Big East Tournament Postgame Presser: Marquette

Big East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Steve Wojciechowski

Andrew Rowsey

Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquette - 72, DePaul - 69

MODERATOR: Questions for Coach and Andrew?

COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: It's a great win for our team and our program. Really proud of our guys. We fought through a lot of adversity. Our guys showed great toughness. Obviously there's a lot of game pressure on us.

We have tremendous respect for DePaul. Their length in all three games, especially the last two, has presented a lot of problems for us offensively. But our guys found a way to win and that's what this time of year is about.

So we're very proud of the win. It was a great game for us and we feel great about advancing in the tournament.


Q. Coach, I wanted to get your thoughts about how you're able to emphasize execution, especially with DePaul tying the game at 61, and you were able to push it, get a quick 5-0 run. What was your thinking out of that timeout to try to emphasize execution?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: A tremendous amount of game pressure on us at that point. We were fortunate to have a guy like Andrew who doesn't feel game pressure. He's a fearless player. And he made obviously huge plays when we needed it the most.

Q. 25 personal fouls after two games of doing a pretty good job of avoiding them. Is there anything about DePaul that leads to more foul calls or do you think the refs are just calling it tight tonight?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I think the Big East has the best officials in the country, and that's all we're both going to say about that.

Q. In the conference format you've got to play another game tomorrow. Is it better for you guys to have that kind of quick turnaround?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: There's no better or worse. We're playing tomorrow. And in March that's what you want to do. And it's clichéd, survive and advance. We were able to survive and we're advancing.

So whether we play at 9.00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m., the opportunity to play tomorrow is a gift, and we need to make the most of it without making excuses. We'll do our best to prepare ourselves against a Villanova team that's as good as any team in the United States.

Q. What do you feel like you guys have to do differently tomorrow night to have a shot against Nova?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: Against Villanova you have to play a pretty flawless game in all aspects, offensively, defensively. They present so many challenges on both ends of the floor. We're going to have to play our best basketball.

Q. Coach, Villanova is known for having their great guard play. You have a pretty good guard sitting to your right --
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I will tell you he's great too.

Q. No offense intended, but I'm just saying but actually preparing for them from a strategic standpoint, how do you -- now that you've got this one under your belt, what's the mindset going into tomorrow's contest?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: Obviously we played Villanova twice. So there is some familiarity. But our only focus coming into the Big East Tournament has been DePaul. They deserve that respect. I think Dave's done a really good job. If you look at their season, they are a couple possessions really in every game from having a much different record.

So our total focus has been on DePaul. Our players are going to try to get some rest tonight and our staff will be up all night trying to figure out how to answer the question you just asked me.

Q. On that last play, defensively, were you expecting them to take a 3, or were you thinking they'd drive to the basket down one?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: We knew it was going to go to Strus. And we didn't actually execute how we wanted to play. But we were fortunate he missed and he doesn't often miss those types of shots. The shot he hit before was incredible. We had a guy draped all over him. Maybe it was better for us not to have a guy draped all over him on that last shot.

Q. You shot 40 percent from 3. When you look towards tomorrow is that a key continuing that against Villanova, or is it more about shot making?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I'm sorry, can you repeat that?

Q. Is it more about shooting from 3 or is it more about finding space to shoot, shot making?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: I think it's probably both. We're going to have to -- we're a good 3-point shooting team. And to beat a team like Villanova we'll have to shoot really well from 3. When they take that away we have to make good decisions. I think more than anything it's about good decision-making and taking what the defense gives you, which against Villanova is not easy to find.

Q. Andrew, when the game was tied at 61 you scored five straight points. So often in the last couple games you've been the guy to take the clutch shots. Do you feel it's because you're a senior and you feel it's the end of your college career and you're taking that extra responsibility?
ANDREW ROWSEY: No. It's more of just what the game presents. The game presented me an open 3 and then it presented me a drive to a pull-up. So I took what I saw and I made it.

Q. Coach, in the second half, DePaul shot 50 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3 and 74 percent from the line, but you were able to find a way to win. Can you just speak up to the character of your team for finding a way to gut the win out?
COACH WOJCIECHOWSKI: Yeah, like I mentioned earlier I thought there was a lot of game pressure on our team, and a lot of teams would have broken in those situations. And we were fortunate to show some toughness and make enough plays to come out with the win.


Joseph Jarzynka