<P><B>March 14, 2006</B><P>
<a href="http://daytonflyers.collegesports.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/031406aaf.html" >Recap</a> | <a href="http://daytonflyers.collegesports.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/2005-2006/or.html">Box Score</a><P>
<b>Monmouth Head Coach Dave Calloway</b>
"First of all I would like to congratulate Hampton. They had to play four games in four days coming in. I thought we had a huge advantage of them coming in. We prepared for them on Sunday. We knew we were in the play-in (Opening Round) game and we were playing them. They didn't know who they were going to play. We had a big advantage and I think they need to be congratulated on their run."
<P>"The big thing everyone said is that now that we get back to Jersey for a short time. Then we head over to the other city. When we get back everyone is going to be talking about how great this play-in (Opening Round) game was for Monmouth. Unfortunately, everyone else will not be talking about that and that is not fair. Both of these teams deserve to be commended. Saying that, we are very happy. When I walked into the locker room and our guys said, `We love the (Opening Round) game'.
<P>"I think our league was split. I know Athletic Directors in particular. Half of them thought it would be great for one of our teams to be in the play-in game. Half of them were very, very scared of it."
<P>"We do everything in our conference well. For three straight games, we have now held opponents under 50 points. If we hold the next team under 50 points, I am going to do a lot on defensive clinics at the Final Four this year."
<P><i>What was the value of the Opening Round game?</i>
"There are a lot of things that happen throughout your career and throughout history. Eventually you have to make a decision if you want to be positive or negative. You can't really wonder what other people thing. You then have to make a decision and move forward. I was rooting for Hampton Saturday night. Once they won I figured (the committee had them in the (Opening Round) game. Unfortunately, our beat writer was right for once. He is usually wrong. For once he got it right unfortunately. I said, `You know what if you are going to be in this game, let's make it a positive.' I told the guys on Sunday and we talked as a staff that we are going to play Hampton in the (Opening Round) game. We watched tape from when we played two years ago. We practiced as if we were going to play against them. I explained to the kids how this was going to be great for Monmouth University."
<P>"To steal a line from Chris Kenny...he is a big fan of politics and history. We were watching the movie Apollo 13. They were really nervous that this was going to be NASA's greatest tragedy. Then Ed Harris said, `No, this is going to be our finest moment.' This game could be Monmouth's finest moment. We won a game in the NCAA Tournament. We took advantage of it and made it a great opportunity."
<P><i>On the play of John Bunch</i>
"John Bunch has the chance to be the mayor of West Orange if he wants. John Bunch is a great young boy right now. That's what he is, a boy. He is starting to become a teenager. Eventually when he loosens up and by the time he leaves Monmouth he will be a good young man. That is what we are working on. He has a charming personality. He is a super kid. He won over the crowd in Alaska. He is immature at times as all 18, 19, 20 year old boys do. If he wants to become a man it's going to be between April to October, that's when men are made. He is really going to have to work on that knee and get better."
<P><b>Monmouth Senior Guard Chris Kenny</b>
<i>On the feeling of this game from the other NCAA game he has played (versus Mississippi State, 2004)</i>
"The big difference is I feel like a winner. I got crushed against Mississippi State. It is a big thrill. I'm on cloud nine right now, and I'll stay there for a while. Hampton was a worthy opponent. We came out there and pressured them and made some shots."
<P><i>On having a rough start, personally, to the season</i>
"It was mental. I got off to my worst start ever. I was cold at the start of the season. I regrouped. I'm Catholic and said some rosary beads and that helped a little bit. I got hot, and I'm going to keep on praying."
<P><i>Has your opinion about playing in the Opening Round changed?</i>
"My opinion has completely changed. The opening round is a wonderful thing for two teams to battle it out to take on a one seed. I was a little confused. I thought we had a better strength of schedule and better quality wins than Southern (University) and should have had their sixteen seed. But the selection committee is great. They are awesome."
<P><i>On the play of John Bunch in the Opening Round</i>
"John was tremendous. It seemed like he had 10 blocks in the first half. His presence was tremendous. It erased a lot of our mistakes. It's like they run into a wall when they run into John."
<P><i>What has it been like since hitting the game winning shot in the Northeast Conference championship?</i>
"It has been amazing. I get a lot more phone calls and a lot more looks from girls. My 15 minutes (of fame) have been great. I'm soaking it up and when it's over, I'll probably be working for my family at the pharmacy. I hope to extend it to 20 minutes."
<P><b>Monmouth Junior Center John Bunch</b>
<i>How did you feel about your game tonight?</i>
"After I got the first block, I felt real comfortable out there. I was nervous before with the big atmosphere. I got the ball and was looking for my teammates."
<P><i>What did you think about the match-up with the big man from Hampton (Bruce Brown)?</i>
"You always do think about that (the match-up). We have a couple of big guys in our conference, 7'2", 7'0". When you are a big guy, you want to go up against other big guys to see what you got."
