Dayton Media Opportunity - March 21, 2015

March 21, 2015

Dayton Head Coach, Jim Jabir

On what stands out to him about UK …
“Well, at the end of the day, we’re going to have to be who we are and they’re going to try and take that away from us, so my concern is the University of Dayton, not the University of Kentucky. They’re going to trap, they’re going to press, we understand that. We have to stay poised, and we can’t turn the ball over. That’s how they manufacture points is off of turnovers and even off of made buckets. Since the GW point (Dayton games vs. George Washington) was brought up, we’ve worked very, very hard to address a lot of those things and the similarities between the two teams and the way that they defend. So, I think we will be better for it. We learned from those experiences and we will be prepared for tomorrow.”

On playing George Washington who plays pressure defense …
“I think familiarity is helpful. Yesterday, I said that losses are OK as long as you grow from them, and the first time that we played GW, we uncharacteristically shot 53 percent from the free throw line and lost by three points. So, it’s not like they just dominated us. We made some errors, but it’s the pressure that they bring on ball-screen action and their ability to rebound and those things, and that’s where we’ve worked a whole lot on trying to recognize pressure and releasing that pressure and trying to get scoring opportunities from that pressure. So, people really haven’t pressed us a whole lot this year. We tend to score off of presses, but I don’t know if we’ve seen a press like this, either. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes tomorrow. I’m very confident in how far we’ve come and the composure and the poise that we’ve been playing with the last couple of weeks.”

Dayton Student-Athlete, Saicha Grant-Allen

On Kentucky …
“I think they’re really aggressive in terms of their defense. They’re going to try and fluster us and make you double-think about what we’re going to run. It’s important for us to stay poised, keep up our offensive flow and utilize our strength inside.”

On UK compared to Iowa State …
“I think UK really tries to push the tempo more than Iowa State. UK really maximizes on that and they don’t take seconds off. We can’t celebrate baskets, we have to get back and stop the ball as soon as possible and make sure that we are able to maximize on offense just as much.”

On playing UD with an up-tempo style …  
“Teams will try and play us how UK will play us in terms of defense. They create havoc, they get in your face, and they make you double-think about your options. So, I think that we have capitalized on that. We’ve worked since GW to try to be able to stay poised and find solutions to those things like rotating the ball and finding the gaps. Sometimes a really in-your-face defense can have some holes in it and we have some really great shooters that can really do some damage on the outside.”

On how they plan to combat the crowd …
“We have a bunch of Flyer Faithful that never fail to show up, so despite the crowd, they bring a lot of energy, so I don’t think that will be a problem for us. With the energy that we create on the bench as well, I think that we just need to stay together and let the game flow.”

Dayton Student-Athlete, Amber Deane

On what she knows about UK …
“I definitely agree with Saicha (Grant-Allen) after watching them play. They like to play fast and speed them up. We can’t play with our hands. I believe that we are definitely capable of running our offense, and when we do, we need to take good shots instead of taking quick ones, which I thought yesterday (Tennessee State) did.”

On the Gonzaga vs.GW game …
“I think both teams are really good. I knew it would be a great game going in. Obviously Jonquel Jones got into some foul trouble and that allowed Gonzaga to run some better offense and also they were able to execute better on the defensive end. It was a great game like I thought it would be. I know that GW is going to come back even better next year and Gonzaga is going to keep playing in the NCAA Tournament and I believe they’re capable of doing great things.”

On what Kentucky does well …
“They’re going to try and speed us up. We’re an offense that is very unselfish. We move the ball around a lot, we thrive off getting assists for one another, creating open passes for one another, so I’m sure teams saw our GW game and think they can speed us up. We didn’t execute as well, but tomorrow if we just run our offense and get open shots then we will be OK.”

On how they plan to combat crowd noise …
“I think it’s great that we started off our year playing a lot of away games – going to Gonzaga, going to Iowa, Washington State, which were all big tests for us. Going into tomorrow, we understand that we are going to be facing a really tough crowd, and a lot of that momentum is going to come from them. We faced that really early on in the season and I believe that’s one of the reasons that we’re so successful and we’re still here.”