Monday, December 22, 2014

Manhattan 71, Fordham 57: Quotes from Steve Masiello and Emmy Andujar

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello's opening statement:
"I thought it was, really, a terrific basketball game. I thought Fordham was very well prepared, I thought Coach (Tom) Pecora did a great job having these kids ready to play. I thought they came out with great energy and very well-prepared. I thought our team really showed great poise, showed their experience by not getting rattled, not getting too down or too up. We got back to our defensive mindset, started getting stops, you know, got some easy baskets in transition, and any time you have this young man to my right (points to Emmy Andujar) on the court, your team's got a good chance to win. I thought he made some really good plays off the basketball from a leadership standpoint of keeping his team calm, as did RaShawn (Stores) and AP (Ashton Pankey). It's just a really good win because I know, the last three games, we lost to Pitt, I started to see the old Manhattan team and our ways start to come back, which is what I planned on as we got healthy and guys came around, so I'm very happy for these guys, and we'll go from there."

On allowing a 10-0 Fordham run to start the game:
"There's an amazing stat, and I have to check the number, but something like 70-something percent of teams that get a double-digit lead in the first four minutes actually lose the game. Don't quote me on the 70 percent, but it's some number that's ridiculous, and I charted it at Louisville a couple of years ago, and I told our guys, give Fordham credit. They came out, they were ready, we didn't attack their zone well. I thought we were a little tentative, but we kept our poise and I think that's a credit to Emmy, AP and RaShawn, our seniors. We never got rattled, we didn't get too up, we didn't panic...I was panicking, but they weren't, so they kept me calm and you know, we got our rhythm going, and just kind of got back to doing what we do, and I thought they handled it well. Just chip away and go two by two, you know, and we reflected back to the (Fordham vs.) St. John's game, St. John's, I think, was down 19-13 with 11:20 to go in the first (half). So we knew we could get a run on them if we got to our style and got to our bench. I thought we did that."

On Manhattan's press defense:
"You know, I think we're a decent team when we're not pressing. I think we're a borderline nightmare when we're in our press, and not so much that we're going to have our way, but we're just not going to let you do what you practice, and we're going to force your guys to make plays. So, the press for us is really critical. I thought we did a great job early of not fouling a lot in the first half, we didn't do as well in the second half, but us being able to set up our pressure and dictate what we want, and you not being able to do what you practice, is what our program is based upon. We don't want your A or your B to beat us. Your C or D has to, and when we do that, we can be successful."

On approaching the Morgan State and Fordham games like the Buffalo trip to Niagara and Canisius:
"I think it helps us from a confidence standpoint, and it really helps me because it will help me figure out the team from a rotation standpoint. We had, I believe, eight guys or nine guys (in) double-figure minutes tonight, so I get a good feel, you know, of what we are, and Jermaine (Lawrence) still isn't here, you know? In fairness to him, he's still trying to figure out the system. I've got to get him more minutes and more looks, but this is exactly what the Buffalo weekend is, and that's how we approached it coming in, and we try to simulate our nonconference schedule with league play, so we have those situations, so when it comes across in conference, we're ready for it, and I thought these guys did a great job of handling the weekend, resting their bodies, staying hydrated, getting treatment and just kind of keeping their eye on the target."

Emmy Andujar on leaving the game late in the first half:
"It was just a minor sprain, I think. I've fought through it a lot, I always have. You know, I couldn't leave my team out there. I needed to be out there, they need me out here."

Masiello following up on Andujar:
"This kid is what college basketball is all about, this kid right here: What he's been through, how he handles himself. If we get 13 of him, he's a coach's dream. This kid is what I'm all about."

On second half clock management:
"Absolutely, it's something you've got to work on. You've got to pick your spots a little bit of when you're gambling, your rotations...when you have a lead, human nature is to relax a little bit, and it's very hard, so we try to play the game in four-minute wars. The last, second half, any time we have a lead, we chart the wars every four minutes, and it's something, I believe we lost two of the wars. You don't want that to happen. Then you foul, then that stops the clock, more than anything, it takes your momentum away, and now your flow to the game is gone. That's what fouling does: It takes away your hustle, your endurance, your conditioning. They rest, and now they're getting points while the clock isn't moving. So it's definitely something that we're trying to work on and get better at, you know, and what you can't have is empty possessions. We missed, I thought, some critical free throws, we shot 64 (percent) from the line tonight, where we had a couple of empty possessions. We came down on one-for-twos, they had a three-point play, that's how teams get back in the game. Give Fordham credit, they didn't go away, you know? They battled all night for 40 minutes. I thought Tom made a phenomenal adjustment going small in the second half and extending our zone a little bit."

On playing Fordham at Barclays Center instead of Rose Hill Gym or Draddy Gymnasium:
"I'm taking nothing away from the night we played, I think this was originally supposed to be a Saturday night or Sunday night game, I can't remember. I loved it here, I thought it was great. I'll go play at Rucker, it doesn't matter to me. It's really, the venue's more about the fans and the alumni, what they like. I don't care where we play. What I want to do is get more brand recognition for this rivalry. I think it's one of the best rivalries in college basketball, I really do. It has so much history and tradition. We've got to make it bigger than just the Bronx, so it's kind of perfect that Manhattan College isn't in Manhattan and the Battle of the Bronx is in Brooklyn, so it kind of works out well."

1 comment:

  1. The Battle of the Bronx belongs in the Bronx.