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March 7, 2018

Dave Pilipovich

Jacob Van

Lavelle Scottie

Las Vegas, Nevada

UNLV - 97, Air Force - 90 (OT)

DAVE PILIPOVICH: First and foremost, I'd like to say thank you to our five seniors we have at the academy: Trevor Lyons, Jacob Van, Frank Toohey, CJ Siples and Ryan Manning. What an awesome group. There were times I would like our other ten coaches in the league to have an opportunity to coach -- they all have great players in their programs -- to coach young men who go through the academy. Just unbelievable character. And I think it showed today in our game. The grit we had. The fight we had. What a game.

And we've played some really, really good games with UNLV. We had triple overtime. We had the overtime game today. And we took the first lead in overtime, up three. And then I'll give you one name: Brandon McCoy. And Brandon was very good, was very, very good for them. I thought our guys were very good. I thought their guys were very good. And as of tomorrow morning I'm going to start campaigning for Brandon to go to the NBA.

Q. You were spending the whole game coming back from the deficit. Once you got there and got the lead, did you feel like you had gotten over the hump?
JACOB VAN: Yeah, definitely felt confident taking over the lead, especially late in overtime. We thought this was our time to step up and win the game. But they had some great plays down the stretch that let them get the victory.

Q. The four-point play, talk about how big that was at that point in the game.
LAVELLE SCOTTIE: At that point in the game I felt like that was a very big play to rally the troops. We fight hard and we're very resilient; so I felt like that play played into bringing our energy back.

Q. We talked on Saturday about maybe you had turned a corner and you close with two 20-point games. Do you take solace in that? What's going through your mind?
JACOB VAN: It's tough that it had to come to an end that way. Played pretty well, but obviously wasn't enough to win. But I wish I could do more for the team to advance to the next day.

Q. The layup you took, looked like it could have been goal tending.
JACOB VAN: The ref didn't say it was so I guess it wasn't. I felt like I got it up there, I don't know if it hit the glass or not, but I thought it did.

Q. Coach talked about the seniors. When you look at what the sophomores have accomplished this year, and even tonight, with your performance, Caleb Morris, what does that do with you looking forward?
LAVELLE SCOTTIE: Looking forward that brings a lot of confidence in the next few years to come. I feel like we overcame some stepping stones in our path and I feel like as the sophomore class, the next two years we're going to do a lot of damage in the Mountain West.

Q. What do you think about the foundation that you're leaving behind here?
JACOB VAN: I'm really proud of the young guys. They really stepped up this year, and the program's in the right hands and has a bright future ahead of them, no doubt.

Q. In that overtime, there was missed free throws, there was two-on-one or three-on-one blocks.
DAVE PILIPOVICH: The three-point lead and then had a possession and didn't get the score. Because you don't lead throughout the game, down 13 at one time, and you come back and you tie it. And then you take the lead in overtime and you're up three with possession. And they made a really good play. But you always think if you can go to four or five, maybe put some more pressure on UNLV, who played extremely well, and played hard, but maybe you turn the tables a little bit.

But it didn't happen and we came back and the game went here and there, and they go up to 82-81 to take the last lead and they managed in the stretch to lead.

But we did some really good things. It was good to see. We fought from the beginning to the end. We finished the half the right way, and just kept battling.

But Brandon was really good today. And he only blocked maybe two or three shots but he altered so many. And it took Ryan Swan out of the game somewhat, Frank came in to give us some great minutes. Brandon is really talented. And then Juis played well, and Johnson was double-double with assist in the points.

To credit our guys, we came in and we just kept fighting. We finished the last nine games four and five in the Mountain West. I thought we played our best basketball at the end. The season is so long, we started our first game November 13th. There's a lot of highs and lows and injuries, and mixing lineups.

But a sign of our team is we kept improving every day, we came to work and practiced hard every day. And we got better as the season went on.

I hurt for them that they're not going to have a chance to play anymore, especially those five guys that did so much for us. And it starts with Trevor, and what a leader he's been. His name is going to be etched in our record books for a long time. They spun the program and flipped us trending the right way. Now the young guys can continue to work and do the right things. We're excited about where we're headed and who we're going with.

Q. You said excited. What does the sophomore class, what would their ceiling be?
DAVE PILIPOVICH: Stay healthy. You've got to be lucky a little bit. Continue the right thing as cadets. You never know, there can always be a hiccup along the way. They have a strong bond. They love the game, they love the work, and they challenge with each other. And with the freshmen and the guys coming in, I think it's time for us to keep moving forward and we have some good leadership and talent in that group. So it's fun and exciting and we're looking forward to it.

Q. Three of the last four games against them in this building have gone to overtime. When you look at the program what are the little things that need to change to flip those?
DAVE PILIPOVICH: We need to get Brandon McCoy. We need a seven footer in our program. The last couple of games, the overtime games, it's like me sitting at the blackjack table here; it always ends in their hands. Right?

We just got to make a play. Maybe a loose ball, offensive rebound they get, a shot that rolls in and out. We've been so close, we've been so close. But I think the experience going through that will carry us forward.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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