Friday, January 12, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: Big East conference call

*All quotes courtesy of Andrew Goldstein, Marquette Wire*

On Tuesday's loss to Marquette and Saturday's upcoming matchup against Georgetown:
"Yeah, I thought -- obviously, the second game on the road -- I thought we battled really well for a good 30 minutes and then Marquette had a great run, they really passed the ball terrific the other night and we didn't have a whole lot left in the tank to try to make a second comeback. But I was proud of the way my guys really battled for most of the game and the way they approached the road trip, and now we're back home and we're facing a very, very good Georgetown team that plays extremely hard, really works the ball inside out extremely well, and I think, are defending at a very high level."

On P.J. Carlesimo and his accomplishments at Seton Hall:
"I think it's amazing. I just look at what he did to build the program, and then once he got it to a level where he took it, I think is something that's -- obviously, what we're trying to do -- but it's one of those things where you look back and probably, one of the best building jobs and the maintaining of a program any coach has ever done. His legacy, no one's ever going to surpass him and what he's done here, no coach, just because he's the one who put Seton Hall on the map, and not only did he put them on the map, but he kept them there. I think everyone that followed him has been thankful for the job that he's done."

On Seton Hall's 1993 NCAA Tournament game against Western Kentucky, a team Willard played on as a freshman:
"I remember an unbelievable battle, two really good, athletic teams going back and forth against each other, and I just remember -- obviously, I have better memories from the Western Kentucky side, but just -- that Western Kentucky team had an unbelievable toughness to it, they just weren't going to lose, and just watching a terrific basketball game."

On Marquette's defense against Angel Delgado and how to counteract opposing teams' strategies:
"I actually thought Angel played extremely well. A couple of his turnovers were -- he threw two good passes out that were just mishandled -- one on a double-team, one on just a simple kickout. I thought they did a good job of really being physical with him, and I thought Angel did a great job of being physical back, but I think a lot of post guys aren't, for some reason, getting foul calls on post moves, and I just thought they were extremely physical with him. But I still thought he played a very good game."

On what makes Marquette's Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey difficult to defend:
"Sam Hauser. The fact that Hauser doesn't get talked about a lot -- he really complements those two guards extremely well. He moves without the ball, you can help off him a little bit, those two guys find him. He's such a great shooter and he's got a great basketball sense. Obviously they run a ton of pick-and-rolls and they roll harder, but when Hauser's on the court, he just makes everybody so much better and that's so impressive, the development that he's had since last year from being; really, just a shooter, to now, he'll ball fake, he goes into the post a little bit. I think when Hauser's on the floor, it just puts so much pressure to defend them, and those two little guys do a great job of understanding where he is."

On Desi Rodriguez and what areas he is different in compared to last year:
"I think the biggest thing with Des is I think he's become a much better passer. He's got the ball in his hands a lot, I think he's really become a little bit more of an unselfish player. He is our, technically, our leading scorer, he takes the most shots on the team. He really has done a much better job this year of getting guys involved, reading double-teams, and when he comes off screens, having his head up and finding guys, and I think that's really kind of made him so much better."

On Delgado's passing skills:
"I think the fact that he's accepted the fact that, at times, teams are really going to try to take away his post-ups -- when they're doubling him as Creighton does, as St. John's does -- those are hard games. Butler did it, Marquette handled the ball fake, doubled him, came up the dribble with him. So I think he's really understanding that 90 percent of the time, he's got Khadeen, Desi and Myles Powell around him, and if he kicks it out -- off the double-team, he's got a good chance to get an offensive rebound, or he's got a good chance to get an assist, so I think he feeds it to everybody. When he's playing unselfish, everybody plays unselfish."

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