St. Bonaventure conducted a news conference Monday in Dayton, Ohio, in advance of its First Four game Tuesday (9:10 p.m., TruTV) against UCLA. Here are comments from coach Mark Schmidt and players Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Idris Taqqee.
Q. Jaylen, as a senior I know this is your first time here, but you do bring a wealth of veteran leadership. How do you kind of take in the moment but not get overwhelmed being the first time here?
JAYLEN ADAMS: Obviously I'm a little excited just to be here. This is a tremendous experience. I have a bunch of friends who kind of told me it's a great experience. I think we've had a good year up until this point, but we're not satisfied. So we've just got to play with that chip on our shoulders and stay hungry.
Q. Jaylen, you played some of your biggest games here at Dayton. Do you feel pretty comfortable playing here?
JAYLEN ADAMS: I think it's a little added comfort. It will be nice to have some fans on our side in this building for once. I'm going to enjoy it a little bit. So, yeah, I think my comfort level is definitely up.
Q. Matt, along the same lines of what was asked Jaylen, there's a CBS report that NBA reporter for ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski, who is a Bona alum and has donated money to bring as many students and buses from Bona up here. How exciting will that be to have an entire fan base up here for you guys?
MATT MOBLEY: It's real exciting. Our fans travel everywhere. I'm really not surprised that they're going to come out here to Dayton. They love their team. We love our fans, so it's real exciting that we're going to have a lot of fans here for the game.
Q. Matt, piggybacking off of what was asked of Jaylen, the comfort level inside this building, being it is an A-10 building, is it easier walking in to not be overwhelmed by the venue knowing you guys have played here before and then played well?
MATT MOBLEY: Yeah, we have a lot of experience here. Everybody here is used to the rims. We're used to the atmosphere. We know how loud it gets. We know the court. So I feel like it's an advantage, and we're going to take the most of that.
Q. You guys beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome earlier in the season. What did that mean for you and your program?
MATT MOBLEY: You know, Cuse is a national powerhouse. A lot of great tradition. First time ever we won in the Dome. It meant a lot to the community as well as the team, the school. It was just a great win and it helped our resumé.
JAYLEN ADAMS: I would say more of the same. Definitely a big win, especially on the road. I think we didn't have any wins in the Carrier Dome up until that point. So it definitely gave us a lot of confidence going forward. And I think it just helped us get to where we are today.
IDRIS TAQQEE: It being in a building that had a lot of history, a game that had a lot of history, and knowing what we had done against Syracuse in the past was a good feeling. And getting that W in the Carrier Dome and having so much support at the same time and going to school with people that grew up Syracuse fans, just hearing how much they were behind us was great.
Q. Selection Sunday was a couple days ago, but, Jaylen, it's a quick turnaround, too. But what have you seen on tape from UCLA that could pose some challenges? And what do you think you guys could exploit to get a win here to continue down in Dallas?
JAYLEN ADAMS: They have real good guards, a lot of size underneath. We have to be able to run, gotta control the glass. It's definitely going to be a road game, so one thing we have to do is defend, rebound, take care of the ball, three things you need to do on the road. And I think this is just more of the same.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Coach, if you'd like, you can make an opening statement.
COACH SCHMIDT: We're excited to be here. Our guys are really looking forward to the game. If someone told me that when we started this thing six months ago that we'd be in Dayton in the NCAA Tournament, I'd be really excited. And we are, and I'm really excited.
But just looking forward to playing. We got here this afternoon. And Dayton does it right. People meeting us at the airport, at the hotel, and it's been a great few hours. And hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow night. But really looking forward to playing. Excited about being here. And let's play.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Could you give us an injury update on Courtney Stockard?
COACH SCHMIDT: Hopefully we can have him play. It will be a game-time decision, but hopefully he'll be out there and he'll be 100 percent and he can help us. We play much better when he's playing and he's healthy, and hopefully we'll have him.
Q. Being at this game is in Dayton, is there a sense of comfort knowing you've played here year in, year out?
COACH SCHMIDT: Yeah, this would be the first time that we won't get booed. But, yeah, I think one of the advantages, if we have an advantage, is that we played here a number of times. Our guys know the floor, the rims. So, yeah, there's a comfort.
And I know that since we're playing in an Atlantic 10 arena, we know that we'll have a lot of fan support, not just from the Bonnies but from the Dayton people. So it should be a good night. It should be a great environment. And looking forward to it.
Q. Does that also make it easier to an extent, too, to not get overwhelmed by this moment and the NCAA Tournament?
COACH SCHMIDT: We've got veteran guys. I don't think we'll be overwhelmed. Guys have been in big games and we understand this is the NCAA Tournament. But at the same time it's another game and we've got veteran guys that have played in big games.
So they won't be -- there will be some nervousness at the beginning of the game, I would assume. But in terms of being overwhelmed by the event or the atmosphere, that won't happen.
Q. I know it's a quick turnaround. What do you see on tape from UCLA from what you've been able to see so far?
COACH SCHMIDT: They're really good. They've got great size, great athleticism. They shoot the ball well from beyond the arc. They're shooting over 40 percent. They made over 300 3s, great size.
They invert a lot. They're big guys. They've got great size. They can screen. They can shoot 3s. Holiday is one of the best point guards in the league -- excuse me, in the country. He's shooting over 50 percent from 3s. He's the engine that makes them go.
But they've got good wings. They've got a really good mix of players, great size, as I said, great athleticism. It's going to be a great test for us. They're going to be a much bigger team than we are. So we're going to have to find some ways to limit their ability to rebound and use their size against us.
Q. Do you allow yourself at all, I know 1970 was the last NCAA Tournament win for St. Bonaventure, do you allow yourself to kind of look down the road at all and envision what that win would mean?
COACH SCHMIDT: No. As a coach, you're just trying to prepare. And we try to do the best job we can to give our guys the best chance to win tomorrow night. All that stuff is something that we can look at, once the season is over, we can look back.
And we've done a lot of things this year, said a lot of school records. But that's something that we can talk about once the season is over. Right now our mind is on UCLA and what we can do to help our players be in the best position to win.
Q. Having lost in this arena earlier in this year, do you consider this a chance at redemption per se?
COACH SCHMIDT: No, we're not playing Dayton. This is a great arena. We look forward to coming here. Bonaventure hasn't had a lot of success here. I think we won last year or two years ago for the first time I think in the school's history. So I think we're one and, whatever, 50, whatever it is.
But we're not playing Dayton. We're not going to have people booing us all night. We're not going to have a student body that's yelling at me. We're going to have a lot of people that are going to be on our side. So it's going to be a much different environment.
We're playing a really good team. We understand that. But we're comfortable here. Our guys have played here and hopefully that will be a factor that will help us.