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March 22, 2013

Sean Armand

Tim Cluess

Lamont Jones

Tavon Sledge


Ohio State テや 95
Iona テや 70

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're now being joined by the head coach of Iona, Tim Cluess, as well as student‑athletes Momo Jones, Tavon Sledge, and Sean Armand.
We'll start with an opening statement by Coach, and then we'll open the floor for questions for our student‑athletes.
COACH CLUESS:テつ I want to give Ohio State credit.テつ We ran into a bus today.テつ They played a great basketball game, great basketball team.テつ We just weren't up to the task today.
Our guys played as hard as they could, just didn't have the results we'd like.テつ Give them all credit and wish them luck the rest of the way in the tournament.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Guys, the beginning of the game they just kind of jumped right off, and it was like 27‑8 or something like that, and you had to kind of dig out of that hole the whole game.テつ Can you talk about what the start of the game was like for you.
SEAN ARMAND:テつ It's like the first game of the season all over again.テつ Everybody's a little excited, trying to do a little bit too much.テつ We just had to get our heads together.
We just kept telling each other to chip away at the lead.テつ Fouls didn't go our way, and we are back down 10 1/2 at halftime.
I would say some jitters and too much excitement, and they spread us out a little bit, and we calmed down for a while.

Q.テつ Momo, yesterday outside the locker room, you said that you thought you guys would be able to handle the defense that Craft and Scott apply on the perimeter.テつ Was Craft maybe better in person than you had seen on tape or no?
LAMONT JONES:テつ I mean, give credit where credit is due.テつ I think he played good defense.テつ I think I took some bad shots.テつ Things just didn't fall tonight.テつ Can't knock the guy.テつ He played some good defense.

Q.テつ Seeing a team like that on tape is one thing, but were they faster, bigger, everything like that when you saw them on the court?
TAVON SLEDGE:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ Those guys, they looked like they work out every day.テつ They're a lot more physical than us.テつ They just played hard throughout the whole game.
I believe they stuck to their game plan, and just kept doing what they do best, what they did all year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Lamont, Tavon, and Sean, thank you for your time.
Questions for Coach Cluess.

Q.テつ Tim, you said basically yesterday that you'd almost have to play the perfect game against these guys and guys have to stay out of foul trouble and the 3s would have to drop.テつ But a lot of things didn't work out like you'd hoped.
COACH CLUESS:テつ We knew, in order to even be in the game, we'd have to play our best game of the year, and we didn't.
We came out not really sharing the ball early on, trying to do too much one on one.テつ We talked about not putting it on the ground against them early, and that's all we did early was put it on the ground.
Also, watching film of them, I just thought their transition game was really good, but they didn't use it all the time.テつ I said to our team, if we don't hustle back and they get out in transition, we're not going to be able to match their athleticism down the floor.
They did a great job of transitioning, a lot of it off our turnovers unfortunately.テつ If we handled the floor better, that deficit might not have been so big early that we're trying to fight back from.

Q.テつ Tim, you were only down 10 at the half, even after the bad start that you had.テつ But then they opened the second half up with an impressive run that kind of put the game away.テつ I'm sure you told the team at halftime, hey, we're in this thing.テつ What happened after the half?
COACH CLUESS:テつ I thought we came out with a couple of bad shots.テつ We had two wide‑open shots, one from Sean and one from Momo, that would have kept it right around the 10‑point mark, and we didn't make either one of them.
I think that deflated us a little bit because here's our two best guys not getting the best looks they had all game long.テつ And the other team was getting shots and getting the rebounds and taking off on us and getting some easy ones.テつ They're jumping above anyone on our team a lot of the plays and finishing a lot of dunks and a lot of things we can't even get up in the air to get near.
They're a very, very good team.

Q.テつ Just if you could share what you told the team in the locker room after the game.
COACH CLUESS:テつ I just‑‑ first, I thanked the seniors for all they've given us and helping us to get to two NCAA Tournaments back to back.
And then we thanked the juniors and sophomores and freshmen and talked about what it would take to ever get back here again and to take a look at the other team and think about when they're in the weight room, like meaning our guys, are we working out as hard as they are?テつ Are we working on our game?テつ Are we as fundamentally sound as them?
I know we're small and we're going to give things up, but there's good parts of the game where, because of a bad play here or there or didn't get a whistle here or there, that our guys let that carry over a little bit into the next play, so we didn't positionally play right, and we're in one defense and someone ran something else.テつ There was a lot of miscommunication.テつ We talked about it.
And basically I thanked my coaching staff and the whole staff of Iona for everything they do for us to give us this opportunity.テつ It was a great experience.テつ We would have liked to play better than we did, but we also know we played a great team.

Q.テつ Coach, did it surprise you at all that they were able to play so effectively at your pace, or did you just expect that from a high‑quality team?
COACH CLUESS:テつ When I watched their film, I said that to my coaching staff and our players that, if they ever played at our pace, they may just really, really give us a problem because I thought they could run in transition better than we can with the athletes they have, and when they're making shots on top of that, they're really good, and they were doing both tonight, and we were sloppy with the basketball.
But a lot of our sloppiness was caused by their good defense and a lot of the physicality they were able to play with.テつ What we were doing, those things would be called all day long, and we didn't get anything called in that direction, so it was a very different game for our guys.

Q.テつ Tim, a question was asked before about tape versus live.テつ What did you think of Craft live in the first half especially?
COACH CLUESS:テつ I thought he's extremely intense and strong on defense.テつ I think he gets away with body blocking you, grabbing you, holding you, but he's in very good position to do that, and he plays great angles.テつ He has a passion to stop people, which most players today don't have.
I really told him after the game that he's one heck of a defensive player.テつ Would love to have a guy like that on our team.テつ I think he showed yesterday‑‑ I'm sorry.テつ Showed a few minutes ago why he's considered one of the best defensive players in the country.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Tim, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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