March 14, 2010
West Virginia -60
Georgetown - 58
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. John, what did you expect them to run on that last play as opposed to what you got?
COACH John Thompson III: We expected them to put the ball into Butler's hands and let him make a play.
Q. What makes West Virginia so tough to box out especially on the offensive glass?
COACH John Thompson III: They're just persistent. They have guys that go after it.
Q. I think you were 4 of 16 from three tonight. Do you think some of that might have been four games in four nights?
COACH John Thompson III: No, I don't. I think if anything, you have to give credit to them and their ability to contest shots. We got some looks we normally make that didn't go in, long guys running at you. But I don't think it was a question of fatigue.
Q. I have a question for Chris: Chris, why did you foul with 27 seconds to go in a tie game?
Chris Wright: I made a mistake.
Q. Coach, you came into the tournament on a little bit of a downer. But it seems like everything flipped around for you in this tournament. How do you look at the way you're coming into the NCAAs?
COACH John Thompson III: It's hard to analyze that right now just because I'm extremely disappointed. We got three guys up here with me that are extremely disappointed. We have a locker room back down the hall with a bunch of other guys that are disappointed.
You know, that being said, I don't think you said we came into this tournament on downer. I don't think this group has ever lost confidence in what we're doing, lost confidence in each other. And that's still true right now. You know, I said this prior to tonight's game, I said this after last night's game, we're playing well. I like where we are going into the NCAA Tournament, and I probably can still say that. We did some things tonight we have to do better, obviously.
But I like the way this group I like where this group is right now heading into the tournament.
Q. Can you just elaborate a bit on what you like them to do better going forward?
COACH John Thompson III: Not right now. I'm not sure.
Q. Coach, do the four days like this have any lingering effects for next Thursday or Friday, or does it play any role?
COACH John Thompson III: I don't know. I think that you look at the previous three games, this group we said it before, we know that we can play with anyone. But that's not necessarily we didn't learn that coming out of this tournament; we knew that.
Lingering effects, I'm not sure. Get over this quickly and move on. This is not the time. It's March. And we are extremely disappointed, but this too shall pass. We need to move on and get ready for next week. That's hard to say 15 minutes after the fact. It's hard to I'm not at that point yet, neither is this group. We will get there and tomorrow find out where we go and who we play. Whenever we are scheduled to play, we're going to be there and we're going to be ready to roll.
Q. In terms of going up against their front court, what's most challenging in their scheme out there?
Greg Monroe: They were denying really hard and making it very difficult for me to get the ball in the post. They were sending two. I mean, they were sending extra help from both sides, from the top side and from the baseline. So they kind of made it real hard for me to score and get the ball.
Q. Chris, was there ever any thought to pull up for a jumper? When you got the ball did you think I'm going to get the basket on that last play there?
Chris Wright: No. I was thinking of getting to the basket. Trying to finish, try to get a lay up. I had time on the clock. I wasn't thinking of pulling up or anything. Just get over to the basket and get it to overtime.
THE MODERATOR: Georgetown, thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Coach Bob Huggins, Da'Sean Butler, Kevin Jones, Wellington Smith.
Q. Da'Sean, talk about the shot at the end.
DA'SEAN BUTLER: We ran the same play that we set up for the Cincinnati game. Waited for Casey (Mitchell) to come off. They kind of overplayed one side and went the other way. I came up to the top of the key, and I had to come get the ball and they kind of switched. I think Monroe was on me. And I think he had a feeling I was going to shoot a three. I had a little hesitation, went around him and Freeman stepped up, and had a little hop step and scooped the lay up off the glass, and it fell.
Q. For Coach and Da'Sean: Do you think with a couple of the teams that were ahead of you falling in their conference tournaments, do you think you've shown enough to the Selection Committee to get a No. 1 seed?
COACH BOB HUGGINS: We have 18 top 100 wins. We have nine top 50 wins. The 18 is the most of any team in the country. Our non league RPI was second. Our strength of schedules is going to be one. We're going to end up in the top two or three in the RPI. They say do those things, we've done those things.
You know, that being said, we're going to enjoy this. We're going to get together tomorrow and watch the Selection Show, find out where we're going to go and who we're going to play.
Q. Da'Sean, (inaudible).
DA'SEAN BUTLER: Definitely. I kind of put that texted him (Evan Turner). It was like this shot, I hope you know I'm going to match it the next time I play. I didn't think I was going to match it. I was just talking to them. Lucky me. And we won.
Q. Do you think fatigue was a factor in how you were able to outrebound them so much?
DA'SEAN BUTLER: We practiced three hours a day anyway.
Q. For them.
DA'SEAN BUTLER: For them, probably. I don't know how they were feeling. We did what we had to do as far as boxing out and keeping a body on Monroe and Vaughn and everybody else. We just did our job. It worked out for us.
