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Postgame Quotes

March 10, 2012

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Press Conference Quotes

(1) Memphis 83 vs. (6) Marshall 57

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner

Opening Statement:

"That was obviously a well-played game. Marshall is a very, very good team. They are very well coached, and they have a lot of good players. But, the thing for us is that we did some good things defensively. I think Marshall is an NCAA Tournament team. They deserve to be in the field as does Southern Miss. You can even make a case for UCF, too. I know they might not get in, but that's the type of respect that we have for this league. It was a really good win. I said this last night and this morning. This wasn’t about any schemes or X's and O's, this was about the Jimmy's and Joe's. The person that you should be talk to are the players - Joe (Jackson) and Will (Barton) and the rest of the guys. That's who got the job done. Also, I want to appreciate the sendoff for Preston Laird and Wesley Witherspoon and obviously RC Johnson, our athletic director. I believe right now - and there's no doubt in my mind - that we deserve a five seed. I think we've earned the right to be a five seed. We've won 20-of-23 games in the fashion that we've won we deserve to be a five seed. So, we'll see. But, whoever we play, we'll be ready. This game was strictly about the players. It's about these two guys sitting next to me and the rest of the players in the locker room. It's a player's game, and they got the job done. Bottom line."

Do you feel that order has been restored in C-USA with Memphis on top?

"I've said this many times to a lot of the people in this room: Conference USA does not get the respect that it deserves. This is a good league. You know many good coaches there are in this league? Everyone says 'you're going to the Big EAST - you’re going to coach against so and so.' You know how good of a coach Tim Floyd is? How about Tom Herrion? How about Donnie Jones, Doug Wojick or Mike Davis? Larry Eustachy? Ben Braun has won over 600 games. This league has good players, coaches and teams. It's just an underrated league."

How did you feel when Tarik Black went down and how relieved were you when you found out he was okay?

"You know, he went down making a hustle play. I didn't actually see him go down. He's okay. He just has a bruise - nothing serious. He will be fine. But other guys stepped up. The guy to my left, Will Barton and the guy to my right Joe Jackson, those guys stepped up. And, then you throw in Antonio (Barton), Ferrokahn (Hall), DJ (Stephens) and Wesley (Witherspoon). Those guys came off the bench and gave us a great spark. Will (Barton), Joe (Jackson) and Chris (Crawford) really kept it together for us. Those three guys have been at such a high level, and the other guys I just mentioned really gave us a good spark off the bench".

#1 Joe Jackson, Memphis

Is this the best the team has played all season?

"I mean, yes it's one of the best performances that we've given. But, I think the game at Marshall was better. But, we played our butts off today. We played good defense on them and made them take a lot of bad shots. It was hard for them to get easy shots."

Do you feel that order has been restored in C-USA with Memphis on top?

"I want to say yes. I know we started off slow, but we picked up. That's all we have to do this last stretch and just pick it up. We are playing well, really good and with confidence. We've just been dominating. People should notice that. We dominated all these last teams. I don't think we get enough credit around the country."

What does it mean to you to be the MVP two years in a row?

"You know, it was really about getting the win. It wasn't really about me winning the MVP or anything like that. Honestly, I thought Tarik (Black) deserved it because he's been playing his butt off in the last five games. But, it's a good feeling to get it again. I work hard every day at practice. I come to the gym early and people don't know about it. It's just paying off, and my game is showing on the court."

#5 Will Barton, Memphis

Is this the best the team has played all season?

"I think we've been playing our best basketball through this streak. We have 20 wins out the last 23. We just have been taking it serious and doing what coach wants to do, and that’s bringing a lot of energy and passion. I think that's the main thing - we've always had the talent, but now we are putting in all the hard work and dedication. We aren't joking or laughing anymore until after the games and after practice. When we have our heads on right and have the right mindset, I feel like we can beat anyone in the country."

Do you feel that order has been restored in C-USA with Memphis on top?

"We definitely feel like we've responded by winning the regular season title and them coming back to win the tournament title. There really haven't been any close games. We never felt threatened. That's no disrespect to the other teams - we just have been playing really well. Marshall played a really good non-conference schedule and went toe-to-toe with Syracuse. Southern Miss played a tough non-conference schedule and only lost like two or three games before the league. Like coach said, we don't get enough respect around the country and our conference doesn't either. We're not going to complain. We are just going to get our respect by winning games. We have killers on the court, and we have a great coach."

Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion

Opening Statement:

"We ran into a team that is playing as well as any team in America. That team might be the most improved team in the country in the last three or four weeks. We played up hill and had to play from behind. We battled and I’m proud of my kids, but when you play from behind with that kind of margin on the road on their home floor, you exert so much energy. Our kids did something that has not been done at Marshall and that’s get to a championship game and I’m proud. We didn’t close the deal, I’m disappointed with the loss, but I’m proud of this group for what they’ve done this week in particular and now we’ll look forward to playing again."

Was the four games in four days a factor tonight?

"I say no, but I’m sure it had some toll on us. Looking at it objectively, it has to have a toll on you also playing in their building. Obviously it’s a tremendous advantage with the great crowd they have. The last three or four weeks they’re playing at a level that they could make a final eight or final four run the way they are playing right now. On both ends of the floor, they’re as efficient offensively as any team in the country, the ball is moving it’s not sticking at all; they’re sharing very well and making every shot. We left points on the foul line that hurt us mightily. They gave us no chances at points in the game. We tried to play a zone defensively and they the hit those threes and kind of separated it during the second half."

#1 Dennis Tinnon, Marshall

You’ve played Memphis three times, how tough was it?

"These guys were physical. We’ve played them three times. We practiced playing against these guys. We tried to do our best, we just kept fighting. They got the best of us, and the loss hurts. Like coach said, this is a great group of guys and I was excited play before this year and we just have to keep our heads high."

#24 DeAndre Kane, Marshall

As a team you’ve improved on foul-shooting, but did that play a factor in to this loss?

"I don’t think so. I just think we lacked concentration. We played tough, it was a tough tournament for us, and we fought through four games. Memphis is a good team, and they outplayed us in the end. We’ll play somewhere else in the NIT or in the tournament, hopefully. We’ll be alright, we’ll keep our heads up, and we’ll walk away proud today."