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March 12, 2021

Andy Enfield

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Colorado Buffaloes

Postgame Press Conference

Colorado - 72, USC - 70

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from coach.

ANDY ENFIELD: It was a tough game. Both teams played very hard. Came down to last possession and unfortunately they got an offensive rebound and that was the game.

Q. The team started really slow from, on offense and Chevez had that elbow and Ethan with his technical foul. Did you feel like the team came out without the right amount of poise for this type of game?

ANDY ENFIELD: No, didn't think that. We just weren't playing very well offensively at the start of the game. I think we turned the ball over a few times and we missed a lot of shots and we weren't, our offense wasn't flowing like it has been the last few weeks, two weeks, and then we started to really move the ball, play well, and started to shoot a very high percentage after that. We shot 60 percent in the second half, 52 for the game. So our guys really turned it on. But, no, our guys were ready to play, they just didn't play very well.

Q. In the second half, particularly maybe the last three to five minutes of the game, you saw your shooters willing to take the outside shot. Was there a, were they tentative in the beginning wanting to take those open shots? It kind of disrupted the flow of the offense that you were talking about.

ANDY ENFIELD: It's an issue, like Ethan when he charged with about five or six minutes left in the game, we were down two and he had a wide open three when Evan threw it out and instead of shooting it, he drove and got a charge call. We have been telling Ethan and Drew and our other guys, if you're open, you have to shoot that. It really hurts our offense if our guards are open and they don't take open shots. So I was happy to see Drew made one, a big one down the stretch for us, and Tahj made a couple big ones. But, yeah, you can't, it's hard to run offense if the teams can sag in the lane and double your bigs or double Evan and then no one wants to shoot from the perimeter. So but the last few minutes, we took those shots and got back in the game and tied it up.

Q. Seemed like Tahj had like 10 or 11 points in those last three minutes or so. I think that got you guys that last opportunity. Can you walk us through that last possession where all of a sudden the refs didn't want to use their whistles in this game?

ANDY ENFIELD: You mean on the out-of-bounds play that we ran the full court?

Q. Yeah, the last possession where you didn't, they didn't get the shot off.

ANDY ENFIELD: Well, we executed it perfectly and Evan got the ball in the middle, Tahj broke, and McKinley Wright pushed him in the back right in front of our bench and that was the game. And they didn't call a foul.

Q. At the half the rebounding was even for both teams but in the second half they seemed to control the boards, particularly the offensive boards. Is there any reason that they were so successful rebounding?

TAHJ EADDY: We got our hands on some balls and it seemed like, we our hands on probably four or five defensive rebounds and we just couldn't come up with it. It was frustrating to watch because they had five, looking at the stats, there's five team offensive rebounds, which means the ball gets tipped out of bounds or we had our hands on it and the ball gets tipped out of bounds, so it's not attributed to a particular player, it's attributed just to a team because we couldn't come up with the ball. So we have been a very good rebounding team all year but tonight we just had our hands all on them just couldn't come up with it.

Q. What did you say to the players in the locker room? Obviously there's disappointment, but there's a big week coming up.

TAHJ EADDY: Well, we played very hard tonight, we got back in the game, we tied it up, we cut it, we had a chance to take the lead with probably about six or seven minutes left. Isaiah White missed a three from the left corner and then McKinley Wright went down and got fouled. So instead of it being -- we had a chance to take the lead on that. Ethan, I think also had a chance to shoot that three when he got that charge and either tie it or take the lead. So we had our chances and then they made a few more shots, and I was very proud of our team how we fought back at the end, the last three minutes we tied it up again.

So, look, we battled. That was a very physical basketball game and they just made the last play. Like I said, it was a tip-in and then we actually executed our last play pretty well, and I thought Tahj got pushed in the back. But there was no call. So we'll move on, get ready for Indianapolis, and our guys are, we're very, very proud of what they have accomplished this year to put themselves in this position. Sure we would have liked to have won this game tonight, but we didn't. So we have to keep our heads up, our players have to realize they have accomplished a lot, but at the same time it's a new season, everybody is going to be one and done once we get to Indianapolis and they have to he realize that every possession will matter whenever we play our first game.

Q. Evan had 26 points again tonight, 52 over the last two games. What's he proven to you over this stretch of this tournament?

TAHJ EADDY: He's been very aggressive offensively and he's played really well. I asked him if he needed a break at the 12-minute mark and it was a timeout and he said he didn't need one and he played 39 minutes tonight so just a guy to be able to play that long and that well with that type of stamina is pretty impressive for someone that big and to the extent he exerts so much energy on both side of the ball. So very proud of him his development he's really improved as a player throughout the season and we are going to need him to play at this level starting the end of this week.

Q. You guys have loss seven in a row to Colorado, each of those games you guys have been out rebounded. What is it about this team especially and the season you haven't been out rebounded by many teams, what is it about this team especially that gives you trouble?

TAHJ EADDY: Well number one their point guard. If you remember I think for three straight years when Jordan McLaughlin was a sophomore, Junior and senior I think we won every game for three years and then for the last three years when McKinley Wright was a sophomore, junior and senior they've beaten us. He's very hard to stop, he's an exceptional player and they also have great size and they have six seniors on their team, they're very experienced. They're very physical, and for some reason they shoot the ball very, very well against us. If you look the last couple games they didn't shoot it so well, even the last game, but tonight they were on fire again. So give them credit. Horne and McKinley Wright both made four threes, McKinley Wright was shooting from the 25 percent from the three-point line coming into the game and tonight he went 4-6. So they played very well, and they're very physical and I think they have five or six seniors so give them credit, they played a good game.

Q. What does this game tell you about your team and their chances in the NCAA tournament?

TAHJ EADDY: Well, two good teams played tonight, came down to the last possession and I think we can compete with anybody but there's certain things we do well. I think we're 18 or 19-0 when three guys get double figures and tonight we only had two. I think we were 3-7 in the games that -- I think we're 19-0 when three guys get double figures and 3-7 when they don't. Tonight we only had two. So last night we had six guys in double figures. So we need a third scorer, we need to be able to put up 70 some points against a really good offensive team like Colorado is, tonight we had 70 even, so if we face a really good offensive team in the tournament we do need to score the ball ourselves. And then we have to keep defending at the same level we have been doing all year.

Q. What do you think you need to tighten up going into next week?

TAHJ EADDY: Well there's always things can you tighten up. We made a couple defensive mistakes tonight to give them some threes and so you can always tighten up your defense and then like I just mentioned our offense has to flow, I thought we did a terrific job at for the last 30 minutes, we shot 52 percent for the game, 60 percent in the second half, and so I thought our offense really started sharing the ball and getting great inside outside play and so, but our offense has to be like it has been the last two weeks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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