Stitt, Grant Wednesday Press Conference

Stitt, Grant Wednesday Press Conference

Basketball

Stitt, Grant Wednesday Press Conference

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By Staff Report.

Seniors Jerai Grant and Demontez Stitt held a press conference Wednesday at St. Pete Times Forum to preview their matchup with West Virginia. 

Q.  What’s this last 18 hours been like?  How do you feel?  How prepared are you guys for West Virginia?  

DEMONTEZ STITT:  Last 18 hours have been pretty, I guess, hectic.  Played and right after the game we flew out, came straight down here.  I mean, we got a lot of rest today, got to sleep in a little bit since we didn’t really get in until early this morning, and I think we’re feeling all right, man.  We’ve been just getting ready for West Virginia.  

Q.  Kind of describe the process of preparing yourselves for a trip to Ohio first and then coming down here to Tampa. 

JERAI GRANT:  You know, I think the biggest difference between Ohio and Florida is the weather, you know, much warmer here.  But other than that, like Demontez said, we’ve just got to get plenty of rest and things like that to prepare for tomorrow’s game. 

Q.  Demontez, what time did you leave, what time did you get here last night, and what did you do today? 

DEMONTEZ STITT:  We left right after the game, so we probably left around 12:00.  I remember checking my phone; the last time I checked it, about 12:00 we were on a plane.  We didn’t get here until 3:30, almost 4:00.  It’s pretty tough.  It’s a lot of traveling.  But I mean, as players it takes a lot of mental concentration, a lot 

Q.  Question for both you guys.  What has Coach Brownell ‑‑ what’s been his message the past 24 hours or so since you guys have finished the game last name? 

JERAI GRANT:  Basically just focus, you know, focus and get rest.  We know what we have to do.  We already went over a lot of scouting report on West Virginia and their personnel.  From here on out it’s just all about focus and rest. 

DEMONTEZ STITT:  Yeah, pretty much the same thing Jerai said, man, just a lot of focus and preparation.  I think the biggest part right now is getting rest and being mentally prepared to take on a team who’s been resting for the last couple days.  I think the biggest thing for us is getting rest and being ready to play. 

Q.  Demontez, what time did you leave, what time did you get here last night, and what did you do today?  

DEMONTEZ STITT:  We left right after the game, so we probably left around 12:00.  I remember checking my phone; the last time I checked it, about 12:00 we were on a plane.  We didn’t get here until 3:30, almost 4:00.  It’s pretty tough.  It’s a lot of traveling.  But I mean, as players it takes a lot of mental concentration, a lot of focus in order to come out here and be prepared for West Virginia. 

Q.  Demontez, can any part of this tough turnaround be an advantage, that you guys played with a lot of confidence last night and maybe got some of those nerves out of your system? 

DEMONTEZ STITT:  Yeah, I think it could sort of work in our favor.  We sort of got our motors running.  We played the first game, we haven’t been sitting out for a long time.  Guys are sort of in the swing of things.  So I think in a way it could be an advantage.  But at the same time, if we don’t get the proper rest that we need, it can also be a disadvantage. 

Q.  When you have a game like that last night and you’re wired, can you sleep on the plane after a game like you had last night? 

JERAI GRANT:  I know a few of us didn’t sleep, but yeah, yeah, you still have like your adrenaline pumping and things like that after a game like that.  You try to get as much rest as you can.  But like Demontez said, coach let us sleep in a little bit late today, and I think that was a big thing, you know, getting our rest. 

Q.  Just want to ask you, looking at the bracket, when you guys knew you were playing Thursday, were you surprised to know you had the noon tip and not 7:00 or 9:00 p.m. and had an even quicker turnaround like that? 

            JERAI GRANT:  Just a little bit, a little bit surprising.  But at the same time, we ‑‑ coach talks about preparation all the time.  No matter what time we’re playing, no matter what time of the day, we have to accept that challenge and prepare accordingly. 

            Q.  Jerai, what time did you actually get in your hotel room, go to sleep and wake up? 

            JERAI GRANT:  I can’t put an exact time on it, but it was pretty late, or early, whatever you want to call it. 

            Q.  What are your thoughts on West Virginia after watching them today, getting a feel for what they’re about? 

            JERAI GRANT:  You know, they’re a really physical team.  They like to post‑up pretty much everybody on their team, from their point guard to their center.  You know, we just have to match their physical toughness, if not exceed it, and execute offensively and play great pressure defense. 

            DEMONTEZ STITT:  Yeah, pretty much the same thing.  I mean, they’re run by a good coach, and they execute.  You have to have a lot of defensive focus, a lot of discipline.  I mean, when you’re going through scouting like we did today, I think the most important thing is just staying focused and really keying in on the main things that we want to execute in the game plan.  They run a lot of sets, they have long possessions, so you have to sit down on defense and really guard them and continue with discipline. 

Q.  You were freshmen when you went to your first NCAA Tournament and it was in this building.  Can you talk about what it means to come back as seniors and have a chance to redeem yourself? 

            JERAI GRANT:  It means a lot.  You know, like I said before, it means a lot, you know, just to get that first win was a relief.  But at the same time, we know we’re not done yet.  We know we have a great chance to definitely do special things in this tournament.  Coach never said our goal of the season was to win one game; he told us we had to keep it up and keep working hard, and eventually we’ll get what we deserve. 

            DEMONTEZ STITT:  Yeah, playing here as freshmen against Villanova, you know, we got up big at halftime and we lost that game.  I mean, we’re seniors now.  I think we have a lot more experience as players.  Our team has a lot more experience, and guys have been in these situations.  I think that now that we’re here again, we sort of showed it against UAB.  We got up, they made their runs, but we also made our runs.  We wanted to keep a good lead against them and not give them life and let them feel like they can win a game.  So I think coming back here and learning from the big lead that we had here my freshman year, I think experience is really going to kick in for us. 

Q.  Just want to ask you, looking at the bracket, when you guys knew you were playing Thursday, were you surprised to know you had the noon tip and not 7:00 or 9:00 p.m. and had an even quicker turnaround like that?  

             

 JERAI GRANT:  Just a little bit, a little bit surprising.  But at the same time, we ‑‑ coach talks about preparation all the time.  No matter what time we’re playing, no matter what time of the day, we have to accept that challenge and prepare accordingly.  

   

 Q.  Jerai, what time did you actually get in your hotel room, go to sleep and wake up?  

  

JERAI GRANT:  I can’t put an exact time on it, but it was pretty late, or early, whatever you want to call it.  

  

Q.  What are your thoughts on West Virginia after watching them today, getting a feel for what they’re about?  

  

JERAI GRANT:  You know, they’re a really physical team.  They like to post‑up pretty much everybody on their team, from their point guard to their center.  You know, we just have to match their physical toughness, if not exceed it, and execute offensively and play great pressure defense.  

DEMONTEZ STITT:  Yeah, pretty much the same thing.  I mean, they’re run by a good coach, and they execute.  You have to have a lot of defensive focus, a lot of discipline.  I mean, when you’re going through scouting like we did today, I think the most important thing is just staying focused and really keying in on the main things that we want to execute in the game plan.  They run a lot of sets, they have long possessions, so you have to sit down on defense and really guard them and continue with discipline.  

 

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