Collegehoops.net's Jon Teitel is in Philadelphia all week bringing you live coverage and interviews from one of the opening weekend's most intriguing venues.
NCAA Tournament Q&A
Kevin Goffney: Sr, F, Chattanooga
Q: Is it hard being at your 3rd school in 4 years (Nicholls State, then Pratt CC)?
A: It was kind of hard because I had a lot of different coaches and teammates with different personalities. I got settled at Pratt, but it was a big change coming to Chattanooga: the D-1 game is more physical, and my teammates here became like my family, because we are all very close.
Q: How did you hurt your ankle in the Tennessee game, and how bad was it (team was 16-8 this year when he started and played for more than a minute, 2-8 when he did not)?
A: I did not think it was that bad, as my ankle just rolled, so I was going to keep playing, but when I came back to the bench and took off my shoe, my ankle was as fat as a baseball (it turned out to be a broken bone).
Q: How did you rehab yourself, and what did it feel like when you came back?
A: I was out for 9 games. It was rough at first because I was not as explosive, and it was hard to get back to full speed. Our trainers helped me out big time.
Q: Your non-conference schedule featured a ton of NCAA tourney teams (Tennessee, Missouri, Memphis, USC, Davidson, E. Tennessee State): what effect did your 1-7 start have on your team?
A: It was kind of rough, but it prepared us for this moment right here, which is our goal. We will not be surprised by anything Connecticut does.
Q: After finishing the regular season with 3 straight single-digit losses, you had a team-high 18 points and a career-high 5 assists in the 1-point conference tourney quarterfinal win over Elon: what turned it around for your team?
A: We had a great week of preparation before the conference tourney: we just focused on defense/rebounding, and did not put up many shots at all, because we just wanted to stay aggressive.
Q: After being tied at 34 at halftime of the title game vs. College of Charleston, what did Coach John Shulman tell the team, and how did you guys respond in order to get the win?
A: We played them earlier this year on senior night and they blew us out, so we did not want it to happen again. We came out and got stop after stop: the 1st 5 minutes after halftime were very critical.
Q: How important is the veteran leadership of you, Stephen McDowell, and Nicchaeus Doaks?
A: Big time, because our team is young after the 3 of us. We have to pick the young guys up, so we try to be as vocal as we can, and tell the young guys to just keep playing hard.
Q: Has Coach Shulman said anything about his time in 1992 as an assistant at E. Tennessee State when they upset Arizona as #14 seed?
A: He has talked to us about what it takes to get an upset, and and how it feels to win and keep on going: he is a great coach.
Q: Was your hometown of Ethel, LA affected by Hurricane Katrina, and if so, how bad was it?
A: We were not affected too much, although my family lost power for a few weeks and the roof was blown off our house, even though it is a couple of hours away from the coast.
Q: Are you the original “KG”, or did Kevin Garnett have it first?
A: Kevin is the man: just call me “Little KG”.
Tournament Talk Q&A's