PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Rodney McGruder #22 of the Kansas State Wildcats drives for a shot attempt against Rakeem Christmas #25 of the Syracuse Orange during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
I continued to be aggressive. I didn't let the turnovers bother me. I continued to be aggressive and try to make plays. Like coach always say, when you try to make plays, sometimes you gonna make bad ones. You got to forget about it, move on, still be aggressive. My teammates needed me. I was able to get my rhythm and make shots.
Scoop on the scene in the locker room at halftime:
It was the same. You know, coach do all the talking (laughter). That's just it. One thing about this team, we don't get too high, we don't get too low. We stay right there. We been in a lot of games before. We didn't win games by accident. We all win games together, making plays. That's what we did in the second half.
Scoop on whether or not we won:
"We won. We won the game. It don’t matter if we played good or bad. We won and advanced. That’s what this Tournament’s about. We don’t worry about how we’re playing. We just worry about getting the W."
Kris Joseph on how important it is for Scoop to play well:
Uhm, that's how we need him to play. It was all about senior leadership tonight. He showed a lot of that, showed a lot of character. I told him at halftime, Thank God for two halves of basketball. He had a chance to redeem himself. He did a great job. He took care of the ball. He knocked down shots and made plays for others on the basketball court.
Scoop's reaction to that:
I thought I was playing good in the first half (smiling).
Jim Boeheim's reaction to that:
You always do (smiling).
Boeheim on whether or not he's thinking about benching C.J. Fair:
Same way we are right now. Same exact way. No change...He will start. He hasn't improved too much lately, but he'll start. I've got a lot of confidence in him. I know he'll get going - soon, I hope.
Boeheim on how important it is for the Orange to make their shots:
You know, basketball can be a simple game. When you make some shots from the perimeter, it just changes things completely.
Boeheim on Rakeem Christmas:
Rakeem was tremendous. He really was. He was tremendous. He's just kind of figuring it out. He's a very athletic, big guy. I think the last probably five or six weeks, he's been playing more at center in practice, working more inside, inside game, inside drill work. I think he's getting better all the time.
Boeheim on Brandon Triche:
I thought Brandon, even though he didn't score, he was aggressive today. He got in the lane. He was physical. His defense was very good.
On Syracuse having played three very contested halves so far in the tourney:
Well, we've had a lot of tightly contested halves in this season. So we've been pretty tested our last few games in the league, really most of 'em other than a very few were very tightly contested games. We're used to playing in that situation.
James Southerland on becoming a go-to guy for the Orange:
"I was always the go‐to guy in high school, so I’ve always felt comfortable shooting it."
Southerland on his mentality:
"I feel like it’s a mentality. I feel like everyone on this team can basically take over. It’s just a mentality, staying confident and knowing how much your teammates need you."
Southerland on the team's play:
"That’s how a No. 1(-seeded) team should play. And I feel like we have a lot more to give. People think that just because we lost our big man, we can’t play. But that’s not the case."
Rakeem Christmas on what Boeheim said at halftime:
"He told us all to crash and we all crashed and got more rebounds. That was a big thing."
C.J. Fair on Syracuse's perception:
"People kind of look at Syracuse as being the ‘fun’ team and not the ‘tough’ team. But when the game is on the line, we buckle down. I think we’re a very tough team. That’s wrongly suggested if somebody says that we aren’t. We went out there and got physical. We didn’t want to get pushed around by those guys, and we weren’t."
Dion Waiters on Syracuse's underdog perception:
"When we almost lost that first game (to UNC Asheville), people were saying, ‘Aw, they’re not that good without Fab.’ So we were the underdog today. I know you’re scratching your head at that, but that’s how we looked at it. We had a sense of urgency. It was win or go home. We showed we could battle with the bigs. We showed we could rebound. And now, we’re happy."
Kansas St. coach Frank Martin on Syracuse:
"They attacked us. They’re not 35-2, or whatever they are, because they kind of fooled people. They’re good. They beat us."