Players preview Patriot League tournament, Navy

Senior Larry Motuzis, juniors Sa’eed Nelson and Mark Gasperini, and freshman Jacob Boonyasith spoke ahead of American’s quarterfinal Patriot League tournament game Thursday (7pm, Bender Arena) against Navy. See below for full video and select quotes

On if there’s extra motivation after the PL awards were announced
”Definitely. I’m just gonna keep coming out, playing my game like I said before. I don’t let awards get to me. It’s the playoff season now so it’s either win or go home. And I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season our main goal is to get a championship. That’s the only thing on my mind right now.”

On guarding Navy’s Hasan Abdullah
”Just stay in front of him. He’s an aggressive guy. I’m a physical guy too. Play my normal defense. I’ll be ready.”

On hitting 3s from the corners against Navy’s zone looks
”Obviously pretty important being able to move the ball. I think we’ve gotten better at playing against zones, getting the ball in the middle, (then) out to shooters.”

On American’s recent offensive rebounding prowess
”Yeah, definitely. Coach definitely wants us to get in there and get offensive rebounds, get more shots, more possessions.”

On his diversified scoring
”I’ve always had that package. I think some people might’ve perceived me as just a 3-point shooter because they didn’t know much about my game, because shooting is something I do really well. But yeah, I can score in a variety of ways. And I think that’s kind of showing itself as the season has played out.”

On facing a Navy matchup zone
”Yeah, we’re pretty sure we’re gonna see a matchup zone by Navy, but we’re preparing for it every day. I can’t really say what exact spots are going to be open — it’s kind of just reading where the gaps are in the zone and taking advantage.”

On his defense
”The biggest jump from high school to college is the defense and I would just say just communication on defense and being in the right spot at the right time and being alert 100 percent of the time. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve noticed in playing college basketball — you have to be alert the whole time when you’re playing defense.