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EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL


November 23, 2014


Ken Anderson

Eric Bovaird

Jamie Dixon

Steve Fisher

Sean Miller

Matt Painter

Dave Rose

Bruce Weber


LAHAINA, HAWAII

MEGAN GODFREY:¬† I'd like to introduce Jon Sciambi, our Moderator for this morning's press conference.¬† Jon has been a play‑by‑play announcer for college basketball on ESPN since 2005.¬† He'll be calling his second EA Sports Maui Invitational this year.¬† Jon is a graduate of Boston College and has served as the play‑by‑play voice for Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio since 2010.¬† Please welcome, Jon Sciambi.
JON SCIAMBI:  Megan, thank you very much.  It is amazing to be back here in Maui.  Before we do anything, I did want to acknowledge Bro. Bernard Ploeger, the president of Chaminade University and to say thanks to Chaminade for being the host.  It's awesome to be back here.  It's funny, the greeting every time you engage someone who is involved in the tournament is pretty good gig, huh?  And I've gotten a chance to do a number of the different tournaments.  This is the one.  This is the one that we've been watching forever, and it's amazing to be back here, and I'm very thankful.
As far as our field, we've put together another amazing field here at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.¬† 11 final fours combined with all of these programs.¬† In terms of last year, six of the eight teams made the NCAA Tournament.¬† A combined 137 conference championships, and then one, in case you guys are wondering, four times a team has won the Maui Invitational and then won the National Championship.¬† By the way, there is somebody up here that did that.¬† I don't know whether he knows it, but we'll get to him.¬† All right.¬† Without further adieu, we'll introduce the coaches, and we'll start with the head coach of the University of Arizona, Sean Miller.¬† Sixth year as head coach, Sean, Elite 8 a couple of times, 2011, 2014 last year.¬† 33 wins, second most in school history.¬† Pac‑12 "Coach of the Year" a couple of times.¬† Ranked number two, and then really for me, the kid that dribbled on The Tonight Show is the thing that I think of for you.¬† So, Sean, take it away.
SEAN MILLER:  Thanks for that last part.  I appreciate it.  Well, we're very excited to be here, like I'm sure all of the coaches and teams are.  We're fortunate at Arizona in that we've been one of the originals of this tournament.  I think we've come here every four or this latest time, five years since the beginning, and hopefully we can continue that for the future.  I think for our players, everybody knows this is one of those tournaments that they grew up watching as a young kid, and I think many of them wondered what it would be like to play in this tournament.
I know from our perspective, our team is very excited to be here.  It's the beginning of a long season, and I think just from our team's perspective, we combine almost two elements.  One, a group of returners that have played a lot of basketball and been in some big games, especially a year ago.  Then we also welcome five new faces.  I think we're at a point right now where we're trying to combine the guys that have been here before with the new faces and continue to develop as a team.
JON SCIAMBI:  All right.  Up next, we want to introduce you to Dave Rose, head coach at BYU since 2005.  Seven times you guys have been to the NCAA Tournament in nine years.  That's pretty good stuff.  20 or more wins each year, and you return the nation's second leading scorer in Mr.Haas.  It should be exciting to watch you guys play in this year's tournament, so take it away.
DAVE ROSE:  Thanks.  We're very excited to be here.  I think when you think of our team, we have five seniors on our team that have been through quite a bit in the last few years.  But I don't think anything has been looked forward to or anticipated more than them being able to come to this event.
We're very similar to Sean's team.  We have a group of seniors, and then we have five or six freshmen that I think in the process of recruiting them, the EA Maui Invitational was mentioned quite a few times in that process.
So I thank the tournament for allowing us to participate in it, and then helping us with our program and being able to establish more credibility and consistency with our group.  We had an opportunity to get here a little bit early, so we took our guys snorkeling one day on Friday.  We had quite a few of our players who had never been through that experience, so that was, I think that will last all season long, a couple of those guys coming up choking the first two or three times they went in.  I'm sure our players will have fun with that the rest of the year.
The party last night was terrific.  I'm really proud of my guys for winning some type of championship.  We won the bag throw championship, so we got off to a good start.  But we look forward to the competition.  I think that's the most exciting thing about this tournament.  The quality of players and the quality of coaches that are here will give us a really good starting point on Wednesday night when we fly home we'll know a lot about our team, and we're excited about that.
JON SCIAMBI:  I think speaking for everybody, getting here early, that's good coaching right there.
