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March 9, 2013

Malcolm Armstead

Tekele Cotton

Carl Hall

Gregg Marshall



THE MODERATOR:  We've got a few notes to pass along before the Wichita State Shockers arrive to the podium.  Wichita State's win this afternoon moves the Shockers into tomorrow's MVC tourney title game against top‑seeded Creighton.  It's the fifth WSU title game and first since finishing runner‑up in 2010 to UNI, which was a 67‑52 loss.  The Shockers are 26‑7 now for the season, 3‑0 against ISU, and 27‑31 in the MVC tourney.  Also 4‑5 against ISU.  WSU trails 37‑36 in the all‑time series with ISU.
Coach Gregg Marshall is 135‑68 in his sixth season at WSU, 329‑151 in his 15th season overall as a college head coach.  7‑5 in the MVC tourney and 2‑2 in the MVC semis.  Marshall is 2‑1 against ISU in the MVC Tournament and meanwhile, Illinois States falls to 18‑15.  The Redbirds are 38‑28 all time in the MVC tourney and 10‑11 in the semifinal games.
Coach Dan Muller is 18‑15 in his first season at ISU and overall as a college head coach is 0‑3 against the Shockers and 1‑1 in the MVC Tournament.
Couple other individual and team notes.  Wichita State, WSU, the MVC's top rebounding team, dominated the boards 48‑31 as Malcolm Armstead had nine and Carl Hall had eight.
WSU's the only MVC school ISU did not beat this season.  Illinois State had two of its three lowest scoring halves in the season against Wichita, with 20 back on January 16 at Wichita and 24 today.
Jackie Carmichael had three blocked shots for 21 now in the MVC tourney play to stay in second all time in that department behind Benoit Benjamin of Creighton, whose record is 23.  Carmichael extends his career school records for blocks to 200.
Attendance of 18,262 is the second best MVC semifinal crowd on record behind 22,612 in 2007.
And Coach Gregg Marshall joins us.  Fellas are grabbing a drink, and they'll be right here.  Malcolm Armstead, Tekele Cotton and Carl Hall joins us.
We'll start with a statement from Coach about the proceedings this afternoon, move to questions for the student‑athletes and wrap up with Coach Marshall.  Coach?
COACH MARSHALL:  Just real excited to move on to Sunday.  This is a defensive effort that can get you to a championship game and hopefully help win it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Malcolm Armstead, Tekele Cotton and Carl Hall.

Q.  Malcolm, you came out like a man possessed.  What was your motivation today?
MALCOLM ARMSTEAD:  Defense came out early.  Knew I had to set the tone defensively to get going.  I knew if I came out and was aggressive on defense, it would carry over and get transition buckets for us.

Q.  For the three guys, how personal was this game for you guys, especially after the way the game ended up in Normal, Illinois?
THE MODERATOR:  Carl, why don't you start with that one.
CARL HALL:  We were trying to come in the game and execute and play hard and we was just trying to stay focused throughout the game.  It wasn't anything personal.  It was just a game we had to win. 
THE MODERATOR:  Tekele, any thought about that?
TEKELE COTTON:  We came here to accomplish one of our goals for the season, that's to win the whole thing.  Take one game at a time.  That was one game.  Now we go on to the next game.

Q.  Carl, the first 12 minutes of that game, without a field goal, what does it feel like to be so good defensively in that stretch?
CARL HALL:  Feels good when you're getting stops.  I was just trying to tell the guards, don't help me as much and not leave the shooters open.  I was just trying to check Carmichael up and make it tough for him all night.

Q.  Tekele, looked like trying to deny Brown, keeping the ball out of his hands as much as possible.  Was that the plan against him?
TEKELE COTTON:  Yes, sir, it was.  It was our coaching staff's plan to X him out, so that's what we did.

