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NCAA MEN'S FINAL FOUR


April 6, 2013


Jim Boeheim

James Southerland

Brandon Triche


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Michigan 61
Syracuse 56


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and student‑athletes. We'll ask Coach Boeheim to make an opening statement.
COACH BOEHEIM: I thought we got off to a really bad start defensively in the first half. We just didn't have the movement that we've had. And Michigan took advantage of it.
Our offense was not good in the first half or the second half. Second half we got our defense going a lot better and got back in the game in spite of our offense.
But when it was 8, I thought we just did an unbelievable job of getting back in it and giving ourselves a chance. That's all you can ask for in that situation, when you're down 8, to be able to make that kind of a move back. I was really proud of these guys, how they were able to do that.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q. Brandon, could you go through the play that ended up being the charge?
BRANDON TRICHE: I was just trying to make a play for the team. I probably should have made a better decision. Probably should have pulled up, you know, and pulled up for a jump shot instead of actually taking it all the way down there because I did see him.
But I figured, you know, I was already in the air jumping, so I'd just try to make a play for the team.

Q. What was the key in the second half to the zone being more effective? How important was Mitch McGary for them in attacking that zone?
BRANDON TRICHE: Well, we just became more active. I know for me, I was kind of stagnant in the first half. I probably got about three or four three‑pointers hit on my side. Second half I personally tried to make sure that didn't happen, tried to help and get rebounds.
But we got a lot of tipped passes, got them to turn the ball over a little bit. Overall we rebounded the ball and became more intense.
JAMES SOUTHERLAND: We did a good job of coming out and finding the shooters in the second half. We also did a good job of keeping our hands up and being active and getting rebounds.

Q. What can you attribute the slow start to defensively? Was it nerves?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND: I mean, just happened to get off to a slow start. Two best players came in hit four threes for them definitely got them going.
We just did a bad job of crashing and also not getting any offensive rebounds.
BRANDON TRICHE: I think our energy was a little bit low. You know, we needed to be more active, and we weren't. I think that was the biggest thing.

Q. Brandon, the charge that Michael Carter‑Williams did not get about two minutes to go, can you walk through that play, how surprised you were to see it was a foul on him?
BRANDON TRICHE: If it wasn't a charge, I think it was, you know, a play where they shouldn't have called a charge at all or a foul at all.
I thought he was in pretty good position. If you seen the replay, uhm, I'm not sure who it was, I think Trey Burke, he stuck his arm out, followed through. I thought it was a charge.
But I think in a game like that, you gonna have plays go your way and then you're gonna have plays that don't go your way. I think that was one of the plays that didn't go our way.

Q. James, right after that is when Michael Carter‑Williams gets the foul. What was your take on that play?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND: Mike and I did a good job of trapping Tim Hardaway. Again, that's one of those calls where it can go either way. Whether he felt like he was in good position or not, the ref called it how he called it.
It honestly could have went either way.
THE MODERATOR: We'll let Brandon and James go and continue with questions for Coach Boeheim.

Q. When do you think you'll decide, announce, whether or not you're coming back next year?
COACH BOEHEIM: Why would you ask that question? I expect it from you. I know you. Why ask that question? Are you going to ask John Beilein that question.

Q. We ask 19‑year‑old questions and they handle it better than you are.
COACH BOEHEIM: You ask 19‑year‑old kid if he's going to retire? Really?

Q. If they're going to be back next year?
COACH BOEHEIM: If you're going to say something smart, at least be smart.

Q. I said be back next year, I didn't say retire. If you're going to be smart, at least get it right.
COACH BOEHEIM: I am right.

Q. Are you going to be back next year or not?
COACH BOEHEIM: I'm not going to answer that question unless you ask every coach that question. Are you going to ask John if he's going to retire or not coming back next year? I've never indicated at any time that I'm not coming back next year ‑ ever.

Q. You did a solid job on Burke and Hardaway, those guys like Albrecht and LeVert in the first half. Were they even on the scouting report for guys that could shoot those shots?
COACH BOEHEIM: Yeah, we think they're two of their best shooters.

Q. Coach, you shot 21% from three‑point range. Is there something they did defensively to stifle you guys?
COACH BOEHEIM: I think they're a good defensive team. We have not shot the ball well from three this year. In our losses, we're shooting about 20% from the three, in our nine losses. It hasn't been something that we've been really good on. We try not to take a lot of threes. But we had good looks. I mean, they were all good looks.
You know, they made eight threes, and we made three. That's the difference in the game really when you look at it.

Q. What was the plan with 15.7 seconds left?
COACH BOEHEIM: Well, we were going to try to run the play over for James again that we made the three on. They switched, so Brandon made a good decision. He drove the ball.
You know, it was a close call.

Q. Could you talk about the game McGary had.
COACH BOEHEIM: Yeah, he was really good. I thought he was really good, especially in the first half. Second half we stayed off him, and he missed the in‑between shots. He made the one in the end, but he missed two or three. We did a little bit better job.
But he had a really good first half. They hit two deep threes at the end of the shot clock, which, you know, that happens sometimes. But, again, our defense was good enough. It was really good in the second half. But it was good enough. Our offense was not good enough.
If I answer a question, you don't really like it, you don't have to run away. I mean, shit. I get questions all the time I don't like. I don't get up and run away. You guys are so unbelievable. The thinnest skins of anybody I've ever seen. I thought we were that way. Golly, just run out.

