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March 20, 2013
THE MODERATOR:¬† We're ready to start player press conferences, student-athlete press conference for Marquette here at the Lexington site.¬† We have Trent Lockett and Junior Cadougan from Marquette.¬† We'll open it up for questions.
Q.¬† Junior, Trent, what do you guys -- did you guys follow Davidson at all or were you aware when they beat Wisconsin in 2008 or was that part of your thought process when you were watching basketball as younger kids?
JUNIOR CADOUGAN:¬† Last time I heard about Davidson when Stephen Curry was on that team and they were like the Cinderella team.¬† I think that was 2009 -- 2008 is the last time.¬† That's when they really got on the map and I heard about it.
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† I think the same would go for me.¬† Believe me, we know plenty about Davidson now.¬† We've been doing a great job preparing the last three days.¬† We had a good day of practice as well today.
Q.¬† Trent, you say you know plenty about Davidson.¬† What do you guys know about Davidson going into this match?
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† Davidson is a very well-rounded team, disciplined.¬† They're very physical as well.¬† I think we agree as a team they're better than a 14th seed.¬† They're a very good team and we cannot take them lightly.¬† We've had a good week of practice, looking forward to the game tomorrow.
Q.¬† That's been mentioned a couple of times, your good practices over the last few days.¬† What constitutes a good practice this time of the year especially when -- when you're through the grind of the Big East?
JUNIOR CADOUGAN:¬† Just coming into practice, locked in, ready to go, no lapses.¬† Even at the end of practices when we're doing dummy offense and going through Davidson's plays, out-of-bounds plays, stuff like that, everybody is locked in, focused from the beginning to the end.¬† I think we've been doing a really, really, really good job of doing that for the last couple of days.
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† Yeah.¬† I mean, like Junior said, been doing a good job of coming together and being locked in, but at the same time bringing the amount of energy.¬† I know it's hard going through -- we played 32-some games and continue to bring that energy.¬† I think we've been doing a good job of that.
Q.¬† How did the biggest season, as tough as it was, as challenging as it was, how much preparation has that been for this stage for y'all in terms of physical play, defense, that kind of thing?
JUNIOR CADOUGAN:¬† It's a great preparation especially for the NCAA Tournament.¬† We go night in, night out, playing against the top teams in the nation.¬† It's a physical league.¬† Just prepares us and especially playing on the road at those tough places like Louisville, Notre Dame, stuff like that, that prepares us for neutral sights like this and big games like this.
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† To piggyback on what Junior said.¬† The Big East is a very well-rounded league.¬† There are teams that like to slow it down and at the same time there's teams that play a lot faster pace.¬† On any given night, you will be prepared or you'll have to prepare for a different style.¬† I think that will help us going into the tournament.
Q.¬† You know like some of your teammates, this is your first experience in tournament.¬† How would you characterize the experience so far?
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† So far so good.¬† Obviously at this point yesterday going off with the pep rally and having the fans at our bus and everything like that, but at the same time, this is really a business trip for us and we have our first test tomorrow night.
Q.¬† Trent, you mentioned playing in the Big East against well-rounded teams and some like to run and some like to slow it down.¬† It seems on paper Davidson likes to slow it down against you guys.¬† Reaching back into the memory bank, what are some of the others teams that you guys have played who wanted to slow it down?¬† Who can you kind of compare Davidson to?
TRENT LOCKETT:¬† I don't know if you can necessarily compare them to any team in the Big East because they're unique in that their big men step out and shoot 3s and they're very well rounded in that aspect.¬† I think it will be a very good test for us tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Any more questions for the student-athletes from Marquette?¬† All right.¬† Thank you gentlemen.
All right.¬† We now have the head coach of Marquette, Coach Buzz Williams.¬† We'll open it up for questions.
