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March 17, 2010

Jackson Emery

Jimmer Fredette

Dave Rose


THE MODERATOR: We're ready to start.

Q. For both players, can you talk about what this summer was like for you and not knowing about your coach and whether you wondered if he would even be your coach this season and then how things worked out so well?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You know, it was tough definitely in the summertime not knowing exactly what, you know, was going to happen to our coach or you know, and his family and everything, and, you know, it was a tough time for us, and we were able to, you know, all get through it, and luckily Coach was able to, you know, be healthy and come back and coach us this year. And it's been a special year for us.
We've had a great year, you know, one of the best teams that BYU has ever had here, the best record, and we have a chance to do something special. So we're excited to, you know, to play this game and hopefully advance in this tournament.
JACKSON EMERY: Re-echo what Jimmer said. It was really hard this summer to see what Coach Rose went through, but, at the same time, I think every player used that as a little motivation to get better and to focus on what we really want to accomplish and, you know, as hard as it was, it was a good thing for our team, too, because it brought us closer together.

Q. For both you guys, how much are you guys aware of the losing streak in NCAA play for BYU and how much of a focus has that been, have people talked to you about it, said things to you about it, what are your thoughts on that?
JIMMER FREDETTE: We know that we have this program hasn't won, you know for a little while here in this tournament, but like Coach was telling us before, you know, all those other teams in the past, you know, have nothing to do with us, really. You know, we were pretty young when those things were going on and, you know, it's a new team, it's a new time, and we need to not think about it at all, just move forward and try to hopefully get a win and that's what our focus is on now.
JACKSON EMERY: Exactly. The biggest thing like Jimmer said, Coach said, we weren't a part of those teams and, you know, last year when we lost last year, some of us have that experience, but we just want to focus on this year, it's a different bunch of guys. We all have different experience, and it's just a different team we're playing, and we just got to focus on this game and not on the past experience.

Q. Jimmer, what was it like playing those pickup basketball games in that prison? What was your connection to get into the prison to begin with?
JIMMER FREDETTE: We have a next door neighbor who knew the guy that ran like I don't know what it is, the recreational part of the correctional facilities in both facilities and, you know, my brother and I and some of my friends and my father would go, and we'd play in these prisons every once in a while and, you know, play against the inmates and inmates would all be on the sides. They had bleachers.
Actually, they're decent courts. This they're like big courts for some reason, and it was a lot of fun playing in there, you know, made you immensely tough just playing in front of inmates like that and the things that they would say to you and everything but, you know, it was a lot of fun, good experience for us and, you know, it was great.

Q. What did they say?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I don't know if I can repeat all the stuff that they would say. But they were just kind of heckling you and most of the time they didn't like you at first. They didn't like you at first, but you would always have a few guys in there that would be rooting for you or betting to -- that you guys would win so they would be cheering real hard. They bet like cigarettes or things like that, little things, so it was a lot of fun.
THE MODERATOR: More questions?

Q. Jimmer, again, growing up, being raised Mormon in Upstate New York, was your dream to play for Syracuse or BYU or what was your goal as far college goes?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You know, I always like Syracuse growing up because it was close. I was always a big North Carolina fan, too. I loved North Carolina growing up, but, you know, I didn't really know a whole lot about BYU, to be honest with you. I started to know more about it because my sister went to school out there and she graduated from BYU, so I was able to visit and -- have an aunt and, you know, that lives out there and now my sister lives out there, too. She just stayed there after she graduated.
So I started to know a little more about it my sophomore year, I started to gain a lot more interest and figured that it was the right spot for me.