Q. Coach, two years ago you went to the Duke game, several players spoke about the lack of respect they were getting. Do you think the team gets the respect they deserve now?
COACH BOB HUGGINS: I don't know. I was told, I don't know but it was a pretty good source, Digger (Phelps) said if we won today, that the league wouldn't be as good as what it is. Now how you can say something like that is beyond me. I like Digger. Digger and I are friends.
But if this isn't the best league in the country, then I just need to quit coaching, because I don't know anything. And the gauntlet that you go through in this league, and the coaches that you coach against in this league, the players that they play against in this league night in and night out, and, you know, I said our non league RPI was second. It was number two. I mean, I don't know what else you have to do.
But, you know, that being said, we don't care. We know what we are. And we talked about that before the game. We know what we are. John F. Kennedy said when they asked him to run for vice president, because he was young, aristocratic and Catholic, he replied, "Why settle for second when first was available?" And that's how we're going to go about things. I mean, that's what is in us. So, you know, I learned a long time ago you don't worry about what other people say.
Q. Da'Sean, as if winning this thing wasn't good enough, can you just talk about winning it here in New York City at Madison Square Garden. You're from Newark, all the guys are from New York.
DA'SEAN BUTLER: It feels good. Our families are here and our friends are here. That's good and everything. But we kind of wanted to win this for our state first, because the people there love us so much and they support us so much. And I definitely know it means the world to them. And then for our school and for us. We have a lot of people depending on us to do a lot. Especially in our state. That was our main concern, not letting the state down.
Q. Up and down the roster tonight, the three games, three solid contributions there, everybody from starters to the bench. It's kind of what you guys had been looking for. Is that accurate?
KEVIN JONES: Yeah. I mean, from the starters to the bench, everybody contributed. When we got tired, the starters got tired, Cam and Deniz and Casey and John just came in there and did a great job contributing. Just getting rebounds, guarding their man. We did what we had to do to win. They did a great job. We had a great bench tonight. We have six more games to get to the National Championship. We're going to keep on needing that bench.
Q. This is for Wellington: Tonight you've done a very good job on Greg Monroe defensively and also on offense you had some shots early but came back and hit some shots. Your mental approach?
WELLINGTON SMITH: On Monroe, I was trying not to let him catch the ball. Try to deny him as much as I can. He's the engine that runs their team. So it's important for us to not let him touch the ball. My mental approach to offense, I just got a couple of shots up. Coach did a great job just coaching me. How, I was shooting the ball. I kind of just keep on playing instead of thinking about the last play. That was huge for me. And it's all mental with all of us.
Just happy to be here and just being able to go over the hump with my missed shots the past two games.
Q. Coach, can you talk about Joe Mazzulla with seven assists and no turnovers.
COACH BOB HUGGINS: Yeah, honestly I don't think Joe would mind me telling you this, I didn't think Joe was giving us what we needed Joe to give us. And he and I had a talk about that. Joe brings such great enthusiasm, he brings such great toughness. He competes so hard. And I thought he was kind of he wasn't Joe, you know. Everybody loves Joe because of what Joe is. And Joe doesn't need to be anything else than what Joe is. I thought the last what's it been three games he's been really, really good. I thought he ran our team. He broke the defense down, got the ball to the basket for us. For a guy that they don't think can shoot because of his shoulder, he went to the free throw line and made shots for us. That's what these guys are about.
I told them at halftime, we're just going to have to compete and stay competitive and do whatever it is that we have to do to win. We shot 38% against and that's a heck of a team now. They're very good. Very well coached and very good. You shoot 38% and win, you're doing some things right.
Q. This week and this game tonight, is this closer or close to what you guys are capable of?
COACH BOB HUGGINS: I wish we would make some shots, you know. I think it would be a little easier. But, you know, we talked about it all at time. We are what we are. We're just going to keep competing. If the day comes we're going to lose in the next few weeks, we're going down swinging.
Q. Coach, you kind of stayed back and watched your team celebrate, and I know these guys obviously worked very hard. What kind of things were you thinking as you watched them celebrate winning the championship?
COACH BOB HUGGINS: I've never gotten involved in that, because I don't think it's about me; I think it's about them. They're the ones who come in and go through what they go through on a day to day basis. They're the guys who have to go out and produce on the floor. All I do is stand over there. I can't sit, so I stand. If I could sit I would probably sit, but I can't.
I just, you know, I want them to enjoy it and receive all the accolades that they deserve. And I think, you know, I think Day (Butler) said it, and I think this is what's special about a group like this. They understand how much it means to the people in the state of West Virginia. And they understand how much it means to the students at our university, and that's because they are part of it. They've done an unbelievable job of becoming part of the community. And it's like the governor told them, you guys might have to help me with exactly what he said, but basically what he said, "You are all West Virginians and you're always going to be." And I think they appreciated that and they take that to heart.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? West Virginia, thank you. Congratulations.
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