Q.¬† Can you kind of describe, beyond the obvious, what your touches in the paint philosophy is and how important that's going to be tomorrow night against Davidson?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Well, I think for us it's the most vital statistic that we follow.¬† So many things are derived from paint touches, whether it's off the pass or the bounce.¬† Doesn't necessarily mean that it trends to an immediate basket, but it's forced rotation.¬† It potentially means that somebody picked up a foul.¬† It probably means that if we didn't shoot the ball in the paint, that as the ball is being reversed back out, it's coming from low to high.¬† That's when kids shoot it the best.
So, it's kind of hard to answer that question because it's so broad, but everything that we do offensively is predicated on paint touches.
Q.¬† Coach, I'd like your impressions overall on Davidson.
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Very, very well coached.¬† Coach McKillop had turned down BCS jobs throughout his career at Davidson.¬† Three 1,000-point school scorers, three First Team All League players, Player of the Year, longest winning streak in the country, 15 is as skilled as any player taller than 6-10 in the country.
I haven't seen any point guard in my tenure as a head coach regardless whether he was point or perimeter player that shot 56 percent from 3.
I think Brooks is -- I mean, had 25 and 8 in the championship game.¬† Very athletic.¬† You spend a lot of time talking about Brooks and Cohen and then you realize that 12 and 5 and 35 are really good from the perimeter.¬† So I think the complex of their roster is I'm extremely impressed.¬† I've enjoyed studying them, watching how they play.¬† They're in the top 4 percent in the country in special team situations, score 17 points a game from the free throw line, and over the last 17 games they've won by an average of 18 points.¬† So it's hard not to be impressed.
But that's a general overview.
Q.¬† You mentioned among those stats their 3 point percentage.¬† Your team has struggled from the 3 point line.¬† How important is this 3 point line going to be both for your team on the offense and defense?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Well, we can't shoot.¬† They've proven they can.¬† It's important.¬† It's been important every game for us.¬† Every team we've played knows we can't shoot.¬† We understand that we can't shoot.¬† That's why paint touches are so important.
But I think that so much attention, like I said, you guys work at the same paper, so much attention is given to 24 and 15 that 12 and 5 and 35 and 23, they're all standing out there and a lot of their shots are coming from low to high, and so if they make a lot of 3s, they're really hard to beat.¬† And you can look at their stats and that's all the evidence that you need. ¬†It will be an important thing.
Q.¬† Is there anything about Gardener personality-wise or play-wise that makes him more suited to come off the bench versus starting for you guys?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Chris Otule is the best practice best player I've ever coached.¬† As long as he's eligible and healthy, he'll start.¬† Of Chris's mentality on a daily basis, it has made Davante much more accountable each day.
Davante is really skilled and a lot fun to watch if he's in the right frame of mind and he had never -- he had just always been the fattest kid in school that could catch.¬† And so normally you don't see that combination, and it was hard for him when he originally came to Marquette to keep up with the pace, not just the pace of practice but the pace of how we work and the pace of how we work each day.
He's a lot tougher than he appears.¬† When you look at him, you're not sure how good he is, but he's probably best not because of his mentality to come off the bench, but his mentality is such that he's really grown because of who he's competing against every day.
We lost some of that last year when Chris got hurt and then Davante got hurt, and this time last year Davante had played the last regular season game and then we went and played Louisville in the Big East tournament.¬† That wasn't much of a game.¬† And then I played him -- he was still hurt against BYU and Murray State.¬† And so when I would play him in a half, whenever I put him in, he had to stay in.¬† When he came out, he was out until he could go back to the trainer and go through all of the stuff that he needed.
He's really grown a lot.¬† He's been a guy we've counted on particularly from a scoring perspective.
Q.¬† What area have you been trying to focus on down the stretch that you feel like you really need to be good at getting to this point in the tournament?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Good question.¬† I would say number one, we don't play as fast as we have played in the past, and so we've always tried to find ways, this season particularly, as of late to create more possessions.¬† And for our team, we were number 1 in the league in rebounding margin, which is atypical of our teams.¬† So offensive rebounds create more possessions.¬† Those have really been critical for us.¬† And then we need to and we haven't in our last game, for sure, we need to decrease our turnovers.
