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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: OMAHA


March 17, 2012


Bradley Beal

Billy Donovan

Patric Young


OMAHA, NEBRASKA

THE MODERATOR:  The Florida Gators are here and we will go to questions.

Q.¬† Patric, can you talk about the match‑up with Kyle O'Quinn and what you have seen from him on film, how you view the physicality of that match‑up, going up against him?
PATRIC YOUNG:¬† We were watching the game yesterday and I thought he dominated yesterday on the glass.¬† Then when I finally got a chance to see him in film I got to see how skilled and talented he is as well and he's a good defender, really physical.¬† He overpowers guys he goes up against and it's going to be a good match‑up, and hopefully I can do my thing and hold him to less than 24 and 12, that would be a good thing.

Q.  They seem to have size on you guys, can you talk about the challenge and if you can compare them to any team you might have faced so far?
BRADLEY BEAL:¬† I believe probably our biggest challenge with this team is their guards are 6‑5 and 6‑6, rebounding is going to be the biggest thing, everybody is going to have to box out so basically our defensive rebounds going to be the biggest issue.
PATRIC YOUNG:¬† I agree with what Brad said, rebounding was a huge key in them beating Missouri last night and it's going to be huge for us because they have size advantages on us, a 6‑6 point guard, 6‑6, 6‑5, 6‑10 guys on their starting lineup and it's going to be a difficult match‑up, and we will have to keep 'em off the boards.

Q.  How much of an advantage is it that the game went so well for you guys against Virginia you didn't have to play a ton of minutes or expend emotion like Norfolk State did?  Talk about the rest you got not having to play a game down to the wire.
PATRIC YOUNG:  Well, I was in foul trouble so I had a lot of rest anyway, but I guess it's nice for our team to be able to use all the guys and not have the minutes wear down on our bodies as much so we could prepare for the next game.  Once we knew we were going to come away with a win we were going to rest our guys and be able to prepare for the up coming game tomorrow.
BRADLEY BEAL:  I believe we can use that to our advantage, Kyle O'Quinn played 37 minutes or so last night and we will run him as much as we can and get him out of the game but at the same time they're going to be ready to play and give us their best shot but at the end of the day they're going to be competing hard.

Q.  What was the experience like watching the game, where were you watching it?  Did you find yourself getting sucked in and cheering for one side or the other?
BRADLEY BEAL:  The first couple minutes of the game we were watch it go live on the courts.  We were admiring what both teams were doing, because they were both talented.  We weren't cheering for either team because it doesn't matter, we're going to play the better team and Norfolk State was the better team than Missouri.  We weren't cheering for anybody and now we're playing Norfolk State tomorrow.
PATRIC YOUNG:¬† We knew we were going to end up playing the better team, and we were watching early on in the gym and we saw they were going basket‑for‑basket and we didn't know if Missouri was going to pull away or if Norfolk State was the real deal and they proved themselves last night.¬† We have to be prepared for a good team, even though they're seated low, when both teams step on the court seedings don't matter you have to go out there and play a full game, forty minutes.

Q.  When you watch the NCAA Tournament, a lot of people like to get into the idea of rooting for Cinderella and you may do that as well but what is the pressure of being the guy who has to play Cinderella?
PATRIC YOUNG:  Well, honestly, we would like to not be part of their run, we would like to not be that if we could, because we know everyone loves the Cinderella, underdog stories.  Even if you're neutral you love those stories and fans here that are going for other teams that are watching the game they're going to be cheering for those guys because they would love to see the underdogs, like the George Mason's, and the VCUs make the runs, and we hope to stop that and not be part of their run.
BRADLEY BEAL:  Coach explained that to us yesterday, he said after the game in the meeting, since Norfolk State won everybody is going to be cheering against you because they're the lower seed and they're the Cinderella team so they're going to try to do their best to win and everybody else in the gym is going to be rooting against and you he said we will have to play through it and fight through it and I think we will be ready for tomorrow.

