April 2, 2008
NEW YORK, N.Y. -
COACH Travis Ford's OPENING STATEMENT:
You know, again, I told our guys, the reason I thought we would have a chance in this game would be if our seniors would show leadership; if our seniors would step up. And there's no question that our three seniors who played tonight I thought were the difference in the basketball game. Obviously Chris Lowe did some very, very nice things. But I think our three leaders have had the mentality of not wanting to take the UMASS uniform off. I think it has shown in our previous games in the fact that we have gotten down in all of them, and we figured a way out to come back. And the reason we come back is these guys just have that never die attitude.
Dante Milligan's THOUGHTS ON THE GAME:
Gary Forbes ON TEAM'S POOR SHOOTING IN FIRST HALF:
Gary Forbes ON TEAM'S ABILITY TO COME BACK:
Chris Lowe ON THE FAN SUPPORT:
Chris Lowe ON TEAM'S CONFIDENCE:
Gary Forbes ON PLAYING IN THE GARDEN:
COACH Travis Ford ON FREE THROW SHOOTING:
Obviously it's key, you know, Chris Lowe is a good foul shooter and Gary can make foul shots and Dante is getting better. (Laughter).
But it does have something to do with making sure the right guys get there, and you know, there's no question that we would love for the percentages to be better on a piece of paper. I've always said, I think there is such a thing as a good free throw shooting team and not so good. I think you can get a little better if you're back and forth, but this team has seemed to, when they counted, put them in. You know, there's no question Chris made some big ones tonight.
Dante Milligan ON HOMETOWN FANS:
Dante Milligan ON DEFENDING SPEIGHTS:
COACH Travis Ford ON DEFENDING SPEIGHTS:
COACH Travis Ford ON USING THE CLOCK LATE:
I felt like off the dribble at the end of a shot clock, we were trying to spread the court out a little bit and Chris Lowe is one of the tough guys to guard off the dribble and we wanted to him to create something, whether it was a drive for himself or a drive and kick. Gary made a couple tough shots, he made a fall away jumpshot which was a hand right in his face.
So we made a few shots to be able to continue to do that.
COACH Travis Ford ON WINNING DESPITE NOT SHOOTING WELL:
But as I told our team, it's funny, right before our team went out on the court in our last little get together, I said, "We're a team, we are not dependent on three pointers." I told them, "We are depending on how hard we work. Don't depend on 3 pointers." I don't know if I jinxed us or what but we didn't make many.
As many as we take, I've said this, it's not a do or die thing for us. You know, what is important for us is to get the game going up and down. Now, if we make a few shots that allows you to press and allows you to do things, but as long as we are not turning the ball over and as long as we are not fouling a lot, those are two things we don't want to do because that slows the game down and that's what we want to do. We want to try to make it as fast as possible, try to fatigue teams, and we're going to make some 3s. May not be a whole lot, but we'll make a few here and there.
COACH Travis Ford ON WHAT HE SAID AT HALFTIME:
We told them, we need to get the game going up and down. The game is not going fast the way we want it to go and we came out and scored a couple baskets early which gave us some confidence and the game started getting back into the flow that we liked it. Again, we talked about, it's crazy to say, we're happy to be down nine. It could have been a lot worse. It could have been a lot worse. When you go out and shoot 1 for 13 from the 3 point line it could be a lot worse.
COACH Travis Ford IN IF HIS TEAM IS COMFORTABLE PLAYING FROM BEHIND:
I go back, Coach Donovan has got a very young basketball team, this is going to be a valuable experience for them, and there's not a better coach in the country. And we talked a lot about, we were an older basketball team. You know, we start three fifth year seniors, and that needed to show at some point, it needed to, if we were going to have a chance to win because they are a very young, talented basketball team. But those three seniors need to show why they have been at college for five years, and I thought they did that. I thought Dante played great and Etienne made a few good shots at the end and played defense and rebounded the ball well. I told them, we'll go as our three seniors go, and I thought those guys really stepped up tonight.
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