Rose Shares His Thoughts

After a rough stretch where the Cougars struggled in road games and looked like they were going to fold, they have bounced back and won five straight games, including three on the road. Some were hard-fought games won in the final minute, while others were convincing wins. TBS caught up with Dave Rose to get his thoughts as MWC play nears that halfway point. The following is what he had to share.

- On his team's improved play as of late: "The most important thing, I think, is that we're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of people."
- The team needs to work on ‘being consistent at being consistent.' During the Air Force and Wyoming games last week, the team played pretty good basketball throughout both halves.
- Rose's younger players always felt comfortable offensively, but they are beginning to feel a lot more comfortable defensively on the floor. Because of their improved defense, they can now play more minutes, which has helped the team.
- It's harder to handle losing than handle winning, because when the team is winning the players have confidence, whether in themselves, in each other or in the coaching staff. Confidence is the most important factor in winning. And while you do have to maintain focus when you're winning, it still isn't as hard to handle winning as it is to handle losing.
- On why during this season and the past two seasons the team has generally done much better on the road during the second half of each season: For one thing, the team has now been together for a long time. As the season progresses, you find out certain things with your team, and your team figures out how things work, especially late in games. "I just believe that if you can continue winning enough that you have confidence … the biggest challenge for your staff and your team is to continually get better. And if you can get better as the season goes on, then you're going to have more success, whether it's at home or on the road."
- On Jimmer Fredette's increased contributions to the team: Jimmer came off the bench against Wake Forest and was very aggressive, and the staff was able to review that performance with him to let him know what the team needs from him, and what the expectations of the staff and other players are for him, and Jimmer has responded well to that. The staff has expanded his role and is allowing him to create some more off the dribble.
- TCU's recent losing streak (the Horned Frogs started at 3-1 in conference but have since lost three straight) can to some extent be attributed to junior guard Henry Salter's injury, which caused him to miss the Air Force game and most of the UNLV game (the former NJCAA All-American and first-year Horned Frog is the nation's second-best three-point shooter at 52.4 percent).
- TCU is a very athletic team that is tough-minded and plays hard and competes. They are impressive.
- On if it's tricky to guard someone like Henry Salter who is left-handed, because defenders instinctively expect others to shoot with their right hand: "It's a little bit different, and I've always believed that a left-hander always has a little bit of an advantage, especially [during] the first few minutes of a game." However, the players adjust to it.
- On whom in the MWC, not counting his own players, are his favorite to watch: San Deigo State's Lorenzo Wade, UNLV's Wink Adams and Curtis Terry, Utah's Johnnie Bryant and Luke Nevill, and Air Force's Tim Anderson (Rose, a shooting guard in his playing days, admitted that his list of favorite players would give away his guard-bias - hence the mention of Nevill to even things out). "Every team's got a couple guys … [where] you can just see them kind of take on the personality of the coach and execute the way the coach wants it done." Some of the TCU players that BYU will face on Wednesday - Henry Salter, Kevin Langford and Brent Hackett - are guys that are fun to watch too.
- All coaches in the league have done a really good job. Air Force's Jeff Reynolds, in particular, has done an impressive job, considering how much talent and experience from last season the Falcons lost. "I think [Coach Reynolds] was telling me that in the second game [of the season] … four of his players had exceeded their career minute mark."
- On whether he was disappointed that Air Force did not make the NCAA Tournament last year: "I think that you always are cheering for your teams in your league, especially [during] that time of year because it's just good for everybody."
- The Super Bowl was a great game (Rose cheered for the Giants).

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