Q.  What was the conversation at halftime when they came back there at the end?
THE MODERATOR:  Carl, why don't you start.
CARL HALL:  I was telling the guys to stay focused and keep getting out there on defense and good things will happen.
THE MODERATOR:  Malcolm, any thought?
MALCOLM ARMSTEAD:  Like Carl said, we know that a good team's going to make runs so you got to be able to control and stay composed at the time.  Defense and rebounding, that was our mind frame going into the game.  We knew that would get us further.

Q.  Malcolm, looked like in the second half, did you do a better job against the zone by maybe getting the ball inside a little bit?  Tell us what you did in the second half against that zone.
MALCOLM ARMSTEAD:  Can you repeat that?

Q.  In the second half, you were more effective working against the zone.  Why?  What were you guys doing better?
MALCOLM ARMSTEAD:  Just around the perimeter.  Coach told us to be patient and try to get it inside, not throw it around the perimeter.  Get it to the heart of the zone, the middle, good things will happen.  That's what we tried to do.

Q.  You guys got another crack at Creighton.  What's the single most important thing you have to do tomorrow, you think, to win it all?
CARL HALL:  Play hard and execute.  Creighton is a very good team.  If you don't play good on defense, they make you pay.  We'll concentrate on executing and not leaving shooters open.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?

Q.  Tekele, when Carl can do a pretty good on Carmichael and not get help, how does that help everybody else keeping track of shooters?
TEKELE COTTON:  It definitely helps everybody else.  When he has Carmichael by himself, people don't have to dig as much.  He obviously can guard by himself.  So that's a plus.
THE MODERATOR:  Last question, perhaps, for the Shockers.

Q.  Carl, not leaving good shooters open, easier said than done against Creighton?  What's the big key against a team that's so good at creating their own shots?  Particularly I'm talking about Doug.
CARL HALL:  I just got to come ready to play, man, and I really can't say nothing, because he's really good at creating.  So I just got to do the best job I can on him and make it difficult for him and not give him angles so the guards won't have to help as much.  So I'm going to just try to make it hard for him and give him different looks every time.
THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, thank you for your time and attention.  Congratulations on the win.  Questions for Coach Marshall.

Q.  Gregg, can you talk about the total team defensive effort, and in particular Tekele's effort against Brown tonight?
COACH MARSHALL:  We held him to 29 percent, 26 percent from three.  It's a talented basketball team.  They've got guys who can score even when well‑guarded.
Tyler Brown, I was‑‑ Coach Jans was primarily responsible for the scout, did a wonderful job.  We were talking about how hot he had been over the last X amount of games, and I don't know how many games there have been, but I looked back through their game notes and since February 3rd, I think they played a game on the 2nd and he scored 20‑something.  No, excuse me, he was below 20.
Since the 3rd of February, so that's a little over a month, I don't know how many games that is, but it's double digits.  He had scored 20‑plus and a couple times 30‑plus every game.  Now he's gone two‑‑ except for two games, last whatever, when we were in Bloomington, Normal, he had 17.  Tonight, he had 9.
Tekele Cotton, I'm going to do an addendum to try to get him individually for the All‑Defensive Team.  I mean, it's a travesty that he's not on that All‑Defensive Team.  When Mr. Brown comes in here you can ask him.  But I think Tekele Cotton deserves a little recognition.

Q.  The Creighton/Wichita State series has so much intrigue already.  Now there's the added factor of potentially being Creighton's final game in the Valley.  Does that bring any sentimentality into this thing?
COACH MARSHALL:  We've never won in St. Louis.  We've got a little sentimentality‑‑ is that the word, sentimentality?  That's a lot of syllables, Bob‑‑ on our side as well.  We're going to try to cut down nets.  They're going to try to cut down nets, maybe an exit.  So I'd rather them be a little sad leaving than all jacked up leaving.
It's going to make for great drama, great TV.  They're a wonderful offensive team, and look at this.  We give up 51 and then last week, we give up 91.  That's how good they can be.

