Gonzaga-St. John's Postgame Quotes
March 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Gonzaga. Coach, if you want to begin with some general comments on the game.
COACH FEW: Certainly.
We played great. I'm just tickled pink I guess, or whatever the saying is, for these guys (laughter). They took the game plan, just went out and executed it. Unbelievable. The way we rebounded the ball. St. John's is a tough, hard nosed team. They've been rebounding the ball very well, especially on the offensive end. We did a great job there. We did a great job attacking their press, attacking their zone, really playing at our pace, which is what we had talked about doing all week.
They've had a wonderful year. I'm really happy for Lav, the year he's had. Seeing Hardy live, I mean, you can really see just how great a player he is.
Couldn't be happier for our guys to move on, get another chance to play again.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for the student athletes.
Q. Marquise, how do you think your team will match up against BYU and Jimmer Fredette?
Marquise Carter: I think we'll match up pretty good. I have faith in the coaches to just be able to tell us what we need to do. Throughout the year, we've been really good on listening to our coaches, executing everything we've been going over in film and practice. Like I said, I have faith in them. Just looking forward to being able to play the next game.
Q. What would be the next best game you have played this year next to this one?
Steven Gray: Probably the championship game to get us here (smiling).
I think those are the two biggest games we've had all year, and we've been able to perform very well in them. That's a good feeling, I guess.
Q. The threes were falling tonight. Anything you can attribute that to?
Steven Gray: Just really taking shots on our terms. We had a lot of concepts that the coaches had put out that if we followed, we were going to get a lot of good looks. It was just a matter of stepping up and shooting them with confidence. That's what we did tonight, so...
Q. Defending Hardy, what were the keys to trying to keep him under control?
Marquise Carter: Going into the game, we just wanted to always keep eyes on him, make sure everybody was in the gaps. Every time he drove, we just wanted to be there, help defense. That was the main focus going into the game. We did a really good job at that.
Steven Gray: I mean, the coaches really stressed being in the gaps, making him see eyes. He gets in the lane, have a guard or big or someone rotate over, try to take some charges, just really not let him have a lot of lanes. Definitely not give him any open threes because he's just been unconscious as of late. Just make it difficult for him.
THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss the student athletes and continue with questions for Coach Few.
Q. Is there any issue with Marquise's wrist?
COACH FEW: I think he's icing it. He got knocked down there right in front of the bench probably with a minute and a half to go. I think he's all right. I hope.
Q. Do you think people just expect this from you now? They see Gonzaga, they go, All right, there's a potential upset. What kind of reputation do you think you have, given how you struggled early this season, and how surprised are you to be here?
COACH FEW: Wow, there's a lot of questions within the question there. Let me think.
I think people know we're a good program, so I would think that it probably doesn't surprise 'em so much anymore. We certainly didn't consider ourselves an underdog in this game. I mean, when the matchup popped up, we were excited to be able to play.
I think as a group they understand, as Bud alluded to earlier, they're really playing good basketball now. We're playing the best basketball we played all year.
But the expectation issue, absolutely. I think we had a great learning process this year for our players, our staff, our fans, people who follow the program. This thing is really hard to get to. There's been really, really good teams over the years that have not made it, from the Carolinas, to the Syracuses, to UCLAs that have not been able to make the NCAA tournament. There's nothing guaranteed. It's not a birthright. You have to earn your way.
I think that's kind of what got these guys going. When our backs were against the wall, they put their heads down, just plowed along. Step by step, got us back here. Now that we're here, we're playing good and we want to stay here.
Q. Can we get your early impressions of the matchup against BYU?
COACH FEW: Well, they've had a phenomenal year, been a very captivating team to watch. Obviously Jimmer is one of those once in a lifetime guys when you're coaching. I had Adam. There's some similarities there.
I also think there's some similarities with his teammates. His teammates are really, really good, just like the kids we had playing with Adam. It takes a special group of teammates, you know, to play along with a guy who gets so many shots. They have that.
They have some darn good players outside of Jimmer. He's a phenomenal player. I think all of you and America is getting to see just how good a Coach Dave Rose is. Those of us in the profession have known forever, not only how good a guy he is, what an incredible story it is with him going through the cancer scare and all. But also, he's a heck of a basketball coach, and has been for quite a while.
Q. Do you know Coach Rose at all?
COACH FEW: Yeah. We were fortunate enough to have him up for our 'Coaches vs. Cancer' event this summer. He and his wife absolutely just brought the house down with their talks. It was unbelievable. Great guy, great family.
Q. With all the NCAA tournament experience that Gonzaga had versus really none for St. John's, was that a big factor, do you think?
COACH FEW: I think it helped. I really think it helped. Steve and Rob have been there a lot. Elias went through it last year. Meech has been there. This is his third year through it now. Kelly and Sam went through it last year a little bit.
No, it definitely didn't hurt. Most impressive thing of the night I think is Marquise Carter's first NCAA tournament game. I mean, to come in and go, you know, 24, 6 rebounds and 6 assists is pretty amazing against a quick, athletic, tough group of St. John's guards.
Q. Could you address Goodson's play against the pressure and overall what you wanted to do fighting that pressure?
COACH FEW: You know what, great call. I thought Meech had his best game he's played here. He's had a 20 pointer earlier in the year, but this is far and away his best game. He handled their press really well. He handled their halfcourt, traps, kind of a zone that can be very disruptive.
You can never get any rhythm against their zone 'cause they don't really allow any flow. He handled that great. I thought he did a nice job defending Hardy for most of the night. Hardy got a lot of his when Meech wasn't on him.
He was as good as he's been all year.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
COACH FEW: Thank you.
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