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March 14, 2003

Troy Bell

Al Skinner


Q. Zavackas gave us his view of the double-technical foul. He has no idea why it was called. What is your view?

AL SKINNER: My thing at that point in time was that I thought there were two officials who were involved in the play. I thought those individuals -- they were handling it. There was a lot of discussion. They were trying -- I don't know exactly what was being said because I couldn't hear but I got to respect the fact that those two guys I thought had the thing under control. I have no idea what was being said. The officials were talking, the players were talking, you know. The players could have been talking to the officials. Again, I don't know; I am standing there like everybody else. So no one was paying attention to the third official, and for a T to be called, everybody is like "why?" It's just a very unfortunate situation and obviously it had tremendous impact on the game.

Q. In what way did you think it changed the complexion?

AL SKINNER: Obviously it took away a lot of our interior scoring, some of the stuff we like to do. Defensively we couldn't do some of the things that we wanted to do. It really just changed the game. It will be one thing if we earned that but in my opinion I didn't think we earned it. It is unfortunate that it happened. Again like I said, it hurt us a lot more than it hurt Pittsburgh.

Q. Seemed like Pittsburgh came in with the idea of slowing down the pace of the game. They ran the shot clock out twice or three times. Did that affect your play and how you approached it at halftime I guess to make adjustments?

AL SKINNER: No, it really didn't affect us. I thought, particularly in the first half, I thought we had some opportunities that we missed that if we would have made, the game would have been a lot closer. Second half -- we just never just got a rhythm. You have got to give Pitt credit for that. They made it difficult for us to score. They defended extremely well like they always do night in, night out. The game was physical. But again I think because of what I thought was our foul situation created some -- put us at a little bit of a disadvantage.

Q. Troy, your reaction to that sequence, did you feel any extra burden at that point?

TROY BELL: I don't feel as if my burden was any bigger than it's been all year. I have been called upon to do a lot of different things. Craig has been in foul trouble before, so it was no big deal from my personal aspect. We definitely needed Craig inside. He's our best inside scorer, and he's just a great presence in there.

Q. Troy, I know what Al thinks but I have to ask you: Was there the slightest doubt in your mind you were going to get an N.C.A.A. tournament bid on Sunday?

TROY BELL: I mean, I just don't have any control over that. I would like to think that we have earned a bid, but I don't know what the committee is thinking. But I would say that we are in. I would like to think.

Q. Can you talk about Julius Page guarding you?

TROY BELL: He guarded me. I didn't feel as if he did anything out of the ordinary. I just -- didn't even feel I was having a bad game. I was just out of rhythm a couple of times. We had some broken plays which kind of threw guys off of rhythm. I think if we would have stayed in rhythm earlier in the game would it have been a totally different game.

Q. Offensive rebounding (inaudible) --

AL SKINNER: Obviously they are a good rebounding team. We knew that was going to come into play. They played their game. Pittsburgh played the way they wanted to play tonight. That's a credit to them. I am not sure if we were able to play the way we wanted to play. Some of that was in our control and some of that was out of our control.

End of FastScripts...

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