First Round Notes and Quotes: Memphis
First Round Notes and Quotes: Memphis vs. Ohio State Pre-gameMarch 23, 2007
COACH CALIPARI: We're excited about playing. I think the team is excited. They're really, really focused today. They know how good Ohio State is, how talented they are, how big they are, how deep they are. We're talking about a team that's won 20 straight games and won them in every conceivable way, on the road, in tough environments, down 20, I mean every possible way you could win, they won. And our guys know it. So I think they were pretty prepared today to come in and say, please give us a good plan.
Q. How do you handle Greg Oden? He's had some struggles, so he's vulnerable. But what do you think? COACH CALIPARI: I think he's very big and he's very good. And it's not just Oden, though, because you also have Conley. You have Harris, their senior, Lewis. Their back up their former point guard in Butler, experienced. I mean if you just worry about Oden you lose the game, you can't win the game. And Conley is so good getting in the lane and creating for his teammates.
Q. Coach, Coach Matta is in some regards maybe in the same spot you were in at U Massachusetts then years ago. Do you see a lot of yourself in what he's put together at Ohio State and Xavier, as well. Maybe your thoughts about him and maybe where he's gotten to in the coaching profession? COACH CALIPARI: I'm happy for him. I helped him with the Xavier Tommy Hof, the Associate AD at Ohio State, we worked together at the University of Kansas, when they were thinking about hiring a coach we talked about that. I told him you cannot go wrong hiring that guy, he's unbelievable. Thad and I go back through those times when he was at Xavier. I just look at what he's done recruiting, what he's done to coach them. The biggest thing with Thad Matta, he is so positive it's incredible. I mean he's positive. And he wants his staff to be positive. He really is on the officials all the time I'm just kidding (laughter). He's positive about how they work throughout their practice. And that upbeat style shows through with his team.
Q. I'm wondering to what extent do you think your team has been under appreciated or underrated this season? Ohio State has this winning streak, but you have won 25 in a row, and have not gotten the notoriety they have. COACH CALIPARI: We won three in a row. We're at three. Rod Strickland had a great thing he told me last night, we may be the first Cinderella two seed in the history of the tournament (laughter). There are a few people, if they pick us, that just absolutely are in the throws of impression. Because they picked the Germans in World War II, and I do not want them to pick us. What we have is a good bunch of guys that really respect each other that can count on each other. I'll point out Willie Kemp, Willie is a starting point guard on the top five team in the country as a freshman, with no pressure because if he doesn't play well or doesn't make shots or is struggling, I play Andre. Andre really struggled last game and he played great. He showed his toughness, and he's fine. We were playing Nevada and I thought I needed to play Andre in the second half. I said I'm going to start Andre, and he said I'm fine. Every one of them will do whatever it takes for us to win. If that play's somebody else, they're fine with that. If that's let somebody else shoot the ball, they're fine with that. That makes this team unique. Our style of play, the offense is a combination of European basketball and a Princeton offense. You see the back cuts and the patterns we run and all that stuff. It's a combination of those two. You must be a very smart team of players to run this stuff. It's not just drive and kick. If that's what you want to think what it is, I'm fine, let's drive and kick, then. But that's not what it is. And these guys have come together as a team and it's been kind of fun to watch.
Q. This is for Joey. Joe, you wanted them and you got them, talk about your match up with Greg Oden. JOEY DORSEY: This is a big challenge for me. I think right now I'm No. 7th in the nation of rebounding, and I don't know where Greg Oden is. I'm going to try to beat him on the offensive end, and keeping him out of the lane.
Q. Coach, there seems to be a pattern around the country of coaches, people like you, Floyd and Kruger, even out our way, you go up to the NBA for a few years and then you come back COACH CALIPARI: You get fired, say it, you get fired. Say it.
Q. You turn these programs around really quickly. COACH CALIPARI: Ours wasn't really quickly. This is our, what year, 7th year. I've been here when we were at U Massachusetts, I was there eight and it was year five, six, seven, really six, seven, eight that we got it going. Here it's the last two years. So it takes five years. It takes a long time. Here's what happens, when I was in the NBA, I was a college coach. Now I'm in college, I'm an NBA coach. It's the craziest thing, I don't understand it. He coaches like he's in the NBA. And so obviously it helps us recruit. These guys love playing the style that we're playing. And I'll be honest with you, it was a great experience for me. Pro basketball is about spacing. College basketball is about moving, screening. Pro basketball is spacing. We've kind of combined the two in how we play.
Q. You were in this position last year, John, and the team went out and played a game that I don't think you thought you'd see out of them. What the heck happened then? This group seems utterly undaunted. Can you imagine them coming out like that? COACH CALIPARI: It could happen. But last year, my last life we went to the Elite 8 and lost to Oklahoma State and Big Country and those guys and went back and expected to win and played Georgetown. They had this kid, this little guy, Iverson, and four NBA players. But we expected to win. I don't know if we're going to win, but these guys, they've all been here except this kid. They were all in the Elite 8 last year. And so the next year we go to the Final Four, but we didn't expect to you know what I mean? You need to be there and you need to experience it and then you understand it's just a ballgame. You treat it like it's a scrimmage and you're better off. But these guys, you know, again, they understand. We have enough guys returning from last year's team. And we went 0 15. We could have shot hooks and went one for 15 from the three point line. We were 0 15.
Q. Coach, Ron Lewis said one of the reasons he thought he's been playing so well lately is because he thinks that maybe he's flown under the radar a little bit. COACH CALIPARI: Not with us.
Q. What do you think about him and also COACH CALIPARI: Unbelievable.
Q. Do you defend him like you did Lofton or different? COACH CALIPARI: Not Lofton. Lofton got about 67 on us, so let's hope not. I think you have to guard him like Carter, except that he'll put it on the floor and try to go to the rim and probably is better off the bounce than Carter. But he's the same with Carter, we knew if if you watched that game last night, the time I went absolutely nuts and dropped the clipboard and spun in the air, we left Carter. We were not going to leave Carter, when he went to get a drink, we went with him. When he went to the time out, we went to half court to make sure he was going for time out. We weren't leaving him. Lewis, you better play him the same way, but it's harder, because the other guys, you have to help them a little bit. They're a challenge?
Q. You and Oden kind of had foul trouble yesterday. Are you hoping the refs drop the whistles and let you do some banging tomorrow? JOEY DORSEY: That game yesterday was crazy. I think the guys, they fell asleep in the paint yesterday. They got in the paint and they stayed in there for about eight seconds. One time I complained to the refs, can I get a three second call. And he said no (laughter). I said I'm I think it's going to be like David and Goliath. I hope it's a good rebounding game against me and him.
Q. Do you think maybe we're making a bit too much about Oden, maybe he's a bit over rated. Do you think he's ready for the NBA? JOEY DORSEY: He's an excellent player. He's a good shot blocker, he's a great rebounder, he needs to work on his offense a little bit. He's a great player.
Q. You've talked about guys on this team playing their roles and being good in their roles. What about the leadership roles, can you address that? COACH CALIPARI: They're tremendous. And it's been leadership by committee. It's been a lot of leadership from a lot of different guys. And it's kind of like instead of the Buffalo mentality of Buffalo and if the Buffalo goes off the cliff everybody follows, this is kind of like the geese. One stays for while, it may be Chris Douglas, maybe it's Joey, maybe it's Andre, maybe it's Willie, we've just had a bunch of guys lead us at certain times. And that's why we've been able to string a lot of games together, because it's always been somebody if someone struggled, someone else picked up the metal. Antonio would do it, and they kind of covered for each other.
Q. The fact Oden has nine fouls in his last few games, does that give you reason that you can get him in foul trouble again. And secondly, have you noticed NCAA Tournament games being called any differently than regular season? COACH CALIPARI: I thought yesterday's game was called pretty good under the circumstances, because that was a rough game. I thought the officials never lost control of the game. That's the most important thing. So if you asked me yesterday, as physical as it was inside, Robert was in foul trouble, Joey was in foul trouble, I still thought they controlled the game pretty good. But you cannot coach a game to try to get a guy in foul trouble, because you'll lose the game.
Q. Why? COACH CALIPARI: Anytime I've ever done it, the guy has three, let's get his fourth foul, go at him. And they stop us, and now we're down 12. I may tell the guy guarding him, ball fake him, lead him, but I don't like doing that.
Q. You talked about Kemp persevering after the conference realigned. Was there a moment of dread or a moment of where do we go? Have you had to do anything differently as far as scheduling or COACH CALIPARI: We've scheduled the best nonconference schedule we can do. Us and Gonzaga and maybe one other team had the best nonconference schedule in the country. We always want that to be us. We had a blueprint, as soon as it broke down, it was U Massachusetts, Atlantic 10. I was comfortable. I told everybody, calm down, we'll be fine. As a matter of fact we may be better. This may be better for us. We're too far away from the Big East to be the Big East. They might as well have taken Long Beach State if they had taken us. Just too much. I was fine. What we've got to do is continue to build our entire program, football, women's basketball, baseball is getting better, build the whole program so that as this realignment keeps going, and it's going to keep going, I would say in the next three to five years you'll have another break up or two in different leagues' movement, that we're primed to say, hey, football, baseball, women's basketball, basketball, that team can move if we choose. But if not, our league right now is getting better. Next year, my prediction would be two in the NCAA, maybe three, and two in the NIT, because we've got everyone back in our league. Three teams are building practice facilities. One has just built a new building that opens next year, Central Florida. Rice, 12 million dollar improvement to their gym that gets rid of the curtain and all the other stuff. This league, what we've got to worry about is helping our league improve, but just keep on point of what we're doing. It hasn't hurt us on national television. It has not hurt our national recruiting. It hasn't hurt us in any way.
Q. What do you think it might be better? COACH CALIPARI: Be careful what you wish for. If you try to go in a league where the other dudes are coming at you, be careful what you wish for, just look. All of a sudden you're standing there where you could have been one, two or three and our 10, 11 or 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Wait a minute, we're going to get better next year, okay, now you're 13. We'll get better now you're 11. You go back next year, you're 13. You busted through, you're nine (laughter). I mean, we're fine. Our program is fine. If you think these guys let me just say this, in all my years of recruiting, there's only one league that ever gets brought up.
Q. NBA? COACH CALIPARI: NBA (laughter). They ask me I don't even bring up the league, I didn't before. I never have.
Q. Chris, what is it about the group of guys that you have that you've been able to buy into and develop a chemistry and maybe overcome some inexperience and the loss of a bunch of guys to the NBA? CHRIS DOUGLAS ROBERTS: I feel that it starts off the court. We're like a family off the court. We don't have that many friends outside of our team. We do everything together. And that carries on the court. And that leads to trust. And we really trust each other on the court. Whoever can make a play, we trust them that they can do it, no matter what time it is in the game. And that's what makes us good. And that's what makes our chemistry tight.
Q. Chris, where would you say your ankle was last night? Because the lateral movement seemed like it might have been just a little bit tougher. How are you today? Any soreness? CHRIS DOUGLAS ROBERTS: I'm fine. It's going to be sore and I'm just staying around, but once the game gets going I am fine. I barely feel it. honestly, it really doesn't matter. Even if it's hurting a little bit, I'm not going to show it. There's no excuses when you get down to these games.
Q. John, where did you get the geese and the Buffalo? Where does that come from? And secondly, you have lately been saying can we win one more. Is that that becomes a mantra for you? COACH CALIPARI: I think it's we're like the only ones that are saying yes. Can we win one more? And then everybody says no, absolutely not. And can we win one more? No. And that's why I'm saying it. And then the city of Memphis is like saying, absolutely. This team is saying, we can. And just trying to lay it out there for everybody to hear and see. Sometimes I wonder if it's hope or opinion. I wonder if it's hope or opinion. Smack.
Q. How big of a lift was it to see Chris back, to see Chris in the starting lineup, and making those moves? ANTONIO ANDERSON: It was a big lift for us, but I told the papers back in Memphis, if he was 10 percent or 20 percent, he was going to play regardless of the situation. He's a competitor and wants his team to win and he would do anything for us to succeed and he did that for us by playing yesterday.
Q. Why do you think people might hope you'd lose? COACH CALIPARI: We're not in the BCS league. We're not in the BCS league. We're not one of those schools that's supposed to do this. We're doing it with an unorthodox style. I love coming out and shooting crazy shots?
Q. You like that? COACH CALIPARI: Kind of enjoy it (laughter).
Q. Kind of? COACH CALIPARI: Really enjoy it (laughter).
Q. So do you think you're the one guy people in the NCAA offices don't want to see COACH CALIPARI: Oh, no, it's not me personally, no.
Q. You think they'd be glad to have you in the Final Four? COACH CALIPARI: It's not even them, it's what would CBS like. They were so excited Mason made it (laughter).
Q. Back to the NCAA question, do you feel like they'd rather have anybody else or glad to have you? COACH CALIPARI: Let me ask you I think the NCAA by putting us the two seed. Everybody said we should have been three or four. But the NCAA looked at it and had basketball people now making these decisions, that's who is making them, they're not football ADs. These are guys that coach basketball, they're from leagues that are basketball leagues, and they step in there and say no, no, they're a two seed. Not only were we a two seed, we were one of the early two seeds. We were 6th. So we were one of the early two seeds. And everybody else said they're a three or four. Now not only that we advanced, which we proved them right. So, no, I think they're being fair with us, more than fair. They made us a two seed. Last year they took crap for making us one seed. I say that more of a general, you know, sense. I don't think it has anything the NCAA, that's not an issue whatsoever.
Q. So what do you think CBS's reaction would be in you're in the Final Four? COACH CALIPARI: There was something they told me that the team that everybody enjoys watching, they had 480,000 hits for us, and was it on one of those it was a page, which team do you enjoy watching most, 480,000 hits for Memphis. Two hundred thousand for Florida and 90 thousand for UCLA. So I'll be honest with you, I think when people watch us, they'll keep the TV on. They enjoy watching it. Wow, that's a fun style, they just get after it. We're really trying to unleash these guys the way we play. Just go play. And they're doing it.
Q. Can Joey, Robert and Willie just comment on what you thought about when you saw Chris explode to the basket the first time and what kind of lift that might have been last night? ROBERT DOZIER: I just knew he was ready. I thought from there on, just play hard, made some tough shots when we needed him to. WILLIE KEMP: Yeah, I knew Chris was ready to play coming into this game because I know he wanted to win and help his team win. He just came out last night and played a great game. JOEY DORSEY: I knew Chris was ready when he came in the huddle and told me, he said I'm ready to go. His adrenalin was pumping and he was in the flow of the game, so I knew he was ready to play.
Q. I was wondering if you could talk about as a coach how you were able to bring this team together, the team chemistry. Were there any specific ways that you were able to do this? COACH CALIPARI: The biggest question, and they knew this, because I called them in matter of fact I met with some of them together. The question was going to be, could our support players from a year ago become stars. That was it. How many times have you seen a team lose one or two guys and the players that have to step up and start performing can't do it? They can't carry the load that those two players or that player had. And that was my biggest challenge to them. Are you going to be capable of taking the mantle and running with it, can you do that? They all said, coach, we are ready. Matter of fact it showed that they could probably have done some of this last year, but they deferred to the senior, to the juniors. What Chris said, and I think Antonio, you recruit good guys. And if they're good guys and they have good hearts, doesn't mean they're not emotional or do dumb things, but they're goodhearted people, they'll come together. Bad guys won't. They just won't, because they're more worried about them, how they are, they don't care about a team, they break a team down. They don't care about winning, because it's what their numbers are about. We don't have that here. We don't have that. The guys we're bringing in now, Jeff Robinson just won his state title, and the two twins from Philly are playing for the state championship. Well, that's what you recruit. Now, when they come with us, he won two state championships, they won 40 games they only know winning. That's all they know is winning. And that means they're good guys, because they would not win if they if share and respect the other teammates.
Q. You had some nice plays against Acie Law, all the guards did, rotating on him. You had that memorable pressure on him as he went for that lay up. What about Ohio State's guard, especially Mike Conley? He likes to penetrate, draw fouls. How will you guys play him? COACH CALIPARI: We haven't made a decision exactly how we're going to play him (laughter). But you can talk about him in general. ANTONIO ANDERSON: They've got some real good guards. They all shoot pretty well. They can get in the lane pretty easily. Like coach said, we haven't went over that yet. Guys have to dig in and like coach says, that's what we have to do.
Q. I was just curious, one more thing about you can't get coach to get a guy in foul trouble. Can you remember when you did that and said I'm not going to do this again? COACH CALIPARI: It's like prevent defense in football. It prevents you from winning. It's the same idea. You shift your whole team to that action, they all stop playing, they the official is not going to bail you out and you lean in, it's a charge. Now you get two charges and the kid scored three what are we doing, stop, just play. So I never believe me when I tell you, we are not playing the game to get him in foul trouble. I hope he fouls us in the warm up times, but we're not playing that way, we're not going to do it.
Q. I was just curious, on the final sequence last night, were you supposed to create for a specific person or just take us through how that whole scrum developed? ANTONIO ANDERSON: Well, we were Jeremy drove and they helped a lot, kicked it out to Andre, and shot the ball and shot the ball.
Q. Have you guys kind of taken on your coach's attitude, talk about how CBS doesn't want you guys to win. COACH CALIPARI: I don't know if they don't want us to win. JOEY DORSEY: Seemed like every round we played we were supposed to get knocked off. We were watching ESPN to watch the highlights, they don't show us the highlights. One of coach's best friends said we were going to lose in Nevada. And we proved them wrong. They thought Acie Law was going to kill us and we stopped him. We're going to try to keep proving everyone wrong right now.
Q. John, CBS and NCAA didn't want you to lose COACH CALIPARI: I didn't say that.
Q. The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce might wanted to have seen that? COACH CALIPARI: They wanted to see us go down. There were 27 thousand Aggies in that building. They were everywhere. It was incredible. So I don't blame the Chamber of Commerce being mad. And Texas A&M deserved this game, because they won on Louisville's home court. They deserved to do it, but I'll say this, the pressure was on them, because I've been there. That thing shifted. That became like a monkey on their back. Now they're supposed to win. And we are a pretty good team. I think with Ohio State right now being what they've been ranked and doing all that, it's kind of on them now.
Q. What do you bring that Greg Oden hasn't seen before? JOEY DORSEY: I bring intensity to the team. My leadership out there, just anticipating, playing a hard defense, helping my teammates if they get beat on the dribble or the back court, I'm there to help them. That's all I bring to the team is defense.
Q. Getting back to the chemistry and this group coming together, when did you realize they do have that? You referred to it as unique, when did you realize that they did get it? COACH CALIPARI: Everybody that watched this team early said that we were going to be better than last year. And I told all of them they need to be drug tested, because last year's team was unbelievable. It was an unbelievable run. But the more you see them you start saying, wow, when we pass the ball, we are unselfish, no one holds it. Nobody takes many bad shots. We take quick shots. But we don't take many bad shots. And then they just tried to make the game easy for each other. And you start everybody that played us a year ago said you are better this year than last year. I can't remember last year. I can't remember last year, let alone last week. All I can tell you is we're playing pretty good together.
