March 16, 2018
Q. Grayson, you guys faced Rhode Island last year. Just what have you noticed from them from that last point to now, that maybe you guys are paying more attention to from that scout?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, they're a more experienced team from then because a lot of them are still together. They have maybe five or six seniors in their top rotation, so very experienced team and they play very well together.
They're a very tough team. You know, they have a strong defensive identity in really pressuring the ball and attacking you. It makes it tough for you to run your stuff against them, because of how much they try to dictate, you know, where the ball is going.
You know, they oftentimes push your offense out past the three-point line because of how much they're contesting and how much they're pressuring the ball that you really can't get to the spots that you want.
So a very, very good half court defensive team.
Q. Yesterday was the first tournament game for so many of you guys. How valuable do you think it is now having that first game under your belt, getting a little bit of a push early on in that game and now heading into round two?
GARY TRENT, JR.: It was great. I got the jitters out just from excitement, having butterflies in my stomach, ready to play. It was a great feeling. Get a great feel for the atmosphere, the court, everything that comes with it. The media, all of this stuff is new to me and other freshmen as well. It was great. It was a humbling experience and glad I could be a part of it.
Q. For both of you guys, what has been the key to success at the defensive end of the zone for you guys? Why has it worked so well for you?
GRAYSON ALLEN: One of the most important things is making us talk and be active. Especially in the zone, you're trying to cover multiple spots. You have to be active. Your head has to be on a swivel. You have to always be looking out where guys are.
So there's no ball watching, no man watching like what can happen when they're playing man-to-man defense. The only reason for it to continue to be successful is if we stay active, stay talking, and try to get some deflections where guys can't just make straight passes and penetrate the zone easily.
E.C. MATTHEWS: He touched on all of it.
Q. This is for both of you. You're facing a team that has pretty much an experienced group, a lot of seniors on that group. Now you guys are obviously -- Grayson, you've been through this experience four times now. But what do you say when you go into a situation like that, you're facing a group that's been together basically for four years? You guys are obviously in a different situation.
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah. We're playing a very experienced group. It's a winning group. They've won a lot of basketball games together. And they're a group that expects to win, you know. They're not -- at this point in the tournament, us and Rhode Island are both 1-0, so there is no -- in our eyes, there's no favorite versus underdog. It's two tough teams against each other.
They're a more experienced team than we are, but come game time, it's going to be a fight and it's going to be a battle. And we're going to have to come out and play or else a tough team like that will just attack you and run you off the floor.
Q. Grayson, it took you guys a little time to get started last game. How much do you want a faster start this time?
GRAYSON ALLEN: I was actually proud of the way we started in a sense because I felt all of the guys came out pretty free and confident. Obviously, defensively, Iona scored a lot of points on us quickly, part of that was because they're are a dangerous offense but we had to make adjustments defensively.
I don't think guys were nervous. Everyone is taking their shots confidently. We weren't overly anxious like we could have been being a first tournament game for a lot of people. But in this game, it is important to come out both offensively and defensively and not to be knocked back by this Rhode Island team to where we're playing catch-up a few minutes into the game.
Q. Gary, you guys have a height advantage over Rhode Island, how maybe can that be used to have an advantage on 50/50 balls and create identity on the boards and glass?
GARY TRENT, JR.: Having height is in our favor. Simply crashing the boards a little bit more and getting more active. If we're able to do that and play Duke basketball, we should be able to successful. We got to go out there and play hard and play our game together.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports