|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
March 13, 2008
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
THE MODERATOR: Coach, go ahead and begin with some opening remarks.
COACH KRUGER: I'd like to start by complementing Coach Dougherty and the TCU guys. I thought they played just great. They obviously shot it very well. And I thought our guys stepped up and made a ton of big plays, but had trouble stopping them on the other end. But I thought Coach Dougherty really had them ready to play.
And again, right down to the wire I thought it was heck of a game. And, again, we made some great plays there late to get us over the top.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach.
Q. Coach, as an understatement you said they shot well. Have you ever beaten a team that made 17 three-pointers in a game?
COACH KRUGER: Not in shooting that percentage, I doubt. Again, I thought they played great. I thought we had late in the shot clock a few times they jumped up and probably three or four different occasions and made shots. Our guys were working hard and still they were making some shots.
But credit to TCU. And, again, always we'll look at it and say we've got to do a little better job covering. But I think, first of all, I tip my hat to TCU and Coach Dougherty.
THE MODERATOR: For the next few minutes let's have questions directed to Wink or Curtis, then we'll let them go and finish up with you, coach.
Q. Wink, describe the last play and just the pressure of that situation being down two with seven seconds left. What you wanted to get, is that what you wanted out of that last play?
WINK ADAMS: Yeah, I mean, that was the play we wanted, kind of clear out one side and send it down to Curt because he was kind of open. I just went in with confidence and kind of floated up and I was able to get the ending one.
Q. Wink, is it safe to say this might be your best game wearing a UNLV uniform?
WINK ADAMS: By far. I mean, this is the best game, the funnest game. Even as a player against a great team like TCU we came in and I never played against a team who shot that well in a game. Just my teammates behind me, everybody's making big plays. I mean, it just feels good to be a part of that.
Q. Curtis, talk about everyone knows about the offense. Talk about the defensive pressure they did differently this time around. You guys played them twice. It seemed like they did a lot more trapping in the backcourt. Just talk about that for a little bit?
CURTIS TERRY: They did a great job on defense. They covered some things differently than they did earlier in the season against us. Things started by them making shots and they got confidence early. It was tough for us to go down on and execute on the other end. But we were able to hang in there and battle back. Especially in the second half we made a run but then they threw in some more threes.
I give them credit for being very aggressive against us and mixing things up and playing a great ball game.
Q. For either Curt or Wink. What's the feeling like on the court when you are playing against a team when it seems like every shot that they throw up goes into the basket? Is it disheartening or, you know, describe the feeling you see every shot go in it seems like?
CURTIS TERRY: Out there, I mean, tonight it was amazing just for the fact we could come down and hit a shot and they would come down and hit a shot. We'd come back and make a play and they would come back and make a play.
I told Brent Hackett late in the game, It's like a shootout. He's like, Yep, it's going to be that way. They did a great job of making shots. I heard they made 17 threes and I was like, Oh, man. Thought they might have made 20. They made a lot. Luckily for us Wink made a great play at the end, got the basket and got the foul. One of the six they did miss was that last one. So thankful for that.
Q. Wink, just describe the intensity of the game and what it was like playing out there and did you feel like you got foul on that shot?
WINK ADAMS: I mean it was fun throughout the whole game. I mean, just for the team, both teams was playing good. It's a tournament. Everybody wants to win. And I just think everybody -- just everybody just brought their A game and everybody was making plays. At the end we was grateful they missed the last two. Like Curtis said, we was glad we got to the line and got the end one. Yeah, it was a foul (laughter).
Q. They always say that tight games, these can be beneficial when you guys go into the NCAA tournament. Do you guys feel that way or would you have rather have had a nice 20-point blowout where you got a little bit of rest on the bench?
WINK ADAMS: We think this game definitely getting us ready for getting our team better and got our chemistry even stronger tonight. We've never been in a game like this throughout the whole season. This was our toughest game by far and we're just going to take it and get better from it.
Q. Similar question, guys. When you got three in three days and you have a game like this where you don't use a lot of bench and you're out there and it's intense like that, how difficult is it to get over this one and get some rest before you have to play tomorrow night?
CURTIS TERRY: It's usual to get some rest tonight but luckily we don't play until late tomorrow night. This was a fun game to play it. It felt like the championship game last year against BYU, and everybody standing up the second half and big plays being made, it was a lot of fun.
