Florida vs. GeorgetownMarch 24, 2006

53-57

An interview with:

FLORIDA GATORS

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Florida head coach Billy Donovan, student athletes, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Joakim Noah.
COACH DONOVAN: I think coming into this game a lot was made about maybe contrasting styles, so to speak, because Georgetown really does a terrific job in their half-court offense making you defend.
We played a team in Vanderbilt that has a lot of similarities, but certainly that probably helped us, but I thought we defended their action and their offense about as well as we can defend it for a 40-minute game with as much time as they took off the clock, both from the field and from the three-point line.
I have to give Georgetown a lot of credit. They did a good job defensively. I thought we had some looks coming in and around the basket. We got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it. We got it to Joe and he had a pretty decent look. We crashed the backboard and Corey made a great job at the end of the game getting fouled and being able to make it.
During a tournament all the games are kind of like this. We were very, very fortunate to win. It could have gone either way.
I think the Georgetown kids played a great game, they played very hard and, again, I think Al's free throws at the end and Corey's play helped. I am just excited about the opportunity for these guys to be able to move on again.
THE MODERATOR: We will take questions for the student athletes.
COACH DONOVAN: Is anybody getting the story in, by the way?

Q. Corey, can you talk about the play and exactly what -- you seemed like you got inside, two guys on each side, what you were trying to do and what you did.
COREY BREWER: Al tipped the ball off the offensive rebound and came right to me. I was driving and I really didn't see the guy behind me. I tried to spin. When I spun, I split em, and I threw it up and it went in.

Q. Joe, you kind of set the tone in the second half. You blocked two shots there right at the beginning of the second half, and that just seemed to get you guys motivated and playing a lot more with energy. Can you talk about that?
JOAKIM NOAH: First of all, I want to thank Corey Brewer for saving my butt because I missed a wide-open one at the end. He gave me a great pass and I missed it, and that could have really lost the game.
The game, at this time it really comes down to a couple possessions. They banked in a jumper and Corey's play, I mean, not to say anything about Corey, but a lot of love comes into making shots like that. I want to thank Corey for making it. We have to move on to the next opponent. It's a great feeling, but we have to be ready for the battle and just be physically and mentally ready for a greater opponent, Villanova.

Q. For any of you three guys, were you nervous coming down the stretch there? Did you think oh, no, this could be the end or does that stay out of your mind in those situations?
COREY BREWER: The only time I was nervous was on the last play when I tripped and fell and, in my mind, I seen the guy hit the 3, but luckily it came off. That's the only time I was nervous on the stretch and my heart was in my mouth.
TAUREAN GREEN: We were on edge down the stretch of the game.
JOAKIM NOAH: Thank you, Taurean Green.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys. You can take off, go back to the locker room.

Q. Billy, when you went to the three-quarter court press, was that about tempo, trying to increase tempo? What were your thoughts there?
COACH DONOVAN: Well, they shot the ball well, pretty well in the first half behind the three-point line. What I tried to do is shorten their amount of time that we had to guard their half-court offense.
If you allow them to flow over, and there's 28 seconds or 29 seconds on the shot-clock, that's how long you have to guard their offense for. What I tried to do is maybe chew up some time in the back court where they had to work the ball to get down the floor and maybe guard their offense for 21, 22 seconds.
I was really impressed with our guys. We got beat on two backdoors the entire game, but -- and sometimes when you get beat backdoor against them, it's a loud play because it looks so obvious, there is no one at the basket.
We had to guard 150 backdoors tonight, probably, and we did a real nice job taking that part away. The two things we wanted to try to do was shorten their amount of time they could run offense. I don't know if you can take them out of their offense. It is too hard. They are too good at it. That was one.
The other thing we tried to do, we talked about, were no lay-ups and no 3-point shots. Try to make them take challenged contested twos. As Corey said, I don't know if it was luck or whatever, maybe we were up one. They banked one in. Corey threw up a lucky play.
Sometimes it's crazy what these games come down to. It is a play here, a bounce of the ball there. I have been on both sides of it. You know, our guys just, defensively, that's what we tried to do, is take away the 2s and the 3s -- lay-ups and 3s, I should say.

Q. Billy, you guys had far more energy at the start of the second half than you started the game with. What did you tell them at the half? What adjustment did you want to make to start the game in the second half?
COACH DONOVAN: Well, I was really disappointed at the way we came out to start the game. I don't know what it was. It's the first time that any of the guys on our team have been to this point. I don't want to say we looked -- we almost looked like we were phased a little bit.
I just didn't like the way we came out and played. I think once we got to the half, I felt like we settled back and we got back to playing the way we normally have played all year long.
And that being said, you know, we were down 2. I think we took a 5- or 6-point lead, and it went back and forth. It was anybody's game. Our guys just tried to get them going.
They are pretty competitive kids and they want to win, and they play hard and unselfishly. I think they realized that our lack of performance in the first half, Georgetown certainly contributed to that. I also think we contributed to it, as well.

Q. Billy, can you talk about the job Al did on Hibbert? I think Hibbert had 10 points. Al blocked a couple of his shots late in the game.
COACH DONOVAN: John has done a great job with him because he continues to get better. I was hopeful offensively we could drag him away from the basket. He did a terrific job even defensively because they were switching pick and rolls uptown. He was guarding Taurean Green and he did a great job of kind of keeping Taurean at bay and faking at him.
Even low-post he got it deep a couple times where he is just so big and enormous. Al and those guys, I thought, did a good job of making him work. We didn't give him "easy baskets."
That's a guy you worry about 7'2", he seals you up and lays it in, him having to guard our pick and rolls and post up against those guys every possession down. He is hard to guard when he gets it there. He is great, physical, has a great touch. I thought they battled.

Q. Also Al blocking a 7'2" guy's shot, does that surprise you?
COACH DONOVAN: I would say that Roy, just watching him on tape, I wouldn't consider him a guy that is using his athleticism, so to speak, to jump over the top of people and dunk it. He is really very good on his feet. He does a great job of creating angles.
I think for Al there was a couple plays -- not to take anything away from Al -- where he kind of brought it back into him a little bit, and the shots weren't well above the rim, that he was able to get a piece of it. Al is pretty good when he gets a little distance off a guy guarding him, he has good timing in terms of blocking shots.

Q. Billy, could you talk about your emotions down one season on the line, Corey Brewer driving to the basket, what goes through your mind in a moment like that.
COACH DONOVAN: To be honest about it, I didn't think about it that way. I think about what we have to do to try to win the game. We came out of the time-out and I really felt like we got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it. We got it to Joakim about 4 or 4 feet from the basket.
For whatever reason, he didn't make it. Al did a great job keeping it alive. I thought about possibly calling time-out right there. It was a scramble situation. I thought there was a couple fouls that maybe could have been called as the play was unfolding, Joe went up and Al went up. We attacked the basket, which was good, and the guy obviously grabbed Corey's arm.
I can't sit there and say this could be it, we are down 1. It really came down to two lucky plays. They banked one and Corey threw one up and got fouled.
Then at the end of the game there, I think they had a pretty decent look at a 3-point shot, but Corey Brewer fell down, tripped over the guy.
You talk about all the stuff, people want to create a lot of things. Sometimes when the kids are playing the game so much is out of your control. I even go back to the SEC tournament that we beat South Carolina. If Corey Brewer doesn't shoot an air ball in the running drive, and it hits the rim, it goes into overtime. He tips it in, sometimes there are things that are out of your control in games.

