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ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 14, 2014


Matt Kavanaugh

Archie Miller

Dyshawn Pierre


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

ST. JOSEPH’S - 70
DAYTON - 67


COACH MILLER:¬† Obviously very hard‑fought game.¬† I thought both teams really battled and competed.
You know, from our standpoint, I thought we had enough in the tank to get the job done.  We probably shot ourselves in the foot just one too many times at some critical times that we couldn't even maybe carry a bit of the lead, disappointing.
But you're up with one, 20 seconds to go, it's March, playing sense St. Joe's who is a terrific team and the guy makes a great shot; a great player makes a great shot.
Like I told the guys afterwards.¬† I have to do a better job for them, 15, 16 seconds to go, I have to set them up a little bit better.¬† We have to get a better shot.¬† We have to get a two‑point basket on that.¬† I'll kick myself on that one.
But couldn't be more proud of the group.  They have been one of the most fun groups to be around.  We still have a lot of ball left in us to play, and my hope is that we'll have one more burst in us where we can make something happen.

Q.  Dyshawn, what did you see off Galloway, the last shot he made?
DYSHAWN PIERRE:¬† Could have gone both ways.¬† We thought it was a push‑off.¬† But that's a really good team.¬† It was a really good shot, and it was just a tough shot.

Q.  Matt, you guys were down six and made a real quick run to get back in it, maybe the biggest shot of your career at that point.  Talk about the run.
MATT KAVANAUGH:  Well, we've been in that situation multiple times this year.  A lot of our victories, we've had to come back from behind, so we're used to being in that situation and yeah, that definitely was one of the biggest shots I've ever made and just too bad we couldn't close it out with one more stop.
But yeah, as you mentioned, the fact that this team can continually be down in that situation and continue to fight and comeback, that says a lot about the character and the resiliency of this group.

Q.  I know you want one more chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.  How much would that mean to you to get the call on Sunday?  
MATT KAVANAUGH:  That would be the perfect, I guess, the perfect period at the end of a senior season I guess, and we think we've done enough to earn a spot in the tournament, and we're looking forward to that opportunity.
And if not, we'll be looking forward to playing in the other tournament.  We definitely know we have more basketball to play; so whichever tournament we're in, we're going to be excited and ready to keep battling.

Q.  What was the plan when you had the ball with 15 seconds left and you were looking at that last shot?
DYSHAWN PIERRE:  We ran over a play that Coach drew up.  It was a great play.  Just was shut on it.  At the end of the day, we tried to get a shot, wasn't exactly what we wanted.  We wanted to get to the rim but I mean, didn't happen and we adjusted and just didn't work out for us.

Q.  You guys are in an interesting situation here, obviously with the first four, I don't believe Dayton has ever had a situation where they have been so close to the double and obviously with the situation in the first four; so I know you believe you probably should be in, hope you get in, but if you do, there's a chance that you might just barely scoot in and play on your home court.  Can you speak to that situation and how even though right now, if you lost, it might benefit you by knowing the arena and having a process that would replicate something much closer to the regular season than what would be a postseason tournament game for others?
COACH MILLER:  Yeah, the question has been asked a few times of late about that situation and that opportunity, and I'll answer it the same way I pretty much answer all of them:  You don't go into the season saying, I hope I get the draw and we can play at home in the NCAA Tournament.  It never crosses your mind.  The mission is to get to the Tournament.
Now, the first four is the tournament, and we've seen some great things happen from the first four.  I think VCU a few years back made a great run.  You have got to win to move on, but you're in the dance; and you're going to play against another team that is excited to be there.
To play in the arena, would it be familiar?  Yes.  It's a different crowd; it would be a different setup.  The restrictions, the ability to get on and off the floor would be fine.  It's going to be an equal deal for the game, and when you tip it, maybe the rims are a little bit more familiar.
But I think the quality of the opponent, the atmosphere and the environment would change the mind‑set a little bit.¬† I don't necessarily know if we would be going in there feeling we're in good shape because we're at home.
But it is a unique situation.  I hope we get the call.  I expect to get a call.  I think we have done enough and if it's in Dayton, it's in Dayton.

