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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 17, 2013


Kenny Boynton

Billy Donovan

Mike Rosario


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with Florida. We'll ask Coach Donovan for some opening thoughts on the game. We'll take your questions just for the two student athletes, excuse them, and then finish up with Coach.
Coach if you'd begin.
COACH DONOVAN: Congratulations to Ole Miss. Certainly I thought it was a tale of two halves for both teams. I thought we played pretty well offensively in the first half and had a 12-point lead, and I thought two things, really, really hurt us in the game. In the second half is, one, we did not guard very well at all. When you give up 54 percent basically in the second half from a defensive standpoint, that erases any kind of lead you have pretty quickly when you end up shooting 29 percent in the second half.
I thought from an offensive perspective I thought we got very stagnant. I thought we dribbled around way too much. I didn't feel like the ball was moving. I didn't feel like we took advantage of what they were trying to do against us.
I thought when we did do that, we got pretty good looks. I thought there was three really, really key plays in the game that really swung momentum, and whether or not they were good calls or not, I think Mike's drive, at least from my angle, was a goal tend. No call. They come down and knock down a 3. Henderson's two fouls and 3-point shots to me, there were some things that broke our momentum.
Our guys fought in the game and tried to get back in the game, but, you know, down 2, you know, we got the ball to Erik and I thought he made a really good move, fell a little bit short. Scottie missed a front end of at least the first shot of both free throws, and I thought Patric made a great effort to keep it alive on the second miss. Kenny didn't have a great look but at least we had a shot up there to try to tie it.
That was really basically the game.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for either of the student athletes.

Q. You guys have obviously had a great season, you won the conference championship and it goes on, but the emptiness of coming close and not quite getting this tournament championship.
KENNY BOYNTON: Personally for me, I definitely wanted to win this championship, being two years ago we were in the same position and we lost in the championship and to Kentucky. In the first half, we had momentum going our way. In the second half, I don't think we were there all the way as a team defensively and, you know, they took advantage of that.
MIKE ROSARIO: Just add on what Kenny said, I felt that we didn't take advantage of the opportunity in the second half, you know, being up 12 and knowing that that team plays very well in the second half, and I feel like, you know, as a team we didn't respond early in the first four minutes, and, you know, we gave the momentum and I felt that, you know, they took that momentum in a positive way and just gave their team a lot of energy in the second half.

Q. Kenny, just go through the last couple seconds. How good a look were you able to get? Did you kind of know it was off when the shot left your hands or what was going through your mind there?
KENNY BOYNTON: The play was designed for us to get the ball back, and I tried to run towards the ball and get the ball before Ole Miss got it. I kind of rushed it because I was trying to back up and make sure it was a 3-point shot, you know, before the time ran out, so it was kind of a rush shot.

Q. For both athletes, you guys have had so many close calls this year that haven't gone your way. Does it make it more deflating for it to happen again today, or, I mean, what's kind of the emotions that you guys are going through?
MIKE ROSARIO: It's not frustrating. I wouldn't say it's frustrating. It's just -- we got to get back in the gym, you know, with Coach and go through those situations again, you know. We've been going through those situations a week before this tournament, you know, going with close -- being down 2 in practice, being up 15 in practice, and just working through those situations, game situations, late game situations.
It's something we got to keep working at. I feel like we keep doing that, we're going to prepare ourselves for the tournament. Feel like that's just our next step to go back to practice and get better.
KENNY BOYNTON: I think as a team, you know, this year we've been in every situation, you know, possible, whether it was coming back, getting a win or being up and losing a lead for a win.
I think, you know, this whole season has prepared us for this moment, the NCAA Tournament. I think we all know as one and done, so now as a team in the second half we got to bring it.

Q. This is for both players. What would you say your guys' confidence level is right now heading into the tournament. It's a deflating loss. You've had a pretty good regular season overall.
KENNY BOYNTON: I think as a team, our confidence is high. We know what we need to get better at. We're going to work. I think Coach is going to do a great job as getting us prepared for whatever team we play: As a team, I think our confidence is still high.
MIKE ROSARIO: I feel like, you know, the best thing about this next tournament that's coming up, NCAA Tournament, is the fact that, you know, as a team, we've been in, you know, every tight situation possible, you know, this year and that's the beauty of it, because now we know what to expect. We know what we have to do, and the thing is, the strength -- the weaknesses, the second half. We got to make sure we come out in the second half and be on edge and take advantage of the opportunity. And I feel like once we get back to practice, you know, Coach break down film to us, you know, we just got to take that and embrace it and get ready for these situations coming up.
THE MODERATOR: One more question for either student athlete.

Q. Kenny, can you -- you guys, the core of this team has been defense all year. This game, the struggles you had, a lot of it I'm sure was Henderson, being worried about him, but are you surprised that that happened in this game?
KENNY BOYNTON: No. Henderson, he's a good player. He hit some tough shots today. I think honestly Murphy Holloway was the guy who we wanted to shut down. He also was a factor, a big factor in the win. We didn't contain him much. As a defensive team, we take pride in our defense, and we don't think it was our best defensive game, but we're just going to work, get to practice and work.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. We'll excuse the student athletes back to the locker room.
We'll continue on questions for Coach Donovan. Raise your hand and we'll get a mic to you.