Q. You said you wanted the team to play like it's unleashed. Against UCLA last year, is that part of the problem, they felt like they were leashed for whatever reason? COACH CALIPARI: I think they were overwhelmed with the game. I think they were overwhelmed with the game. The enormity of the game.
Q. Is this a group that can be? COACH CALIPARI: You know, you just got guys like Andre just unphased. Jeremy Hunt, unphased. Maybe it could happen. That's the greatest thing about throwing it up and playing ball, there's no voting. Throw it up and play.
Q. It was pretty evident early on that Antonio and Chris had some intangible I believe so they were beyond their years, beyond their experience. Is that something you kind of get lucky with as a coach or do you recruit do you know exactly what they're going to do? COACH CALIPARI: When you go spend time watching the men play. Chris Douglas Roberts, I didn't go to see him, I went to go see his teammate on his AAU team. I went up to the AAU coach and said I want this one not him. And his AAU coach, Speedy Walker says to me, you picked the right one. And then when I went to meet with he and his mother I was convinced. I passed on a Memphis kid who was pretty well thought of to take Chris Douglas Roberts because when I got around him, I said this is a beautiful kid, here. And when you're around he and his mother and you see the interaction you know, good heart, we've got a good one with this kid.
Q. Antonio in that same sense? COACH CALIPARI: Antonio just very similar. You always want to see, when the great ones will defer. If he can really play, but he'll defer. What a sign. But when it's time to step up I can do it. I'm not afraid to defer it, let him have some fun. I'm not worried about numbers. That's what he was like. And boy, this could be special.
Q. Back to last year's Elite 8. The fact that they are a year older and that they've been there one of the times you mentioned earlier, does that make tomorrow's game not as big a thing? COACH CALIPARI: There's a big thing in that game named Greg Oden that makes it a hard game to play. And the other thing that makes it a hard game is a kid named Conley. And then all the other guys that they have who are just as talented as anybody we've played against. You can't leave anybody. You can't make a mistake defensively. They make you pay. You get up 15, they'll make three 3's in a row, bam, bam, bam. Where did that come from? You try to press them, two point guards. A little bit harder to press them. The challenge for us is not us, it's going to be them. We won't it won't the challenge is them. I think our team will be ready. I have no reason to believe they won't. But you're talking about a really, really talented team with the size. They come off the bench with 7 footers.
Q. A little off topic, here. We've had a whole year now with the NBA freshman rule, the 19 year old rule. Obviously bringing all these kids in has helped college basketball. Some coaches have raised some concerns about the rule, the possible academic indications. You've been in the NBA, you've seen both sides, is this the best rule for college basketball? I know it's an NBA rule, but best for college basketball? And if it's not, is there something that can be done? COACH CALIPARI: What's best for college basketball is you make them stay four years. That's not best for the kids. If we're going to do what's right for these young people, they should have an option to go when they want to go. Now, the rule was made for the NBA. So that they can get a second look to make sure they're not making a mistake. They've even shortened down the guarantee, from four years to three years, now it's two years guarantee. So now you go to a college and most of these kids are going to pick the biggest league they can go to. So they really get exposed. Instead of going to a league where they can go dominate. They go to the biggest league so they get exposed. What I would say to you, though, the way it's playing out, as long as they're good kids and coming with an idea of hey, I'm going to stay here as long as I have to, I'm fine. Our kids are going to go to class or you will not play, whether you stay one year, two years, three years, you're not going to play. We've graduated 12 of our last 15. We've had 12 players drafted in the NBA the last five years. We've graduated 12 of 15. We're not backing off academics at all. If the young man has an opportunity to leave after a year, our people I'm telling them to go. If it was my son and he was being coached that coach would say the same thing. Kids stay, they go the wrong way sometimes. The kid that was a top 10 pick, now the next year is in the second round. What I told Camby, his junior year, if you want to do what's right for you and your family, you leave. If you want to do what's right for me and my family, you stay (laughter).
Q. So is Oden ready? You know the league? COACH CALIPARI: You know what? The greatest thing is he has to make that decision. It was like Darias Washington leaving us. I told him, you're going to be a second round pick at best. But it's your choice, it's your life. If you want to make a run at it, I'll support you. I'm going to tell you, here's where you are, and I think you will get better and have a better opportunity. But if you even want to go then, that's their life. It's their family. What you do is you give them the information. Here's the information. So Greg Oden should have the information, where is he going to be picked. There it is. Then you go make your choice. And then knowing Thad and Ohio State, they'll support him whatever he does. Look at what he's done for their program.
Q. So where would he be picked? COACH CALIPARI: I have no idea. If he played for me, I'd know. But I have no idea.
Q. 20th anniversary of the three point shot. How has it changed things, better or worse, do you like where the line is? COACH CALIPARI: I wish it was universal everywhere, which would probably be making it European. But I will tell you it's changed how I've coached. If you watched how I coached at U Massachusetts and how I coach now and how my teams play, it's evolved because of that line. We spread the court, again, I'm recruiting a different style of player that can play a more wide, open game. We play differently. Because the three point rule came in for an while, and no one 15, 20 years ago, Pitino took advantage of it, if you remember, but not many coaches did. Now it's commonplace. Not everybody is taking twenty five 3's a game. Some have. Some have survived taking twenty five 3's a game.
Q. You mentioned Darias Washington, have you heard from him at all lately during this run you're making. And is there some part of you that feels sad about his departure?
COACH CALIPARI: He's playing in Greece making a lot of money. And it's what he wanted to do, so I'm happy for him. Do I wish he were on our team, yeah. But it's not about us at that point. Let me tell you what will happen with this team. It is all about our team during the season. The minute the season ends, it's about each individual in their own way. And you go to each player and you're talking to them about them, not about us, them. So when the season ends, it's about each individual sitting up here.
