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March 19, 2008

Sam Burgess

Lee Cummard

Trent Plaisted

Dave Rose


THE MODERATOR: We'll open the floor up to questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Trent, have you looked over game tapes? Could you break down this match-up for us and kind of what you guys need to do?
TRENT PLAISTED: Um, obviously I'm not a coach, so I don't really -- I get to say what I think, but they'll tell you probably something different. They're a really, really good team. From top to bottom, they're' very talented. Their inside guys are big and physical. They're relentless on the offensive glass and their guards are capable of really getting going and lighting it up from outside as well.
So we got our hands full. So we got to come up, and we have a good game plan ready, and hopefully, we'll be able to get a win.

Q. Sam, how do you guys feel about the seeding? Are you guys okay where you are? Do you just feel like you just play who you get? Or do you worry about things like where you are seeded?
SAM BURGESS: Well, you know, of course we're happy to be in the tournament, regardless. And I think you hope for the best. And, you know, of course we're hoping for a little better seed, but, you know, we're happy. We know that all the teams in this thing are great teams, and so you're going to play a good team regardless of your seed.
And so, you know, Texas A&M is a great team and we're happy about it and we know it's going to be a great game.

Q. Sort of following up on that, if you look ahead, and I know everybody does look ahead, you can't say that you don't, you would possibly face a Number 1 seed. And when you think about your seeding and what a possible second-round match-up is, do you get disappointed a little bit obviously what would be a tall task?
SAM BURGESS: Well, yeah, just, you know, if we happen to get there and play UCLA, that's an unbelievable team and program, and we played them last year, so we're not unfamiliar with teams like that. And so you're right, it would be a great team in the second round, and if they would win. But that's -- you know, they're all good and you're going to have to play a good team sooner or later, that's the seed.

Q. For Sam. UCLA obviously has a lot of great basketball tradition. What's it like being in a place where you're trying to build that tradition, and sort of from the ground level?
SAM BURGESS: Well, you know, since Coach Rose has been here, this is his third year, and, you know, the program's just, as far as our seasons, have taken a step up every year, and we're hoping to just build on what we've done the last two years, and hopefully make some waves in the tournament and get some wins.
And so, you know, it's a big deal. And we're happy to play teams like that. UCLA and Texas A&M, they're great schools and programs. And so we welcome that and we're ready for any challenge.

Q. For whoever wants to take this, BYU's been to the tournament a lot, four other times, this being the fifth in eight years, but hasn't gotten out of the first round. How would you guys maybe explain that?
TRENT PLAISTED: This is only my second tournament, so I don't try to explain what happened in the previous tournaments and stuff like that. But that stuff's all in the past, and we're looking forward to this year. And this is -- you know, we're the same seed as we were last year and we're in a good situation to hopefully come out and play well and get a win.
Obviously, we want to advance in this tournament, every team does, but all we can do is focus on our effort and come out and play our best game and play hard and that's all we can control.
THE MODERATOR: Lee do you have any thoughts on that?
LEE CUMMARD: No. What he said was great. (Laughing).

Q. Lee, what experiences from last year's tournament trip do you take with you this year that you think will help you in this performance?
LEE CUMMARD: I think last year, I mean, going away from the game, I felt like I didn't play my best game and didn't contribute as much as I could. And what I can take away from that is not, you know, play so you don't have to have that feeling again and contribute as much as you can.
As far as the team, I thought we played collectively pretty well as far as effort. And we got to do the same thing again this year. And hopefully we can make more plays down the stretch.

Q. Can you talk about what a physical style you expect from Texas A&M inside tomorrow. They seem to be one of those teams that's very physical.
TRENT PLAISTED: Yeah, um, Texas A&M just like all schools kind of have those two big post guys they play at a time. You know, they're on the offensive glass and guarding the post, I mean it's hard to describe. Like this year, we've played teams like Michigan State and Louisville. These are teams that are all physical, similar to Texas A&M. So it's going to be a challenge keeping them off the glass and doing things like that.
But, you know, as hard as it will be to match up with them, I think we present our own match-up problems as well.

Q. For Lee. I'm sure you guys know about Josh Carter, Dominique Kirk got hot last week in the Big 12 tournament. Can you just talk about what you have heard or what you have seen and what you guys know about Texas A&M's back court?
LEE CUMMARD: All we heard is they're great shooters and they can shoot in bunches. Also heard Carter led the NCAA or the nation in three-point shooting last year. And so we're going to have to go after the shots and also just keep our man in the front of us and not let them get to the middle so it creates more open shots.
But great players from what I've seen and really good shooters.
THE MODERATOR: Trent, you said that you think you guys present some match-up problems as well for them. Do you want to expand on that a little bit.
TRENT PLAISTED: No. I'm good where I'm at right now. (Laughing).
THE MODERATOR: Do you have any other questions?

