No. 2 seed Mississippi State hosts its second round NCAA Tournament game against seventh-seeded DePaul. Bulldog head coach Vic Schaefer talked about Sunday’s match-up along with Morgan William, Ketara Chapel and Blair Schaefer.
Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State Head CoachOpening Statement…“I am glad to be here, on a Saturday in this press conference, getting ready for another game.We got to play early on yesterday and had all afternoon and evening to go back and watch filmof that game, and try to get ready for the top 25 team – DePaul. They won the Big East and theyare so talented. They have obviously been around for a long time, well coached, and those kidshave a tremendous plan. I think they understand the game. I think that their basketballknowledge is really good. It’s a big challenge for us. I am proud of my kids and our effort onyesterday. I thought we did a lot of great things. Made shots. Life is always easier when you’remaking shots. I’ll much rather win 110 to 67 than 50-48. The thing with DePaul, they have somany people that can score on the floor and have five that can get in the double figures. Wereally have to respect those kids and their game offensively, and know that we have our handsfull with every position on the floor. We will have some unique matchups on the floor, differentspots on the floor, and we usually don’t have that. This presents a lot of challenges for us. Wewatched film this morning, will have a good workout today and will get ready to put together agood game plan.”On being a father…“It’s special. You watch a kid all your life, worked with [Blair], been in the gym with her, and that’scountless days and nights. To see her in that very moment is pretty special. I enjoy seeing allmy kids succeed in those big moments. I love all these kids like they are my own. I think with myentire staff, we all have parental instinct – Johnnie [Harris] and I especially because we areparents. I think we coach and teach them with that parental instinct first before we ever get tothe basketball instinct.”
On challenges facing DePaul…“I think they are comfortable in this environment, and that is not good for us. I think they’recomfortable being the underdog, being the seven seed against the two, but if we we’re playingin Chicago – they would not be the underdog. I just think that they are a really good basketballteam and have a very tremendous baskeball coach. Their staff knows how to prepare kids forball games and recruit winners, and those that know how to function in this environment. Theybeen there and they know what it feel like, so tomorrow will not be any different for them. Theyhave had success. Everything DePaul does have my attention and respect. We have our workcut out for us.”On Ameshya Williams…“I don’t think you could ever not have room to add pieces throughout the course of the season.Ameshya and Iggy, Jacaira Allen, have really been practicing well. That’s our future. Those twoare going to be really good for us. I put Ameshya in early on yesterday, and I have a lot ofconfidence in her because I have seen her stay consistent for a while now. The kid makesthings happen when she comes in the game. She’s my bull in the china cabinet. She and Teairalike playing together.”Blair Schaefer, Mississippi State GuardOn challenges facing DePaul…“Obviously, they have all five that can shoot, so we are going to have to be able to play our styleof defense while maintaining pressure. Our communication will have to be on point tomorrow.We have to make sure that everyone understands where they need to be on the floor. We haveto focus on communicating very well with each other.”Morgan William, Mississippi State GuardOn the new starting lineup…“Well, I practice with them all the time. I feel like I built some chemistry with them over the week,and going out there to put it into game format made it not new to me.”On challenges facing DePaul…“We have to play Mississippi State basketball. They have a lot of shooters, so we will just keepthe ball in front of us and go from there.”Ketara Chapel, Mississippi State ForwardOn challenges facing DePaul…“We had to guard players like that all the time in the SEC, so we just have to get out there andtry to deny the pass so they won’t be able to shoot and run their offense. I think that will be ourgame plan – just to get out there and play our defense.