Q.  Brad, can you talk about Missouri not getting through?  Obviously you're from the area, what was your emotion where you either kind of are relieved you don't have to play Missouri and have that story line or how did you feel about that?
BRADLEY BEAL:¬† I was indifferent, I didn't care if they won or didn't win.¬† They should have‑‑ if you look at it on the board you would think Missouri would have won but they got outplayed yesterday and they didn't come ready to play and Norfolk State did and they ended up winning.¬† If they would have won, it didn't make a difference to me.

Q.  How much confidence do you guys have in your ability to press throughout the season and how does maybe your team's depth play into that?
BRADLEY BEAL:  I believe our press and you're defense are a big aspect because once we start pressing we force turnover and get them to play at the level and style we want to play at, so I believe the press helps us win games because we're able to create turnovers and convert off them.
PATRIC YOUNG:¬† When we get our press to click on all cylinders it helps us to get the team uncomfortable, forcing them to start rushing shots, passes, and get out of their rhythm.¬† When we start getting turnovers, over and over, back‑to‑back, it fires up our team and we have a lot of confidence in our press when we're running it the right way and getting those things going we feel like we can be unstoppable if we can get that going the right way.

Q.  Patric, how important is the size that you're going to be facing is it to you to stay out of foul trouble tomorrow?
PATRIC YOUNG:  I think any game we have it's important for had he to stay out of foul trouble.  Not to put too much pressure on other guys and it allows us to stay bigger with our lineups.  If I can stay out of foul trouble and stay on the floor I can limit Kyle O'Quinn off of his rebounding because he had a good night and did a great job over Ratliffe, the player of the year in the Big 12 this year, and if I can stay on the court, hopefully I can disrupt his rebounding a little bit.

Q.  Patric, what have you learned about staying out of foul trouble through the years?  Have you progressed in that area in terms of learning what you can get away with, with contact and how you have managed that aspect of your game?
PATRIC YOUNG:  It's just coming down to being disciplined, not going for pump fakes, I went for one yesterday and got my second foul and being late on rotations usually if you don't lunge at a guy if you're in the wrong place and don't have your body under control you can get a cheap foul and not reaching in on plays.  I'm more important to our team instead of 2 points, if I give up 2 points and stay on the floor that would be the preferred option.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for the Gators.  Gentlemen, best of luck tomorrow.  Florida Coach, Billy Donovan is with us.  We will ask for a statement.
COACH DONOVAN:¬† Well, we're very excited about the opportunity to play again.¬† Having a chance to watch the game last night, certainly we're playing against an outstanding team that's got a lot of different ways to beat you, they shoot the ball extremely well, they have a frontcourt player in Kyle O'Quinn.¬† I think this time of year, regardless of who you're playing, every match‑up is difficult and challenge and go certainly this will be a great challenge for us.

Q.  Billy, with the way this tournament works and creates legends, is this Norfolk State going to be a famous team no matter what happens now?
COACH DONOVAN:  Because of the way the tournament gets set up in terms of seed and go how much focus there is on that, people may look at it that way, but I really think, you know, watching Norfolk State play last night, I think they played with great confidence and great belief and they said of it wasn't a fluke, they're a really, really great team.  Maybe from a national perspective people say this is an interesting Cinderella story but you have to have great belief nurse to be one of the best teams in the country all year long and really the best team won.
I think in this tournament when you're dealing with a one‑shot game the best teams on that night win and they were the best team last night and deserved to go on.
How people remember them, I don't know, but clearly I think that they had a high level of confidence, belief in themselves and their system, what they needed to do, and I think it showed last night.

Q.  Billy, do you think people will be cheering for the Cinderella team?
COACH DONOVAN:  I think people do that, when we were in the SEC tournament it was kinda like that.  We can't control the crowds and those things, we have to go out there and play.
I think in going out there and playing you have to focus on the things you have to do well execution wise and that will be important in the game.  In terms of preparing for that, I don't know if necessary we would do that, but our guys understand that we're playing against a good team and this is not like all of the sudden they had a good game, they have played this way all year long.