Q. Billy, at the end of the game you got everything you wanted. You got the good look from Erik, you got the -- fouled the right guy. He missed the second free throw. You got one last shot. Is it just a matter of again the ball just not going in the basket?
COACH DONOVAN: I think the first thing is we certainly put ourselves in a situation where we had to fight our way back. We were down by 6 and they fought their way back. Our guys -- we had a couple plays in the press that were effective. We got a steal, Scottie knocked down a 3. Mike Frazier's missed free throws to tie the game really would have maybe just a different edge with them going down the floor with the score tied instead of having the ball up 2.
You know, I think, Pat, there was some plays earlier in the year, which is normal, or a team where you kind of don't get the look, maybe you want to get, and we've spent a lot of time like the last minute, two minutes of games, just making sure we don't turn it over, get a good look.
Erik has got a 5-foot jump hook. Made a heck of a move. Didn't go in. We execute the missed free throw -- we wanted Scottie to make both of them. We were going to try to go for a five-second count and maybe they miss a free throw and we get a chance to go the length of the floor.
We missed a free throw, and Patric and Erik do a great job running the play and, you know, it's desperation. They execute it and slap the ball up in the air. I don't how good the look Kenny got. We gave ourselves a chance to at least tie it.
I thought we executed really good down the stretch. I was disappointed with our defense in the second half giving up 40 points, and I was really, really disappointed in our flow on offense. I thought we distributed the ball way too much, and I thought offensively Erik and Scottie Wilbekin had a very, very tough night offensively. Those guys had a really, really tough day. But, you know, they were battling and fighting.

Q. Is there any concern about the confidence level of your team in these down-to-the-wire games, or do you feel it's just a case where maybe the ball doesn't bounce right in?
COACH DONOVAN: It's got nothing to do with that. We're up by 12 points at the half, and I think you got to look at the execution part, you know. To me, we executed. The ball didn't go in the basket. That's part of the game. There's nothing I can do as a coach or the players can work on it, but I don't look at our guys -- did Erik Murphy look scared to shoot the ball today? He went up there strong.
All of our guys -- I don't sense our guys being -- the people trying to create this drama like our guys have lost confidence. Our guys haven't lost confidence at all. They dug themselves a hole with our lack of defense. I think what happens sometimes people try to create drama around a situation that's not necessarily true. The truth of the matter is, we were up 12 and allowed Ole Miss to shoot 53 percent in the second half and we shot 29 percent.
Did we execute well the last minute second half, did we fight and battle and scratch? Yes. I didn't feel like our guys' confidence was down.

Q. Billy, 31 3s too many or you like the looks?
COACH DONOVAN: We had to do that because they were switching and really, really jamming up the lane, and I actually thought most of the shots that we got were pretty good. Frazier goes 3 for 50. Boynton is 3 for 5, Rosario goes 3 for 9. Probably our best 3-point shooter is Erik Murphy, 1 for 6.
I didn't think we took a lot of ill-advised shots. I thought their switching of defenses and going to zone and switching a lot of our screening action there, we did get the ball inside, I thought Buckner blocked some shots. We took fairly decent looks. Erik had some really, really clean looks. Again, he's one of the best 3 point shooters I've ever coached. When he can get up 6, 3 point shots -- he got 11 shots in the game. He got to the free throw line a couple times.
You want to try to put your guys in situations they can make some plays and shots. Again, the frustrating part for me was just our defense, because we clearly have been one of the better defensive teams all year long. We were giving up maybe 52, 54 points a game and give up 40 in the second half and shoot 29 percent, and we just didn't come out the first four minutes and get off the a real good start.
You know what, it's easy for me to sit here and say all that. Times you have to give your opponent credit. Ole Miss did a very, very good job.

Q. Coach, obviously Marshall Henderson gets a lot of ink, whatever you want call it. Seemed like today it was other guys that kept them in the game so he could have a chance to make a difference in the game.
COACH DONOVAN: You know, he gets a lot of attention. He's a very, very good player, but you got to be there and catch him. He takes really, really wacky shots and they go in sometimes, and he makes some tough ones. But when you throw enough of them up there, they're going to go in.
The thing I admire the most, I love his fierce competitiveness. He's a fierce competitor. He loves to play the game. I love his passion for the game. I love all that stuff about him, but it's not like all of a sudden we go into this game redesigning what we got to do to stop him.
He got 25 points in Gainesville, and the 25 points he got he got a 3 on the fast break which was a tough shot. He double pumped from the 3-point line, and inside of a minute when the game was kind out of reach, he got another 3. So he didn't really do a lot even though he got 25 points. It wasn't in the heart of the game. I thought in the first half, he did a pretty good job of gashing, him, 1 for 6, 1 for 7.
Again, I thought very questionable calls, in my opinion, him being called for fouls. I just -- I asked Scottie. He said, Coach, I didn't touch him either time. That times the ref obviously saw it different.

Q. Billy, what did you see with Pat Young going up against Murphy Holloway today?
COACH DONOVAN: Defensively or offensively? He was never on Murphy Holloway. It was Erik Murphy on Holloway. I thought Pat played a very, very good defensive game. We got the ball to Patric early in the game. He made a nice jump hook. They were playing zone. I thought he could have made himself more available. I thought when their guards were switching onto him, he needed to post up more, we needed to try to find him a little bit more. I didn't think we did a great job with it. Our guards did a great job in the second half moving and passing the ball and keeping the floor moving.
THE MODERATOR: One more question.

Q. Billy, what were they doing to get so many easy looks inside? You gave up I think 36 points in the paint.
COACH DONOVAN: Well, the first possession, Pat, is obviously when Henderson is coming off, there's got to be some help given towards him, and what you got to do is your backside of your defense has got to really rotate over. And the first possession of the second half, we did not do that, okay?
Then the other thing that was happening is our guards were being constantly beat off the dribble, and when we got beat off the dribble, it created penetration and allowed those guys to make dump-down passes and layups and those kind of things. We didn't have built-in help like we normally do. We didn't do a good job there at all.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
COACH DONOVAN: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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