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NCAA Men’s Regional Semifinals: Boston

Thursday, March 22 2018

Boston, Massachusetts

Jevon Carter

Daxter Miles

Esa Ahmad

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP SportsASAP sports

West Virginia Mountaineers

Q. First for Jevon, then for Daxter: As seniors on this team, what pressure or added responsibility have you been putting on your shoulders in the buildup to this weekend?
JEVON CARTER: We don’t look at it as pressure, but we do look at it as a lot of responsibility. This is our fourth NCAA Tournament, our third time in the Sweet 16. We’ve been here. We want to advance. We’re going to do everything we can to try to help our team and put us in the right position to win.

THE MODERATOR: Daxter, will you take that one as well, please.

DAXTER MILES: We just got to get our guys ready to play and just kind of make sure we play ourselves.

Q. This is a question for any of you guys: As veterans coming into this tournament, what’s your advice for the younger kids?
JEVON CARTER: Teams are going to make their run. Just don’t feed into the crowd. Stay focused. Stay within the game plan. Don’t take no possessions off because one possession could cost you a game. And just play. Don’t worry about it being the NCAA Tournament. Just give it everything you’ve got. You’re going to win, or you’re going to lose.

Q. Jevon, can you talk about Villanova’s three-point shooting and plus Jalen Brunson and what kind of difficulties they present?
JEVON CARTER: From watching film, they’re a lot similar to Kansas. They’ve got a lot of guards that can shoot, can drive. Everybody can score. They hit tough shots. We just got to key in on guys, follow the scouting report. Our coaches do a good job of watching a tremendous amount of film. We’re going to come to play on Friday, and we’re going to see what happens.

Q. Particularly for the seniors, Jevon and Daxter, Coach Huggins described you guys as a group of guys that’s looking for an opportunity. How has that kind of aided your hunger and drive during your four-year career?
JEVON CARTER: I felt like ever since our freshman year, we’ve always been underrated. We’ve always been the underdogs coming into any game we’ve played. So we’ve always had an extra chip on our shoulder. Me and Dax, we feel like we never got the credit we deserved. We feel like we’re the best backcourt in the nation. But I guess don’t nobody else besides us see us that way.

So we always play with an extra chip on our shoulder because we always got something to prove.

DAXTER MILES: Yeah, like Jevon said, we just love playing basketball. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against. We just have fun with it, and like you said, play with a chip on our shoulder.

Q. This is a question for anybody: So you guys have kind of earned a nickname of “Press Virginia”, but Villanova tends to score the ball a lot. I believe they’re first in points per possession in the NCAA. So they score very well in transition. How do you guys plan to change your defense in that regard?
ESA AHMAD: I don’t think we’re going to change our defense. We’re going to press. We’re going to try to take them out of what they do well and just try to take everything away from them.

Q. Esa, you and Sagaba on the inside are going to have to deal with a lot of cutting guards and have a game plan against Spellman. What’s the game plan? What’s the plan for the interior defensively for you guys?
ESA AHMAD: Like I said, just try to take it away from them. Try to make it as difficult as possible. Just try and make him score it over us.

Q. Esa, along those lines, with Spellman and Paschall being able to step out consistently and hit the three-pointer, what kind of problems does that present dealing with big men like that?
ESA AHMAD: I don’t really think it’s really a problem. We’re face big men in our league that can shoot the ball. We’ve just got to stay in front and move our feet.

Q. Jevon, you’re talking about you believe you guys are the best backcourt in the country. Everybody always talks about how important guard play is in the NCAA Tournament. Why do you believe it’s so important this time of year?
JEVON CARTER: It’s a guard’s game. Most teams have five guys that play on the perimeter. Everybody can shoot it. Everybody can dribble it. Everybody can pass it. So if you have great leadership at the guard position, then your team is probably going to go a long way. It starts with the guard — everything starts through the guards.

Just having great leadership and great guards from the jump, you have a chance.

Q. Just kind of out of curiosity, do you believe that you would be considered the best backcourt in the country if you played for a Number 1 seed?
JEVON CARTER: It’s not for us to determine.

Q. Jevon, on Brunson, I guess what makes him such a tough matchup? And do you know him well, or have you had experience against him? Or have got to watch him a lot?
JEVON CARTER: What make him tough? He’s smart. He’s very smart. He’s crafty. He knows how to use his body well. He knows about angles and stuff.

I played with him growing up. We played together in AAU. So we’re very familiar with each other.

Q. This is for any of you guys: Sounded like there was a little bit of an incident on the plane yesterday with the air conditioning incident. What was that like? Did you even notice it was going on?
JEVON CARTER: I slept through it.

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