home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 14, 2013

Rotnei Clarke

Andrew Smith

Brad Stevens



COACH STEVENS:  I thought it was a good game.  I knew it was going to be a good game.
Dayton had been playing their best basketball as of late, and if you look at them statistically, they are one of the more deceiving teams in our league because of the fact that they have been in the Top‑30 offensively, which is actually a 40‑spot jump since we played them last.
I thought it was going to be a tough game to win and I was proud of the fact that we were able to win it.

Q.  Did you feel like it was a matter of time before you guys started to take care of the shooting, get over the jitters early on?
ROTNEI CLARKE:  You know, we just came out and we were probably a little passive at first.  We didn't play aggressive enough.  We didn't play hard enough, either, but we got in the flow a little bit and shots started to fall.

Q.  Andrew, this is kind of the same question I guess, but Dayton is up three, looked like 13 minutes left, was there something different from that point on that you felt you were playing better or just a matter of the shots started going? 
ANDREW SMITH:  I think pretty much what Rotnei said, we weren't really playing hard enough.  We were taking plays off and we were letting them score too easily on the inside.  You see they outscored us 48‑28.  You are not going to win a whole lot of games doing that, so we were pretty fortunate and we ended up playing pretty hard, pretty well the last 15 minutes but we definitely need to improve on the first 25.

Q.  You guys won three in a row since the loss to t cu, since then you're scoring a lot more, can you talk about what you've done to step it up since that loss?
ROTNEI CLARKE:  I think we just got together and we communicated as a team and sat down.  We discussed our roles, from the top to the bottom.  Just tried to figure out what we weren't doing and what we had to do.  Obviously something's going right here.  You know, we are communicating a lot, and our chemistry off the floor leads to it on, and we have done a good job of getting together off the floor and it's carried over.

Q.  You didn't have the opportunity to play against La Salle last time but I believe you were at the game.  Can you talk about what you observed and what kind of challenge those guys are going to present for you, and Andrew, if you want to chime in, too.
ROTNEI CLARKE:  La Salle is a great team.  You know, we definitely have a big challenge ahead.  They have got a lot of guards that can really drive the ball well, and so we are going to have to be able to guard.  They obviously did a lot to get the bye and they have played well in conference play.  So it's definitely going to be a challenge.
ANDREW SMITH:  Like he said, they got a bye in the first round and that alone says they are a good team, and they are good from their bigs to their guard.  Yeah, it's going to be a team effort and we are going to have to play well.

Q.  Just how are you able to get open, you took 12 threes, that's a pretty good number.
ROTNEI CLARKE:  Yeah, my teammates, Coach, drew up good plays and it's a tribute to the guys on the team, Andrew, Khyle, Kam, Rose, they set great screens for me especially off the ball.  In transition, I got a couple looks and it's all from these guys, they look for me when I'm open and it's a really unselfish team.

Q.  What have you learned‑‑
ROTNEI CLARKE:  I've learned that throwing it back, like coming off ball screens, getting it to other guys and letting them work first and trying to share the ball more has led to taking a little bit of focus off me and me being aggressive at certain points in the game, I can be able to pick my spots in different situations and I've tried to do that better.

Q.  What about the fact that La Salle had the bye‑‑ is there a problem with that‑‑
COACH STEVENS:  I think that's part of it.  Guys can't play 80 minutes of basketball in two days, probably signed up for the wrong thing.
So I don't see it being a problem.  I see certainly it's going to be a challenge, and it will have nothing to do with our legs, and just the fact that we are playing a good team.

Q.  This is the first time in this conference tournament, is there any adjustment period, or is it just another business trip, especially Andrew having played in the horizon league the last couple years?
ANDREW SMITH:  It's a little bit unique because we have four games in four days.  But other than that, we have played in arenas like this and we have played these teams before.  It's our first year in the A‑10, but it's not really anything different for us.  We are just trying to approach it one game at a time.

Q.  They were up early in the second half and then you go three, three, three and took control again.
COACH STEVENS:  That got us stabilized‑‑ is that the right word for that?  Gave us a little bit of belief heading into the final ten minutes.
I thought, you know, the series of plays where Fromm was in the middle of them on the three he hit, a couple of effort play points that he had, kind of separated the game. 
       So I thought we started scoring in the paint a little bit more.  And I think, you know, the neat part about it was the guys through that stretch‑‑ it was our bench picks.

Q.  All those guards and the matchup problems‑‑
COACH STEVENS:  I think the biggest thing is that they are unique.  They are small on the perimeter, per se, but because they play four point guards at a time, it just is really unique.
I saw Kam (ph) play a lot in the summer when he was in high school and he played with Khyle Marshall, and he played the point the whole time, and here, he doesn't play the point much, but he's a point guard on the floor.
So they have four great decision makers on the floor, they have four great drivers, four very good shooters.  And then around those bigs, I think those bigs are really undervalued when you consider their team.  And John does a good job, so I think Rotnei hit the nail on the head; it's about --they are a unique team to have to play.
But it's about being a little bit better defensively and then we weren't very good offensively up there.  So hopefully we can be a little bit better tomorrow.

Q.  First year in the A‑10, what are your thoughts and what do you expect?
COACH STEVENS:  Well, you treat it like any other tournament we've ever been in.  You know, the difference between this and an NCAA Tournament is you doesn't don't have that extra day of preparation.  But this is why you play in Maui.  This is why you play the year before wherever we played, just keep going in those preseason tournaments.
Everything you do in the non‑conference from a scheduling standpoint is to prepare you for now.  I think that's the best benefit of those preseason exempt tournaments.

Q.  What was going on for Dayton at the end, the first half, beginning of the second half, where they kind of had a nice little run there?
COACH STEVENS:  First of all, they made good plays.  Those guys are good players.  Benson played like a senior.  He played like he didn't want to lose his last game.  Dillard made a couple the great plays on the drive.  Sanford just lowered his head and drove it.  They only took four 3s the whole game, and two of them in the last two minutes.
So I think that that says enough of what their game plan was, and they really had it rolling some ways early on with that, and then I think we adjusted well to the last ten minutes of the game.
But, they ran some good action that basically where we call it a clip stream where they just run and basically fly by a guy and really don't set it and you don't know whether it switch or go.  We didn't handle it well a couple of times.

Q.  Talk about your ball movement, 17 assists; how much does a game like this help you out for tomorrow?
COACH STEVENS:  I don't think it has any impact on tomorrow, but I think that hopefully you can continue to value the things that lead to winning.  So you know, each game is its own entity and each 40 minutes is its own deal and that's the way you have to approach it.
But at the same time, I think clearly we are better in the last two weeks.  We have had unbelievable practices the last ten days, more of what I've been used to at this time of the year.  So that's kind of got me excited for the future here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297