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March 16, 2013

Rotnei Clarke

Roosevelt Jones

Brad Stevens



THE MODERATOR:  From Butler University, Head Coach Brad Stevens, players Rotnei Clarke and Roosevelt Jones.  Opening statement by Coach Stevens.
COACH STEVENS:  I thought our guys until the last ten minutes of this game really showed themselves great in this tournament.  Certainly, the number one factor in the last ten minutes was St. Louis.  I've said all year to the people that have listened, and some that don't, how good they are.  They are a legitimate contender for the whole thing.
I believe that wholeheartedly.  They've got eight guys that are all strong, big, physical, tough, smart, skilled basketball players, and you don't need anything else if you're all together, and they've got it all.
And I thought then the second factor‑‑ and far second, certainly, again, it's St. Louis that beat us.  That's why you try to get there.  The third game in three days against a team that physical that's going to steer you and be on you and ride you and bumper cuts and all that stuff, you've got to have some stuff to you to do that for 40 minutes when you're fresh, and you kind of saw the last ten minutes they got better and we didn't play as well.
But kudos to them.  It's a great basketball team.

Q.  Roosevelt, what makes a guy like Dwayne Evans so difficult to guard?
ROOSEVELT JONES:  He's a very physical player.  He's probably the most physical player that I ever played against in my life.  I really thought that he should have been Player of the Year in the conference.  He's a real good player.

Q.  Is it his body type?
ROOSEVELT JONES:  Yeah, he's kind of got a body type like me, but he's taller than me, so he's able to outphysical me, which is surprising to me.  I never played against anybody that physical.  So he got the best of me today.

Q.  Roosevelt, the first half you had to chase down a ball against the backboard.  Do you view that as a possible coming off point for the team really getting behind?
ROOSEVELT JONES:  No, I was just trying to get back because I made a turnover.  I thought I could help my team out by getting the block down.

Q.  Rotnei, they're not a team that uses the entire court all day, like you or Louisville does.  What makes them so effective?
ROTNEI CLARKE:  They run their system well.  Like Coach said, they're extremely physical.  They're not going to‑‑ they're really disciplined.  They're not going to jump over any cuts.  They're going to ride you and steer you the whole way.  They're really good trailing off screens, and they've got‑‑ like Coach said, eight guys that can really go, and they're together, and they're a tough team.

Q.  Rotnei, following up on that, could you talk a little bit about what Jordair Jett did specifically against you to kind of keep you away from your rhythm there.
ROTNEI CLARKE:  He's just a physical guy.  He did a good job of trailing me.  They did a good job off ball screens.  He just stayed down, and he moves laterally really well.  Not only that, he's strong.  He's a really good defender.

Q.  Is there a particular way that Coach Stevens handles losses that helps you guys move on to the next game?
ROTNEI CLARKE:  He definitely gives us confidence going into the next one.  Obviously, this was tough, but we're stressing putting this behind us right now and getting ready for the one that really matters.  I mean, this one definitely‑‑ we obviously want to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but we want to make a run into this next tournament more.
He puts confidence in us in the next game, and we're the most prepared team in the country by far every game.  We always have confidence going into the game.

Q.  Roosevelt?
ROOSEVELT JONES:  Like Rotnei said, Coach Stevens puts us in a situation for every game to win.  We've got to go out there and execute.  Most times we do and sometimes we don't.  Coach Stevens always has us prepared well for every single game.

Q.  Not in terms of the style of play, but in terms of the intelligence and their toughness, does this team remind you of your group from 2010 at all?
COACH STEVENS:  Does it remind us of the 2010?

Q.  Does St. Louis remind you?
COACH STEVENS:  The 2011 team was probably more like that because those guys were actually a little bit older.  The 2011 team, we started three sophomores, just happened that two of them are now playing.  One of them is playing here tomorrow night, and one of them is playing on ESPN with the Jazz tomorrow.  So that certainly helps.
The thing that I just go back to, Dana, is Cody Ellis and Jordair Jett are two of their best players.  They're not in the starting lineup.  Their starting lineup is really good.  So they have depth.  They have physicality.  They have toughness.
It does remind me in some ways of our teams.  I actually think this team‑‑ the St. Louis team is the strongest of any team we've had.  We've never had a team that looks like St. Louis strength‑wise.  They're the strongest team we've played against this year.  Oh, yeah.
And Indiana's great.  I think Indiana's at the level that everybody's going to be chasing them in the NCAA Tournament, but as far as pure strength, men, St. Louis is old.  They've been through it.  They've done it.  And they are men.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about Dwayne's game.  I was joking with him.  I said, "Guys your size, your body type, don't play below the rim."  He's got like an old school game.
COACH STEVENS:  I think he's probably a better athlete than people may realize, but he's always got a body on him when he's jumping, which makes it harder to jump.  He is such a physical basketball player.  It's not just on the offensive end.  He's great in the post.  He can post anybody from our 6'11" center to a guard.
If you can post and score on Rose, you are a player.  Rose, he was very accountable when you all talked to him.  Rose doesn't get outphysicaled very often, and Dwayne Evans is a tough matchup for him.  He's a tough matchup for everybody, and on the other end, he's dynamite.  He plays passing lanes.  He plays on top of you.  You can't run cuts.  He denies people the ball.  He's aggressive.  He's smart.  He's in tune.
I think he's really good.  I think he's really good.  And he deserves all the credit for being a First Team, All‑League guy.  I thought he was a very viable Player of the Year candidate as well.

Q.  Coach, could you just reflect on this year in conference play, and if this was, in fact, the final A‑10 game for you guys, the challenge of playing in your third conference in three years.
COACH STEVENS:  I don't know about that, but I know this.  This was a heck of a challenging year.  This is a heck of a league.  To win 13 games in this league and to win seven away from home against teams that we had to beat against our schedule‑‑ when I first looked at our schedule, when you're thinking about we're going to St. Joe's and Dayton to open it up.  You've got to go to VCU, you've got to go to Davis, go to LaSalle, go to UMass, and only St. Louis comes back to you, which, by the way, you don't really want them to come back.
It was a remarkable run for our team.  It's one of the best nonconference‑‑ excuse me.  Pre‑NCAA Tournament groups as far as what they achieve that we've ever had.  Because the schedule they played was incredible, both non and during league.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?
COACH STEVENS:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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