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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 12, 2014


Frank Martin

Duane Notice

Brenton Williams


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

South Carolina テや 74
Auburn テや 56


THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll go ahead and get started with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH MARTIN:テつ Extremely proud of our guys, especially these two guys that are next to me here.テつ Their willingness to continue to grow and embrace every challenge that's been thrown at them all year.
The guy right next to me here, I'm so happy for him in his senior year, the growth that he's shown.テつ And obviously Duane, who has been asked to play out of position, and he's been so upbeat in taking on that responsibility.
You ask your guys to get better every day, to understand that at this time of year the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins.テつ And at this time of year, it's all about the kids.テつ It's not any more about lessons being taught or things of that nature.テつ It's about preparing your team to play its best game that it's played all year tonight.
We probably played as well as we have played all year.テつ And now we get to live another day and that's all you ask for at this time of year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Duane, Frank mentioned that you're playing out of position, playing a lot of minutes at the point.テつ You seemed very comfortable out there tonight.テつ What was working for you when you saw that first 3‑pointer go down?
DUANE NOTICE:テつ I just got to credit the coaching staff, because all year they have been on me with regards to this position.テつ So I feel like I know or I'm learning or beginning to learn the different spots and how to choose my spots when it comes to the point guard position and how to get my teammates involved and how to get myself involved.テつ So I just wanted to take the game one play at a time.

Q.テつ Brenton, the other day you told me that it felt really good to get that win on the road and I'm sure it feels pretty good.テつ You got a lot of work to do it, but this probably feels pretty good as well?
BRENTON WILLIAMS:テつ Yes, it definitely feels good to get a first win here in the tournament in quite some time here at the university.テつ We're going to go into tomorrow against Arkansas and try and build off of this game and do what we did today, try to repeat it tomorrow.

Q.テつ For both players, after winning at Mississippi State and this was at South Carolina's first tournament win since 2008.テつ Just talk about the kind of momentum you guys are taking into Arkansas and what do you remember about playing Arkansas and what do you think about the rematch?
BRENTON WILLIAMS:テつ We know Arkansas's a very tough team and they play extremely fast.テつ That's one thing we noticed when we played them the first time.テつ It's going to be a track meet and I think we got to get the guys ready.テつ Got to rest up tonight and prepare for tomorrow.

Q.テつ As far as momentum?
BRENTON WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, the momentum definitely feels good.テつ It started at Mississippi State.テつ Guys starting to play in another gear and everybody starting to tune in a little bit better and pay attention to detail.テつ It's starting to show in our game play.
DUANE NOTICE:テつ The momentum is definitely picking up.テつ But as coach says, we don't get too complacent, we don't get too high or too low.テつ We take it as a positive, but we are still a work in progress.

Q.テつ Duane, talk about your shooting.テつ You obviously had success from the 3‑point range.テつ What were you feeling today?
DUANE NOTICE:テつ I was just feeling good.テつ Shoot around, trying to get some extra shots in after and before practice, just listening to what the coaches had to say on my shot.テつ Definitely before the game, Coach Matt Figger was helping me with my shot.テつ I wanted to go out and play with confidence because I wanted to extend my senior career here at South Carolina.

Q.テつ Brenton, they say it's hard to beat a team three times, and for you guys to be able to win tonight, what was the difference this time as opposed to the last two games, especially considering how you defended Denson and Harrell?
BRENTON WILLIAMS:テつ I think that was pretty much the key, is defending Denson and Harrell.テつ And them guys, they are very great players, and they both can score the ball at a high volume.テつ That was what we were going to key on them two today.テつ And you think we did a better job containing them.テつ That kind of threw the team off a little bit and that was just enough to distract them a little and it gave us opportunities to run on the other end and to make plays.

Q.テつ Duane, isn't it right that Auburn recruited you to play point guard and a big reason why you came here was so you didn't have to play point?
DUANE NOTICE:テつ Yeah, it's sort of ironic, but at the end of the day, I have to come here and do whatever my coaches ask me to do.テつ It felt good to get a win, especially against a team that beat us twice.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thanks, we'll excuse you and you can return to the locker room.テつ Take questions for coach.

