M.J. Walker breaks down Gonzaga matchup, team playing for Cofer

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By: Kevin Keane | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
March 28, 2019

ANAHEIM, Calif. (WCTV) -- Ahead of Florida State's rematch with Gonzaga in the Sweet Sixteen, WCTV Sports Director Kevin Keane spoke with FSU guard M.J. Walker to preview the matchup, talk about the Noles' game plan and go inside the locker room for how the team is sharing the hurt with Phil Cofer over the loss of his father.


WCTV: Whats the biggest difference in this Gonzaga team as opposed the one you faced last year ?
M.J. Walker: I think they're way more athletic. They've got a couple guys that make a lot of plays for them. They're pretty much the same perimeter players, they shoot the ball well but we gotta do a good job of managing them in transition and just continue to do what we do best.

Brandon Clarke may be one of the best players on their team. How do you try and slow him down defensively.
Just putting pressure on him. He obviously wants to get his guys involved and makes plays for his team so we just gotta make sure to keep an eye on him and contain him the best way we can and just bring that energy.

Phil Cofer isn't with the team right now, he's with his family back home. How much do you keep him with you? I see his name on a lot of the players shoes right now, just how much do you keep him with you and how much do you play this game tomorrow for him?
I pray for him every day, man. Just that whole situation, I know what that feels like so we just keep doing out best to continue to reach out to him; text him, call him, pray for him daily.

Like you said, we got him on our shoes and stuff like that so just trying to keep him up the best way we can. We're playing the rest of the season for him.

Finally, if you want to advance to an Elite Eight, what are you guys gonna have to do well against the Zags?
We gotta be efficient, make sure we manage them in transition. They're a great transition team, they put up a lot of points, so making sure we're on lock defensively and making sure we're efficient on our principals offensively so.



 
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