Q. How did not having Carter‑Williams on the floor affect your offense those last two possessions?
COACH BOEHEIM: Well, you'd love to have him out there. I thought both he and Burke struggled tonight. They both were struggling.
But Brandon made a really good play. He made a really good play trying to get down there. You know, you want to go to the basket in that situation and try to make a play going there. We're not making a lot of shots, so we're not going to try to throw something up.
But I thought he made a good play. I mean, those plays can go either way.
I thought Michael really was in good position halfcourt. You know, you can't see all that stuff. But I thought he was in perfect position and I thought the guy, you know, Burke put his elbow out.
But, you know, I can't tell where I'm sitting.

Q. Similar to Brandon's drive late, when you had both him and Michael out of the game, you put the ball in Trevor's hands.
COACH BOEHEIM: We were trying to get James. They switched on it. Trevor had no choice. That was it. He had no choice. He did the best he could in that situation.

Q. Seemed like it was a tale of two halves. What did you talk to your team about to change the mindset?
COACH BOEHEIM: We changed how we were playing the post, how we were guarding the pass to the corner, stayed back off McGary a little bit, made him make something happen.
We see that offense every day. Everybody plays that play, runs that same set against us. The first half we didn't guard it very well.
Again, they made two or three ‑‑ two of their six threes were threes at the end of the shot clock. That happened. No defense is going to stop that. Overall our defense was good enough, you know, to win tonight. Our offense was not.

Q. I know your only concern is your team, but was there some part of you that was kind of hoping the season could end with an all Big East final?
COACH BOEHEIM: No, I wanted to get there. I didn't care anything about that. We wanted to get there. These kids have fought unbelievably hard. They really have. We changed this whole team from last year. Michael never played a meaningful possession coming into this year. Our centers have never really been a part of what we're doing until this year. James had never started.
So, I mean, it was a team that really‑‑ I just think these guys have had an incredible year. We've got some flaws. We're not a great shooting team. We haven't been. We're one of the worst shooting teams in our conference. But we've dug in there, hung in there, we've battled, played defense all year long, and really worked to try to get better.
When we faced adversity, losing four out of five, we're down 12 points to Seton Hall, they've just done an unbelievable job. We hadn't beaten Pittsburgh six out of the last seven times, whatever it is, beat them in New York.
Then to beat Georgetown after they beat us twice by comfortable margins. Then get in this tournament, went out west, three thousand miles, played great, came back to Washington, played better.
These guys have accomplished. It's hard to see it. I told them they won't see that and they should feel bad because they obviously could have won this game. But what they've accomplished is, I think, incredible this year.
I don't think I've ever been any prouder of a team for where they've come and what they've had to overcome at the end of the year and in this particular game.
Michigan's a really good team. They had the game pretty much under control with an eight‑point lead. They got it down to one. I couldn't be prouder of this team.
Just to answer the question, so everybody knows, I've answered all the questions, even though I get mad. I have never said I was not going to be back next year at any time ever. I'm frankly tired of being asked that question.
I don't mean to be personal on anybody. Anybody that asked that question I would have been upset because, you know, I just think‑‑ I don't know why. Just 'cause you get old. Because I'm old? I mean, what is it?

Q. Honestly, my theory with you is you don't want to coach in the ACC because of your Big East loyalty.
COACH BOEHEIM: I'm sorry, I apologize. It wasn't you. Anybody that asked that question, I would have been mad.
But, no, I've heard this. Roy Williams has got a bet on it, somebody else has got a bet on it. I love the Big East, but if the Big East was the same as it was, or even remotely the same, I would quit because I wouldn't be happy.
The Big East is not there at all. In fact, there's more Big East teams in the ACC than there are Big East teams in whatever the conference is, American whatever.
So I should be happy because there's more teams that I know in the ACC. I've always thought that the two best leagues in the country were the ACC and the Big East over the last 34 years. I've always thought that. I mean, somebody can prove me wrong in a number of ways, but it's just my opinion. I always thought they were the two best leagues.
For us to be able to stay on the East Coast, and predominantly all our games are an hour and a half, almost all, and in the Big East, without this crazy expansion, we had to go to Florida, we had to go to Marquette, Notre Dame anyway. So we had long trips. We'll have the same long trips that we had. When you're chartering now, it's mostly an hour, most of these trips.
I mean, the ACC has absolutely zero input into whether I would not coach next year. The only reason that I would not coach next year is because I didn't feel I could do a good job or wanted to do it, and I have no feeling at all now that that will be the case. Usually right now I would have that feeling. If I don't have it now, I'm not going to have it in September.
And I don't want anybody to be thinking, like I don't want to ever say, I'll think about it and tell you later. I'll never do that. I'll never do that. I think that's not the way to do it for the program, and I wouldn't do that.
But I've enjoyed this team as much as any team I've ever coached. They've achieved more than I ever thought they could. And I always think they can achieve a lot.
You know, I like where we are. Everything in me intends to be back coaching next year. And I always say this at the end, that's probably why people ask me the question: there's always a chance that somebody might think, you know, you get back into coaching, you get in the thing, you just don't feel it. If that happens, you know, I don't want to ever let it be said that I misled anybody.
As far as I know, I'm 100% coaching next year. You know, that's really kind of where I'm at right now.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
COACH BOEHEIM: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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