Q. The dream seems to be the NBA, and I know he's making a lot of money, but
COACH CALIPARI: How about this, he comes back, doesn't play as well and has no opportunity or gets hurt. Now he's now in Greece playing, probably next summer will come back and get to camp and maybe make a team. Then you say he made the right choice, he did the right thing. But it will all play out. We don't know yet. It will play out. In the next three or four years grab me, you ask me what happened to him and I'll tell you. He's playing for the Utah Jazz, boy, maybe he did the right thing. You just can't tell. You just try to do what's right for that young person. I'll give you an example, Dajaun Wagner, I tore up his scholarship papers in front of him, because I knew he was going to be no higher than the 8th pick in the NBA draft. So I called him to the office with his father, and I tore them up. You're gone. You may never be drafted higher. But I also told him, you're not ready to be a point guard in that league. So when you go, you better work on that position because that's probably what you're going to have to play. But you'll never he made 15 million dollars. Now you say, he's out of the league. He made 15 million dollars. He had to go. What was I going to do? Bring him back and he'd be a second rounder and we win ten more games, you can't do that to these kids. I don't believe you can.
Q. What do you think the biggest misconception is about you? COACH CALIPARI: I don't know.
Q. Would there be any particular criticism over the years that really bothered you? COACH CALIPARI: You know, people probably don't know that when we were at Massachusetts, we graduated 80 percent of our players, 80 percent. When we took over, there was a 15 percent graduation rate, not an African American graduated in six years. And we graduated 75 percent. When we took over at Memphis, what was the graduation rate?
Q. Zero. COACH CALIPARI: Zero percent for six years. We graduated 12 of our last 15. We brought back in 2001 on, we've graduated 15 players. We have three other former players right now taking classes to finish up. So we've reached back to get other guys to graduate. That we've done it with good kids and have not at the expense of academics, but people will throw at you, win at all costs, he's this, that and the other. No. I don't ever want to be in the position where I'm using young people. I don't have to. One of the greatest things about the NBA run, I'm okay. So I don't need to worry about using this kid to win three more games. I don't have to. Matter of fact, I don't have to coach. That's the greatest thing about that NBA run. I don't have to worry about it. And so I don't ever want to be in a position if I'm at a school that I think is using young people, not showing compassion, throwing them on the bus at the first sign of trouble, because they're worried about their own reputation, I will leave that school. I would not go there. This is about these young people. And our lives should be to helping them create hope for them and their families, because we're okay.
Q. Why do you think you've gotten criticism, though? COACH CALIPARI: I don't know what criticism you're talking about. Like, as in
Q. Well, just the criticism of they say you've recruited some questionable players? COACH CALIPARI: Who? Who are they?
Q. Well Hunt, I think who was the guy arrested three times? COACH CALIPARI: I don't know who you're talking about. Again, maybe because we're an urban school. We're an urban school so now all of a sudden my guys are bad guys. We've got our radio announcer right here, we've got the greatest kids, ever. They're urban kids, but they're great kids. Sometimes that impression is a perception based on what they look like. Sad, but it's where we live.
Q. What did Roberts do defensively in the second half that was so effective? COACH CALIPARI: Blocked two shots and now all of a sudden those big guys are looking, where is he coming from? Robert Dozier's last two games have been the best of his career. Robert Dozier, the reason we're in the Elite 8, because he's playing the way he's playing. Obviously the other guys are doing his thing. But we have no one else like Robert Dozier. For us to continue to play and play for another day he's got to play well.
Ohio State Quotes
Q. Coach, between the two teams, you guys have won, I believe, it's 45 games in a row. Just wondering the characteristics of a ball club to be able to do something like, to be able to keep its poise, and the type of players you have to do that. COACH MATTA: Well, I think for us, I'm not speaking for Memphis, is certainly taking a day by day approach and keeping the majority of the focus on ourselves and what we have to do and honestly not getting tired of preparing to win. I think it says a lot about these guys that they have been able to do that, to keep the focus and going from playing at Northwestern, who plays a different style to playing a Michigan State to playing a Wisconsin, and I think these guys truly have a great appreciation for winning and what it takes to win. And that's the thing I've enjoyed about this team is their mindset every day when they come in. As we got back late last night to the hotel and began talking about Memphis, their focus and concentration we didn't do a lot but was very good and a thorough understanding of what we have to do. I think that's probably what we haven't talked about a winning streak or anything like that, it's just who do we got next, and let's get ready.
Q. This is for anybody, and I know you guys weren't here, but kind of like the 2002 football season, this living on the edge. I'm just wondering how you're handling that, every night is another heart pounding game or maybe it's not for you guys, but if anybody has brought that up, friends, family or anything? RON LEWIS: I think they bring it up to me and Ivan because we're the seniors. But it is kind of we really don't think about that, we just play basketball, come out, play together as a team and try to do the best we can.
Q. How do you keep your cool in this situation? RON LEWIS: I think just go out there and play. You start thinking a lot, start thinking about what's going to happen and if you lose this game, you're not going to do the team any justice. You have to keep with the game plan and keep focused.
Q. Coach, talk about Ron Lewis, is this the best basketball he's played in his career, do you think? Is it his leadership as much as his scoring that you value right now? COACH MATTA: I think Ron is playing tremendous basketball for us. One of the things we talk about in our program, the more you give the more that will come back to you. And probably about a month I started to notice Ron really taking personal leadership responsibility and the little things that he's done in time outs or in the locker room or in practice has been tremendous. And I think that he's really reaping the rewards of giving and receiving. I couldn't have been happier for Ron. From the day Ron came to The Ohio State University I've watched his growth as a player and as a person and I'm extremely proud to be a part of his maturity along the way.
Q. I wonder if you could talk about what makes this team so successful in pressure situations. You guys are a young group, a young point guard, why have you been able to thrive in a situation that would be daunting for a lot of other teams?
MIKE CONLEY, JR.: I think earlier on in the year, going down to North Carolina and Florida really helped us out in the long run, playing teams like that and being in close game situations. As the year went on we grew as a team. We were able to stick together and not drift apart in those times that we really need to be together. It's definitely helped us out in the last two games with Xavier and Tennessee.
Q. Greg, what are teams doing or what are you doing or not doing that's leading to foul trouble in the last couple of games? GREG ODEN: Just being more physical with me and me being physical back, just putting the refs in a position to call those fouls. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. The thing with me is I just can't put myself in those positions and be able to hold my ground and just not use my hands as much.
