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November 11, 2012

Jim Boeheim

Michael Carter-Williams

C.J. Fair

Brandon Triche


COACH BOEHEIM:  I'm proud to be in this game and be out here.  I'm glad the weather held up for us.  I'm proud of my team because obviously it's tough to make shots.  I'm not sure how C.J. made that first three he took.  The wind must have waited there for a second.  But we had to get the ball to the basket, and C.J. and Mike and Brandon did a tremendous job of that.
San Diego State's a tremendous defensive team, and they're about as physical as anybody.  We just had to get to the basket.  Our defense was good, but our foul line defense was really good.
This is one of those that's a tough game.  It's just like when you play outdoors in the summer, you've got to get to the basket.  That's why kids from the city don't shoot jump shots because you've got to get to the basket and make shots around the basket, and that's what these guys did.  It's not that easy.
San Diego State's about as good as anybody defensively.  They make it very hard for you to get to the basket.  But it's a good win, and we're happy to get it.

Q.  So C.J., talk about that three pointer.  Afterwards did you guys say we're not making any more even though that was the game plan?
C.J. FAIR:  As far as the one three‑pointer, I was wide open.  I had to take it.  I had to take it.  And Mike found me, and it went in.

Q.  (No Microphone)?
BRANDON TRICHE:  I want to say happy Veterans Day.  I think on free throws it was pretty tough.  But for me, I was pretty much praying they went in.  I was trying to go to the basket as much as I can, keep the defense off balance.  If I didn't have it, get it to a teammate where they can go to the basket as well.

Q.  Michael and Brandon, when they know you're not going to shoot from the outside, how tough is it to get it inside?
MICHAEL CARTER‑WILLIAMS:  Like C.J. and Brandon said, happy Veterans Day.  It's an honor to be out here.  They were kind of forcing us to go to the basket and to take open shots.  But it was tough, but I think as we penetrated and kicked, we got good angles and we were able to get to the basket.
BRANDON TRICHE:  We started penetrating and penetrating and kicking and penetrating and kicking to the next player and kept the defense off balance a little bit so we could get the drive.  I think at first we just started going one‑on‑one and just going straight to the basket.  That was pretty tough for us.  We all had tough shots.  Second half we got a better shot if we were able to get fouled or make a floater.

Q.  Coach, given the fact that you guys played zone, you were the longer, taller team, how much did the elements give you an advantage?
COACH BOEHEIM:  You know, it's interesting because that was a foul.  But San Diego State, when you watched them, if you make the dribble penetration, they have five guys back in the lane.  They have five.  We don't ever have five guys back in the lane playing zone.  They're playing a man to man with huge zone principles.  We stopped throwing to the post because they were double teaming and we had our post guys.  We haven't worked on it.  We haven't seen that, and it's something we have to work on.  That's why we didn't go with our post guy as much or go with our post offense, because they do a good job of double teaming it.
But they started driving our zone just like we drove their man‑to‑man.  But when they got there to that area, we're bigger, so we can make them have a tough shot.  You know, that was the whole key to the game.
They're not a great outside shooting team, and in two exhibition games, they did not shoot it well.  Obviously, you're not going to shoot it well.  We took four three‑point shots and that was probably a couple too many.  But they ended up doing what they should do which is drive to the basket.  We got in foul trouble, but they missed their free throws too.  It was tough.  It was tough shooting out there.
I think really is kind of ironic, but C.J. made a jumper and a three to start the game and another drive.  Those were the only two jump shots we made the whole game.  We made those early and we got that cushion.  We just basically kept that cushion.  It saved 10 or 15 or 16 the whole game with all that starts.  It was 17‑4, and that's the way the game was.
We got that jump.  If we hadn't gotten that jump early hitting those couple shots early, it would have been a four, five point game back and forth the whole game.
They're a very good team.  They're very physical.  They're very good defensively.  We have a pretty good driving offensive team, and they made it hard for us.  It was not easy.  They made it very hard for us.
We've got a very good offensive team, and it was not easy to score.  They were a very, very good defensive team.  They're going to shoot a lot better than that.  They're going to be a very good team.  At the end of the year, they're going to win 27, 28 games, whatever, and they'll be there at the end of the season.  They're very physical, very good.  They've got some young guys.
We went with our veterans today in the last part of the game.  They did what they needed to do.

Q.  How much does a game like this against this team help you guys moving forward?
COACH BOEHEIM:  You know, I don't know.  I think it's a win, but you can play ten games like this and then play bad the next four.  It's just a tough game.  But you can have four easy games and have a terrible game the next game.  You can have four hard games and have a terrible game the next game.
There is no relationship, even though people think there is.  There is no relationship with how you play today and how you play the next game.  You just have to play every game and you have to play well every game.  Every team is different, and things that we're able to do today, we'll have to do something different the next game.
We're going to go home and play a team that beat Pittsburgh last year in our league, and I'm more worried about that game than I am about this game because every game's like that.  In college basketball, everybody's pretty good now.  If you don't get better and play well, you're going to have problems.
I'm proud of these guys because this was a tough day.  This was a hard game.  We had to get to the basket.  C.J. and Michael and Brandon got to the basket.  They made some hard plays, very hard plays.  That was the only way you're going to score or you were going to make any jump shots.

