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Men’s Basketball Beats Akron in NCAA Tourney Opener



Men's Basketball Beats Akron in NCAA Tourney Opener

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — No. 11 Creighton closed the primary half on an 8-0 run and by no means appeared again in a 77-60 win over 14th-seeded Akron in NCAA Event First Spherical motion at PPG Paints Enviornment in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Thursday afternoon.

The Bluejays improved to 24-9 with the win and can play on Saturday in opposition to Eleventh-seeded Oregon, which defeated sixth-seeded South Carolina.

Creighton took a 39-34 lead into the break after a fast-paced first half that noticed each groups join with regularity from three-point vary early on. Creighton made its first 5 three-point makes an attempt, whereas nationwide rebounding chief Enrique Freeman buried three three-pointers within the first 5 minutes. The groups exchanged six leads and it was tied 9 occasions earlier than the break, with Creighton scoring the ultimate eight factors to say a 39-34 lead. That run featured three-pointers by Trey Alexander and Mason Miller earlier than a hoop from Baylor Scheierman to finish the half.

Ryan Kalkbrenner and Alexander every had 11 factors on the break for CU, whereas Scheierman had eight factors and 7 rebounds. CU shot 60 % within the first half (15-25), together with 7-of-10 (70 %) from three-point vary. Akron was led by 15 factors and eight rebounds by Freeman, whereas Ali Ali added 10 factors.

The Bluejays rode that momentum out of the break as Miller and Scheierman buried triples to push the result in 9 (45-36), however Creighton pulled away for good with a 10-0 run that pushed its result in 59-42 after Miller linked on his third triple of the competition.

Creighton had a balanced offensive effort,  as all 5 starters scored in double-figures.  Scheierman had his BIG EAST-leading sixteenth double-double of the yr with 15 factors and 13 rebounds. Kalkbrenner (23) and Alexander (19) have been joined within the scoring column by Miller (10) and Ashworth (10). Creighton shot 56.5 % from the sector and made 10-of-17 three-point pictures (a season-high 58.8 %). The Bluejays received the board battle 38-26 and zipped previous Akron 13-2 in quick break factors.

Freeman earned his nation-leading thirty first double-double of the season to guide Akron, ending with 21  factors and 14 rebounds. Ali completed with 14 factors earlier than fouling out. The Zips shot 37.9 % from the sector and made simply 6-of-28 three-point tries. Akron ends its season with a 24-11 mark.

A recreation time and tv community will likely be introduced on the conclusion of at the moment’s video games.

NOTES: Ryan Kalkbrenner grew to become Creighton’s second participant ever to look in 4 totally different NCAA Tournaments, becoming a member of Kyle Korver …  This afternoon was Creighton’s 2 hundredth recreation as a group whereas ranked within the Related Press underneath Greg McDermott. The Bluejays are 140-60 in these contests … Creighton made a three-pointer for the 1,018th straight recreation … Baylor Scheierman made a three-pointer for the twenty first straight recreation, and 79th time in his final 80 video games. Scheierman’s first three-pointer was additionally his a hundredth of the season, one thing solely Kyle Korver (2x) and Ethan Wragge had executed beforehand in Creighton historical past … At present was Creighton’s 99th straight recreation on tv … Baylor Scheierman handed Kyle Korver for probably the most three-point makes an attempt by a participant in CU single-season historical past … Isaac Traudt had his first blocked shot of the season … Baylor Scheierman (287) grew to become the primary Creighton participant with a number of seasons of 300 rebounds since Bob Portman in 1967-68 and 1968-69 … Creighton improved to 19-25 all-time within the NCAA Event, together with a 13-12 mark in its opening recreation and 2-1 as a No. 3 seed … Creighton is now 4-1 all-time in opposition to Akron, and 2-0 in postseason play … Creighton performed its 52nd straight recreation with no participant fouling out, the nation’s longest streak since no less than 2005-06 … Ryan Kalkbrenner (97) grew to become the second participant in CU historical past to dam 100 pictures in a season, becoming a member of Benoit Benjamin who did it twice … Creighton’s 58.8 % taking pictures from deep was a program document for an NCAA Event recreation … Ryan Kalkbrenner, Baylor Scheierman and Trey Alexander all recorded 15+ factors and 5+ rebounds in at the moment’s win. They’re simply second BIG EAST trio to do that in a NCAA Event recreation over the past 10 years, the opposite being Xavier’s J.P. Macura, Trevon Bluiett and Kerem Kanter within the 2018 Spherical of 64 vs Texas Southern … Creighton scored 77 factors at the moment, all from its starters. The final group to attain that many factors in an NCAA Event recreation regardless of having zero from its bench was Rutgers (87 factors) in a Play-In Spherical loss to Notre Dame in 2022. The final group to attain 77+ with zero bench factors in a WIN, was Minnesota (86 vs Louisville) within the 2019 Spherical of 64. The final BIG EAST faculty to do that (no matter consequence) was Windfall within the a 1997 Elite-8 loss to Arizona (92 factors).


