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March 22, 2013
FGCU Â– 78
Georgetown Â– 68
COACH ENFIELD:Â Well, it was a great team win.Â Georgetown is one of the top teams in the nation.Â We were extremely impressed watching them on film, and in the first half they did some things to make us play their style of basketball.Â We missed some easy shots.Â I didn't think we played particularly well on offense, but at halftime we decided to play FGCU basketball, and that's up tempo, push the ball down the court, throw some alley‑oops, kick the ball out to the three, and whether it was makes or misses, we wanted to push the ball in transition and play our style in the second half.Â And I think our guys did a tremendous job early on, and we went on a run.Â They came back, and if this was last year even earlier in the season when they scored six straight points after we took a seven‑point lead to cut it to one, it might have been a different story.
We showed a lot of maturity in the fact that we were able to then go on a second run and extend our lead I thought was the key to the game.
Q.Â Chase, I think that dunk is probably going to be No.1 on SportsCenter tonight or certainly up there.Â Can you take us through that?Â What happened on the dunk, have you ever been that high up in your life, and what did that feel like?
CHASE FIELER:Â Well, we pushed the ball ahead.Â I saw Brett Comer catch it in the corner and so I was on the floor.Â He has seen me all year.Â We have had a couple of connections on the lob.Â I think that might have been the highest I've ever been.Â We'll have to check some video to see.Â But yeah, Brett has great vision.Â That was his 10th assist.Â He just threw it up and I had to go get it.
Q.Â You're saying it's possible you've been up higher than that in your life?
CHASE FIELER:Â It is possible.
Q.Â Chase, can you just talk about what this win means to this university because that's an incredible victory, taking down a 2 seed.
CHASE FIELER:Â Well, it means a lot for our university.Â I heard there was only six wins by a 15 seed so the fact that our program was able to get a seventh win ever was very impressive.Â But for our school, we had a great fan section.Â We had a lot of people travel with us.Â We got a lot more fans; the crowd was on our side by the end of the game.Â So it's really big for our university and our program.
Q.Â There are a lot of conservative time‑score situation people who might frown on that alley‑oop pass.Â I loved it, but why do it?Â Why do it then rather than back the ball out, the standard thing?
COACH ENFIELD:Â The guy that threw it is not sitting in here.Â (Laughter).
CHASE FIELER:Â Well, I mean, you never want to waste time and then not get the points, so if you get easy baskets you always want to take the easy two points rather than run it out and then have a chance to miss free throws or even worse yet have a turnover.
Q.Â Was that easy?
CHASE FIELER:Â Yeah, that was easy.
Q.Â Sherwood or Bernard, can you talk about the times you guys had to put it in high gear and they made a run at you.Â Talk about showing the maturity out on the court to kind of I guess put in another gear and take control of the game when you had to?
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â Well, me and Bernard have kind of taken it on ourselves to try to keep everyone involved and just keep everyone composed, whether we go‑‑ the opposite team goes on a run.Â We just try to keep the team composed.Â I guess that's pretty much it.
BERNARD THOMPSON:Â Yeah, we just tried to stay level headed really, not get too amped up or anything or try to stay down, so we just try to stay real level headed with one another, just try to bring everybody together as a team and keep going on from there.
Q.Â Can you each just take a moment and describe those closing minutes and moments, just how magical all that felt with this full arena that's never even heard of Florida Gulf Coast before cheering your names?
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â It's very exciting to be in the position that we're in right now.Â We worked really, really hard to be where we're at.Â No one has given us anything.Â It just means that much more that we actually had to go out there and earn it and take what we felt was ours.
CHASE FIELER:Â It is an unbelievable feeling.Â We played a very tough team in Georgetown.Â They have great players.Â They're a very historic school.Â So being a newer school it's very exciting for us to be able to win a game like that and for the NCAA history, that's impressive or exciting for me to be a part of that.Â But it's really pour more than that we try to stay focused and level headed because we have another game on Sunday.
BERNARD THOMPSON:Â It was just unbelievable, a great feeling to have.Â We just came out there, we just played, played our hearts out.Â We know it's win or go home from here.Â So it's just a great feeling, just excited.Â I don't really know what to do still with myself.
Q.Â Sherwood, you hit a three with like 14 minutes left to push the lead to 13 and then you kind of went and stared at the Georgetown section.Â Where was your confidence level at that point?
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â I don't know, I just tried to get my team really going whenever I play because I feel like you can get one player to just get everyone involved and to get everyone's momentum going, then I feel like you can do anything.Â That's what I was really trying to do, I was just trying to get my team going.
Q.Â For any of you three guys, was there a moment in the game that you kind of looked and felt like you had them back on their heels a little bit?
BERNARD THOMPSON:Â The whole game, really.Â I didn't think they were going to come back.Â We just kept the intensity up.Â They really couldn't match our energy or anything, and we just put the pressure on them.
CHASE FIELER:Â A really big moment was Bernard hitting two threes like almost back to back or they might have been back to back.Â That is just heart breaker to have six points and then we got a stop on the other end.Â It was a 6‑0 run right there and I think that was really a big momentum push for us.
