Saturday, January 20, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: Xavier

On Seton Hall's offense in the final 8-10 minutes:
"I thought they did a good job of really going big and long on us again, things that we've struggled with a little bit when teams have gone big. I thought they were big and physical. I thought we had some good looks, but you've got to give them credit. I thought they were really physical with us and really got into us."

On Angel Delgado's shot count:
"It's one thing that we've got to get back to. I thought he did a great job early in the first half of really kicking it out and getting it in there. Right now, the way teams are playing us, we've got to -- it's good that we have a bye week -- we've got to make a little bit of an adjustment because they're just not playing Ish and Mike, and they're fronting him and they're sitting behind him, and it's tough getting him the basketball. That's something that we've got to make an adjustment with."

On the atmosphere and crowd, and disappointment in not getting the win:
"It's disappointing anytime you have a home loss in this conference, just because holding home court is extremely tough because it's really hard to win on the road. I thought the crowd was great and again, I thought our energy was great, and I thought we had some opportunities, but you've got to give Macura credit. I thought J.P. really did some things down the -- really in the last four minutes -- that just swung the whole game. I thought he played phenomenal."

On foul trouble:
"Ish going out, I thought hurt us a lot. I thought Myles Cale did a good job filling in for Desi in the first half, but I thought Ish going out at the time he did really kind of took a little bit of our energy out even though Mike did a good job of just -- I thought Ish was playing -- again, Ish is playing the way he played as a sophomore. He's just playing with so much energy and so much defensive presence that we stopped getting out on the break because he wasn't out there."

On his starters, especially Delgado, playing a high amount of minutes:
"Sandro bruised his knee the other night in practice, so I tried giving him -- he did his best just getting out there, but it was really tough for him to go out there. Usually, he's at 36 or 35 anyway, and that's usually his first half minutes. But I didn't want Sandro to go out there and hurt himself, so that's kind of why with their size, I couldn't go with Mike or Ish with Ish's foul trouble that struggled."

On sensing his players wearing down:
"Definitely at the end, but I mean, (Trevon) Bluiett played 39 (minutes), Macura played 35, so those guys are playing the same minutes as our guys, but we've got to be able to fight through it, and I thought we did. We missed some free throws that, again, took some momentum out of us. We got up one and again, I thought Macura's two offensive rebounds and tipouts were really the difference that got them over the hump."

On getting Myles Powell more shots:
"Myles has to take his shots -- that's something Myles is -- I love the fact that he's driving the basketball, he's being aggressive. He's got to understand when to take shots in transition. He's got to get a couple more shots in transition and be able to feel free to take some deep ones, take some off the dribble a little bit. He's really enjoying driving the ball, which is great, but we've got to get him to shoot some in transition a little bit more because again, Macura wasn't going to leave him. You could run him off screens all you want, but you're not going to screen Macura late in the game. It's just not happening."

On a potential gut-check:
"Not at all. Every team goes through a rough stretch, and we're going through a little bit of a rough stretch. It's something that every team I've seen besides Villanova hits a little bit of a tough stretch. These guys (Xavier) lost two in a row and everybody said it's the end of that, and Creighton loses by 30 at Xavier and everyone says, 'What's wrong with them?'" You're going to hit tough stretches, especially in this conference, as good as these players are, as well-coached as they are. We've got a week to get back, and like I said, I've got total confidence in where we are. I like where we are. We've just got to get back to doing some little things."

On next week's bye week coming at an opportune time:
"I'm not sure about that. The only reason I say that is because after this, we don't have -- I think we have five of our next seven on the road. We don't have a break after this, so we're going to go -- we're 4-3 now -- we're going to go eleven straight games now, and then go into the tournament without -- everyone else seems to get a break late in February. I think it's a little early. I'd kind of liked to have played a couple more games than had a bye."

On Desi Rodriguez's response to being benched Wednesday at Creighton:
"I said it after the game: I had total confidence in Desi bouncing back. He had a great practice yesterday. I knew he'd bounce back, and I thought he bounced back great."

On needing more from the seniors:
"No, I thought all of them played phenomenally, I thought they all played hard. I thought we had some really good looks that just didn't go in, and give them credit. I thought their size and their length and their physicality kind of pushed us away from the basket."

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