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

PPG Paints Enviornment

Creighton Bluejays

Media Convention


Creighton – 77, Akron – 60 Milwaukee,

MODERATOR: We’ll begin with a gap assertion from Coach Greg McDermott. Coach?

GREG McDERMOTT: Initially, congratulations to Coach Groce, his workers and his group on an exceptional yr. I gained a brand new appreciation for the job he does in our preparation for Akron. That group was very linked defensively, very unselfish on the offensive finish, and as I discussed a pair days in the past, they misplaced a number of shut video games that have been actually not removed from successful 30 video games this yr.

So that they had our utmost respect, and I feel you noticed, particularly within the first half, , it is a high quality, high quality group that we beat at the moment. So we’re excited as a result of we beat a great basketball group. And pleased with our guys. I assumed we took actually good pictures, and once we take actually good pictures, we’re a fairly good basketball group. And we gotta clear up some issues with a few of the turnovers, however defensively I assumed we adjusted as the sport went on and did a a lot better job within the second half.

MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Baylor, what flipped in these final couple minutes earlier than halftime? You guys go on the run and do not look again from there. What modified?

BAYLOR SCHEIERMAN: I feel we have been in a position to get some stops in a row and on the offensive finish get pictures. And like coach stated, we actually struggled with turnovers within the first half and within the final 4 minutes we have been in a position to handle the ball and get pictures and stops and once we have been ready to try this, that is once we actually gained some separation.

Q. Felt like Akron, though they have been hitting pictures, have been enjoying at your guys’ most well-liked tempo. Did you are feeling like as the primary half wore on and the second half received going that that began to put on into them?

RYAN KALKBRENNER: Yeah, that is type of how we method lots of video games is, even originally of the sport some tempo might not give us lots of buckets early on as a result of the opposite group is recent, however we play at that tempo and follow at that tempo on a regular basis, so we are able to preserve that up for 40 minutes. Not each group we play in opposition to can. So if you begin carrying into them like that you simply begin to get a couple of straightforward baskets or a couple of beauty since you’re operating the opposite group. So I feel that positively helped us towards the tip of the primary half and finish of the second half.

Q. What modified defensively for you within the second half within the job you probably did on Enrique Freeman?

RYAN KALKBRENNER: I feel it is a bit of bit getting used to how he performs. You possibly can watch somebody on movie so much and get as used to it as you possibly can, however on the finish of the day he is a extremely good participant and simply made some psychological changes as to how I needed to protect him within the submit and did a bit of higher job. He nonetheless received a couple of buckets as a result of he is a extremely good participant, however yeah simply having the ability to make changes within the recreation.

Q. Mason, when do you know that one thing was going best for you and what sort of an influence if you’re hitting your pictures like that may that make in your group and in your teammates?

MASON MILLER: Actually, I imply simply each single day, I imply, I work on my shot each single day, so I type of come into the sport anticipating to make pictures like that. I assume simply operating to the nook, getting open seems to be and enjoying throughout the offensive type of helps the group so much, particularly when we’ve nice gamers like Ryan and Baylor over right here having the ability to area the ground for them, it is large for them.

