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March 14, 2013

Jim Boeheim

James Southerland

Brandon Triche



COACH BOEHEIM:  I thought offensively that first half we played as well as we played all year.  Pittsburgh is a tremendous defensive team.  We just had great ball movement.  Got the open guys, and James just got‑‑ he got good looks, and he made them.
He only got five shots.  That's the only shots he had really.  They defend so well.  It's so hard to get him looks.  We were able to get them.  Second half, we couldn't get him really anything.  I think he got one look, and he made it.
I thought‑‑ you know they're going to come back.  I think offensively we weren't quite as good movement‑wise in the second half.  The first half, we out rebounded them four, and the second half was minus 16.  That was really the difference.  They're a physical team.  They're a very good rebounding team, and they just got on the boards.  They're very physical rebounding team.
We just couldn't get defensive rebounds, and that just allowed them to get back into the game.  I thought we played extremely hard defensively for 40 minutes, and it was a tremendous win for us.

Q.  Coach, talk about the poise that Carter Williams showed down the end of the game with those final shots.
COACH BOEHEIM:  I think the one thing with Michael, earlier in the year he missed some against Temple in this building.  He had one other game that he missed some.  He's a competitor.  He's worked hard at it.  I could see that he was determined.
Sometimes you have to go through those bad experiences to be able to come back in this situation and be able to make them.  And they were huge.  I mean, I don't think we win the game if he doesn't go to the line and make those free throws.  They had a lot of momentum, and it would have been difficult for us if he hadn't made those, and then he makes a great defensive play at the other end too.
So, again, I think those bad experiences early in the year, I think, have really helped him.  It's his first year playing college basketball, and I think he's a tremendous player.

Q.  Jim, just curious what your mindset is going into tomorrow night and how important it was to have the kind of shooting that you have, 6 for 6 from threes after I think you were going over in the last game against Georgetown facing them.
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  I think it's very important.  Georgetown is a team that's going to play tough and physical.  So if you keep moving, getting people open and setting screens, we'll be fine.

Q.  Jim, hearing you talk about how physical this game was‑‑ Pittsburgh is physical, you're physical‑‑ is the league you're going into next year ready for play like this?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Let's worry about that next year.

Q.  For James, in the second half, how did Pittsburgh lock down on you defensively as opposed to the first half, when you got a lot of looks?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  They did a great job of staying with me.  Even when I was moving, they did a good job of trying to be physical, but also opened up a lot of opportunities to get the basket with guys like C.J., Brandon, and Mike.

Q.  Also for James, what kind of feeling is that to almost hit everything that you look at?  Why do you think that was?  Did you sleep on the same side of the bed?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  It's a great feeling.  I didn't realize I was 6 for 6 until I looked down at the paper now.  I don't think about it.  I just go out and play and make sure I make every shot.

Q.  Brandon, it feels like the last two games, you guys played with a ton of energy.  Does that have to do with the stage, the Garden, the Big East Tournament?  Is that where you guys are getting that from?
BRANDON TRICHE:  We have to.  After going six or seven games straight with a lack of energy, I mean, we know we have to be urgent.  We know that this means a lot to us, as a basketball team and as a program.  This can very much jump start us to the tournament.  So we know how important this Big East Tournament is.

Q.  Coach, considering it's the final year here of the Big East Tournament, Georgetown‑Syracuse Friday night, a third chance to take on the Hoyas, what's going to have to be different for you guys Friday night to win this game?
COACH BOEHEIM:  We're going to have to play a lot better than we have in the two games we played.

Q.  Jim, along those lines, I know you've talked endlessly about that rivalry.  Does it seem fitting that you're going to go through Georgetown again in the last round here?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I don't know.  That's for you guys to figure out.

Q.  Do you have any feelings about that?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I'm just happy.  We came to New York with the only goal to just get playing better, and we played really well here in two games, and that's important.  I think it's still important going into tomorrow night to, again, to play well.
They're a tremendous team, and we have no answers for them down there.  When we played them in Syracuse, it was a good game in Syracuse for most of it.  We just didn't play well in either game.  They're too good.  If you don't play well, they're going to beat you.  Should be a great game.
It seems to be‑‑ it's a great thing to be‑‑ the doubleheader that's going to be here tomorrow night will be a great basketball night, I think.  I think you're going to have arguably four of the best teams in the country playing here tomorrow night probably.  So it should be‑‑ it's a good way to go out if this is it, for this league as it's constituted now.
It's a great way for this league to go out.  We got to the semis in this tournament a lot, I think over 20 times, and it's great to be able to do that because it means you played pretty good, and that's what we're trying to do, play good and get ready for, unfortunately, the only thing that matters, next week.

Q.  Coach, it seems like your team thrived in these atmospheres where you're playing back to back nights.  Have you seen that the past couple of years?  What are you telling your players about that?
COACH BOEHEIM:  We've been a good tournament team.  We've had good results in tournaments that are back to back.  Two and three days, we've always been good in those situations.  That's what we're doing now.

Q.  Jim, do you think Pitt is a team that can make a run in the NCAA Tournament?
COACH BOEHEIM:  They're a very, very good basketball team.  They're very physical, good defensively.  We had to have a tremendous shooting game today to beat them, and it's usually hard to shoot well against them.  Even the shots James made, he was guarded.
Really, I think five of them, he was fairly closely guarded on the six threes he made.  They were there.  It wasn't like he was just getting open shots.  Like last night he got some open shots.  He didn't get open.  There was somebody there.  But they switched, and there was a guard on them, so he could get up and get it off.
We made shots.  Pittsburgh's a very, very good basketball team.  They've got good leadership, good seniors.  They've got some good young players.  They're a very good‑‑ they're a really good tournament team.  They've got good depth.

Q.  For either Brandon or James, how much do both of you want another shot at Georgetown?
BRANDON TRICHE:  I want it a lot.  Them beating us twice, not too many teams have done that.  I remember beating them twice, and the third time they beat us.  That was in the Big East Tournament.  We're trying to pretty much return the favor.  That means a lot.  Anybody that beats you by 20 points, you want revenge.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Syracuse, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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