Saturday, December 10, 2016

Manhattan 60, Fordham 53: Quotes From Masiello, Turner & Crawford

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello's opening statement:
"Well, this is a great win for our program. We were on a four-game losing streak and two of them were just devastating heartbreakers. We needed a win, and any time you can beat a rival like Fordham, it means a lot. This win is for our president, Dr. (Brennan) O'Donnell, for (athletic director) Marianne Reilly, two Fordham people who are now with us here at Manhattan and lead our ship. We wanted to make sure they had bragging rights at the next Arthur Avenue lunch, so this one's for them."

On holding Fordham to eight field goals over the final 29 minutes:
"We made two major mistakes early. Zavier Turner left a strong side rotation, and Zane Waterman did the same thing and gave up two threes on their first six field goals. Those are inexcusable mistakes. We adjusted from those, and I thought we did a good job. They hit two tough threes against us in the corner out of the press, and the rest of the way, I thought we defended very well tonight. I thought our length and our depth really helped us down the stretch, and I thought we were able to sustain holding them 6-for-29 in the second half. I thought we had fresh legs going into it, and I think it was a great win, especially to win ugly. I'm very proud of that."

On Tom Capuano and his role in the rotation:
"He's our middle linebacker. He calls every set, every bump, every rotation for us. He's getting us in all our schemes, he sees things similar to what George Beamon did. He's not playing his natural position right now, but he will be. He gives us a lot of little things that show up in a game that really don't show up in a stat sheet, and he contributes to winning."

On whether Capuano's role is similar to Donovan Kates during Manhattan's two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships:
"Similar. His is probably bigger than Donovan's, I would even say."

On Manhattan's defense:
"We played very well defensively at Morgan State. I think we held them to 39 percent. We played very well defensively against Canisius. What happens with us right now, because this is Zavier Turner's tenth game; he didn't play last year, Sammy Usilo, Aaron Walker, Na'Quan Council, I could go on and on. When we miss some shots and have a couple of bad plays, we deflate. What we've been working on is just keeping our energy where it needs to be, because our offense will come. That, if you're betting against us, you better know what you're doing because we'll figure that out. We always have. Right now for us, it's just defend, defend, defend, defend, defend and don't worry about the offense right now. It will come. We will get that part. I have great faith in this personnel, I have great faith in this team. I know what we'll be as long as we stay healthy."

Calvin Crawford on Zavier Turner:
"He leads all of our guys on the court, all the guys on the bench. He has the ball the majority of the time, he calls the sets, he's our leader, he's our point guard. He does a lot for us. He probably has the ball until maybe ten seconds left on the shot clock, then he has to make a play for us or himself. He does a lot for us."

Masiello on the tradition of the Battle of the Bronx:
"I think we have the best crowd in New York. I'll put our crowd at Draddy against anybody. When this place gets rocking, it's the real deal. We're passionate at Manhattan, we're proud. We've got a lot of great stuff here: Engineering, academics, alumni. This is a special thing and when we get a chance to show you what we've got, we're gonna put our chest out a little bit. We have phenomenal alumni, we have the best student section in New York; you heard them tonight, they were there. Tonight was a great college basketball atmosphere anywhere, I don't care where it was. Today, it just happened to be in Riverdale. Today was special for Manhattan, and we know what this means. For us, it's another game on the schedule, and I say that with no disrespect. We prepare for Fordham the same way like we do Saint Peter's, but we know what this means for our alumni and that means something to us. That's important for us. We know what this means for our administration. That's important to us, so we want to make sure we put our best brand out when these days happen."

Zavier Turner on tonight's atmosphere and his performance:
"You guys don't even understand how I was feeling before the game, but like Coach said, we have one of the best crowds in New York. We have a lot of supporters and it's so much fun playing with the group of guys that we have, playing for Coach Mas, because like we were saying earlier in the huddle, we really have a brotherhood. It's not just a team. We have a brand, and we're protecting this brand. This right here, (the Doc Johnson Most Valuable Player award) this don't belong to me. This belongs to them, this belongs to Coach Mas. I'm just out here playing for the next person. I'm playing for him, so this game right here, hopefully this is a turnaround for us and we get rolling."

Crawford on his role as sixth man:
"I don't care about starting whatsoever. I actually prefer coming off the bench, because I could kind of read stuff from the bench and come in and provide energy, defense, rebounding. Whatever Coach or the team needs me to do that may be lacking from the starters, I just come off the bench and play my hardest for the guys on the court."

Crawford on his block of Nemanja Zarkovic's three-pointer in the final seconds:
"With that little bit of time, we were saying 'no threes.' Coach always preaches 'run them off the line,' so I was just running to challenge the shot because I got caught leaving the strong side for a second. I was trying to run him off the line, and I got lucky enough to get a piece of it."

Turner on the difference in Manhattan since the beginning of the season:
"I feel like everybody is still kind of finding themselves. Everybody on our team here, we have a talented team. We've got so many people that could score in bunches. In the first half, things were going my way. The second half, Calvin stepped up, Zane stepped up, Capuano stepped up. When we get everything, when we click as a team the whole game, we're going to be a problem. That's all I have to say."

Masiello on Turner's growth and Tyler Wilson's leadership:
"Tyler Wilson is a guy, when you look at his stat line; you see 1-for-2, 24 minutes, two rebounds, three turnovers, one assist, yet he wins the game for you. He comes up with an unbelievable charge, puts constant pressure on the defense, knows every rotation inside and out. We believe our sum, our collective, our whole is better than the part; and when we're together, it's a special thing. Tyler has done a great job, a better job in the last week of really leading, even leading me."

"Truth be told, after Morgan State, him (Turner) and I, he was in a bad way with me. This wasn't going to be good for him, and he knows that. He wasn't playing tonight, and Tyler came to me and we had a talk, I respect Tyler. It had nothing to do with his play. He's got to learn to lead this organization every day: On the court, off the court, what we do, how we talk, what we wear. He's responsible for that, and that's something we spoke about when he transferred here, and that's why he transferred here. If he's not going to do it, then he could go back to where he came from. But I don't think he's been told 'no' a lot in his life, and I'm telling him no. We're going to butt heads, but I love him, I've got his back and I'm going to go to war with him. When it's all said and done and we get it, we're going to be just fine. Tyler Wilson sets the tone for Zavier Turner. RaShawn Stores did that for him. It's a brotherhood, just pass it down." 

"I'm happy, win or lose tonight. I was very happy with our product, because we had great grit. We had phenomenal, phenomenal, blue-collar grit. If we have that, we're going to be fine. All our teams have had that. We'll be fine."

On the second-half incident that resulted in offsetting technical fouls:
Masiello: "I have a lot of respect for Coach Neubauer, a ton. I think he does a great job. I thought something happened with him and one of our guys, and I didn't like that. It was a double technical on both of us, and that's fine."
Turner: "We rallied. When things go bad, that's one thing we instill in this program. When things go bad, it lifts us up even more. We get a turnover, we lift up on defense. I feel like that brought more energy to our team and it kept us in tune to the game."

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