But I think three games in three days, I think if we get that far, I think our energy and excitement and enthusiasm will just carry us all the way through that.
We can't leave anything on the court. We got to go out there and just play with everything we have or else the season may be over. But we're going to take it one step and at a time and get ready for tomorrow night.
THE MODERATOR: All right, Curtis, Wink. Thanks, guys. We'll let you go. Good job. Questions for Coach Kruger.
Q. Lon, people might look at the score sheet and think this is crazy, but they had 17 threes. But it's almost like they threw everything in. It's not like you were giving them. I mean, did you think that you were actually defending it pretty well and they were just shooting incredibly?
COACH KRUGER: Again, credit first of all TCU because I thought our guys were working hard. I don't think it was a case where we were slow coming off the screens or miscommunicating on switches. I think they made again three or four of those late on the shot clock when you feel pretty good about the defensive position you had. Then that's really deflating to a defensive team, especially a team that takes some pride in defense.
When you play for 35 seconds, 34 seconds and you feel good and feel like you got them in a tough corner and they jump up and knock down a three, that's tough. They did that a few times. No, I thought our effort was good. Again, I'll credit TCU. And still we have to come back and play better.
Q. Coach, my question to you was, you know, you guys are known for being a great defensive team. But do you think it was more or less those guys were just making shots or the effort wasn't there?
COACH KRUGER: Effort. Again, the effort was good. I thought our guys worked hard. I think when a team gets on a little bit of a roll and Hackett and Wall are pretty good shooters, especially when they get it going, then you got Langford inside where you got to help a little bit on him because he is such a good player, then other guys on the perimeter can make shots too.
Again, I'll credit TCU. Yet you always look at it in kind of a self-critical way in terms of saying, We have to do better, because you just can't accept the fact they're going to make that many threes. But we'll learn from it.
Q. If you were as confident in the effort as you were, what do you tell them after they're making so many shots going into half-time? What are you trying to do to give that team a morale boost?
COACH KRUGER: Generally the same things we always talk about in terms of need to meet the ball a bit earlier, need to get up a little bit tougher, especially on Hackett and Wall, because they made a lot of threes in the first half. Just stay with what you are doing and do a little better. It's not like you are going to revamp everything in half-time.
Again, I thought our guys came out in the second half and opened it with pretty good activity and took a little bit of a lead, then they made two threes back-to-back to take that lead away.
So it was a good game. It was a good game. And I feel for the guys in the other locker room because I know, you know, it's big extreme where both teams were even and one team can feel great and one team can feel so poorly. Everyone's been in that other locker room. Especially since they played so well, you know, I feel for them there.
Q. Obviously, they probably watch TV and they know going in what people say they had to do to get there. Can you talk about your team's ability in the face of that, not to lose this game on their court, when it comes to the post-season and be able to make play after play? Because obviously the pressure was on your kids, not the other way around.
COACH KRUGER: I thought our guys, as we said before, they've done a great job of focusing on the next game. And I thought tonight our guys made just play after play after play down the stretch especially. And I think it's real credit to them.
Again, TCU answered. So it was just kind of back and forth. But you're right, I thought our guys, the pressure was, you know, would fall on our shoulders more than TCU's perhaps in that situation.
I thought our guys handled that very well.
Q. Obviously, coach, you don't know who you are playing yet tomorrow night, but could you briefly talk about the match-ups potentially with Utah or New Mexico.
COACH KRUGER: Both teams are tough match-ups for us. New Mexico, last eight, nine ball games of course been playing great. Really doing a nice job. Coach Alford has got them playing at a really high level. We just played Utah last Saturday and they knocked us around pretty good.
So we know either way it goes we've got our hands full for sure.
Q. Coach, has this team done enough to convince the tournament selection committee that you guys should be in? Or do you have to approach it that you need to win this thing out this week?
COACH KRUGER: We'll always approach it like we need to win the next game. Not anything -- not any advantage to not approaching it that way. But we're not thinking about that so much as just winning the next game. I think if you worry about, Well, we got to do this for that, I don't think our guys think like that. I didn't think they felt like that tonight. I thought they just lined up and competed to win this game and we have to do the same thing tomorrow night.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? All right. Great. Thanks, coach.
COACH KRUGER: Thank you.
End of FastScripts