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March 22, 2013

Marshall Henderson

Murphy Holloway

Andy Kennedy


Ole Miss – 57
Wisconsin – 46

JOE DALFONSO:  We're joined by Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy and student‑athletes.  We'll ask Andy Kennedy to make a statement on the game and then go to questions.
COACH KENNEDY:  Yeah, tremendous game.  Tremendous effort out of our kids.  Really proud of the way they fought.  Again, it's not always aesthetically pleasing, but we kind of like it, don't we?
We embraced the grind a few weeks ago and as a result we're winning basketball games.  When you get to tournament play, a lot was made about tempo and flow of the game.  I didn't think either team really got into much of an offensive flow.  Our defense kept us within striking range.
We knocked down some shots in the second half to shoot 48% against a Wisconsin team that obviously is highly touted on the defensive end of the floor and gave us the separation we needed.
This is a big moment for these two guys up here with me.  Never been in this environment before and I was really proud of the way they responded.
JOE DALFONSO:  Questions.

Q.  Murphy, what was so good about the defense tonight?  What did you do well?
MURPHY HOLLOWAY:  I think we followed the game plan as far as like switching ball screens, standing in front of your man.  I thought we defensive rebounded well.
Just sticking to the game plan.

Q.  Andy, I asked Reggie this in the locker room.  Is this the most consistent play you've seen from Reginald Buckner?
COACH KENNEDY:  We've seen this.  Defensively he's the best we've ever had, one of the best in the SEC.  I thought his presence really changed the flow of the game.  As Murph said, we had a game plan.  When Jarvis and Snoop were in the game we can switch everything 1 through 5.
When you have Reggie lurking back there in the middle, it's a deterrent for them to drive at the basket.  Block five, altered another four or five.  When he's blocking shots, you're always looking for him.  I think it had something to do with them missing shots I'm sure they normally make.

Q.  When the first one went down in the second half, did you think, Here I go?  How difficult is it as a shooter when they're not falling to keep your confidence?
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  Yeah, I was just waiting for that first three to go down.  Couple of you guys in here followed us throughout the entire year.  Y'all know I told you all along Coach Kennedy has told me I've got to be, what is it?
COACH KENNEDY:  Serial killer.  But we won't say that in this environment.
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  Next one going in.  A few of my shots were riming in and out, right on the line, just a little long.  Normally when I miss, I miss short, that was a little frustrating.
We're a second‑half team.  We were down by three.  Everything positive in the locker room at halftime, we knew shots were going to fall.  When they did, we knew it was going to win.
COACH KENNEDY:  I felt so good about it, I used a timeout to celebrate.  He made that first shot and I celebrated.
No, listen, we've seen this show before.  It doesn't matter.  A lot of guys, you go 0‑5, it's going to be a long night.  You go 5‑5, it's going to be a great night.
As long as he's taking shots within our offense, our guys understand that.  We were getting him looks and he made some big ones.  Once he makes one or two.  Feed Henderson.  Same thing.

Q.  Can you talk about the sequence where one of the many misses were tipped, then Marshall came back, nailed his threes.  Can you talk about how you took control in that sequence.
MURPHY HOLLOWAY:  I just know the way we get offensive rebounds, Marshall, he still coming to the ball every time.
I mean, I look for him every time because I know when he's trying to make a big shot, he's the player I want to go to.
Just got the ball and found Marshall.
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  Yeah, the best time to get an open three‑pointer is off an offensive rebound.  Anybody that knows anything about basketball knows that.
Like he said, anytime there's a miss, we see the rebound, here I come going straight to it because I know the defense is all out of whack, yeah.

