home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 14, 2008

Lee Cummard

Trent Plaisted

Dave Rose


THE MODERATOR: Coach, if you want to just begin with some general comments on the game.
COACH ROSE: It was a very competitive game, very physical. I thought that we did a really good job late in the second half of executing in the halfcourt offensively. Defensively it was a challenge all night. Their post players are big and physical. They rebound the ball very well.
I just thought that, you know, we made enough plays defensively to give us an opportunity, and then we executed well down the stretch offensively.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Could you talk about the responsibility that comes at this time of year of being in the position you are to lead this team and how you deal with that pressure.
LEE CUMMARD: The stakes are high and we want to play and continue to play. We know our team counts on us a lot for certain things, and leadership being one of them.
But, another thing is scoring, just getting down and being tough and showing our team that we're tough. I think they feed off that a lot.
TRENT PLAISTED: All the same things Lee said. I think our team, that's our role on the team as captains, to kind of lead. That's the main thing.
But one other thing I'd like to add is the fact that on our team, we're so talented all the way around. It's not like it's -- you know, it's not me and Lee that has the responsibility every game. Last game, I didn't have my best offensive night and we still won by 20 points. We're a team that's very balanced and we got guys that can step up in any situation.

Q. Trent, could you talk about the stretch Chris Miles gave those three baskets when you weren't hitting anything. Unlikely source of offense.
TRENT PLAISTED: Chris Miles had a great game. He came in and gave us a lot of energy. He gave us a huge lift. Offensively he made some great post moves. That's stuff he works on every day in practice. He's a relentless worker. You've got to give him a lot of credit because that stuff is paying off in games.

Q. Lee, you took the early charge on Lorrenzo. Could YOU describe the game plan coming into the game.
LEE CUMMARD: Lorrenzo is a great player, tough guard. We had a lot of different things we were going to try to throw at them. They do such a good job of countering whatever you do.
But I just tried to slide in front of him on that play. Luckily, ref took care of me (smiling).

Q. Lee, is there something about their style of team that has made it difficult for you guys to play against this year?
LEE CUMMARD: Well, they're so well-coached. And I think of all the teams that we play, they're one of the best teams of executing in the halfcourt. They got that transition game. They get turnovers and steals, they play well off of that. They slow it up, they walk it up, they're really tough to guard. But their counters and how they're coached in the halfcourt is really pretty good.

Q. Back in the championship game for the second year. Are you looking forward to playing in the kind of atmosphere that you faced last year when you played UNLV in that game?
TRENT PLAISTED: Well, we don't know who we're going to play yet, so we don't know quite what the atmosphere will be. Obviously UNLV probably has a bigger following here.
But we're excited to be back in the championship game. That's where our goal has been, to get there. And we want to win tomorrow. We're going to take this one game at a time. Our next step is Utah or UNLV.
LEE CUMMARD: Yeah, really looking forward to it. Really, I had a bad taste in my mouth after the last tournament championship. Excited to play in front of the fans. Hopefully it's a good turnout regardless of who we play.

Q. Could you talk about the second half, what you hear from the coach coming out of the halftime.
TRENT PLAISTED: I don't know. Coach is right here. Maybe you should ask coach (laughter).
He just told us to play with better intensity on defense, lockdown, be more tuned in, just rebound the basketball. He said our shots were going to fall eventually. We didn't shoot the ball very well in the first half. We were getting good looks. Just wanted us to play with a little more confidence. To start at the beginning, we maybe weren't as assertive as we should have been.
LEE CUMMARD: One other thing. He just told us that we weren't playing the way we should be playing, and we should play the right way (smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Men, you two can go. Thank you.
Questions for Coach Rose.

Q. When you heard me ask them about the importance of taking ownership at this time of the year, from your perspective, how important is it to be able to lean on these guys in these critical games where so much is at stake?
COACH ROSE: Well, both of these players have so much experience as far as college basketball. They're both juniors, but they both started since they were freshmen, played in a lot of games.
I think that sometimes, you know, when the game may seem to be a little bit bigger game, maybe a little bit more at stake, those players feel a lot more comfortable in that surrounding because they've been there before.
You know, hopefully that will help us tomorrow night no matter who our opponent is.
But what I really like about these two players and then our two seniors, Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock, is they really take ownership in how we compete. There are times when we're in the huddle in timeouts and I don't really need to say a lot because they're encouraging each other and they're challenging each other. That's a great feeling to have as a coach.

Q. The stretch Chris Miles gave you there. You weren't hitting any field goals. Came up with these three baskets to put you ahead for good.
COACH ROSE: I think if you look back at all of our games, you'll find that this team gets a lot of help from someone off the bench. I thought that Chris Collinsworth gave us a really good lift in the first half. I thought in the second half Chris Miles, his energy and his physical presence. It was such a physical game. And he came in with a lot of energy. Hadn't played a lot of minutes. And I thought that advantage that he had, our players really got him the ball in a couple positions where he could really take advantage of that.
And then, you know, he goes three for three, makes all three baskets. Trent gets a little bit of a rest, gets to come back. That's, you know, kind of the makeup of our team. Yesterday Jimmer came in and hit some really big shots for us. Today Chris Miles comes in, hits some really big shots for us, good defensive play. It's a pretty balanced group.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about defending Lorrenzo Wade in the second half. There was a stretch that he was taking every shot. He was 5 for 14 in the second half.
COACH ROSE: Lorrenzo is such a versatile player. And the challenge we felt as a coaching staff after playing him twice is that he loves to post up, but he's not your typical post player because he has so many guard skills. He can back-dribble, he can get space. He's a great passer. He's really good at gapping people and drawing a little bit of help and then finding other people off a pass.
So what we really -- the only game plan we kind of really put together is that we were going to, like Lee said, change things up. We switched off a couple times and Trent had a chance to guard him. Quite a few times, Jonathan had a chance to guard him. I think Lee guarded him most of the night. But, you know, the challenge was not to foul and get himself in foul trouble.
But I thought we were fortunate. He didn't play a lot in the first half. How we were playing, to be able to go in at halftime with a lead, was I think a pretty good factor for us.

Q. The past two games you've had some close first halves. What do you need to do tomorrow to make sure that's not the case?
COACH ROSE: We need to have a close first half tomorrow, too. That's what you want to do. You want to get yourself in a position where you're competing and your guys are playing, and then you can come out.
You never know the personality of the game. But as a coaching staff, when you go in at halftime, you hope you're ahead. That's been the case both days. So we'll try to do that tomorrow, too.

Q. The pace of the game seemed to be particularly slow. Were you worried, concerned? What was your feeling on the pace of the game? How would you try to maybe pick it up?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think that we did a good job of trying to speed up. The problem is we didn't finish. We turned the ball over seven times in the first half. And we got ourselves in too big of a hurry. They're very athletic. They close gaps really quick. They're long. They can tap the ball from behind.
So we really felt that in the second half we wanted to take advantage of opportunities. But I think we were a little more patient offensively. And then, like I said, the last 10 minutes I thought we really executed well in the halfcourt, were able to capitalize on some real big plays that our guys made.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks very much. Good luck tomorrow.
COACH ROSE: Thank you.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297