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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: MEMPHIS


March 26, 2014


Johnny Dawkins

Josh Huestis

Dwight Powell


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

THE MODERATOR:テつ At this time, we'll get started with the press conference for the Stanford student‑athletes.テつ We've been joined by senior forward Josh Huestis as well as senior forward Dwight Powell.テつ

Q.テつ Dayton Flyers love to get out in transition, and I'm wondering what you folks, for both players, how you plan to counter that?テつ
JOSH HUESTIS:テつ Yeah, like you said, they're a team that likes to run.テつ They like to pass up the court and move quickly when they have the opportunity.テつ So in order to counter that, we've just got to make sure we have guys back on defense when the shot goes up.
When we shoot, got to make sure there's guys back, that not everybody crashes the boards every single time or they'll be able to run on us.
So just a matter of following the game plan.
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ Yeah, everything Josh said.テつ I think it comes down to taking care of the ball on offense.テつ They're a good defensive team.テつ They get in lanes.テつ They're active.テつ They're physical.テつ A lot of their offense is produced out of their defense.
So I think it comes down to taking care of the ball on offense and taking good shots.テつ Yeah, sticking to our game plan, like Josh said.

Q.テつ Josh, I asked this question of Dwight the other day, but obviously with the success you've had in this tournament, it makes people respect what you guys have accomplished, competitors, talented.テつ Do you wonder why it didn't happen before now in terms of getting in the tournament, being successful?テつ Have you analyzed that in your mind and figured out what the difference has meant?
JOSH HUESTIS:テつ Absolutely.テつ I mean, when your season ends the past three years like it has for us and you haven't made the NCAA Tournament, you think about all the things that kept you out of it.テつ Then being here makes you think about what the difference is.
I mean, the biggest difference for us is just the experience we've gained from the past three years.テつ We've got a lot of guys that have played in so many games and been in so many different situations that we've been able to close out certain games and situations that we weren't able to in the past.
I just think that we weren't ready, you know, those years before.テつ We weren't ready to be able to make this step into the NCAA Tournament.
You know, it happened now, and better late than never for us.テつ So we're just happy for the opportunity to be able to keep playing.

Q.テつ Dwight, as a senior, are you feeling a certain urgency about as the final sands go down in your college career?テつ Is that a pressure you feel or can that be a fuel that helps you?
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ I think we're all definitely aware of the fact that we're at the stage of the season where it's you win or go home.テつ So I think everybody feels a certain level of a sense of urgency.
I wouldn't necessarily call it pressure, just more a heightened sense of awareness, I guess, to the situation we're in as far as either winning or going home.テつ So I think it's a good thing that does fuel us in everything we do.テつ

Q.テつ I kind of asked the same thing of the fellows from Dayton.テつ As a seed that's a little bit down and you come into the tournament and there's all these big guys that are supposed to be great, do you guys at some point say to yourselves why not us?
JOSH HUESTIS:テつ Absolutely.テつ It's funny you say that phrase, Why not us?テつ As a team, we've talked about that.テつ We use that exact phrase, thinking someone's going to win this tournament, why not us?
Coach always tells us that there's only a handful of teams that come into this tournament thinking they have a chance to win.テつ The rest of them are just happy to be here.テつ We pride ourselves on being a team that believes we can win this whole thing.
You know, that gives us an upper hand in some of the games that we do play because we're playing to win.テつ We're not just happy to be here.テつ We have a certain goal in mind that we've had all year, and we're going to give everything we can to accomplish that.
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ Yeah, definitely, like Josh said, somebody's going to win the tournament, somebody that's in the tournament, and we're in the tournament.テつ So we have a chance to do that.テつ We play with that on our mind to win every game, and I'm just happy to be here.
Like Josh said, we're here to win games.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, guys.
We'll go ahead and get started with the Stanford press conference with head coach Johnny Dawkins.

Q.テつ Johnny, did you see the resurgence of the Pac‑12 coming?テつ Three teams in the Sweet 16 and other good wins.テつ Did you see that building the last few years?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Yes, I did.テつ I saw the resurgence coming several years ago.テつ I thought we had a very competitive conference last year.テつ We had four teams.テつ We received four bids.テつ I thought we could have received one or two more based on how we performed, and unfortunately, we didn't.
So going forward, with a lot of those players remaining in our conference, I knew it was going to be much better, and I think you see that now.

