Eastern Kentucky University Quotes from their Thursday press conference
On playing the role of the "underdog":
Eastern Kentucky guard Glenn Cosey: "Being the underdog is always fun, especially if you can pull off an upset. And a lot of people seems to get with the underdog and cheer for them, so it should be fun."
Eastern Kentucky forward Eric Stutz: "We've got a lot of people behind us and wanting us to succeed. A lot of people like to see the lower seed win. It is nice to have people that don't really cheer for you rooting you on. We have more support than we usually have."
Head Coach Jeff Neubauer: "We certainly haven't used the word "underdog," but everyone knows we are the 15 seed and not the 2. I think the phrase we used over the last four or five weeks is we want challenges, we love challenges. Instead of "underdog" we embraced "challenges," and this is certainly another one."
On What They Have To Do to Beat Kansas:
Cosey: "Yeah, ball pressure is going to be key for us, especially denying on the wings and making them go backdoor, making them do something that they are not used to doing. So going backdoor."
Coach Neubauer: "You have to take care of the basketball. All right, well, that's one thing we do well also, one of the ten best teams in the country at valuing the ball, but you cannot give them fastbreak lay-ups or dunks. We can't afford to give them any of those. They are a phenomenal rebounding team. They are huge, whether in B plays or not, they are good at rebounding, one of the ten best rebounding teams in the country. The answer there, you can't let them get shots up. If they get shots up on the rim, then they are going to win the battle of the glass."
Stutz: "I mean, it's obviously a lot of things that have to go right for us. We have to shoot the ball well, just play our defense, and do what we have been doing all year. I mean, we are a good defensive and shooting team. So if we can do that, and limit our weaknesses, we'll be all right."
EKU guard Corey Walden: "We have to play our defense. We have to steal the ball from them and just cause them to turn it over, and just be everywhere on the court and give efforts everywhere."
On Playing against Virginia Commonwealth, Wisconsin and North Carolina State this season:
Cosey: "Playing those three big schools, VCU, Wisconsin, it prepared us, especially VCU, a tough team, athletic, fast, aggressive. Just like Kansas, they are athletic and long. So I think we will be all right."
Coach Neubauer: "As far as playing VCU, Wisconsin, and N.C. State, first of all, it is a credit to N.C. State that they are in the NCAA Tournament because they did go out of their way to schedule teams like Eastern Kentucky. Meaning, we had a 69 R.P.I. last year and had everyone back except one player. Because N.C. State had an aggressive style of scheduling, trying to schedule teams like us, that is why the Committee put them in the tournament. Do I think those three experiences will help us? I hope so. We played really well at N.C. State for 34 minutes. It was a great basketball team for 34 minutes and then they just blow the doors off in the last six."
On their favorite upset memory:
Cosey: "I don't have a favorite upset memory, but I'm hoping that we can pull off one and that would be my favorite memory."
Stutz: "Well, growing up in Indiana I watched Butler play and those two Final Fours and Championship games they made it to, it kind of gave me something to look at and model myself after. So I think that's really what I looked at."
Coach Neubauer: "I have been very fortunate in coaching to be a part of a couple of great runs. So I think those have to be my favorite, because I was actually sitting there on the bench. But when I was at the University of Richmond in 1998 we were a 14-seed and South Carolina was a 3-seed. And we beat them and it was -- I mean, as a young coach, that was really, really rewarding."