<P><i>How did this game feel?</i>
"It felt good to produce in a situation like that and produce for your team and get a W. In my mind, the season is far from over. We're going to go back to the hotel and prepare to go to Philly. This win was big for Monmouth University, but our season is far from over."
<P><b>Monmouth Senior Guard Tyler Azzarelli</b>
<i>On the feeling of this game from the other NCAA game he has played (Mississippi State, 2004)</i>
"I feel much better about this game (than the Mississippi State game). We are going into Philly with a different mindset. I feel like we are clicking really well; everyone is on top of their game. Defensively, we are fantastic. I'm looking forward to another game against a great team."
<b>Hampton Head Coach Bobby Collins</b>
"It's been a heck of a ride. The guys really played hard tonight, I thought they laid it on the line, but we just didn't have it. Monmouth had all cylinders clicking. I know how it feels to be on the other side now, because in the tournament we had our cylinders were clicking and our big man was dominant, and our perimeter players were hitting threes and at the end of the game we had had 20 assists as opposed to seven, like we did tonight."
<P>"It's been incredible working at Hampton University with all the boosters, the fans and the alumni that came to support us. It has been a tremendous ride."
<P><i>On John Bunch</i>
"We go through our big man [Bruce Brown], and when he's not doing it for us, we struggle. You look at the way Monmouth played tonight and you can tell they are a very good team. They could definitely do some things against Villanova. We really wanted to get the ball inside early and often, definitely before Big John came in. We didn't get a chance to do that to them. [Brown] wasn't working as aggressively, he struggled early. Big John Bunch did a tremendous job of anchoring down the paint for Monmouth and he definitely changed the outcome of the game."
<P><i>On Fatigue being a factor</i>
"I'm sure it plays some role, but Monmouth played well. They did what they were supposed to do. They were patient on offense; they ran when they had opportunities. They just had a picture-perfect game plan, and did a great job of executing it. I know our guys at sometime were emotionally drained at times, but I can't use that as an excuse because I have to take my off to Monmouth for the way they executed and the patience that they had. We still had chances to do some things, but we weren't patient and didn't execute when we need it to.
<P><i>On guard Rashad West</i>
"West is a very explosive scorer. I live and die by what he does and he's given us more good than bad. Tonight it was just one of those situations where we really needed to be more patient. And due to us not being patient, the outcome was having a 20-point loss. The situation was Monmouth being a better disciplined team, a very well coached team. Tonight was a night you really needed to execute the game plan."
<P><i>On his seniors</i>
"Jeff Granger, Jaz Cowan, Bruce Brown: I'm impressed with my seniors. They have nothing to hold their heads down about because we weren't expected to be here. The guys got together and gave me four great games, with great effort, and it got me to the NCAA Tournament. I'm just pleased that we had this great opportunity to represent Hampton University.
<P>"Jeff Granger is an incredible person, I can't say enough about his character. He's on track to graduate. He will graduate. He was our captain, on and off the floor. I could always depend on Jeff Granger. We're definitely going to miss him. He's given us 1,300 points in his career, so he's really done the job for us. He's got nothing to hold his head down about."
<P>"Jaz Cowan was a very good guy. He was only with us for a year and half. What he's done for us, he came in this year and averaged 10 and 20 for us early. In the [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference] tournament, he did a really good job for us. He definitely played a very important role in us getting into the [NCAA] Tournament."
<P>"Bruce Brown had a very good career at Hampton. I think we'll see him at the next level at some point. He obviously has some work to do, he knows he needs to get into the weight room. Obviously tonight, he went against a 7-2, 325 [center] and now he sees how much he has to do. But we'll see him at the next level and some point."
<b>Hampton Senior Guard Jaz Cowan</b>
"We put together a great four games at the conference championship, and we're not going use an excuse with fatigue. We were ready for the game, just tonight Monmouth executed their plays very well. Hats off to them, tonight just wasn't our night."
<P><i>On Monmouth center John Bunch</i>
On defense, you really can't gamble as much, they're constantly going back door. Hats off. They hit a lot of big shots. Bunch down low was the man. They hit a lot of tough threes tonight."
<b>Hampton Senior Guard Jeff Granger</b>
On Fatigue being a factor</i>
"No, I didn't feel fatigue was a factor. We came in focused, mentally ready, coach prepared us well. We were prepared to play, we just didn't have it, something just wasn't right."
<P><i>On Monmouth center John Bunch</i>
"He's a big kid, everywhere you move, he's there. He did his job, he just stood his ground and he didn't budge. He did exactly what a big man is supposed to do. He was a big presence in there and a big key for them tonight. He really opened up the outside shots for Kenny and Azzerelli. When he got the ball inside we tried to double-down and he threw it out and they hit shots."