Big East Tournament: Butler Quotes 3.10.21
COURTESY OF BUTLER UNIVERSITY, XAVIER UNIVERSITY, BIG EAST CONFERENCE
COACH JORDAN: Extremely proud of our group. Obviously been through a ton this year. And to get an opportunity, when you get to tournament time, just to reset and talk about lessons that we've learned and then come out and fight for each other. So we have a lot of respect for Xavier and how good they are. And they came at us in the first half, to be honest. They dominated in the paint, had 20 points in the paint. And we didn't guard them well at all. Gave up six 3s. And our guys responded stayed focused stayed in the moment, Bryce Nze hit some huge 3s to keep us around. And Chuck Harris made plays late. Bo Hodges toughed it out. Two putbacks by Bryce Golden. And Myles Wilmoth's defense, Jair Bolden's defense -- they just battled. And as long as it was going to take they were going to continue to fight for each other, just proud of our group.
Q. What do you think was the difference for you guys defensively, because it seemed like your defensive energy and scheme and activity kind of, as it often has, has also kind of jump started their offense. Did you change anything scheme-wise in the second half on defense?
COACH JORDAN: Yeah, we did. We mixed some things up in the first half. And they took advantage of it. And so in the second half we made an adjustment. And then obviously we found a group that was really tough defensively, having Bo Hodges available helps. I thought he did a really good job on Scruggs late. And Myles Wilmoth came in and used his length really well. We only gave up three 3s when they had six in the first half. That was a big part of it. And we took care of the basketball tried to keep them out of transition. We only had only six or seven turnovers. That was a big part of it as well, trying to make sure we got a shot on the rim, not give them any freebies.
Q. Big second half. I was just looking, I couldn't help but look at the box score. Down 40-26 at halftime. 44 in the last two, I want to say in the second half and overtime. And a big part of that was Bryce Golden and Chuck Harris. How big were they down the stretch?
COACH JORDAN: Huge. Huge. We were just trying to find solutions on both sides of the ball. And those two guys, we rode them. Chuck played 39 of the minutes but we had to. We found something that was working. Bryce did a good job stealing and finishing on the inside. And they had a lot of attention on Chuck; obviously played well lately. Did a good job moving the ball finding teammates and taking opportunities late, when he had an advantage.
Q. Were you able to keep Zach Freemantle kind of in check? Because it seemed he dominated in that first half. Dwod Odom had to pick up the slack. How did you do it?
COACH JORDAN: Just challenged Bryce and Bryce, to be honest with you. Not a lot to it. Like I said they dominated the paint in the first half. And our guys stepped up and took the challenge. Sometimes there's no magic formula. Just gotta play better. So I thought our guys competed better in the second half.
Q. Could you estimate how impaired Bo and Bryce Nze were, because they were literally game-time decisions? And also how you kept Chuck Harris engaged. 0-for-8 start for a freshman would usually wipe a kid out of the game. But obviously that did not happen for Chuck Harris.
COACH JORDAN: He and Myles both had a rough first half just shooting the basketball. They had good looks; just didn't fall for either one of them. And the I thought in terms of them -- Chuck's a resilient kid; he's got a lot of toughness to him. He's been battling against Bo Hodges and Thompson in practice. When they get the best of him, what they love about Chuck, he comes right back at him. He doesn't back down. He knew what was going on in the first half. And just tried to talk to him about taking a deep breath, not putting too much pressure on himself, and just playing the way he's been playing for us. In regards to Bo and Bryce, it was literally game-time decision. And neither one was 100 percent, but they had to compete. And they wanted to be out there. We wouldn't put anyone at risk. Glad they were out there.
CHUCK HARRIS QUOTES
Q. What was the locker room like after?
CHUCK HARRIS: Locker room was full of excitement. Obviously a comeback win like that against your rival team is special. So we definitely cherished it in the locker room for a few seconds, yeah.
Q. What was the mood when you guys were down so much in the first half and then you chipped away a lot but still it was like 10 points to go with about 10 minutes? Looked like Xavier still had command. I guess what was the vibe like on the sideline? Because you still had a long way to go even after chipping the lead down.
CHUCK HARRIS: We knew we were playing a pretty rough first half. None of our shots were falling. And really everything was falling for them. But we knew we was always in the game. I think going into halftime we was only down 14. We just kept preaching one stop at a time, one possession at a time until we got back into it.
Q. So my question for you is I know that you guys don't like to do a lot of scoreboard watching or looking into the bracket and everything. But given that you beat Xavier and how bracketologists are looking at them now, do you think you might get a little bit of satisfaction taking your rival out of NCAA Tournament contention?
CHUCK HARRIS: I wouldn't say so, no; we're focused on ourselves. We're focused on Butler, not Xavier.