Q. For any of you guys, the expertise you guys have at this stage, how did that assist at the moment and the way can that enable you to the remainder of the event?

BAYLOR SCHEIERMAN: I simply suppose the sport is 40 minutes lengthy and there is lots of ups and downs that go all through a basketball recreation, and clearly within the first half there was some issues that did not go proper for us they usually have been type of hanging with us and whatnot, however then we have been in a position to get stops and get a recreation of runs and we have been in a position to go on ours and proceed with it. So I feel the expertise of figuring out that the sport is 40 minutes and something can occur, I feel that helps us out.

Q. Baylor, is there no matter opponent at all times a problem that comes with the primary recreation of the event simply getting the kinks out of the way in which and discovering your rhythm?

BAYLOR SCHEIERMAN: Yeah, I feel so. Clearly it is a — the event is so enjoyable and never everyone will get to participate of it. And the beginning of the sport, the environment is just a bit totally different than a daily recreation. And no matter who you play the primary spherical, lots of occasions it may be actually powerful. I imply, final yr at NC State it was a tricky recreation. This yr, identical factor. So no matter your opponent, the primary recreation is at all times a problem.

MODERATOR: All proper. Thanks. Scholar-athletes will be dismissed.

MODERATOR: Questions for coach McDermott.

Q. I do not know what you have been saying to them within the huddle as that first half was happening, however clearly each groups have been making lots of pictures. Did you get a way that due to the way in which the tempo was going that Akron wasn’t actually attempting to decelerate and play to their type, that you simply guys have been ultimately going to interrupt via?

GREG McDERMOTT: A few of the issues I stated within the huddle I am unable to repeat to you. And that does not occur with me fairly often. However I used to be not stunned that they got here at us in transition. In watching them play, they’re opportunistic, however they’ve lots of guys that may deal with it in transition and lead the break. So I used to be not stunned they got here at us the way in which that they did.

We had some psychological errors that allowed them to type of get going, and Freeman banks in his first three. That is a nervy shot for a man that does not shoot so much. Kalkbrenner makes one, too. But when the primary one would not go in with the financial institution, possibly he isn’t as comfy. Essentially the most he is ever shot in a recreation this yr was three, and he shot 47 on the yr. So we actually did not suppose coming in that he can be keen to shoot eight three-point pictures. So we needed to alter, clearly, as the sport went on.

Q. Greg, how a lot did you type of financial institution on that, when it began to show into type of a one-on-one there with Kalkbrenner and Freeman that the remainder of your guys, the supporting solid, would begin to get open seems to be the way in which that they did?

GREG McDERMOTT: Yeah, particularly when Freeman picked up a couple of fouls, that takes away a bit of little bit of his aggressiveness, and that is naturally going to occur if you’re in foul bother. In order we received that lead, we made it a degree to play via Kalkbrenner. And I assumed the blokes did a great job of selecting their spots. And like I stated within the open, the 17 three-point pictures, we had a pair we had to absorb late clock conditions, however I feel they have been actually good threes for us in opposition to a group that is been a lead all season of taking away threes and ensuring the share, I feel the group shot 30 % in opposition to Akron on the season from three. So to do what we did offensively in opposition to what I think about a really defensive group is mostly a credit score to our group.

Q. Coach, that is the fourth yr in a row that you simply guys have received a event recreation and you’ve got now handed all different Creighton coaches mixed for many wins within the NCAA Event. To have 4 years in a row the place you will get a win in March and to have the success that you’ve got had, what does that say about this group that they’ll carry out presently of yr?

