Here’s the postgame press conference after Providence’s 75-71 loss to USC in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament:
Providence (Ed Cooley, Jalen Lindsey, Emmitt Holt)
NCAA Men’s First Four: Dayton
Thursday, March 16 2017
USC – 75, Providence – 71
THE MODERATOR: Now being joined by the head coach of the Providence Friars, Ed Cooley, as well as student-athletes Emmitt Holt and Jalen Lindsey.
COACH COOLEY: Congratulations to USC. Advancing and moving in this tournament is what it’s all about. I think the second half we just didn’t play — I thought they played harder than us in the second half.
I thought they were tougher. I think some of our early miscues gave them some energy and I just didn’t think we were tough.
I saw a totally different team in the second half than we had in the first half. And when we weren’t scoring the ball I thought we got a little frustrated. Again credit USC; they did a really good job.
Really, really frustrated with how this game ended. I thought we controlled it for most of it. But in tournament play you’ve got to play a complete game, and we didn’t. So we’re going to take ourselves home and brush ourselves off and look forward to next season.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Emmitt and Jalen.
Q. Jalen, can you speak of any defensive changes that maybe they made in the second half or was it more your execution in the second half?
JALEN LINDSEY: Honestly, like Coach said, I think we just got out-toughed in the second half. We weren’t playing with the same passion we were in the first half, and it showed. And they executed their game plan and we kind of faltered back.
But props to USC for winning that game.
Q. Jalen or Emmitt, when they kind of went to that big look, those three big guys in there, which they haven’t really according to Coach they haven’t shown all year I haven’t watched them very much, but did that surprise you guys? Did that take a little bit of an adjustment? What did you see in that run?
EMMITT HOLT: Well, we’re a real versatile team. When three bigs are in, we look to take advantage. But I think they powered the ball inside. They got a couple of calls and it just went their way.
Q. Jalen, were you surprised to see zone in the first half? Obviously you had some pretty good looks in the first half.
JALEN LINDSEY: We’re more surprised by the zone. We kind of figured they would. And we prepared for it and we tried to execute it, and I think we did pretty well against it they had to come out of it and start playing man. But we weren’t surprised. We were ready for it.
Q. Second half obviously they didn’t show that.
JALEN LINDSEY: We were kind of slicing the zone up in the first half. They figured to change something up, and it worked.
Q. Emmitt, obviously get outscored by 20 in the second half, how do you take this into the offseason? It’s a tough way to lose.
EMMITT HOLT: Yes, it’s a tough loss. We’ve got to learn from it. We’ve gotta do the basic stuff work on our dribbling, free throws, passing, all that stuff, and make a run at it next year.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.
Q. Were there any changes that they made in the second half that you just didn’t adjust well to?
COACH COOLEY: They played us man. We prepared for both. We weren’t surprised by the zone in the first half. I mean, they played us basically all zone last year, and I thought our guys did a good job executing moving the ball.
In the second half, the ball didn’t move that way. I thought we took some quick shots. I think we missed — I think we had three out of four possessions where we turned it over. I don’t think it was anything they did that was special. They guarded man. They switched. Then when they went big, I think they got second and third shots. Their length in front of the rim was really effective for them. But I don’t think it was anything they did special.
We missed shots and they made some shots. I thought we got lazy defensively in the second half, and I was really shocked at that given the time and score of this game.
Q. Kyron throughout the game seemed as if he really didn’t find his gear. Is that more McLaughlin? Or again he wasn’t the normal Kyron.
COACH COOLEY: I think McLaughlin is a great player. I think that team will go as he goes. We talked to the team about that. He’s the guy that steers their entire program. Really, really good basketball player. He can beat you in a lot of different ways.
And Kyron didn’t have one of his better all-around games. But I don’t think you just put that on one person.
Although he has a lot to do with our success. I just didn’t think as a group we were fundamentally sound the last 20 minutes in order to advance in this tournament, between a lot of different things that happened. Hopefully if we’re in the situation again next year I do a better job preparing my group.
Those kids are in there hurting. I’m proud of our group this season. I think we had a year no one expected. I thought we did some great things in this game. But in tournament play you can’t have the mistakes we’ve shown and advance and expect to win.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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