Our turnover rate, particularly in the NCAA Tournament, it can't be as high as it's been the last couple of weeks because everything is magnified as you guys know.¬† And so I would say those are the two things that over last month we've really tried to concentrate more on to create more possessions.¬† Don't turn it over and get more offensive rebounds.
Q.¬† Buzz, I know it's a little bit of an essay question.¬† You've been in the game for quite some time.¬† Usually in the first -- in this first weekend of the tournament, you will see lower seeded teams beat higher seeded teams, whatever it is, 12 and 5.¬† Do you think that there are three or four or five things that keep coming up that cause things like that to happen?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Well, according to all the pundits -- I noticed that they're not in the audience now -- nobody has picked us to win.¬† So it may be the 3, 14 Cinderella story.
Number 1, I don't think Davidson isn't a 14, just like I don't think Oregon is a 12.¬† As much as it is, it's easy to Twitter Davidson is not a 14 and Oregon is not a 12.¬† Obviously, there's a lot of math involved with the committee.¬† They're trying to protect the pods.¬† I'm not necessarily sure if that's the right way to go about it.¬† I mean, we're a 3 seed and we travel further than Davidson traveled as a 14 seed.
Last year we were playing in Louisville, and it's a home game for Murray State.¬† So not being negative toward the selection committee at all, what I'm saying is, I think there are many layers to the decisions that they have to make, not all of which they can necessarily justify.
And I think when you get to the first weekend of the tournament, this is -- tomorrow will be our -- my 10th game as a head coach in the NCAA Tournament, it becomes very make and miss oriented.¬† He's asking about making 3s.¬† If Davidson makes 12 or 13 3s, no matter who they're playing or what they're seeded, they're probably going to win.
It becomes make or miss in a lot of ways, and that's why you see the upsets.¬† Whatever upsets you want to talk about over the last decade, if you look at those, I would say that statistically, regardless of seed, the higher the higher seeded team didn't make shots and the lower seeded team made a lot of shots.
And so I know that's somewhat simplistic, but that's kind how I am.¬† That's what I would -- that's how I would start my essay response.¬† I went to junior college so I didn't write a lot of essays.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Other questions for Coach Williams?
Q.¬† Do you think about like how about team experience, do you find that teams that, you know -- frequently the teams with the best seeds are the teams that churn out more NBA guys and they leave and maybe the teams that are the double digit seeds stay together longer?¬† Do you think that --
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† That should be included.
Q.¬† Is that anything?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Yes, that is something.¬† Davidson starts -- Davidson only plays juniors and seniors, some of which that are red shirted.¬† We're not a one and done commodity at Marquette.¬† That's not how we've been built.¬† I'm not against that, but the experience you cannot replicate.¬† The experience of what we're doing now, the experience of playing a neutral site game on this sort of stage, and I do think that, you know, when you look at teams like Davidson that have -- those kids have played in the post season every year of their career in one way or another, whether it's the NCAA or the CBI or whatever those other ones are, there's an unspoken arrogance.
This is what we do, this is what we've done throughout our entire tenure, and I think that's part of what makes Davidson Davidson.¬† Similar to our program, we're one of six schools that over the last eight years have been to the NCAA Tournament.¬† Not necessarily that we've won or that we've lost or that we've advanced, but to get there says a lot.¬† And if you probably studied it, you could find that the teams that do have the most success are the ones that have the most experience because that unspoken value of being in the tournament and having gone through media practice and all of those things, I think they're all very healthy for your growth and your maturity as an individual, collectively as a team, maybe most importantly as a program.
The one thing I would say on that, Roger, I was talking to Juan Anderson, who is smarter than me who is on our team.
I said Juan, you're playing in your fourth NCAA game as a sophomore.