GREG McDERMOTT: Properly, initially, you by no means take as a right getting right here, as a result of it is actually troublesome. What’s it, 16 or 17 % of the Division I groups get within the event? That is not very many. And there was lots of disappointment on Choice Sunday with groups throughout the nation that felt they have been deserving they usually did not get in. So the very first thing you do is you recognize the chance, and then you definitely have a good time the issues that you’ve got executed to get right here. Like I informed the blokes within the locker room earlier than the sport, we speak about course of all yr lengthy, trusting the method, trusting your work. You already know, that course of is what led us to right here. And that course of is what is going on to provide us hopefully a chance to type of end the job and preserve advancing on this event. However I’ve had — actually solely a type of groups was an inexperienced group. The group when — three years in the past when Nembhard harm received harm and Trey needed to slide to the purpose guard place and we have been enjoying some freshmen, Alex O’Connell had solely transferred in for one yr, Ryan Hawkins for one yr. The remainder of the groups, we have had some fairly good expertise within the event, and I feel that actually helps you if you come again. You already know what to anticipate. Groups which might be right here the primary time are taking photos and doing all that once they go on the court docket. Our guys at the moment have been like, all proper, that is the place we anticipated to be. What are we going to do, and let’s do it and get out of right here.

So we actually recognize the chance to play within the event, and we hope we’re blessed to have the ability to stick round until Saturday and we’ll attempt to give it our greatest.

Q. Greg, I am simply curious what you might need stated to Kalkbrenner if you pulled him over to the sideline on that made breakaway that did not precisely go the suitable method.

GREG McDERMOTT: Properly, he had one early within the season the place he tried to interrupt a press by himself, which was the primary time that I might ever seen that within the 4 years that I’ve coached him. At present was the primary as effectively. So we have been chuckling about — he stated he thought of going behind his again on the finish. That is what introduced my chuckle. However he performs the sport the suitable method, he performs with emotion. You possibly can inform he likes to play the sport. Impacts the sport in so many ways in which do not present up on the stats sheet. In order that was a enjoyable second for each of us.

Q. As the sport wore on, I do know it is by design defensively, I do know you gave up some offensive rebounds, however you probably did pressure them to take the pictures that you simply designed your protection to pressure groups to take. How did that execution ramp up as the sport went on?

GREG McDERMOTT: I imply, we needed to make some changes when the bigs have been hitting threes. So we needed to swap a bit of bit extra, after which we received cross-matched a couple of occasions. However I assumed early within the second half, I assumed — I am unable to keep in mind who hit him. I feel Johnson hit a pair powerful twos the place we went over the display, we have been there. He hits a 16, 17 footer with a hand in his face. That is type of what we’re attempting to do. So I used to be comfortable, actually, after the primary seven or eight minutes of the sport. I assumed we settled in a bit of bit higher defensively. However credit score to them, in addition they made some powerful pictures.

Q. I do know you have been locked into your recreation. I am questioning how a lot you have been conscious of what was happening in Omaha with Duquesne, which is the host faculty right here, and beating BYU, and the gang’s response to that. At occasions throughout your recreation, whether or not the identical factor was occurring again house?

GREG McDERMOTT: It was a bit of unusual to play the sport with that happening, by the way in which as a result of the cheers and the ooohs and ahs did not actually match as much as what was happening on the ground in entrance of us. In order that was considerably difficult for our guys. However I had noticed within the locker room earlier than I left that that they had the lead and clearly noticed the response. Keith’s been a pal of mine a very long time. We coached in opposition to one another again after I was at Northern Iowa and Creighton was within the Valley and he was at Akron. We have recognized one another a very long time. What an effective way for him to exit as his profession is winding down. However he is at all times been a terrific coach. He is tremendously revered in our occupation, and good issues occur to good folks generally, and he deserved that. So I am actually comfortable for him and his program and, particularly his household with a few of the issues they are going via.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach. Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports activities
142241-1-2377 2024-03-21 20:05:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