Q. Coach, what's the most amazing thing that you've seen Greg do all year? COACH MATTA: There's been a lot of them. And I would say probably the No. 1 thing would be how he taught himself to shoot free throws left handed and shoot them in the way that he did. I think the other thing would be along those lines of sitting out for 7 straight months and being thrust into the pressure situation that he was thrust into and everybody expecting him to be 100 percent from the day he got back and how he handled that and how he continued to work. He road the peaks and the valleys and just was extremely diligent, every day after practice he would spend about 40 minutes working with Allen and just developing his game. You think of the frustration, we've laughed about this, when he came back he was rebounding with one hand, he was catching with one hand. He couldn't use his right hand and people at times would criticize him and we were laughing as the staff saying they have no idea what he can't do. We didn't want to tell anybody because we didn't want to exploit that weakness for Greg. Now his hand is much more mobile, and I think those have probably been the most amazing things?
Q. When you were at Xavier, what was the scouting report on Ron? I know you talked about his leadership, but his skill level, how much has that improved since the first time he showed up at your doorstep? COACH MATTA: We never played against Ron when I was at Xavier.
Q. You scouted him as a coach, didn't you? COACH MATTA: I'm embarrassed to say we didn't.
Q. Why didn't you? COACH MATTA: I don't know, but a couple of coaches lost their jobs over that (laughter). Honestly, I am embarrassed to say we didn't know who he was. He played on such a great high school team. But in watching him develop I think that you've got, one, a very passionate kid who wants to be a great player. He wasn't a great shooter when he came to Ohio State, he could drive a ball and get fouled. But I think he's really added a lot to his game and his assisted turnover ratio has got a lot better. One of the greatest things that ever happened to he and Jamar was a teammate called Je'Kel Foster in practice every day. Those guys were Je'Kel was like a mentor to those two. Ron was even a red shirt. But they weren't in the starting lineup and every day they would battle and beat the heck out of the starting team. And I think that really set the stage for those two.
Q. I think there have been some skepticism that Mike Conley could hold up physically in the Big Ten. I wondered what you saw that convinced you that he could? COACH MATTA: Well, I think that the first thing would be Michael is one of the toughest kids I've ever met, but you never see that side of him. I think he's ultra competitive. He's got tremendous athleticism coupled with intelligence. I think one of the biggest things that has helped this team, for instance we didn't have last year, was the nine guys that we play. And we've been able to give them longer breaks. I've probably been a little smarter with practices and trying to limit his minutes in practice. But the one thing, he's accustomed to winning and he's going to do whatever he has to do to win basketball games?
Q. Mike, you talked after the game last night about playing the whole game the way you guys did the second half. I wondered if that was anything that you talked about as a team after the game, why it didn't happen from the outset last night and what you need to do to make sure it does happen tomorrow? MIKE CONLEY, JR.: Yeah, that's a big point that we need to improve on. I think we weren't ready mentally the first two minutes yesterday. And they came out and punched us in the stomach and we didn't fight back. We have to be ready for those situations. You have to be ready for big games like that. We can't afford to play that way against a team like Memphis or anybody else from here on.
Q. Any ideas why it did happen? MIKE CONLEY, JR.: I'm not sure. I felt like we were ready, but maybe the way they came out firing kind of caught us off guard a little bit. But I'm not really sure. Hopefully we can change that next game.
Q. Have you been able to put your finger on or figure out why Greg has 9 fouls, the last few games. Have you been able to figure anything out? COACH MATTA: I think it's been a little bit of both. You go through a Big Ten season, and you look at go back to Wisconsin game, that was literally amazing the physicality of that game. But I think the other thing is, just the match ups and what teams have attempted to do have probably played more into that. And I think Greg, I love his basketball IQ and he knows what he has to do, get a little bit more in the stance and alleviate those situations as much as we can. We've got to do a better job on the perimeter as well and not put Greg in those situations.
Q. I know it's been a quick turn around, but so far in Memphis, what are the things that stand out for you? COACH MATTA: I think extremely talented, deep basketball team. They're high powered on offense. They create a lot of their offense through their defense. I think they're a little bit like us on any given night they've got a lot of guys that can step up and make big plays for them. And I think they play extremely hard, they rebound the ball well and get out and score easy baskets.
Q. Greg, you came in a big name, drawing a lot of attention, but guys like Ron Lewis had said that you and the other freshmen were very respectful of the veterans. Can you talk about what you've learned as far as leadership, emotional stuff from Ron Lewis? GREG ODEN: Ron has been here before, so this is my first go around in college and so I just come in with my eyes open and a lot to learn and I listen because those guys have been through it before and they have a lot to teach me. So you just want to come in and be real respectful and know that you have a lot to learn and improve on.
Q. Question on injuries, Ivan, what was your thought when you went down on your leg, first of all, was it because Greg fell over the top of you? And also, after that, Greg, just a question on your chin. I understand you had three stitches. What did you think might be wrong when you hit the floor? IVAN HARRIS: Yeah, I was trying to take a charge and Greg was trying to block a shot. I guess I was behind him and I tripped him up and he landed on my knee. But my knee is fine right now. I'm just ready to play tomorrow. GREG ODEN: My chin is fine. I got three stitches, that's it (laughter).
Q. I was just curious, is Coach Russell still texting you, and has he said anything about what a wild ride you're on, kind of like what they were on? COACH MATTA: Yeah, I get my I don't think I sleep, he sends texts like at 3:00 in the morning. He's been great. He's always offering up words of encouragement. It says a lot about him, it's all focused on team and playing hard and trying to finish a mission and it's always good to get those and read and ponder them and take it and let the guys know kind of what he said. He spoke to us he came in one day unannounced and spoke to the team, I don't know, I think in Lexington, and as always he does a great job for us.
Q. Did he make any mention of 2002? COACH MATTA: He did not, no, he did not.
Q. Coach C has spent a lot of time defending the conference that they play in. You just mentioned the rigors of going through the Big Ten. Do you feel like playing in a tough conference like the Big Ten better prepares you for this time of year or has Memphis dispelled that theory? COACH MATTA: I think Coach C has done a great job of he goes out and plays a heck of a non conference schedule. I don't know a lot about conference USA, but as I told these guys, they were in this exact same game last year. You obviously look at what Calipari has done. He obviously put himself in a category of being one of the great college coaches in the country. He recruits great players and coaches them and obviously is achieving high success.
Q. After the Xavier game, you mentioned how determined you were to go out and do better. Do you think you were maybe almost too determined with how the Xavier game ended? GREG ODEN: No, I think I got in foul trouble in the first half. I think I did a pretty decent job? In the second half. It was more about effort and not about me scoring. It was about me being out and running the floor hard and creating things for my teammates. It was the effort that I felt I had a pretty decent game yesterday. We needed to play hard in the second half and I think I stepped up and did that, also.