Q.テつ I was wondering what your team showed in St. Louis that maybe you hadn't seen out of them yet this year, if they took it to another level.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ What we've done very well the last several games is we defended at a high, high level every possession.テつ We always talk about the importance of defending every possession.テつ It's one thing to say that, it's another thing to go out and execute it.
Our guys have really been focused.テつ Our concentration has been there with the game plan every single possession, which is something that's always been exciting to me.

Q.テつ Johnny, the other day, I was going over my notes from what you were telling us Monday about things that have happened the last couple of years, what you've learned, the team's learned.テつ There's a phrase there that I wrote down about you learn how to focus on how to max out what the players were, max out what you guys do.テつ I wonder, if you could, elaborate on that in terms of how that happened and how you learned how to do that and what the process was for that.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, this thing is personnel driven.テつ We have terrific student‑athletes, of course, and you need to max out who they are.テつ When I first came, I had an idea in mind of how I wanted to play and how we wanted to compete.テつ Now I had to learn to make adjustments.
I was coming in with some preconceived notions of we're going to pick up full court, we're going to pressure everyone and get after these guys, and we're going to play a certain system offensively.テつ I found that not to be the right system for this group.
So I had to readjust as a coach, and I had to grow.テつ My growth was being able to listen and look at new things and say, Okay, how do you devise a system that's going to maximize who these guys are?テつ And we started making those adjustments.
I think it's really helped our teams over the years.テつ If you look at our defensive numbers since I've been there, they've steadily gone down because I think we've made an adjustment there.テつ If you look at the offensive numbers, they've gone up with the level of efficiency.
So those are the things that I've had to do as a coach and right along with our players, to be quite frank.

Q.テつ I know you've recruited Memphis in the past, especially with Andre Hollins.テつ How do you sort of view Memphis as a city today as a recruiting stop for Stanford?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ The thing I learned about Memphis is they have terrific student‑athletes.テつ This is a place we'll always stop and look at their student‑athletes.
Their kids have gone on to be very successful. テつThey've been very good and very competitive players.テつ This is a great area for recruiting.

Q.テつ Coach, Archie Miller said that, because of the length of timeouts and March Madness, that depth isn't as big of a factor in the NCAA Tournament.テつ Do you agree with that?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ I agree with him, and that's something that we realized as well.テつ These kids, they want to play.テつ I don't think there's one young man on either team that's going to raise his hand and say, I want to come out of the game because I'm fatigued.
I think with the extension of the timeout gives these kids a chance to kind of catch their breaths and come out recharged.

Q.テつ Chasson's got a lot of attention in the last couple days and weeks.テつ For you, what's it like to see him finally get some national attention from basketball experts and analysts on his game and it now starting to get respected?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, I couldn't be more happy and proud because having coached that young man for three years and watched him grow the way he has, to now get the recognition that I think he deserves has been good.
He's handled it very well.テつ He's been one of our leaders and one of our best players the entire season, and I think the rest of the world is having an opportunity to see why I'm so excited about Chasson and Chasson's future.

Q.テつ Coach, some fans, I'm sure, back on the West Coast think Dayton's this little school and probably from a little conference, don't really know the history and what a big‑time program that is.テつ Have you had to explain that to fans or even your players?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, I haven't had an opportunity to explain it to our fans, but I have explained it to our players.テつ I followed them for quite some time.テつ They've always had a good program, always had a rich tradition, and their conference is very good, no different than the Pac‑12.
The Atlantic 10 had six teams from their conference in the tournament as well.テつ So these kids are used to playing at a high level, and they're very good.

Q.テつ Coach, what have you noticed with Chasson that last year he categorized a subpar season?テつ What has he done in the last 12 months that's helped him get to the point that he's at right now?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Unlike a lot of players, he didn't make excuses.テつ He used the fact that he had a bad season last year to grow, and that's what this game is about.テつ You're not always going to have a great season or a great game.テつ What defines you is what do you do next.
I'll always remember Chasson as a young man who has great character because what he did was he realized he needed to improve.テつ He used the off‑season as an opportunity to get better.テつ He came in with a focus.テつ He came in with a resolve, and he's really helped lead us to where we are today.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ All right, guys.テつ Take care.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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