Underdogs: An Oral History

How last year’s men’s basketball team won the most unlikely Patriot League Championship in program history.

Underdogs: An Oral History

Courtesy of AU Athletic Communications

Tony Wroblicky is willing to admit it. He’ll say what was on a lot of other people’s minds.

“I didn’t think we would make the tournament,” he said. “I definitely had no tournament expectations.”

Why would he? Heading into the 2013-2014 season, the AU men’s basketball team was coming off their worst season since joining the Patriot League in 2001. The previous season, the Eagles finished below .500, ranked in the bottom half of the league and lost in the first round of the conference tournament for the first time in program history.

If that wasn’t bad enough, head coach Jeff Jones, the only person to ever lead the Eagles to an NCAA Tournament berth, left the team in April 2013 to take a coaching job at Old Dominion University. Athletic Director Billy Walker wasn’t even scheduled to begin his new post until nearly three weeks after Jones’ departure, but by the end of that month, Walker named Mike Brennan the new head coach.

Then something remarkable followed.

Brennan led AU, who was picked to finish second-to-last in the preseason Patriot League poll, to a conference tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance, for just the third time in school history. AU returned only one senior, Wroblicky, but got off to their best conference start ever by winning their first 10 Patriot League games.

Behind the accolades, though, was a team trying to overcome obstacles all season long. One player suffered a family death in the middle of the season. Another discovered a heart condition that sidelined him indefinitely. A key team leader was a first-year guard who was given an ultimatum at his previous school after being told to “show more respect for coaches."

Amid the challenges, few imagined they’d beat the odds and find themselves dancing on a court in March at Boston University.

(Editor’s Note: All players and coaches are listed with their positions at the time of the 2013-14 men’s basketball season. In the first section, two players with asterisks next to their name were freshmen last year, but discuss events that occurred before they came to AU when they were still in high school).

***

"I was an assistant for 13 years and there were only two [head coaching] jobs I was interested in. I wasn't just trying to be a head coach anywhere because I've been in good spots but this job, I really wanted to be here.
—Head Coach Mike Brennan

On April 3, 2013, the news broke that head coach Jeff Jones was leaving AU for Old Dominion. In 13 years with the Eagles, Jones accumulated a 212-182 record and led the team to two NCAA tournament appearances.

Zach Elcano (sophomore, center): “I was in math class with Kyle [Kager] and I found out JJ was leaving on Twitter. I was like, ‘What are we going to do?! What’s happening?!’”

Marko Vasic (sophomore, forward): “I was walking back from a class and Jesse [Reed] told me. I don’t want to say we were scared, but we felt insecure about the future. What if the coach wanted to bring in new guys?”

Kyle Kager (junior, forward): “He had been here for so long, and he had signed that contract. I didn’t even think that was a possibility.”

John Schoof (junior, guard): “We got a text that we had a meeting in the locker room. By the time the meeting came, we knew what was coming.”

Jesse Reed (sophomore, guard): “Finding out before the meeting through social media was rough. It didn’t really kick in at that moment. We were wondering who our new coach would be, if we’d still have scholarships here. There were a lot of what ifs.”

Darius “Pee Wee” Gardner (junior, guard): “Once we had the meeting, he came in and told us he accepted the job. He said it was tough because he loved the players.”

Tony Wroblicky (senior, center): “JJ gave us a heart-felt speech, gave everyone a hand shake and then left. It was pretty somber, definitely a very sad event. Guys were tearing up.”

Charlie Jones* (freshman, guard): “It put me in a state of shock because after I visited, I was pretty sure I wanted to go here. Then that happened, and I basically had to start my recruitment over.”

Yilret “YY” Yiljep* (freshman, forward): “I was very confused; for a week I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking about opening up my recruitment and contacting other schools.”

Wroblicky: “The main thing I was concerned about was the uncertainty the team would go through. Would anyone want to leave? I sent text messages to the commits telling them to still come. It was a mess because no one had any idea of what was going to happen.”

Schoof: “That actually helped us form a lot of team chemistry because we really stuck together as a team. We tried to do as much as we could without having a coach. We didn’t have an AD or a coach, so it was a lot of limbo.”

Matt Wolff (assistant coach): “I was in the office by myself for about a month before they hired a new coach. I just tried to do a good job and hoped I got to stay.”

