Athens, GA (Mar 26, 2009) - In Sweet Sixteen action from the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament on Thursday, Xavier lost to Pittsburgh 60-55. This is the transcript of the Xavier University post-game press conference as provided by the NCAA and ASAP Sports.
COACH MILLER: Well, there's a big difference between being up here as
a winner and a loser in this tournament. I think when you lose you
reflect more on the season. I cannot be more proud of the team that we
had this year, the leadership of B.J. and C.J. There may be a more
talented player, but those two guys embody what it's about in college
basketball. They play for the win. They led us in practice. They led
us through the good times and bad, always believed in the most
important aspects of our program. And the identity of our team is
really a reflection of those two guys. We're going to miss them and
they really did a great job of allowing future players to know what
it's like to be a senior, to be somebody who's a leader.
You know, tonight's game was a very difficult loss. I'd like to wish
Pitt the best of luck and give credit to their team, there's a reason
they're 31 and 4.
I thought the shot that Levance Fields hit says it all about a
senior point guard. Their three best players statistically did a great
job. Sam Young, in particular, is really a handful. But if we're
honest, very winnable game for us.
The second half some of it was a lack of execution, but I thought
the lack of offense really started stemming from we just missed some
point blank layups and inside shots that you have to make in any game,
but in particular in this tournament. And for us to finish shooting
the percentage and scoring the amount of points in the second half,
18, still having a chance to win is disheartening.
But as we missed some shots that we normally make, it became a little
bit tighter for us. And I think our offense started to reflect our
tightness and for that, that's hard to let go of if you're a coach of
So wish Pitt the best of luck. I thought our guys played really hard.
You can see what a great defensive team we are, we showed that,
certainly. We're going home. And wish Pitt the best of luck.
Q. Was there a point in the game where you guys could kind of feel
the little things kind of adding up? Originally they said that the
physicality was one of the bigger things, but it ended up being layups
or rebounds. Was there a point where you could feel that they were
kind of adding up?
B.J. RAYMOND: No, it got to a point in the second half where they
got the key rebounds. We would make them miss, which is what we're
good at. Also what we were good at is getting the rebound. They came
up with some key rebounds. I think that's the thing that's most
hurtful to me at this point is that offensively, okay, we can miss
But the things that have got us to this point and the things that
have made us a good team, we didn't do, which was our defense. A part
of our defense was stopping them, making them take a tough shot, but
also getting the rebound. And we didn't do that. I don't even know if
we out rebounded them or anything like that. But I just know in the
second half they got some key offensive rebounds that we should have
Q. B.J., after Fields made the shot, he stripped you of the ball and
went coast to coast with it. What were you trying to get there, what
were you looking for in that offensive situation?
B.J. RAYMOND: Well, honestly, I know, myself, I'm not that good off
a ball screen. I took the first one just wide, just to try to go one
on one. And Levance, as good as he is, he stopped guarding his man,
because he knew I wanted to take the last shot. And he came off and he
stripped me. But I quickly went to the next play.
We were still down three points and we had a chance. It was like 16
seconds to go. I had to quickly move and we had a good play drawn up
and, hey, everybody else knows the rest. But he made a good play. He
made two great plays in a row.
Q. Coach mentioned also, as well, this is the point where you start
reflecting on your season. What do you guys reflect on most at this
point, what are you thinking about most?
DERRICK BROWN: Just shows we can play with anybody. It's a credit to
our coaching staff and Coach Miller, they put us in a position to, I
guess, get out of the mid major label in our eyes. We are a defensive
minded team and we play hard. It's just sad that we had to go out the
way we went out, because I don't think that's how we should have went
out. It hurts so bad because we just gave it the second half was just
not Xavier. And that's what hurts the most, I feel like, in the locker
room obviously right now, because the season we had, it was about
toughness and finishing what we do. And we didn't finish.
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