By Tom Benoit
February 24, 2013 5:51 PM

leppanen

Mitch Buonaguro

“A real gutty win, talk about playing a kid who had only played 40 minutes, Chris Leppanen, he played terrific. Our starting back court not playing. I thought Radford played well. Just a great win, a really gutty dig-deep win and I’m really proud of the kids.”

“The one thing is I do alot of work on situations so I didn’t panic. The kids didn’t panic. We ran some good offense something I emphasize with the kids every day and they executed.”

“He (Martens) had been playing better the last three games I’ve been playing him more he had been playing good in practice. He’s a junior. Now hopefully he can continue this when we play Marist Friday night.”

“When you look at the stat sheet to win this game with OD and Poole going 5-27 that’s pretty amazing.”

“I made the commitment to the half-court game and I thought he (Leppanen) ran it pretty well against duress. Those guards were pretty quick. I thought Davis was as quick a kid as we’ve played. He really pressured him. I thought Leppanen played remarkably well. I threw him in this week at the point when Evan went down. He comes from a great program. Dave Doemel’s a great coach. He knows how to play. He knows how to win. I think a little bit of coach Doemel and his program rubbed off on him today.”

On the last minute

“It’s kind of a blur. I really don’t remember what happened. Poole made a couple of big plays. I thought we defended them well. The trap really bothered them. These are the games I like to coach in, close games. I really enjoy this. ”

“Our kids, we work at it. We spend alot of time on situations if you come to my practice. I do it every day so the kids did not panic. We’ve been in alot of close games this year that we haven’t won maybe this will give us the impetus now to win a couple of close games at the end of the season.”

“He (Poole) made a couple of big plays. That three was unbelievable. We have no chance of winning the game if he’s not on the court. He wasn’t making shots. He’s still not 100%. Teams are keying in on him. But, 7 of 12 from the line, 4 rebounds only 1 turnover, 3 steals. That’s a pretty good game. He’s playing out of position today. He played the point for 18-20 minutes.”

“He (Leppanen) proved to me today that certainly he can play. He runs the team pretty well and that’s gonna give is boost going into the tournament. I’ve been going with Brookins and Hymes. Those have been the guys I’ve been banking on. But, now he has shown me alot today.”

“On that play where he (OD) had the rebound they said that he swung his elbow and it’s a flagrant 1. Boy that was big. If he (Radford player) had made the two free throws and they scored it was almost like the St. Peter’s fiasco where we knocked the ball out of the net. Everything’s happened this year.”

Chris Leppanen

“Coach told me I was gonna be starting if Evan didn’t come back. It was a great opportunity and I just tried to take full advantage of it.”

“I went over to the CBA game last night against Guilderland and coach Doemel talked to me for a little bit and his son Jr. Doemel talked to me and they told me this was pretty much just like any other game. Just go in there comfortable. I think those guys and a couple other guys from my community talking to me over at Hudson Valley definitely calmed me down.”

“Watching those games over at Hudson Valley definitely helped me out cause there was a big crowd. Watching the point guards and how they handled the pressure helped me to focus on how I was gonna handle the pressure from Radford today.”

“Earlier in the season after Rahk came back I didn’t see the court as much. I didn’t get down but I knew I wasn’t gonna be out there unless someone got injured or something like that. I still went into every game knowing the guards from the other team, knowing the plays Coach wanted us to run, knowing their plays. I went into this game the same as I would go into any other game.”

“I think my body definitely wasn’t ready for this. I only had one water bottle yesterday. I should have had more.”

Davis Martens

On his career high game

“Sometimes I over analyze things. I just went out there and tried not to think too much. Just try to enjoy every minute with my guys out there and try to have fun.”

“A lot of heart. We didn’t want to give up. We executed. Ron Poole and Chris Leppanen did great job running the team with Rakeem Brookins and Evan out.”

“It’s nice to have some momentum going into the last stretch of the season. Especially once we hit the tournament, it’s a new ball game.”

“I think that’s one of my strengths to have the capability to play inside out a little. I haven’t been really doing that a lot lately. Today I was feeling good I got some nice shots up and they went in.”

On going from starter to coming off the bench

“For me it’s not really a big deal. I’m a team player. It was fine for me. I had a rough start. Coming off the injury last year was little harder than expected. I didn’t really click right away. It was just a process I had to go through.”

OD Anosike

“He (Leppanen) got his chance and he really played well for us. Radford’s a team that’s really well coached defensively. He was under some heat and he ran the team. It was a great night for him. I’m so happy for him.”

On playing short handed

“I think at that point guys understand that they have to play. They understand that they don’t have to look over their shoulder anymore because the bench is short, just play with a tremendous amount of confidence and not really being concerned about making mistakes. I think that’s exactly what you saw from Chris Leppanen tonight. He understood to go out there and play as hard as he could and he didn’t have to worry about getting taken out. That gave him a tremendous amount of confidence and he was able to make plays.”

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