Q.テつ What did you do different or what was different about this game than the first two times you played Auburn?
COACH MARTIN:テつ We took away a lot of easy baskets.テつ The first two times we played, offensively we had turnovers and took bad shots.テつ They basically played with four guards with Payne out there.テつ So they get you in a track meet and it's four guys that are just coming at you downhill.テつ They're hard to guard when you let that happen.
We did a better job offensively today of attacking, what we say, Score earl, score late.テつ That's kind of what we tell our guys.テつ That means we attacked early, we ran, we were aggressive.テつ But if it wasn't there, we didn't try to make a play on the first pass or the second pass if it wasn't there.
We ran our offense and got it later in the shot clock and we got the ball at the rim.テつ We didn't convert at the rim, but we got it at the rim.テつ That doesn't allow them to run on you.
But I thought our team defense today was real good.テつ They're a hard guard.テつ They come at you.テつ They're a hard guard.

Q.テつ You guys get about 18 early in the second half and the whistles happened.テつ Were you worried that the game might bog down and get Auburn back into it at that point?
COACH MARTIN:テつ Well, when we had to go deep in the bench early in the second half, and just proud, proud of those guys that came off the bench.テつ Whether it was Steele or Laimonas or whoever because of foul trouble, they had to play extended minutes in that second half.テつ Their fight, their resolve was real good.
And they, Auburn comes at you offensively.テつ They're going to come at you.テつ We made some mistakes, which allowed them to get to the rim, but we minimized those, where in the first two times we played, there were times it was like the parting of the Red Sea.テつ Today we did a better job of keeping the ball away from the rim.

Q.テつ Getting this team to the second round for the first time since 2008, winning a game, just how important is that for this program and how much growth does that show that you guys had this year?
COACH MARTIN:テつ Yeah, we just want to keep taking steps forward.テつ Building something the right way.テつ It's not a race, it's not a 100‑yard dash.テつ We're not trying to set a world record for a short distance.テつ We're trying to build it the right way.
We're trying to make sure guys comprehend.テつ Winning a game is extremely hard.テつ Building a successful program is sometimes off the charts hard.
You got to go at things with the right resolve, with the right mindset, and making it to Game Two is another step in the right direction for our guys.テつ It's another step in the right direction for what we're trying to get accomplished, which I'll figure that out when we remove ourselves from this season.テつ Be proud of where we're at with what stage we're at with what we're trying to build.

Q.テつ At Auburn, you mentioned that was one of the low points in terms of the team and not having the kind that have fight that you look for.テつ Did they demonstrate that today and was this one of the high points?
COACH MARTIN:テつ One of the things that I went through for the last five days before, during the Mississippi State game is I was able to sit back and evaluate our team, try and figure out some of the things that we're doing well and not doing well.
And as I got my coach's hat back on and we started preparing for today's game, the one thing I felt uncomfortable about was I put in my mind that guarding them was going to be hard for us.テつ So we went into practice with the mindset that we got to zone them and I thought that impacted our team in a negative way.
We didn't even talk about zone for the last two days.テつ We said we're guarding, we're going to do what we do, what we practice, and we're going to go do it our way.
When you spend as much time defensively as we spend and your kids go out there and play with that unity on that side of the floor, it's pretty good.テつ It's fun to watch.