PPG Paints Enviornment

Akron Zips

Coach John Groce

Enrique Freeman

Greg Tribble

Ali Ali

Media Convention


JOHN GROCE: Clearly did not fairly go the way in which that we had deliberate or needed it to. Give Creighton lots of credit score. I assumed they have been actually difficult to protect. I felt that method coming into the sport. I assumed it was necessary that we had helpful possessions on offense and scored. And I assumed we received some fairly good pictures. We made them early. Did not make as a lot of them within the second half, however I assumed they have been good ones, and the sport received away from us just a bit bit there. However give them credit score. They are a good basketball group, however I am actually pleased with these guys, pleased with our entire group, however particularly, senior class and what they’ve meant to our program, in some instances 5 years, 4 years, two years and one yr between the 5 guys. And what they’ve executed for our program, and it is not simply the successful. You already know, clearly that is the half that you simply get to see is the three championships over 5 years and the win proportion and all that that these guys have been in a position to attain. But it surely’s larger than that to me. It is the folks that they’re, the folks that they’ve develop into, the leaders that they have been, the way in which they’re on campus, the way in which they deal with folks, the teammates that they have been, their work capability, their dedication to being nice, their dedication to one another, how a lot they care about one another, and the way a lot they care about successful. And in a day and age the place our society can are usually the other of that or 180 of that or there’s selfishness and all that with groups, and the truth that we did not have any of that makes this group actually, actually, actually particular. It has been an actual privilege to educate them and to work with them. Like I stated, Kaleb one yr, Sammy two years, Ali 4 and Reque and Greg 5. Simply very, very grateful and really feel very blessed. Wished we might have performed a bit of bit higher at the moment, however proper now I type of have an perspective of gratitude for these three guys and Thornton and Hunter, who aren’t up right here.

MODERATOR: Questions for student-athletes.

Q. Enrique, you went from getting dragged to open tryouts and now in March Insanity, I do not know if anyone’s informed you, I am certain , although, most double doubles, third in NCAA Division I historical past. How does that really feel to type of end this a part of your story?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: I imply, clearly the accolades really feel good, however like Coach stated, I am simply in actual good gratitude with how this group, all through your entire season, all through my complete time right here, we labored very laborious, and I feel we did one thing very particular in Akron, and I am glad we have been in a position to placed on for the town.

Q. Ali, what does it imply so that you can type of end off your story coming again to Akron, you get again to March Insanity and end it out together with your guys? Clearly not the way in which you needed the sport to finish, however your story as an entire, discuss concerning the ending for you.

ALI ALI: Clearly not the best ending that we needed, however I received to exit with the folks that I care about probably the most, , outdoors of my household again house. Actually, like, these are like my brothers. I do not actually received too many associates again house. These are the blokes I am round so much. So if I will lose, I will lose with them. If I will win, I will win with them. That was an enormous a part of coming again figuring out I might remorse it if I did not end out my school profession with these guys within the locker room.

Q. What labored within the first half? What did you suppose would work together with your recreation plan? Simply converse concerning the begin you guys had.

GREG TRIBBLE: I felt like we have been making lots of pictures within the first half which led to — they cannot get out in transition as a lot if you’re making pictures. And I really feel like within the second half we weren’t making as many pictures and we began playing they usually’re a extremely good group on offense, and as soon as they begin getting open pictures it is laborious to cease them from making pictures. In order that they have been simply actual good in transition, and we simply did not have good transition protection tonight.

Q. Enrique, simply that first half, the tip on an 8-0 run that extends 28 to eight, I imagine. Kalkbrenner, Alexander, Scheierman are all concerned. How troublesome was that match-up, and for you particularly, Kalkbrenner?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: He is an enormous participant. He has good measurement, however I feel match-up clever, we did a great job. I assumed your entire recreation tried to remove their good tendencies, however general I feel they simply caught us in transition they usually’re actually good on the three-point line. In order that they hit some good threes.

Q. Enrique, are you able to speak about what the banging inside and drawing him defensively outdoors with the threes, what was that tempo like for you and did it take a toll as the sport went on, the frenetic first six minutes?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: I imply, I do not suppose it took a toll. I simply suppose I received in foul bother and we determine to place Sammy on him. However that is what bigs do. We go down there and we’re bodily, attempt to catch them outdoors the submit. I do know I had a great submit place and he struggled after I was utilizing my strikes. So it is simply basketball.