He goes, yeah.
I said, here's what I want you to learn:¬† How many kids did you grow up that you played AAU with, that you played in high school with, that have been to an NCAA Tournament?¬† Not played four games, played a minimum of four games as a sophomore?
He goes, Coach, I don't know if any of my guys have been to the NCAA Tournament.
I said, here is the lesson when you become a coach:¬† When you talk to kids and coaches and families and they go winning is really important, you do not have to discern when they say that.¬† They're either telling you the truth or they're lying completely.
Because how many of these schools that when you really study have any success in the NCAA Tournament?¬† How many of them even go to the NCAA Tournament?
Now, financially, their league, their exposure, you think they go, but then you look at the numbers and go, they haven't been to the NCAA Tournament in seven years.
When you're recruiting a kid and he goes winning is really important, well, who is recruiting you.
Such and such, such and such and such and such.¬† Well, you're a liar.¬† We ain't recruiting you anymore.¬† Winning is not important.¬† Does that make sense?
So those guys as they mature, those kids at Davidson, number 12, number 15, those guys when Coach McKillop said, hey, do you want to come here, we just went to the Elite 8:¬† You want to come?¬† Winning important to you?¬† I think it's very valuable.
Q.¬† Coach, I know of every player on every team has a role, but given your matchup tomorrow, can you point out maybe one, two, three players on your team that significantly are going to play a big part in this game and maybe why?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† I would say Junior and Derrick.¬† Our point guard position is incredibly important.¬† They average 76 points a game.¬† And it's a deceptive 76 at times, because they play really fast.¬† Their possessions per game is quick, and so you have to be able to contain the ball.
I think they're faster on made shots than they are on missed shots.¬† That's how committed they are and disciplined they are to their secondary break and all the different things that they run out of it.
So you have to get the ball contained, you have to get it corralled, you have to gear them down, because if they're able to dribble it to the elbows where they want it, then you're behind already in that possession.
Q.¬† Roger Rubin again.
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Roger, this is a hell of a story now.
Q.¬† I'm working on story, too.¬† Today in New York, the biggest conference announced they would be adding Creighton, Xavier, and Butler.¬† What do you like about the addition of those three programs to your conference?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† They're just like the rest of us, committed to basketball, basketball is really important, basketball-only institutions.¬† I think that's what started all of this realignment is what football schools are chasing the money, what football schools can get in the right cable viewership package, what conference commissioners can figure out fiscally what's the best long-term solution?
I think that's eventually what happened to what's now the new Big East.¬† Those presidents and ADs said, hey that's enough, we're not even in that conversation; let's get together with some people that have the same institution, same situation, same commitment that we do.
Q.¬† Is there a way to kind of define a complete game in your mind that you want your team to play?¬† I mean, you were talking about turnovers and creating more possession.
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Are you ready?
Q.¬† I'm ready.
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† I'm ready.¬† Less than 13 points in transition, 40 contested shots or more, 72 percent of your possessions are paint touched derived, 19 free throw makes, more free throw makes than free throw attempts, less than ten turnovers, more than 13 forced turnovers, plus 3.5 on the glass and held the opponent field goal percentage defense to 39 or under.
Q.¬† Do you feel like y'all have come close to that this year?
COACH WILLIAMS:¬† Two more things.¬† Score five points more on ATO situations than your opponent and score 3 more points on out of bounds.
How we chart ATO, Gary, is your team calls timeout, coming out of the timeout, it's your team ball.¬† We're going one possession on offense per team.¬† So, that's how -- we play a game within the game on ATOs and we want to score five or more.
We've been really good on free throw makes.¬† We were second in our league.¬† Villanova was first, but we've done pretty good on the glass.¬† We've done okay field goal percentage defense-wise.¬† I think we were 14-4, because for the most part, we did all of those things I just rattled off.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Are there any other questions for Coach Williams?¬† Thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports