home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 7, 2018

Marvin Menzies

Jovan Mooring

Brandon McCoy

Las Vegas, Nevada

UNLV - 97, Air Force - 90 (OT)

MARVIN MENZIES: These games are always tough to coach when you go against really disciplined teams that have a very strong signature of how they play, and that's what this team does.

Air Force -- Dave just does a great job, I tell you. And they're in all their games, and they just fight, they never quit. They made 16 3s in their last game and 13 against us tonight. The ball started falling for them late in the season from the three-point line. They would have had a much better record, I guarantee you, if they were shooting up to their capabilities early.

But they kept fighting, and we knew it was going to be a fight. We were very prepared to play this type of game, especially after the two previous games where they were both close games.

We were happy to come out on the winning side. It's nice to advance. That's where we're at and looking forward to getting our preparation in for the next one.

Q. Air Force finally took the lead in overtime a couple of times and then you went on a 12-point run. What did you say to each other or did you say anything to each other that triggered the run?
JOVAN MOORING: There wasn't anything special. Coach gave us a game plan to follow, and we kept reminding each other, We've got to get a stop. And we got the stops when we needed them.

They're tough to guard. They got a lot of easy buckets just because they play hard offensively. But we got the stops that we needed down the stretch.

Q. Early in overtime it looked like Air Force had a fast break and got a block from behind and you chase it down and block a second shot. What made you get back into that play and come up with that block?
BRANDON McCOY: I just wanted to win. And there was plenty of time and Shakur blocked the shot and I knew No. 12 was going to get the rebound, Scottie was going to get the rebound, and I went in contention and luckily I got the block.

Q. The first two meetings Air Force did a good job on you and Shakur as far as keeping you guys from scoring a lot, and you combined for 44 today or something like that. Was there anything that you did strategically that was different than the first two games?
BRANDON McCOY: I think the guards did a really good job of penetrating and finding the open man, and I feel like me and Shakur were a good receiver on that. Also most of the time people stop me and Shakur because we stand in one place the whole game. I try to make sure that I just look for open spots to be at for my team to kick it of out to me, as well as Shakur, and go to the glass. We have just really been focused on rebounding the ball more and playing harder.

Q. You guys have got Nevada tomorrow, you split the regular season with them. Your thoughts going into that game and just playing them again.
JOVAN MOORING: It's no accident. When we go up against them, it's just about who wants it more. And they know us pretty well and we know them pretty well. So whichever team comes to play is going to win the game.

Q. About McCoy and Shakur being more active offensively, is it that they just made sure they moved around?
MARVIN MENZIES: A little bit more detailed in terms of what we were trying to do just from an offensive standpoint, we tried to keep them around the basket a little bit more with some of the sets that we ran. We felt like if they didn't get the ball then we would have them in good rebounding position if we did that. And that helped a little bit.

We got some good put-backs there, timely put-backs during the stretch there, down the stretch.

Also, just getting them more engaged earlier in the possession. I think there was some times that in the few times we played there, the couple of times we played them before, they were drifting out a little bit in the offense when they should have been more engaged with deeper touches.

Q. Air Force closed the second half on a 13-5 run. There was a lot of missed free throws by your team. How does that get corrected moving forward?
MARVIN MENZIES: In 24 hours? I have no idea. We've got to concentrate. Free throws are what they are. Our guys do a decent job when they're locked in. I was kind of surprised we missed so much down the stretch there. You've got to get the right guys at the free throw line, too, that was part of it.

I probably could have helped the team with some subbing there down the stretch that might have been more conducive when we know they are going to foul. I might have been able -- not might have -- I should have had better free throw shooters in during that stretch.

Q. On that play in overtime where McCoy and Juiston got the two chase-down blocks, what were your thoughts? Did you expect McCoy to get back in the play? What did that mean for you guys?
MARVIN MENZIES: Just happy that we're back. Where have you been? It's like, okay, I know you.

But, seriously, I was glad they were playing like it was one-and-done time. Those were energy plays, those were effort plays. A little additional passion, understanding the dynamics of what is necessary to win in this kind of environment. And they showed it. So that was good.

Q. At the end of regulation, coach, what were you trying to do at the end to get the final basket?
MARVIN MENZIES: We had a call on the previous timeouts so we wanted to just calm down and run the play. Every time we called a timeout they were changing the defense, they were putting a 1-3-1 on us. But I didn't want -- Dave is such a good coach, there was a little bit of a chess match there. People sit back and say, Oh, you should have called a timeout and set this up. Okay, no, not against Dave. You needed to make sure that we got the play executed the right way. We didn't do that.

At the end of the day maybe I should have called a timeout, but that was the logic for not calling it, No. 1.

No. 2, we had called the play. They started to run it too early. And so then we tried to get them to slow down and run it again a little bit later. And then it got messed up because the timing was off on the play. So that was the one that JoJo took the long three. That was on me. We probably should have -- I don't know that we informed them when to start the play, does that make sense? And I think there was -- like they're right in front of our bench, we're like, Not yet, wait until 12, and they started already. Then it was just a debacle that we can learn from. So that was it.

Q. Did you feel like this was one of Brandon's best games in terms of protection?
MARVIN MENZIES: I don't know if it was one of his best, but he was obviously getting better at challenging shots late. I think both he and Mbacke are pretty good shot blockers when they challenge it late and be the second one to leave the ground. And we're still teaching them that technique.

So Brandon did a good job and got a couple late.

Q. Talk about the preparation that you did with the guys over the past week, both mentally and physically, especially considering how the regular season ended to get ready for this.
MARVIN MENZIES: Right. That's a good question, because I was concerned, obviously, we lost five in a row. And how do you get your boys back? What do we do to get them ready to play in this environment?

So I leaned on staff and experience and put together a schedule that was conducive to them staying together a lot so that they could talk and dream and kind of engage with each other instead of being distracted. We got a hotel -- thanks Desiree -- and we got a hotel, which we hadn't had in our plans before. But we were able to do that and that was really good for us.

I thought that those guys being able to lock in and watch extra film, eat together, just the whole schedule. I look back at previous years at what we did and some of the other years that we were successful and I keep those schedules. And so I just leaned on some of those and it worked out.

Q. You played them last week, obviously did not go well here. How much will you talk about that game? And is it good that you only have 24 hours that you just go forward instead of looking back now?
MARVIN MENZIES: Yeah, it's good for us in the sense that we're on a schedule now that's very concise and like they're doing what they're supposed to do to rejuvenate their bodies right now, both mentally, physically. They're on a very tight schedule. They won't have the opportunity to be distracted because we're going to be hands-on until this journey is over for us.

So I think playing them as recently as we have, they won that game and we won the one before, and that is what it is, you know. We talk about that game, the first one there, being a big win for us. I know Caleb was out. But that was a big win for us, it was a win on the road against a top-25 team. And they played like a top-25 team when they came here, with a man out, with Lindsay out. Give them credit for that.

Tomorrow we'll lace them up again and let the best team win.

Q. It seemed like the defensive intensity was up the first five minutes of the first half. Did you sense that and how do you get your guys to play that style of defense for an entire 40 minutes against Reno?
MARVIN MENZIES: I leaned on some guys a little bit that fatigue started to kick in. I think Jordan had a couple of turnovers that were fatigue-based turnovers.

I think the other thing that we need to do going forward is making sure that we get their bodies ready for tomorrow. And then when you're in one-and-done time, there's a lot of guys that play a lot of minutes. Reno has 7 guys they play or whatever it is. So they're conditioned to do that well or play that way, as well. And these guys, Jordie plays a bunch of minutes and some of other guys. I don't think it will be too big a problem in the second game.

Q. Your big guys have done really well again Nevada in both games. Amauri only five last week, and he's been struggling from the field. Does he hold the key for you tomorrow?
MARVIN MENZIES: I think they all do. I think this has got to be a team win. We're not going to beat Reno if we come in here and rely on the bigs or rely on a guard; they're too good. They're one of the top teams in the United States. And we're building. And we're trying to figure out what bricks need to be in what place to build a foundation.

It's going to be a challenge. They're a really, really good team. I don't think it's going to be a game where you have to rely on a particular position, if that makes sense.

Q. Emotionally, can you approach Reno as the rival or redemption game or are you treating it as like a survive and advance?
MARVIN MENZIES: I think typically you approach all of these games like they're rivals when you get in a one-and-done team. Because you want your guys playing at their top, right? So at their maximum level. And you do certain things against rivals to do that. Anytime you play a rival it's going to be a rivalry game.

But these are obviously weighted a little bit more heavily based on the circumstances that it ends that team's chances of winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament if they lose.

I think it's a little bit of both.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297