Scott Greenman (assistant coach): “I was at Georgetown, [as the director of basketball operations] and I discussed it with people at the Final Four to see who was in the mix. I knew Coach Brennan was involved.”

Mike Brennan (head coach): “Having been an assistant here before and working for JJ, I knew what a great program this was. I was excited and interested and did what everyone does to try to get a job. I contacted [Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator] Athena [Argyropoulos] and everyone I knew here to let them know I was interested and find out as much as I could.”

Kager: “We were speculating who the head coach might be, and Mike Brennan was one of those [names mentioned]. [Former Associate Head Coach] Kieran Donohue was one as well as someone who was previously an assistant at AU (Jason Williford).”

Brennan: “I was an assistant for 13 years and there were only two [head coaching] jobs I was interested in. I wasn’t just trying to be a head coach anywhere because I’ve been in good spots but this job, I really wanted to be here.”

***

AU unveiled Mike Brennan as the new head coach of the men's basketball coach at a press conference in Bender Arena April 30. PHOTO: JARED ANGLE/ THE EAGLE

On April 30, 2013, AU President Neil Kerwin announced Mike Brennan as the new men’s basketball coach at a press conference in Bender Arena.

Elcano: “I don’t even think they told us [who the new coach was]. We just got a text saying come to the announcement, and we found out like everyone else.”

Jones: “I was waiting to see who the new coach was because I wanted to come to American, and I didn’t know if I had a place here. After Coach Brennan was finally hired, he called me after about a week and that sealed the deal. He told me he was looking to build a program like Davidson—a team that’s very strong academically but also a perennial contender to get to the NCAA Tournament.”

Justice Montgomery (freshman, guard): “My [high school] coach let me know Dallas [Cameron], who had already committed, [decided not to go to AU]. It was like the last month of my senior year. I already wanted to commit my junior year so when this opened up, that was the first visit I wanted to take.”

Greg Collucci (AU director of basketball operations): “I didn’t know Coach Brennan personally. [Georgetown assistant coach] Kevin Broadus was a former co-worker of both of ours, and I played for him, so I went through him, and he was able to get me an opportunity to interview with Brennan.”

Greenman: “[Brennan] coached me for four years when I played at Princeton, and eight out of my 30 years of life have been with him. It was pretty simple; he asked me if I was interested [in being his assistant coach] and I said, ‘Absolutely.’"

Brennan: “Matt [Wolff] was here when I got here, so it was just me and him the first two weeks. Working with him closely and having to do so much together—we were in the office constantly, early at morning to late at night—we were trying to do so many different things.”

Schoof: “From the second Coach Brennan came in, we were all really excited.”

Reed: “Internally, we thought we could be good because we knew we had talent. We thought we had a chance but we knew it’d take a lot of work for us to get there.”

***

On Nov. 1, 2013, the Patriot League released their preseason poll. The head coaches and sports information directors around the conference projected AU to finish ninth out of 10 teams. The media expressed similar opinions.

Chris Bengel, City of Basketball Love: “In all honesty, former American head coach Jeff Jones left at the perfect time, given the graduations of [Stephen] Lumpkins, [Daniel] Munoz, and [Blake] Jolivette.”

Asher Fusco, ESPN: “After so many seasons in which it was tough to imagine the Eagles struggling, this year it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Brennan’s squad prospers. Wroblicky and Schoof are solid, but beyond that, the roster is untested at best.”

Benjamin Miraski, SB Nation: “Tony Wroblicky doesn’t have that same size or skill to replace [Lumpkins], and the supporting cast that is left won’t provide much help. That is why it looks like an easy pick to find American in the cellar this coming season.”

Jesse Kramer, The Catch and Shoot: “Mike Brennan’s first season as American’s head coach will not be easy.”

Gardner: “Honestly, I think that was well-deserved. The year before, it wasn’t a good year.”

Collucci: “I’ve got to be honest, when I came in, I was pleasantly surprised. We had a lot of guys who could shoot the basketball; I thought Tony Wroblicky’s skillset was terrific. He was a big guy who could catch the ball and throw bounce passes; those are skills that aren’t easy to find.”

Brennan: “I was excited about the pieces we had. I thought we could at least be competitive and then when I got on the court and tangibly could see what I had, I immediately had a good feeling about the group.”

Collucci: “I really thought this was a team that had great potential based on how Coach Brennan planned on playing. They fit very well with his system.”

