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 14, 2019

Eric Musselman

Jazz Johnson

Tre'Shawn Thurman

Las Vegas, Nevada

Nevada - 77, Boise State - 69

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Nevada coach Eric Mussleman and student-athletes Jazz Johnson and Tre'Shawn Thurman. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MUSSELMAN: First, I'd like to compliment Boise State. I thought Coach Rice did a phenomenal job. He had his team overly prepared with the short turnaround. They played good on both sides of the basketball. I thought they were really, really physical. They didn't back down from us at all. So just want to compliment them. I thought they played as physical and as tough against us as anybody during the year.

But the thing with our ball club is down 15, no panic. It seems that we've kind of been in those situations where we've gotten down and figured out a way to come from behind on a big stage. And today was no different.

I think the biggest thing for us is the two guys sitting next to me were not part of last year's postseason success. And I think you're always, as a coach, you're concerned/worried who's going to be able to produce in big moments. We all know that Cody and Caleb Martin and Jordan will produce in big moments.

And these two guys -- they did it at the end of the year against San Diego State in the game that we had to win to get the No. 1 seed. And I thought today, we don't even come close to winning today's game without Jazz and Tre'Shawn not playing good but they played great. And we don't win today without those two guys playing great.


Q. Jazz, what was it about your play today? You were just on fire defensively, offensively. Everything was clicking for you today.
JAZZ JOHNSON: It comes down to Cody and Caleb. Everybody keys on them. So that kind of leaves me as the X factor, me and Tre. They do a really good job of trying to find me. I just stay prepared and I was shooting open shots. That's what it comes down to is the big three did a really good job making sure they were sharing the ball as well.

Q. Down 15 at one point in the game. What do you feel you did differently defensively to slow down Boise State and to kind of change the momentum that first half?
COACH MUSSELMAN: First of all, we stunk for 12 minutes. It was hard to watch. I would have rather gone to the dentist and gotten some teeth pulled than watch us on both sides of the ball.

I thought halftime we were able to regroup a little bit. The guys were able to get their minds clear. And I thought to shoot the ball 62 percent in the second half, we just -- that's kind of last year, this year -- it's kind of like when are we going to get hot?

And in the three games that we've lost this year, we really haven't found that spurt. And so the other 29 games we found a spurt at some point during the game. And today in the second half I thought offensively we were phenomenal. We did a much better job in the second half in our zone offense.

I thought Tre'Shawn did a phenomenal job in the middle of the zone catching it right at the sweet spot, right where that Mountain West logo was, and making decisions either for himself or for teammates.

Q. When you remember what happened in this last year's tournament is that something you want your players to forget, or something you want in the back of their minds to maybe even use as extra motivation this year?
COACH MUSSELMAN: Kind of a little bit of both. If you want to come talk to our team tomorrow pregame you can because it sounds like you have some good thoughts on motivation.

I think both, though, in all seriousness. I think we want to remember that last year we did not cut a net down here. The year before we won the regular season championship and then followed it up with a tournament championship.

And we certainly -- anytime they have a scoreboard you want to compete, you want to play, you are here to win. Having said that the two teams about to tip off right now are both really talented teams and they're well-coached and there's not going to be anything easy about anything in this tournament. And we knew that when we got on the plane from Reno to come here that every game would be a big-time challenge.

Q. Jazz, you played 37 minutes off the bench. You came in, you guys were down early. You hit a couple big shots early to get you guys going. What's your mindset coming off the bench when your team's down? Do you have a sense of urgency to get things going or do you let the game come to you?
COACH MUSSELMAN: It's definitely my job to get come of off the bench and give our team a little spark.

COACH MUSSELMAN: I don't know if 37 minutes is what a normal bench plays.

JAZZ JOHNSON: Coach does a good job playing me.

COACH MUSSELMAN: Now you get 38 tomorrow.

JAZZ JOHNSON: If I play defense. It's really just I take pride in that being my job, to give us a little spark because over the years we've had a lot of slow starts. And so I've kind of taken on that role to come in and give us a spark.

Q. Tre'Shawn, what was it like to get your first taste of this tournament and obviously have a big game?
TRE'SHAWN THURMAN: It was fun because everyone's competing and a lot of people, their lives are on the line. And a lot of teams, it could be the last -- a lot of players, it could be the last time they put on that jersey. So we have to come with the same mindset and mentality, and I think we did in the second half today.

But it was fun. And it's going to be a good one tomorrow. Like coach said, both teams are well-coached you want to go against teams that are ready to play and give their heart out.

Q. Early on, they had a rebounding edge, and it turns out you guys win the battle of the boards by eight. Was there an adjustment there? Was it anything you could point to or positioning, anything you want to point out on that?
COACH MUSSELMAN: No, I just thought we were soft going to the backboards early in the game. And they were physical. And, again, I think that I was really impressed with how Boise came out from the beginning of the game trying to take the game to us. And they got us on our heels a little bit. And certainly the physicality on the glass was what we felt was a major issue for us.

Q. How do you deal with the short turnaround? Is it more just focusing on you guys as opposed to the opponent?
COACH MUSSELMAN: I think we've done it in the past. And we'll watch some of this game and go back and start our preparation as soon as we know who we play. And everybody's going through the same thing at this time. So it's just a matter of getting yourself mentally and physically ready.

Q. Boise State came out; they hit their first four 3s. They went 4-for-13 after that. What were the adjustments you made to stop the 3-ball from falling?
COACH MUSSELMAN: Just no air space. Try to make them floor it, make them put a ball on the deck. And we backed off too much, worried about the dribble drive and we should have been worried about taking away the 3-point line.

And I thought we did -- obviously we did a much better job as the game wore on. And also, during one of the timeouts, we talked about they're not going to keep shooting at this clip because the Golden State Warriors can't shoot at that clip. So eventually those type of things start to even out as well.


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