Game 1 - #4 Temple #1 Xavier 53

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1 Game 1 - #4 Temple #1 Xavier 53 Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy Opening Statement It seemed like every time we needed a huge rebound, Semaj Inge stepped up and got it, especially late in the game. I absolutely was on him like you couldn t believe earlier in the game, ragged on him tremendously, and he just fought back and was a key. Obviously Dionte (Christmas) made some huge shots. Everyone had to play well for us to win, but I m especially proud of Semaj. On overcoming Xavier s defense Xavier s a tremendous defensive basketball team. I think they hang their hat their defense. As good as they are offensively and I think they re very skilled their defense is really where they make their money. I d like to think we re getting better defensively, we have some good defensive numbers for the year. I thought it was a hard fought game, and a lot of your offensive game plan is out the window. It s like getting blood from a stone at some point, you have to score. Your best players need to step up and Dionte did that late in the game. We made enough plays to get the victory but it was a hard-fought game. On Dionte Christmas composure There was a feeling that I had that he was going to be the guy to lead us. I thought he was going to step up at the right time, and he deserved that opportunity. We gave him the ball and told him to do something with it. Really profound offensive strategy give the ball to Dionte and hope he makes a play, and he did. Again, he deserved to have the ball in his hands. He s worked hard, he s a great representative of Temple, he s had a fabulous career, so I m really happy for him and the way he finished the game tonight. On Dionte Christmas foul trouble What we typically do (in that situation) is get him in on offense and out on defense as much as we possibly can. His fourth foul was holding (B.J.) Raymond. I thought that was a pretty good call. He was arguing about it, but you have to live with them at some point, so we tried to get him in for offense and out for defense. On Dionte Christmas eagerness to get back in the game off the bench When one of your players looks at you the whole time you re talking that never happens, by the way but what he wanted to do was catch my eye to say you re back in there again. I did not look at him because I wasn t going to put him in the game. It was the first time he looked at me in the face when I was trying to give one of my great timeout talks. On Lavoy Allen s night I think his night was especially fantastic in the first half. He had six offensive rebounds in the first half, kept balls alive and got some really tough baskets for us. He s a tremendous basketball player, and he s playing with a sizeable swelling in his ankle. He s just toughing it out and he s been great at everything he does. He had a great rebounding night tonight. He also made a couple of big baskets for us.

2 On Sergio Olmos effect on counteracting Xavier driving to the basket Serg did a great job. I m disappointed he missed that one dunk in the lane, but I m sure no one is more disappointed than Serg. He is playing really good basketball (though), he made a big-time jump shot for us. I think right after he missed the dunk, he got a jump shot in the short corner. Serg is doing good work and he s so hard to play against because he s so big. When he raises his arms, it s hard to shoot over him. On chance to go back to the NCAA Tournament I think it s fantastic. I m so happy for the players. We ve worked hard, but every team works hard. Every team at this point in time puts so much energy in. We re luckier than most and we have ourselves in position. We ll see who we re going to play tomorrow night knowing it s going to be a great contest. We re going to have to play just as hard and just as well and see if we can t get lucky again tomorrow night. On preparations for tomorrow s championship game This year s a little different. We played the second game last year. We re going to sit and watch the (Dayton/Duquesne) game and I m sure our guys will grab something to eat from the concession stands here at Boardwalk Hall. We ll watch the game and get out of here as quickly as we can. Certainly coaches will watch a lot of film tonight. We ll get (the players) up early tomorrow. We ll have a shoot-around and watch film and hopefully be prepared by the time 6:00 rolls around tomorrow. On playing either Duquesne or Dayton They re different teams, both will be very difficult for us as a match-up. We played both away from home this year. We beat Duquesne but weren t lucky enough to beat Dayton. They throw a lot of bodies at you. Duquesne isn t as deep but they have an interesting style of play. We re going to have to get ready for that if they are successful tonight. Obviously we ll face that challenge. Whoever it is, it will be a good basketball team and hopefully a great game like it was tonight.