Vasic: “I had high expectations because I knew [Pee Wee could play this year]. He was a hidden gem; nobody else knew about him.”

Kager: “All of that preseason stuff is just noise. There were a lot of intangibles our team had that weren’t considered.”

Gardner: “We should’ve been last. That would’ve been perfect because it would’ve given us even more motivation heading into the season. We took that poll as motivation from day one.”

***

PHOTO: ALEJANDRO ALVAREZ/THE EAGLE

One week after the Patriot League preseason poll was released, AU started their season with a 63-60 loss at George Mason. The Eagles followed that with an overtime victory at home over UMBC, 63-61, and then traveled to eighth-ranked Ohio State where they lost, 63-52.

Jones: “Early on, we weren’t really cohesive offensively. Everything was choppy.”

Wroblicky: “It was very tough because you didn’t really know what to do all the time, where to go or who to pass to.”

Nate Philippe (assistant coach): “Coach Brennan did a great job early on saying, ‘We’re not being measured in wins and losses, that’s not how I’m evaluating this team. It’s about getting better every day and buying into the process.’”

Langdon Neal (freshman, guard): “The non-conference games in the beginning of the season were huge. If you look at our record, we didn’t do too well. But we used those games to get used to the offense, see what works and what doesn’t work.”

Greenman: “The guys did a good job recognizing even when we weren’t winning, we were getting better. The work ethic was always there because they could see we were improving.”

Wroblicky: “We didn’t really play that well as a team, but the UMBC game was what made people realize Pee Wee could ball. It was his coming out party; he single-handedly won that game for us.”

Schoof: “Pee Wee sat out the previous year, but he still practiced with us, so we all knew he was really good. It was just a matter of time he’d show everyone else that. He makes everyone around him better.”

Collucci: “He has such a bright basketball mind, and he has a great feel for everything going on. He always knows what to do in every situation.”

Gardner: “UMBC was the first time I heard my name called [by the announcers] like that [at home] and everything was new. I just tried to come out with a lot of energy. The [game-tying] shot at the end of regulation… that was luck.”

Yiljep: “Then Ohio State helped us a lot with our confidence. If we can stay with Ohio State, it gave us a huge lift.”

Greenman: “It was good to be in a game like that. A lot of people thought going into it we wouldn’t be in the game very long.”

Wroblicky: “We didn’t even play that well, we had 27 turnovers. I had eight or nine, and we lost by 11. We didn’t take care of the ball at all.”

Kager: “It was disappointing we lost but being able to experience that—the whole crowd, the atmosphere, you don’t get in the Patriot League—it was important carrying that into the league.”

Elcano: “We proved to ourselves if we go out there and play our best, we can play with anyone.”

***

Looking at wins and losses, the Eagles’ out-of-conference performance was abysmal. They started the year 3-7, but used the time to adjust to the Princeton offense, a stark difference from their previous strategies.

Montgomery: “The Princeton [offense] is very hard to understand at first, but once you get it, it’s hard to guard. Even when we play against each other in practice, it’s hard to guard because they’re so many options.”

Jones: “The biggest thing is precision; just your alignment and how to move and when to move.”

Neal: “Coach Brennan did a good job teaching it, but it took a while for us to jell together and be on the same page because it was so new.”

Wolff: “It was as much a learning process for me as it was the players. I paid attention as much as I could and watched a lot of film, but I think it takes years of watching and coaching to fully understand the intricacies of what we do on offense.”

Collucci: “I’ve been around a lot of coaches, but Brennan was so good conveying his system in a way the guys could learn quickly.”

Greenman: “The biggest reason for our success last year was the willingness of the guys to listen and learn and adapt so quickly. A lot of times when you have a coaching change it’s hard because you have guys who were playing a different style and were recruited by a different coach.”

Kager: “I think the Princeton works best when you have players who are very in sync, and the returning players were all very close. The change in offense was actually very beneficial for us.”

Gardner: “The last game after Christmas break against San Francisco, that was when we figured it out. That game is when we first started to click right before we headed into Patriot League play.”

Collucci: “The California trip was a good bonding experience because we spent five days together, and we had a lot of time to work on our game; it was after finals were over. They had a break, came back and won two games and then it was off to the races.”