Q. Guys, Jackson, I'd like for you to describe Jimmer's game, if you would, and what it must be like for him to have that kind of reputation now as a scorer and how he gets it done every night.
JACKSON EMERY: It's awesome to play with Jimmer because he's so talented, and I think the biggest thing that I see with Jimmer, especially when we played against Arizona and he had 49 against them. It felt like at times it came in spurts, but in the first half, it felt like I think he had like 21 at halftime.
It didn't feel like he scored that much, but got in the halftime and coaches told us that he had 21, kind of surprised me, but, you know, he just kind of -- in the second half, I paid more attention and he scored a lot more. I mean Jimmer is just a great player. He's so good at creating contact, driving to the hole, he's also great at shooting from 30 feet out, and you just don't know how to defend him, really. You try to pick your poison. Are you going to make him shoot long or make him drive to the basket, but something that makes Jimmer a really good player is that he also leads the team in assists, although he's a great scorer that also helps him find the open guy and it helps create our offense and create a lot of opportunities because teams just can't focus on him, otherwise they're going to have to leave one of us open.

Q. Jimmer, you guys talked the last few days about being relaxed and loose this time after falling behind early the last two appearances. So far, has that -- is that happening? Are you guys more relaxed and loose this time?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I think so. I think that since we've been through it a couple times, we're trying to just -- just be more, treat it like a more road game, like if you're going to go anywhere in the conference, trying to treat it just like that and, you know, but once we get into practice it's not any joking.
It's going and trying to get yourself prepared and ready to play Florida. They're going to be a very tough opponent for us. We're trying to relax and treat it like a regular game and not worry too much about the hype or anything like that, just get out there and get a better start this time.
THE MODERATOR: Last couple of questions for BYU.

Q. Guys, Florida is most like whom that you have played this year?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I would say they play a lot like San Diego State or UNLV team in our conference, just because, you know, they're very athletic. They go to the offensive boards real hard. They play a transition. They like to shoot the 3-ball and you know, they're an uptempo team. I think that's kind of, you know, similar in the way that they play against us.

Q. I want to ask Jimmer a little bit about the one thing that jumps off the page for me in looking at the numbers is the 76 percent at the foul line as a team. How much pride to you guys take in that? I'm going to guess a ton?
JIMMER FREDETTE: We definitely do. We have a lot of guys that can shoot really good free throws, and that's something that we stress. And we try to get to the free throw line as much as we can because we can shoot good free throws, and it's just a tribute to the guys practicing the free throws and getting that muscle memory down and being confident and stepping into the shot and hitting them and of in crunch time and at anytime. It's what we hang our hats on.
THE MODERATOR: Last question.

Q. Just for both guys, I know in your last year in your NCAA Tournament game against Texas A and M, you guys were out rebounded pretty bad. Your rebounding margin is a little bit better this year. How much was that kind focus or emphasis on the off-season and how much more of a physical team do you guys feel like are you now compared to last year?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think it's a big key for us. I think that we're playing at our best when we rebound the basketball, and it's because if we get -- if we rebound the first shot that they have, it starts our transition offense, and that's exactly how we want to play. We want to get the ball up as fast as we possibly can. We can't do it if we're taking it under the basket or getting extra opportunities for the other team. We need to get the ball and run down as fast as we can and we have to rebound in order to do that.
JACKSON EMERY: Exactly. I might add I think our big guys have done a terrific job this year. Noah Hartsock has been stepping up and getting extra rebounds, and I thought for the most part, our guards have done a terrific job of also getting down there, especially rebounding against teams like San Diego State where they're so athletic.
We did a terrific job in both the games we played against them. We made a huge emphasis, we got to rebound in order to get our transition game going.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.
Head Coach, Dave Rose.
COACH ROSE: Well, we're excited to be here. I think our team is ready to play. Got a difficult matchup with Florida, but we're looking forward to that. And I think that some of the experience that our returning players have had with this process here at the NCAA Tournament, hopefully will give us a lot of confidence and we'll get off to a good start tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. Can you put into words what it means for you personally to be here after what you went through this summer? And, I mean, I imagine there were times you wondered if you would be coaching anywhere.
COACH ROSE: Yeah. It's been a great run with this team. This team has been -- they've just responded in every situation, and I think that I spend more time thinking about how we can, you know, get this group to play at their best at this time of the year and -- because they've really been through quite a bit with my situation.
And in the summertime when I met with them in June after my diagnosis, we just kind of all waited to see if things were going to work out for me and the team, you know, was dedicated and prepared and worked hard. And then when I got the good news that I was going to be able to come back and coach, that we just kind of rolled from that spot. And I'll always be grateful to this group because we've had such a good year and we won a lot of games, and that's kind of made it easier for me and my health situation. But I know that I'm very fortunate to be able to do what I'm doing.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about finally getting over that NCAA Tournament hump of winning a game, it's been awhile since BYU has won a game in the tournament. I guess you lost like eight in a row.
COACH ROSE: I think the most important thing is to have this team understand that this is their turn, okay. This is a unique group of guys, and it's -- they worked really hard and have earned this opportunity. And they need to feel, you know, the pressure that that brings to this team only, and they don't need to feel anything else.
And we want to win, but, you know, every other team who has been here really wants to win. So, you know, I think that it's important for this group just to, you know, understand that they've had a great season, and if we play well in this game that we have a chance to win and kind of keep it right there because anything else is -- it's for -- those were other teams and those were other people, and this is our time and this is our team, and let's do the best we can with this group.

