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Postgame Notes

March 9, 2012

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Press Conference Quotes

(6) Marshall 73 vs. (2) Southern Miss 62

Friday, March 9, 2012

Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion

Opening Statement:

"I just really liked us today. I thought our defense was really outstanding; we were so locked in defensively. Angelo Johnson bothered us early and in that stretch he bothered us like a desperate senior should, but I thought we guarded him really well. We were a little loose with the ball, too many turnovers for us. We shot 65 percent in the second half; we got great shots, and made some good shots. It’s just a terrific win against an outstanding club, an NCAA tournament team in Southern Miss that obviously has had a heck of a year. It’s a big win for us and we are thrilled to have a chance to play for a championship."

Is this the best game your team has played this year?

"No, probably against Southern Miss earlier at our place, we had too many turnovers today. I was really disappointed in how loose we were with the ball. They scored 20 points off our turnovers, that’s a third of their points in the game. Our defense was that good in the half court, imagine if did not cough it up as much as we did. Give them credit their defense was really good too. Our efficiency on offense was really good minus the turnovers."

There are some bracketologists that say you knocked Southern Miss out of the NCAA Tournament, do you think that is true?

"There should be no way in hell with the body of work that team has looking at what they did out of conference and what they did in conference. They want to pick on our conference and give us no national respect. They’re in, they should be in, and they should be a lock."

What did you guys do to contain Jonathan Mills?

"He is obviously a tough kid and handful to guard. He has such an advantage being left handed. He’s had a really great year for them. We rotated some guys, we made it hard for him to get into different spots and we did not put him on the foul line."

What effect did yesterday’s triple overtime game have on your team today?

"We had a couple skids. This group has been resilient all year, they’ve got great confidence. This group is really close and it shows in how we play."

#3 Damier Pitts, Marshall

Did it feel like you were getting a lot of open shots outside, what was the key?

"We got a lot of good looks tonight. Dago Pena was knocking down shots, Deanadre Kane was really a great distributor tonight and finding the open man. They were sagging off on their screens and we were getting good looks off of that."

When you guys were down by five, talk about how you guys got back into it:

"Coach just told us to focus on defense we have to get some stops. We got a few buckets in transition. We just had to settle down on defense and get a few stops, get in transition, and get a few easy baskets."

How much did fouling out of yesterday’s triple over-time game play a factor in motivating you for today?

"Yesterday I fouled out pretty early, and did not play in the triple over-times. My teammates gave it their all and played with a lot of heart. I felt like I owed it to them fouling out early and not being able to play with them. I just wanted to come out today and give it all I got."

#24 DeAndre Kane, Marshall

How was the fatigue factor after yesterday’s triple overtime game?

"Like I said yesterday it’s not going to be a problem. We rested up and got with our trainer, got some rest, and came in focused. Fatigue will not be a problem tomorrow."

You had 10 points in the first half and kind of got stuck on 10, what did you do to shake loose of that during the game?

"I just kept shooting the ball. I kept getting open looks. My teammates found me and I was able to start knocking down shots. Damier Pitts took over, he’s a senior and that’s why we have player that can take-over a game, I was struggling and he stepped up and took over."


Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Eustachy

Opening Statement:

"I thought that the tougher team won, today. This just goes to show you the constant lack of respect towards our conference. That (Marshall) was the sixth place team in our conference. We are in the NCAA Tournament. We have a 13 RPI and a 48 (in strength of schedule). Are you kidding me? We are in the NCAA Tournament, and they (Marshall) have beaten us back-to-back. Look at what East Carolina did to us. This league does not get the recognition that it deserves. You saw those two teams battle it out. We had a five point lead, and we just really had some lapses, defensively. I think that our offense dictated our defense a little bit, and that isn’t our game. There is a silver lining in everything. We will get a little bit more rest.

Our guys really wanted to win the conference championship, but things work out for a reason. Give Marshall all of the credit in the world. They are coming off of triple overtime and they had the moxy to comeback and put it to us in the last 10 minutes. They are well-deserving, wherever they end up."

On the NCAA tournament

"Where is there doubt about the NCAA tournament? Is there doubt? They are talking about Mississippi State at No. 71. We are 13th in RPI and 48th in strength of schedule. There is no doubt that we are in this tournament. We always get better off of loses. Things work out for a reason. People who say we are not in the tournament, are idiots. They are idiots. They obviously aren’t going by what the NCAA is going by. The criteria is based off of RPI and strength of schedule. You are not allowed to factor anything else in. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it. See what you come up with. Some guy on TV said "I would really be mad if Southern Miss makes it in and South Florida doesn’t." We beat South Florida! The guy didn’t even know that we played them. That is what we are dealing with—some idiots. This (the tournament) is just like the BCS, it is a machine. There aren’t 12 basketball coaches in that room, it is a computer.

Did you feel that Marshall was fatigued coming into this game?

"No. They are tough kids and they are young kids. They are very focused during warm-ups. We played a game on the day that they played a game. We were just as fatigued as they were, except for 10 more minutes. It wasn’t a factor."

Are you okay after taking that spill on the sideline?

"I took a charge and they called it a block. If our guys stay on the floor for more than two second, then they have to come out. I had to hold to my policy, so hopefully I hopped up in less than two seconds."

#2 Darnell Dodson, Southern Miss

On the play of Angelo Johnson:

"I think that he definitely played a good game. We were kind of feeding off of his energy. He came out with an aggressive attitude, which is what we needed from the guard position. We just couldn’t make the play on defense."

On the NCAA tournament:

"I am just excited to know that we made it. It was a big accomplishment for the school. For this team, we just know that we have earned it because we have been working hard, all year."

#23 Angelo Johnson, Southern Miss

On Marshall’s ability to screen and shoot threes:

"They made some good shots, today. We had a couple of relapses on defense, which we usually don’t have. We just didn’t have our game, defensively, today."

On Marshall’s ability to screen and shoot threes:

"We knew that we needed to continue to get stops. Coach kept telling us that we needed stops, but we just didn’t do it. They scored about seven in a row on us. We feed off of our defense, so if we aren’t getting stops, there are going to be some problems."

Were you playing angry, today?

"I knew that this could be my last time playing at the FedExForum, so I just wanted to give everything I had."

On the NCAA tournament:

"We are in. We haven’t been since 1991, I heard. I am excited."