Thursday, March 9, 2017

Big East Tournament quotebook: Seton Hall vs. Marquette

By Jason Guerette (@JPGuerette)

BONUS COVERAGE!

With our fearless leader Jaden Daly preoccupied at Barclays Center today with his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels, I've taken it upon myself to present the most-quotable quotes from Pirates head coach Kevin Willard and Golden Eagles head coach Steve Wojciechowski after Seton Hall beat Marquette 82-76 to advance to the Big East semifinals.

KEVIN WILLARD

...on facing top-seed Villanova in the semifinals

"It's like waking up on Christmas- you're all excited, you go down, you open up the present, and you've got a bunch of coal (laughter). No, they're a fantastic team- they really are. I think (for) Jay (Wright), this is his best job by far. I think it's his best team by far. They're balanced- I think they way (Eric) Paschall is playing is really impressive....I think they're probably the best team in the country and we're going to have to get to work and figure out a way, but we'll come battle."

...on what separates the Big East Tournament from the ACC/Big Ten/etc.

"First of all, the ACC's in Brooklyn, right? That's a different world, man. I got three guys from Brooklyn... I love my Brooklyn guys but I ain't hanging out over in Brooklyn all that much (laughter). I went back to Lincoln High School so many times over the last couple of years, I said I'm never going back to Brooklyn (more laughter)."

"I think it's great for New York that the ACC is going on at the same time. I mean, our fans are still going to come to our games. Their fans are going to come to their games... I don't see a downside. I think the last time I checked there were over eight million people in Manhattan, so I think people have plenty of options... I'm sure tomorrow night is going to be just like the Big East Final was (last year)."

...on putting Angel Delgado back in to get one more assist for a potential triple-double

"I knew he had nine (assists) for a while, but once if they had missed a couple shots and we could have been up 14-15, I would have kept him in. They were fouling anyways, but if they weren't fouling, I would have put him back in."

...on the difference in this game compared to the other two games vs Marquette this year

"I think we had a six-minute stretch in the second half where they didn't score. I thought both teams were a little sloppy in the beginning of the second half, but we were able to really defend. We made them take some tough 2s. We chased Rowsey off the line a little bit- he really hurt us. We were able to chase Howard off the line which really helped us. And I thought we shared the ball well. I thought the big fella was tremendous in making extra passes and just getting everybody involved in the offense."

...on how Angel Delgado has improved offensively

"Where he's improved dramatically is his mental approach to the offensive game... he always works hard on his offense, works hard on his 15-footer, puts the time into his post moves.

But I think what we've really tried to work with him with is understanding offense. When you get double-teamed, kick it out, that mean's they're going to scramble- you're going to get a guy driving, you're going to get an offensive rebound. His maturity has come light years, I mean light years from his freshman year where he would run around and try to make a post move. I think he's come a long way in understanding the offensive game."

STEVE WOJCIECHOWSKI

...on what made the difference in the game

"I thought we really started the game pretty well. We were moving the ball really well. We got some good looks we normally make that we didn't make, and I thought that made an impact on our decision-making offensively, later, and it impacted our defense as well."

...on facing Seton Hall in general

"They're a tough matchup for us. I'm not sure there's a more-physical team in our league, and Delgado is an absolute beast. You look at (the box score) and you say 'well, he only had 12 points' - he had nine assists. To me, he was the guy that dominated the game.


And it's not just us. It's the reason why he's first-team, all-conference. He's got to be an All-American-type player. I've been playing and coaching for 20 years- that's an All-American-caliber player right there."

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