Q. From speaking to you guys, I do know that you simply thought psychological toughness actually carried you thru the Mac event and right here, however you did not play your finest. I am certain you guys suppose that at the moment wasn’t your finest. So what do you suppose type of simply prevented it from being — reaching your full potential as a gaggle in relation to the expertise and expertise you guys have?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: I feel — potential clever, I feel our group is reaching our potential. You already know, I feel our complete season there was ebbs and flows all through your entire season, however on this recreation, some video games you get out shot. Merely it. I do not suppose any of our guys give up. None of our guys did not cease enjoying laborious. All people gave their finest efforts till the shot clock went off. So all we are able to do is check out the drafting board and hopefully these freshmen, juniors and sophomores are available in subsequent season and see that and use that as a chance to study.

Q. Enrique, you got here out and banked in a three-pointer to start and I feel you took like eight of them. I do not know. Perhaps John did not design it that method, however what was happening there with you taking pictures the threes and simply how did you are feeling about that?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: You already know, he performs within the paint so much. So we tried to stretch out the ground a bit of bit extra. And everyone believes in my three. I have been working very laborious on it. And I simply knocked down a couple of, in order that they needed to change protection, and we determined to assault a distinct method.

Q. This recreation solely happened two hours away from house. Fairly good trustworthy exhibiting from the Akron crowd, and at occasions within the first half, fairly energetic. How did you guys attempt to trip that momentum from the gang, as effectively, and what was it like simply to see the Akron trustworthy right here?

GREG TRIBBLE: It meant so much. Clearly, our followers, they care about us. They present as much as each house recreation. That is why we have been so good at house this yr. I imply, it simply feels good to see some acquainted faces in Pittsburgh, and we simply tried to feed off of that. And that is it, actually.

Q. For you three guys, you guys got here in earlier than the pandemic. You guys have been in Akron for 5 years, Enrique six as a scholar, clearly. In case you may take us again to if you have been youngsters to now as type of grown males or adults, what’s that been like, this full expertise of school basketball with two event appearances?

ENRIQUE FREEMAN: I imply, like I stated yesterday, the journey has been wonderful. Tremendous grateful for the journey. I would not ask for it to go any totally different. I am very pleased with what I used to be in a position to accomplish right here and all of us have been in a position to accomplish right here. And I simply — I am comfortable that we’re in a position to depart on a legacy. Akron basketball, Akron tradition. We have executed lots of successful, and we wish to simply go on the torch. These guys in 2019, 2020 handed the torch to us. Time for us to go the torch.

ALI ALI: I might say I am positively appreciative of the run we have had the final 4 or 5 years, and simply trying again, like, clearly as a child, center schooler, highschool, like for me, not having a DI provide, senior yr beginning like Groce coming in giving me one likelihood, and nobody else giving me an opportunity popping out of highschool. So I feel simply coming into this event has been the story of our lives, at all times been underdogs. So I imply, I am simply grateful and appreciative for all of the folks I’ve met on the way in which.

GREG TRIBBLE: I am simply grateful for the chance of Coach Groce and the teaching workers for even believing in me to come back to this college. Simply instructing the youthful guys, simply do not take it as a right. You already know, clearly, we put in lots of work to get to the place we’re at now to do as a lot successful as we’ve, and simply instructing them, that is what it is all about. Simply instructing them that you simply simply cannot take it as a right. You gotta work laborious every single day.

MODERATOR: Thanks, student-athletes. All proper. Questions for Coach Groce.

Q. Coach, did the primary half type of go in keeping with plan or was there an enormous deviation from what you thought?

JOHN GROCE: Till the final couple minutes. I assumed that was the largest juncture within the recreation. We have been up 34-31 with about two minutes to go within the half after which they went on an 8-0 run. I assumed that was the largest two minutes of the sport. So give them credit score. We had a pair possessions there the place we did not get matched up in transition. The blokes alluded to that. You already know, we had a questionable shot, , could not fairly get the ball a few occasions the place we needed to get it. However for probably the most half, apart from these two minutes, we performed the sport plan to precision, fairly frankly. We actually did. Terry was speaking about Freeman’s eight threes. I truly hoped he’d get 15 up.

