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March 15, 2013

Jim Boeheim

James Southerland

Brandon Triche



COACH BOEHEIM:  I thought like last night we got our offense going the first half, thought our movement was really good.  We got James open.  We really did some good things offensively.  Our defense has been good.  It's been good all year.  Nothing been wrong with our defense.
The second half offensively, we struggled.  We just couldn't get the ball in the basket.  C.J. got some good opportunities, we just couldn't finish.  But our defense hung in there.
We tried at the end of regulation.  We're pressuring them.  I thought we did a good job on Porter, whether it's bumped him a little bit or whatever, maybe.  Okay.  In the overtime, we did the same thing.  We came up and trapped just like we did last night against Pittsburgh, and C.J. made a great rotation into the area, and it made a great play.
Baye was just unbelievable tonight.  I told him he's going to shoot the technicals from now on the rest of the year.  And Trevor Cooney, he struggled this year, but we know he can shoot.  We have faith in him.  Players found him.  They got him open shots, and he knocked them down.  He got four defensive rebounds.  I thought he played tremendously well in the first half.  He was a big part of that.
But this was just a great win.  We didn't shoot that well.  We didn't score that many.  But they scored just enough.  It was a really good win.  Georgetown beat us easily in the last game, and it happened once before.  We lost twice during the regular season, came here, and played them in the first round once, and we beat them then too.
It's hard to win three, but they're a really good team.  I just thought tonight we played a little better defense.  We cheered up on Porter a little bit more.  We left Hopkins alone, and he did get some work done there, but not as much as Porter and Starks would get.
Again, a really good win.  These guys were really gritty, and they hung in there.

Q.  Brandon, a couple plays where you were able to get to the basket.  I'm just curious what in particular you saw.  Was there an opening or something you noticed in the previous two games against Georgetown that gave you that opening, that opportunity?
BRANDON TRICHE:  I normally like going left.  I think they was just playing me and closing the left side off also.  I figured I'd bounce back right.  That's where I got my two layups from just bouncing back right.

Q.  Coach, C.J. was basically shut down by Otto Porter the whole game and then had those two huge plays, including the steal at the end.  What did that mean for the game.
COACH BOEHEIM:  Otto Porter‑‑ I hate to say this in some ways, but I was talking today before the game, I think he's the best all around player I've seen in this league.  I don't think I've seen a better all around player.  The guy plays defense.
C.J. is a great player, and we were going at him.  We were going to go at him.  And he really couldn't get much accomplished against him.  I think he's a great defensive player.  I think he's a great passer.  I think he obviously can shoot the ball, and he just‑‑ really, I don't see a weakness in his game from a perimeter point of view of a guy that I've seen in this league over the years.
There's been so many great players, but centers, power forwards, point guards, two guards, but I don't think I've seen a better small forward in this league.  He's just a complete player.
If we were still in this league, I'd be saying that to get him out.  But we're not.

Q.  Why would Syracuse walk away from all this?
COACH BOEHEIM:  It's got nothing to do with basketball, you know that.  You're way smarter than that.  This is just to do with football.  You know that.  It's just where everything is going.  Just wait a few more years.  Everything will be gone.

Q.  Do you look around in the final minutes when the game's over and realize just how special it is?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I was busy in the final minutes.  I noticed one cheerleader but‑‑ no.  That will be trouble.
I thought about it before the game, obviously, and you think about it a little bit.  It means a lot to us to get to the finals of this tournament.  It means a lot.
But the biggest thing is we came to New York with this year's team, and obviously we had not performed well, and we had a chance in a couple of games and let them get away.  So we needed to come here and play well.  That's what our main concern was.  It wasn't defense because our defense has been good.  It was offensively.  I think we've gotten better offensively.

Q.  Jim, given everything that this game is about, the atmosphere out there and how close it was, you had contributions from Trevor in the first half and Baye throughout, to get guys like that to really factor in, what does that say about the effort tonight?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Trevor was a surprise, obviously.  We've seen good things from him in practice, but there's no question that this was‑‑ nobody saw this coming.  It wasn't like I thought, you know, Trevor Cooney is going to get ten points in the first half, so I'll just put him out there.  He got help and got a second foul.  I usually play guys with two fouls in the second half, especially seniors.
But Trevor, he hit that short jump shot, and he plays good defense.  He really‑‑ he hit four defensive rebounds.  He really was the best player on the court in the first half for either team.  I mean, he clearly was.
But Baye is a good player.  Our other center was sleeping tonight.  We couldn't wake him up to get out there to play.  So it was important that Baye stepped up.

Q.  James, I think you tied Gerry McNamara's tournament record for threes at 16.  Get a chance tomorrow.
COACH BOEHEIM:  Don't tell him that.

Q.  Just your thoughts on trying to win a title and breaking a record along the way the same night.
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  First of all, I just apologize to G‑Mac.  Sorry, man.  I didn't mean to do that.  At the same time, going to focus on what we need to do and execute plays and play better defense.

Q.  For James also, you guys struggled at the end of the regular season against some very good teams, but kind of on a downer coming in here.  Can you describe what emotion this team came in, maybe channeling it from Jim, your coach, and some of the other guys like McNamara.  What kind of emotion did you feel coming into this?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  Everyone was eager to go out there and prove to everybody what we could do.  Coaches did a great job of staying on us.  Also, we did a great job of not hanging our heads this season.  We did an even better job of coming together as a team and just talking and making sure that we trust each other.
That's the main thing, trust each other and working on defense and talking.  Since then, we feel‑‑ we all feel like we're in sync, and we're ready to go.

Q.  Did you sense the importance of this event through Jim?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  Oh, yes, we all sense it.  This is big time, the Big East Tournament, and we're here and ready to play.

Q.  Coach, you just had four guys in double figures with no one with more of 13 points.  Does that sort of team game say something about the way you play in the Big East?
COACH BOEHEIM:  We have normally four guys that are capable of scoring between 15 and 20, but in this kind of a game, it's going to be a struggle.  It's going to be a defensive battle the whole game.  I think‑‑ I'm just proud of our effort and the fact that we made some mistakes and overcame them, missed some free throws and overcame, foul a guy, put him on the line at the end of regulation, made a couple‑‑ made a bad turnover after we got the lead.  We were able to overcome all that.
I think that it all stems back to when we came home, the assistant coach is gone, players, and I thought we had a couple of really good players.  The players were out early.  They were really talking and talking to themselves about it.  They didn't like the way we finished.
I thought it was more from the players and the assistant coaches getting them going that enabled us to come down here and to play well.
This is a monumental tournament for us to get our confidence back and what we can do and what's ahead of us.  We fully got that back.  So that's why this tournament is so valuable for us this year.  We really needed to have this kind of a tournament.

Q.  For both players, when you knew you were going to get Georgetown the third time, did you guys talk about there's no way we're going to let them beat us?
BRANDON TRICHE:  Exactly.  I remember two years ago we ended up beating them twice, and they beat us in the Big East Tournament.  We just wanted to return the favor.
Just us losing last time by 20, that meant a lot for us to even get to play against them again.  Just reading comments from them, talking trash about us, it made it even more important to win a game like this.
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  I kind of‑‑ I think we all kind of saw this coming.  But at the same time, no matter who we played, we're just going to go out there and play as a team, and I'm just glad we're able to face them again and have a chance to win a championship.
JOHN PAQUETTE:  Syracuse, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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