March 9, 2014
Box Score |
Illinois Head Coach John Groce Press Conference Quotes
Excerpt from Opening Statement
"When the score was 54 to 48, the game was hanging in the balance, our defense stepped up. I thought both our man and zone defenses were good."
Q: Was the final play what you had drawn up?
A: "We didn't have any timeouts, so I didn't have a chance to draw up anything. I probably would have used one, to be honest. At the end of a game, we have three or four things that we run. That play was one of them. The biggest thing was that I didn't want to run whatever we were calling until there were seven seconds or so on the clock. I wanted to make sure that, with a tie score, we were able to get the last shot ... Tracy (Abrams) showed great poise, didn't panic, and threw it to Jon (Ekey) and he made a tough shot."
Q: How big was the fast start?
A: "I thought it was big. We were really good early. We weren't quite as good to finish the half. I thought they were tougher than us in the last ten minutes of the half. They made it difficult for us to run our offense. They imposed their will on the backboard. I thought we needed to toughen up at both ends of the floor and have a better disposition, and I thought we did that in the second half."
Q: What was the gameplan for Marble?
A: "He is a terrific player. I shook his hand in the line and told him how much I admired coaching against him, preparing for him, watching him play on film. I think he's one of the elite players in our league, and I think that because he plays both ends. You can't guard him with just one guy. Your team defense has to have an effect on him. He's so good, that if you put him in space against one guy, he's hard to keep in front of. He moves well without the ball and plays well with the ball. He doesn't have a whole lot of weaknesses."