Head coach Mike Brennan and sophomore guard Sa'eed Nelson spoke after American beat Loyola 76-65 on Jan. 11, snapping a 6-game losing streak and giving the Eagles their first Patriot League win. See the Nelson video below and selected quotes from both.
"We needed it. It was much needed. The guys in the locker room felt real good about it"
On the last month and learning from losses
"It's been hard. Obviously (if) you win a game but then you don't learn from your mistakes if you won by two so losing, it doesn't help us, but it gives us energy, it feeds us energy."
On the 3-point shooting. One of biggest weapons right now?
"I think so, especially Sam (Iorio). Guys are just leaving him open. I'm like, 'Aight, I'll just throw it back.' He's getting wide open, he's knocking them down consistently and so is everybody else. Just them knocking down shots, it builds their confidence, it builds my confidence too to pass it to them when they're open. I think we have a real good shooting team."
On the chemistry with Sam
"it's been fun because pick-and-roll, he's been popping and like you said, he's been knocking down 3s. I tell him, 'Keep shooting.' Even if he's missing, keep shooting. Dudes want to keep playing back off him like that, and it just makes it easier for me, too, not having me kill my body trying to jump into bigger guys. I can just throw it back to him and knock down shots. I think him at that position is helping us a lot now."
How are you feeling physically?
"I'm sore. I'm really sore. But you're going to be sore, especially in league play."
"We worked on our offense a ton for the past few days and that was the most we've shared the ball so I was happy to see that."
On Sa'eed and Sam dynamic
"We need those guys to do so much, and they're doing it. We're just sort of starting, so Sam is kind of getting comfortable with where he should be and what he should be looking for. We just gotta get other guys up to speed to help those guys out."
On the 3-point shooting
"The quality of the shot is why I think we shot that well. As long as we move the ball and sort of learn what we're doing, get used to what we're doing, learn what to be looking for and keep sharing the ball, that's how you get good shots and I think we got a pretty good shooting team when we do it. If we don't, we're not a good shooting team."
On pulling out the game
"Just having been in those situations before, getting better with each game. It certainly wasn't pretty at the end of the game. They helped us out, missed some shots. But I thought we stuck with it, stuck with it defensively. We toughened up a little bit against the press for a few possessions."