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March 13, 2008

Sam Burgess

Lee Cummard

Dave Rose


THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you want to just begin with some general comments about the game.
COACH ROSE: It was very competitive game, especially the first half. I thought that CSU came out and played with a lot of confidence. And, you know, ran good sets and were able to get themselves good looks at the basket. Converted on I think six three-pointers in the first half. I thought the second half we did a better job of getting to their shooters, which allowed us to contest shots. And then we were able to get out on the break and score some baskets in transition. And we were able to play with a lot more confidence, I think in the second half.
But very competitive game. And we're just pleased to be able to move on.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach. We'll direct questions to either Sam or Lee.

Q. Lee and Sam, could you both describe what it was feeling like when you just didn't seemingly missed very many shots when it was kind of flowing there in the second half, just the feeling of confidence that maybe you guys had?
SAM BURGESS: Well, it feels good. You know, especially after they had a good first half and everything they were throwing up was going in. And so we knew we always have big runs in the game and it was just a matter of time before we hit ours.
And once we did, I don't know what the run was there at the first half of the second half, 17-0. But, you know, once we get going in transition, we can make big runs at a time. So it was good to see that.
LEE CUMMARD: I would just echo what he said. That's when we're at our best, when we're getting stops and getting in transition and really putting some pressure on teams.

Q. Lee, could you talk about your team's shot selection. I can't remember just a real bad shot taken in that game, you know, from a guy who was out of his range or not where he's suppose to be on the court. Just talk about the shot selection please.
LEE CUMMARD: Yeah, we took good shots today. I think the reason for that was because we were making extra passes and being unselfish. It's not very hard to shoot a wide-open shot because your teammate passes up a shot for a better shot.

Q. Just that throw that obviously came in the second half, is there anything in particular they were doing as to why it was there in the first half or did it just take you guys a little bit to get going yourselves?
LEE CUMMARD: I think it was just because, I mean, they kind of put it on us in the first half more than we would have liked. And we came out with the right mindset and just got in a stance and were better defensively. And that led to a nice little run.
Also our rebounds rebounding and just getting out in transition.

Q. Talk about the young guys, especially Chris Collinsworth and their contributions in the first half.
LEE CUMMARD: They played well today, especially Chris. I mean he's got a double-double. But he just brings a lot of energy. He generally can hit some big shots at key moments and Michael Loyd was a spark as well off the bench.
But Chris can do so much that he doesn't really do -- he lets us older guys kind of play the way we want to play and he kind of does all the dirty work. He's great at it.

Q. I just have a quick question for you guys. You guys took an unprecedented amount of shots from behind the arc in the second half. What were you guys seeing from over there that made you guys get those many shots off?
SAM BURGESS: Well, you know, it was just I think our team does a good job of taking shots that are there. In the first half we just didn't have as many open looks. And I think the fact that our transition game really opened up, opened up the floor for everybody, so the few extras passes and somebody was open and wide open.
So I think we just -- the way we were playing in the second half with our transition opened up those shots.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for Lee or Sam? Okay, guys, you can take off. Thank you.
All right. Questions for Coach Rose.

Q. Coach, you pretty much started to pull away at the end of the first half. Was there ever any mention or did you even and your staff even note what the Colorado State women did to Utah last night as kind of a little bit more fire, talk?
COACH ROSE: I think our players, in our team meeting last night, were all kind of, you know, talking about that score when I came into the room anyways. And, you know, I think one of the big challenges at this time of the year is to get your team to play with its utmost sense of urgency. And when you get two teams out there that are playing with that, you know, great sense of urgency, it's extremely competitive.
And that's why it's such a popular game; that's why people come because this is a great time of year, and you've got players that are really, really competing.

Q. Was there anything you said specifically at half-time that changed things around for you in the second half? Or was it just a matter of shots going in?
COACH ROSE: We thought the biggest -- our biggest concern in that first half was the fact they were 6 of 11 from the three-point line. So what we -- traditionally our team's pretty good defending the three-point line. And so we made a couple adjustments as far as switching out on a couple of flare screens that they were setting. But we wanted to get to the shooter on the catch and contest the shot.
And I believe that that's what really kind of ignited our offense, was the fact that we got some misses early and were able to get some contested shots, get some rebounds, then be able to get out in transition. And this team does a really good job of sharing the ball in transition. We've got post guys who can run and get and demand attention down at the basket in transition and then that kind of leaves a guy or two open on the perimeter.
And when we're playing with confidence and sharing the ball, you know, the guys can really go.

Q. Dave, could you talk again about the match-up with Burgess defensively on Marcus Walker and how you thought he did in the game.
COACH ROSE: I think over the last maybe ten games that Sam has become a good technique defender because he's always been extremely tough, extremely competitive. But his technique has gotten so much better over the last couple of months. And he just did a great job of just being there on the catch.
We were switching a lot of screens. So a lot of people had Marcus, but I think that, you know, Sam has really become a lot more cerebral defensively. And he is better with angles. But the other thing is that he's playing with so much confidence. I think a lot of that has to do with how familiar he is with the players and then with his opponents and the scouting reports that our assistant coaches give to him, where I think that gives him a lot of confidence.

Q. Dave, it seemed like they were pretty effective against Trent early. Without any big men in there, he was kind of struggling. Is there anything you could see that caused that or was he just a little slow starting tonight?
COACH ROSE: I think that a lot -- one of the questions earlier was, you know, why there were so many three-point opportunities. Well, one of the reasons is because of how they were guarding Trent. When Trent got a catch eight to ten feet away from the basket, as soon as he dribbled it, they brought a couple players to try to get down in there and knock that ball away.
And I thought that when, you know, Trent came out early in the first half, then when he went back in did a good job of hitting Jimmer I think for a shot, then maybe hit Sam after the ball went into the post, then came back out for a three-point shot. So I think that's one of, you know, Trent's really big improvements over the course of this season, is that he's really become aware of how teams are guarding him. Then he shares the ball really well with the rest of our team.

Q. Dave, when Chris Collinsworth comes into the game he's very aggressive offensively. Did you expect that from him or is that a surprise when he takes off like he did today?
COACH ROSE: I think Lee put it best, that Chris has done a terrific job over the course of the season of kind of understanding his role. And he is a great rebounder - I think the best rebounder on our team as far as minutes played if you just take the stats, minutes played and rebounds, especially in league. And offensively he's very aggressive.
And, you know, those will follow our team over the course of, you know, quite a few big games he's hit big shots, made big plays for us. And, you know, he's -- I think he just continues to get better as he gets more confident.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Thanks very much, coach.
COACH ROSE: Thank you.

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