2021 Myrtle Beach Invitational – November 17 Quoting the Coaches

Joe Dooley of East Carolina

Bob McKillop, Davidson – (On Davidson’s first two games): “We got a simulation of what we’re going to see throughout the year that you cannot do in practice. The pressure which is no part of defensive game plan came at us from Delaware and San Francisco. So how do we simulate in practice? We don’t. Now we’ve learned that the pressure’s going to be there on every pass and every catch.” (On playing at the Chase Center in San Francisco vs. USF): “It was magical. The night before we had watched Steph play on that court and play so magnificently on that court and then and any time, we were in that Chase Center either at his game or practice the day before or at the game itself, the Warrior people treated us like we were Steph’s family. It was unbelievable.”

Chris Jans, New Mexico State – “We haven’t been hit in the face yet. We’re getting hit the face here and we’ll find out who’s going to lead and talk and try to help us through it. We were scheduled to be in the Hawaii tournament. We had been in Hawaii during Christmas my first year and got to the finals, got beat by USC. This year the WAC expanded, and our conference schedule started early so it wasn’t going to work. ESPN was so kind to find us another one of their tournaments. We were like the last addition to the tournament and we’re appreciative of what they’ve done. It gives a school like this to have a chance for national exposure. Thursday when we play, we’ll be the only teams on national TV for an hour or so.”

Ryan Odom, Utah State – (on integrating transfers Brandon Horvath and RJ Eytle-Rock with a veteran team): “We wanted to get in the gym, watch them and let’s kind of see who what is and just evaluate if those guys fit and fit with the current guys and they did it or else I wouldn’t have brought them out there. Brandon fits well and so does RJ. RJ’s best basketball is ahead of him. We have five or six guys who went on missions and five who are married so that brings another level of maturity that you have to have. Justin Bean and Brock Miller were named captains and they won back-to-back championships at Utah State. They’ve played in huge games; they’ve represented the school so well. They didn’t leave, they probably could have if they wanted to.”

Joe Dooley, East Carolina – “We’ll get some guys some minutes and try to get some team chemistry. That obviously helps with all the teams trying to get some continuity but that would be the biggest thing. Like every other team we’ve got a long way to go. There’s been some things we’re seeing that makes you feel like they’re starting to pick some things up. Oklahoma is very well coached, good balance, some older guys with all the transfers they took. Some of their returning guys are playing different roles and they’ll probably step up.”

Porter Moser, Oklahoma – “The more games you get under your belt, the more you get to learn some things about your team. This is a really good tournament with some goods, some well-coached teams. For us, we’ve got two games under our belt and we’ve learned a lot. We’ve got to keep growing and learning from that and that’s what happens. It’s a process. Our whole vision is going to be. It’s not that I’ve got to throw everything in. I’m playing to the long game, February and March. I like this group. They’ve tried to pick up things fast but man, three games in four days, we’re going to learn a lot from our team the next four or five days.”

Josh Schertz, Indiana State – “It’s been like everything, in the transition … change is difficult. This whole first has been fun, the kids have been great but you’re building from scratch with the culture and really a new team. We got three or four guys back but obviously Tyreke (Key, who has averaged 16.7 points per game over the last three seasons) coming out for the year. We have eight new players, a young team. We’ll try to learn and figure things out. They’ve dealt with a lot so far with injuries. We’re only going to dress 10 guys so it’s hard to stretch our bench. It’s great exposure for the program, it’s great for our guys, a great platform and we really appreciate the chance to be on ESPN.”

Steve Donahue, Penn – “That obviously is such a long layoff. Besides that, we’re unique in that one kid hasn’t played in 1,000 days since his school and another one has missed four seasons. Half the team is new. And then we saw them at the Palestra and what that’s all about. I’ve been going there since I was 10. It was missed. It was great to hear the band and smell the pretzels at what we consider the best gym in the world to play a home game. There was a lot on the plate with the pandemic when all the George Floyd stuff hit. That occupied us a lot, good or bad. This is a very analytical group with life in general and they feel like they have a purpose with other things. We discussed it a lot. It was hard, particularly in the fall. As we built this program, even though we won an Ivy League championship and a Big 5 championship in Philly, our shortcoming has been 3-point shooting.”