Now on to the man that everybody looks at one another and says this is a pretty good gig, huh?  Well, you've got this gig every day.  Head coach of Chaminade, Eric Bovaird, fourth season as Chaminade.  2014 NCAA West Regional in Division II.  2012, you guys beat Texas.  The famous win in program history back in 1982 over Ralph Sampson in Virginia.
But Chaminade has been to consecutive NCAA Regionals.  Last year the 2014 Pac West Tournament Championship, and here you are in another EA Sports Maui Invitational.  Take it away, Coach.
ERIC BOVAIRD:  Yeah, for one, when I took this job four years ago I didn't realize that every day of my life the 1982 win versus Virginia will be brought up in one aspect or the other, whether I'm walking down Waikiki or just talking to anybody.  But I think we'd have to win this Maui Invitational for it to even come close to topping that.
So hopefully you guys can accommodate us, so I wish people would stop asking me about the 1982 win.¬† We're really excited.¬† This is a big deal for Chaminade.¬† It's part of the reason why our players come to Chaminade.¬† It's part of the reason why I took the job here at Chaminade.¬† This tournament helps fund a lot of our athletics.¬† A lot of opportunities for so many student‑athletes at Chaminade because of this tournament.¬† So it's a huge deal.
Yeah, we're coming off a championship season last year with a lot of experienced guys, but we're lucky to be 2‑0 right now.¬† But I know these teams have the ability to expose weaknesses that no other teams in Division II can do.¬† So we're anxious to see where we're at.
JON SCIAMBI:  Coach, good luck.  Thanks.  We move on now to the representative from the Big 12.  Bruce Weber, Southern Illinois, Illinois is well getting to a Final Four, and obviously the connection with Matt Painter and Gene Keady, but one of the things you look at a Big 12 and everybody talks about Kansas, pretty impressive a couple seasons ago when you guys won a conference championship.  And that is the first conference title since 1977.  You got "Coach of the Year."  Again, more expectations on your team this season, which is a good thing.  Take it away.
BRUCE WEBER:¬† We're excited to be here.¬† It's a great opportunity for K‑State.¬† After I took the job at K‑State, Coach Odom, Dave Odom called and said we have an opening in the tournament, and I went to our administration and they were very excited.¬† I think it's 20‑something years since K‑State had been here.
So people in our administration, our community were excited that we have this opportunity.  Obviously, it's one of the prestigious tournaments to be a part of.  So now you find out a lot about your team here.  I felt pretty good about us until Friday night.  We stopped at Long Beach on the way.  Didn't have a very good outing.  Didn't shoot the ball well.  But that is part of growing as a team.  We have a little bit.  We have some older guys, some new guys, we had some guys that sat out last year that are trying to figure it out, and we're trying to figure it out as a coaching staff.  So, great field, great coaches, great opportunity.  Hopefully we can find out some good things about our team over the next few days.
JON SCIAMBI:  Ken Anderson, Missouri.  Getting a chance to coach at your alma mater, which is pretty cool.  You won the Big 8 Player of the Year in 1977 there.  But you won a Division II national title last season, and I talked with Eric Bovaird, and he was mentioning that his mentor, West Liberty, that is who you guys ended upbeating in the national title.  But now you take over a program that's got a lot of history, and you're a quote unquote new face as a first year head coach.  But your team has a lot of newcomers as well.
KEN ANDERSON:  Well, thank you.  It's great to be here.  I echo what everyone else says.  Great field and great group of coaches.  Exciting for the University of Missouri to be here.  I was here with coach Norm Stewart, I think it was 17 years ago in this tournament.  It's always been one of my favorites.  A year ago I was sitting in Orangeburg, Missouri, I don't know how many of you know where that is.  But it's where the University of central Missouri is, and I had the opportunity to obviously watch Jon and everybody do this tournament.
So it's a tremendous thrill for us.  I'm the oldest rookie in this field.  I've had the chance to coach Division II basketball for the last 12 years, and I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity to be the head coach of my alma mater.  We are a young team.  We have seven players who have never played at Missouri before.  We have five freshmen.  Seven of our 11 players are freshmen or sophomores.  So a great challenge for us.  I think the great thing about this tournament, even as I watched it from afar, is you really get to learn about your team.  I think that's what we're trying to do.  We had a chance to spend some time together.  Dave, I was really excited our guys finished second last night in the corn hole toss or whatever it is, and I was pretty fired up.  So great to be here.  Appreciate the opportunity.  Appreciate Coach Odom reaching out to the University of Missouri, and looking forward to a great three days.
JON SCIAMBI:  Jaime Dixon of Pitt.  This is the first time that you've taken your team to Maui, but you have some connections to Hawaii.  You were an assistant at Hawaii with Pitt all those years at the Big East now, the ACC, ten NCAA Tournament berths.  Been to the Sweet 16 three times, a regional final, but a chance to get back to a connection for you here in Hawaii.
