HILADELPHIA - Amid swirling speculation surrounding University of Massachusetts coach Bruiser Flint's job security, two of his players spoke up for him at the Atlantic 10 awards banquet Tuesday.
Senior guard Monty Mack, who has been vocal in his support of Flint in the past, reiterated that sentiment.
"I think all the guys know about what's going on. All the guys want to go out and play hard for him," Mack said. "He's done a lot for us and nobody wants to see him leave. We're going to play our hearts out for him. I said if you can't do it for yourself, do it for him. This is a way to repay him."
Sophomore forward Micah Brand said much of the criticism directed at Flint has been unwarranted.
"A lot of the stuff has been undeserved," Brand said. "He's done a great job the last five years. He's been to the postseason three out of four (seasons). He's done a good job. He's worked through a lot of the same kind of talk the past couple of years, which isn't easy to do. He comes in every day and prepares well. He coaches his heart out."
While Flint appreciated his players' support, he has asked them not to worry about his job security.
"I tell them not to worry about that. Play for yourselves. Play to be able to say you helped win a championship," Flint said. "You put too much pressure on yourself if you say I have to do this for Bru. I'm going to be all right. It's touching for them to say that, but I've told them all year, don't worry about me."
The Minutemen face St. Bonaventure Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals at the Philadelphia Spectrum.