Q. Coach, you began off the sport with Enrique Freeman up high taking these eight threes all through the sport. You had Sammy Hunter within the submit. Is that one thing you guys had deliberate for?

JOHN GROCE: A whole lot of it is primarily based on how Kalkbrenner performs defensively. For my part, he makes them go defensively. So the blokes are actually good, give good effort. However you are speaking concerning the three time Huge East Defensive Participant of the Yr. He is huge, as Rique stated. So I’ve received confidence in Enrique and Sammy to shoot the ball from the three-point line and past. In order that was a part of it, attempting to get him out of the paint a bit of bit. Give them credit score, Greg made a change, like good coaches like him do, and adjusted his protection a bit of bit. However I assumed Ali was efficient within the first half. I assumed the choose and roll recreation was efficient within the first half. I assumed we did lots of actually good issues. Till their run the final two minutes, as the unique query was requested there, I do not know if it may have went a lot better.

Second juncture of the sport that I assumed received away from us was the beginning of the second half. We simply weren’t — weren’t fairly as efficient as we have been the primary 18 minutes, after which we have been enjoying behind from there.

Q. John, given Enrique’s journey, how powerful is it, then, subbing him out with 1:23 to go figuring out you are not going to have him once more?

JOHN GROCE: Powerful. It is not simply because nearly as good of participant a as he’s. That is a part of it. But it surely’s the particular person he’s, the chief, the teammate, how coachable he’s, his work ethic, how a lot he cares about different folks. I’ve nicknamed him the unicorn for a purpose.

Q. Coach, in that second half, when the offense is not executing, looks as if pictures are discovering any and each approach to not fall. What is the message to your group?

JOHN GROCE: Properly, my entire deal, and it’s each recreation, it is the standard of the shot that is necessary to me. I imagine in them that they’ll make good pictures. So I am extra involved concerning the high quality of the shot we’re getting. I assumed turnovers can be huge for us, and you may have a look at the stats. We solely turned it 5 occasions your entire recreation, which is nice. I assumed defensive rebounding can be a bonus for us. They received us a bit of bit on the glass there throughout that one stretch that I used to be a bit of upset in. We missed a block-out on Mason Miller and a pair guys there that ended up throughout that stretch of two or three minutes after I talked concerning the dangerous begin a bit of bit to the second half the place it type of received away from us a bit of bit. I assumed that offensive rebounding by them was part of that. However, , yeah. Clearly you wish to make pictures. Proper? Who would not wish to make pictures? We have taken lots of satisfaction in having lots of psychological toughness of having the ability to play via stretches. We had a semifinal recreation in Cleveland the place we scored 16 factors within the first half and had 13 turnovers and we have been solely down ten as a result of our protection was so good. Then we scored 50 within the second half and shot the duvet off the ball.

So that you wish to make pictures. I do suppose in the event you can rebound and handle the ball and defend, you are at all times going to have an opportunity. However this was a bit of distinctive at the moment. Their offense, as the blokes have been alluding to, was simply prolific. Noticed it on movie coming into the sport, felt that method throughout the recreation. My opinion hasn’t modified on that. Simply have lots of solutions offensively. They have measurement on the rim and a man that may rating within the submit. They have a number of play makers, nice passers. They usually shoot the ball from three very effectively. You are not going to seek out very many nights the place you’ve got received all 4 or 5 of these guys that shoot threes for them to all be off in the identical evening. After which they run good things.

So I knew it was going to be a problem to cease them. Once more, I assumed the important thing can be may we preserve scoring, and clearly we have been ready to try this for about 18 minutes however weren’t fairly in a position to maintain that for the remaining 22 minutes.

Q. Coach, you used the phrase prolific to explain their offense. Was there an offense this season, whether or not it’s common season or MAC event or nonconference, that ready you for what they bring about with Kalkbrenner and Alexander and Scheierman?

JOHN GROCE: No. I imply, I feel they’re nearly as good of an offensive group when it comes to their personnel, their mix of measurement, taking pictures, play making, what they run offensively. They’re nearly as good of an offensive group as we have went in opposition to in my seven years at Akron.