Q.  Marshall, can you talk about what it means for you to win a game on this stage?  Andy, can you answer, was there ever a temptation to draw up a play at the end for another shooter?
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  Obviously it feels good to win, survive and advance.  I'm just glad we won because I didn't shoot the ball as well.  I was sitting by Murph on the bench.  If I don't pick this up, it's going to be my fault.  I don't want it to be my fault.
So had to pick it up a little bit.  Did it just a tad.  So now I'm glad I'm going to have a chance to redeem myself on Sunday.
COACH KENNEDY:  I did actually.  We ran some action for Nick.  I thought Nick made a couple baskets.  He's not the volume guy Marshall is.  When we're struggling, all the emphasis is being put on Marshall, I'll get Murphy to that left hand.  Made a huge drive in the second half.  We did a little pin down, got Nick in the middle of the lane, hit a 17‑footer.  We were struggling a little bit from the foul line.  Reggie had a couple right at the basket that would not go in.
We had to continue to will, fight, persevere, which has obviously been a theme for this team.

Q.  Marshall, was there anything that they did to frustrate you or take any particular shots away?
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  No.  I just didn't make shots today.  It happens sometimes.  Luckily I get a chance to redeem myself.
Their defense wasn't what everyone said their defense was.  I just missed shot.
COACH KENNEDY:  They were physical.  I thought they were really physical.  That's normal.  What do you weigh, about a buck 40?
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  Give or take (smiling).
COACH KENNEDY:  They try to get physical, run him off.  I thought he did a good job.  I was trying to encourage him.  Everything he was missing earlier was on point and long.  Like Murphy's free throw, for instance, short, left, right, back, it's hard to correct some of that.  With Marshall, he was right on point.  He just had to settle down.  I knew once he made one, two, three, then we had something.

Q.  Marshall, when they aren't going in, when you're getting frustrated, how do you have to calm yourself down and keep that confidence?
MARSHALL HENDERSON:  I've actually gotten better as the year has gone on about it.  Sometimes I sit back and smile and laugh at myself.  How does this happen?  I've shot like 20 hundred million shots in my day.  Now that I make the NCAA tournament, why does this happen?
The only thing that was running through my head was the Pittsburgh game, Tray Woodall, he's done so much for that program.  I thought he shot 1 for 12, probably played his worst game.  I felt so bad for him after everything that he had done, that was kind of going through my head.  Man, I'm a fluke.

Q.  Andy, you played LaDarius White at the points more.  Do you have three point guards now and how confident are you in them?
COACH KENNEDY:  Snoop was obviously instrumental in us having this opportunity with what he had to do in Nashville when Jarvis went down against Missouri in Game1.
I think defensively it gives us a lot more flexibility because of his size, when we're switching the ball screens as we chose to do today, it doesn't put us in harm's way nearly as much.
Jarvis, I have to sometimes be cognizant of the fact here is a kid who went down against Missouri.  He obviously did not play Saturday or Sunday.  We didn't do anything Monday.  He was cleared I believe Tuesday where he could run a little bit on a treadmill, then he practiced Wednesday, we traveled Thursday.  He hasn't had much game action.
I'm just expecting him to be the same old Jarvis.  I think he got a little winded.  Again, it was a very physical game.  I think he broke down some physically.  I had to do a better job of trying to get him some rest.  That's what I was trying to do.

Q.  Murphy, talk about going to the SEC Championship game, you said you learned from being down to getting up in the second half.
MURPHY HOLLOWAY:  That's been the story most of the year as far as like being down in the first half.  We get in the locker room the second half, we tell the team, Stay the course, up 10, down 10, till the end of the game.

