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March 29, 2014

Archie Miller

Devin Oliver

Dyshawn Pierre


Florida – 62
Dayton - 52

THE MODERATOR:  We've been joined by head coach Archie Miller and student‑athletes Dyshawn Pierre and Devin Oliver.
COACH MILLER:  First of all, congratulations to Florida.  36‑2 is 36‑2.  That's a very, very good team.  To be on the same floor with them, you know, was really a big‑time feeling for everyone in our program, you know, to be on the floor, to be able to compete with them.
They do it the right way, and Coach Donovan's first class all the way.  So congratulations to them.
In terms of us, it's always hard to lose the last game of the season, but in the back of my mind, I'm not sure that a team in the nation probably captured more people's hearts than these guys did, and they did it the right way.
Unfortunately, we were bad in a couple spots in the game.  A lot of it had to do with Florida.  But I thought we competed.  At the end of the day, somebody's got to go down.
We'll regroup.  We've got to get a couple of these guys healthy here in the off‑season.  The vision will never change.  We'll try to get back here and break through one day.

Q.  Coach, just wondering if you could talk about Dyshawn's guts that he played with.
COACH MILLER:  Dyshawn was terrific.  In our darkest, sort of gloomiest period out there, we needed to find somebody that could kind of get us going.  I thought we had a favorable matchup for him inside.  We were able to get him the ball two or three times in a row, and he was able to capitalize.
He's basically completely exhausted.  I mean, you can't go to a guy eight times in a row and expect him to score every time.  But he gave us a fighting chance to continue to group.
This should be motivation for Dyshawn.  One of the things that we always talk about, try to be the greatest player on the floor all the time.  Be the best.  I thought, hands down, he was a difference‑maker for us tonight.  My hope is that this motivation to get back here will light another fire under him to be even better.

Q.  Dev, you told me that last year you remember seeing Josh Benson at the final game of the A‑10 tournament slap his chest.  It was his last ride.  What was your last ride like today?
DEVIN OLIVER:  You know, we tried to come out and get the win.  It was just tough because it was such a special run with a great group of guys.  I feel like I played as hard as I could.  There was a couple of areas I probably could have been better in.
At the end of the day, it's been an incredible run, and I'm just proud of my team.

Q.  Coach, Jordan took three shots in the first six minutes and then didn't take one the rest of the time.  Was that gun‑shy, or is that something Florida was doing?
COACH MILLER:  No.  I mean, I don't think Jordan played any different than he normally does.  He got some good ones early in the game.  He didn't make them.
I thought they did a really good job identifying him in transition whereas a lot of his damage comes from within our half‑court.  I don't think they left him a whole lot when the ball was inside out.  I think a lot of other guys were open.
We got good looks, but maybe tonight just wasn't his night.  We tried to get him a couple shots there, didn't work.  I give a little bit of credit to Florida on that.  But without Jordan Sibert, we don't play in Elite Eight.
So he'll have motivation in the off‑season to become a better player.  He'll have motivation to go and try and trump one of these guys, like Devin's legacy in terms of what he's trying to accomplish, and he'll be good for it.
Jordan had a terrific year for us.  Without him, we probably don't win half the amount of games that we won this season.

Q.  Archie, what makes Florida's defense so hard to score against?
COACH MILLER:  They got a couple different phases to it.  Their press gets you into a half‑court system where you either have to let your players play and rely on them to make the decisions, or you have to really slow it down and try to create offense through sets and whatnot.  That can really take you out of your game with one‑day prep or whatever you've got to play them.
Secondly, you're talking about I don't know how many seniors, but strong, big, physical.  They play hard, and everything around the basket is difficult.  It's challenged.  For us, I thought tonight we missed some ones that we normally made around the rim.  I also thought we had some good looks.  They just didn't go in.
But make no mistake about it, defense wins them games.  You can say what you want to say about their entire season.  Their defense is there every game, and they're great on the glass as well.  You don't get very many second shots.
So to their credit, I think they've got a great system.  They've got great personnel, and they play extremely hard.

Q.  Coach, if you could put into words how big, especially the three seniors that have played‑ Devin, Vee, and Kav‑ how much they have meant to this program.
COACH MILLER:  Everything.  As I told the guys in the locker room, you can say what you want to say about anything.  The bottom line is this team and these seniors recreated a vision.  They recreated a brand of basketball that the University of Dayton hasn't had in 30 years.  You can leave it at that.  That's a statement among statements.
These three guys, four guys with Brian Vonderhaar, will go down as one of the greatest senior classes that ever did it.  They had such a sensational season that they're going to go down as one of the best teams in the history of Dayton basketball.
I think the blueprint is now set that we know how to do it now, and we can do it.  That's going to be a credit to these guys who have taken us across the bridge, so to speak.  A lot of development of our younger players.  We've got new guys coming in.
We'll look back and think how does a team get back here?  Well, they have to approach things every day like these guys did.  A lot of sacrifice went into it, but more importantly, these guys will go down in the history books.

Q.  For the players, what was it like going against Florida inside on the glass and trying to get to the basket against them?
DYSHAWN PIERRE:  They're a very big team.  Once he drove, you had to think pass because you've got Patric Young with his big old body there, and you had to just pass the ball.  He altered shots very well, a lot of their players do, and it was just hard to finish sometimes.
We missed a couple of easy ones just because of their length.
DEVIN OLIVER:  Florida's a good defensive team.  Once you drive, like Dyshawn said, you've got to look to pass just because they're long and strong inside.
I mean, we still did what we usually do, try to attack them the best we could.  If someone stepped up, just try to kick it to open shooters.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you guys.

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