Miami F/C Julian Gamble
On Illinois: They gave us everything they had. Illinois is a great team. They represented the Big Ten well, and they came out and gave us their absolute best shot. We were lucky enough to get it, and we really pulled it out with poise. It just goes to show that we can win any type of game that you throw at us.
On if Miami was affected by the crowd backing Illinois:
No not at all. This is what we live for, and we have done this time and time again. We are a veteran team and we have a veteran coach. We were poised in the situation, as calm as you possibly could have been. We really pulled it out when Shane [Larkin] hit the big shot.
On reaching the Sweet 16:
Words can’t describe it. It is the first time for our school since the year 2000. To be going with this group of guys and continue with this dream season of sorts is really hard to put into words right now. We are really excited about the opportunity.
Miami G Trey McKinney Jones
On the intensity of the game:
We have been in this situation before. We know when to stick together. It happened in numerous games in the ACC tournament. We had a few hiccups but we just believe in each other. There was no point in the game that I think we were worried. We just stayed confident and finished the game.
On Miami G Rion Brown’s performance:
Different players step up on any given night. I had the hot hand in the ACC Championship game; Shane [Larkin] was finding me. This game Rion [Brown] had the hot hand and Shane was finding him and he was knocking them down. He was very big for us.
On Shane Larkin’s three-pointer in the last minute of play:
It was huge. Like I have always said, he is our leader. When he steps up, it gives us all a little bit more confidence. I can always see it in his eyes late in the game. He doesn’t get rattled very easy. Even though he is only a sophomore, I think he is a veteran. That is how he plays.
Miami G Durand Scott
On thoughts about game:
It was definitely intense. Illinois is a great team. We had to put some fight in it, and I am truly proud of my team. We got close down the stretch, but we stuck together and came out with a W.
On thoughts about Coach Jim Larranaga’s decision to go small again:
Well he is our leader so whatever he says we just follow him. He makes the right decisions so when he puts the plays out on the floor, we just got to go out there and make the plays. Rion Brown definitely came out big for us. Kenny Kadji came out big for us, Shane Larkin, and everybody really came out big tonight. I am just very proud of us.
On feeling the pressure when Illinois was up:
Yes, most definitely. When you want to win so bad and you look at the score and they are up, you always feel the pressure. When we got back to that huddle, our coaches reminded us to go out there and have fun. He was smiling. He is one of those coaches that when we are down and everyone feels worried, he always hypes us up, makes us smile, and tells us to go out there and have fun. That is exactly what we did. We came with a big stop, made some key baskets, and key free throws.
Courtside Postgame Quotes
Miami Head Coach Jim Larranaga
“Win and advance, lose and go home. So we are just happy we are advancing to the Sweet 16. That is a tremendous accomplishment. These kids have been great. Illinois was great. We had a very hard time scoring against their defense. They are very long and athletic and challenged everything we did. These are kids are very resilient.”
“I would credit Illinois’ defense for that. They were great guarding our ball screens. Other guys picked up and Rion Brown was tremendous.”
“Rion (Brown) is an excellent three-point shooter. He is also very athletic. He matched up well with their guys. He got himself off to a good start, so we rode him for a good, long while.”