Quotes from John Tillman's weekly press conference

Winslow Townson

Today, John Tillman held his weekly press conference the day before Maryland takes on Robert Morris. He had a lot of interesting stuff to say and here's some of it.

On Virginia:

Tillman was very proud of the response at HT after the first half of the game following a disappointing loss to North Carolina against "a very talented Virginia team". He said: "I thought the guys showed a lot of resolve and heart in the 2nd Half and played a lot better, given the conditions it was very challenging". Todd asked Coach Tillman about the psychological impact of the victory after the UNC loss and mentioned it being a league win, the resolve shown, and the national TV factor. Tillman said he's talked to the team about not getting too high or too low emotionally but "obviously the Carolina loss was disappointing, the kids invested a lot so it hurts, but to come back and get the win and have to come back even when things weren't going well, to stick together and not lose your poise is something we can reflect upon and look at moving forward".

He said there was still work to do, as he's often stressed this season and also mentioned that the Wounded Warrior experience was very beneficial (Maryland wore uniforms dedicated to the Wounded Warrior Project on Sunday). "I just felt the Wounded Warrior experience was very important for our players, just in terms of their experience here as student athletes, and just the guys who spoke to our team, they were just inspirational, and I think the kids got a great appreciation about what the game was about and why we were doing it". He mentioned a lot how he felt everyone with the team was moved by it and how they were still mentioning it afterwards.

On Robert Morris:

"They're a team that obviously can score a lot of goals, and midweek games are always tricky. We're not going to have the uniforms and national TV, but we still have an opportunity to do something that we love and something that's very important". The turnaround was something he put a lot of importance on, and that Robert Morris is going to be excited and pumped up to be playing at Byrd Stadium and Maryland has to be as well.

On the ACC Tournament and "A rebuttal to the critics":

Tillman was asked how he felt about "answering the critics" and booking a spot in the ACC Tournament after many believed Maryland would finish last. He was not concerned with that but how the team has grown, stressing the Duke model of "getting better as the year goes on, and always being there in May, and still figuring out who they are as a team as they go along". He said he felt the team always "worked hard and bought into the team aspect of it. There's guys who don't get a lot of recognition on game day but work hard on the scout team, lifted weights, got up early. I've told the guys that there's a lot of very good teams and you're one of them. But it's how you get better and respond".

On Henry West

Tillman spoke quite a bit after being asked about Henry West. He mentioned his game performance and how he obviously was pleased with it but mentioned his work ethic and his adaptation to joining the team. He also spoke of the importance of the two goals he scored which sparked a response from the team on Sunday. He also went in depth when asked about the recruitment. He spoke about how coaches raved about West's character and that's something Maryland definitely does their homework on, outside of the on field performance which he was obviously pleased about. West originally ended up at Cornell to play with his brother but transferred at the end of the last season. He gave Maryland another chance and ended up enrolling. He took some classes in the fall and Tillman said "that definitely helped him adapt quite a bit. On the field, we told him he'd get the same opportunities others would, wouldn't be handed too him, and he took those opportunities".

It was a very interesting look into the mindset of Coach Tillman, the players, and even the Maryland program.

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