Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Frank Martin

On if he was expecting a tournament bid...

“No. Ever since we lost the other day I was prepared for the NIT. We sit here today knowing that we didn’t win enough, but it is what it is.”

 

On how the team’s emotions are towards the NIT...

“Look at the teams that are in the field. If you are not excited to play then you are going to get embarrassed in a hurry. Out of all the Division I basketball programs that are out there, there are 97 that are still playing and we are one of them. It is not the NCAA Tournament, we understand that, but at the same time we are excited to have the opportunity to continue and compete. We just need to go out and continue to improve as a team, and like I said look at the teams that are in this tournament.’” We might call this NCAA Tournament No. 2 because there are so many high-level teams in this field.”

 

On what the NIT does for a team...

“It is huge. You get to continue to practice, compete and showcase your team to people across the country. Guys want to play somewhere where you have the opportunity to be the best and when you are in the post-season you have the opportunity to continue to showcase your program. I used West Virginia as an example for our guys today in practice. Two years ago we were on the so-called bubble and didn’t get in and they didn’t either, putting us both in the NIT. They go out and make a run and win the NIT. Well, it was a team that returned almost everybody that prepared them last year to make a run deep into the NCAA Tournament. At the end of the day that is what we have to utilize this for. We are a young team, Darren (Kent) is the only senior on the team and my heart goes out to him because he can’t end his senior season the way he tasted it his junior year. But, as a program it is a chance for more practice and it better prepares us for the future, because it is always about the future. You want to win today but you are always preparing for tomorrow. Anytime you can be in the post-season three years in a row I think you are doing more things right than you are doing things wrong and that is a credit to the kids in the program.”

 

Senior Darren Kent

On his feelings towards the NIT selection...

“Like coach said there are a lot of good teams in this tournament that did real well this season, but for us our preparation is not going to change or anything like that. We are going to keep coming to practice working hard and get determined to go as far as we can in the tournament. There are a lot of good teams that will test us, so we will have to play really well. This is a good test for all of our guys and a good experience to be in the post-season.”

 

Sophomore Jacob Pullen

On his feelings towards the NIT selection...

“Looking at the teams that are in this tournament, it is all good competition. I have friends that have their season over with and they are all going home to watch it on television. For us to keep playing and for me to have the opportunity to spend more time with my teammates, it is a great opportunity for all of us.”