March 12, 2008
Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens:
"I thought that our team did a good job adjusting post- first 18 minutes. The last 22 minutes I thought we played pretty well; especially on the defensive end. We shored up some things that we needed to shore up. My hats off to Cleveland State, obviously Jackson getting hurt didn't help them in the second half. That's a heck of a team, and hopefully he will be healthy because I don't think they are done playing."
"I thought we finished plays. All night our first shot defense was pretty good. Give Cleveland State credit first of all because they are the best offensive rebounding team in our league and they are the best rebounding team in our league. But I thought our guys adjusted and did a better job on the glass. I thought the first two possessions of the second half when we turned them over set a tone for the rest of the game."
On the five seniors: "Happy that we are not done is probably the number one emotion. Second, I am just really happy for these five guys. The ball doesn't always bounce the way you want to, but these guys just focus on what they can control. These guys bring it every single day. I think that Mike [Green] has gotten so much better over the last two years; he has never stayed satisfied with where he is at. And I am taping Drew [Streicher] when we practice on Friday. It is going to be a tape we show for a long time on how to do things. He does every drill correctly and never takes a day off. That goes for all five of these guys. I am just really happy for them."
Butler Guard Mike Green:
"We worked as a team all summer long. Coming from where I came from; I have never been on a team like this. This is the epitome of team. Everybody is happy for each other; we don't have any jealousy on this team. It's a special thing.
On his expectations for the NCAA Tournament: "Win. That's all we want to do is win. Everything else is not really important. We want to win basketball games. I am sure our coaching staff will have us getting better every day until then."
Butler Forward Drew Streicher:
"All year we have dealt with having a target on our back. This team has really embraced that. I think we actually enjoy going into the tough environments in our league. We enjoyed it all season; it's a challenge. We stepped up to it and met it. You can't count on people overlooking you when you are in the tournament. You've got to bring your best shot every night. It is a great field every year, so we have to improve; we've got to get back to work."
On winning the tournament championship: "It is something that we talked about at the beginning of the year when we were setting our goals. None of us had ever cut down the nets in March. From day one that was our goal. Fortunately we were able to play here at Hinkle; to cut them down here was really special. I think it is something that we are going to treasure forever."
Cleveland State Head Coach Gary Waters:
"Butler was quite deserving of this victory today. They played well enough to win. I think at a point, when the game was close and Cedric went down, I thought the game kind of changed, but you can't complain about that. You have to continue to play. They clamped down a little harder defensively and I thought they did a better job on us in the second half and, for about 10 minutes, we had a hard time scoring. I thought that was the difference in the game."
"I thought we didn't have it early in the game, and the one who seemed to be struggling the most was Cedric Jackson. Our guys follow him, and when he's not on his game it really hurts us as a team. And then, once he calmed down, I thought everybody calmed down."
On losing Cedric Jackson to injury: "When Cedric went down, it was a two point game. He's averaging 14 points and five assists. If I take [Mike] Green off Butler, you'd have the same problems. When you lose a player like that at that point in the game, it really hurts you."
On what he said to the team after the game: "I said we still have a lot more basketball to play and keep your heads up. We've had a great year. One game doesn't change the whole complexion of the season. This is a great team they played. When you play a great team like this on their home court, things may not go well. I know it's a big disappointment for our team because they came in with the mind-set that they were going to win today."
Cleveland State Forward J'Nathan Bullock:
On getting down early: "The game was never over. There's 40 minutes in a ball game. We stuck to what we do. We had to play defense and make our shots, and once our offense got clicking a little bit, we climbed back into the game. I always thought the game was ours to take control of. We just couldn't get over that hump. Credit Butler's defense."
Cleveland State Guard Breyohn Watson:
On the loss of Cedric Jackson: "He's real critical to the team chemistry. He's one of our big cylinders and he brings a lot to the team, and when you lose him it's really hard to make up for it."