March 11, 2009
Box Score |
Massachusetts Head Coach Derek Kellogg
"First of all, I want to thank my seniors Chris Lowe, Tony Gaffney and Luke Bonner. I feel like those guys gave everything they had this year. They were unbelievable teammates, great student-athletes, great people in the community and on the basketball court night in and night out and everyday in practice. It made my transition that much easier having three great kids first and foremost and three very good basketball players who put together a nice senior year. It was a nice senior campaign for all three of them. Unfortunately, as fate wouldn't have it tonight, we just didn't beat Duquesne. I thought we played a good basketball game. There were some points in the second half where I thought we were going to turn it over and come away victorious but we settled for too many [three-pointers] and never got to the free throw line."
On what he learned from this season as a first year head coach at Massachusetts:
"This was a great year for me to learn a little bit about myself as a coach and also about personnel and players. I really learned about the day-to-day operations on how to run the program, to expect a lot out of the kids and really force them to do what you want them to do both on and off the court."
On senior Tony Gaffney's season:
"Thank goodness [Tony Gaffney] played the way he did because coming in as a first year head coach you look back at stats and minutes and that stuff and the expectation level for him was hopefully he can be a very good player. Well, after working him out and spending time around with him, I realized that he had an unbelievable energy level and played with such high passion every time out."
Massachusetts Guard Chris Lowe
On playing catch-up and if that took anything out of them physically or mentally:
"The way Duquesne played and the way we played, it's going to be a game of runs. They made their run first, they hit us first and then we hit them back and then we got it to a reasonable lead at halftime. That run really didn't bother us. We thought we had it. We came out at halftime but, like coach said, they made the last run."
On Duquesne's four-point play:
"I fouled [Eric Evans] on the three-point shot and he knocked it down. That was really the turnaround of the game right there because I think it was a one or two point game. That was it from there."
Massachusetts Forward Tony Gaffney
On playing in close games like this all season:
"If you look across the board, I think every guy left it out there, gave everything they possibly had tonight. I think it's safe to say that everyone left it out there and gave everything they had."
Duquesne Head Coach Ron Everhart
"We have to give UMass a lot of credit. Those kids played hard and kept fighting. I'm really proud of our guys. I thought we executed real well, when we had to, when the game got tough down the stretch and they passed us. We made some real nice passes. We shared the ball. We got some real nice opportunities out of their press. We know that they changed a little bit, pressed a little more; and they were very effective with it. I thought our guys did a real nice job of just listening and understanding and executing what we tried to game plan early on. I think any time your basketball team has 20 assists and basically, almost seven guys in double figures. In a tournament game, I know from my standpoint, that hasn't happened very much. I'm awful proud of these kids and how hard they fought and how well they played tonight."
On the impact of the Eric Evans 4-point play
"We were searching for some offense. UMass was doing a real good job of sagging off and keeping our dribble drive out of the paint. We just decided to eliminate the ball screen. It was a big momentum changer for us simply because we were searching for some offense at that time, and we were not shooting the ball particularly well. It was a big play, and I thought a very well executed play. We had the right guys on the floor at that time."
On the play of Malquan Bolding & Aaron Jackson
"First of all, I think Aaron Jackson was a warrior. He's got a bad back because of the intentional foul now. His nose is split and been bleeding the whole game. He has a real nice big bruise on his right ribs where he got hit. He played through a lot tonight, and I thought he really gave us a great effort. As far as [Malquan] Bolding, I don't know that anyone in the tournament thus far has stepped up and played like an all-freshman guy like he [Malquan Bolding] did tonight. He stepped up and put us on his back a lot of the game, especially on the defensive glass late in the game. I thought he showed a lot of toughness and a lot of heart tonight."
On fighting off the UMass comeback at the end of the first half
"We took their best shot. You have to give those guys a lot of credit. They really fought back at the end of the first half. The way those guys play, they're never out of the game. They've got depth. They keep pressing you, and they keep coming. You're just going to take hard shots all night long. I think our zone kind of saved our behinds late because we were in foul trouble, and we were having a real hard time guarding [Chris] Lowe and [Anthony] Gurley on the dribble drive."
Duquesne Senior Aaron Jackson
On the impact of the Eric Evans 4-point play
"It was a good momentum bust. We were kind of struggling trying to hit the three. I think that swung the momentum our way."
On past adversity the team has faced and how winning tonight helps
"I never really stayed two nights here [at the tournament]. Our motto this year was to stay alive. I've been through a lot of downs, and this year has been a whole lot of ups. I'm enjoying it as much as I can."
On having the other guys step up as well
"When you have those guys coming in and the supporting cast and playing to their full
potential and their knocking down their shots, it's easy for me to get assists. I was really sluggish tonight."
On turning the season around
"I'm happy to be a part of. It's a whole new era at Duquesne. We're going to get their best effort, and we are going to bring our best effort every night. I'm very proud to be a part of this team."
On facing Rhode Island after losing to them in the final moments 11 days previous
"They are a real good team. We feel like we let one slip away. We did not play our best basketball in that game. We know we are going to get their best shot, and we want to give them our best shot. Hopefully, we can do the little things and come out with a victory."
Duquesne Junior Melquan Bolding
What was the difference tonight in your play?
"I just wanted to play hard. Aaron [Jackson] was a little sluggish. I just wanted to make it easier for him."
On having the ball at pivotal moments in the second half
"Billy Clark did a great job, and I just knocked down open shots."