One of the good things about working for both WSOU and Sports Info at Seton Hall is that I get to attend the press conferences. I have to admit that this was one of the funnier pressers I've been to in my three years at the school.
Let's get to the quotes:
When asked about the Pirates' 0/17 performance from behind the arc in the first half, I couldn't help but note a little bit of sarcasm in Kevin Willard's voice:
"I've never seen an 0/17. Ever. Especially in one half. After that point, I pretty much told my guys to take a line out of Along Came Polly and start letting it rain. You take enough shots and, shit, one is bound to go down, right? And it did! Jamel finally hit one to end his schnide. That's good right? Felt good for him. Happy for him."
When asked about the defensive strategy on the final inbound play:
"Foul. Yeah, we wanted to foul there, but we didn't. We've had problems fouling in that situation in, what, two games this year? That's a problem. We definitely wanted to foul."
When asked about Jordan Theodore's 0/10 afternoon and general poor performance in the game:
"Theo is going through a little down swing right now. He took some good shots, made some good plays, but slumps happen. Slumps happen. I have a lot of confidence...a lot of confidence in his game. He'll bounce back."
Hit the jump for additional quotes regarding Hazell's return and Jim Boehim's presser.
When asked about Jeremy Hazell’s timetable for return:
"We’ll go to the doctor on Monday at 10 o'clock. If he’s cleared by the doctor and he wants to play, he’ll be in the starting lineup on Wednesday."
Willard's press conference was short, sweet, and awkwardly humorous. It was clear that, despite the loss, Willard was at least partially impressed and happy with the team's overall performance. Whether or not it was due to regressed anger or simply a positive demeanor, the coach kept a smile on his face as he fiddled with a water bottle in his hands.
Jim Boeheim's press conference on the other hand was even more humorous. Boeheim stepped into the room wiping his forehead with obvious displeasure and began speaking before he was even in front of the microphone. Midway through his opening statement, one of the 20 plus journalists in the room had a cell phone ringing. True to his humorous form, Boeheim lashed out right away.
"Are you kidding me? Who's phone is that? Nobody gonna answer it? Really? You guys can't tell the ring of your own cell phone? Even my daughter knows when my cell phone is ringing and she's 11. Unbelievable."
The writers looked amongst one another, afraid to speak, as Boeheim ripped into them. I couldn't help but smile in the corner. The first query for Boeheim came from none other than Adam Zagoria, who asked an unexpected question. He asked what Boeheim thought of Duke's play without Freshman wunderkind Kyrie Irving:
"Well, uhh...that has nothing to do with what went on tonight, but I guess I'll answer it anyway ... Kyrie Irving is a real special player and very young, but they're a deep team. All this means is Nolan Smith is going to average 28 points a game instead of 18 points a game ... Duke is still the team to beat for me. There are some other top teams, sure, but other than the top few, I have no real favorite right now."
I couldn't get his entire answer, but I'm pretty sure he said something like "better to ask a bad question than no question at all, right?" I can't be sure though. Anyway, next question directed to Boeheim was his thoughts on the play of Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson. Despite gushing over how much he respects the Seton Hall program last year, Boeheim was short on praise this time around:
"Yeah, they're good. Pope, ya know. He rebounds. The guy rebounds. He fights and fights, and he rebounds. Robinson is a great player too, really good. He killed us for a bit too there. Yeah."
Boeheim has certainly changed his tune after a more than praising press conference last year following Seton Hall's final three minute collapse at the hands of the Kris Joseph led Orangemen. And finally, when asked what he attributed the team's 46 wins and only 5 losses in their last 51 games to, Boeheim still wasn't short on jokes:
"46 and 5 in our last 51 games? Must be good coaching, right? Or luck. Good coaching and a bit of luck. One of the two. Let's take a vote...who thinks it's good coaching? (raises hand) Who thinks it's luck? Yeah, it's nice, but we don't think of it much."