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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Big East Tournament Quotes - DePaul

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by DePaul.

COACH LEITAO: Very happy, obviously. For everybody this time of year a lot at stake. Want to live to play another day. And in order to get to where you want to get to, you've got to take it one step, one possession at a time. I thought we did do that, and I thought we were really good defensively, particularly early our hands were in passing lanes. We got deflections. They were a little off balance. We got some turnovers. And it fueled some fastbreak offense. And that's what you've got to do with a really good defensive team like Xavier. We outrebounded them, which is the number one key because they feed off their ability to get second shots so much. But Charlie with a lot of minutes playing real well, 18 and nine with only two turnovers. Paul, in the first game back, with 23 and 12. I thought Jaylen Butz was really good. And solid by Romeo and some of the guys off the bench. Nick, I thought, gave us quality minutes. And you're going to need that. Everybody has to be at their best if you're going to win at this time of year.

MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Charlie, this was a team that swept you guys in the regular season. What was different today that helped you guys come out on top?

CHARLIE MOORE: We just came out and stuck with the plan, the game plan. Came out, gave energy. Tried to limit their rebound, offensive rebound attempts, just play defense as a team. I thought we did a great job of that tonight.

Q. Can you just expound on what Paul Reed's return meant tonight because he was just everywhere on offense, defense, making clutch free throws?

COACH LEITAO: He's well rested. No, that's who he is. He's so long and he's hard to box out. He's hard to find. In the most positive, ways he's awkward about how he does things. He scores in unconventional ways. As I've said all along in the three years he's been here, you don't have to run a bunch of plays for him to be in the middle of all the action. And he did that today through some early foul trouble but he stayed with it emotionally, and he came up really big with those free throws at the end. But for us, his ability to get second shots for us is really important. And having him in the lineup gives us that advantage that we don't have when he's not there.

Q. Charlie, Xavier's not really known to be a 3-point shooting team, but they normally aren't as bad as going 0-for-10 in the second half like they were tonight. What were you able to do defensively on them, especially when they were desperate down the stretch to make sure they weren't making any 3s?

CHARLIE MOORE: The two games we played them, they killed us from beyond the arc. We wanted to lock in today and take the 3-point attempts away from them -- do a high hand and closest out to them aggressively. And I think we did a great job of that especially the second half, since they went 0-for-10.

Q. During your game the league announced that there will be limited fans tomorrow -- each school will have 200 people because of the Coronavirus. What's your reaction to now all the leagues are kind of doing this now with playing all these conference games without fans?

COACH LEITAO: I think the first responsibility for everybody in this world that we're living in currently is safety at the expense of a packed building. We all would love that; players would love it. The coach would love it; the fans; anybody would love it. But if one person suffers because of it, or if it spreads because of it, then it's probably -- whether it's fan interest, economics, whatever, it's probably not the right thing to do. So I think you saw across the board what's going on in this country and around the world as to the limitations for exposure as best we can. Most Americans, I mean people around the world, but in America, don't have an idea of what it is and what's going on. And so you just have to follow the experts and do what you're told. If it means that we'll play tomorrow night with a limited amount of people, we're still going to try to bring our best effort. And it means more people will be watching on TV, I guess.

Q. Oscar Lopez played an extended amount in the second half. Can you tell us how he played and your confidence and it rewarded for you?

COACH LEITAO: He's the one guy other than Charlie that can go north really well, meaning he can get deep into the paint. And his ability to do that allows Charlie, which is -- one thing we haven't done a whole lot this year and haven't talked about it is that Charlie is a very accomplished scorer. He hasn't been able to score as much or to the percentages that he would like or we would need him to because he's always got the ball in his hands. Oscar provides an opportunity for Charlie to not have the ball in his hands all the time and to be able to receive it and make a play as opposed to being an initiator. That helps our offense and helps our spacing. And he was really good battling their big guys, Carter or Freemantle on the defensive end, and got some key rebounds too.

Q. I believe the last game that Paul played before this one was against Xavier. Did he get hurt in that game?

COACH LEITAO: Yes, he did.

Q. It was his hip?

COACH LEITAO: Yep. He got hit in the hip and he had -- he had to come out, went back in and played with it injured and then after the game realized that it was more problematic than we had known during the course of the game. So the next morning that's when we shut him down.

Q. He had a big game today, but there was the one juncture where he got the technical foul for hanging on the rim, and Xavier took advantage and went on a run there. What was your message to him at that point?

COACH LEITAO: I didn't really say anything to him, to be honest with you. My message to the team was to be poised through all the highs and lows. We got up 12 in the first. They came right back, six points in a row, it was a four-point game. And just allow us to be who we're supposed to be -- live in the moment, live in the moment. And for that time that you mentioned for Paul, they got a free throw.

They made it and then ran quality offense after that. They were getting the ball inside. And I was trying to get the guys to understand that through what we're doing well or times they're playing well, we've got to be just even keel and live in that moment.

Q. There was a report by Jeff Goodman on Twitter saying you were going to get extended today that you were going to get an extension, do you know anything about that, contract extension. He tweeted that you were going to get a contract extension at the end of the year --

COACH LEITAO: I could talk to you about it. It's private -- it's not private business, excuse me, it's something that's been ongoing. It probably doesn't have a real place -- no disrespect -- but during this tournament. I think both parties are in a good place, the university and me on my side. So once it comes time to handle that, we'll handle that.


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