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Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: Maryland Athletics
Release: 03/19/2013

March 19, 2013

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -

Head Coach Mark Turgeon 

Opening Statement:

“I am really pleased with our second half. I thought Niagara was great in the first half—they made some tough shots and were much more physical than we were. We turned it on when we got down 29-23. Our guys turned it on and played much better the rest of the way. The start of the second half we were great. The press was great to us, our half-court defense was good, and Alex [Len] did a great job of protecting the rim. We had a lot of guys play well: Nick Faust, Seth Allen, Pe’Shon Howard, Charles Mitchell, Alex Len, I can go on and on, Dez Wells defensively. We beat a good team that seemed a little bit fresher than us in the start. It was a good win for us.” 

On the team’s approach to the NIT:

“I think our approach has been great. If we didn’t show up tonight we would have lost. Our determination in the second half shows that we are determined to get better and move on. I was really worried about our fatigue. I was really glad that we built a lead up, I didn’t play Alex [Len] the last 15 minutes and got Dez [Wells] out. Seth [Allen] can run all day so I left him out there and played the young guys more. I am worried about fatigue, and we have to go back out and play Thursday. Five games in 10 days in three different cities, grueling emotional games; it is tough. It shows you we are getting mentally tough to come out and play the way we did tonight.”

On Nick Faust’s improved play:

“I think it started at Wake Forest, and has continued on at Virginia, through the ACC Tournament and tonight. There is a reason we are playing better. We are a better basketball team than we were a month ago. A lot of it has to do with Nick and Dez [Wells] playing the way they have been playing. They are getting better,and it gives everyone else confidence out there. I am really happy for Nick and Dez because I rode them pretty hard. I realized those are the two guys I have to get on, and they have responded and are playing better.”

On Pe’Shon Howard:

“Pe’Shon never gets—unless it’s me—credit for how well he guards. He did a great job again tonight. [Antoine] Mason is hard to guard. He shot a lot of free throws but they weren’t all on Pe’Shon. Tonight six assists and one turnover, he ran the team. He is another reason we are starting to play. We have a lot of guys growing up finally. They are growing up and realize how hard you have to work. They have had some success and they feel good about it. Has our program turned a corner? Yeah I think it has turned the corner, what level I don’t know. We are mentally and physically tougher and a better road team. I know those weren’t true road games down in North Carolina but we played three North Carolina schools. Guys have really toughened up and I have been waiting on that.”


Sophomore Guard Dez Wells

On finding energy at halftime:

“We’re not tired; we’re fine. We just came out in the second half and pushed the tempo, and we took control of the game.”

On competing in the postseason:

“We just want to win the NIT. We’re in it to win it. We’re not here just to buy time. We want to work as hard as we can to send our seniors out on the right note. That’s our focus right now, is to play the best basketball.”

On Maryland’s turnovers:

“I think our turnovers were a lot better than they were—with that being said, we have to take better care of the ball, and just slow down a little bit.”


 

Freshman Guard Seth Allen

On the difference between halves:

“I think the difference in the second half was just that we came out with a lot more energy. We had a lot of stops defensively and we just started running in transition, and that really helped us.”

On playing in the postseason:

“A lot of teams aren’t fortunate to have a postseason. We’re just looking at this as a good experience, and we just want to keep getting better.”


Sophomore Guard Nick Faust 

On his 11 rebounds:

“I was just trying to be aggressive on the boards. Coach preached all night us crashing the boards and earning our minutes. That’s what I was doing.”

On the start of the second half:

“Guys were coming out with a better mentality, and we all came out and kicked it into another gear.”

On playing zone:

“It took us a minute to figure it out. Their defense was a lot of interchanging, but once we got the hang of it, we were able to break it down.”


Niagara Coach Joe Mihalich 

Opening Statement:

“I thought we had these guys back on their heels a little bit. For me, without thinking too hard about it, we had a chance in the first half. We were up six; we missed a layup on one [possession], and then real quick it was: dunk, layup, dunk, tie game. That was just what they needed to remind them how good they are, and that they beat Duke twice. That’s where we lost it, or at least had our chance. Credit to them, I like that team. I said to Mark [Turgeon] afterward that I hope they win it, and I think they can. In these tournaments you win one and you start feeling it. You feel bad for a couple days, especially these guys because they didn’t make the tournament, but you get into this, you get a win, and it starts to feel good again. If they can get another one who knows. We’ll be rooting for them.”

On the effect of Maryland’s pressure defense:

“We talk a lot about being tough on offense. When you talk about tough teams, everyone knows you’re talking about defense, but you got to be tough on offense, and I thought we were soft. We didn’t turn the ball over much this year. One of those KenPom stats that everybody would point to with us is that we don’t turn the ball over a lot. It was very disappointing to not handle that pressure well; we did a great job with it all year long. We got soft, we got careless with the ball, and that was a little out of character for us.”

On Maryland’s depth:

“I don’t know if we’re in a sword fight with a butter knife, but they’ve got McDonald’s All-Americans, we’ve got kids who eat at McDonalds. Our starting five is good, and we’ve got another kid we can bring off the bench that is good. It’s not the same as what they’ve got.”


Niagara Redshirt Sophomore Antoine Mason

On going up in the first half and then losing the lead:

“It feels just like Notre Dame. We were down about five aginst Notre Dame in the first half, and then it was just that stretch where they went on 10-0 run.”

On if the press affected them:

“I guess, because they created turnovers into points. It didn’t seem like it affected us, but obviously it did. I guess this is just a stage in maturity; we’re young. Next year we have to realize every minute is important.”

On building on this game going forward:

“Defintely. We can just wash this away; we have to remember the film, and watch until it hurts. We have to do it to become a better team.”

On why the team couldn’t produce on offense in the second half:

“It was a cold streak at the wrong time, and we were rushing a lot of shots too. I guess we weren’t comfortable and we should have slowed it down. It’s a learning experience.”



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