Tourney Talk

The 2009 NCAA Tournament is a big case of déjà vu for the BYU Cougars, as they have the same seed (8) and same first-round opponent (Texas A&M) as last year. Lee Cummard and Jimmer Fredette spoke this week about the rematch and the keys to the game.

Lee Cummard

-On how the Aggies of this year compare to the Aggies of last year: "They're very similar. They lost some key pieces and we lost key pieces, but they've kinda learned how to play without those pieces and are playing pretty well and very similar to last year. They're running a lot of the same stuff, same as we [are], and we'll have to see."

-"No question that rebounding is going to be one of the keys, if not the key in the game. They're big and physical and they get after it on the offensive glass, and if we can limit their opportunities there it would help us a lot."

-On how the strength of the Mountain West Conference this year might have helped the Cougars: "Well, I think one thing that I remember from the last game against Texas A&M was how physical it is, and I think this year the Mountain West was as physical as it's been, and I think that as well as the good teams we played [are] going to help us a lot more than last year."

-On what A&M's team identity is: "Well, they just get after it. I would say that their effort is at a really high level. They offensive rebound. They're definitely gonna give it to us physically. I would say that would be an identity of most Big 12 schools, and we'll have to be ready for that."

Jimmer Fredette

-"I don't think [this year's matchup is] going to be a whole bunch different. They have those three [returning starters] and they're going to be playing pretty similar to what they did last year. They're going to push the ball a little bit more I think with some of their guards that they like to get out there, and they have another guy that comes off the bench that can really shoot the ball well and we're gonna have to be careful with that. But I think we're gonna be in for basically the same game that we were in last year."

-"Obviously we need to rebound the basketball … it was a big key last year as well but we just need to do a better job this year, and one thing we're gonna do more is we're gonna get after the shooters a little bit more. You know, Josh Carter really killed us last year - 6-of-10 from [the] three-point line - and that's something we need to really focus on this year: getting after their shooters and making them drive it."

-On whether the team will watch film of last year's game against the Aggies: "We're gonna look at last year's game and some of the things we did, especially for the clips [of] the players that are remaining. We won't look too much at the players that aren't there anymore, but we'll look at some of Josh Carter's things, and [Bryan] Davis and [Donald] Sloan and some of those guys. We're gonna go look at something we can do better to help our team win more."

-On how instructive it is to watch last year's game against A&M: "It's big. You know, we were able to obviously play them last year in the same circumstances, so we see exactly the things that they like to run, and obviously Carter went off on us a little bit last year and that's something that we have in our gameplan this year to improve on: trying to stop him from getting threes and really getting out to him and being right up in his face and just making things uncomfortable for him."

-On getting turnovers, something that helped the Cougars get back in the game last year against A&M: "We want to get out and pressure and obviously they're more, I think, guard-oriented this year than they were a little bit last year ‘cause Josh Carter is such a good player and Sloan's a very good player. So we need to get out in the passing lanes and try to not let them get the ball and maybe hopefully get a couple steals and deflections and things like that and just be active on the defensive end."

-"I think [rebounding is] going to be the biggest key on our keys to win. They outrebounded us by about 12 I think last year and that's something that helped them win the game, so we need to get in there, get into their body - everyone needs to, even the guards - and then when the balls do come long we gotta track them down and get them."

-On how much of a priority Josh Carter was going into last year's game: "You know, he was definitely a priority, but I think a lot of last year … they had some big guys that were really good … so we were more focused on those big guys last year, and that obviously cost us a lot ‘cause Josh is a very good player and he can hurt you obviously. So this year we're gonna try and focus him as well as the big guys."

-On how A&M, with its size and rebounding, might compare to Wake Forest: "I think Wake Forest is a more athletic team, but I think Texas A&M is a very physical team. They're more physical."


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