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MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 7, 2014


Porter Moser

Matt O'Leary

Christian Thomas


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

LOYOLA – 62
INDIANA STATE - 75


COACH PORTER MOSER:  We didn't play well enough to win, that's for sure.  I give Indiana state a lot of credit, defensively I thought they were very physical, they did a great job on our guards.  Just didn't play well enough to win.  Shooting the ball, I thought Odom made a ton of big plays.  I felt at the halftime, being down four, shooting the way we shot it, to had for 22, we had one assist, six turnovers.
With those stats, you would think we were down 20 and we were within striking distance and Milt was on the bench.  I think they came out and they hit us right in the mouth proverbially right out of the gate and got the lead to ten and then never looked back.
We had a stretch where we missed I think four layups in a row and couldn't get anything going offensively.  It's a credit to them.  I thought they played very physical defense.

Q.  Do you feel like during that stretch where you guys missed a bunch of layups in a row, do you think that maybe just‑‑ the second half, maybe the legs, you guys got tired maybe after playing last night and have the advantage?
COACH PORTER MOSER:  No, I don't think fatigue was part of that.  I don't.  And I don't ‑‑ I'm not going to let them say it's a part of that, either.
You know, tournament settings, it's only game day two, so no, I thought they were well rested.  And they just didn't go down.  I thought we got‑‑ I think there was definitely a stretch that it was like four in a row and Kiki had one and Milt had one and it was like four right there in a row.  I don't think it was fatigue; I think we just missed them.

Q.  As well in the first half, particular, yesterday, it seemed like everything was falling and then today nothing falls.  Is that just one of those things, or were there things specifically that you guys were to the doing?
COACH PORTER MOSER:  Like I said, I told our guys at halftime, there's times where you're not going to make shots.  And I thought for the most part, we hung in there.  You know, rebounded the ball well, we had a distinct rebound advantage after the first half.
Literally, for Milton to be on the bench for about 14, 15 minutes, for us to shoot 4‑for‑22, have 1‑of‑6, six turnovers, to be within four, I thought we survived‑‑ we survived the first half.
You know, I don't think their attitude sometimes throughout this year, our offense has dictated our defense; if we weren't making shots, we would hang our lip.  Milt wasn't making shots in the second half, still had six assist, no turnovers, and I thought he was playing hard D.
So I like that part of it that our offense didn't dictate our defense tonight.  We just didn't‑‑ we didn't hit shots.  We missed a number of shots.

Q.  Could you evaluate, assess the first year, going through the Missouri Valley and what you do from here on out to get ready for next year, where you take the program?
COACH PORTER MOSER:  Well, I told the guys just in the locker room, there was points this year where they just haven't been on this kind of stage before, and within league and then I think coming to a tournament like this‑‑ and this has to motivate us in the off‑season.
You know, we‑‑ our goal is not to be playing on Thursday night, win one game.  We want to be playing on Sunday.  And this has got a huge‑‑ now we went through it, and now they got a feel; they got a visualization of what this league is about, what this road is about.
It's a great league.  I told you, I've played in it, coached in it, and now the guys, you can never say they haven't been through it.  And that's going to motivate them in the off‑season.  They have got to come together.  We've got to have a great off‑season.  We've got to get better in all areas and I think we've got a lot of things; the Valley motivated us this year.
I think it's nothing but optimism.  It's nothing but‑‑ I really believe this league gives Loyola a chance to have a higher ceiling and it’s our opportunity in the summertime and the spring to get after it and get better, because this league is a league of development.  It's always been a league of fifth‑year seniors, four‑year guys, guys that get better and that's what we've got to be.

Q.  Now that you have a taste of this league, what's the vibe like?  Do you feel optimistic about what's going to come this year?
CHRISTIAN THOMAS:  Definitely feeling optimistic.  This is our first time in this type of event, like Coach said so now that we see what it's all about, what it's going to take to ultimately be playing on Sunday.
MATT O'LEARY:  Like he said got a little taste of it last night, got the win, and hope to build on that in the off‑season.

Q.  What were your impressions the first run through the value see and where do you need to get better in the off‑season?
MATT O'LEARY:  Obviously it's a tough league.  Everyone plays great defense is what it's known for I guess.  But just got to get stronger, especially I guess personally, I've got to get stronger and just ‑‑
COACH PORTER MOSER:  That's why he's an academic all‑star.  He recognizes things like that (laughter).
MATT O'LEARY:  Yeah.
CHRISTIAN THOMAS:  Similar to what Matt said, we definitely need to get stronger in the off‑season.  Wasn't as physical as Missouri Valley was.  And just because this was our first year, we had no way of really gauging that ourselves, and I think that now we have a firsthand experience of what it's like but we also see what we need to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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