March 8, 2012
East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo
"Well it was a heck of a basketball game and we fought through a lot of adversity in a lot of different areas, I `m proud of my team. We battled, we fought, we clawed and had every opportunity despite the adversity we faced in a lot of areas to have a chance to win the game. I'm proud of this group. We shot the ball very well from three. We felt if we could keep it close the pressure would be on Southern Miss in this game. We just had a couple of plays we could make at the end, we missed a shot to go up by three and a couple things go against us that were game changing and we just were not able to pull it out. Congratulations to Southern Miss they've had a heck of a year and won a ton of close games and this is another one. They won it the way they've won it all year by getting to the foul line a lot. More than we did."
On the play of Miguel Paul
"He played very well. He was under control. We went to a high ball screen, they had a hard time defending that, and he made the right reads a majority of the time. He shot the ball from three not nearly as well as he is capable. He's a guy I certainly think is better than 4-of-13, but I thought he made some nice decisions when he got into the paint for the most part. He was really solid offensively. We did not get a point out of Darius Morrow, if we did we would've had a chance to win. He had a rough game, he fouled out and did not really have a chance to play. We played with two stick men out on the post, but they battled their tale off. You look at statistics, you know 37 foul shots, part of our emphasis was to keep them off the foul line but we were not able to do it today."
On Jonathan Mills' defensive effort against Darrius Morrow
"Mills has bothered him, he's strong enough, he got around him. He was physical enough to stay with him and bother him early. With the fouls he never got into the flow of the game and we could not keep him in the game for long periods of time. Give Mills credit he can really defend, he's really strong and he plays really, really hard, and he did the job defensively with Darrius today."
Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Eustachy
"I give a ton of credit to East Carolina. That was just a great game, one of the better ones that I have been involved with. (They were) 15-for-31 from the three, wow. I am proud of our guys. This win is who we are. This is what we do--we never give up. I have always said that it is difficult to play these bye games. They (ECU) had a lot of confidence coming into this game. You saw us at our best and I couldn't be more proud of our guys."
On the play of Miguel Paul
"He has been in a slump. He has struggled the last three or four games, and they have been winning. We all thought that, at times, he was the best point guard in the league. He certainly proved, tonight, that he belongs in that category. He originally signed to Missouri and played there, so yeah, he is good. Today, he brought it at us. Once we adjusted, I thought that we did a great job with him."
On ECU's three-point effectiveness
"We tried to adjust. I even heard our fans say "get your hands up," and we tried. Heck, most of them were contested. (Robert) Sampson seemed like he hit everything he shot. He hit a couple of key threes. Over half of their shots were three pointers, but that is what we wanted them to do. We wanted them to shoot over top of us."
ECU junior Miguel Paul
On the game and his play
"It was a hard fought game. There were a couple of plays we could have made to turn it around. I got grabbed a little bit but its college basketball and every play is going to be a foul. Can't take it away from Southern Miss and you can't take it away from us either. We had a couple plays that did not go our way and things would be different inside our locker room. We had a great year, and a great group of guys. Darrius Morrow is one of the best teammates I've had. He comes to work every day, and he is just a bull down low. It was great year with the things that we had happen early to us this year, and we were short-handed. This is a great team and I'm looking forward to next year.
"I was struggling a little bit the last four or five games. Coach just told me to get in there and make the right reads. I had a couple of turnovers. I just played with confidence. My teammates came to me and said if we're going to win this game it's going to be on you making the right reads. I came short a couple of plays, other than that I just played as hard as I could."