Q.  When Wisconsin was sitting up there, they talked about how they kind of folded down the last eight, nine minutes of the game.  They're a team that's known for being physical.  How surprised were you that you were able to dominate physically inside?
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  Man, I feel like me and Reggie, we've been four years.  I've been around five.  But just having the experience to keep pushing down there.  They're very physical.  But just keep pushing and keep working.  End of the game I think they got a little tired.  We just didn't give in.
COACH KENNEDY:  I thought they missed some shots that were reasonably clean looks for them.  They didn't have a lot of clean looks.  We were trying to lock in on Ben Brust.  We tried to beat it into our guys' heads, they're 16‑2 when he makes four more threes, when he makes less than four they're 7‑9.  We knew how key a weapon he was.  We lost him early.  We didn't lose him at all late.  I thought we did a good job of making sure his shots were contested.
I think it was Reggie.  His presence at the basket, after he blocked a couple shots, they wanted to live in the midrange.  When you're tired, you get a little pressure, those midrange shots are a little difficult.  We were fortunate they missed them.
I thought they battled as we knew Bo's teams would.  So much respect for him, so much respect for Wisconsin basketball.  That's what makes this extra special.
I told Bo jokingly before the game, I said, I know you're good when you can get Wisconsin weather to travel with you wherever you go and play in the first round.
Then yesterday after our shoot time, we walked through the college basketball experience, which was a terrific venue.  As I'm walking in, the first guy I see is John Thompson, the second guy I see is Bo Ryan.  Are you kidding me?
The makes it special to advance past a team and a coach as storied as Bo Ryan and Wisconsin.

Q.  It looked like you had an athleticism advantage.  Did you feel like you could out‑athlete Wisconsin?
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  We knew we had to box them out because they were bigger than us.  We just trying to get out and run, trying to push our pace of the game.  We couldn't out‑jump them, not me.  Reggie probably could.  I had to box out more than I usually do, came up with some big rebounds.
COACH KENNEDY:  Obviously they were bigger at most every position.  Our whole emphasis was be first to the ball, get to the ball, get to the ball.  Especially in the second half, I thought we did a good job of that.

Q.  Marshall, it's almost like a game within a game with Wisconsin chasing you around, you trying to get open.  Is that almost a distraction for the other team sometimes, something they're not used to?
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  Yeah, I think a game plan as far as trying to stop me from running around like the Tasmanian Devil, circles, circles, circles.  We try to play behind it.
Wisconsin took a couple of my passes that I made all year long.  I catch the ball, see two defenders, make a little slip pass in between.  They just took them from me today.  That's credit to their defense that they play.
Yeah, I don't know.  I just do what coach tells me, just run.
COACH KENNEDY:  Not always.  He doesn't always do what I tell him.  But he does run.  He does do that.
For us, there's no question, 'Marshall Mania' affects the psyche of the other team.  How can you avoid it.  Marshall this, Marshall that.  For us it's another day at the office.  For us it's trying to put guys in position to make plays.
For me, again, I'm so proud of the fact that this group continues to grind and fight and persevere, which to me is the name of the game.

Q.  You talk about Marshall Mania.  Even when you started hitting some action, you toned down the extras.
COACH KENNEDY:  We had just to be focused.

Q.  I'm talking about Marshall.
COACH KENNEDY:  He don't know.  I was answering for him.
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  You can't go a little crazy when you went 1 for your first 17.
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  I know when I can do it and when I can't do it.

Q.  Is there some karma the last time Ole Miss won a tournament game they went to the Sweet 16 out of Kansas City?
COACH KENNEDY:  That was mentioned every once in a while.  It was also mentioned that today is March 22nd.
MURPHY HOLLOW AY:  And I'm 22 years old.
COACH KENNEDY:  We're reaching, bro.  That came up.  He's one short of 22 shots.

Q.  Andy, with the way Wisconsin likes to play at the end of games, how important was it to get the lead at the end?
COACH KENNEDY:  I thought it was important.  For us, we wanted to stay around, stay around.  We averaged 80 points in the regular season.  That's dropped to 78 and change.  We never got over 64 in Nashville in the SEC tournament.  This was a season low for us.  We scored 57 whopping points.  We knew at the half if we could just stay in the game, I really liked the way we were locked in defensively.
I did not want to be in that last three minutes behind a possession or two simply because of their deliberate style offensively.  I was afraid we would lose some concentration and they would slip us to the basket.
It was huge for us to have the lead closing.
JOE DALFONSO:  Thank you.
COACH KENNEDY:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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