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March 17, 2016

Scott Nagy

Deondre Parks

Mike Daum

George Marshall

Spokane, Washington

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for the student-athletes.

Q. George, what's it like being back at this tournament and does it feel a little bit different this time being here as a member of the Jackrabbits?
GEORGE MARSHALL: It feels great. Just to be able to just know that all the hard work and goals that we set at the beginning of the year, we achieved our goal and then to be here just means a lot.

Q. Can you talk about the seeding process and at this point how much is, really, 12 just a number and once the ball tips off that aspect, the number behind the team doesn't really matter.
DEONDRE PARKS: We don't -- we didn't really care about what seed we have. We were looking forward to getting to the tournament and playing against a great team and trying to make a run in the tournament. And we just look at it as not just another game, but another great opportunity for this program.

GEORGE MARSHALL: Yeah, we really don't put much emphasis on the seed, because whoever we were playing would be a good team. So our preparation wasn't any different, and we just look at it as another game.

Q. What have you seen in your study of Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon and what kind of challenge does Maryland's back court present to you guys?
GEORGE MARSHALL: They're really two good guards. They can do a little bit of everything. They can shoot it from the outside, they can also drive, get in the paint and make plays for themselves and other teammates. So, just really looking at controlling those guys and hope that it spirals down for the rest of the team.

Q. Mike, the matchup coming up against Diamond Stone, both you guys, young guys, and funny enough both have been brought off the bench at certain times. Just from a matchup perspective, what do you see in Diamond's game and is this going to be one of the more fun matchups that you've had so far this year?
MIKE DAUM: It will definitely be one of the more fun ones. It will be a tough one. Diamond's a terrific player and it will be tough to guard him down low. I'll have to make sure I work extra hard on the defensive end guarding him and just trying to keep him out of the post and make the catches tough for him.

Q. Mike, as a red shirt freshman, how do you adjust to not letting the stage be too big? You made the move from non-conference to conference play, then to the Summit League tournament. It seems like you've made the leap with every step. How do you do that again for the NCAA Tournament?
MIKE DAUM: Well, the court stays the same size, the venues just get bigger, so that's something I look at. It's not really a change for me, and I know I have great leadership with the seniors who keep me calm-headed through the whole thing.

Q. What do the guards have to do in this game? Obviously, Maryland's got a lot of size more than you guys are used to dealing with. What do the guards have to do to help you one this game?
DEONDRE PARKS: We just got to play aggressive, stay focused, and guard those two guys and they have to guard us, too. So it should be a great fun matchup and a great game. And we just got to come out and play aggressive and let everybody know who those two are and just looking forward to playing those guys.

Q. Mike, Coach Nagy's always put a big emphasis on rebounding and defensive side of the ball. That has to be arguably one of the most critical points today, or tomorrow, will be controlling the glass and really dominating on that side of it against what will be a very difficult front line for Maryland.
MIKE DAUM: Yeah, that's definitely one thing that we talked about, is making them take tough contested shots from the outside and then what we have to do is rebound.

Coach Nagy talks about gang rebounding, where the guards help us too and it's going to take all five guys to out rebound this team.

Q. There have been a lot of 12 seeds to win in the first round. Do you guys get some confidence out of that, feel like you can be one of the those Cinderella teams?
GEORGE MARSHALL: Yeah, definitely. We're not necessarily looking at it as we're a 12-5 and those upsets always happen. But we know what we're capable of and going into this game, so we're just looking into the game itself we know what we're capable of doing.

THE MODERATOR: All right, we'll dismiss these three and bring Coach Nagy up shortly. Thank you, guys.


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

COACH NAGY: Like everybody else, we are excited to be here. It's not brand new to us, but to our group it's pretty brand new. We only have one player that has played in a NCAA Tournament.

But we have a pretty experienced team. We count on seniors a lot, and we count on one freshman quite a bit. But we have a lot of confidence, and I think that our players are excited about playing. It's nice, most of the year we have been carrying the pressure in terms of what's expected of us in our league and it's going to be nice to not be expected to win the basketball game, I think our kids will play loose.


Q. Coach Turgeon had a lot of praise for what Mike does well, his counterpart on the other side, Diamond, another young guy, what have you seen that he does well in his game? What do you have to do to limit him?
COACH NAGY: Well the first thing I would say is he runs the floor like and the first time I noticed it was in the Big Ten tournament. I was watching and not necessarily even scouting Maryland, but I was just watching the Big Ten tournament, and I couldn't believe how fast he ran the floor, and how let it can he was. He's obviously bigger than our posts, which is going to provide a problem for us, and we're going to have to work hard to limit his catches and try to keep him away from the basket if we can. But he's also very quick. He has very good feet. If he feels pressure, he will go away from it, he will spin. So he's going to be a big challenge for us, no question, inside.

Q. A lot of talk, obviously, about Mike versus Diamond in that matchup down low, but some pressure on some of your other guys, whether it's Reed or Ian or some other guys, to step in with rebounding and defending in the post?
COACH NAGY: There's pressure on everybody. I would say that physically we don't matchup to them. They're a much bigger team than us, really, at every position. If you look at the starters or who we're bringing in the game. So, everything we do is going to have to be what we call gang mentality, whether it's rebounding, defensively and, like, we can't guard Melo Trimble one-on-one. Particularly in all the ball screen stuff that they this do. The whole team has to get involved with it.

So it's just going to have to be a gang mentality for us. The rebounding in particular is going to have to be on the defensive end. We can't give them a bunch of extra shots.

Q. Talk about the tempo of this game and what you're trying to achieve on the court in terms of tempo.
COACH NAGY: You know, I think that really both teams play at a similar tempo. In other words, we're not going to try to control the pace and slow it down, and I don't think that they do either.

I think that we're both fairly free offensively in terms of what we allow our players to do. So I don't expect a game in the 40s and 50s, because I don't think they want to play that way, and we don't really want to play that way either.

Q. We talked before about your back court with Parks and Marshall, Maryland brings an equally dominant back court. Can you talk about that matchup and what are you looking to exploit on your end in terms of the guard play?
COACH NAGY: I'm not sure there's much we can exploit. What I look at is how are we going to guard them. Again, they have the size advantage, they probably have the athletic advantage, too. Although Deondre and George are fairly athletic kids. What has to happen though is our entire team has to get involved in plays, whether it's ball screens, handoffs, because they just do a lot of stuff that create mismatches and get you in what we call a two-man game on one side of the floor. If you help at all they're both, both of those guys, when you look at Sulaimon and Trimble, they're both very good passers and if you help at all with your big guys, you're allowing one of their big guys to role most of the time they're rolling right at the basket and it's hard to get involved. So, we have to have the guys on the outside of the floor, they have to do a very good job of making sure their feet are touching the paint so that would he have all five guys involved.

Q. Your guards didn't shoot well in the Summit League tournament. If they are able to do that, will that take some pressure off the rest of your guys and make it easier on you?
COACH NAGY: Well, yeah, when you say they didn't shoot well, George shot 15 percent in three games and we won. Which I think No. 1 speaks to our team, the toughness, the defense, the things that are important to us, because No. 1, if we're going to have a chance to beat Maryland we have to be great defensively, we have to rebound the ball at a high level. It won't matter what we do offensively, if we don't do those things. Then, yeah, we're going to have to shoot the ball much better. I think that our guys know that, they have been in the gym quite a bit, we have had obviously a lot of time off and so I think they have had some free time to get in there and get a good rhythm. Really, it's not just our guards, even our bigs are going to have to shoot the ball well from the perimeter. It's one of these games where it's going to be very difficult for us to score at the basket.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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