More quotes from Marquette coach Buzz Williams, athletic directors Gene Smith and Larry Williams, Ohio State coach Thad Matta, Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft.
UPDATED: Video of entire press conference and transcription from Mike Whalen.
Mike Whalen, spokesman for Morale Entertainment Foundation
Back up plan
“We couldn’t transpose it this quick. I mean, the women’s game was fine. You know, we looked at a number of options. The Citadel was our rain [option], but [there was] a zero percent chance of rain, and winds that blow five miles an hour…If you can always predict the weather, I guess you’re better than me, but it is what it is.”
Decision to cancel the game
“I want to make one thing real clear: I didn’t want it on my conscience if I had some kid break his leg. It just wasn’t worth it. And as much as I wanted to have it, and I don’t know how we’ll continue or if we will, I hope we do. But in the final analysis, it’d be on me if I let it happen. So, I wasn’t going to let it happen.”
On seeing the issue beforehand/what caused the condensation
“We had, I guess it was Wednesday, there was an amount of water, and the floor was covered. I was there last night a couple different times, and the winds were quite a bit higher, but we didn’t see any real accumulation, if you will…I suspect some of it was the fact that it was a rather warm day today, and obviously when the court gets exposed to a lot of sunlight it warms up. [With] the ocean or the bay flowing over it, we had condensation at the far end of the court, closest to the water.”
“Actually, no, I wasn’t in town that night. I didn’t get in until last night. I was up on a different function, so my people found it on Thursday morning and they had postponed the Notre Dame practice on Thursday. It was more of a morning deal, and when they left the site at ten o’clock the night before, there wasn’t a problem.”
Did it bug you that you couldn’t play?
“Definitely. It definitely bugs us as a team, me individually, all of us. We prepare for stuff like this in the offseason all the time. Pre-practice, individual workouts, boot camp, all the stuff we do building up to this moment, being here for the troops. The whole atmosphere, you’ll never get something like this back. It’s something you could tell people years from now like, ‘I got to play on the ship in front of the troops,’ and things like that.
“So not being able to play was a huge downer, but just being here and speaking to them not too long ago and speaking to them about their deployment is cool so that kind of makes up for it, but I think as a unit we still wanted to play.”
What was the condition of the floor in your eyes?
“We were on the good end at the beginning when we were warming up, so everything was fine. But once we went to jump ball and things like that, I think Van and Trent were actually trying to move around and they were slipping.
We called the guys and tried to wipe it up and we tried to do the tip again and it just kept coming back and we were wondering why so everyone tried to get out there with some towels, it just wasn’t soaking up fast enough. They put a delay in the game and things like that and still that did nothing, so I think it was pretty slippery and I think this was the best choice except for someone getting hurt or anything like that.”
Did it occur to you that this could happen?
“Never thought about it actually. Never thought about the temperature drop. I think everyone was so focused on the game, getting things rolling, the first game of the season, trying to start it off on a good note. Nobody even thought about it. But I don’t know why that didn’t cross anyone’s mind.”
How do you recover quickly and play Sunday?
“I don’t think anyone will have first game jitters anymore. Being out there in front of all those people, warming up, going through everything we usually do, the normal things. I think all the jitters are out. I know I lose mine once I start doing layups.
“I’m sure Sunday we’ll bounce back. Tomorrow we’ll go home, we’ll probably get a little practice in or team workout, something to get our legs going again after being on the plane. And then Sunday, get out and be ready to go.”
How do you feel about not playing?
“It was very disappointing, but we came here to get a good win and play against a great team and just battle. Knowing that we can’t play, it just makes us even more hungry, so I would feel sorry for Colgate.”
What was it like not getting that first game experience?
“I was very excited and I was ready to go and I was extremely excited just because I could play my first college game against the No. 4 ranked team in the country. I’m very disappointed.”
How bad were the floor conditions?
“It was like somebody spilled some water, so it was like very slippery, so I guess they didn’t want us to play and we didn’t really want to play on it either.”
Feel like canceling the game was in the best interest of teams?
“I feel like everybody was on our side and they didn’t want anybody to get hurt and that’s why probably they canceled the game.”