***

Sophomore guard Jesse Reed (pictured on Feb. 2) scored 16 points during the Eagles’ game against Loyola. PHOTO: MURUGI THANDE/THE EAGLE

As the non-conference season wound down, however, tragedy struck two Eagles about a month apart. The first was on December 1 when Reed’s cousin, Aaron Ulisse, suddenly passed away at age 23. Reed missed two games but dedicated the rest of the season to him. The second tragedy occurred a month later when Yiljep discovered he had an undiagnosed heart condition which kept him out of AU’s lineup the rest of the year.

Reed: “Losing [Aaron] was tough; he was like a brother to me. It was something that wasn’t expected. It hit me pretty hard. When I came back, I had a new motivation to play. Me and him shared the same number when we were in high school: 14, the same exact jersey actually. We grew up playing basketball together. He was always my role model. I wasn’t just playing for myself anymore; I was playing for him as he was watching over me.”

Vasic: “That was very sad. I was his roommate, so I wanted to make sure that he was okay and I was there for him. We were all there for him.”

Reed: “Without these guys, I don’t know what would’ve happened. Coming back here without having any family around me, I thought it would be real tough. Everybody was so supportive and there for me. They’re my second family; their support and help through it all made the difference between me shutting down completely and who knows what would’ve happened.”

Vasic: “After [Aaron’s death], he played for his cousin. He got even better.”

Wroblicky: “[Jesse] was a lot more resilient. It was terrible what happened, but he somehow managed to get through it. With YY, he told us after one game he had trouble breathing when he was walking back to his dorm so he was going to get it checked out. Obviously that’s really concerning.”

Yiljep: “It was hard for me to not be able to help the team. It was difficult for me to sit there [on the bench]. I was just happy me not being there wasn’t a problem.”

Wroblicky: "We didn’t really care about basketball at that point, we were worried for him. It was heartbreaking."

***

After returning from California, AU ended 2013 by winning at Maryland-Eastern Shore, 71-58. They followed that up with their first Patriot League contest at Bucknell to kick off the new year.

Yiljep: “Coming into Bucknell, we were really confident because we played tough games before that like at Ohio State.”

Wroblicky: “I was pretty fired up because we were winless the last three years against Bucknell. I had never beaten them; [former Patriot League Player of the Year Mike] Muscala always dominated us. It was a big game for me personally.”

Reed: “It was huge, a big momentum shift. When you go into conference play, it’s a new season. You just tell yourself to put whatever happened in non-conference play behind you. The fact that we won that first conference game gave us a lot of confidence. Tony played well that game too.”

Gardner: “Tony doesn’t get enough credit. I think he was the most important player on the team offensively and defensively. On offense, he had the ball most of the time and dictated what we did. On defense, when we’d get beat off the dribble, we had Tony there to protect us.”

Brennan: “[The center in the Princeton] is crucial. For him, to do the things he did in the course of one year was shocking, to be honest. We were good because of what he was able to do.”

Wolff: “Tony’s ability to dribble, pass and play with patience really helped. He played a huge role in getting other guys shots.”

Neal: “After we went 3-0 in the conference, that’s when I knew [something was different]. We beat Bucknell and Holy Cross, two goods teams. I couldn’t see any team outplaying us. You just started thinking, ‘Why not us?’”

***

After the first six conference games, AU was one of just two undefeated Patriot League teams left. That set up a showdown with preseason favorite Boston University in Bender Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Brennan: “They played on Monday and had one day of practice and rest, so we caught them on a good night for us, a bad night on them.”

Neal: “All the students and alumni came out in great numbers. The atmosphere was electric.”

Schoof: “We were all pumped up. It was for first place in the league.”

Wroblicky: “They got off to a really good start—they were up 13-2—and I was like, ‘Oh god, this is not good. This is embarrassing. The whole school showed up.’”

Gardner: “The turning point was the timeout after they went up 13-2; [Brennan] said we just needed to calm down and do what we do. That was the time we realized we could go up another notch. That timeout changed the game.”

Kager: “We carried a lot of momentum into that game. We weren’t going to let an 11-point deficit deter us.”

Schoof: “We were playing man-to-man and got lit up at the beginning of the game. We went to a zone and they weren’t really ready for it.”

Wroblicky: “We settled down a little bit, and then everyone played out of their minds. We shot like 70 percent; it was a school record. You can’t beat a team shooting like that.”

Vasic: “It was one of those games we could’ve shot from half court and made it.”

