Post Game Quotes

March 18, 2004

Recap?|? Box Score?|? Notes?|? Photo Gallery

Gonzaga Coach Mark Few

Opening Statement: "It's great to be able to win and move home, that's the bottom line. It wasn't easy and we knew it wasn't going to be easy. One quality I so admire about Valparaiso is how hard they play, every position they really challenge you both offensively and defensively. We could never quite make a run on them. They showed versatility like they have all year and just hung with it. Finally the dam broke there late in the second half."

On the way defense played: "Probably all night our defense was the most consistent. We provided good help. By and large we did a nice job and our zone was great tonight."

On going down low in the second half: "That's just who we are -- we attack inside-out and have for the past five years. Mallon can really come in and score and he's pretty much done that all year."

On attacking from all angles: "The strength of this team, like I said yesterday, is that it's got great versatility. Each piece of the puzzle brings something different. Erroll (Knight) brought defensive pressure tonight, dunks off the break; Skinner can shoot deep and rebound, and Morrison -- who knows what he brings, but he is going to bring something. That's who we are, we're big guys who are all different in their own way. It's great to be able to mange that and if it's a scoring problem then you fix it."

On yelling at Adam Morrison on TV: "Adam Morrison gets excited and he ran out on the floor and there was not stoppage of play. I was trying to get him dialed in."

On what the freshmen did tonight: "They did the same that they have done all year. They come in and score and its pretty easy for them; they have great feel for the game and great confidence. It was just a typical performance and they did what I expected."

Gonzaga Players



GUARD Erroll Knight

General comments on the game: "We came in, we knew what we had to do and we kept going. I just try and be efficient and stop the other team. My job is to get in there as much as possible. We started making defensive stops and got up by five, then 10. Eventually, we busted out."

On Saturday's game against Nevada: "We're going to watch the scouting reports tonight and see what their tendencies are and then go from there."

FORWARD Adam Morrison

On picking up the slack when Turiaf and Stepp had a tough time in the first half: "That's been our role the whole year. We call ourselves the bench mob -- we come off and do anything we can and try to score and play defense.We've been trying to do that all year and whatever we can do, we can do. We came up with that name as a group. The way we figure, you're going to come in for short spurts, you might as well come out and just go nuts. It's not a knock on you as a player; it's just how the team works, to play as hard as you can for the time you get."

GUARD Kyle Bankhead

On Blake Stepp's play today: "Blake is fine, he'll find his stroke. I think we had to dust off some rust tonight. He'll get it rolling next game."

On the beginning of the game: "We were nervous. The NCAA tournament is huge. Everybody's got a bit of butterflies coming into the games. I think we'll be fine."

On the crowd at KeyArena today: "Right now there are so many teams at this site, the tickets are distributed evenly. It's hard to get all the fans in here we need. Now that a couple teams are gone, hopefully we'll get some more fans in here and it will be a great atmosphere."

GUARD Blake Stepp

On his game: "It's about as bad of a night of shooting that I've had all year, but we've got plenty of other guys that can score."

On his teammates coming off the bench: "Sean came in real good, he had two fouls. Game-in and game-out he usually does a pretty good job of getting things into the basket. They had early foul trouble so we were trying to draw more fouls, so he was wheeling and dealing. Then Adam comes in and he's always solid."

On what Valparaiso did to hold him: "They did a pretty good job they were just staying with me all over the court they would harass me on the outlet. I had open shots, but they didn't really fall in, which I can't do on Saturday. But they did a really good job of staying with me all night."

CENTER Cory Violette

On the offense spreading out: "It's pretty interesting in there at times just trying to figure out what we were doing. I think we came out a little bit rusty, but the scoring was pretty well spread out."

On positioning himself inside: "A lot of it was hustle. I'll score with my back to the basket, hopefully. It's not my only way of scoring, but that's something that I've always tried to do to help this team; to bring a lot of blue-collar type buckets in there."

