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March 11, 2010

Lon Kruger

Anthony Marshall

Tre'von Willis


UNLV – 73
Utah - 61

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by UNLV head Coach Kruger and student-athletes. We'll start by taking an opening comment about the game from Coach Kruger.
COACH KRUGER: Expected it to be a real hard-fought game and it was. Utah is always going to play with a lot of pride. I thought they opened the ballgame. We got a little bit of a margin and they made a good run to close out the half and cut into it. Then we got a little bit of a margin to start the second half.
I thought the second half especially guys made a lot of good plays for each other, made the extra pass and finished some opportunities. Played pretty good awareness defensively.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Anthony, it was your first post-season game. Did it feel any different? Did you feel any pressure?
ANTHONY MARSHALL: Not really. As a team, we looked at it as another ballgame. We prepared the same. We went over our same routine as usual.
Personally, I didn't really feel no pressure going into it game. I just feel it was another basketball game we had to win.

Q. Tre, can you talk about Anthony, the way he played with 13 points, 12 rebounds.
TRE'VON WILLIS: He was great. You know, I don't think I can put it in words right now, especially for his first post-season game. I felt he played really well, both ends of the floor, not only points and rebounds. I felt like he defended, brought a lot of energy. He definitely was one of the guys that you could look in his eyes, you could tell he just wanted it. We definitely wanted this game, you know, as a group.

Q. How much was it Utah's uneffectiveness and how much was it defensively what you were able to do tonight?
TRE'VON WILLIS: We didn't want to run our offense all day. First two meetings their pick-and-rolls killed us. Our focal point, our starting point as a group, we wanted to take them out of that, try to make them dribble-drive. We did pretty well with it as a whole. We just helped each other. We were definitely swarming around, which we definitely wanted to do tonight.
Like I said, it definitely was a group effort tonight.

Q. Can you give your thoughts on BYU and why do you seem to have so much success against them on your home floor.
TRE'VON WILLIS: I'm not sure. BYU is a good club. If we want to win tomorrow, we have to bring the same energy and intensity that we had tonight.

Q. Can you both talk about that 10-0 run in the second half.
ANTHONY MARSHALL: The first half towards the end, the last couple minutes we felt like we had a couple breakdowns, we weren't taking it one possession at a time. We were trying to make big plays, instead of just the single plays. Coming into the second half, we were in the locker room discussing it, we just wanted to take it one possession at the same time. Get a stop, go out and execute our offense. That's just what we happened to do.

Q. You always seem to get a little extra amped up for BYU. What is it about playing against BYU that brings that out in you guys?
TRE'VON WILLIS: I'm not sure, but when you come here, you know, you definitely learn this is a rival game. Not only us players, on both sides, but both universities know and enjoy the matchup.
You know, it's definitely going to be a real fight tomorrow. They have good players. They're a well-coached team. Us also. So, you know, whoever plays hard, executes the most will win 'em all.
THE MODERATOR: We'll let the student-athletes go at this time. Thank you. We'll open it up for questions for Coach Kruger.

Q. Can you give your thoughts about facing BYU in the semifinals tomorrow night.
COACH KRUGER: BYU is playing great. Dave always does a terrific job. Players play with freedom, they play with confidence. They move the ball. They play like a lot of teams I think in the country would like to play.
They're very freed up. They're attacking all the time. They're fun to watch. Not fun to play against necessarily. Dave's got them playing really good basketball.

Q. What can you say about the rebounding. That was a big thing between the first two games of the season.
COACH KRUGER: Rebounding hurt us in the previous two games. We were nicked up tonight injury-wise. That maybe limited their big guys' activity a little bit. Rebounding is always a little concern for us. I thought we focused a little better on it tonight. Got some of the 50/50 balls we didn't get in the previous two games, made a couple good plays from turnovers and converted some from defense and that helped, too.

Q. Jimmer Fredette, what can you do to slow him down?
COACH KRUGER: He's great. He's attacking all the time. He's got a great feel for when he's got an opening. Got a great feel when he's got an advantage to draw a foul. He's just a terrific player.
Just have to try to make him work as hard as we possibly can to get his points. You know he's going to score. You respect that. But try to make him as inefficient as possible. But a lot easier said than done.

Q. Tonight a lot of folks that you won't see in the box score did some good things for you. Talk about the balance. Justin dove for a few loose balls.
COACH KRUGER: This group has been great about that all year. We played all 11 guys all year long, short of the time when they've been injured. They've all stepped up. They've all contributed, worked hard in practice and they take pride in doing the little things well. I think the intangibles are a big part of a team being successful and executing things on both ends of the floor. I thought our guys, again, did a good job of that tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.
COACH KRUGER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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