Two times a month or so, the Big East conference holds a media teleconference for members of the media to ask the coaches of the conference whatever they want.
Here's some quotes from today's media teleconference from each coach:
Greg McDermott, Creighton
Comment on their win over St. John's: "Well it goes without saying that we are thrilled to finally get in the win column, this group has really stuck together through a difficult past and it's good to stay positive...We need Austin Chatman to step up if we are going to be successful this season."
Elaborate on how player's positivity: "Sometimes people think that coaches make their money when we are winning. When you have a good team you just have to tweak a few things and stay out of your team's way. When you've had a streak like us you have to do everything imaginable to keep these guys motivated...we try to put everything that's happened in perspective. This group has done a good job of not living in the past and getting ready and I give them a lot of credit bc it's not an easy thing to do."
"I don't ever expect to lose at home."
Chris Mack, Xavier
On Gtown and the last game played: "We were able to roll that start over to the second half and got a hard earned victory. Seton Hall won at Marquette and they've got a chance to make some shots. Sterling Gibbs is one of the best guards in our conference..does a really good job of fighting over ball screens and making big shots and that's going to be a challenge for us."
On Dee Davis: "Dee can shoot the ball better, but there's no mistake, we want him to be a pass-first point guard. We want him to be able to recognize the defenses of the opponent. His assist to turnover ratio has been spectacular recently...sometimes he has the ball in his hands at the end of the shot clock and, unfairly, he's been asked to create with four or three seconds on the shot clock and we have to do better so he's not in that position. But because he's [setting the table] we've been better offensively as of late."
Last time against DePaul: "I think the last time we played it was a strange game. They were 3-0 and really hot. They looked in that game like we did against Georgetown. I don't think it was a typical game. We are not taking much from that game. They looked out of sync. It's going to be a completely different game Saturday. It was just a really strange game and we are going to approach this one like a new matchup.
on JayVaughn Pinkston's lack of scoring: "We have just had so many options that he's been unselfish about screening and defending, but we have to get him going a little bit. We definitely have to do that.
On Arcidiacono's increase in productivity: "Arch has a tendency to look at what he perceives we need in game. In the Gtown game we were struggling and he tried to pick us up. Or night's when other guys are going and he distributes the ball. He will get them the ball when they are hot but he will carry us when we need it. He has that confidence right now."
*prior to the last DePaul game, Arch was suffering from severe wrist tendonitis on his shooting arm*
Chris Holtmann, Butler
Marquette match up and previous stretch: "Like any team probably, we are glad to win our last couple here, we understand that every game is kind of a life onto itself and we understand the grind that every game is going to present. We have played really really well in stretches and we've had other stretches where we need to improve. Really pleased with our team's growth.
"We play a Marquette team that has played extremely well at times this year. They have the great ability to turn teams over and have good size and athleticism. Then they have a player like Carlino who has been excellent in late game situations."
Scoring contributions outside of Roosevelt and Dunham: "I've always believed the most balanced teams are the hardest teams to defend. I worked for a guy one time that said he wanted all five starters in double figures. Balanced teams, elite teams in league play, can present some trouble for other teams. One of the things coaches in our league do, they can take away primary options. That happens with really good coaches and players. And it provides opportunities for other guys. When we've played pretty well, we've usually had balance with our teams."
How to keep a team together and confident: "Wojo has done a great job. His team plays with great passion, emotion and energy every night. They have some talented pieces and they have had so many games, both at home and on the road, that have come down to the last five minutes. That group really competes. They have a nice core of players. Fischer really helps them inside. They have some good athleticism and a weapon on the perimeter that's outstanding.
As we get into February and March, the temperature, the spirit of your team, as I watch them and watch our league play, we have a group of teams that compete on a night in and night out basis."
*No other coach got asked more than three questions, for some reason, Holtmann got bombarded with like 394048 questions at this time, all about boring things involving Butler basketball that were extremely redundant. The word "physical" was used more than 10 times. The word "special" was used many times as well.*
Steve Lavin, St. John's
A brief comment on last night's game: "Last night was a hard fought affair at Creighton and we came up short. We didn't defend the three point line well. Creighton was able to generate enough points to get the W. We had nice balance with four players in double digits..(at this time Lavin decides to low-key mute his phone)...We did some good things, we had an injury earlier and we will know more about his status this afternoon."