Q.  Did you guys notice a difference shooting in one direction or another?  It seemed that both teams startled when they went toward your bench?
MICHAEL CARTER‑WILLIAMS:  Yeah, the sun was in your eyes more towards our bench.  The wind seemed to be worse on offense?

Q.  Yeah, Rakeen, they did get inside.  Got about ten knocks today.  Were you standing there waiting for them to come in there?
RAKEEN CHRISTMAS:  It was just to help (No Microphone) them get a good shot.

Q.  Coach, in spite of the cancellation and the weather conditions, are the aircraft carrier games something you like in college basketball?  Are there any changes you'd like to see moving forward?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I think you just have to‑‑ we play 30 games this year, 31 I think we play in the regular season.  It's one game.  It's going to be tough in tough conditions.  I think it's a great event.  I think it's something these players will remember for the rest of their life.  It's difficult.  The other two games had rain which can happen.
But I think it was a great experience.  I'm glad we did it.  It's very tough conditions, but it's part of what happens when you play outdoors.  I'm happy we were here.  I'm proud we were here.  I'm proud to be on the Midway.  It's a great story, and the fans were great.  It was a great event.  I'm really happy we came and played here.

Q.  You guys got a taste yesterday with the shootaround and the practice.  But once the game took off in the first few minutes, what did it feel like to be out in this environment?  Was it as cool as you thought it would be?
BRANDON TRICHE:  It was exciting.  It brings you back to your younger days when you don't care so much about the way you play, but just go out there playing.  There was a lot of energy.  I think it was frantic as well, and there were a lot of turnovers back and forth.  But we calmed down a little bit, and got into our game plan.

Q.  Did you get to a point where trying to adjust to aiming left or to the right or do anything like that to adjust?
C.J. FAIR:  No, no, you don't adjust your shot.  But you can see throughout the game, you didn't take that many jumpers.  So there wasn't that much to adjust to if you got there with your lay‑up.

Q.  This was an exciting stage to play on, and now you guys get a week off with Wagner coming up.  How do you guys stay up?  Will you continue to do the same ritual or anything special getting ready for Wagner?
MICHAEL CARTER‑WILLIAMS:  I think we'll go back and compete like we do every day in practice.  When it's time to study Wagner, we'll do it then.

Q.  Do you think you had an advantage starting on the side that you did considering you won the game?
BRANDON TRICHE:  What was the question?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I don't understand.  Somebody said something about that earlier.  The wind was blowing on both ends.  I don't know if one end was better than the other.  I don't know.  The wind picked up a little bit in the second half it seemed like.

Q.  (No Microphone)?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I don't know.
C.J. FAIR:  Oh, yeah, going down the court.  In the lay‑up you could see it, but during the game, you didn't pay it no mind.
BRANDON TRICHE:  Yeah, we still didn't shoot no jump shots though.  We didn't.

Q.  Brandon or Michael, did you sense their frustration as the game went on?  They were 1 of 18 on threes, and they're behind and trying to catch up but not being able to shoot?
BRANDON TRICHE:  I think us playing zone was pretty tough.  One of our advantages tonight or today playing outside with the wind picking up and the sun and all that.  But I think when we went on the few runs we did, we seemed frustrated a little bit.  I think they did a great job of rebounding, which got them in‑‑ kept them in the game.  And they did a good job of getting fouled and getting to the free‑throw line.

Q.  Brandon, obviously it was an emphasis for you guys to get in the paint and not take jumpers.  But was it to the point where you had a no jumpshot rule on the team, and you just weren't going to take it, even if it was open?
BRANDON TRICHE:  Yeah, I hesitated a lot of shots I would normally shoot.  Just try to get to the basket.  If I could get to the basket and keep my defenders off balance so somebody else can go.  So we pretty much didn't shoot any jump shots because we knew we'd have a better chance of getting to the basket and pounding the rebounds.

Q.  Talking about the sun and the wind, how cold was it out there in the second half?
C.J. FAIR:  It wasn't that cold.  I sweat a lot.  I don't usually sweat that much, but I don't think it was cold.  It felt a little breezy, but for the most part it was warm.

Q.  The other two games got cancelled and this one had to be delayed.  Is it still important in your mind to have events like this which continue with this kind of tradition?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I'd play in this event again.  I think it's something that everybody should experience.  I think every program should try to do this.  It is difficult.  I mean, but a lot of places are difficult for playing.  I think you have to adjust for it.
I'm glad we came.  I'd play in this event again.  The wind is one thing, rain is something you can't play in, and we wanted to play in this event.  We wanted to play on the ship.  We didn't want to play indoors.  We could have come out here and gone indoors on Friday.  We wanted to play here, wanted to play in this event and give the players this experience.  I'm glad we did.  I think it's something people should consider doing.  I'm happy we did it.  I just think it's an experience.  It's a great experience.
If you play 31 games, you wouldn't want to play seven or eight of these games.  But to play one game, it's not going to hurt you.  It's not going to affect anything.  I think the toughness of this game will be good for us in the long run.
When we get in a tough game or get in a game where we're not shooting well from the outside, which can happen, and we'll have those games where you can't get good shots.  You have to get to the basket, and this game will be something we can fall back on.  We have some of these games in our league like this.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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