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â Coming into this game we really knew we had nothing to lose.Â Georgetown had all the pressure on them.Â We were just going to come out and play hard.Â I really felt like we had them right where we wanted them when we went into halftime we were up by two.Â We're really a team that comes out second half with a lot of fire, so that's when I knew that we had them.
Q.Â Sherwood, late in the game there was one point where you had a brief conversation with a fan, then you also were shaking hands with the commentators.Â Does that say something just about the way you guys‑‑ just seems like you have just a loosey‑gooseyness, a kind of swagger.Â What does that say about the way you guys are attitude‑wise?
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â It's good to come out and play and you don't want to be too uptight when you're playing because that's when mistakes happen.Â At that moment it was like I wanted to say 20 seconds left in the game, and we were just having a little bit of fun.Â Like I said, this is our first time being to the NCAA Tournament, to actually go out there and win that first game, it means something really special to us.
Q.Â What was the feeling during that run when they were tied and then suddenly you went on a 22‑2 run and knowing there's still 13 minutes to play?
BERNARD THOMPSON:Â It was good.Â We had a big lead.Â We just had to keep the pressure on them, just go down, play defense, get stops and just keep attacking them until they just cracked, and they cracked, so we got the lead.
CHASE FIELER:Â It was a great feeling.Â We were still trying to stay focused, not get too happy about it, not get too excited to where we weren't playing defense and so we wouldn't start gambling.Â We just knew we had to keep getting stops.Â There was a point in the game we knew we had three more stops.Â Coach emphasized that's when we'd win the game.Â Whenever we were going on a run like that we just have to continue to play defense which is what gets us on those runs so we can fast break.
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â When we were up by like 19 I looked at the clock and I was like, wow, there are still like almost 14 minutes left in the game, so I figured that we'd better start playing some defense because just as fast as we went up they could also do the same thing going around like that, too.
Q.Â Sherwood, it's my understanding that before the game you addressed the rest of the team.Â I just wondered what you tried to get across to everybody?
SHERWOOD BROWN:Â I was just trying to get across to everyone that we weren't given this position to play in the NCAA Tournament.Â Like other teams that got at‑large bids, we had to actually go into our conference tournament and win in order to be placed in here.Â So I was trying to stress to them that we earned the right to be here, and just because we're here no one is going to give us anything, we've just got to go out there and take it.
Q.Â This year you guys had the big win over Miami but you also played Duke, you played Iowa State, you played VCU.Â How much did those games matter tonight?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Beginning of the season I asked our players what kind of schedule they wanted to play.Â We had a chance to play in a couple different exempt tournaments.Â The one exempt tournament we played in had Duke and VCU in it and they wanted to play in that one.Â Miami was already on our schedule.Â Iowa State we knew would be‑‑ it's an extremely tough place to play.Â They have a lot of experience, I think they have six seniors.Â And then St.John's is no easy road game either.Â We tried to play a challenging schedule on purpose.
We thought we had the talent to do that.Â We're built for our system.Â We have athletes, we're long, we're athletic and we like to run, so we thought we could compete with those high major power conferences.
We beat Miami, Duke game we led for 34‑‑ we actually outscored them for 34 of the 40 minutes.Â It was the other six minutes that hurt us a little bit.Â The Iowa State game we had a lead in the first half, St.John's game was tied at halftime.
So we had a tough‑‑ we knew we could compete, and then beating Mercer twice in 10 days was‑‑ they were two of the best wins we had all season.Â We beat them at home by 3 and then we went to their place in the championship game in the conference tournament and scored 88 points on a No.9 defensive team in the country and Mercer just beat Tennessee in the NIT and they beat Florida State and Alabama.
Our league is pretty good, especially the top half right, right now, and we've played some excellent basketball teams this season.
I told our team before the game that Georgetown is ranked eighth in the country, but after you get out on the court for two or three minutes you're going to realize that you're just as good if not better than this team, and we did that.Â We didn't play great in the first half, but I think we realized, hey, if we play, we can win this game.
Q.Â What was going through your head finally when it goes to zero seconds and you guys actually defeated this team?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Well, I just wanted to shake the other coach's hand before they put more time on the clock.Â That was about the longest two and a half minutes of my life.Â (Smiling).
Q.Â Halftime at Mercer in the A‑Sun final was sort of a simple message about this is fun.Â Anything comparable at halftime here tonight?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Yeah, at halftime we said we've got to play FGCU basketball.Â We played Georgetown style in the first half to night.Â They made us play their style.Â It was a grind it out first half.Â We missed some lay‑ups, free throws, open shots, but it was 24‑22 and we were‑‑ we showed some resiliency to come back when we were down early and grind it out, and we were up two in their style, so at halftime I said, fellows, we've got to play our style the second half.Â We're going to push the ball, made shots and missed shots, get the ball in transition, run the floor, big guys sprint the middle of the lane, if you have something quick, take it, if not, bring the ball out and execute it.
We got some easy baskets to start the half.Â They went on a run and we got more easy baskets because we played our style.Â We're built for our style, we're not built to grind it out every possession.
Q.Â You heard my question to the guys about that alley‑oop pass with that time. Â What did you think of it?
