Bulldogs preview DePaul

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 Coach
    Opening 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 film
    of that game, and try to get ready for the top 25 team – DePaul. They won the Big East and they
    are so talented. They have obviously been around for a long time, well coached, and those kids
    have a tremendous plan. I think they understand the game. I think that their basketball
    knowledge is really good. It’s a big challenge for us. I am proud of my kids and our effort on
    yesterday. I thought we did a lot of great things. Made shots. Life is always easier when you’re
    making shots. I’ll much rather win 110 to 67 than 50-48. The thing with DePaul, they have so
    many people that can score on the floor and have five that can get in the double figures. We
    really have to respect those kids and their game offensively, and know that we have our hands
    full with every position on the floor. We will have some unique matchups on the floor, different
    spots on the floor, and we usually don’t have that. This presents a lot of challenges for us. We
    watched film this morning, will have a good workout today and will get ready to put together a
    good 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’s
    countless days and nights. To see her in that very moment is pretty special. I enjoy seeing all
    my kids succeed in those big moments. I love all these kids like they are my own. I think with my
    entire staff, we all have parental instinct – Johnnie [Harris] and I especially because we are
    parents. I think we coach and teach them with that parental instinct first before we ever get to
    the basketball instinct.”
  • On challenges facing DePaul…
    “I think they are comfortable in this environment, and that is not good for us. I think they’re
    comfortable being the underdog, being the seven seed against the two, but if we we’re playing
    in Chicago – they would not be the underdog. I just think that they are a really good basketball
    team and have a very tremendous baskeball coach. Their staff knows how to prepare kids for
    ball games and recruit winners, and those that know how to function in this environment. They
    been there and they know what it feel like, so tomorrow will not be any different for them. They
    have had success. Everything DePaul does have my attention and respect. We have our work
    cut 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 two
    are going to be really good for us. I put Ameshya in early on yesterday, and I have a lot of
    confidence in her because I have seen her stay consistent for a while now. The kid makes
    things happen when she comes in the game. She’s my bull in the china cabinet. She and Teaira
    like playing together.”
    Blair Schaefer, Mississippi State Guard
    On challenges facing DePaul…
    “Obviously, they have all five that can shoot, so we are going to have to be able to play our style
    of 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 have
    to focus on communicating very well with each other.”
    Morgan William, Mississippi State Guard
    On 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 keep
    the ball in front of us and go from there.”
    Ketara Chapel, Mississippi State Forward
    On challenges facing DePaul…
    “We had to guard players like that all the time in the SEC, so we just have to get out there and
    try to deny the pass so they won’t be able to shoot and run their offense. I think that will be our
    game plan – just to get out there and play our defense.

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