Friday, March 9, 2018

Kevin Willard quote book: Butler

On Seton Hall's final defensive sequence and why Angel Delgado was not on the court:
"They've run the same play against us at home and on the road, they were just going to bring (Tyler) Wideman up and crack him, so Mike (Nzei) -- being a better pick-and-roll defender -- was on Wideman to try to stop (Kamar) Baldwin. Baldwin was just having his way with the pick-and-roll, so I thought Mike did a good job of challenging late, and Wideman just did a great job of following it up, tipping it."

On Desi Rodriguez, Ismael Sanogo, and their availability:
"Yeah, I thought Desi and Ish -- for two guys that are really battling injuries -- have worked hard over the last two weeks to try to get themselves in a position to be able to play. I knew Desi would probably only be able to play the first half because sitting at halftime, his foot was going to get cold. I thought both guys gave us a really good lift, especially Ish in the first half, the way he shot the basketball."

On motivation that can be taken from Thursday's game going into the NCAA Tournament:
"That's what I told the team. I said, 'Guys, you have two teams that know each other, two teams that play extremely hard.' Both teams made some great plays, all the players, I thought played -- I thought that was a typical great Big East Tournament game. I'm going to look at the positive side for it, and it's the first time we're going to have a chance to get some rest going into the NCAA Tournament. We're going to take the rest, we're going to use it to practice and get a little sharper on some things that we've been doing well at, but you've got to give them credit. I thought both teams made some great plays, and they made the last one."

On Butler's LaVall Jordan and evolution in his coaching style:
"Yeah, I think LaVall has done a remarkable job coming into the situation he came under, getting the job late. I think he's really done a good job of utilizing (Kelan) Martin, Wideman, and Kamar Baldwin. I think -- that's one thing I've noticed over the last -- from the first time we played them to now was how much more I think they've gotten involved in the offense, and they've been the focal point, but I think LaVall's done a -- the league's lucky to have him, obviously Butler's lucky to have him -- and he's done a phenomenal job."

On Rodriguez and Sanogo, and their progress in rehabbing their injuries:
"I'm much more bullish on Ish, where he is, just because Ish is used to playing with injuries -- he's had them his whole career, so he's used to playing through them -- he understands what the pain is. Desi's a different story. This is the first time Desi's ever been hurt in his career, so he's having a hard time understanding what the pain is, what he can fight through, but I think -- again -- having three or four more days off rest, I feel good about both of them going into Thursday or Friday. By the time Thursday or Friday comes, it'll be three full weeks for Desi. Getting those guys back healthy, and the way the young guys are playing, I like where we're at."

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