On Sir'Dominic Pointer: "If you see him on a consistent basis, his leadership, overall approach, he's just a great kid to be around. In terms of basketball, for the first moment I saw him play, he was clearly a unique talent and someone that could help us in a variety of ways. His freshmen and sophomore year he was trending positively. His junior year he sort of flatlined. And this year he has been fantastic...Dom in his own way is an unorthodox and unique talent and he has the ability to play this game for a long time."
*Steve Lavin's phone goes on mute again (he probably uses Nokia), starts talking about the beauty of the league and parity and all the other stuff associated with that, which is talked about every single waking minute of Big East basketball, all the time, every season since the realignment*
*At this time I was about to type a quote again for y'all, but it's completely obvious that Lavin is A) somber as hell after that loss and B) needs St. John's to buy him an iPhone 4 at minimum*
Kevin Willard, Seton Hall
Brief comment on last night and then Xavier: "It was a really good bounce back victory for us. It was good to come out and see the basketball go in the rim early. Moving on to Saturday, we have a really tough opponent. Xavier is as fast on offense and as physical on defense. We are excited about just getting a win last night."
On Sterling Gibbs being the league's best guard: "What he's doing for us right now, I'm going to be biased, he is one of the best guards in the conference, we try to get him the basketball in as many situations as possible to create. It's not just pick and roll or ISO, it's screens and more. He's really grown up this year and he's taken the leadership goal easily...he's just become a very smart basketball player and he's starting to mature a little bit and recognize what the defense is giving him."
If someone told you in December that you'd be 4-4 without Isaiah Whitehead what would you have said: "With the way I looked at how our schedule was with the road games, I'd be excited. Our guys have battled through injuries. But this is the first time I've had a team respond around injuries. If we can get Isaiah back, we can only move forward.
"I told my guys, we've lost three in a row, but we've lost those three in 15 games. We are still the same team that was ranked 19th in the country. We can't let negativity get us. It's hard to understand that with their generation...it's not like we've lost it. We just have to remember what made us a good basketball team. I'm proud with how they've bounced back in practice. If they do the little things, we can get back to playing as a team."
Steve Wojo, Marquette
Opening statement and matchup with Butler: "Give my cap to Seton Hall, they played an outstanding game and it was the best they've shot in conference play. Sterling Gibbs is one of the best guards in the united states, that had to do with a lot of how Seton Hall played.
On Butler: "They are a very strong team. I've scouted them in the 2010 national championship game. They are very well coached and it shines on every end."
On similarities between 2010 Butler team and 2014-15 Butler team: That 2010 bunch Butler had was a pretty special group and this Butler team is having a special year. I love their veterans, Roosevelt Jones and Dunham, they play like veterans. And they have a heck of program."
*Wojo starts talking about when he played at Duke and they lost and how that's so un-Duke of Duke to lose, even though they're doing it now, then he wraps it into some nice quote from a fortune cookie which acts as a metaphor to how to get Marquettes "swagger back" which Wojo said that you don't hand out. Literally said: "you don't hand out swagger, in this league you have to earn a swagger complex."
On Carlino: "He's having a great year and his best year since he's been in college. He's a competitor. And he pours his heart and soul into this game and he's trying to win. He has a very good skill set at shooting the ball at a very high level and he's been great for us...Matt is never scared and I don't know if I would compare him to any one player. He loves those moments. He's not scared to make a big play...He's one of the best guards in our conference."
John Thompson III, Georgetown
Opening statement and a comment on match up with Creighton: "We had a tough game the other day against Xavier and we weren't playing well, and us not playing well was a function of them. And is the case of every team in this league: you have to bounce back. And we head to Omaha on a very difficult match up."
Challenges with replacing star players like McDermott: "You don't lose someone like Doug and it not affect you. He is so talented. And he is so good and so hard to prepare for and he plays with such emotion and energy. He's the kind of kid that will get eight to ten points just on his hustle, forget the fact that he's a great shooter. Every year it's different. You know you are going to lose that player. You don't go through the year saying 'woe is me where is Doug?' you prepare for that."
*There is literally a Doug McDermott question every two weeks. Move on bros.*
Challenges with defending the three ball: "They have guys who can penetrate and can shoot the ball. They have multiple team that can put the ball in the basket. We just have to be cognizant."