Matt Crossman of Sporting News interviewed Jay Wright today about the upcoming Big East Season. Here’s some highlights:
Q: It's not easy to improve on a Final Four season. What do you guys have to do to be better than last year?
A: We always look at a season as a new challenge. We never compare it to the season before. That sounds easy coming off a Final Four year—it gets you off the ropes. I know the expectations, coming off the Final Four with our (strong) young recruiting class, the expectations of our fans are very high. I can even say they might be disappointed if we don't go back to the Final Four. On the inside, that's our job to make sure our guys are playing hard every night and competing and we become the best team we can be.
Q: What characteristics do you hope your teams have, as a general rule?
A: I want us to be a team that really plays hard and competes and plays unselfishly. That is really most important for me. If we're doing that and we're just not good enough, I'm OK. I really am. We want to find ways to win. Everybody wants to win. As long as our guys are competing and they're playing for each other, and trusting each other, playing unselfishly, then I'm good with the results.
Q: Four out of the last five times you've been in the tournament, you've lost to the eventual champion. Is that a fluke of the draw, or is it because you guys are lasting long enough to lose to good teams?
A: I think it's a combination of things. I think it's a fluke of the draw. But we're playing hard, we're playing unselfishly, and when we get beat, we're getting beat by great teams. When it happens, you're not happy about it. But when you look back, you say, "OK, you know what, we gave our best effort, we just got beat by the champion, we just happened to run into them in the Sweet 16, we just happened to run into them in the final eight, we just happened to run into them in the Final Four." We're hopeful that at some point either we're that team or we lost to that team in the final game.