Florida was in front of the national media on Thursday as they prepare for the Florida Gulf Coast university Eagles. Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy, and Mike Rosario talk about what they are thinking as we head toward Friday’s big game.
Here are the questions presented to and the answers from the three gator seniors.
Q. Obviously just got finished talking to FGCU, they were talking about the excitement. What was the week on campus like for you guys, that have been there, done this?
KENNY BOYNTON: Actually, we didn't even go back to the campus, we came straight here from Austin, Texas. Pretty much for us it's been a business trip. Me and Murphy and Mike, this is our fourth NCAA tournament. We know the preparation for it, so we've been preparing.
ERIK MURPHY: We've been focusing on them and preparing to play them. And like Kenny said, we didn't go back to campus. We just have been at the hotel and practicing and staying off our feet and trying to rest.
Q. What is your impression of Brett Comer as a point guard and the way he distributes and what will you do to try to get the ball out of his hands?
KENNY BOYNTON: I think he has a great vision. Basically I think the main thing with us is staying in front of our man. He's a great passer, but to prevent it you've got to stand in front of your man, they make a lot of cuts, you can't let a person get back door on you and make it easier for them.
MIKE ROSARIO: Just to add on to what Kenny said, he has very, very good vision of the floor. He knows how to get other guys shots. He's not the quickest kid, I would say, but he knows how to use his body, as well, to create space and to get his shot off, as well.
So I feel like we've got to make sure he doesn't get in the paint as much as he has done in the past couple of games because it opens up shots to the outside for those guys. I feel like if we do a great job of that we'll be fine.
Q. How has coming so close to the Final Four the last two years driven you guys this year? Do you think about it now being back at the Regional again how close you came and does it impact how you approach these games?
KENNY BOYNTON: Basically you need to remember, but you don't think about it. We remember the pain it caused for us last year. I think we used it to learn for the next few games. We've been close. And our goal is to get further this year.
ERIK MURPHY: Obviously it's in the past and it's happened, so you don't want to dwell on it too much.
But it's definitely motivating on the offseason, whatever, whenever you think about it, it gives you a little extra motivation. But like I said, it's in the past and this is a new year. And we've just got to take every game one by one.
MIKE ROSARIO: I would say the last two years we were one game away from going to the Final Four. You just think about all those mornings you wake up throughout the season and preseason and especially summer workouts to prepare yourself for this moment right here.
We just want to take full advantage of this experience and what's happening now and not feel like our team and our program is really locked in on what's going on right now. And as far as us as a whole we're just trying to take this experience to the next level and just go out there and compete.
Q. Do you guys have an appreciation of the history that Florida Gulf Coast has achieved to get this far and will it matter at all on tomorrow night?
MIKE ROSARIO: We commend those guys a lot for the success that they have had, going on the road and beating Miami at Miami and beating Mercer at Mercer, and taking down a very good team, Georgetown. That tells you a lot about their team right there with those three wins.
We have a great deal of respect for those guys because we've seen them in November. It's nothing new to us. It's just another good team we have to prepare for.
And the most important thing going into this game, you have to know a scout report. You have to know all the guys that's coming in and out of the game and who you're guarding, that's your position, and what spot you need to be in on the floor on the defensive end. I feel like those are a lot of things we can control. So I feel like if we take advantage of that we'll be okay.
KENNY BOYNTON: I agree with Mike. I respect what they have done. They've gotten two good NCAA wins. Tomorrow just two teams going out there playing. So we're going to go out and play our hardest, and I'm sure they'll come at us at their hardest, too.
Q. As a big man, what are your impressions of the dunks that Gulf Coast has had, going back door and baseline and so on. And from a spectator perspective and then from a player's perspective, what do you feel you have to do?
ERIK MURPHY: Obviously they're really athletic across the front line. But my dad always told me dunk's worth two points. We've just got to try to take one of those easy baskets. But a dunk, layup, two points, the same thing. Those plays energize them, though, so we want to try to limit them.
Q. What was it like just being in Cowboys Stadium and what kind of adjustment do you think it will be playing in a football stadium as opposed to a basketball arena?
ERIK MURPHY: We actually haven't been out on the floor yet. I don't know. We haven't been on the floor yet. But obviously it's a great stadium. And we're excited to get out there and we'll see how it is when we're out there.
MIKE ROSARIO: It's a great experience, especially playing in this big stadium, here. They just renewed it. We want to embrace every moment of this, especially for me, Kenny and Murph, this is our last go around, this is our senior year, and there is a lot of kids teenagers out there our age that would love to be in the position we're in right now. We just want to embrace every moment of it.