Quote Lines

Quote Lines

Quotes from WVU head coach Bob Huggins, Da'Sean Butler and Kevin Jones follwoing the Mountaineers' 54-51 win over Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the Big East conference tournament

Q. Da'Sean, the plan at the end of the game was to take a 20-footer with a hand in your face?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: No, honestly I was supposed to just catch the ball and get a couple of dribbles inside the three-point line. When I got the ball, he kind of pressed up on me. So I kind of lost my balance, and by the time I squared up, I only had time to take one dribble instead of two or three. And when I took the one dribble, I put it up. I felt good. I saw it hit the glass, I said oh, it's fine. It fell right there. I said all right, it went in. Thank God.

Q. You say when you saw it hit the glass --

DA'SEAN BUTLER: When I saw it hit the glass, I felt more confident. I always feel confident with my shots. When I saw it hit the glass where it did, it fell right there and it worked out for me and the team.

Q. You have had a lot of buzzer beaters this year it seems like. Where does this one rank obviously being in the BIG EAST Tournament?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: This is number one. This is really good. Especially being here, historic gym. A lot of great players play here. For me to get an opportunity to come here and for my team to pick up the win and for me to showcase what I can do and what my teammates can do, especially at the last second, that was cool. I enjoyed it.

Q. What were the problems with your guys' offense from the time when you were up 18-4 to the time you tied the game? What went wrong there?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: We just was standing still a lot. We went zone. And when they went man, we just didn't pass the ball. We got the ball early. Instead of passing the ball and doing the things that got us the lead, we kind of strayed away from that and were making two passes and taking quick shots. And they were going down and scoring. So we kind of strayed away from the things we did to get that lead.

Q. During the day the other top seeds had fallen. Did you guys look at that and take that as maybe a little warning to start out strong?

KEVIN JONES: Oh, yeah. We definitely saw that. We didn't want to end up like them. That's why we came out, played hard, played the way we did. And we kind of slacked off a little bit towards the end of the half. And I think that's what almost got them back into the game. But Coach gave us one of those spirited halftime speeches like he always does. We just got back out to doing what we do, that's playing tough basketball.

Q. Kevin, you had a tough time in the Tournament here last year. Today obviously really turned that around. What was the difference between last year and this year?

KEVIN JONES: I mean, I couldn't worry about what happened last year. Today get that out of my head and just worry about this year. And I know my team really needed me to step up and play well. So I just tried to do that for them. I'm glad I did. I'm glad we got the win.

Q. Both of you guys, Da'Sean before the game winner, you had the push pass right before the shot clock. Both of you guys standing and not quitting.

DA'SEAN BUTLER: Yeah, Coach Huggins was telling me to make sure I get the ball, last-second kind of thing. And got it handed to me and Devin and set a screen. I tried to split the screen. I lost the ball and fell on top of it. I picked the ball up and Kevin's man happened to run towards me. I kind of leaned over to the left and passed it to him. Thank God he caught it. It would have probably went right out of bounds. And he scored.

Q. Da'Sean, what was going through your mind at the end of the game when Cincinnati hit the three to tie the game?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: It sucks. But, you know, you have to come back and just play. A lot of teams against us obviously during the year, people just shoot unbelievable percentages against us when we play them. I don't know why but they just do. For some reason when he let it go, I had a feeling it was going in. It went in. We have to go and play. We had enough time to make another play at the other end. We had an opportunity towards the end of the game to make shots and we just pulled through. Players make plays. He's a great player. Of course, you can't just bury yourself and sulk and things like that. You have to keep playing through it.

Q. Bob, you had three upsets today. You guys went down to the final seconds. Is that attributable to the double bye? Did that have anything to do with it?

COACH BOB HUGGINS: I'm not a fan of the double bye. But I don't know that that had that much to do with it. We played pretty well early. I think it was 19-3 or something like that. And we had four transition opportunities and didn't score on any of them. That kills you. I thought we had a chance to kind of break their back. And we kind of let them up. Then in transition we didn't find Deonta. Any time we don't find him, he makes shots. And we kind of got him going a little bit. Then we shot the ball so miserably the rest of the way.