Q.  With that possibility, how do you handle the next 48 hours?
COACH MILLER:  There's nothing to do.  I mean, our guys have come off one of the more memorable runs that a team has had.
For St. Joe's, unfortunately I don't necessarily know if they are going to lose another game and we can't beat them right now.  They are the last loss that we have had since January.  It's been them two times, and we've had two good games and one not so good.
But we've had a great run.  They have exhausted an extreme amount of energy.  There's a lot of emotions with the ups and downs that go into the season, and the next step is to take a deep breath and be proud of what we have done together.
It's a great group to be around.  They should be really proud of what they have been able to accomplish.  There's so much sacrifice and so many individual players on this team that could play on other teams and get more minutes and whatnot, and they just kind of stuck with it.
There's a reason you come in here in March, won 23 games‑‑ 10 out of 11 before tonight; we're playing as good as maybe any team is playing.¬† We just weren't good enough tonight.¬† If there's just one thing, you just look at it tonight, if we could just make a couple free throws and maybe help ourselves a little bit.
But you've got to control what you can control.  We've had a lead with 32 seconds to go and a guy makes a great shot, he's a great player.

Q.  Can you take us through the huddle with about 3:30 left to go, your kids responded after being down six, were there any specific adjustments or was it just playing?
COACH MILLER:  It was just playing.  But at the end of the day, we have been there a lot.  We understand how we have to do it if we are going to get back into it.
We've done it a lot.  We've had so many games this season where we made runs, and it starts on defense.  And we were able I thought to get some stops and a stop led to a three and then we were able to get another basket.  The next thing you know, you're right back in it.
.¬† That's been the MO of our group all year.¬† They are kind of fearless like that. They don't hang their heads a whole lot.¬† There's a lot that went on in the last 3:30 that I thought if we could have gotten a couple of those first‑time rebounds maybe it changes a little bit, and particularly the last play, I have to do a better job of getting into the situation.
But we battled.  That team has battled all year; it's battled since we were down 15 at the half to Maui; to Gonzaga; at Saint Louis.  There's been probably ten times this season that they have sat  there and looked at me and said, you know, here we go.  And they did it again.

Q.¬† Pierre said the push off, looked like it could have gone either way, wondering what your opinion‑‑ on the Galloway shot.
COACH MILLER:¬† It could go either way.¬† The referees did a good job.¬† It was a well‑officiated game.¬† Had a great crew on the game.¬† And if you ask me, what did I see, I felt like he got some space.¬† I felt like he created some space.
Now is everybody referee going to call the call with that much on the line?  Probably not; let the kids finish it out.  We still had an opportunity to control what we wanted to control down the other end, and we did a poor job, and I'll take the blame on that one.
But we have no problems, and if we make some free threes‑‑ there's a lot of things that can go on in the game.¬† The officials did a good job.

Q.  What's the plan for the players the next 48 hours?
COACH MILLER:  Well obviously de compress here.  Figure out our departure plan out of New York and at some point in time we'll get back together, give them some time to themselves on Saturday to rest, and we'll get back together at some point in time and we'll figure out what the next step is.
This is a big waiting game.  Obviously a lot going to happen on Saturday and then on Sunday's championship games and whatnot.  I'm not going to watch a whole lot of TV and I'm going to tell them not to watch a whole lot of TV because the only thing you're going to do is get stressed out.
We've done our thing.¬† They have everything they need to know about us and if going 12‑3 in non‑conference, going seven‑‑ I don't know, seven true road games we have won; nine away from our building; we have ten wins against the Top‑100; four or five wins against the Top‑50.¬† The intense (ph) of schedule in a non‑conference, they tell you to schedule as hard as we can.¬† We tried to schedule as hard as we could.¬† So our resum√© is what it is, and I think it's very favorable when you stack up against the others who are in your field.
And if you add to the fact that you only lost a couple games since February 1, there's very few teams that are playing as well as us.  I hope we get a chance to get on that stage.  Our kids deserve it and in particular our deserve class deserves it.

Q.  What adjustments did you make for Galloway?
COACH MILLER:¬† Not very many.¬† The thing was in Game2, in Philadelphia, we were very, very paralyzed by him.¬† Here is a guy that that's prolific from behind the three‑point line, he dominates the game plan.¬† You don't want him to get off and at the same time when your kids are confused and consumed with it, they become polarized and then you start to play four‑on‑four and you don't have your five guys guarding your rotations, your positioning.¬† He becomes kind of an on island and you say, good job, you held him to eight points.¬† Well, they got 90, you know what I mean.
We went with a team approach and we really tried to contain the post and tried to guard the ball better and tried to do some things.  I thought he got some good looks early and made them.  He got open a couple times in the second half.  The last one he made was a very difficult shot.  That's not the first time he's had six threes.  The last time we played him I think he was coming off check heck and you could make the case for him as being the Player of the Year in our conference. 
We needed all 31 of them and he delivered.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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