Q.  Billy, in Kyle O'Quinn, he didn't play until the last part of his high school, are you amazed at his skill level?  How important is it for you to get Kenny Boynton going.
COACH DONOVAN:  I think as long as Kenny takes good shots, that's all you're looking for.  He has not shot the ball particularly well but he's taking good shots and I got confidence many him, he has shot the ball well, and he needs to continue to do that.
I think Kyle O'Quinn, to me, I think it's a great story, I look at Casey Prather for us last night, a guy that didn't get an opportunity to play a whole lot and he stepped up and played great and maybe people didn't know of O'Quinn and his excitement and the enthusiasm for the game and the way he plays, certainly happy for him because I'm sure it wasn't always easy for him the same way as it was for Casey Prather and for him to come out on the stage and play lake he did was a great night for him and his program and I think the same thing could be said for Casey Prather.

Q.  Billy you won two National Championships and had some difficulties in the NCAA Tournament.  Is it good or bad that in a large part seasons are defined by what they do in the NCAA Tournament?
COACH DONOVAN:  I think that's the way it is.  What you try to do as a coach and as a team is when our guys come back to school in Augustand they start individual workouts in Septemberand we start practice in October, start playing games in November, start playing conference games in January, play your league tournament in March, if you're fortunate to be in the NCAA Tournament play that in the middle of marks for college basketball, we're the only sport that covers two semesters, so from a national perspective, you've got most of the country zero'd in on college football until that final bowl game is in January and then NFL playoffs, and then people start to zero in on what goes on selection Sunday, and I think for us it a grind.  We take great respect in the type of years we have had leading up to that point in time and I don't think as a coach or as a team when you have a difficulty in a tournament it should diminish what you have been able to accomplish because it's the process of getting there.
Obviously the magnitude of these games, people are all locked in and focused on it, that's just the way it is, I don't think if that's ever going to change, I think you're more responsible as a team, as a coach to look at the whole, what you have done from start to finish, the growth and the improvements and the up's and the down's and what you want to be able to do is play your best basketball.

Q.  Billy, did you recruit or look at any of the guys that are on this team and second question, what is your history or familiarity with Anthony Evans?
COACH DONOVAN:¬† I don't know Anthony that well, I was impressed with his team and their play yesterday, been more impressed watching their team during their schedule, certainly herd of O'Quinn being from NewYork and Roberts as well.¬† They have talented players.¬† As you get into the tournament it's like playing Virginia yesterday, I know of Virginia and Norfolk State, but to say I was locked in on them I wasn't.¬† I heard of Mike Scott and I watched Mike Scott now and I have a respect for him.¬† For me it's difficult to watch outside of the once that beer playing in a non‑conference schedule and or that we're getting ready to play in our conference schedule because you're locked in to what you need to do there.

Q.   Is there more parity today than there was in the 80s and 90s or has it always been this way?
COACH DONOVAN:  Every year that goes buy I think there is more and more players that are terrific players that develop, grow, evolve, you know, there has always been, I felt like, good parity, even 20 years ago.  There has been really good teams.  I think the game evolves but certainly there is a lot more players out there, I think, than maybe there was 25 years ago.  Some very good and talented ones.

Q.  Billy, Norfolk State has a lot of size considerably more at guard.  Would you assess how your guards have handled teams with more size this year and what they might do differently tomorrow?
COACH DONOVAN:¬† They have great size, Williams is 6‑6, they have great perimeter size all the way around, they shoot the ball very well from back there.¬† I thought in a lot of situations they really did a great job of shooting the ball over top of Missouri in the game.¬† So I think having an awareness and the space that you give them will be very, very important.¬† Missouri, like us, is probably small, Pressey is not an overly tall kid, same thing with Denmore, Dixon, so there is size, but I thought they shot well over the top and we're going to have to do a good job of understanding that we cannot give them wide‑open three's because as well as Missouri shot the ball from the 3‑point line yesterday, Norfolk State maybe shot it better and certainly they had an incredible post presence in O'Quinn for the entire game.¬† They shot the ball well from behind the line and certainly inside the line.

