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ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 14, 2014


Langston Galloway

Halil Kanacevic

Phil Martelli


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

ST. JOSEPH’S - 70
DAYTON - 67


COACH MARTELLI:  We didn't play great.  We competed our backsides off.  The two possessions that Halil had, he was quick to tell me I took away a dunk from Ron Roberts on a time‑out, but he fought and got those two big loose balls.
And I thought the game would be a 50/50 game to be honest with you.  And then I'll just‑‑ it doesn't matter what a coach has to say at this time of the year.  But you all know what you just saw.  You saw two high‑level teams, and if justice is to be served for those kids and for Archie and for that wonderful fan base, they will get their name called on Sunday.

Q.  Langston, can you just talk us through that last shot and what was your mind‑set coming down the floor?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  Just trying to figure out a way to help this team win, and coach had drew up a play before that for me to come off a double screen and it didn't work out.
But the next play, I said, let me put it in my hands and this team, they trust me with the ball at the end of the game, and I just tried to make a play.  I made a step‑back and just got enough room to shoot it and that's all I need to shoot the ball, and it went in.

Q.  Langston, do you think you pushed off?  Did you extend your left hand and get an advantage?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  No, I don't think so.  I think the whole night they were letting us play, and everybody was just trying to be physical and try to make plays, and that's what happened on the last play.

Q.  They seemed to limit your opportunities in the second half.  Is that accurate, and can you talk about what the rest of your team did?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  No, not really.  I was just trying to help Halil and Ron get going, because the first half I was just trying to keep us in the game.  The second half, I knew that they were going to try to deny me the ball and try to do different things to make me pass the ball and get the ball out of my hands.
But the second half, I was just trying to get the ball inside, because that's our balance, we need to go inside and then out.  That's what I was trying to do the second half.

Q.  You did not have any fouls at halftime; how big was that to play freely and not pick up any fouls?
HALIL KANACEVIC:  I'm playing the same way the whole year.  I've been playing the same defense.  It's how they are calling the game.  I'm not going to switch how I play and I do a good job on the defensive end.  So I'm playing the same way.
I was conscious of the coaches saying, keep doing what you're doing, but I have no hold on what the officials are going to call and what they are not going to call so I'm just going to keep playing the same way.

Q.  Can you explain what's going through your head in that four‑minute stretch when you're sitting with four fouls and maybe talk about what happened in front of you that you went down with a four‑point lead and came back, you guys were up six and seemed like the team really forged together.
HALIL KANACEVIC:  We've been there before.  We have other two seniors, Ron and Langston, so I'm not worried, they know how to handle it.  I've been in foul trouble; he's been in foul trouble; Ron's been in foul rubble.  We are a veteran team, we have a little youth on our team but we have are a veteran‑led team.  So one person getting in foul trouble shouldn't affect it as much.  You can't use that as an excuse.
Everybody did a great job just picking me up because I got in foul trouble.  It was just a team effort.   So not really worried about it.  Am I angry?  Yeah, I don't want to be in foul trouble, but I'm not worried.  These guys know how to handle it.

Q.  Was there any point that you felt that either you guys or they might be pressing some?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  I don't think so.  Everybody was just playing loose.  I mean, both these teams wanted to win tonight, and I think both teams gave it all.  It went down to the end, so I know everybody left it out there and it was a great game.

Q.  You guys had a rough week last week and you had a four‑day layoff.  Have you been on pins and needles knowing that another loss might knock you the wrong way off the bubble?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  No, not really.  This team, we've been through adversity all season really.  I mean, we were 4‑4 and we made a big push to try to make this run into the Tournament.  We knew if we just took it one game at a time in each of these games that we played‑‑ and that's what we've done.  I can't be more proud of these guys because we left it all out there and it was a great game for us.

Q.  Before you played, St. Bonaventure knocked off Saint Louis.  Do you think they did you guys a favor and made your path a little easier tomorrow?
HALIL KANACEVIC:  Not at all.  The A10 is a tough conference.  Every team is tough.  You see every game this year, probably every team is tough, from the bottom of the league to top of the league; UMASS,  Rhode Island team, tough last night; St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, every game you play, you've just got to bring it.  Doesn't make a difference.  Are they different teams?  Yes.  Is Saint Louis a great team?  Yes.  St. Bonaventure is not no doormat, you know, they are a really good team.
So, you know, you're worried about every team.  You take every game exactly how you approach it.  We approach St. Bonaventure how we approach Saint Louis.  It doesn't matter.  We worry about ourselves first and then we've got to worry about them.  Everything is really good.  So at this point just got to play, you've just got to play your hearts out and just play hard.

