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In his words: Butler coach Brad Stevens talks on NCAA win

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Bulldogs aren't as experienced as most believe

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 6:06 pm

LEXINGTON - Butler advanced to the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena on Thursday with a 68-56 win over Bucknell.

Bulldog coach Brad Stevens spoke with the media following the victory.

On playing well enough to win:

"If you're a good basketball team, people don't always play well against you. I always kind of laugh when people say 'If Team A plays their A game, and Team B plays their A game, which one will win?' Well, if Team A is playing their A game, then Team B is not playing theirs. That's just the way it works, because there's two sides of the ball."

On Butler's lack of experience:

"Five of our top seven players have never played in an NCAA Tournament game. I thought Rotnei's first shot would probably hit the backboard and bounce back to half court, to be candid. And I knew Kellen would be the same way.

"I sat here a few years ago with (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored) and we started out down 9-0 before the tournament even officially started. That was their first tournament as freshmen. That's hard.

"That's why if you can get to the second game, the experience starts to help."

On Butler center Andrew Smith:

"I think (Bucknell center Mike Muscala) is terrific. But I think Andrew Smith is terrific, too. And you know, all week I didn't answer very many questions about Andrew Smith."

On starting Alex Barlow:

"Barlow was dialed into a different level than pretty much any other guy we had on our team the last couple of days with his study, with getting into the film room, and with his ability to read actions.

"I thought if we started well on (Bucknell guard Bryson Johnson), it would be a hard day for Johnson, and until the end of the game it was.

"So that was just kind of a - one of those initial gut feelings - and I ran it by my numbers guy (graduate manager Drew Cannon) and got the approval. So we did it."

On the similarity between this team and those past Butler squads:

"The similarity is that they are Butler.

"The similarity is that they can go on a minus-16 run and turn around and win the game. They have some mettle. They have some intestinal fortitude that is built up over time, but also a big, hopefully, core part of our program."