Marquette's Greg Elliott finds maturity with Shaka Smart
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette Golden Eagles have high aspirations in March. Leading the way is their most veteran player, redshirt junior Greg Elliott.
FOX6's Lily Zhao went one-on-one with Elliott to talk about his career with the Golden Eagles and the team's chances in the NCAA Tournament.
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "It's been a long ride for you here at Marquette. It's not over yet. You've dealt with a lot of injuries, a lot of games, how have you grown this season from all that?"
"This season, I've grown a lot," said Greg Elliott, Golden Eagles guard. "I would say I matured a lot this year. I had to go from dealing with a whole other coach. I had to get used to how he did things on a daily basis, how the coaches did things on a daily basis, so I would just say I matured a lot."
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "You happy you came back?"
"Yeah, I'm super happy I came back," said Elliott.
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "Speaking of the turnover, Coach Shaka Smart comes in. New coach, new regime, how has he really taken to you guys as a coach this season?"
"He's been great," said Elliott. "Honestly, he's done everything he said he was going to do when he first got here and met with me. He didn't change at all. Everything he said he stuck to it. We started with the relationship piece of getting to know him better, which is what made me want to stay. The fact that he tried to get to know me as well has been crazy and it's been good cause, you know you don't really get that because I'm not really a guy that he recruited. The fact that he took time to get to know me, learn about me and my family, just made it that much better."
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "How do you think you guys have grown as a team this year?"
"We've grown a lot," said Elliott. "We were all new to each other when it first started. We barely knew each other. Coach used to always tell a story about our first dinner we had together, none of us sat near each other. We all sat in different corners of the room. To see how much we've grown from there, we are all super close. We spend a lot of time together."
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FOX6's Lily Zhao: "Looking ahead to the Big East Tournament, since that's right around the corner, what makes you guys believe you can make it the entire stretch and win a lot of games there?"
"I feel like it's our 1-0 mindset," said Elliott. "That's all we gotta come with. We bring that mindset, and we do all the little stuff that goes into winning, we can beat any team in front of us."
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "The knock on this team has always been, you make the tournament, but you can never win a game in the tournament. What makes you believe that this team is different and special and can get that done?"
"I feel like we've been preparing for March since summer started and you can tell with our early season schedule," said Elliott. "It was a lot of games people didn't expect us to win, and we did go win those games, which is the same thing that can happen in March. People aren't going to expect us to go in there and get it done because of our history of not getting it done, so why not us? Why not let it be us to be the ones that get over that hump and win a game in March?"
FOX6's Lily Zhao: "Another year of eligibility left for you. What does Senior Day mean to you?"
"Senior Day means a lot," said Elliott. "It's just a chance to get a little acknowledgement for the time I spent here at Marquette. Not saying it's over, but it's just a day to get recognized. Knowing that I got another year of eligibility, there's no telling what can happen. I don't want nobody to think that this is it for Greg Elliott at Marquette, so you never know what the future may hold."
Elliott and No. 5 seed Marquette take on No. 4 seed Creighton this Thursday in the Big East Quarterfinals at 1:30 pm CT inside Madison Square Garden.