WATCH: Postgame Press Conference vs Georgetown 1/4/17

Here’s the postgame press conference following the Friars’ 76-70 win against Georgetown at the Dunk:

Here’s a transcript of some of the answers by Cooley, Alpha Diallo and Jalen Lindsey:

  • Cooley Opening Statement – “First, I’m just happy that our players were able to respond from a really, really tough road trip that we had. It’s great to play at home. I’m glad to see our players fought today. I thought we had good energy. Both teams coming off a couple of losses. It was a great Big East battle. I was proud of the balance of the team. In particular I thought our younger guys stepped up. I was really, really proud of our younger guys when they got in the game to contribute. I thought we grew up today. I thought our freshmen definitely grew up and I thought we had some good leadership from Kyron (Cartwright), Jalen (Lindsey) and Rodney (Bullock). Emmitt (Holt) made a couple timely baskets. I thought we had a couple of great preparation practices.  Coming off a couple of road losses in this league you’ve got to try to keep your players positive, keep everybody on the same page, make sure nobody is too down, but at the same time urgent to get the next possible win. When we look at Georgetown, they’re always very physical, they get to the free throw line, I think they were averaging 22 makes [from the free throw line] a game. They’ll be somebody to definitely contend with in our league. When you look at our league it’s just tough. Every night. Every single night you can’t be surprised by the results and that’s great balance, really, really good coaching and playing. I’m just really proud of the group and couldn’t be more excited for them to get back on the winning side and playing at home. I appreciate the crowd that was there tonight that helped us get over the hump.”
  • Cooley on keeping everyone focused on what they need to do – “We’ve got a good group of guys. We really do. We’re fragile in some sense because we’ve got a lot of young guys that are not proven yet and they’re itching for an opportunity. Our older guys are learning how to be lead guys where they haven’t been before. Right now they’re number 1 and 2 on scouting reports where before they were 4 or 5 or 6. So, that’s an adjustment that you have to have a conversation with them and make sure you’re really honest with them when you’re giving you answer to them.”
  • Cooley on his team’s improved second half offense – “Drive the ball. We wanted to. Proud of the way our have coaches scouted them. We’ve played against them before and we wanted to try to get in the middle of the floor a little bit, kind of play off the elbows.”
  • Cooley on how they stopped L.J. Peak – “L.J. [Peak] stopped himself. I know L.J. really well. He played on our 19 and Under USA team and we spent a month together in Greece. Great kid. He just had a tough night. You don’t have a great shooting night all the time. But I thought [Rodney] Pryor played well, [Marcus] Derrickson played extremely well, shot the ball, we gave him a lot of space and he got really, really comfortable.”
  • Cooley on guys stepping up with some players in foul trouble – “We did. I thought Isaiah Jackson, although he didn’t score, he rebounded, I thought he was tough. I thought Alpha came in and gave us some great, great energy passing the ball, toughness defensively, and 1, moved the ball really well. Jalen had some timely, big-time, timely jump shots that we needed. But Jalen should do that. He’s a junior. He’s taken probably 10,000 shots at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. I’m actually shocked when he misses now to be honest with you. He should be doing that. But it was really a good contribution from everybody around the team.”
  • Diallo on giving the team a boost in the second half – “I just wanted to be aggressive, go out there and just try to make the right play.”
  • Diallo on how his teammates has re-assured him that his time would come – “My teammates always encourage me to ‘keep going, to keep pushing, your time will come’ and I attribute [the success I’ve had] to them.”
  • Cooley on how he and his staff have also discussed that with Diallo – “We’ve been talking to [Diallo] a lot about that. ‘You’re time will come…’ I’m really, really proud of Alpha today. I thought he was one of the key reasons why we won the game today.”
  • Lindsey on increased comfort shooting off the dribble – “It’s definitely one of my weakness and definitely something I’ve been working on. I’m trying to become more than just a 3-point shooter. I’m trying to get one or two dribbles, sometimes get to the basket be it an offensive rebound, a defensive rebound, something different than just being a 3-point shooter.”
  • Lindsey on his comfort scoring the ball – “It’s a bigger role. The past couple years I’ve playing in the back behind Kris [Dunn] and Ben [Bentil] and LaDontae [Henton] and a lot of great players who’ve come through here. I know this year I have to do a little bit more scoring and I’ve tried to step up to that role.”
  • Lindsey on whether Cooley has told him to take more shots – “I don’t think that’s the case. He’s never told me not to shoot. I try to shoot the right shots. Maybe if it’s 8 shots or 10 shots it doesn’t matter. As long as we get the win that’s most important.”
  • Cooley on whether he thought his team was ready to play an old-school Big East style game – “We were ready to play. We could have played anybody today. We had to play well because we haven’t played well since…I couldn’t even remember the last time we played well. We’ve had stretches where we’ve played okay. We needed to get out to a good start and we needed to finish a game, so I’m glad it played out the way it did. But we needed to play well. We hadn’t played well, offensively or defensively. Like we spoke about the other day I thought or ineptness offensively took away from our momentum defensively. When we’re scoring the ball we’re decent defensively because guys got a little more pop in ’em.”
  • Cooley on the team going through an offensive funk after a pretty good start – “The thing I was happy with was we got good looks at the basket. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t but we I thought we stayed aggressive, we moved the ball and the right guys took the shots. You can’t complain. Sometimes it’s just not your night. Today, over the 40 minutes, we made enough plays to win the game.”
  • Cooley on weathering Georgetown’s run to start the second half – “All teams go on runs. Whoever goes on the run last probably wins the game or whoever can make a free throw or a bank shot. Teams are going to go on runs and I’m proud of us because we didn’t fold or give in. We stayed with what we wanted to do. Proud of the player’s confidence. You’ve got to stay confident. It’s a credit to the player’s confidence in what they were able to accomplish.”
  • Cooley on needing to make winning plays in Big East play – “In this league you’ve got to make play after play after play after play because they’re going to come down your throat right away and you’ve got to come right back to them. We practice certain things and a lot of your practice habits turn over to the game habits. I’m really, really excited about this win for our players. We can’t get too happy. Enjoy the present but there’s a monster coming in here on Saturday [in #10 ranked Creighton] who I think is one of the best teams in the country. We have to protect home court. I’m excited about our preparation over the next 48 hours. You guys will go to sleep and we’ll go to the film room.”
  • Cooley on Lindsey and Cartwright playing 40 and 39 minutes – “Whatever it takes to win, man. These kids are young. They want to play. If that’s what it takes to win then they’ll play another 40 and another 39. I don’t dictate that. The pace of the game and their attitude dictates that.”
  • Cooley on how this performance for Diallo could propel him as the season goes on – “[Diallo] grew up today. He definitely grew up today. But he’s been practicing well. Again, when you practice well, you play well. When you don’t practice with a purpose you don’t come to the game with a purpose. We’re going to need Alpha. He’s definitely someone we’re going to have to lean on in Big East play. His size, his athleticism, his versatility, his IQ, I’m a big Alpha Diallo fan.”
  • Cooley on the bounce Diallo got off the rim on a late jumper that went in – “It’s the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. We’re home. We deserve it.”

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