UD Arena NCAA Tournament Attendance Summary All Men's NCAA Tournament Games: Avg: 12,541 - Games: 65 - Total: 815,193 Men's Opening Round: Avg: 7,654 - Games: 8 - Total: 61,225 Men's Non-Opening Round: Avg: 13,228 - Games: 58 Total: 753,968 Women's Games: Avg: 8,219 - Games: 8 - Total: 49,313 Total: Avg: 12,176 - Games: 71 - Total: 864,506
Alabama A&M Quotes
HEAD COACH VANN PETTAWAY
"We are happy to be here playing in Dayton. It is a great experience for our program and our school. Our team had a number of great accomplishments this year." "Last year we made it to the championship game of our conference tournament. We carried the momentum of that game into this season. Also the addition of Joe Martin was a great addition to get us over the hump." "No matter what anyone says, this is the big dance. Playing in this game gives us a big advantage. We get to play in the national spotlight tomorrow and again on Friday."
On Oakland: "We never crossed paths in Division II. We heard of them and know of them, but when we found out that we were playing them yesterday we became much more familiar with them."
On Gaining Momentum in the SWAC Tournament: "We were over confident at the end of the regular season and then got back to work. I had to tell our guys that we hadn't accomplished anything by winning just the Regular Season Title."
On The NCAA Opening Round Game: "If a team plays (in its Conference Championship Game) on Sunday then they shouldn't be here. We would be able to give the fans a better product if we had time to recover and prepare. Maybe we (SWAC) need to get away from playing on Sunday if we know that we have the chance of playing in the Opening Round Game."
On the SWAC: "It used to be a forward-based conference when we first joined and now we have some great guards. Things go in cycles and our conference is no different."
On Obie Trotter: "He's not the scorer I wish he would be. He is so unselfish. We need to make him shoot. He is not a scorer. Earlier this season he was two baskets shy of getting into the record book with a triple-double. We gave him the ball in three different offensive sets and he passed it on all three."
On Playing as a Conference Champion: "I take great pride in it. That's why I feel that we shouldn't be here. We won our regular season and our conference tournament. Oakland struggled during the regular season and we didn't...We are supposed to be dancing, but maybe not with this partner."
On Dealing With Cancer: "Basketball is good medicine. I can't make it through this without hoops. I knew that I would coach this team, this year. When I was told that I had cancer, the first thing I think is death. I think about my daughters and that I promised them that I would be there for their graduations and if they ever decided to get married I would walk them down the aisle. My dreams just fell apart." "I just kept my faith in God and told my self that it won't beat me. If others could get through it then I could too." "I told my players that I needed it to be a stress free season and my players complied with that sometimes. Overall basketball has been my thoroughbred."
On being invited to the Coaches vs Cancer Classic: "When they called me I knew that it was a part of God's plan, so I couldn't say no. It wasn't the best for us to play with a young team on short notice, but we were led to it and got the best we could out of it."
On moving from Division II to Division I: "We decided a few years ago to make the jump up from Division II and a trip to the `Big Dance' validates that move. It has been challenging for us to make it to the post season, which is something that we did every other year in Division II." "I said NO. I knew what it took from a financial commitment and I didn't know if we would be ready for it. I'm a company man and I found a way to win."
ALABAMA A&M JUNIOR FORWARD JOE MARTIN
On having to adjust to Oakland's post players: "We don't change anything that we do. We've played against Georgia with 6'10" and 6'8" players, and Texas A&M has them. UAB has athletic 6'8" and 6'9" players. It's nothing that we do different. We just have to match their intensity."
On playing for Coach L. Vann Pettaway: "It is motivation. For our coach to come to us and tell us he has cancer but that he's going to stick by our side. We were in awe. That's a big heart. I respect him for that because he stuck with us, and by all means we stuck by him. At the beginning of the year we said we wanted to win the championship and we went out and did it."
On playing a team that opened the season with seven consecutive losses: "They're tough. They didn't get down on themselves just because they were losing. During a season you have a schedule. You have to play every game. Just because you lose those first seven doesn't mean you lose them all, so they kept playing and they found a way to win."
ALABAMA A&M JUNIOR GUARD OBIE TROTTER
On playing for Coach Pettaway: "I think it motivated us for the type of person he is. He's strong-willed. He never gives up. Therefore, we're not going to give up on him."
