The Saint Louis men’s basketball held a 40-minute open practice and spoke with members of the media at the HP Pavilion Wednesday afternoon as the Billikens prepare for their NCAA Tournament second-round game against New Mexico State Thursday at 1:10 p.m. (CDT). The SLU-New Mexico State game will be televised on TNT.
The Billikens (27-6), who enter the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 13 nationally, are the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional. SLU captured the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
New Mexico State (24-10), the No. 13 seed in the Midwest, won its second consecutive Western Athletic Conference tournament crown after finishing third in the WAC regular-season standings. The SLU-New Mexico State winner will play either No. 5 seed Oklahoma State or No. 12 seed Oregon in the round of 32 Saturday. Tip time for that game will be announced later.
Highlights from SLU’s press conference:
Q. Obviously for a few months now Rick Majerus has been a big part of your team in your memories and things. At this point, how much motivation is that? Has it become something you guys don’t talk about anymore, you still like to keep alive, looking back three months?
COACH CREWS: I don’t know, maybe you asked the players and they gave you an answer. But from our standpoint, or my standpoint I should say, I don’t know if Coach has ever been a motivational part of it. We have not beat that drum, because I think his life is far more — I shouldn’t say “think,” I know his life and anyone’s life is far more important than a basketball game or a championship or a season. So we weren’t going to do that. However, Rick’s imprint on this program, the lessons are permanent. He did a great job of training these guys. So that goes on and on and on every day in practice. So it’s a big part of it, but not in terms of — at least from my standpoint — a motivational standpoint.