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March 27, 2008

Tyrone Brazelton

Darrin Horn

Courtney Lee

Ty Rogers


THE MODERATOR: We'll ask Coach Horn for a few general comments about tonight's game.
COACH HORN: We're really proud of our guys' effort to battle back the way they did. Not surprising to me. This group has had tremendous character and shown great toughness all year long. Just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half. Just got some really good shots and then credit UCLA. Obviously they're an outstanding defensive basketball team. We got an awful lot of good ones that were open that we usually make that they did not go down and just dug ourselves too big of a hole.
And in the second half, obviously our press, I think changed the tempo of the game and got us some easy baskets and we started making some of those shots that we didn't make in the first half and it completely changed the game.
But I'm unbelievably proud of my team and specifically proud of our seniors. They've elevated our program without question, and I think have done more than I could describe here for our program and for our league as well.

Q. What was the difference first half? Second half? You're down 41-20 and shooting 18%. In the second half, they couldn't hardly stop you guys. What was the difference?
COURTNEY LEE: We just came out more aggressive in the second half. I mean, we just took a deep breath and calmed down and started playing for each other and wanted to go out and have fun in the second half. That's when we made our run, we were out there having fun.
TY ROGERS: Just pretty much the same things he said. But I think we did a good job of creating momentum by having the tempo the way we wanted it, by pressing. I think we got up and more in the second half which created easier shots which got us going a little bit.
TYRONE BRAZELTON: They summed it up.

Q. Tyrone, how were you able to mentally regroup in the second half after a tough first half for you?
TYRONE BRAZELTON: Well, it wasn't too hard at all. I mean, we was down. We had nothing to lose. My teammates came to me and told me to take a deep breath and relax. The past is the past. Any time you have careless turnovers like I had in the first half against a good defensive team like UCLA and don't make shots, we gave up too many easy buckets. Any time you do that I mean, you are going to dig yourself in the hole.

Q. Did y'all feel a little bit intimidated at first before you figured out you could play with those guys?
TYRONE BRAZELTON: No. We never feel intimidated by any team we play. We don't care who we play. UCLA is a great team. I mean, like I said, we had careless turnovers in the first half and we didn't knock down shots.

Q. What was the halftime speech? What did you do to sort of get them to relax and play in the second half?
COACH HORN: Well, I think we talked about doing what we did well. I think in the first half, I was more concerned with -- obviously, offense was our main concern because we were playing so poorly offensively. But I was more concerned that defensively I didn't think we were as aggressive as we usually play.
Obviously Love is a terrific player, but he was getting a lot of those way too easy because we didn't have pressure on the ball the way we normally do.
We have played good post-defense all year long against good teams, mainly because we've had good pressure and not made the passes easy. They were just throwing it inside way too much.

Q. There was a point in the second half you got within four and you guys had a wide-open 3 that didn't go in and Shipp made a 3 with the shot clock running down. Do you think that was the key thing that turned it back in their favor after you made the run?
COACH HORN: Huge, huge. That in a nutshell was the game. It changed all the momentum. If it goes to one, everything is on our side going our way. They're playing without Collison at that point, I believe. I thought that was the sequence of the game in the second half.
We had spent so much energy to get back into it and played so hard to get back. If that 3 goes down and we cut it to one, it is a totally, totally different, you know, feel and situation down the finish.

Q. During that stretch where they hit you with the big run that pushed it to 15, Tyrone, not typical of him, had about two or three turnovers. Did you say anything to him during that stretch or right before the start of the second half to kind of get him back into it?
COACH HORN: Well, again, I think we just, you know, told him and all of our guys just that we need to not worry about what happened the possession before and just keep playing. We had some shots we normally make that didn't go down early. Again, they are a good defensive team, and then that was -- I think that just kind of snowballed for us a little bit and led to a bad first half.
The reality of it is we don't have -- against a team like this, enough size and just, you know, raw physical talent to weather a storm when Tyrone Brazelton is not playing as well as he normally does and we're not making shots. That's who we are. That's how we play.
And I think that was the biggest difference. Even in the second half, we went through a stretch where we got five, six stops in a row and they gave up a couple key offensive rebounds. There was that one possession they barely got a shot off, it barely nicked the rim, we had two guys grab the ball, went through their hands, they pick it up and scored. Too much of that going on.

Q. A lot of people look at this game and say maybe moral victory. Do you look at it and say we kind of, because of the first half, let one slip by?
COACH HORN: Moral victory for what? I mean, we outscored them by 11 in the second half. You know, if you are going to give UCLA credit for their great defense and us playing poorly in the first half, I think we got to get ours for how the game went in the second half. I think that's only fair. We have a lot of respect for their program and their team. But, again, we dug ourselves too big a hole.
I blame myself for that a little bit. I think that maybe we could have or should have pressed more in the first half to try to create some tempo. But, you know, at the same time, we didn't want it to get any bigger than it did, because when you do that, you're gonna give up some easy ones, and we sacrificed them in the second half to dictate tempo. And it worked.

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