Q: Was there some magic in that old sweater sitting on the bench today?
A: Well it's been a big week for us. We had three of the best sessions on Sunday Monday Tuesday with practices...we talked about it before the game there's no doubt that Coach is in the building and our guys just played really inspired, they just played as hard as they possibly could on all the posessions. I thought the assistants did a great job with the game plan, how we were going to guard them...we gave up a lot of two-pointers to 1 and 2 (Marks and Thompson) but they're a three-point shooting team and for the most part we limited them. We did give up one three at halftime that was big and then they obviously hit four more in the second half but I thought that intensity...it's funny how that works in basketball you take that defensive intensity and the rim on the other end opens up and I thought we were really good offensively. 20 assists on 27 field goals and short of the turnovers it was a special night for us.
Q: You may want to keep that sweater (haha)
A: Yeah I'd like to see if I can make this an every game thing...it would be a lot more comfortable than having to tie up that knot every night.
Q: Obviously it's inspiring, it worked...
A: It was a neat night, a neat night for all of us. It's been an emotional week as well in a lot of ways and I couldn't be more proud of the kids. We remind them too, a little bit of the same lessons that we taught them last year, you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are. That was a message last year and it's really valid right now and this is one game for us and we've got to turn around and...kids are funny - college kids are funny. They understand what Coach Rice is going through when they go into Creighton and win they're 6-1 and they've got a lot of success on the road and they were kind of walking into a little bit of a time bomb in terms of knowing we were going to have some energy...you know confidence is a big thing and we had a lot of confidence and did a nice job of shutting them down.
Q: What was the major, dominant factor in this offensive performance - particularly the efficiency?
A: Well we spent a lot of time kind of revamping our offense a little bit...it was all about the extra pass, draw and kick, spread the floor out. I think we need to be a little bit of a three-prong attack. The way I was sorting it out is transition after a miss we're going to try to run; if we don't have opportunity, maybe the other team scores, I think we've got a number of new sets that we're trying to run where it's all about passing. We had possessions where we passed it 6 or 8 times and got open looks and I think you need to have that when you go on the road. That was kind of a wake-up call for us at SMU and Texas State is we really didn't have a road-tempo offense. And then there's the third part which is executing some sets in the half-court. When you need to get a basket for a certain guy...we're just kind of scratching the surface but I think that philosophy wins some ball games and actually I got a lot of the ideas from watching Boise State play - I want to be like Boise State. The way the spread the floor and have some skill around the court, I feel like their tempo when they went to Michigan State and to Creighton was terrific. So, you know it's a copy-cat kind of deal but it was kind of a slap in the head when we left Texas and I started watching film on Boise and I thought "we could be like this". We've got a long way to go but I think it's helped simplify some things for our players.
Q: Were you surprised they didn't go away from the man-to-man earlier? It seemed like they stuck with it most of the night and you were really able to pick it apart.
A: Yeah...I don't really ever give thought to what another coach's strategy is. You know, they threw the zone at us fairly early I don't recall whether or not we scored for sure, but this was one of those offensive nights for us that it probably didn't matter. We moved the ball, I know we had some great possessions against their zone. Then we were zoned when we trying to protect the lead we were pretty comfortable just letting some clock go. There were some traps, we still turned it over 17 times so we've got some issues to clean up there but again it was a lot of fun.
Q: Talk about that run that allowed you to break it open. What do you feel allowed you to break it open in the first half?
A: Well I looked at the stat sheet at halftime and we were 15-20 from the field that always helps...and I think a big part of Boise State's attack is transition and when they had to pick the ball out of the net 15 of 20 times that gave us an opportunity to get back and match up with them. They're really good when they get you to turn it over and miss shots...you can complicate it as much as you want but when shots are going in the game becomes a little easier.
Q: What did you tell the players about Rick Majerus? A lot of them are too young to know him.
A: Well um...I'll probably keep that a little secret. But we talked about it, we talked about it every day. For me I mentioned it the other day...Utah Basketball, I think Rick Majerus would be the first guy named when you mention Utah Basketball and that's no discredit to the Andre Miller's and the Andrew Bogut's. He's kind of...he's Utah. I have a lot of respect for what he did here and for me it's a little bit of a motivator. You never want to see anybody pass but things happen for a reason and I think it's an inspiration for all of us and a motivator of us. I'd like to be 1/10th of the coach Rick was. I've talked to a lot of his former players and it's a lot of the little details and fundamentals and it doesn't need to be more complicated than that. There's no doubt that he was a big part of the evening and I'm glad that we were able to get a win. One of the things I told the guys was Coach, if he were here, that's the way we need to play is like his teams playes...you fight like hell on every possession, you take Utah shots where it's open shots nobody needs to force the issue, and just a little reminder you know I feel like Rick coached every game like it was his last game. That's hard to do as a coach, it was a lot easier for me to do that as a player, to bring it and lay it on the line. But all the preparation and everything that he did...It was pretty special watching him win an NCAA game last year. You could almost tell by looking at him that he knew that might have been his last game, the one he left out on. It's a pretty good model, it's a starting point for us to remember him and try to run the program the same way.
Q: Can you expand, is this a one-game deal or can you play like this for an extended period?
A: That's the goal for us. We're going to enjoy it tonight and we'll be back at the drawing board tomorrow. We need to continue to improve. I told our players you're going to have some big moments where you feel like you've taken five steps forward and then there's going to be some other games where you take a few steps back. For us it's about start to finish on an annual basis making sure that that line continues to trend up. You know...we can't possibly shoot the ball like that on a regular basis but I think it's a good...gives us a feeling for what that experience is like and that's part of us learning how to win and I'd certainly like to bottle it.
