able to take away.テつ And we have to go after those to make them weaknesses and try and stay away from their strengths.
But I think it's extremely difficult.テつ And that's the reason they're a No.1 seed.テつ It's the reason they're a top 5 program in the country is extremely talented basketball players, they really play unselfishly, and they're a difficult matchup for a lot of teams.

Q.テつ A lot has justifiably been made of the seeding, 1‑16, so forth.テつ We've seen other upsets, 15, 14s go down.テつ Do you get the impression that Coach Izzo is the sort that he manages to keep his team focused and not looking past people as much as maybe some others have been vulnerable to?
COACH FERRY:テつ Yeah, I think he's great at it.テつ That's why he's been to so many Final Fours.テつ Everybody's talking to Ashville and Syracuse today.テつ That's not very good for the Blackbirds, because if Michigan State was looking away a little bit that might have woken them up a little bit.テつ But Coach Izzo is one of the best coaches in the game, if not the best coach in the game.
Reading some of the quotes, you can see that program doesn't look past anybody.テつ They play hard.テつ If they're playing a high school team they're going to play hard.
So we're going to have to beat them by playing a great basketball game.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

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