Q.  Gregg, was this kind of a VCU/Iowa defensive effort?
COACH MARSHALL:  It was one of the top five to ten for the season.  Great contest.  I don't know how many minutes they went.  It was at least into single digits on the clock before they got a basket.  You know, there were a couple of‑‑ we keep putting them at the foul line.  But they were having a hard time putting the ball in the basket.  This is a prolific scoring team when they've got it going.  You saw Tyler Brown yesterday.  I mean, it's an entirely different guy.
Marc Sonnen is a good defender.  He kept working, and eventually Tyler Brown missed some.  Jackie Carmichael is a special talent as well.  Our guys defensively as a group, as a unit‑‑ and it wasn't just Tekele Cotton.  Malcolm, you mentioned, was just tremendous.
We were getting not only stops, we were so active in cleaning the glass and getting transition, we had spray‑aheads and three‑on‑ones.  I know Cotton missed a couple of bunnies in the first half in transition that I thought he should have just stuck in the basket, dunked it or whatever.  But obviously, he's not in there for his offense.

Q.  You go up 15‑0, yet they come back and take a lead about six and a half minutes later, late in the second half.  What happened at the start of the second half that was a key for you guys, you think?
COACH MARSHALL:  Basically, we got a little better defensively, like we started the game.  And we started scoring.  The reason they went on their run, not only were we not defending as well as we had been, we were not as good offensively either.  We couldn't score against that zone.  We had a couple of nice looks.  We turned it over a couple times.
I mean, we didn't get a shot once or twice.  So good play by them.  They're not really a zone team.  But they were doing some sort of a matchup zone.  They were going with cutters.  So kudos to them for the switch, because it was getting kind of ridiculous early on.  Then they turned it around, took their run, and then we reestablished early in the second half.

Q.  Were you able to kind of regroup and figure out the zone a little bit at halftime?  Was that helpful in the second half?
COACH MARSHALL:  Yeah, we talked about a few things that I wasn't able to get through to them during the media timeouts and whatnot.

Q.  Would you say that the guys are playing more as a team right now?  I mean, they just seem to kind of have a unified effort.
COACH MARSHALL:  Well, we've had a great team effort all year.  We've got 26 up and 7 down.  They're certainly not perfect, but by and large, they share the ball, they defend it as a team very, very well.  This one was one that we knew that they were jacked up.  We'd heard and read that this is what they wanted, and so we were going to make sure that they got everything that we could bring to the table.

Q.  Coach, without giving away the game plan for tomorrow, how do you plan for a Greg McDermott or Doug McDermott, not stopping him but trying to slow him down?  He's been playing out of control of late.
COACH MARSHALL:  If Greg McDermott scores, that will be good for us.  There will be technical fouls.  I know he can dance.  I watched that deal with the bobble head, whatever you call it.  He and Mr. Rasmussen, I don't know the third gentleman.  But, boy, they can really dance.
I know he can dunk too.  I've heard he can dunk.  I haven't seen it.  I heard he can dunk.  That was on a YouTube video.  He's multi‑talented and a great coach.  I hope he scores a couple because he'll get run out of here.  I think.  They might let him go.  I don't know.
His son, on the other hand, I hope he misses.  You have to guard him well and hope he misses.  He's as good a player as I've seen in this league in six years.  I think he should be considered for National Player of the Year if not be the National Player of the Year.  Strong consideration.
We did a pretty good job the four or five times we've played him.  He got loose last Saturday.  We'll see which way it goes this time.
THE MODERATOR:  Last question.

Q.  I understand Clee was not feeling well, maybe was kind of a question to play?  What happened there?
COACH MARSHALL:  I'm not a doctor, but what I heard was gastrointestinitis.  Big word, Bob.  Help me.
THE MODERATOR:  I think it's gastroenteritis.
COACH MARSHALL:  There you go.  Are you a doctor?
THE MODERATOR:  No.  Had it.
COACH MARSHALL:  Something like that.  That means it's coming out both ends.  It's not pretty.  We don't want to talk about it.  But you guys asked.  So it was a game‑time decision.  He got some IV fluids in the morning, and just gutted it out.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.  Appreciate it.  Congratulations on the win.  We'll see you tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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