March 6, 2012
COACH CALHOUN: Well, it's crazy. Saturday was a very emotional time for all of us. It's been a different kind of season. But through it all, somewhat by separation, I realized how much I cared about these kids. Just as Caron is here in the locker room and all these kids and the guys who hold up the trophies and maybe sometimes you don't hold up the trophy, but they're your kids. Someone said I only have two years left on my extension. I don't know if I can make two more minutes.
For them to think, I'm grateful about that, I don't know if I have two more years in my contract, now it's like I'm calling the shots. Someone better pay me for two more years. That's what I'm saying. My point is, I'm trying to coach this basketball team, and that's my job. But it's also my love. It's also my love. And that's why I came back to my basketball team, because I felt I owed them something.
And during those eight games, I don't think there's many people here, but I turned the sound down, everyone, what an absolute pleasure. Surprising for a couple of you guys, I actually would read, and it was actually pretty good. Some of you actually understood the game. My point being simply when you see a team and you see them lose five games by whatever we lost by in every sort of possible way, then I think if you feel you can do anything, maybe just being a fresh voice coming back, whatever, with these guys, then I owed it to them if I could get back, and I did, and obviously the last two games have been very fulfilling.
Two things aside, we played I believe the most difficult schedule in the country, if not the second most difficult. And secondly, we played the most difficult schedule in the BIG EAST.
To get 16 minutes out of Shabazz Napier and have Boatright step in like that, that's when we needed our first team all BIG EAST player to show up, and he got us started, that being Jeremy.
And I thought down the stretch when we went back and forth and they made their run, we extorted to lock them, get the rebounds, do some intelligent things, and I'm very proud of them.
Q: When the lead slipped they let it get away What did you do today that you didn't let
COACH CALHOUN: Same thing we did Saturday. Saturday we were up 14 and they came back at us. We just talked about, okay, there's 14 to go, I'll see you here on the 12th, just make sure we're in better shape than we are now. So we stopped worrying about what this meant in the standings or what this meant in the grand scheme of things, but there was three minutes, and I think they'll probably tell you that. Just play the next three minutes, come back and see me at 11, come back and see me at 7.
It's old school, but we tried to keep the game shorter and just talk about the things we need to do at those particular points in both games. Think about it, different scores -- 13, 14, at the same time, we go off this time, we didn't go off there, but the same situation. It was nine as opposed to being down two, but we kind of were smart, it was just about the same thing.
Q: You guys won 12 postseason games. Can you talk about what is it about the postseason that makes you step up?
Jeremy Lamb: Well, when we go into the tournaments obviously it's a new season. You go into the tournament and try to work hard, and then this year, like you said, playing without Kemba, all year we've been finding ourselves and everybody on the team has been stepping up and just been -- we've been preparing all year for this time. Now that it's here, we just want to give it all we've got and don't look back and just take it a game at a time and just try to get wins.
I'm not trying to be Kemba. Of course everybody wants to lead their team to championships, but I'm just trying to do what's best for this team. The whole team knows, we've got five great players, Boatright, Shabazz, Roscoe stepping up. We also got great big men, so it's a great team effort.
Q. When you saw that you guys were going to be playing DePaul to start the tournament just like you did last year, did you start to think at all, here we go again, such familiarity or such a similarity from last year's tournament?
Jeremy Lamb: I mean, it's a coincidence, but this is a whole new year. No, we didn't go into it like, oh, here we go again. But we was like, we're playing DePaul, okay, we need a win, and let's do our thing as a team.
Q. I'm assuming the pain is there after the operation. How are you feeling now? How are things working out?
COACH CALHOUN: The pain is a different kind of pain, it's a muscular pain. Thank God it's no longer a nerve pain and I'm not walking with a cane anymore. I couldn't walk on with a cane on the sidelines because the officials might have been hit. There was always the fear of pain of some sort. But they told me to wait two weeks and I felt if I went out and walked on Tuesday, I got home at 5:00, I think, I was under anesthesia for three hours and they were aiming to take bone chips out and stuff. But to alleviate that pain was incredible. It took us three weeks to find the right solution, which wasn't to put rods and fibers and fuses and all that stuff.
We had a three and a half hour -- as that can be -- procedure, that was pretty intricate but not transforming in the sense that it's a hole in my back and it's sore, but nothing like a win or two wins now to make that -- but without question, I will definitely try to get more rest than I normally do. By the way, speaking on that note, I would be remised if I didn't thank, generally speaking, almost everybody in the media for the way you've treated this. You reported what happened, you didn't make value judgments about it. I know people are going to talk about retirement, any other thing, because we're talking about the sport. But I have great respect, and generally speaking, for the way you've treated me and my family and allowed us to get through the situation, and I mean that.
And I really, sincerely thank you for that. That meant a lot to me, and quite frankly all those periods up there and screaming on the sidelines, almost to a man or woman, you showed me and my family a great deal of respect during this, and I really appreciate that.
Q. Jeremy, I know it's only two in a row, but do you feel like you're starting to get some momentum?
Jeremy Lamb: I guess you could say we get momentum. We had a great win, and then coming into the BIG EAST tournament, just got another good win. Coach came back, so there's a lot of things that go into it. But yeah, I can say we're getting momentum.