On the difference this season: "I think this year we're a little more talented than we were last year. Last year we played hard with the talent we had, but this year we have more talent. We have great guards and good post players. When it's all together, it's always a positive."
On the need to win to feel like it's the NCAA Tournament: "I feel that we need to win to feel we're in the tournament. This is like a regular season game for us. We want to play against a top seed like North Carolina."
On if the players ever gave the coach stress: "I think we gave him stress about every day. Just the little things we do frustrates him. We know the type of person that he is, and we're going to do the best we can with his condition. I know it's hard, but we've got to do our best."
HEAD COACH GREG KAMPE
"We're ecstatic to be here. This is a dream come true for our University. When we first looked at making the jump from Division II to Division I, we thought `can we do this?' and to do this in just four years of eligibility is an incredible accomplishment, we thought it was going to take eight to 12."
"We hold no apologies for being here. We had the rules of combat that everyone else had. We knew we had to win our conference tournament to get here and we did. Our schedule was ranked number one by the Sagarin rankings at the end of non-conference. I wouldn't do that again, but it definitely prepared us to get here. We played the conference tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which wasn't Oral Roberts' home court, but it might as well have been. There were 6,005 people there and about four were Oakland fans."
On senior forward Rawle Marshall: "He has an NBA body. He went to Nike Camp and he had a tremendous camp. We had scouts all over the place at practice all season. He got knocked around by our schedule the first half of the year, but his last month was unbelievable. You can't play any better than he has. I don't know if he's an NBA player, I can tell you what I've heard from other people. People said `if you're that good, you have to get your team to the Tournament,' and he did."
On Alabama A & M: "I finally went back and finished the tape. I couldn't watch that tape after the 14 minute mark. I got wheezy. They're going to press you for 40 minutes. We're going to have to handle that. If we can beat their first line of defense, we'll be okay. We've got pressed twice all year. Michigan State pressed us and Texas A & M did too. We averaged only 12 turnovers a game this year, and if we have 10 to 12 tomorrow night, then we have a chance to win. If we have 12 to 24 turnovers, we're not going to have a chance to win."
On keeping his players from talking about the next game I don't think you can, just like I don't think A&M's coach can either. It's not like it's just some team out there, you're talking about maybe the most storied program in college basketball. You're talking about a national TV audience and those kinds of things. You also might be talking about a whoopin' too. I think everybody's thinking about that. But tomorrow night when they toss the ball up, no one will be thinking about North Carolina... You know, we've accomplished the ultimate goal. We made the NCAA Tournament. Next time, we'll be a looking further ahead. I'm not saying we're just happy to be here, because we're trying to win, but...this week has been great. I'm like a kid in a candy store. I get to go on every show and talk about our school."
OAKLAND SENIOR CENTER CORTNEY SCOTT
On being in the Opening Round Game "It's still the only college basketball game being played. It's a game in the NCAA Tournament, and it's still considered an NCAA tourney win, and we need to win to keep going.
On Alabama A & M "They're a heck of a team, they press a lot and get up and down the floor, they are real athletic. We've just got to take control of the tempo early, try to control the rebounds and play defense."
"We came into the season the underdog. Our non-conference schedule was against tough teams - Illinois, Missouri, Texas A & M, Kansas State - and we finally gelled in the last six or seven games of the season, and that's when it matters the most."
On if nerves will be a factor "You've got two teams that haven't got too much attention and now it's a national TV game. The phone's ringing off the hook from family members and friends that want to come to the game. So yeah, I would say for the first few minutes. But the upper classmen, I believe that we'll just settle back down."
OAKLAND SENIOR FORWARD RAWLE MARSHALL
"They like to pressure the ball. Full-court pressure every possession. The key too the game is we have to control the ball, limit our turnovers and capitalize on their pressure. If we do that I think we'll be able to be successful.
"It definitely helped us by playing in hostile environments. Texas A&M, Illinios, Kansas State, Missouri, games like that. Our last game [the Mid-Continent Conference Championship against Oral Roberts in Tulsa] it really showed. Their fans were really after us and I was proud of our team and how we kept our composure."
"Alabama A & M is a great team, but it's a game we can win. It's not a situation where you're playing Duke or North Carolina. So we can go into this game feeling more confident. If we go out there and play like we've been playing these last five or six games, we have a chance to win"
On if nerves will be a factor "There will definitely be jitters. It's the first time [in the NCAA Tournament] for both of us. We're going to be nervous the first couple of minutes, but once the game is on, it will quickly go away."