Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: Providence

On Khadeen Carrington's performance:
"I think Khadeen played -- again, I think he's been playing great all year -- I just think he's struggled at times making shots. I told him yesterday in practice he has to have the same confidence in his jump shot that I do. I think it's going in every time he shoots it, and he's got to keep on shooting it. I thought he played an extremely efficient game."

On defending Kyron Cartwright, who shot 0-for-9 from the floor:
"I think he's as good a guard as there is in the league, and I think he just had a bad night. He's been playing at a very high level -- I know he's been battling an ankle sprain over the whole thing -- the way he's been playing, I thought we did a good job early of kind of making him take some tough twos. We didn't give him any open threes, which I think he's been shooting the basketball very well. But for the most part, he's a phenomenal player. I just think he had a tough night. I think that kind of goes into that every once in a while."

On playing Seton Hall's bench in the first half:
"Yeah, we talked about that, I thought they got a lot more run against DePaul. I didn't sub as much in the second half, just because we've been -- we've had two bye weeks in the last three weeks and we haven't played as many games. I wanted to make sure our guys are game sharp, considering that we have a day off and we don't play again until Sunday, but I think our bench has been productive for what they need to do. They've been very efficient on the court. I think Myles Cale has been trending in a great direction for the last five, six games."

On Seton Hall's 19-0 first-half run:
"The biggest thing, I thought, Mike Nzei's offensive rebound and kickout to Khadeen for the three really kind of got us going, and Mike gets a lot of offensive rebounds. He gets a lot of long offensive rebounds and has a tendency to kind of pivot back in and put it back up, and we talked about the last couple days of when he gets his long rebounds, to kick it back out. It was a huge play. I thought it really kind of got the crowd going and got us going."

On perimeter defense being a key to Seton Hall's game plan:
"Yeah, I think the biggest thing is we wanted to try to make it hard early on for Cartwright, try to clog up the lane as much as possible. I thought (Alpha) Diallo played phenomenal. I was really impressed with his game in person, he's really improved. It makes them hard to guard when he's playing the way he is, but really, the start of the game was to kind of take away Jalen Lindsey and make it tougher for Kyron."

On Carrington's court vision:
"Again, I think he's getting a better feel as the teams have consistently gotten good -- I mean, we've played a tough schedule, but now you're playing someone -- you're playing against guys who have prepared for you every night. I think he's done a much better job of understanding he's got to get guys involved, he's got to get off the ball early, because eventually it's going to get back into his hands at the end of the play. I think he's -- I think that's one part that he's really understanding, and something that we're working hard with him, and to his credit, he's a good student."

On Eron Gordon as Carrington's backup:
"I think the biggest things for me, at those minutes, are -- it was tough for Jordan (Walker) -- he missed so many opportunities to play against some teams that he could get more minutes and I could get comfortable for him. I just thought Eron Gordon gives us a very calming influence out there, plus his size defensively right now is a little bit better. That was the main reason he played against DePaul -- DePaul has no small guards with Eli (Cain) and those guys, (Max) Strus -- so it was more or less trying to get him -- he's got a little bit more size and he's just a little bit more simpler on offense, and that's something with the minutes those guys are getting, we need."

On Providence's size and physicality against Angel Delgado:
"Yeah, I mean, I think that's everyone's game plan, to run as many big guys as possible. I know that's what Xavier did to him. With (Kalif) Young and with the other big guy, teams are throwing two or three big guys at him at a time. I think Angel's doing a great job -- he still had 14 -- they only had eight offensive rebounds and shot 38 percent, so I thought their guards hurt us more. Diallo had four offensive rebounds. That's one of our issues that we're dealing with -- their opposing forwards, not centers, are really actually hurting us on the glass."

On being 6-3 halfway through the Big East season, and on Villanova:
"We're 6-3, so I'm pretty happy. I have no thoughts on 'Nova. I've watched them, but I have not watched them where I could tell you about them, but you could probably tell me the same thing. They're really, really, really good, I mean, really good."

On Will Cody, the 14-year-old leukemia patient and special guest of Seton Hall who sat with the Pirates on the bench:
"Will was here last year, and we decided to bring him back for the Providence game. He's doing great health-wise. I told Will after the game -- I said, 'if we keep winning, I'm going to fire Fred Hill and you can have his spot,' -- and Fred agreed. He said, 'as long as we keep winning, I'll do anything.' All the guys were excited to have Will back and kind of see how he's progressed and see that he's doing well, and I think it's important for our guys to understand there's some kids out there -- there's people dealing with some really serious, tough stuff, and being part of the team technically as Will was, it's a good experience for him and it's great for our guys. I was glad we were able to do it."

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