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March 11, 2022

Andy Enfield

Boogie Ellis

Drew Peterson

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

USC Trojans

Postgame Press Conference

UCLA - 69, USC - 59

MODERATOR: We're joined by the Trojans. We have Coach Enfield, Drew Peterson, and Boogie Ellis. Coach, give us an opening statement, and open for questions.

ANDY ENFIELD: Congratulations to UCLA. They played a very solid game. And they beat us. And we go home now and prepare for March Madness. Look forward to a big week next week.

MODERATOR: Questions?

Q. Andy, obviously Boogie had a great game, as you saw. What were the issues offensively beyond him?

ANDY ENFIELD: We only had six assists as a team. We have some guys that had a little off night tonight, putting the ball in the basket. We need a more -- we need a higher assist total for us to reach our potential offensively.

And we just need to be more efficient. And sometimes the difference was the end of shot clock, UCLA was driving. And we cut it to four, they hit some -- they got to the foul line and made some tough shots.

Those guys are tough shot makers, especially at the end of shot clock. They do a lot of isolation.

And unfortunately we could not keep up with the scoring, even though it was a fairly low-scoring game. We had our chances. But some of the shots went in and out. We didn't turn the ball over a ton. But it puts a lot of pressure on your defense if you can't score the ball when you need to.

Q. Andy, about three and a half minutes into the game, Boogie made his first couple shots, and then he got -- after he missed a couple, got subbed out. What went into that decision?

ANDY ENFIELD: Took two bad shots and wanted to calm him down because he's very explosive. But just took him out for two minutes and let him catch his breath and put him back in. He played 36 minutes; so I didn't sit him the whole half.

Q. Boogie, you looked pretty tired down the stretch of the game. What was working for you, and what were you feeling in those last couple minutes?

BOOGIE ELLIS: I was trying to do whatever it took to help my team.

Q. Drew, Boogie, you guys haven't lost a lot of games this year, but lost three of four to end this stretch and go into the tournament. Where do you guys feel like you are confidence and morale-wise, enduring the tournament?

DREW PETERSON: We obviously know the stakes down the stretch, and three of those games were top 25 teams. They're really good opponents, and they're the opponents we're going to see next week.

So we're gonna stay confident, we're gonna be in the gym, and we're gonna be ready to go. These are the tests we need as we head into the biggest weekend of the season so far.

Q. Andy, Mick just said he didn't agree with the seeding projections for you guys. How would you think the committee should look at your team at this point?

ANDY ENFIELD: I'm not sure what we're projected. I have no idea. What is it?

Q. (Off microphone.)

ANDY ENFIELD: I think Pom has a five seed this morning, so I think we're all over the place. I don't really make predictions on that stuff. But what are we, 26 and 7? And I think we have -- half our wins are away from home. We have 13 wins away from home, which is a lot.

If you look at the teams around the country, half, winning half your games on the road, there's not a lot of teams that have done that.

So I know some of the metrics with -- it's hard to win on the road in your league. We were 7 and 3 in league and then won a few other games on the road. And we have quite a few neutral site wins as well.

So I think overall we've had a really good season. To be 26 and 7 is impressive for our guys. Really proud of them. Very proud of them. Obviously we lost to Arizona and UCLA here the last two weeks.

But we beat UCLA early in the season. So we've had some good wins, we've had a couple tough losses here recently, but overall really I'm proud of this team. They set the school record for wins in the regular season and won a game out here in the tournament, and now we're going to go to March Madness.

We lost in the semifinals last year, and then we regrouped and played really well for a couple of weeks in Indianapolis in the bubble.

So we're looking forward to this. It's an exciting time of year, and we're really proud of our guys. What seed we are, I have no idea. That's up to the selection committee. I do think we've earned the right to be in March Madness, so whoever we play, wherever we play, we'll be ready.

Q. Andy, Isaiah White got to play for the first time in a few games, and his effort was felt immediately. Was there any thought of maybe getting him back into the game, and is there an injury update status on Reese Dixon-Waters?

ANDY ENFIELD: Yeah, Isaiah White, he just needs to get back in the flow. He hasn't practiced or played. We tried to get him some minutes. In a game like this, we need scoring, and so as he starts to practice this week and gets more comfortable and more fluid -- but he did bring some energy in there.

And we missed Reese a little bit today because he's a terrific shooter, and he strained his groin and leg yesterday, he aggravated, dove on the floor and got bumped a couple times, and I think it's very painful and sore. So we're hoping to have him back next week. I think it will take the next couple days with some serious therapy and treatment and try to get healthy.

Q. How hard is it to stop a team like that when they have so many guys who can score? I think they had four guys score at least 10 points. When you try to focus on one guy, it seems the other three pick up the slack. How do you try to overcome that and how much of a challenge is that?

ANDY ENFIELD: Well, as I stated before, their four players are very good one-on-one players, they're experienced, they're older, and they have a very -- if they can't score it themselves, they can get in the lane, they can shot fake, they pivot, and then they kick it back out and someone else does the same thing until they try to get a shot off.

Now, I thought our defense was pretty good most of the game. Beyond the 69, we fouled them a couple times to get the 69, but our defense was pretty solid. But they're very good one-on-one players. They can really put pressure on your defense and they make tough shots. And when they make those tough shots at a high percentage, it's pretty tough to guard them.

Q. Andy, it seemed like it was pretty tough going on the interior, especially in the first half. What were they doing to mess you guys up on the inside?

ANDY ENFIELD: I don't know if they were doing anything. We just -- we had a size advantage. We had to finish. Our interior guys missed a lot of shots around the rim in the lane, and we just have to finish some of those. It's nothing they did.

Look, Myles Johnson is a really good defender, he's athletic. But we have guys that can usually score the ball in there.

So give them credit that they made more shots than us today. They made some really tough shots, and we didn't play offensive, we weren't as efficient, not because we weren't playing hard, we just weren't as efficient as we needed to be.

MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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