Huskies head coach Bill Coen and players Quincy Ford, David Walker, and Scott Eatherton fielded questions during a press conference on Wednesday morning. Here are some highlights:
Quincy Ford, on what the campus has been like the past few days:
I got a lot of high fives going to class (on Tuesday). Everyone’s real excited. Truly a lot of support behind us. Our whole school is behind us. Just a great feeling.
David Walker, on whether the team is embracing being the underdog against a “legendary opponent” like Notre Dame:
Yeah, I guess so. The name of the program—I mean, Notre Dame, they’re a great team. It’s fun. We really have—they have all the pressure. We’re just coming in. We’re going to play hard. And coaches, they have a great scout for us. We’re going to come in, execute the game plan.
Quincy Ford, on what’s been the team’s key to success this season:
I would definitely say our chemistry, our togetherness. We’re a close-knit group on and off the court. It really shows when we play. We share the ball so well and that’s just one of the makeups of our team and that’s one of our strengths.
Bill Coen, on how much the Northeastern community has reached out to him in recent days:
“We’ve had a tremendous outpouring of support and congratulations from the entire Northeastern community; former players, alums, fans, friends of the program. It’s just been outstanding. I know our kids are very appreciative of everything and I think they understand the context of this event and how much it means to everybody in the Northeastern community. Our whole campus has been abuzz.
Bill Coen, on the common denominators when lower-seeded teams defeated the favorites:
Simply stated, you have to play mistake-free basketball. You have to play the perfect game. You have to have a really good game plan. You have to execute that game plan. And you have to catch a break. You’ve got to get a little bit lucky. You’ve got to get a bounce. Something during the game has got to go your way to shift the momentum. And then you have to have the confidence and the courage to seize the moment, and that, I really think, is the beauty of March, watching that play out over and over again, seeing kids step up and really seize the moment. I think those have been the success stories.”
Bill Coen, on what about his squad gives him confidence playing in a close game against Notre Dame?:
I think I’d have to lean on our experience. We’ve had guys who have played, multiple guys who have played, over 100 basketball games and have been in those moments along the way, obviously not at this stage. But if they can stay focused in what they’re doing, they’ve been in those situations. They’ve been in close games. They’ve won close games. They’ve hit game winners. They’ve made clutch free throws. They’ve got that big rebound or that big stop somewhere along their career. If they rely on that experience, and we do have an experienced club, if they can—if we can draw upon that, you know that will serve us well.