March 15, 2014
COACH KELLOGG: I'll start out by saying GW, George Washington, I thought outplayed us tonight. They played a very good game and made some shots; they go in almost 50 percent from three, I think hurt us quite a bit.
We didn't take advantage of a lot of the opportunities we actually had. We didn't make the shots or the plays when we had gotten the game sped up to a certain extent.
So, we will move forward, at least I'm hoping that we are able to move forward and play again. You know, time is past. You lost here and you go home. I think this team has some life left in us. A couple days off will actually be pretty good for us. Looked like the legs on some of our threes were not quite there, not too happy. It's been an emotional kind of start with the Saint Louis game, and even last night versus Rhode Island. Got a little emotional, everybody is putting a little trying to win maybe a little too hard.
Q. Is it concerning to you at all that you guys were a little bit inconsistent, especially early tonight to not play as well as you guys have played this season?
Chaz Williams: Yeah, it's a little frustrating. Maxie has been carrying the load honestly, our six man or seven man off the bench, carrying the load, that's not real good to the guys that are starting the game. We all understand what we have to do, and like Coach just said, we just going to have to just sit and wait and hopefully Sunday it's all good, everything is good and we get our name called.
Q. Feel confident about it?
Chaz Williams: Yeah, I felt tremendously confident about it. We played some tough teams this year. We beat some great teams.
Q. I want to go back to the sequence of events at the end of the first half where they went on a 5 0 run. What did that do to the team mentally going into the half, because you guys were making a run at the end and all of a sudden, boom, it's up to nine.
Chaz Williams: It didn't do much to us. Like we've been in that situation before, but it always hurts a lot more when you're trying to make stops and you are stopping the guys and here they come with a nice run.
So it always hurts just to know like you're doing good and they overpower you.
Q. Did you feel like you had to take matters more into your hands the second half?
Chaz Williams: I just had to make plays. Nobody in my team was scoring the ball so I just had to make plays. The whole first half, I was trying to get guys involved, and just keep going. But the second half, I seen nobody is really making shots but here and there but I just wanted to get it going and hopefully they get it picked up off of me.
Q. For as well as you've played over the course of the season, to finish this way, does that concern you when you have big games coming?
COACH KELLOGG: Well, what concerned me is we had a play that's two games back to back, wasn't perfect for us. We didn't have a lot of time to prepare, so hopefully we'll have a little more time to prepare in the tournament and we'll be a little sharper and hopefully make some shots. That would be beneficial to throw some balls in the basket.
Q. Is playing against the 1 3 1 particularly hard with no time to prepare?
COACH KELLOGG: Yeah, that was difficult. Really what's difficult honestly was the end of that first half. That drove me to insanity actually. It was not fun in the locker room, because we couldn't afford the flow of the game was our way. I thought we had them kind of right where we wanted them, and kind of a couple of just non smart basketball plays gave them the momentum going into halftime.
And then even the second half when we got the flow going the way I thought was beneficial for us, they actually took advantage of it and made the shots that we didn't make.
So, I mean, you know, we had to have Clyde and Demetrius come in to make threes, where everybody else I think was 4 for 21 or something along those lines.
Q. Did you ever think you'd have to prepare for a game like that from Mikic?
COACH KELLOGG: No. We've known he's been a good shooter for a long time but that nine points in the first half, actually, that kind of propelled them and gave them some confidence I thought.
I thought we were guarding them pretty well and they actually were running things for him was a little surprising. But he's a good player. He gives them another weapon, and as you can see, when you can make some 3 pointers, I think that loosens things up; that opens the game up for them.
Q. You said guys were maybe trying to do a little too much. What do you do in the next few days?
COACH KELLOGG: Right and I talked about maybe having a little too much honest, because I thought our whole staff, myself included we were probably a little too emotional because I really wanted to win the tournament. I wanted to play well. I wanted to get our guys prepared for the next step. I think our staff and maybe even the players were a little more tense than normal.
And so there will be a lot of reflection and I think coming into the NCAA Tournament, our guys will be ready. We are going to calm down a little bit and play our game and concentrate on defense and rebounding instead of worrying about scoring the ball.
Q. You spent almost the whole two days trailing. How tiring is that for a team and how much do you have to adjust the game plan when you're always playing from behind?
COACH KELLOGG: Well, you know, we had not pressed much this year as we have in years past, which will change next year for anybody who is wondering. That said, when we are trying a style and trying to come back, we're pressing and I don't think we I tell you what, I will say this; the game, even though it wasn't the way I wanted to be, the pace was where it needed to be for a while there. And I haven't been in one of those in a while where we didn't take advantage of it, about 17 different times then they made a few big plays and runs and a couple threes.
So I think if we are going to press like that in the NCAA Tournament, the next three or four days will be definitely a little more up tempo in trying to get it in faster.
Q. You mentioned the emotions of the past couple days, and probably only going to heighten going into Sunday, been a while since the team has gone into a Selection Sunday how do you think the team will handle that in the coming days coming off a disappointing loss going into something so special like that?
COACH KELLOGG: You know, I explained to them that in a weird way, UMASS has not been to the NCAA Tournament for me in 15 years is like, come on, we're UMASS, we should be there. And so let's not go in there like that's good enough and that everybody is excited we're there. No, I want to go and try to win.
So that's the message. I think they are going to take on my demeanor over the next four or five days, which is going to be, we're going to be loose but we're going to be sharp and we're going to play the way we need to play. That's happening. Now, whether we win or lose, I hope we win; but they are going to take on the way I want their personalities and their kind of mental approach is going to be.
Q. How much is on the line with Maxie's play?
COACH KELLOGG: He's been great. As you can see, when we play a little more up and down, a little more freelancer or free wheeling and pressing, he's fantastic. He might be the best one man press in the country. And so, that would be one of the reasons, too, for next year, we're going to be pressing more, because I'm hoping he'll be in the front of that pressing on the ball.
But come NCAA Tournament time, if he's got more legs and is bouncier and is playing better defense than the other guys, then he's going to play. He's really our sixth starter and he's just behind a couple guys that are seniors. Now I'm not one that likes to just change lineups to say I'm changing them, because I think he's either deserving to start or play 29 minutes a game.
Q. Given the boost Demetrius gave you in the second half, do you wish you went deep near your bench earlier?
COACH KELLOGG: Yeah, I think about that all the time, earlier in the season I should say, not earlier in the game. I look back and reflect, when it was going so kind of well and I kind of wanted to stay with the older guys and the guys that have been there, but I do think it would have been nice to have worked one more shooter in, whether it's Demetrius, Clyde or even Seth. Those guys have practiced fantastic all year. I'm proud of Demetrius, Seth, Jabarie, Clyde, and even Zach Coleman, those guys have been great, and I'm looking forward to some day being in a similar position with those guys being juniors and seniors.