3 Game 1 - #4 Temple #1 Xavier 53 Temple Guard Dionte Christmas On getting his shooting rhythm back Good shooters go into slumps, but Coach Dunphy had all the confidence in the world in me. When I went to the bench, he told me that everything I shot from then on was going in the basket, and I believed that. I went out there knowing that every shot I took was going to go in. My teammates had all the confidence in the world in my shot too. Toward the end of the game, they said It s your time and We re going to put the ball in your hands and I think I did a great job of delivering for my team. On Semaj Inge Like Coach (Dunphy) said, we wouldn t have been in that position without Semaj Inge. He played great in the last 10 minutes of the game and everything that we needed, he gave to us. On his 3-pointer near the end of the game It was in my mind that my team needed a basket right now. I m a senior, I m a leader of this team, I needed to make this basket to win this game and I had that in my mind. I knew once I took one more dribble and backed up a little bit more, it was going up. Thoughts on the game I have a lot of respect for Xavier and what Coach Miller has done for that program and for B.J. Raymond as a defender, but I give props to our team and our coaching staff for what we accomplished today. On B.J. Raymond s defense on him It was great. When we went to Xavier and played them the first time, I thought (Raymond) did a tremendous job on me. He limited my touches and today he did the same thing. I took some tough shots today, but they went in. He still did a great job on me and that team is a great team, one of the best in the country, and B.J. Raymond is one of the best defenders I have come across in a long time. On Temple being back in the championship game for a shot at the NCAA bid It means a lot. It says a lot about our program, our character and our coaches. This team has worked so hard to get to where we are right now. It means so much to me because the leaders that we had last year did the same thing that me, Semaj and Sergio (Olmos) are doing right now. It would feel good to know that I led my team to another Atlantic 10 championship. It means a lot not just to me, but to the program, my teammates and my coaches as well. Temple Guard Ryan Brooks On forcing 15 Xavier turnovers We were working our butts off on defense. There was a stretch in there during a media timeout when (Assistant) Coach (Dave) Duke said that if we get stops for the rest of the

4 game, we were going to win this game. We kept getting stops, going to the glass, getting the first rebound. We just worked really hard down the stretch and it paid off. On Temple being back in the championship game for a shot at the NCAA bid It s a goal that we set out to accomplish. To be back for a second time, we can t let it get away from us now.

5 Game 9 - #1 Xavier #4 Temple 55 Xavier Head Coach Sean Miller Opening Statement: I think Temple did an outstanding job of defending us tonight. They have a great coach in Fran Dunphy. They have been right there all season a game or two away from being put in a completely different category. A team that I feel is very underrated when you consider the number of away games they have played during the regular season. Some of the circumstances that they had to deal with throughout, so I wish them the best of luck as we all do as they move forward tomorrow night and beyond. As often is the case in March, one player can really step up big. I thought Dionte Christmas was that guy tonight. On what went through his mind after Dionte Christmas three-point basket: I think in [Fran Dunphy s] case, I m sure he wanted to give Dionte Christmas as much freedom as he could at the end. Knowing that he was the most capable player to make big plays. He hit some really deep shots. On what team does now until Selection Sunday : We re going to travel back tomorrow and we re going to watch Selection Sunday at my house which we always do. It s certainly not a time for our team to lose sight of the great season that we ve had. We had a chance to win our conference outright for the third straight year. We ve won 25 games; got to the semifinals again. We couldn t quite break through, but we certainly played with great effort defensively. Xavier Guard B.J. Raymond On Dionte Christmas three-point basket towards the end of the second half: Dionte [Christmas] is a great player and I knew that he was going to take the last shot. All I wanted to do was make sure that I got a good challenge. Sometimes good players make good shots and great players make great shots. He s a great player and he made some tough shots tonight when his team needed it. On how Temple played tonight compared to Xavier s last match-up with them: They pressured the ball more. I think they looked at the last game and they saw what they needed to do to play us better. Tonight I believe they executed that very well. I had four turnovers; inexcusable. They executed what they did very well.

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