Q. Taurean had a tough stretch near the end of the half where he was out of control. What did you say to him in half time? He certainly played more under control in the second half.
COACH DONOVAN: I was upset because there were three or four possessions right in a row that he took a couple low-post shots, turned it over, wasn't reading what Georgetown was doing defensively. Taurean is a competitor. The one thing that is good about these kids, I have coached guys, probably a lot of coaches have, where when guys, it's not going well for them, or the coach gets on them, they pout, they go into the jar and it is like you have to baby them to get them back.
When I go after these guys in terms of challenging them, they take it on, and Taurean in particular, because I am about as hard on him as I am any of the guys. He takes it on, which I have always respected about him.
You know, if you look at the first possession the second half, he comes off that pick roll, and it's like great confidence and he shoots it with confidence. He is not tentative, coach is on me.
I love that about this team. We have highly competitive guys that take on the challenge when we try to get them. I think we try to challenge them in the locker room at half time that we can at least play better. We didn't play great the first half. Georgetown contributed, they did a great job defensively. I think everybody knows they are a hard team to guard on the offensive end of the floor.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports.... thank you. 2006 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball -- Minneapolis Regional
Friday, March 24, 2006
Florida (30-6) 57, Georgetown (23-10) 53 -- Postgame Notes -- This is the fourth time Florida and Georgetown have met, with the series now tied at 2-2. The teams last met on Nov. 24, 1999 at the Maui Invitational, with Florida winning 72-62. This is the first time the teams have met in NCAA tournament play and second postseason meeting. The teams met in the NIT in 1998, with Georgetown winning 71-69. The series began in 1990.
-- This is Floridas 13th appearance all-time in NCAA tournament and fifth appearance in the Sweet 16. Florida is now 20-12 all-time in NCAA tournament games, 3-2 in regional semifinal games, and 4-2 against Big East teams in NCAA tournament games.
-- This is Georgetowns 23rd appearance all-time in NCAA tournament and 10th appearance in the Sweet 16, and are 7-3 all-time in regional semifinal games, and are 40-22 all-time in NCAA tournament games.
-- Florida coach Billy Donovan is making his eighth NCAA tournament appearance (third time in the Sweet 16) and is 13-7 in NCAA games. Donovan is now 2-1 all-time against Georgetown.
-- Georgetown coach John Thompson III is making his third NCAA tournament appearance as a head coach (once at Georgetown and twice at Princeton) and is now 2-3 in NCAA games. Fridays game was his first-ever against Florida.
-- It is Georgetowns first-ever game played in Minnesota. The Hoyas have played Minnesota three times, twice in the NIT at Madison Square Garden in New York (1993, 2003) and once in the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic (2000).
-- It is Floridas second appearance all-time in Minnesota and first game at the Metrodome. Florida lost 74-66 to Minnesota on March 17, 1993 in an NIT game at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
-- Florida is now 8-0 in neutral-site games this season, while Georgetown is 5-2 in neutral-site games.
-- Floridas 30 victories now sets a new school single-season win record, breaking the record originally set in 1993-94 (29-8).
-- Florida is 6-0 in games played on Fridays this season, 8-0 in March games (breaking the school record for most March wins, set in 1994), and 23-2 when wearing their white uniforms.
-- Florida is 10-3 when not controlling the opening tap and 8-2 when its opponents score first.
-- Floridas starting lineup of Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford, Lee Humphrey and Taurean Green is making its 26th appearance, and is 23-3 this season.
-- It is the fourth time this season that Florida has been held under 30 points in the first half (first-half low was 23 points against South Carolina on Jan. 25). Florida is now 3-1 in those games.
-- Georgetown is 18-6 when leading at halftime. The Hoyas led Florida 30-28 at halftime. Florida is 6-3 when trailing at halftime.
-- The 58 points is second-lowest for Florida this season. Florida had 49 points in a 49-47 win over South Carolina on March 12.
-- Georgetown is now 6-2 in games decided by four points or less, while Florida is 3-3 in those games.
-- It is the first time that a Florida game has been tied with five minutes remaining.
-- Florida is now 9-5 when being outrebounded this season. Georgetown outrebounded Florida 32-31.
-- In all 30 Florida wins this season, the Gators have held their opponents to under 50-percent shooting from the field.
-- Georgetowns 23.8 percentage from three-point range (5-for-21) tied its second-lowest percentage of the year.
-- Florida forward Joakim Noahs technical fall at 10:23 of the first half is his first of the season and the teams seventh technical foul.
-- Georgetown forward Brandon Bowman moved into 12th place on the schools career scoring list, passing Allen Iverson. He now has 1,548 career points.
-- With 15 points, Georgetown forward Jeff Green scored in double figures for the 22nd time this season and 43rd time in his career.
-- With 12 points, Georgetown guard Ashanti Cook scored in double figures for the 19th time this season and 54th time in his career.
-- With 10 points, Georgetown center Roy Hibbert scored in double figures for the 18th time this season and 25th time in his career.
-- The teams were a combined 11-for-11 at the free-throw line in the first half; Georgetown was 5-for-5 and Florida was 6-for-6.
-- Florida is now 23-6 when three or more players score in double figures.
-- With 15 points and 10 rebounds, Florida forward Joakim Noah has now scored in double figures 28 times this season (31 in his career) and his third-straight double-figure scoring effort. It is the 10th time that Noah has scored the first points of the game and fifth time this season that Floridas first points of the game have come on a dunk.
-- Joakim Noah claimed his sixth double-double of the season (and sixth of his career).
-- Joakim Noahs five blocked shots gives him 99 for his career, eighth-most in school history.
-- With 13 points, it is the 23rd time this year that Florida guard Taurean Green has scored in double figures, his first time in the NCAA tournament and his 24th double-figure scoring game of his career.
-- With 12 points, it is the 26th time this season that Florida center Al Horford has scored in double figures and his third-straight double-figure scoring game. It is the 31st time he has scored in double figures in his career.