Philippe: “I’d never seen anything like that as a player or as a coach. I’ve seen one or two players get hot or in the zone, but for our whole team to be firing on all cylinders, every single guy was just unconscious. It was a game I’ll never forget and unbelievable to be a part of.”

Brennan: “[My former college] Coach [Pete] Carril was around for a couple of practices and that game. He enjoyed being around and working with the guys. Pee Wee played really well, and coach likes Pee Wee. To have the guys play well on that particular night, it was a good moment for me.”

Wroblicky: “Before that, we were kind of thinking we could make a run, but after that, we knew we were the favorites. Nothing should stop us. We were the best team.”

***

The Eagles faltered, however, and finished the regular season losing five of their last eight games. That earned them a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and eventually set up a road game at No. 1 seed Boston for the Patriot League Championship. In their first two conference tournament games, BU scored 91 points each.

Brennan: “I was scared! I was like, ‘They’re going to score 200 points on us!’ They were rolling and they had a bunch of good players who could all score.”

Philippe: “BU was no question the most talented team in the league last year, and they deserved to be picked preseason number one and be regular season champs. They were more talented, but we matched up well with them.”

I remember we were up by 20 late [in the game], and I was still nervous we were going to lose.
— Kyle Kager

Collucci: “Coach Brennan spoke to the players about not doing anything out of the realm of normal. If you have a shot, shoot it. If you have a pass, pass it. That’s not easy to do, especially in that kind of game. You’re one guy losing his mind away from having a real problem.”

Philippe: “I actually wasn’t even at the Championship game. My daughter was born March 6, two days before we played Holy Cross in the semifinals. She had to be in the NICU [neonatal intensive-care unit] for a few days. I was planning to go to the Patriot League Championship game, which my wife was not too crazy about, but then the day before, the doctor called and said my daughter was going to be discharged.”

Collucci: “Coach Brennan never talked about it as a play-in game for the NCAA Tournament; he just talked about playing Boston University and trying to win the game. Sometimes you have guys who are up-and-down emotionally and they did a good job containing themselves and not being overwhelmed by the moment.”

Kager: “Our defense last year was more of a loose-5; that’s how I’d describe it. It lets you get to shooters much quicker. They had some three-point shooters we really wanted to shut down, but we were also able to pack into the lane because they had some big guys who were pretty good. We had the perfect defense against what they wanted to accomplish.”

Collucci: “Brennan made some very good coaching adjustments. We played a zone we hadn’t shown much of [during the season].”

Greenman: “The 2-3 was good for us because we weren’t necessarily the fastest team man-to-man. Sometimes when teams would have mismatches, we didn’t have to go 'mano-a-mano' all the time. Having Tony in the middle to clog it up and affect shots when guys penetrated was huge also.”

Gardner: “We made it tough for them to not get easy buckets around the basket. They kept shooting jump shots, and we were able to contest them. Coach is big on contesting twos and not giving up lay-ups and open threes. We just tried to contest and hoped they missed.”

Greenman: “They got a lot of good shots they just missed, so some of it was just luck. If you go back and watch that tape, they’re probably pretty happy with a lot of the looks they got in the first half.”

Kager: “I think the crowd may have been a factor for them because they had a little nerves, and they weren’t able to bounce back. I think that’s the biggest crowd they’d had while we were used to playing in bigger atmospheres like Ohio State.”

Brennan: “Pee Wee had a terrific game. [Boston point guard] Maurice Watson was one of the better, if not the best, players in the league and Pee Wee did a really good job of controlling him. He was the main reason they were scoring all those points.”

Kager: “I remember we were up by 20 late [in the game], and I was still nervous we were going to lose.”

Wroblicky: “The last minute was just ecstasy because you knew you were going to win and the crowd was getting in to it.”

Vasic: “I’ll never forget those last seconds, knowing we were going to win.”

Wroblicky: “I got subbed out with a few seconds left, and some of my buddies road tripped [to the game on] the [student] bus. They were looking at me, and I waved them down to rush the court after we won. It was just madness. Everyone was jumping around and that moment couldn’t have been better.”

Courtesy of AU Athletic Communications

Neal: “Seeing all of the fans rushing the court, you realize all of our work all year long had paid off. Whether you played or not, you knew you were there all year working hard in practice, contributing what you could to the team.”

Gardner: “Right after the buzzer sounded, I was in shock. I just sat there for a second to soak it all in.”

