Head Coach Quotes

Head Coach Frank Martin

On his reaction to making the tournament...

“Ecstatic. I mean that is what everybody that coaches and plays Division I basketball plays for. To be in this tournament and be one of the top 64 teams in the country. They don’t ask you what you did to get there. All they say is here is your opportunity, go make the most of it’ and that’s all we wanted and we are thankful for it.”

 

On how worried he was on making the tournament or not...

“When you’ve been in my shoes the last two years and gotten left out, and you were a part of two teams that you believed and knew in your heart they should have got in but got left out. When you go out and lose in the quarterfinals of, I don’t care what any one says the hardest conference in America because there is not an easy game in it, you have to be worried. When you are an early out of your tournament you have to be worried.”

 

On playing in Omaha...

“I’m not surprised, I’m ecstatic. We have to have the most loyal faithful fans that I know of. So, I have no doubt in my mind there will be a lot of purple in those stands.”

 

On playing USC ...

“Other than the school having the same name, it is two completely different teams (from last year). We had a completely different group of guys. Southern Cal has a bunch of different players than what they had. Tim (Floyd) is as good as coach as there is in basketball. Defensively, Southern Cal is phenomenal. You are not going to play any poorly coached or bad teams in the NCAA Tournament. So you have got to strap it on and go.”

 

On OJ Mayo...

“I know OJ and he wants to win with the best of them. If you asked me, I’d rather not have to play guys like him. If you want to win the NCAA Tournament or if you want to win a game, you have to play guys like him. There are no bad teams with bad players in this tournament. For him as a freshman, to lead his team the way he has and helped them find the success they had this year is a credit to him and the rest of his team.”

 

On the Selection Committee matching up top freshmen...

“I do not know how that works. That is for the Committee to answer. Those guys are shacked up for seven or eight days. They do not speak to any of us. I would not be surprised if they found an opportunity to match us against them just to see Bill (Walker) and OJ (Mayo) play against each other. They slotted us into seeds and saw that as a possible matchup. At the end of the day, it’s about us and Southern Cal. I told the guys the other night, from this point on it’s survive and move on. It is not about being perfect or motivational speeches. It is about figuring out how to survive.”

 

On his feelings towards the Texas A&M loss...

“I have been disappointed that maybe I haven’t done my job well enough down the stretch here because these kids deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament. As a coach, you go home and every night after your team does not succeed and you try to figure out what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. It is your job to help the players, not short cut them. I have been reflecting on every thing I have done in the last six or seven weeks to help us deal with the different situations that we have had to deal with. Some are out of our control. To prepare us the best I can (is my job). I was at church today and I prayed that these kids get the opportunity to play in this tournament. It’s another great step for our program. You don’t sprint out of the hospital room the day you are born. We haven’t been to this (tournament) in the last 12 years. I know how hard those guys that were here last year worked. David Hoskins, Cartier Martin, Lance Harris and Akeem Wright I know how hard they worked to try to represent this school the right way.”

 

On being a first-year coach in the tournament...

“I sat here last year and I told you guys that we are moving forward. I don’t doubt who I am. I have traveled a difficult path to get here. Nothing has ever been given to me. I don’t sit around and worry about failing, that’s why I reach for as much as I can go for. I got hired here for one reason and one reason only and that is to keep this group of guys together and to bring this program back to the NCAA Tournament. I am proud of the fact that these kids are going to have this opportunity.”