COACH ENFIELD:Â I've got some crazy dudes on my team, so when he threw that, I thought the ball was coming to me.Â I was like, where is that going.Â I mean, Sherwood has a few screws loose if you can't tell, and Brett Comer is‑‑ I don't know where the ball is going half the time, and then usually it winds up in a guy's hand and he's either dunking or laying it in.Â I'm like, great pass, Brett.
But he had 10 assists tonight and only had two turnovers.Â Would I recommend that pass?Â No.
Q.Â You wouldn't really?
COACH ENFIELD:Â No, not in that situation.Â It was a little risky.Â But that's our style.Â We have a lot of risk‑reward with pushing the ball like this.Â Offense around the country is down this year.Â We don't like to play that style.
So I'm okay with us taking that risk‑reward.Â In that situation, it happened so fast I didn't have time to think.Â I just saw the ball flying up in the air and I saw Chase going 12 and a half feet to dunk it, and I said, great play.
Q.Â It's often said that teams reflect their coach.Â You've obviously shown you're a confident guy throughout your life.Â How much do you think you've been able to translate that over to your guys?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Well, we don't care who we play.Â We'll play anyone, anywhere at any time.Â I told you about our challenging schedule.Â So we don't care.Â I don't care who wins this game, we're going to come out Sunday and compete, and if we play like we did tonight and like we did last week, we'll win the game.
Q.Â You say you have some crazy dudes on the team.Â Is that on purpose?Â Do you look for crazy dudes?Â Is this the mentality that you want at Florida Gulf Coast?
COACH ENFIELD:Â I say that in a very loving way.Â They're actually great kids.Â We try to keep it loose.Â I'm not a yeller or a screamer most of the time.Â When I have to raise my voice, it's for a purpose, and they respond.Â We have a young coaching staff.Â I'm 43, I'm not that young anymore.Â My assistants are young.Â We try to have fun.Â College to me is‑‑ you have a 12 months out of the year, it's a job to be a Division I basketball player, especially to get to this level.Â And if you don't have fun with your players, I think it just wears on them.
We had a great week of practice, we didn't go that hard, but we were focused.Â Our whole philosophy in our program is you show up, you play hard and be a good teammate, we're going to have some fun and enjoy yourself, and the wins and losses‑‑ the wins will take care of itself.
Q.Â Comer mentioned that he was aware that Georgetown had been bounced by double digit seeds in the past three, four tournaments.Â I was wondering if you were and if you had made the team aware, as well, or if that was something you paid attention to?
COACH ENFIELD:Â I'm not big on history or past because this Georgetown team was a top 10 team in the country.Â They just shared the Big East title in regular season.Â They're really, really good.Â They had different players before we were even around.Â We didn't have a basketball team.Â So this was all about our team right now and their team right now, and we felt if we played our style of basketball, we could win the game.
I thought if we were in a grind‑it‑out game for 40 minutes that we would have trouble because of their physicality, and that's how they play.
To answer your question, I didn't mention that at all.Â I said, this is our game plan, go execute.
Q.Â I know it's unfair to ask this probably 30 minutes after a game like this, but what do you think a moment like this does for your program, both short‑term and long‑term?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Well, we've had unbelievable support from our campus, the administration and the student body this year.Â Last year we'd have 75 students at a game, this year we have 800 to 1,000.Â We packed our gym.Â We have a beautiful arena, we have an unbelievable campus, and the community surrounding the‑‑ we're a Fort Myers address but we're kind of on the border of Estero, Fort Myers, Naples, it all runs together.Â And the excitement from our community has just been terrific.
That was our goal.Â We're trying to get younger people involved.Â I want to get a lot of kids‑‑ I made it a goal this year to go out in the community and try to get young people to come to our games because if you've ever been to Naples you have a lot of retirees, a lot of retirement communities.Â They're our season ticket base.Â But now we have families coming to games, we have retirees coming to games, we have people that have never been to campus before showing up and supporting us, and then the students have been unbelievable.Â They have the chants now.Â They're not like the Duke crazies yet.Â They don't have all the chants down, but they have just supported us, and we expect as we grow this program for that to continue in a bigger way.
Q.Â About seven or eight minutes left they hit a couple threes in a row and got it under ten.Â You called a time‑out.Â You made a point to slow down the offense and spread them slowly and kill the game that way?
COACH ENFIELD:Â Well, we weren't trying to kill the game, we were trying to be smart with our decision making.Â We made some bad decisions.Â We threw the ball to them twice, just threw it to them, and they made a couple threes.Â Starks hit two threes I think the last two minutes or three minutes of the game.Â One was uncontested.Â Bernard, that was his fault.Â He's defensive player in our league, best Player of the Year in our leagues.Â He is fifth in the nation in steals and he had his hands down.Â He shot an NBA three, made it, and then the next position Bernard guarded him, he took a step‑back dribble and made 24 footer.Â That was a heck of a shot.
So I give credit‑‑ if guys make shots when you're guarding them, that's great.Â But I got a little nervous when those two threes went in in the last two and a half minutes.Â I said that was a long two and a half minutes because we helped them but they really played well and Georgetown really hit a couple big shots.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports