Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Seth Allen

Johnny Hamilton

Virginia Tech Hokies

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with Seth Allen of Virginia Tech. Questions for Seth.

Q. I want to take an exact quote from Buzz Williams, "If you can't be happy on the journey, you won't be happy at the destination either." Just what you can say about Buzz as a leader, and what a quote like that means and how he shows that each practice, each game?
SETH ALLEN: That's a good question. I think when Buzz says that, he's talking about the process, and he's talking about falling in love with the process of getting better. Whatever you think the destination is of where you want to go, you've got to fall in love with what it takes to be there.

So one of his other famous quotes is, "You can't be anything you want to be, but you can be anything you deserve to be." That kind of just talks about who he is, and how he's become where he is today. He started from nothing, literally at the bottom, and then he's just worked hard and became one of the best coaches in the country. So you see it in him every day how he works and how he holds us accountable to our work.

Q. If you can just kind of describe the look of this team. I know you guys have a lot of returning players and how much that familiarity between the core of this team is really going to help this season.
SETH ALLEN: Yeah, I think whenever you've got a group of guys that's played together and then they go through a postseason and they get to come back and have that same core, like you said, it's always good because, one, you don't have to get out those first couple game wiggles, you know, and you also have that chemistry that just carries over. With the season that we just had, the confidence just grew throughout the whole season. So hoping it carries over to this season.

So, you know, I'm just grateful to be in this opportunity to play with the same group of guys and add some really good pieces as well.

Q. When Dan asked the question and quoted Coach, you responded by saying "Buzz". You didn't say "Coach". Is there an informality amongst the team? Do you normally call him by his first name or is it normally "Coach"?
SETH ALLEN: I call him "Buzz" because I don't look to him as like a coach. I look to him as just like a father figure, mentor. He's always been good to us. I think that if we were in the lines and I wanted his attention, I'd probably say "Coach" just out of respect, because he's our coach. But when I talk about him, he's much more than a coach to me.

Q. You guys obviously made great strides from two years ago to last year. The expectations for this year? Were you happy with the NIT? Where do you want to see this team go?
SETH ALLEN: I want to see this team go as far as we can. Personally I was not happy with the NIT because I had higher goals. But we didn't take care of business in the non-conference last year, so that just motivates me to do even better this year. I think the NIT was good postseason reps for our team. So younger guys like Justin Robinson, Kerry Blackshear, Chris Clarke, being able to play in a postseason and see how serious it is, it was good for us.

So I don't know what God has planned for us. I think if we just take it one game, one media timeout at a time, that we'll be fine.

Q. You've been named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list. What's that mean to you? Is that part of a focus as the season rolls on? Where do you stand with that?
SETH ALLEN: I think it's an honor to be recognized as a nominee for the Bob Cousy watch list. It's not been any of my focus. I've just been trying to get better as an individual and it's crazy to see how your hard work pays off, because I don't even know what that meant at first when one of my coaches sent it to me. But I think that like as a team, if we take care of business in the non-conference and we win, the sky's the limit for this team. We've got a lot of great individuals, but from the outside, you don't really know who any of us are. So it's good to finally be recognized. I just want to take this into the season and use it as a chip on my shoulder.

Q. I wanted to ask you if you could evaluate your own maturity as a basketball player from the way you played your freshman year in college to the way you see the game now when you have the ball in your hands.
SETH ALLEN: Yeah, it's like day and night. I was talking to my coach about that not too long ago. My freshman year, I was just happy to be in school. Didn't really know what to look forward to. College Park was a city, so it was always a lot of stuff to do. Me and my teammates were always going go cart racing or go do something fun. But now it's more business with me. I take this game very seriously. I work out once or twice every day, off-day or not. I realized that a lot of that's because of Buzz.

Buzz has helped me realize that in seven months, eight months I'm going to need a job. So I'm going to have to be able to do what I do best. I think that from freshman year until now just my patience is better, I could read the defense better. I know a thousand times more. I feel like a coach on the floor to my other teammates. And I'm also a better leader.

My freshman year I was following Alex Len, Dez Wells, guys like that. Now I've got people looking up to me. So I can't slip. So if I'm holding other people accountable, I have to be accountable myself.

Q. That may be the quote of the day, "In seven or eight months I've got to find a job." What's that reality do for you? That is fairly cut and dry as you're moving into this new era of being an a difficult an adult.
SETH ALLEN: Yeah, it's real. It's life. It's motivating to me. I like pressure. I deal well with pressure. I think that whenever adversity hits, it really shows people's character. It reveals people's character. I'm just ready. It really motivates me to just be the best I can be as a person, as an individual, and as a teammate.

Q. Do you feel an obligation to try to match Buzz's energy on the sideline during the game?
SETH ALLEN: No. I would say that we appreciate his energy, but when you're in the mix of the heat, you don't really notice it until you re-watch the film, and then you look at him on the sideline and I see what you guys see, and it's like, man, this guy's tripping.

We love his energy. I can feel it from the sideline. A lot of times he's been in a defensive stance longer than us, so he really gets on us. But anytime we've got to match it, it's never good. So if we over-exceed his energy, we're good.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Johnny Hamilton.

Q. What's your expectation for the 2016-17 season?
JOHNNY HAMILTON: My expectation is to do better than last year, to help the team reach their goals, and just try my best to be the best that I can be.

Q. Can you describe your teammate, Seth Allen for us.
JOHNNY HAMILTON: A leader, hard-working very talented, you don't only see he's a leader, but he leads us in practice, trying to do as much as he can for us to win. I think that's a great thing.

Q. How would you describe Buzz Williams? Who is he to you as a leader, and as a coach, and kind of how you describe his personality as well?
JOHNNY HAMILTON: Buzz, he's just like an inspiration to me, like the first time I met him it was like, wow, I've got to match this guy's energy. And that alone helped me become a better man. Like he'll never lie to us, he'll always tell us the truth; doesn't matter what. He'll never cover up anything. He'll just be straightforward with us. He's hard-working. Like he doesn't really sleep. He's always working, always working.

When I look at him, I try to match his energy as much as I can, and that alone has developed me into a better man just by doing that.

Q. If you could describe how this team has grown together. Over the last couple years you've been through some tougher games. And towards the end of last year, you were really coming together on the floor.
JOHNNY HAMILTON: Yeah. At first we tried to come together in practice. Like while the lights are off, we try to spend as much time together as a team. We played games together. We chilled together. We're always together like 95% of the times. Like the times when we're not, we're in class or like handling our personal stuff. But if we're together off the court, we're going to be better on the court, for sure. That way we live in a togetherness, like a brotherhood and have each other's backs. Like we're going to try to have the best team chemistry we ever had, like better than last year, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #170 at 2016-10-26 15:29:00 GMT

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