Q: Speaking of offense can you talk about Jared DuBois? He's had some pretty good games for you recently.
A: Yeah - saavy, ballhandler, hard to handle in a pick-and-roll; he's running the club a lot of times for us and is making some good plays. It's fun. He's hitting free throws when he needs to hit them and he just seems really focused and he's just an easy guy to cheer for when he's always in the gym shooting and taking care of business that way. I think he's providing some leadership to a lot of our young guys. I love coaching a senior, I wish I would have had him for years prior, and you want to have a senior go out on a good note and he's doing everything to set himself for doing that. He's on a run, he's got to keep it going. He's probably going to be the top guy on the scouting report for the other team so as I told him and some other players on our team...the more success you have the better you have to become. They're going to try and exploit your weaknesses, whatever they might be, and you just have to be that much more solid.
Q: Can you talk about getting to six wins this early, matching last year's win total?
A: I mean it's nice, that way, but I go back to what I talk about which is just a steady climb. I was asked a lot "how many wins is going to make it a successful year" it gets back to just continuing to build and get better. I can't really give that too much thought.
Q: Talk about the BYU game a little bit...Jared was on the Loyola team that won a game in the Marriott Center last year how big of a strength is that for you?
A: You know, I think more than anything just his experience at the D1 level in some gyms...I don't think he'd say specifically that he played well at BYU...we're going to rely on some guys that have played some minutes in some hostile environments and obviously we're going to have our hands full going in there. We've just got to keep it rolling.
Glen Dean, Jason Washburn, Jared DuBois
Q: 31 rebounds tonight...
A: [Dean] You know what, all week in practice Coach was just saying how us guards need to get in there, put our heads in there and fish out some rebounds so before the game I put it in my mind that I was going to make an effort to get some long rebounds and they just happened to fall my way.
Q: Can any of you talk about that white sweater on the bench...did that inspire you guys tonight?
A: [Dean] Yeah, he's a legend here. Before the game we talked about it...and I think it just kind of sparked all of us. You could just feel some type of energy just come in and just take over and we just rode it.
Q: Can you talk about that, the emotions of playing this game for Rick Majerus?
A: [Washburn] I never got the honor of meeting Coach Majerus. I know a lot of his former players and when they talk about him it's in such high regard and with such respect and with that I've developed my own respect for him. When I heard he died, like I said I didn't get to meet him but it still hurt a little because of what he's meant to this place. I've been in this program for a long time and Rick Majerus is a name that is like legend so we wanted this one for him tonight.
Q: Coach K said that Majerus was in the building tonight. Do you believe that?
A: [Washburn] Oh absolutely, amen. He was right there with us, he was sitting on the bench with us...you saw some of his antics on the screen tonight and you know we could feel it, it was a good feeling.
Q: Talk about what opened it up there in the first half.
A: [DuBois] You know as a unit we pieced together stops, and when we do that the offense opens up. When we can piece together 3, 4, 5 stops on the defensive end we're going to end up getting good shots on the offensive end.
Q: Jared can you talk about this inspirational win, how's that going to help you going into Provo on Saturday?
A: [DuBois] I definitely think there was a lot of energy in this building. With Coach passing, a lot of former players people in the community came out and supported us and I think it was a big win for not only us but for the community also. We're going to come at Saturday's game just like we came at tonight's game - it's just a basketball game and we're going to do everything we can to win.
Q: Do you think your experience last year winning at the Marriott Center is going to be beneficial to this team?
A: [DuBois] Um, I hope so. It's a tough place to play but at the end of the day it's still a basketball game. If we come out and execute, defend, rebound we'll have a chance to win.
Q: How weird is that going to be for you to go back for a second straight year in a different uniform?
A: [DuBois] I don't think it's going to be weird, I think it's going to be fun. This is why you play college basketball, to go into a place like that to play. If you're not ready for a game like that you should probably stop playing college basketball.
Q: Can you guys put your finger on what the difference was tonight? You were hitting your shots offensively, you were active defensively, what was it?
A: [Washburn] I think we had a good defensive plan in place. We knew what we had to do to slow them down. They're a great offensive team, they have a lot of weapons and we had to live with a few things but we had to take some things away and I think we did a real good job of doing that - these two especially out there guarding two of their better players they were phenomenal - and you know on the offensive end we just went hard and the basket just kept getting big for us.
Q: Jason...six wins...last year...
A: [Washburn] We're already at six? Already matched last year? Gosh... We don't like to talk about last year. This team has a lot of talent, this team plays hard, and we work well together and as long as we keep doing what we're doing and keep working in practice the wins are going to keep coming.
Q: 17 turnovers..if there is a dark spot on tonight's game it would be that. What were some of the issues you saw that need to be fixed?
A: [DuBois] Some of those turnover came when we were just trying to wait until the end of the shot clock and then rushing. We'll watch the film and figure out when we're overdoing it as far as being too aggressive and we'll work on it.
Q: Do you guys know much about BYU?
A: [DuBois] They're a high-power offensive team.
[Washburn] They've got a lot of offense and down there at the Marriott Center they really run, they love to push the tempo and they're good down there. I think it's good that we played tonight, we're going to need to be even better when we play on Saturday.
Boise State @ Utah - Post-Game Comments
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