Mar 19, 2013, 3:44 PM EDT
Below is portions of the transcript from the official NCAA press conference with JMU head coach Matt Brady and players Devon Moore and A.J. Davis on the eve of the Dukes’ first tournament appearance since 1994.
Q. Kind of the 500‑pound gorilla obviously in the room is Rayshawn Goins. How will that affect you not having him?
DEVON MOORE: It’s definitely going to affect us because we play through him. So it’s going to be hard for the first half not having him, but coach has drawn up a good game plan for us. We’re definitely going to try to stick to it.
Q. Not having the experience of being in the tournament before, what is this like for you guys? Do you expect that tomorrow night there will be some nerves or more excitement? How do you feel about that?
A.J. DAVIS: Of course we’ll have nerves our first time here, but coach is telling us to be humble and just play within ourselves like we’ve been doing all year. So we should be good.
Q. How big a deal is it for two guys from Ohio to return to Ohio? I realize you played here earlier this year, but just be an hour away from where you grew up.
A.J. DAVIS: It’s a lot of emotion going into this game being back home. A lot of family and friends going to be here. Once again, we’re just going to be confident, do what we do and doing all year, just playing confident within ourselves.
DEVON MOORE: It’s definitely going to be a blessing just to see family and friends and then just being able to be close and trying to definitely win a game. We definitely want to stay here. That’s something that we’re trying to do so our family that can’t drive six hours to Harrisonburg to see us could see a couple of games.
COACH BRADY: The NCAA Tournament, we’re really excited to be here in Dayton, Ohio, and we are eager to get started here with our First Round game. Hopefully we’ll play great basketball. I had the opportunity to move forward. It’s always the dream of a program ‑‑ a coach of a program that you could take the team to the NCAA Tournament. I couldn’t be prouder of the group that we have that really faced a number of opportunities worth of adversity, and we had a great weekend last weekend in Richmond, won the CAA title, and now here we are in Dayton and glad to be here.
Q. Matt, coming from the CAA where there were so many close games and not a lot of difference between you and the teams you were playing against, you played in so many games where, if you’re lost, you’re gone. How is that going to help you going into this?
COACH BRADY: We played in nothing but close games for the most part, really from the middle of January on. I think, when you’re in close games, it’s critical that you have good guard play, number one, and that you can make free throws, and we did ‑‑ I think we did both of those things well.
We have a senior point guard in Devon Moore, who’s had a great freshman year, and really in the intervening three years, had a lot of injuries, and now as a senior had his second season in five that he’s been healthy. We always felt that he could be our league’s best point guard, and arguably he is, and he’s played really good basketball.
So we have a senior leader point guard that’s helped us, and I think we have a team that can make free throws. I think the other part of it is that we’ve gotten better defensively as a team, and we led our league in scoring defense this year, and near the top in field goal percentage defense. Those kinds of statistics, I think, help you win close games.
For the entire transcript from Tuesday’s media event in Dayton logon to JMUSports.com.
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