Q.  I believe you beat Dayton with a late shot earlier this season.  Was there any sense of déjà vu?  And what happened to your mouth?
LANGSTON GALLOWAY:  I guess so.  Like I said earlier, this team, they trust a lot in me to have the ball at the end of the game, especially Coach.  And I just caught an elbow at the end of the game and brushed my lip, so that's pretty much it.
COACH MARTELLI:  So I just ask something real quick?  Markus asked the question, what does Halil do when he sits over there, and unfortunately over the last five or six games, he's had a lot of time over with us with foul trouble.
He's one of the best bench players that I've ever had.  If you watch him like if you could take your eyes off the action and put a camera just on him, he's talking every play, he's encouraging on every play.  He's offering suggestions.  He's a phenomenal‑‑ he's a really high basketball IQ; rough around the benches but he has a really wonderful basketball IQ and he is a tremendous, tremendous teammate.
This is a team full of great teammates.  He might be at the top of the list, though, as a teammate.

Q.  After you guys got that rebound, you had the two‑point lead and they took a shot that was a second left.  You were kind of I guess celebrating, you let out like a whoop and everything over there.  Was that kind of‑‑ sort of an NCAA sigh of relief or something like that?  Did you feel the frustration?  What was that about?
COACH MARTELLI:  I was just excited for my players because that was‑‑ that literally was a fistfight, and it was a fistfight for 40 minutes.  I asked them to fight for 40 minutes, and they gave me everything that they had. 
Because of the character of these guys, I just want to keep coaching them.  I want to keep being with them.  You know, the chance‑‑ I knew that that game was a chance to play tomorrow, and these next 24 hours or whatever it will be, 20 hours, will be a blur, but it will be an enjoyable blur.
Just for the players; it's a wonderful, wonderful group, and all success is due to them.

Q.  Every coach will say that every conference tournament game is hard; do you breathe a sigh of relief when Saint Louis went down?  Did that affect you guys at all?
COACH MARTELLI: (Pausing).  Nope.  (Laughter) no.
I'm going to say this with all due respect.  For two years, Saint Louis has been the best in this league and there's part of me that wants to measure ourselves against the best.  And for 40 minutes today, St. Bonaventure was the best, so we're anxious to do that tomorrow.

Q.  You had to take Halil out for a four‑minute stretch in a crucial part of your game; can you address how your team functioned without him and I don't know how happy or relieved you were that they were actually able to grow the lead?
COACH MARTELLI:  Well, what we did was we went to our playbook, really, and tried to think of ways, really, that we could get the ball into Langston's hands and then on swings of the ball to get to DeAndre' to go to the basket. 
We know what our limitations are and we know who we can lean on, and I was really pleased at the other end because I thought we defended fiercely without Halil, and there were times in this game where we didn't defend fiercely.  We kind of played on our heels a little bit.  So I was pleased with the defensive performance when Halil was out of the game.

Q.  Galloway has had those games before, but not for those stakes; can you put into your perspective what you saw had from him today?
COACH MARTELLI:  I thought that that would be the case, and I'm not like a fortune teller or anything.  But when I looked at the last game and we scored 79 points, he had seven.
When I speak to these guys about being seniors and having your moment in time, he's really drilled in on me.  He's like‑‑ he's such a kid that wants to please, and I thought right in the beginning of the game, I liked the idea that he was hunting, and I could feel it; and there was no hesitation on where we were going to go.
And I just watch for occasions where he gets a little bit tired.  And I think that in the second half, he had his cleanest look of the night in the left corner away from our bench on an out‑of‑bounds play ‑‑ or Chris penetrated and hit him and he shot an air ball.
Last year Langston would have hung his head and thought, I disappointed everybody.  Now, there's a fighter in there, and again, he has nothing‑‑ I have nothing to do with him.
He's a product of how he was raised, and you want good things for good people, and he's certainly brought it.  And really, a lot of leaning on them tonight to get them back to square one will be on Halil and Langston to make sure that we're ready to play tomorrow at 1:30.

Q.  Just take us through what you saw in the last offensive play.
COACH MARTELLI:  We actually wanted to run Langston off a triple screen.  He went too early and Chris was starting too high.  We were going to run a triple screen for Langston and then a double ball screen for Langston, and they stopped it and Chris was smart enough‑‑ Langston stopped his momentum and caught the ball and then we flattened out.
I really wanted Ron to get up there and set a vertical ball screen.  He didn't get there, kind of froze, everybody froze.  And then Langston, the move that he made was really a pro prove.  That's a move that the pros teach, you drive the ball into the guy's chest and then you do a step back.  Kind of reminiscent of ten years ago; I wish that ball had gone in ten years ago on that same move.

Q.  You spoke very eloquently about Dayton deserving.  You may not want to address this, but do you deserve it?
COACH MARTELLI:  Do we deserve it?

Q.  Yeah.
COACH MARTELLI:  Well, here's my point.  Coaches campaigning or coaches thinking in any way, shape or form that campaigning to Joe Lunardi has anything to do with it, it's numbers, pure and simple.  We'll now be under 40 RPI.  We have 11, I think, road wins, rode or neutral.  We played in this league and we're in the semi finals in this league.  Enough said.  Enough said.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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