Few Talks Zags Big Win

The full transcript from Gonzaga head coach Mark Few's post-game press conference, courtesy of ASAP Sports...

THE MODERATOR: We're joined now by Gonzaga University head, Coach Mark Few.

COACH FEW: It's been awesome feeling and I speak for, you know, the players and the staff, to be advancing in this tournament and now to be only 40 minutes away from a Final Four, and I'm just proud of these guys and how it went down. We didn't play perfect tonight and probably didn't even play what we would consider like really good, and that has a lot to do with UCLA, but what we were, we were tough and gritty and physical, and I think that's kind of how we've been all year. I was proud of that. I want to tip my hat to UCLA. You know, what Steve did this year with that club when we played them in December, they hit a real tailspin there. And to me, that's the hardest thing to do in coaching, when you're dropping games in the middle of the year and somehow trying to flip it and change it. And he did that and he got these guys all the way to the Sweet 16 and just deserves a ton of credit for that, and they battled tonight and really made us work.

Q. Coach, what did you tell your team just before that 12-0 run early on in the second half, really seemed to make a difference, turn it around?

COACH FEW: We made a defensive adjustment that -- or correction, I should say, weren't doing a good job of protecting the rim on the screen and roll action and getting up higher on our guarding the ball handler in the screen and roll, and also just again reinforce we needed to get the ball inside/out. From the bench you could tell both teams were kind of struggling shooting the ball. We made a concerted effort, called a bunch of sets that kind of pretty much demands that the ball goes in there, and the guys did a great job not only getting it to them but obviously Przemek and Domas delivered.

Q. Coach, since you've taken over the program, crossing this threshold of getting to the Regional Finals has been something that's been a struggle. I know the journey is not done for you, but how important is this win for the program to get back to the Regional Finals?

COACH FEW: I mean, the biggest thing that this win is, it allows this group to play together, which again is the highest motivating factor we got going. That's all they care about. We get two more days together guaranteed and 40 minutes away from getting a whole other week together, which I'm telling you the way they feel about each other and care about each other and love each other, that is the motivating factor right there. As far as the program, you know, the players, 100 percent about the players and the players that have been here and we can feel them from all across the world, either playing in the NBA or playing overseas or working and raising families, they're all behind us. They've all reached out to us. They know -- it's the one accomplishment we haven't done, you know, go to a Final Four, and now we finally have an opportunity to do that.

Q. Kyle has this experience playing this deep in the tournament. Is that more responsibility you want to give to a player?

COACH FEW: Kyle does what he does and obviously he does it very well, as you guys have seen, and, you know, this -- the leaders on this team are Bell and Pangos, but the greatness of this team is its selflessness and how in Seattle it was Pangos having a big night and then Wiltjer having a big night and Gary Bell having a big night, Byron Wesley was a ball mover and played phenomenal defense against two of the better offensive players that we faced in North Dakota State and Aaron White from Iowa. Tonight it was Wes's night and Przemek's night and Domas's night. Nobody is happier than Pangos and Bell and Wiltjer. That's 100 percent of why we're here and why we are who we are and we have 35 wins on the year, which is a crazy, crazy number at Gonzaga.

Q. Coach, how much has that trip that Coach Lay made to Germany for the World Championships changed your program?

COACH FEW: I have no idea. Are you talking about to watch Domas? Przemek? Przemek is a huge part of who we are. And I think it's great that more people got to understand that tonight, because to me he's the one -- one of the aspects that really puts us on a national elite level, his rim protection and size and ability to score down there, and he's done that all year and kind of done it under the radar like Kev and Wes, and some of the other guys are getting a lot of pub.

Q. My question is, how long do you actually enjoy tonight's win but then reflect, adjust and regroup and get ready for Sunday?

COACH FEW: Well, I mean it's happening right now. I got staff members out there watching that game as we speak. You know, we'll have a great time on the bus ride home and enjoy that because, you know, this is 17 tournaments for me, and I'm telling you, the police escort is like the coolest thing you can ever have and these guys are amazing. We have just threaded ourselves through Houston traffic, and it has just been showtime. We'll have a good time with that on the way home and then we'll get together, we'll meet tonight. Obviously the staff will watch film in the wee hours and kind of give an overall view at the meal for the guys, and then we'll have the game plan in by mid morning tomorrow.

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