Montgomery: “It felt like we were holding in this excitement the whole year and finally it could come out.”

Greenman: “That’s your one time to be elated and let out the emotions that have been building up for an entire season. It’s a cool moment, especially from where the guys were picked at the beginning of the year and what the expectations for the team were. It was fun to watch it all come to fruition.”

Philippe: “I watched the game on my laptop while I was holding my daughter. Just being able to share that with my newborn, I was sky high. When we actually won, I remember standing up, pumping my fist and wanting to jump up and down. I almost forgot I was holding her, so I actually came really close to dropping her.”

Wolff: “It was cool playing against my alma mater; I hadn’t been back in five years. It was nice to have family and friends around in that area. It was sweet to be able to celebrate with them.”

Kager: “It was very special to share that celebration on the court with my brother, [freshman guard] Kade [Kager].”

Jalen Rhea (freshman, guard): “I remember Pee Wee pouring water on Coach Brennan after the game on the court. I'll never forget that.”

Wroblicky: “Only Pee Wee could get away with that, by the way.”

Yiljep:“Coach Brennan came into the locker room and was like, ‘Okay, you guys think I’m a very negative guy, but this is me smiling!’ Then he quoted Drake and said, ‘Started from the bottom, now we here!’”

Philippe:“I was enjoying the moment holding my daughter, and all of a sudden I see a FaceTime call from YY. I got to celebrate with them, which was crazy. It was funny, the day after, ESPN had a picture of YY holding the phone, calling it a 'Championship Selfie,' when it was actually him FaceTiming me.”

The Eagles beat Boston University, 55-36, on March 12, to earn just the third NCAA Tournament berth in school history. Four days later, the brackets came out, and AU discovered they were matched up against No. 2 seed Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The game was scheduled for March 20.

Gardner: “It was unreal; we had a charter flight to Wisconsin. Everyone gets to talk to the media and everyone watches you practice.”

Kager: “We had a police escort to and from the hotel, cameras were always going off; it was almost like we were set on a stage.”

Collucci: “There’s nothing like March Madness. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the Patriot League level.”

Philippe: “Growing up as a player, it was always my dream to take part in the NCAA Tournament. As a coach, it’s also something you always aspire to and it’s the pinnacle of our profession.”

Greenman: “It’s done really well, it’s a first-class set-up; but there are a lot of things that get in the way of your focus, which can be distracting.”

Gardner: “Coach limited what we could do so we’d focus on the game. We didn’t branch off and go sight-seeing. One thing we did do was study hall. He made sure every player did their homework, that’s for sure.”

Reed: “Before the game started, it was a dream come true. Being in the final 64 teams, it’s something you dream about growing up. But you also have to play the game.”

Wroblicky: “It was nuts. We had our one little AU section, and then there was a sea of [Wisconsin] red.”

Jones: “It was basically a road game.”

Wroblicky: “We changed our offense a little bit. We did a lot more dribble action and pull-up jump shots; we practiced that a lot. Our game plan was kind of to run the shot clock down as long as possible and get the best possible shot. They make you work defensively like we make people work. They wait for you to mess up. You’re basically guarding a much better version of yourself.”

Schoof: “We had to play almost a perfect game to compete with them.”

Brennan: “We were in there for maybe 15 minutes, but then, all of a sudden in five minutes, they were up 10 going into the half.”

Schoof: “We had some defensive breakdowns, they got open shots and when you mess up, they make you pay.”

Wroblicky: “We shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers. It wasn’t that bad at halftime, but then it got much worse in the second half, and we couldn’t make anything.”

Greenman: “Once things started to go downhill for us, it had a snowball effect, and we weren’t able to regroup. You go from being down from five to 15 to 25, and you feel like you can’t come back. For a team being there the first time, it was a little bit of that.”

Brennan: “I could’ve sat in a room for six months and thought about preparation and nothing would’ve helped against Wisconsin. They were really good.”

Greenman: “A lot of times you play teams in the tournament who are really talented but not that disciplined; Wisconsin was both. They had a bunch of NBA players and a really good coach.”

Wroblicky: “It was tough going out like that. At the very worst, you want to make it a respectable game and make your school proud.”

Kager: “It was a tough loss, but there’s no bigger venue in college basketball than March Madness. It was special to be a part of it.”

Sports@theeagleonline.com

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