BIG EAST Tournament: Pregame Quotes vs. Connecticut

March 8, 2010

- Head Coach Norm Roberts
On the BIG EAST Tournament:

"We talk about it being one and done. You have to lay it all on the line. Throw the records out and it is 0-0. You have to focus on every possession because every possession means something."

On facing Connecticut:
"We need to get off to a good start. In our last game with them, they scored so many baskets when we weren't defending them. You can't do that against any team and expect to win. You have to play to percentages. You have to make them a jump-shooting team with a contested hand in their faces. When you allow layups, they gain confidence. They got a lot of offensive rebounds against us and we can't let that happen again."

On the level of competition in the league:
"I think there's a possibility we can win it. We have to play consistently the whole time. This league is so good. Anyone can win a game or two. You don't know how the team with a bye will come out against a team that wins two games and can be hot."

On tournament format:
"It's tough on either end. It's tough for someone to win five, but its tough for a team with double byes. It can hurt a team's rhythm."

On the team's season:
"This team has a bright future and has a chance to really be good in the future. We took steps forward, but I don't think we took any steps backward."

Junior Guard Malik Boothe
On the Connecticut lineup:
"They will be hungry. Those guys [Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson and Gavin Edwards] may not be starting, but they'll come in and want to win. They are good players. They slash and get to the basket and get good shots. We have to limit them offensively and attack them defensively."



On what it takes to win in the BIG EAST Tournament:
"Everyone will up their play. You have to play hard for the whole 40 minutes. If we play with energy, we can make a run. We have to hold the leads that we get and not get behind. We have been in games with every team in this league this season."

On the DePaul game:
"As a team, it was a very emotional game for us. We dug ourselves a hole and got behind early, but we did a good job of coming back and winning as a team."

On being matched up with Connecticut:
"It is tough to draw any team for the tournament. Teams are so hungry. You are going to get everyone's best shot. We are excited. It gives us another chance to get more wins and make a run to either tournament."

On holding leads against top teams this season:
"It proves that if we focus for 40 minutes, we can beat anybody."

Junior Guard Paris Horne
On drawing UConn:
"It's tough, but I'm excited. Whoever we play can be dangerous in the BIG EAST Tournament. Everyone knows its one and done. So it didn't matter who we got. We are going to fight to try to get the win. I am excited. There is a lot on the table."

On the team's mindset this week:
"We had a wonderful practice yesterday. Everyone was getting after it. We had to fight our way out against DePaul. If we play that way the whole game against anyone, we feel like we can win." On finishing 40 minutes against a top team:
"If we play as a team, move the ball and play well down the stretch, we know we are capable of it. We did it at Notre Dame and USF and against Louisville, we just need to keep doing it."

Junior Forward Sean Evans
On drawing UConn for the first round:

"I think any matchup is tough. There are a lot of good teams in this league and we just need to go hard and try to come out with the win."

On the advice received from the coaching staff:
"Coach tells us to take care of things we can control. Anything can happen in this league. We just have to stay focused. We can play with anybody. We just need to pull it together at the end. We have to play 40 minutes. I can only worry about what is going on on the court."

On the BIG EAST Tournament:
"We have to play every game like it's our last. No one wants to go out on a loss, so we just have to go out and try to get a win."

Junior Guard D. J. Kennedy
On his feeling headed into the first round:

"I am looking forward to trying to get a win in this tournament. We want the rematch from last year with Marquette. We know what they did to us last year in the tournament."



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