Q. Trent, wanted to ask you, how strongly did you consider Texas A&M coming out of Clark High School?
TRENT PLAISTED: Coming out of high school, to be honest, not so much, just because I had other interests. BYU obviously was high on my list due to the fact that I'm a Mormon kid and stuff like that. But, you know, A & M's built such a great program since I left high school. When I came out of high school, I was getting recruited by the former coach before Billy Gillespie even came there. Since Billy Gillespie got there and what has continued on since then is totally different from when they recruited me.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions?

Q. Lee, could you guys learn anything from the last game that you played and maybe apply it towards this first-round game?
LEE CUMMARD: Yeah, we got to show up in the second half. But watching the film that the coaches showed us, it looked like we just -- we rolled over and kind of just took it. We didn't play our game in the second half. Energy wasn't there. We got to play for 40 minutes if we're going to be successful.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions? All right. Seeing none, we'll excuse the student-athletes.
Good luck tomorrow, gentlemen.
We'll open up with Coach Rose's statement. Go ahead, Coach.
COACH ROSE: First of all, we're really excited to be in the tournament. And we -- and I'm very proud of our team and how we have responded over the course of the year. We've been extremely consistent, being able to win the Mountain West Conference regular season championship is a big accomplishment for our team, and we're looking forward to a very talented Texas A&M team. And know our players will be ready and it will be real competitive game.
THE MODERATOR: Open up to questions.

Q. Dave, as a player at Houston looking back, did you appreciate how hard it is to win NCAA tournament games compared to being a coach now?
COACH ROSE: Well, the first -- my first experience, we got beat in the first round by Villanova in Charlotte, and I just remember as a player how much I wanted to have the opportunity to get back in the tournament and play again. And the following year, I had knee surgery and red-shirted. Then the next year ended up being my senior year, we had that opportunity, got back in the tournament, made a nice run, made it to the championship game. And I do remember the time between our first loss in the tournament and the opportunity to play again, about how I just wanted another opportunity to see how we would do.

Q. Dave, does Texas A&M remind you of anyone that you have played this year so far? Do they match up the same way?
COACH ROSE: Well I told our team the other night as we were going through some scouting reports and personnel issues, it reminds me of TCU in our league of how they play. I think that they're a lot more physical at the guard line, have more depth at the guard line and in the post, they're bigger, stronger players. But they play kind of the same way. They really rely on offensive rebounds to score. They set a lot of ball screens, a lot of their guards allow their guards to penetrate and make plays. Then it's great rebounding team. And those are things that we'll have to try and prepare for.

Q. How do you feel about seedings, or are you a guy that doesn't worry about seedings, you just go play who you play and you're not too much worried? And my follow-up question to that is, when you were at Houston and Number 6 beat you guys for the championship. So where do you fall on seeding?
COACH ROSE: Well, the thing is, I believe that, you know, seeding is very -- I mean, it's a very real part of the NCAA tournament, but match-ups also become a real key. And there are some teams that are seeded, you know, maybe a lot higher that you might match-up a little better against or worse or whatever the situation is.
But once the bracket's announced and you have been assigned who you are going to play, it's time to go to work and, you know, deal with the challenge that you have. And so that's exactly how we felt at about 4:45 on Sunday afternoon. We got a big challenge, we're playing a good team, and we're really excited to be in the tournament and let's get ready.

Q. Dave, could you describe your vision on how far reaching a win at this tournament could be for your program?
COACH ROSE: Well, right now, we're in the process of preparing to win a game, and that process seems very, very familiar and normal for us because we've been doing this for three or four months now. And that's really about as far as I can think. We're preparing for this game. We've got a challenge. We've got a game plan that we're trying to get our players more familiar with as we approach the game tomorrow.
And we'll spend time between now and then trying to help them get in a situation where they can execute that game plan, and then look forward to the tip.
Then once the game starts, you've got your challenge, then we'll see what happens afterwards.

Q. Follow up on that, though, how important is being successful in the tournament in terms of a program's national reputation or establishing a national reputation? Where do you think tournament success rates in that?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think that, you know, in today's era of college basketball that, you know, media, fans, everyone starts -- they start talking about teams' resumes in November for the national tournament. And so now that you are here, you want to seize that opportunity and do the best you can. And that's what we'll expect our players to do, is to give their very best effort. And, you know, our goal is to advance in this tournament, see how far we can go, and see what we can do.

Q. Coach, can you talk about the Aggies' inside game, just kind of what match-up problems they give you?
COACH ROSE: Well, you know, they've got five really good post players, you know. And DeAndre is really, really long and Jones's got a lot of experience, is extremely physical, and Davis can really -- has got really good footwork and is good around the basket. And I don't know how to say it, Number 41 (Chinemelu Elonu) is a real athletic type player. So their post presence on the floor at all times will be an issue with our team.
The biggest key for us, I think, is to try to keep them away from the basket as much as we can, not only on the offensive end, but after the ball's shot to try to keep them away and just limit them to one opportunity. It's a very good offensive rebounding team. It's a team that really tracks down loose balls very well. Very physical and athletic. So those are issues that we'll have to deal with.
THE MODERATOR: Any further questions? All right, seeing none, thank you, Coach. Good luck tomorrow.
COACH ROSE: Thank you.

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