Q. Does it hurt at all, talking about Greg's foul trouble, does it hurt at all to have officials who haven't done his games at all, don't know what he can do? We were talking to one of your assistance in one of the Big Ten tournament games, he was commenting we haven't seen these guys all year, because sometimes Greg might pick up fouls? COACH MATTA: I think that it is at times unique. It's funny, we hear, as the season winds down and teams stop playing, kind of their approach. I don't know why people didn't think Shawn and I were going to talk after the game, and he told me what people were saying, he said just call them, they won't call them all. And that was pretty consistent across the board of what they were saying. I don't think, if they've seen us or haven't seen us it's a whole lot different. I think we just we have to be smart as coaches in our approach and Greg has to be smart in his approach.
Q. Jamar, I don't want you to feel left out. Could you just talk a little bit. Lighty has spent the better part of the season trying to get a shot to fall for him. Would you just talk about what you thought when first he had the three point play at the end of the half and then he made the three down the stretch when you guys were making your run, what did you think when those after seeing a lot of his shots go in and out all season, what did you think when a couple finally went in? JAMAR BUTLER: I think he got his momentum going in the halftime, and the second half, you know, kept thriving on that, and the big shot in the second half, it was a huge three, and he played to the very last.
Q. For any of you players, just your impressions in the crash course you're getting on Memphis what you've seen, just your impressions of the team and the challenge you face tomorrow? RON LEWIS: They're an up and down team, tempo. They like to drive the ball, pass and kick, they play together a lot. They're a young basketball team but their poised and their big man offensive rebound a lot, so we have to keep them off the glass.
Q. I know you probably wouldn't root for anybody in the first game, but now that Memphis has won, are you happy that you won't have to deal with that Texas crowd, it's going to be a little more even for your game tomorrow? COACH MATTA: I didn't get out to see, but the coaches we were scouting were saying it was predominantly Texas A&M, as it should be. I think that will even the playing field more in that situation. The funny thing, you think about it, for Texas A&M, they did have to play Louisville, 70 miles from home, as well. But I do think that will be hopefully a little bit of an advantage for both us and Memphis.
Q. Greg, can you talk about the block at the end, what you were thinking as Tennessee is bringing the ball down the court, if you knew you were going to block that shot or what it felt like after you did block it at the end? GREG ODEN: It felt like we won (laughter). It was just I didn't want I saw that Ramar Smith had his head down and he wasn't going to pass it to my man, so I went over to help. I'm happy to get the block, but I think the time expired before I got the block, also.
Q. Just for the record, Thad or Greg, was that officially a block or did time expire? COACH MATTA: I don't know. Bill Rafferty told me after the game he didn't think it would have counted. I haven't seen it close, I didn't rewind it, sorry.
Q. Kind of along those lines, Mike, when you're at the free throw loan at 6.5, was anything going through your head? MIKE CONLEY, JR.: I was trying to keep a lot out of my head at that time, I was just concentrating on the free throws. I wanted to make both of them, but I knew I was going to make this one. After I made that one, unfortunately I missed the second one. At that point it was trying to get back and get a defensive stance and not let them get an easy shot.
Q. This question is for Jamar and Ivan, is this the best basketball you've seen out of Ron so far and you played with him now for an while, are you guys looking for him now, because he's so hot? IVAN HARRIS: I think so. Ron Lewis is an excellent player. When he got to Ohio State I always knew he had it in him. Around this tournament time we needed him and he's stepping up his game. And we're going to give him the ball and let him go to work. JAMAR BUTLER: Obviously Ron is playing really great right now. He's stepping up, he's making big shots towards the end of the game. He's been the senior leader. If he keeps playing like that we'll keep going to him.
Q. Since coach said he really is embarrassed and didn't know about you before you transferred in, other than just leading his team to the Elite 8, what did you know about Coach Matta when you transferred to Ohio State? RON LEWIS: I know he'd been winning since he become a coach. And I also knew that he played the style of basketball that I would like to play. So those two go hand in hand with each other. I made my decision off of that.
Q. Thad, despite the winning streaks that both teams bring into this game, how different do you think the tracks are, when you guys are No. 1 in the lime light and they certainly haven't gotten the attention you have, does that have an impact tomorrow? COACH MATTA: I don't think it does, because of the magnitude of the game. I really believe at this stage, 25 hours or 26 hours from tip off, win streaks, where we're ranked, all that stuff is really out the window, in my mind, for our team. It's more about let's get ready to play and try to get the job done. If we had a week to prepare or something like that, I think maybe it plays into it, but Memphis has shown all year long, as I think we have, we have two really good basketball teams going head to head tomorrow.
Q. Somebody mentioned Lighty's big three pointers a minute ago, somebody told me at that point he was something like one for 22. What does it say about a kid who will take that shot in that situation, knowing he's been struggling? COACH MATTA: Well, I think watching that shot go for him was obviously a big shot for him. I've never said a whole lot to him about they weren't going in. The biggest thing I've been on David about is taking care of the basketball and he's done that. We always tell our guys if you're open, shoot it. And he couldn't have been more open than he was. David has worked extremely hard every day on his shot and we've made a couple of minor adjustments as we've been going through. As a coach you love to see that pay off for him in that situation.
Q. Being the 20 year anniversary of the 3 point shot, your thoughts on how that shot has changed the game for better or worse. Do you like it where it is? COACH MATTA: I love the three, because that's about all I could do as a player. It helped me. But I think it's good for college basketball. I haven't thought about the moving it back. Somebody asked me that earlier. I think that it's a tremendous equalizer for teams, and I think the biggest difference from 20 years ago, you're really starting to see guys getting more skilled. Against Xavier there were times we had five guys on the floor that could shoot the three. Last night Tennessee had five guys on the floor that could shoot the three. So I think it's really starting to change the way the game is played.