Valparaiso Coach Homer Drew

Opening Statement: "Three words -- proud, disappointed and complimentary. Very proud of our basketball team. With nine freshmen and sophmores, I felt our team really earned the right to be here. Second word, 'disappointed,' because we can play better than what we did. 'Complimentary' to Gonzaga because they had a lot to do with us not playing as well as we would have liked. They have the depth and many weapons.

On Gonaga's game: "Starting with the inside game, they got us in foul trouble immediately. Turiaf and Violette just really excellent. It taught our freshmen how they want to play the game of basketball -- strength, success and agility around the basket. It was a good learning curve for our big guys. I thought Stepp ran the offense very well. They are just very mobile up and down the floor. I really have to compliment Gonzaga. They've got the seniors which do very well. Hopefully, they will go on and win the whole thing so we could say we lost to a national champion."

On Valpo's fast start: "We started very well. We shot the ball well and Greg Tonagel played a good game. One of the problems we have had all year was shooting the basketball. We are shooting 30 percent from the 3-point line and Gonzaga is shooting 44 percent from the 3-point line. We struggled all year with shooting."

On Greg Tonagel: "One of the biggest changes to those of you who are new to Valparaiso -- you have to really compliment Greg Tonagel. Greg came back this year mid-way through the season when we had a number of injuries and his leadership helped win our confernce and tournament. He helped us with the shooting."

On Valpo's shooting: "We struggled all year with shooting, and this is one thing our players will need to focus on -- to become much better shooters. We did not make shots, and when you don't make shots it puts an added burden on your defense."

On Gonzaga's inside presence: "With the size they had inside we were not able to contain them as well as we wanted to do. We moved to the zone and they hit some 3-point shots then you got the question -- do they make the 3's or 2's? So we went back to man-on-man to get more pressure."

On the freshmen:"We have the seniors share their thoughts with the younger players. I would love to see, the next couple of years, if we can get our freshmen and sophmores to continue work hard and improve. Then we can retunrn to the tournament and win."


On Gonzaga's big men: "Their inside game is really dominant, they are very strong inside. They know how to get position in the lane, they can take it off the dribble, they can do a lot of things. But we continued to play them tough, and just came up short. "

On playing Gonzaga in Seattle: "It was pretty tough but we played at Duke earlier in the season, and I don't think anything is tougher than that. We just tried to keep the crowd out of the game."

On Gonzaga as a #2 seed: "I think that they are ready for a number two seed, because they are balanced and they play hard for 40 minutes."


On Blake Stepp: "It was really frustrating guarding him because he was one of the best players on their team, and he wasn't really scoring, but the still kept increasing the lead. I just tried to do my part and shut him down the best that I could. He's a good guard, he's experienced, and he knows that if his shot wasn't going, then he needs to spread the ball around."

On gaining confidence early: "When we had the lead at the beginning, we thought that we could play with them. We have played Cincinnati, Duke, and Marquette, and we knew that tonight was going to be another tough match. We came out and played hard, and they came out sluggish, but after that timeout, they came out strong and we weren't ready for them."


On his foul trouble: "Obviously we're not that big inside and we knew that they were going to come after us. If I'm not mistaken, I got two fouls early in the game and it was kind of hard for me to play physical. I didn't really know what was going to happen and they were calling everything on the other side and I was just trying to stay in the game and not get a lot of fouls in the first half."


On what the freshmen and sophomores learned: "I think they learned they need to take their game to another level this summer, they can't sit back and come back and hope that they're going to walk into another NCAA tournament game. It was a good experience for them and I would love to see those guys put their hard work in this summer because of this game, because we got pushed around, because we got beat up and down the court in every aspect of this game. If they can take anything away from this game they can take the fact that they're going to have to pick it up a little bit this summer."

On giving up the lead in the beginning of the game/nerves: "I wouldn't say we were nervous, we struggled shooting the ball, which has been a problem all season long for us. Not putting the ball in the hole puts a lot of stress on the defense and they're tough to defend so we had two strikes against us there. If we could have hit some more shots we would have stayed in the game a little longer."

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