Q. You’ve got been on this scenario earlier than after being eradicated within the NCAA Event. Simply curious, what do you say to your group afterwards within the locker room?

JOHN GROCE: I simply informed them how proud I used to be of them. I addressed the sport briefly, and clearly did not go the way in which that we needed it to or envisioned or deliberate for it to. Give Creighton credit score. However simply informed them how grateful I used to be for what I simply stated on the outset of this; 5 years, 4 years, two years, one yr, particularly these seniors, and actually all of them. You already know, I loved being with them, teaching them. They’re an ideal group of men. As Freeman has stated a number of occasions, we do not have a foul apple in our locker room. That does not imply we do not undergo occasions which might be powerful. All of us do, proper? You guys do, we do. But it surely’s the folks you do it with, how a lot you care about one another. We had good folks in there, and it made it tremendous pleasing, and I am simply grateful to have had the chance to educate them. These guys will at all times be part of not solely the Akron household, however my private household. You already know, I really like them. They’re nice, nice, nice guys.

Q. John, Enrique stated he was comfortable to have the ability to depart a legacy. How would you outline the legacy?

JOHN GROCE: Properly, that is a sophisticated query, proper? As a result of what you see is the successful, , the successful proportion general, league play, one of the best within the league, the championships, the banners, all that. And that is actually part of it. However I feel it is extra of — and a few the younger guys simply spoke after the older guys had an opportunity to talk within the locker room about how grateful they have been that guys taught them what laborious work appeared like. You already know, what management appeared like, what being an ideal teammate appeared like, what being at a do-both place, which means, we count on you to get it executed academically and earn your diploma and make progress in the direction of diploma whereas additionally enjoying at a excessive stage, what that appears like. You already know, all these guys you noticed up right here, plus Hunter and Thornton, exemplified that each day. And they also have been in a position to see all that and really feel all that. So to me it is larger than all of the successful. That is actually part of it. However once more, it is who they’re as folks, who they’re as college students, the truth that they’ll recover from themselves and care about someone apart from themselves, , only a particular group.

Q. Clearly, the loss remains to be recent, however all three guys touched on passing that torch within the legacy of Akron basketball. What does the way forward for Akron basketball seem like in your eyes?

JOHN GROCE: Properly, for us proper now, clearly, I am attempting to course of this one, proper? However on the finish of the day, we wish to proceed to fill our locker room with folks that care about one another and care about successful. That is what these guys would inform you. It is actually not any extra difficult than that. Do you care about one another, actually look after one another, handle one another, and do you care about successful forward of private agenda? Proper? Sounds apparent, sounds straightforward. It is not. You already know, in order that was their mentality. I feel the youthful guys noticed that. And we wish to proceed to construct on that.

Q. I do know you’d choose to be becoming a member of him within the spherical of 32, however do you may have any message in your outdated pal and rival Keith Dambrot?

JOHN GROCE: I am going to do this most likely a bit of later. I have never had an opportunity to try this. So I have been occupied with what we’re doing proper now.

Q. Are you able to inform us what you would possibly inform him or discuss to him about in a while?

JOHN GROCE: Often he and I — I stated this earlier, we’ll textual content or we’ll name and I am comfortable for him, clearly, and what he is been in a position to do. I feel you have a look at the final time that they have been within the event, I feel, was the ’70s. Is that appropriate? Yeah. So it is actually — it is superior, , what he is been in a position to do. And I am comfortable for him and Donna with the retirement, and Keith’s an enormous purpose why I ended up come to go Akron. I stated that earlier, was due to Keith and all of the success that he had had and the battles that we had after I was at Ohio, and the familiarity with Akron and Northeast Ohio due to my time within the state at so many Ohio universities. And so, I had nice familiarity with Akron and was drawn to that. However largely due to Keith.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach. Recognize your time.

JOHN GROCE: Certain.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports activities
142246-1-2377 2024-03-21 20:31:00 GMT

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