March 8, 2008
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"I knew today was going to be a hard day with the seniors and their last home game. When I was doing my pregame speech, I was getting choked up and Kurt Huelsman's nose starts bleeding for no reason. I then thought what else could go wrong. I could barely talk. Brian Roberts, Andres Sandoval and Jimmy Binnie came up to me and said `coach we've got this, we'll take care of everything' and that's exactly what they did. I thought we played great in the first half and came out with great energy. Our execution on offense and defense was good against a team that is very, very good. I think St. Joe's is as good as any team in the league. They're a postseason team, no doubt about it.
On the team's play
It was really important for us to establish the fact that we're more than capable of competing at that level. I think our guys played with a little bit of an edge, a little bit of a chip on our shoulder and that was good. Offensively we moved the ball well and that makes a big difference for our team because that's when we are at our best. The key really has been the last three weeks and in the loss to Xavier our defense has gotten a lot better. Over the last three weeks our defense has been very, very good. If we make a couple of free throws here and there, you might be talking about a couple of different things right now. The most important thing is we're playing our best basketball of the year right now and we're playing with a sense and purpose out there. We're making plays and getting important stops at crucial times. That goes back to those three seniors. They've done a great job. They knew what was a stake today and they proved that today. They've been doing it all year long. As I said, this team is as resilient as a team as I've ever been around and they have a spirit about them. They don't always play great, but they fight and they did that today.
On the rise of the seniors
They understand that we're a different team than we were 12-1. We're a different team than when we were without Chris (Wright) or Charles (Little) when they were both hurt. But that team we have right now is playing really good basketball. That team we have right now has just won two games on the road and just won at home and is playing their best basketball of the season doing a lot of good things. We ended today with our 20th win. You can get 20 wins, but we had the 42nd or 41st ranked schedule in the country. That's 20 wins against pretty good teams. I think finishing off at 8-8 in the league and the second highest RPI in the Atlantic 10, that's good. We have to keep plugging along. I still think we can play better.
On the fan support
We told our guys we may not have a lot of fans. We told them we would plow the area behind the arena if we had to. We wanted to play. I think our guys saw that game on Thursday and how well St. Joe's was playing and our guys came ready to play because St. Joe's is really good, super coached and as talented as a front line in the league. For the crowd to show up in that weather, I had a hard time driving in today, was phenomenal. They pulled us through some of those tough times. We've had some tough times with the injuries and there were a lot of people who stuck by us and I think a lot of those people were there today. It was really good to see.
"It was so emotional. I didn't think it would be like that. As soon as we sat down for the pregame talk, everything came to mind that it was senior night. My dad asked me what I was going to miss the most was the things that brought the guys close together and the bond that we have. It's the hard work, sweat and tears in the off-season. Going out on the track at 5:30 in the morning and we're here and it's summer and not at home. I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss the guys and the coaches. UD has been so good to me, I couldn't be happier about it."
"I let it come to me. I didn't rush anything. The shots were there and I took them. I put the ball on the floor a little bit more than I usually do."
"I was a little surprised they came out like that after the win against Xavier. They're a great team and they'll be good in the A-10 Tournament. I didn't want another 19-win season that's for sure. Twenty feels good, but the A-10 Tournament is what we're focused on now."
"It's a good way to go out. I got a little emotional in the beginning and I think the rest of the players fed off of that. We played with energy the whole game and it was fun being out there."
"I didn't think there would be that many people there. Those are our fans. No matter if it's snow, hurricanes, tornadoes, they'll be here. That shows you what type of fans you have."
"It seemed like everything was going our way. Jimmy (Binnie) came out on fire, B-Rob does what he does and it was fun to be out there. I wish I could have been here all four years. I got to be here for four years and I enjoyed it."
"It was an emotional day from the start. To come out with that energy and the atmosphere in the arena, that was special. I'm happy we got it done. It was overwhelming to come out for the last time to play in this arena in front of all of these fans. For them to come out in this weather felt great."
"We wanted to play our best basketball here in March. I think we're doing that. We're making strides every day and we have to keep it going."
"We all knew how emotional it was today and wanted to go out with a win. We really didn't talk before hand, but we could see it in each others' eyes how important this meant to us."