Brian O'Connor Talks About NCAA Charlottesville Regional
“I know how well Army is coached and I know they’ve been in the NCAA tournament many times. Appalachian State is having a tremendous year. And we all know how good Oklahoma is, especially when you play in the Big 12 and make it to the title game. We’ve had them here in the super regional in 2010 and we know the type of athletes they have so certainly, no matter who you play, you’re going to have to play really good baseball to advance and this year will be no different.”
On facing teams they’ve never seen before:
“The fact that we haven’t played any of these teams this year or last year I don’t think really matters. That’s what happens usually this time of the year in regionals. You don’t really have much experience with anybody and so it’s about our strengths and what we do well. And the same is true with them. Its about us doing what we need to do to be successful and I’m sure in a short period of time and in today’s day and age with television we will find out much more about these teams in the coming days. “
On home field advantage:
“Well I’m ecstatic about playing home here. Our fans are very passionate; we will fill this stadium, I have no doubt. Certainly there is an advantage when you have 5,000 people cheering you on. And we understand how this ballpark plays and when you have those things I think it’s an advantage. And that’s why we put in a regional host bid and that is why people make such a big deal of hosting because you’re playing in the confines of your own ballpark and you have your fans behind you.
Approaching pitching this upcoming weekend:
“Our pitching rotation has changed every year with what we do. Again, I don’t know enough about the teams yet to know exactly what we are going to do. This year is a little bit different than it has been in the past. In the past we’ve had four consistent starters all year long. We haven’t had that this year. Coach Kuhn and I will talk about the teams after we get some more information about them and what we think is best to do to win on Friday and to win beyond it.
On the FSU game (at ACC tournament):
“Our team started off the ACC tournament beating Clemson and we all know what happened at the Georgia Tech game. We just didn’t get the job done on the mound and Georgia Tech was hot and won the title. For our players to bounce back and play like we did against Florida State and win that ball game shows how much the game means to them and shows that they still have something to prove”
“I didn’t have a feeling about it until about the last few weeks of the regular season. We certainly earned this regional host for what we did in the last four or five weeks of the year. That’s satisfying that we came out here and we earned it and we deserve this opportunity. A lot of teams faded down the stretch and this club got better.
On his message before the FSU game:
“I think it was one of the bigger moments of our season. Really it started after the Georgia Tech game. I told the players that I know they’re disappointed and I know they are upset but they have to put it behind them right away and how we come back and play the next day against Florida State will be how people think of and remember this team. They had an opportunity like they have had all year. This club has suffered some tough losses but every time they bounce back. That is a great quality for a good ball club to have. I’m sure we’ll need that quality in the remainder of the season. I just told them the game was not meaningless and that every game matters and you’re playing for the pride of this team and they certainly responded.
On facing Oklahoma again:
“I don’t think there is any irony with Oklahoma being sent here. If that was the case they could’ve sent a lot of different teams here. The NCAA has a job to do and that is to line the best teams up and be fair and obviously they thought the right thing to do was send Oklahoma here and the fact that they were here in 2010 and beat us in a super regional doesn’t really have anything to do with this year. Most of the guys that are on our team were not around here at that point and I’m sure it’s the case with them. At least Oklahoma knows what to expect when they get here.”