Q.テつ What kind of a momentum do you think you guys have winning away from home twice, and I think that's the first time this year you won back‑to‑back games away from home?テつ What do you remember about the first Arkansas game and just talk about that matchup tomorrow.
COACH MARTIN:テつ Yeah, Arkansas, Brenton kind of touched on it, Mike and I, you know, when we left for Arkansas, and Missouri left for the SEC, Mike and I, we're not going to be coaching against each other any more, because it's like, like I was Hugg's assistant at Cincinnati, he was at UAB.テつ He goes to Missouri, we go to K State.テつ He leaves Missouri to go to Arkansas, I come to South Carolina.テつ It's like we just want to play each other.テつ It's like something that's unbelievable.
But if you get sped up against them, good luck, because they play so fast.テつ When they play at that speed, they play with unbelievable confidence.テつ If they get you sped up, then you start turning it over and they just come at you.
We have to handle pressure.テつ Today we handled pressure well, and then we had a handful of times where we didn't handle it well.
But our turnovers today weren't bad against their press.テつ Our turnovers today were just some lackadaisical stuff that we did against set defense, not full court press stuff.テつ We cannot get sped up.テつ If you go back and look at the numbers, any time Mike's team and our team have played each other, when our turnovers are up, and rebounding is down, they win.テつ When our turnovers are down, and our rebounding numbers are up, we have usually won.
They're really good.テつ They're an NCAA team.テつ That's the kind of team you play when you move on in your conference tournament.テつ I'm a big fan of Mike's.テつ I'm a big fan of his teams.テつ We got our handful.
I'm curious to see what kind of resolve our kids play with at 3 o'clock tomorrow afternoon after playing tonight.テつ I'm excited for our kids.テつ It's going to be a great opportunity for our program.

Q.テつ You did play the event in Hawaii with the three games in three day.テつ How much does that help and what are the biggest challenges in getting kids ready on such a short window?
COACH MARTIN:テつ That's why we do it.テつ That's why we do it, to create the mindset that you got to have at this time of year.テつ That's hard.
When you're as young as we are, were, because we're obviously not little kids any more.テつ We have had to play a bunch of games.テつ When you're first exposed to that, it's easy to say, Oh, this is so hard, I don't think I can do this.
Well, we went through it and we actually played real well.テつ We have to make sure we think back about that moment, to draw on that experience, to prepare us as best we can for tomorrow.

Q.テつ You talked about the team being focused, but with all that's gone on in the last week, on your way here, did you sense more fire, more emotion out of them before you got here?
COACH MARTIN:テつ Yeah, I mean I don't want to go against what they said.テつ We have won five of our last nine.テつ We have been playing good ball.テつ We had number one in the country in a 2‑point game, actually had the lead in the second half before they got away from us.
We had Arkansas, who I think is a very good basketball team, tied with one minute to go in their building.テつ We have been playing better.テつ The record doesn't show it.テつ I get all that.テつ But our approach, our understanding of what it takes to win is getting better.テつ That's what I pay attention to.
I know people pay attention to records, I don't.テつ I pay attention to my guys.テつ I pay attention to are we getting better.テつ Who has improved?テつ Are guys communicating better than we were two weeks ago?テつ Guys understanding what we're trying to do better.
We didn't make shots today.テつ We made threes, we didn't make eight‑foot‑and‑in shots.テつ When you got 14 assists on 20 baskets, you're playing good offense, and the only way you play good offense, is if all five guys are tied at the hip, meaning that the screens, the cuts, the ball movement is all together, not guys standing around or jogging or missing screens.
That's what I'm most proud of our guys, is that we have never given in to the outside noise.テつ We have never given in to an unfortunate loss.テつ We have come in every day and we have rallied around each other to try and get better.
When you don't have old guys, like Brenton, Brenton, he has spoken more in the last five days than he has in the last two years.テつ That's part of the process.テつ Sometimes a light comes on sooner than others.テつ Well, it's come on for him in the last five days.テつ He's out there leading.テつ Today he called defense.テつ We had guys confused, and he jumped up and called the defense.テつ He hasn't done that in two years.
So that's why you never stop coaching, because even though he's a senior and this could have been his last game, he is still fighting for that, to get better.テつ And that's the kind of character and leadership that you're trying to build, so that all those freshmen see it and they got someone to learn from.
But I've been happy with the way we have been playing for a month.テつ I really have.テつ We had to change everything we do offensively after that Texas A&M game.テつ When you do that midstream in conference play, with a bunch of kids that are going through it for the first time, that's not easy to do.テつ For to us play this well is a credit to those kids and the kind of focus that they have in what we're trying to do.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much.
COACH MARTIN:テつ Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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