Q.  Billy, as a NewYorker and someone who played on a heralded team that went far in this tournament 25 years ago, is there a part of you that could relate to the way the city kids from Norfolk State were able to handle the pressure and withstand everything that Missouri threw at them particularly down the stretch?
COACH DONOVAN:  I don't think that's anything but a reflection of their coach, a belief in themselves, a belief in the process that they've gone through as a basketball team since this season started for them.
They went out there and they had a great demeanor from start to finish, great conviction with the way they played the game and I thought they were impressive, as you mentioned, maybe Missouri making a run, they got up by 6, Pressey knocks in a big three, and they stayed the course and that to me is a sign of, one, the coach, Coach Evans and what he was able to do but I think it's a sign of older guys, they're an older team, they have plenty of seniors in the starting lineup that have been through the battles and the wars and as most seniors probably have up's and down's in their career and you learn what goes into playing and having composure and a level of patience and understanding about being convicted about staying your course and what you want to get done.

Q.  Billy, when you recruited Bradley Beal he's a prolific scorer in high school but he becomes your leading rebounder.  Talk about his development in his freshman year.
COACH DONOVAN:  I think today it's so hard in recruiting because of the limited rules of really getting to know kids I felt like Brad was somebody I got a chance to know very, very early because of David Lee being at Chaminade, David Lee's father was assistant coach there and helped out.  I felt like I had a really, really good understanding of what Brad was about as a player.
With that being said, they also, his high school coach, David Lee, they knew a little bit about the way I was.
The thing that attracted me so much to Brad, because there are a lot of talented kids out there that don't have the internal qualities that he has.  He's a great competitor, he's a winner, he understands the importance of what you're talking about, rebounding at his position, he understands the importance of the little things, the importance of selflessness, he understands the importance of team chemistry and he understands the importance of coming in and fitting in and he has handled himself in a way that has probably brought more chemistry to our team and I've been around guys out of high school where it's want like that they think the sun rises and sets on them and they are all about that and he is anything but that.

Q.  Billy, how surprised were you that Missouri didn't advance and what does that say about the unpredictability of this month.
COACH DONOVAN:¬† I said this to somebody after the game, talking about who are you going to play and this match‑up and that match‑up, I just believe when the ball goes up in the air, guys are not looking at maybe what other people are looking at in a certain match‑up.
So to me, I really believe the best teams win on that night.¬† It's not the NBA playoffs where it's a seven‑game series, it's a one game night and on that one day, that one game, the best team is going to win.¬† Missouri has clearly had an unbelievable year, they lost four games the whole year coming into this, they were up for a number 1 seed and on this night, last night, they were not the better team.¬† Norfolk State was.¬† So I think you get prepared as a coach that when you walk through these situations‑‑ I was in this situation years ago where I don't know what our seed was but Weber State knocked off North Carolina and we played them.¬† When you're dealing with a one‑shot game like this and against good teams‑‑ these teams that are in this tournament are all good teams, they're all good teams.¬† You don't get to this point in time unless you're a good team and when you're playing against a good team anything can happen.

Q.  Billy, considering they had such an emotional game and played some minutes can you talk about using the press against them?  It worked against Virginia and how would that factor into the fatigue issue?
COACH DONOVAN:¬† I think all teams play on an incredible amount of emotion, we expended a lot against Virginia in that game, chasing them around in their offense, which was difficult to guard, exerting energy to full‑court press, so we exerted emotion, as every team does this time of year.¬† But I do think the emotion going into the next game, I think both teams will play extremely hard and I don't think that will be that big of way factor, I think both teams will go out and give everything they have every second they're out there on the court.

Q.  Do you think with will being out that the press is getting back to where it was or close before he went down?
COACH DONOVAN:  We're getting better because we have had to move players in different spots, if you noticed there have been times when Bradley Beal has been in the front of the press, Prather was in the front, probably after Will went out they were more on wings so there was an adjustment period for them of what they needed to do and I think we have gotten better through that injury with Will in terms of guys understanding their role, not that they didn't understand it but moving them into different roles and what they needed to do and I think our team has gotten better there.

Q.  Billy, do you get a laugh out of people saying that you got lucky to draw Norfolk State instead of Missouri and are you confident that your players view this the same way you do?
COACH DONOVAN:  I never heard that, we're playing against a good team, that's all I know.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?  Thank you very much.  Best of luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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