Big East Tournament: Marquette Quotes 3.10.21
COURTESY OF MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, BIG EAST CONFERENCE, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I'd like to congratulate Georgetown. Patrick really had his team ready to play. They're a team that's improved a great deal. Obviously Wahab is a lot to deal with. But I think their other guys have really improved. And they outplayed us in every facet of the game. And they deserved to win. And my congratulations to Patrick and his program.
Q. It's been a roller coaster season for you guys. You had some big wins and suffered through some adversity. Clearly a lot of talent on the team. Do you view this season as a disappointment?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: Disappointed in certain parts of the season. But as I told the team after the game, for our players to deal with a season that is not what any of them signed up for because of COVID and then, secondarily, because of injuries, that I was proud of a lot of the things that they did. Certainly you can go back and look, and this afternoon would be one of them, where we had disappointing performances, but I'm proud of our guys overall because they handled a difficult situation without complaining. They were asked to do a lot of things that are very difficult for grownups to do, let alone college students to do. And they did it without complaining. So there's a lot to be proud of and there's a lot to learn from.
Q. What was your message to your guys in the first half particularly, but pretty much throughout when you had a lid on the basket? Shots you normally make weren't going in. How do you keep your guys engaged and competitive and keep your guys fighting?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I thought our offense affected our defense. I thought we had some good looks in and around the basket and also from the perimeter. Those shots didn't go in. So when that happens, you've got to be tougher on the defensive end. And the primary area we weren't tough is rebounding the basketball.
Q. Obviously Theo, Jamal and Koby didn't have the best offensive performances tonight, but talk about what those three players mean to you, especially working with Theo for the past four years and Jamal?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: Those guys mean a lot. They've done a lot for me personally. They've done a lot for our program. They've done a lot for their teammates. And really 12 months ago at this time we were sitting in a hotel ballroom and we just learned our season was effectively over. And from that time to this, their senior season has been turned upside down. But those guys have tried their best. All three of them have improved as players. Obviously with Theo -- and you saw it this afternoon -- he's really struggling with his knee. And he has been pretty much throughout the season. But he's never once complained. It's been very difficult for him because he's really just playing in games. But he's had a really, all things considered, he had a really good senior year. And certainly Koby has grown a lot as a person, as a player, and Jamal has as well. Jamal, Koby, Theo, they're great men. And I look forward to cheering them on as they move on to their next chapter.
DJ CARTON QUOTES
Q. D.J., you guys came out cold shooting. Got into a big hole early. Why do you think you guys came out so flat today?
D.J. CARTON: I don't really know the answer behind that. But I mean I think a lot of it had to do with effort. I think our offense wasn't going our way and our shots weren't falling down, which is going to happen. And it translated to the defensive side of the game. And that affected our effort. And we didn't do a very good job of staying and playing the whole 40 minutes with everything we can, especially with what's on the line. So that hurt us and that showed tonight.
Q. Obviously Theo, Jamal and Koby didn't have the best games tonight. But talk about what they meant to you on the leadership end?
D.J. CARTON: Those guys are huge. I struggle a lot coming in here just from being off so long and trying to find my way back in the game and stuff. They always, you know, I'm very hard on myself, so they always keep my head up and have kept me going along through this hard journey. It's been a hard year for all of us. We've all gone through adversity and such. But those guys are really special to me and this program in ways because they set great examples for everybody. And they really care. I mean, it's hard not being able to play with those guys on the court again because it's just that relationship we have and we've been doing it every day for the past seven, eight months. It's going to be different, but I'm wishing those guys the best ahead of their careers. And I know what great people they are on and off the court. And I know they're going to be just fine.
Q. You guys faced this team earlier this year in January. You've been playing different since then. They've been playing different since then. What did you expect coming into this game?
D.J. CARTON: I mean, we expected them to do what they do and be very physical, score a lot in transition, and they're also very good 3-point shooting team as well. They shoot the ball really well percentage-wise. We knew we had to be able to get our hands up on shots and also be able to guard the ball one-on-one. But I think the effort really was lacking in the first half and that set us back and set the mood for the game and that hurt us. And I also think that we had to be more physical with Wahab. I think the offensive rebounds killed us. That set the tempo for the game and put us back on our heels a little bit at the beginning of the game.
Q. You guys had an up-and-down season. You had some big wins early. Some struggles here and there. And you mentioned the craziness overall of the season. As you think back to your first season at Marquette, how do you think you're going to view it, are you going to view it as a disappointment or how are you going to look at it?
D.J. CARTON: No, I'm very proud of this year and very proud of the guys I've played with and this whole team. A lot of people don't understand this was not easy. There's a lot of things that go into this on a day-to-day basis that people have to, you know, work harder for. And a lot of people went through adversity during these times and a lot of people grew mentally and physically and stuff, and I got close with my guys. I built relationships throughout this. So definitely something I'm going to look back forward on and look at as a year in my life where something I fought adversity all year long but I was with a group of guys that kept my head up and had me fighting for something. And that's the way we should go out and go. And I'm proud of those guys for that.