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March 21, 2013

Keith Dambrot

Zeke Marshall

Demetrius Treadwell


Virginia Commonwealth – 88
Akron – 42

MODERATOR:  We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Keith Dambrot.
COACH DAMBROT:  Well, I think first off, hats off to Shaka.  He really got them ready to play.
Obviously he knew what we were dealing with and came right at us, and weakness, he knew our weaknesses.
But the thing I'm most proud of is we hit adversity after adversity after adversity all season long, and I would challenge -- most teams around the country didn't hit the haymakers we hit.  It started with Quincy Diggs, we lost him at the beginning of the year, the sixth man of the year.  Then we lost Treadwell and Harney to suspensions, compliance error, early in the season.  And Chauncey Gilliam tore his meniscus.  Then Brian Walsh sprains his ankle, missed a couple games.  On then obviously the Abreu thing.  Then we come tonight and we've got Deji Ibitayo who can't play with a bad back.  We got Brian Walsh who had to be rushed to the emergency room last night, and Pat Forsythe who can't play.  All of a sudden we go from playing eleven guys over ten minutes of game to having really a depleted team.
So unfortunately, they're too good to be able to handle that.  You know, you give Carmelo Betancourt a lot of credit.  We put him in a tough position.  He probably would have played five, six minutes in a game like that and then Harney would have never played at the point.
So it's just a tough draw for us and they're good.  They're too good.
We use so much energy trying to get the ball up the court, we couldn't guard them.  It was just a miserable experience, but there's nothing we can do about it and it's going to make us better in the future.  Nothing to be embarrassed about.  We had a hell of a year and they're good and they exploited our weakness better than anybody in the country could.
MODERATOR:  Questions for the student-athletes.

Q.  It was 21 to 9.  Coach preached all week about forgetting the last mistake and going on.  Why couldn't you guys recover at that point?
ZEKE MARSHALL:  I wouldn't say we couldn't recover.  It was more the fact that we just didn't -- in the circumstances, didn't know how to do that.  I mean, we were playing as hard as we could.
I honestly believe we played as hard as we could, but we couldn't get the ball -- we turned the ball over.  We didn't know what play to run.  We were throwing it in.  They were, you know, double teaming or we were losing the ball.  Things just wasn't going our way and it just kept snowballing but we had be positive and keep on pushing and that's what we kept on doing.

Q.  Demetrius, you guys watched VCU on film.  Your thoughts on that press?
DEMETRIUS TREADWELL:  That might be one of the toughest things in college basketball to face.  They are like bulldogs out there on defense.  They real tough and hats off to them.  They played a great game.

Q.  Could either one of you guys comment on the adversity that never seemed to stop?
ZEKE MARSHALL:  Well, I can't sit here and act like know how tough it is.  I mean, it is tough but we have -- as I said before, we had a goal that we wanted to win and we had to find some way to do it.  It just didn't work out tonight.
Despite all the adversity we hit, we had to find a way to push forward.  We just couldn't do it tonight.

Q.  Is that the fastest team you guys have seen all year?
DEMETRIUS TREADWELL:  Yeah, I believe that's the fastest.
Every position, I mean, they just -- they big, strong, skilled, fast, everything.  They got a pretty balanced team.

Q.  Zeke, what was so difficult about guarding Juvonte Reddic tonight?
ZEKE MARSHALL:  Well, it was more the fact that I was trying to get our team going by firstly making shots, then, you know, I tried to help, you know, he would run the floor hard.
As Coach said in the locker room, we got our legs taken out trying to get the ball up the floor, and he's willing to run that floor so he was getting layups.  I was helping, he was getting layups.  It was just more of the game honestly.  He might have got his points, but, you know, I just felt like we could have tried to play a collective defensively.  So even though he got his points, we could stop everybody else.  So even if he had 16, we could stop everybody else, you know, we would still be able to come out for a win.
That was a hard question.
MODERATOR:  Thanks, guys.
Coach is now available for questions.

Q.  You I'm sure you weren't looking for sympathy, but didn't seem like your friend showed any mercy there.  Up 40 with the starters full court press and doing his thing?
COACH DAMBROT:  He got a job to do.  I mean, his job is to get them ready to win the next game.
I don't take any offense to it.  I mean, he did what he had to do.
Our misfortune was his gain.  So, I mean, this is a big boy's game.  You got to put your pants on, take your butt whipping sometimes.  Won't be the last.

Q.  There was a sense you guys really had a sense of we can do this coming in.  A lot of the adversity was already there.  Talk about that.
COACH DAMBROT:  I think every game's a mutually exclusive event.  You know, they had a good night.  We weren't very good.
I watched the tape three times from last year, and if you'd watch that tape, you'd say the Zips could play with Virginia Commonwealth easily.  I mean, we just didn't have a very good night.
As much as we struggled in the full court, we struggled more in the half court.  We couldn't get into anything really.  And I think finally at that point you got to be able to drive the ball.  They're like playing Duke, you know, if you don't drive it on them, you can't score it on them.  We really don't have those capabilities with the people we had out there.  So it was unfair.
Listen, we put our kids in an unfair position really, right?  So normally under normal circumstances, Betancourt probably plays five minutes in that game.  So he's your primary ball handler and Harney's never played point guard in his career in our plays.  I'm not disappointed.  I mean, I'm obviously not happy to get beat up, but they went for it.  We struggled.  They continued to -- we cut it back one time and then we fell apart again and, you know, we went down in for about a three-minute stretch and cut it back to about 11, and then we didn't guard again.  You know, they're too athletic to give up baskets as easily as we did, really.
Did I misanalyze it?  Hey, look, my job's to think we're good.  I mean, any athlete, any coach that does not think their team is good, they shouldn't be sitting up here.  So we've overcome it all year long.  So I had no reason to think we wouldn't overcome it again tonight.

Q.  Can you talk about Walsh and Forsythe's willingness to play even though they were sick?
COACH DAMBROT:  Typical.  You know, those guys are winning guys.  They wanted to try to give it a go.
Walsh had a miserable night.  He didn't go to sleep till 7:00 in the morning, and Forsythe and him are roommates.  So he got sick about, I think, 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning.
And then Ibitayo couldn't play either with a bad back.  All of a sudden, you know, we're just a little snake bit, I guess.  But it wouldn't have mattered.  We didn't handle the ball well enough to offset that, you know what I mean?  You have to handle the ball against them, and you got to be able to break them down a little bit, which we really couldn't do.
So then our big people became a nonfactor, really.

Q.  You said you put your kids in an unfair position, but you didn't really do that yourself?
COACH DAMBROT:  Well, I mean, you got to do what you got to do.  You got to figure out a way to win.
The circumstances put them in an unfair position, evidently.  So, you know, if we played a Wisconsin or somebody like that that doesn't force tempo, that doesn't force pressure, then we'd probably have a much better chance in retrospect to be able to compete.  I just think they got at us and got at us and got at us and they acted like Shaka, you know, and flexed their muscles and came at us again and again and again and again and never let up and never let us get off the mat, really.
But the good thing about it is it's a good life lesson for everybody.  You know, you can be on top on one day and the next day because of circumstances you can get smacked in the mouth and you better figure out how to pick yourself up.  So from that perspective our program will recover and be better than ever, right?  We'll come back like we always have and hopefully we won't have as many circumstances the next time we get here.
MODERATOR:  Thanks, Coach.

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