JAMIE DIXON:  Yes, no question.  It is the first time for University of Pittsburgh to be in this event.  Usually we're heading east and staying in tournaments out there.  But this time it worked out well for us.  It was a great opportunity.  Our fans were excited about it.  Our players are excited about it.  As Dave said, it's something we told our recruits, and they were excited about it as well.  It's truly an honor to be here.  It's great to see a lot of friends, two for me personally.
But the most important thing is our guys are excited to be here.  It's been great so far.  The event last night I thought is what makes this event probably different than any other.  I mean, the involvement with the teams, the interaction getting involved with the community in different ways, this is what makes this so special.  We're looking forward to it.  We've got a young group that is finding their way, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this tough competition against these great coaches helps us get better, and I'm sure it will.
JON SCIAMBI:  As we turn our attention to Matt Painter, the head coach at Purdue.  I'm sitting next to the guy that recruited you.  You've got a pretty good connection to Coach Weber, as far as now your tenth season at Purdue, been there a while now and, obviously, as a player there.  But you're third now in the all-time in the win's list.  Six NCAA Tournament berths, and three times the Big 10 "Coach of the Year".  Tell me about your team.
MATT PAINTER:  Very similar.  Kind of continuing the trend of a lot of people up here.  Six of our guys are new and five of them are freshmen, so we have a very young team, but I like our team.  I think our guys have been unselfish.  They've worked the ball, they've moved the basketball, and it's been a joy to come every day and work with them.  We came here eight years ago in a very similar situation with a lot of young guys.  Had a couple veterans that were really good in this tournament.  Able to get out of here with two wins, so it was just a great experience.  We're just looking forward to the challenge.  We've played only home games so far.  Just trying to get our guys to understand the different level of competition.  The different level of getting on a neutral court and playing.  But hopefully we can be successful in this tournament.
JON SCIAMBI:¬† Thank you very much.¬† Now Steve Fisher, head coach at San Diego State.¬† 16th year at San Diego State,¬† 24th season overall, five straight NCAA appearances.¬† Ten 20‑win seasons, but I started at the beginning here and said four times a team has won the Maui Invitational and then gone on to win the national title, and you were part of the first, the '88‑89 Michigan team that won, and then eventually you guys went on to win it all.¬† So I'm sure you're hoping history repeats itself there.
STEVE FISHER:¬† I would say don't put an asterisk by it, but I was the assistant.¬† I was running shotgun to Bill Frieder who was the head coach in 1989, and the asterisk would go at the end of the season in '89.¬† I'm glad Ken qualified that when he said oldest rookie coaching here.¬† So I think I take the lead dog on the oldest.¬† We played BYU a long time competitors in the Mountain West when it was originated.¬† I got to know Dave.¬† His wife Cheryl, and my wife Angie are good friends.¬† I don't know if we were the fodder for them in the corn hole toss, but we had one three‑pointer.¬† We were 21‑3, and we had our big center, Skylar Spencer who is left‑handed, and he was throwing right‑handed.¬† When you see him shoot tonight you'll say maybe he should shoot right‑handed.
We're very excited to be here.¬† I probably had the opportunity to come and be on the bench either as an assistant or as a head coach more than any of the coaches who are here.¬† I think this is at least my fifth try, my fifth opportunity here.¬† My first, Glen Rice as a rookie, his first shot against Mitch Richmond from Kansas State was an 18‑footer that went 12 feet.¬† We went on to win the tournament that year.
So we came with the San Diego State team.  I think it was 2004 or '05, had a phenomenal experience.  This is the tournament.  This is the tournament we all pine to be a part of for a whole host of reasons, starting with the competition, but with the ambience, and where you are, and the hospitality, the professionalism that it's run with.  All eyeballs in America will be on this tournament.  We know that, you know that, our players know that, and they're very excited to be here.  It's a great, great field, and I said this to our local media and I'll say it again.  I think this tournament will produce multiple NCAA Tournament participants, and it has a chance to produce some folks to not only get in, but make deep advances.
So we're excited to be here and be part of this tremendous event.  We look forward to it.  And I think that we'll play hard.  We haven't shot the ball well in the last couple games, but we'll play hard.  This will be a great time for us to evaluate three games, three days, a lot of different players in different circumstances.  So it will be good for us as we move forward down the road also.
JON SCIAMBI:  Coach, thank you very much.  Guys, just want to say look good luck to all of you, and looking forward to seeing you in the gym and on TV.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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