Sunday, March 23, 2008

Postgame press conference transcript


COACH McKILLOP: Clearly another signature victory for our program, and against a tremendous basketball team. They played great defense the entire game. They were magnificent in the way they executed their system and their discipline of their system. I credit John Thompson for really making an impact on Georgetown with the way he's built his system with some great, great talent.
But I think our system is pretty darned good, too, and the catalyst of our system, sitting right here, Jason, and Steph, and just to be able to share this moment with so many fans and so many former players and so many alums, but most importantly with our players and our families is one of the most special moments I've ever had in sport.

Q. Clearly the other day you had one of those unbelievable performances, particularly in the second half and today it seemed like a total team effort.
STEPHEN CURRY: Definitely. First half, I made two points and they were swamping me everywhere I went and Jason Richards took advantage of that and came out of transition, came to the basket, took a foul, got to the free throw line and broke the momentum a little bit. Our guys did a heck of a job with their big guys, getting into foul trouble and just controlling the boards. So just from top to bottom, everybody performed their part and we came out with the win.

Q. Talk about the run, and you guy the were down, I don't know what it was, 16 or 17, and if you could each pick out a moment or two you thought was very important during that run.
JASON RICHARDS: I remember being in the huddle, I forget what time it was, we were down 16 and Coached asked us if we were having fun and got us smiling a little bit and got our focus off of where we were and came out and got some great stops and this kid starting getting on fire like he did the other day and when he does, it's tough to stop him.
I don't know if there was a significant point but just a total team effort getting stops and just finding Steph on the offensive end.
STEPHEN CURRY: I would say when we just started getting defensive stops overall. I don't think there's one point. I think we got a key foul -- they got a time-out on an in-bounds play where they couldn't get the ball in and just breaking their momentum like that and just getting stops and getting in the transition game and guys finished down low when we fed them the ball and I hit some outside shots and Jay took some drives and got to the basket.
All aspects of the game, we competed.

Q. When you hit the 3 and were fouled, after that, did you just kind of have that feeling inside that everything was going to go?
STEPHEN CURRY: I try to have that feeling every time I shoot the ball. You don't want to shoot not to miss; you want to shoot to make it.
But that was one of the first ones went in for me during the game, so definitely that got some confidence. That's just a testament to our transition game because we were struggling in the halfcourt and that was a key for us get out in the open court and make plays and our defense made that happen for us.

Q. Where did the scoop layup come from?
STEPHEN CURRY: I guess I was always short growing up, so I had to figure out a way to get to the basket and that kind of came back today.

Q. Talk about the job Jeremiah Rivers was doing defensively, and you seemed to be getting frustrated the first half and again for the second game in a row, you just seemed to be building off of -- coming from behind, a 15-point deficit here in the second half and your shots started to fall.
STEPHEN CURRY: Well, we've been working on endurance and playing for 40 minutes, so he did a great job in the first half of chasing me around screens, and like I said, I was just going to be patient and not force the issue, because I have total confidence in my teammates to make plays, and so that showed in the first half.
But second half, I just got some great screens from big guys and Jason found me in open spots. I just had a lot of confidence to shoot it. I think he did a great job for the whole game. The whole team did a great job of defending us as a whole.

Q. Do you think Georgetown misjudged you at all after the first half? Do you think they thought they had you?
STEPHEN CURRY: I thought it was pretty balanced from half to half the way they defended us, and I guess me individually.
But I just wanted to keep running and just keep cutting and getting stops, like I said, because the first half was more halfcourt oriented, and the second half, we got stops and rebounds and open court plays.
But their defensive effort was pretty consistent the whole game.

Q. I believe at one point in the second half they were hitting over 70 percent of their shots from the field, and that's right when you guys started getting down pretty good. Was there ever a sense that you just might not be able to win this game?
JASON RICHARDS: Never. That thought never crossed our mind. Being an individual basketball player, you can never think about that. We stayed focused, stuck to our system, and I mean like I said before, you can't think you're not going to win the game, to fight the full 40 minutes and that's what we did. Fortunately we came out on top.

Q. Have you ever had a rougher first 25 minutes and why, and then what ignited it? Have you ever been hotter late? I guess you have a couple days ago.
STEPHEN CURRY: I had a couple games like that earlier in the season, Elon, I can't remember the other one. Wasn't unfamiliar to me. Like I said if I didn't have confidence in my teammates, I would have got down on myself and forced the issue and forced bad shots but that's not the case. We stayed in the game the first half and then stuck to our system in the second half and I got shots and kind of worked out for us.

Q. How much did the crowd drive you guys?
STEPHEN CURRY: They were big for us, when we were down, I don't know what the biggest deficit was in the second half but when we started making a comeback, you could definitely feel the noise and the involvement from the crowd, so we definitely fed off of them a little bit and just wanted to keep it going and keep them in it and keep the runs going.
JASON RICHARDS: To add to that when we heard the whole stadium thinking, "Sweet Carolina," that's kind of our theme song, hearing all the Davidson fans and people who are not Davidson fans cheering for us, it was definitely a lot of fun out there.

Q. Did you feel any less pressure going into this game? Obviously you try not to have pressure but was there less in the Gonzaga game than this one?
STEPHEN CURRY: This being the first game against Gonzaga, there was a lot of attention, just being the first game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. So once we got the butterflies out and all that, I think we kind of relaxed and played our game and that flowed into this game.
We got down early but our confidence in our system and our defense really helped us to force that comeback and so I think it was -- once the first half is over in the Gonzaga game, I think we kind of broke loose and played our game.

