Saturday, January 7, 2017

Kevin Willard quotebook: DePaul postgame

On what helped Seton Hall overcome a slow start:
"I think it's that we're trying to play different combos in the first half, and sometimes I think our combinations slow us down a little bit. I think I'm a little better at playing that second unit all together, they're used to playing with each other. I thought we came out in the second half with very good defensive intensity. We got some easy buckets and passed the ball much better than we have the last three or four games."

On Desi Rodriguez and his performance:
"It was good. He got two post-ups and he got easy buckets, and I think that really kind of got him going, where some games in the past, he's missed a three to start. I think the two easy looks Angel (Delgado) gave to him on the post-ups really kind of just got his motor going, and obviously when he makes one, he sees one go in, he'll start firing. I thought he played tremendously, and he also played very good defensively."

On defending DePaul's Billy Garrett Jr.:
"For the most part, Billy gets to the free throw line for them, that's really who gets to the free throw line, he leads the country in free throws taken. I think the big thing was we were going to give him some jump shots and give him some mid-range shots instead of letting him get all the way to the rim, where he gets fouled a lot. That was really our concentration. Everybody else kind of gets their fouls off Billy, so our biggest thing was trying to make Billy a jump shooter; which he still did a great job of, but also limit those fouls."

On Seton Hall's ball movement and Delgado passing out of double-teams:
"We had a good week of practice where we really talked about doing a little less one-on-one in transition and being a little more simple, even Angel making the simpler passes out of double-teams, looking for the right guys. I thought we had a very effective week of practicing on offense. We didn't spend as much time on defense, we spent more time on offense."

On facing an upcoming three-game road trip:
"We talked about it after the game on Sunday. There's no difference whether you're playing DePaul or Villanova. Conference games all weigh the same, so you can't not look at one team differently than the other team, because each win is equal to each other. It's a good thing about having some older guys, and even Madison (Jones) has been great that way about them understanding conference play, and that every game's pretty much a big game."

On Jevon Thomas:
"He had a hip pointer on one of the screens, and he's okay."

On playing the second unit:
"It was good to see. Actually, that second unit has been practicing really well together; Mike Nzei, Rashed, (Anthony) Myles (Powell) and Jevon and Dalton (Soffer). That team has been pushing our other team. I think that's one reason we had such a good week in practice, so it was good to see them. We're going to need them more and more, and I have a lot of confidence in all those guys, it's just sometimes when the guy in front of you is playing so well, it's tough to get them out there."

On how often Seton Hall has played three road games in six days in Willard's tenure:
"Last year might have actually been the first time we didn't have three in a row on the road, but we've gotten the short end of the stick quite a bit."

On team defense:
"I thought it was good. Again, we've actually been playing really good team defense. Our defensive numbers are a little bit skewed because we decide to pass the ball to the other team and let them score layups on us. If you take those 26 steals we had given, and they had 11 today, but if you take away out of the 26 steals where they had 15 layups, our defensive numbers are pretty solid. We've been defending pretty well all year. We're making a conscious effort not to give the ball to the other team and say 'here, go enjoy a layup,' because that really kills your defensive numbers."

On playing Marquette on a short turnaround:
"It's probably easier, just because we're going to know personnel. We're going to have, probably two days where you're worried about yourself and two days to worry about them. For Providence, it'll be a little bit tougher and for 'Nova, it's a little bit different. This is where we start getting the short end of the stick on the conference schedule, where we have seven games coming up with teams that have more preparation time. It starts at Providence and then after 'Nova, it's just one after another after another, so we have to get mentally ready for that."

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