Q. Coach, how have you seen Kevin improve this year and what he is like to coach?

COACH BOB HUGGINS: I used to say KJ does all the right things. He's never late. He shows great enthusiasm. The other day he slept in and missed the start of practice. I'm not saying that about him anymore. No, he's a great kid. He came in I think at 215 pounds. He started the year somewhere between 245 and 250. It's made all the difference in his play. He's undersized in there, and we understand that. But he does it great. He works at it. You don't ever have to worry about Kevin giving you effort.

Q. Da'Sean, the turnover with Dixon, were you in that one as well?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: Yeah, that was me. But he kind of, he was in a spot, ended up catching the ball. I didn't want to foul him. So I just let him go so he can catch it. I was thinking he was going to keep going. He kind of hesitated so I got in front of him. And he went to do something with the ball. I don't know what he was trying to do. I tapped it and I tapped it right back into his hands and it went out of bounds. I'm grateful Burr saw that one. I thought it was going to go back to them.

Q. Bob, I assume you've seen what Notre Dame has been doing the last few games.

COACH BOB HUGGINS: No, what's been going on?

Q. Their new style, can you comment on it.

COACH BOB HUGGINS: I think Mike has done a heck of a job. When you lose a guy like Luke, who has been one of the best players in the history of this great league, that's been full of great players, and all you do is turn around and get your guys rallied and get them going again, I think Mike has done an unbelievable job. And they're not very deep. So they shorten the game. It's smart. He's got a bunch of guys that can make shots. And I think Tory Jackson has been as good a player as there is in the league the last whatever it's been. Five or six games. He creates so much for other people.

Q. Da'Sean, can you talk about the importance of being able to win close games this time of the year?

DA'SEAN BUTLER: It just prepares us for when we get to play -- not to say this team isn't a really good team. We get in the Tournament and we're used to playing these kind of games. It's not a surprise for us to be up one or down one or whatever the case may be. And either finishing the game or willing our way back from whatever the case is. Something we've been doing all year. So for us to go to the Tournament and play in a hectic environment or whatever environment we're in, down or up, you know, we're used to it. We play with all kinds of leagues. We've been down a ton of points.

Q. Bob, I just want to you comment on the style of the game. Pretty even rebounding, a lot of defense. I guess that's what you expected coming here the way these two teams play?

COACH BOB HUGGINS: I thought we would make more shots than we did, honestly. But yeah, they do a great job. They change defenses and they really packed it in the lane and didn't give us anything easy. We struggled to make shots. Then when you struggle to make shots on the perimeter, and they pack it back in, it's hard to score. I think we were 3 for 19 or something like that before he made his last shot. Of course I think he missed about 12 of those. He's not even paying attention.

Q. Kevin, how much more comfortable do you feel going into this March as opposed to last March? What do you think has been the difference for you this year?

KEVIN JONES: I mean, I was a freshman last year. Didn't really know what was going on. I was kind of nervous playing out here. But now that I'm a sophomore, I have that experience. I feel more comfortable. Like Coach was talking about, I gained a lot of weight this past summer and I've been working hard on my game. I think that's the most important part to my success right now.

Q. Coach, it seemed like the freshman Stephenson was trying to impose his will on the game in the last five minutes. Were you guys doing anything strategy to try to stop that?

COACH BOB HUGGINS: Whatever it was, it wasn't very good, was it? No, we've kind of relied on Devin to guard most people. And, you know, he made a big shot. He hasn't made threes all year. And he hasn't been really a great free-throw shooter all year. But I think that's the mark of a guy who is going to be, if he's not already, a great player because he makes plays when he has to make plays. We went 1-3-1 really to stop their penetration and didn't do a very good job of that. We tried to put John back there because before they tried to throw the ball over the top of us. I don't know what else we could have done. I don't know, we could have maybe triangle and two with the way the game is going, that's hard to do. We ended up with those bigs inside. We're just so small. It's hard for us whenever we play somebody that has the size that they have.

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