Q. What separates Jimmer as a shooter from other shooters you've had and other shooters you observed around the country?
COACH ROSE: I think the biggest thing is the variety of shots that he has that he's really good at. He can shoot off the dribble. He can shoot kind of runners off balance. He can get himself to the free throw line. He plays at a pace that is really hard to guard, and he has deep range which makes him a lot quicker than he really is, because you have to come up and pressure him to defend, you know, that long perimeter shot which allows him to get past you, and then he has a great feel for where players are around him.
He shares the ball really well. But he can make a variety of shots, which I think, you know, makes him a lot different, plus, you know, the one thing that he's really good, off the dribble, he can get himself into positions where he can create shots for himself and for his teammates.

Q. Dave, when you were a player at Houston, do you think you appreciated how difficult it is to win NCAA Tournament games?
COACH ROSE: Well, it's all your perspective at the time. At the time, we just thought that's what was supposed to happen. You were supposed to win the Conference and get selected into the Tournament and then win games in the Tournament, and as a player, that's kind of what happened for us.
As a coach, it gets a little more complicated, and you realize that, you know, limit seeding of the tournament is a real factor and your ability to play consistently all year long, to be able to get selected into the tournament and then get seeded in a place where you can be successful. And those are all situations I think as a player, at least at our time, we didn't concern ourselves with. Just a matter of trying to win the next game.
THE MODERATOR: Last two questions.

Q. Dave, you brought a Bartlesville kid with you. I was hoping to get a few words about what Noah has meant for you this season?
COACH ROSE: Noah has had a tremendous season for us. He's been as consistent as any player on our team. He's had some difficult offensive games for us, but mainly he has become just a real steady system player as far as his ability to defend his position, rebound his position. We can run our offense through him. He's got -- I think he continues to get better every week and he has a real ability offensively to kind of stretch the defense and with the way they guard our guards, he can get space and when he's really shooting the ball with confidence, he makes our team a lot better, and he hopefully he'll have a big week for us here.
THE MODERATOR: Last question.

Q. Dave, the league finally gets four teams into the Mountain West Tournament. Two of them end up here in Oklahoma City. How unique is that? Do you think your fans will finally clear for UNLV?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think the question is whether UNLV fans finally cheer fours.
It's a great accomplish for our league. They're all deserving. This was a terrific Mountain West Conference, regular season schedule, the tournament was as good as it's ever been. I think we're all excited that we have four teams in the tournament, and I know we're all pulling for each other and hopefully -- it is kind of a coincidence we both get sent here, but I think that, you know, it's interesting because once you get your invitation and you know you're in, you kind of block out everything.
I didn't really realize until we got on the bus yesterday that UNLV was coming here, because you kind of concentrate on your deal, and Coach Rice was the one that actually told me they would be here.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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