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March 13, 2014

Archie Miller

Devin Oliver

Vee Sanford



COACH MILLER: Obviously very happy to get the win.  Advancing is the greatest feeling in the world this time of year, and I give these guy, these two in particular, a lot of credit.  We finished the regular season on Saturday night with a lot of emotion, and to our leaders credit and to our kids credit, we stayed very consistent.
Very happy with the way we worked on our approach coming in here, not really knowing who we had to play; and then finding out late last night that we would draw Fordham, to have a very, very quick turnaround on prep and to come in here this afternoon and be ourselves.
And I thought we got off to an outstanding start in the first half on both ends of the floor.  A little disappointed in our approach coming out of halftime, just the maturity and the intensity that you need this time of year, you're not always going to have that luxury of playing with that lead.
But for the most part, very, very happy and both of these two guys right here are going down as two of the better seniors that have been at Dayton.

Q.  9‑for‑9 from the field, 3‑on‑3, 2‑for‑2 from the line, how does it feel to be perfect?
 VEE SANFORD:  Far from being perfect.  Just a good night and I'm glad my teammates could find me and just looking forward to tomorrow.

Q.  Talk about your great start, you were shooting lights‑out for the first ten minutes or so, how big was that?
DEVIN OLIVER:  It was good to get off to a great start.  I think guys were excited, had a lot of energy to start the game, like coach said, weren't really fearful of anything.  Shot the ball with confidence and that helped us get off to an early lead and we tried to maintain it throughout the game.

Q.  In January, you guys were on that losing streak, what was it about this group of players that you're able to stay together and turn things around to where you're standing right now?
VEE SANFORD:  That's just life.  You're going to go through adversity and we have got a really good group of guys that know how to handle tough situations.  If you can handle life, you can handle anything, so that's what we did.

Q.  Tomorrow, of course, St. Joseph's, two bad tastes, a buzzer beater and a loss, are they going to beat you a third time?  What are you going to do to fix that?
DEVIN OLIVER:   Just going to do what we do every day.  We are going to go back to work tonight, look at film and get our team prepared and come with an attack mentality.  Just try to continue to advance and don't worry about the past two games, just get ready for the game tomorrow and be ready to attack.
VEE SANFORD:  I mean, it's hard to beat a team three times.  I feel like we're prepared and the edge we have, we don't want to go home and we want to continue to play.  So it's going to be a dogfight and we're going to play hard so we're not going to worry about it.

Q.  Even though they scored 45 points‑‑ they did it on shooting 13 of 42.  Talk about how you defended them?
VEE SANFORD we knew they were really good scorers.  In the scouting report, we knew they were going to hit tough shots.  This is a game you've just got to guard hard, this is a game you have to guard hard and just play D and have a little pride.

Q.  Can you remember the last time you went in a game where you didn't miss, and you just talked about life and overcoming adversity.  When you decided to make the transfer, did you think that something like this was even possible?
VEE SANFORD:  I think the last game I had like this was in high school, but transferring, it was a big move.  I felt really comfortable about coming here under Coach Miller.  He sought me out, got a release.  He told me what his expectations are, so nothing's surprising.  We've had‑‑ since I got here as a team, we're pretty much doing what we planned on doing and we're going to continue to do it.

Q.  Was it motivation losing the first game last year, coming back, was that on your mind at all?
DEVIN OLIVER:  Yeah, you know, in the back of your mind you try to concentrate on the game at hand and get ready for Fordham but the season as a whole, we just left with a bitter taste and we got knocked out in the first round last year.  We just tried to come with an advance mentality and just try to continue to play.

Q.  Can you talk about St. Joe and what you think about this matchup?
COACH MILLER:  I think St. Joe's is a terrific team.  We have not fared very well against them for, I would say probably three halves in a row, three halves of the four halves we've played.  We sustained it at home for a half.  The second half, we didn't have a whole lot of answers.  And then obviously in Philadelphia, we had zero answers.
So we have a big challenge.  They are a great team, and I think that as we approach this one, we will have to be much, much better, much more detailed in terms of the energy that we have to end and in certain areas and the bottom line with them is, they have a great plan against us.  Can't score.  We haven't been able to score against them in two games.  When you can't score, they are too good to hold off.  They control the tempo really well.  They really barricade around the basket and it's been very difficult for us to get easy ones and we have not shot it particularly well.
But, you know, this is a different season, so to speak.  There's a lot of freshness in the air right now.  To play in this venue this time of year, and you get one under your belt, as well, you have to feel good about taking the floor tomorrow and that's what we want our guys to do.
The only thing on our mind right now is an opportunity to compete against those guys and see if we can't find a way to get to the semifinals, that's it, and that's probably the same thing they are trying to do.

Q.  Coming out in the first half, thinking preparation‑‑ it looked through the roof.  How do you maintain that, now ten of 11, moving into tomorrow?
COACH MILLER:  We have good kids, and even when we weren't doing very well, we still had a good way about us.  I think the thing that we've been able to do over the last month and a half or so as we've wrapped up 10 of 11 is we've been able to be great every day.  You know, we have not had very many bad days, and I'm not talking about game day.  I'm talking about the hour and 15, the hour and 20 that we take the floor, improving, just having a mentality about us, a bounce, a positive, connection, togetherness.  We have a lot of guys games playing in games, which helps.  I think there's great camaraderie around these guys, but just sticking true to who we are.
I felt like we had our Monday and Tuesday in Dayton before we took offwere as good as any practices that we've had, and I've been saying that for a month.  If the players and the coach are enjoying coming to the gym every day, you're going to have a chance to be successful and I think that's what's going to happen to this group.

Q.  Good to get the first one under your belt, but is it more advantageous that they made a little run to see how you guys would respond?
COACH MILLER:  I think the one of the things that will come out of tonight is that maturity that you have to have playing with a lead, deep down; I don't think we handled the halftime very well coming out in, particular just defending the three‑point line.  It's not like you're going toplay against those two guys, in particular, Branden Frazier and shut out, you know that.
But there's always a lot to take from the game.  There will be a lot of good and there will be a lot of bad and we'll mix that in very quickly here this evening, and then we move on as fast as we can to try to prepare to be ready to go tomorrow.
I do think the plan here, getting a win is great, and not having a whole lot of feel good‑‑ yeah, there's some things that we have to get corrected for tomorrow, because to this point forward, we are not going to be able to beat a team if we have that type of first eight minutes in the second half.

Q.  Kyle Davis gave you a big look; can you talk about his play?
COACH MILLER:  He's done that all season long.  He understands when he comes in the game what his job is.  He's fearless, he's not afraid; and I can go all the way back to the first game of the season and all the way through, he's got a great way about him.  He's part of the reason that we have won 23 games now or the win streak or whatever people are talking, he's part of the reason.
I think Kendall has surged in, as well.  The last three games in particular you go back to St.Louis to Richmond to here, he's given us great minutes, as well.  Our bench got 35 points tonight; that's very, very big for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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