Q. With nine and a half to go, he hit a three that brought you to win four, and Georgetown called a time-out, and you two looked at each other and laughed and you gave him a hug and you said something to him that sort of seemed like it was going to come. Do you remember that, and what did you say?
JASON RICHARDS: Steph is a great shooter and I know his shots were not falling early. I just said stick with it because shooters don't pass up shots and he kept firing and, just said, if you can't smile in the tournament, then something's wrong with you, and that got him to smile finally, and I think that really got him going.

Q. Where did the "Sweet Caroline" come from? Do you know the words?
JASON RICHARDS: We definitely know the words. The whole school knows the word. There was a guy who works in the sports marketing two years ago, Mark Clayton, and he actually came up with the song and he started playing it at the eight-minute Mark time-out at our home games and just kind of caught on in the last three years, it's been our theme song. It's awesome. It's a lot of fun.

Q. After both of these wins, both of you got together right after the game to do a little hand game, is that anything worth to know about?
STEPHEN CURRY: Halfway through the season Coach wanted to get our mojo back and enjoy playing in the game so after we like to celebrate a little bit. But our little handshake, Coach said that me and Jason kind of fit together like a hand in a glove, so I formed the circle as holding the glove and Jason puts his hand in it like a hand in the glove. It's kind of corny but I guess it works for us.

Q. Can you talk about where you thought the key moments were, how did you manage that comeback?
COACH McKILLOP: One of the key moments was the halftime locker room conversation, and Matt Methany, one of our assistants, used a little bit of scrutiny in terms of what we were doing, and he adjusted our pressure, our full-court pressure. We have a very subtle full-court pressure. The very slight adjustment that Matt recommended, suggested and explained just got Georgetown out of their rhythm.
Georgetown gets out of their rhythm, all of a sudden we get stops. We get stops, we get in transition, we get in transition, we learn how to take it through the net and we're getting a couple of easy baskets and it led then to a bit of confidence which fed the rest of the half.
So I think it started in the locker room at halftime.

Q. Wondering if at any times during a game when Steph puts up a shot, you actually shake your head and say why is he shooting this off-balance deep three and then maybe change your mind --
COACH McKILLOP: I have never had that feeling this year with Steph Curry, absolutely never. In fact, I did shake my head when he took that shot where he drew the two-shot foul and then he threw it up and it almost went in right in front of our bench. I did shake my head on that one, not because it was a bad shot but the IQ that he had to get that off at that point; and it almost went in. That three-pointer he made where he used that ball screen and he had the two guys right on top of him, what an incredible shot.

Q. You talked about now getting two signature wins for your program in this tournament. At what point do you start to let your thoughts drift that this tournament would be more than signature wins for your team?
COACH McKILLOP: I'm numb right now, so I can't really address that.
Beating Gonzaga, which is a program that is one of the elite programs of the last ten years; beating Georgetown which is one of the legendary programs and of course being a New York guy and knowing the battles between St. John's and Georgetown back in the late 80s, it means a lot to me and I think it means a lot to our players; we watched tape on Georgetown and saw how good they were and we beat a really, really good team today.

Q. I wanted to ask you, what was your plan on Roy Hibbert, and if you would have looked at the box score, at the end of the game and see they was only held to six points and one rebound, would you ever have figured that?
COACH McKILLOP: Our plan was the way our defense has been all year, you've got to remember, we played against Kevin Love and Tyler Hansbrough, two of the great centers in the country and Roy is another one of those great centers, so we have had experience playing against the great centers.
And it does not surprise me the way they played in the game today. We have guys that really appreciate and understand and value and accept their roles. Thomas Sander is the consummate guy in terms of understanding that.

Q. You were asked the other day in here about opportunities to move to bigger programs, and your summation was that the longer you stayed, the deeper the roots are. Did you ever think, though, that this moment would never come for you, and if so -- I know you said you're numb, but what does it mean for you personally?
COACH McKILLOP: I'm a dreamer and I've been a dreamer my whole life. And for me to not think that we could get to this moment would be selling myself and the people who are behind me short.
Do you know what I used as our pre-game talk? Just so you know that I don't toot my horn, I was cut from the 1972 Philadelphia 76ers, and that team was 9-72, and so I was cut from the worst team in NBA history, so there's a little bit of a caveat about that.
But when I went to training camp with the Sixers, I got on the elevator in Scranton, Pennsylvania and as I got on the elevator to go to the first workout, some guy got on the elevator who was competing for my position, telling me he was going to beat me up, do this, do that.
We went to the first practice and I was a point guard, and the ball went through the net and no big guy took it out; they all ran down the court. So I took the ball out, passed it in, came up the court, passed it, they shot, I ran back down the court. Ball goes in the net, I took it out, brought it back up court, threw it in; I was the take-out man. I was just happy to be there.
And I made sure our players understood, we are not just happy to be here. We are not going to be take-out men. We are going to make sure nothing intimidates us and we are going to go out there and play and play to win and that's what our guys did.

Q. On Curry's recruiting, were you other ACC schools were not after him and were you secretly hoping that somebody at the end doesn't jump in and offer him?
COACH McKILLOP: Once he made his commitment to come to Davidson College, his word is his bond and the word of his family is their bond. There's no quote, unquote, crap terminology in today's world of debate commitment. A commitment is a commitment; he makes a commitment; he's coming. So I have no doubt that once he said Davidson, he was going to Davidson.
I was surprised, but I also understood that he did not have the body that most ACC programs, SEC programs are looking for. He did look a little frail. He did look very young for his age, and in many cases they would hope that he go to prep school for a year or go and redshirt for a year. So I wasn't puzzled by that. I understood what their thinking was.

Q. When did he commit to you?
COACH McKILLOP: In October of 2006 -- 2005 maybe. 2005.

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