Big East Tournament: Providence Quotes 3.10.21
COURTESY OF PROVIDENCE COLLEGE, DEPAUL UNIVERSITY, BIG EAST CONFERENCE
COACH COOLEY: So obviously disappointed in the loss. Give DePaul a lot of credit, both coming out of the first half and the second half. Their energy, their guard play was terrific. I'll give them a lot of credit. Their physicality beat us up on the glass. We didn't match their intensity. It's sad. I'm hurt for our players. I'm hurt for our program. Have your last game like that, it's been a trying year all over the place for everyone in the country. I'm very proud of the fact that we got through the season where we didn't have a pause. It just wasn't the year that I thought we would have. I know there's a lot of disappointed people. There's no one more disappointed than myself at all. We expect a lot. Our expectations for our program will remain high. Our standards are high. It just wasn't one of these years where we had enough consistency top to bottom for us to be a worthy team night in, night out. There's some soul searching I think we all have to do. And it all starts with me. And I need to do a better job. We all need to do a better job. But it all starts with me and that's where we'll begin. But it wasn't a season I'm proud of and hopefully we can get better as we move forward. Again, a lot of credit to DePaul. I thought they played really, really well. They played connected. We had opportunities in this game; we just didn't capitalize on them, whether it was a free throw, a blockout, a layup here or there. Just wasn't meant to be for the Friars this year and it's unfortunate. But I do appreciate their effort all season. They're wonderful kids. Hopefully I can do a better job with our next group when they come in and with the guys that will be returning. But there's a lot of soul searching in Friartown we have to come up with a whole bunch of answers because what we did is it's not Friar-like and not something I'm comfortable with.
Q. Can you just take us through what maybe the search was game to game to try to find the consistency, to try and find maybe that pop that you guys have played with in the past?
COACH COOLEY: You know, I think it all starts with preparation, emotional preparation. And you're looking for a lineup where you can get a little bit of rhythm, a little bit of synergy. It was just choppy the whole game. Really, really choppy the whole game. Again it was one of those nights. There's no greater stage to come on than Madison Square Garden, the Big East Tournament. It's one of the greatest pleasures as a head coach to be involved with. And for whatever reason we didn't just have a lot of it. We didn't have a lot of chemistry on the floor today, which I'm really surprised at because we had some really good practices coming into this. I thought we knew what we wanted to do and how to do it but we weren't able to execute it. I don't have a lot of answers for that other than you gotta give DePaul a lot of credit because they were very disruptive. I think we had 16 turnovers and we couldn't get any flow or any rhythm.
Q. I think you guys missed 14 free throws tonight. Like you said, you just couldn't find any rhythm. And what did they do against David to, I think, to limit him to only nine shots?
COACH COOLEY: I mean, obviously when you've got a target on you, there's going to be a lot of attention to you. And that's where your teammates gotta help you out. That's where the teammates probably have to make an extra shot here, extra pass there. Relieve a little bit of pressure from him because he was trying really hard. Again, their game plan was good. We had some open shots that we weren't able to convert on. Their defense was really good on him.
Q. A lot of second half troubles in the last couple of weeks. Lack of depth? Concentration? Anything you can point to?
COACH COOLEY: I would say our second half performances has been inconsistent all season. That second half today was a microcosm of this entire year. Our defensive alertness, our attention to detail, our communication. When I talk about soul searching, for me it starts on the defensive end. So team toughness, mental toughness, coaching toughness, that's been inconsistent this whole year. And, again, there's no finger pointing. The finger points right at the mirror and it starts with Edward Cooley.
Q. Could you walk us through the first half putting in Andrew and Brycen, was that just kind of trying to provide a spark?
COACH COOLEY: You know, I've done that my entire career. When you're searching for energy, to me it all starts with toughness. And I just didn't feel we had a tough mindset coming out when you look at the way we played. I thought we were a little lackluster. We kind of were just going through the motions. It kind of took me by surprise. I thought our pregame was good and our preparation and walk-through was good. Our film sessions were good. But we just didn't come out with that pop. And we tried to energize the group. Andrew Fonts is someone who is that energizer for us. He's a communicator. And I thought Brycen probably played his best game for us today. He picked the right time to really step up, which we needed. And I thought that would propel us as the other guys got their feet under them. We just weren't consistent the rest of the time.
Q. With the obvious disappointment, what message did you share with the team there in the locker room afterwards?
COACH COOLEY: You know, echoing the same thing I'm talking to you guys about. For Providence College to be 13-13, whatever our record is, and lose 11 Big East games in a very tough league. We've had opportunities all year. And we talked about soul searching. And, again, I will 100 percent take accountability for my program. Bob Driscoll and Ken Sicard trust me with this program, and I don't feel I've done a really good job delivering for them. So the soul searching starts with me. It starts with our staff. It starts with our strength coach, our trainers, and then trickles down to our players. What can we do better moving forward? How do we prepare? Do they understand the toughness of this league? Night in, night out what it takes to be successful. On the floor, off the floor. Being able to communicate better, being able to understand what is winning and what goes into winning. That's the conversation I had with our men. And they have to understand that there will be some changes coming.