Q. All season long it seems like it's been a team that had confidence in itself regardless of the situation. In the first half in a game like yesterday, does that overwhelming confidence almost lead to complacency, if you fall behind early maybe you don't start pressing sooner, because you think we're going to come back from this? COACH MATTA: No, I think, you know, the one thing that I haven't forgotten is how well Tennessee played last night. That first half is going through, I'm saying to this, this is just like the tape I watched where they had Florida down 25. They stung us early. I don't think we were complacent. I think you go to the Xavier game, we were up at halftime. Teams in this tournament, I've said this, this tournament is about runs and putting runs together and stopping your opponent from getting on a run. The thing last night is it just took us 20 minutes to stop Tennessee's run. I think these guys have shown I think that they do have a sense of confidence, which I want them to have that. But I don't think that there's a magic potion of complacency or confidence and they go hand in hand. Obviously I don't like being down 20 points, but giving Tennessee their due, I thought they played about as well as any team I've seen through that stretch.
Q. Since it's that time of year when I think you can talk about these things, if Kentucky would approach you about their vacancy for the coaching job, would you have any interest in talking to them or how would you handle that? COACH MATTA: No, all I want to do is beat Memphis. I think the great thing that I've enjoyed is I love the path we're on to what we set out to do at Ohio State when we came here. And that was to build a championship caliber basketball team. In three years we won two Big Ten championships, we've been the 2 seed and 1 seed in this tournament. I love where we are in regards to recruiting. So I'm that thought has honestly never crossed my mind. I haven't had time, to be honest. But, no.
Q. You wouldn't talk to them? COACH MATTA: No.
Q. Coach, you're talking about the different tracks both teams have been on, there has to be some benefit having been in a Big Ten schedule. Can you compare it when you were at Xavier and you came to the tournament and you hadn't faced the day in day out competition like this team has now? COACH MATTA: Yeah, I think you hope as a coach that that has gotten you battle tested, if you will. I think going back to Xavier, you had the No. 1 team in the country, undefeated, and St. Joe's in the league that year and there was some really other good date on, I think, was a tournament team that year, St. Joe's, us, I think there may have been one other, if I'm not mistaken. But I've always said this, I put so much more stock in winning a conference championship with 8 home games, 8 on the road. Our thought of when we put together our non conference schedule was with the NCAA Tournament in mind, with the young basketball team that we were going to have a lot of challenges. And I think that's helped us, coupled in with the Big Ten. There's not a lot that this team has not seen, and now as that ball gets tossed up tomorrow, I really believe all that is thrown out the window, you now have to play. But hopefully the habits of going through a Big Ten season has helped you.
Q. There is an advantage that you have, without even consciously mentioning it to your team. You talk about throwing it out. But it's still there. They've been battle tested. Do you feel that gives you a bit of an advantage? COACH MATTA: Not really, not in this game. Maybe in a first round game or a second round game because quite honestly as we were saying this morning in the staff meeting, do we really want to play Memphis? No. Who do you want to play? You know what I'm saying, there's going to be 8 teams left tomorrow when he play and every team is going to be a great basketball team.
Q. This is something else altogether off topic. Obviously we've had a full year with the new 19 year old rule from the NBA. Your program has benefitted from it. Some concerns from Bob /TPHAO*EUT and others with the academic end of this thing. Now that we've had time to look at it, is this the best thing for college basketball? What's the role of the head coach from the academic standpoint to make sure these guys are doing what they're supposed to do academically? COACH MATTA: I think from the academic side of it, it begins with who the young man is and through the recruiting process. I love the fact Greg rolled into Ohio State with a 3.9 GPA and academics were extremely important to him. One of the goals he has in life is to earn his college degree. I think that as far as the change in college basketball, I think it's good for college basketball. I don't know if it's good for the kids if they could go straight to the NBA, but I think you've seen the impact of how good these guys are when they become freshmen and get in. I love that the parity that it's given the game. I think you want to continue to see that as guys go to college. They're going to make a huge impact. I think what these guys have done, the new guys for us, with only one starter back, that we had, and only four returning players, I think it's shown that they can really play and adjust and get themselves ready quicker.
Q. Even if throughout the throughout the records and rankings at this point, this freshman class when he was recruited, the Final Four Championship predictions were put on it. When you said 24 hours out, does that not loom somewhere in the back of all of your minds? COACH MATTA: It doesn't in mine. Maybe it does in theirs. We haven't ever addressed expectations. We haven't addressed predictions of what this team wants to do. And that's been a decision I've made in my mind of how we were going to approach this season. I think at times at a certain point it got to us a little bit this year. And we kind of took the bull by the horns and got it corrected real quick. And it wasn't anything our guys did, it was more of the outside, and the perception of it all. I don't think I don't feel anymore pressure going into tomorrow's game than I did three years ago going into the same game, it's just we've got to go out and play and play solid for 40 minutes.
Q. I wonder if you could go over again about the adjustment you made at halftime to spread your offense even more and even move Greg out of the post to give your guys some driving lanes. And you consciously went into that second half wanting to score with the clock stopped, by getting to the free throw line, that would help you catch up? COACH MATTA: We wanted to score, first. Yeah, I thought it kind of dictated itself with the fouls. And the great things about the fouls last night, it was allowing us to rest while we were shooting free throws, because you look and it takes a lot of energy to come from 17 down. I think that we did want to spread it out a little bit more and create a little bit more and obviously it worked out well for us.
Q. Just wondering for you and your staff what this run is like in the tournament. Do you have time to have fun and enjoy this or is it game ends late last night, you're looking at Memphis, here we go again. What is this like for a coach when you're in the tournament on a run and have a chance to go to the Final Four with a win of the game tomorrow? COACH MATTA: I'm sad to say I haven't got the time to enjoy it the way that I would like to. I think that it's funny, you do go right to the next thing. My wife asked me the other day, I came in the room for about ten minutes, hey, do you want to go take a walk on the Riverwalk? And I guess my look answered the question for me, because she then apologized for asking the question. I think that I'm so in love with this team and I want them to be successful, and I feel like we have to put all our efforts into getting them as prepared as we can physically and mentally and through the preparation, that I hope at some point later than sooner I will be able to sit down and really enjoy it, because it has been an incredible run. And I think that the goal is to continue on, but like I said, at some point I hope that I can sit down and really go through it, as I do in the off season, sit down and watch all the game tapes again. I think I'll see some things that will really make me smile.
Q. You talked about seeding before, and both the elite match ups are ones and twos, all four could get to Atlanta the first time ever. If you could talk about the job your committee has done and how this tournament has been from the perspective of a coach? COACH MATTA: I've said this, I think the hardest one of the hardest jobs in the world has to be on that committee. And I think it's incredible what they do. I don't know exactly all the ins and outs of it and how they come up with 65 teams. But it's obvious you've got some great minds on there, basketball wise, that can see the games, can