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March 19, 2010

B.J. Holmes

David Loubeau

Khris Middleton

Mark Turgeon


Texas A&M – 69
Utah State - 53

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and have an opening statement from Coach Turgeon and then take questions for the student-athletes.

COACH TURGEON: Obviously we're really happy with the way we played. I thought defensively we were good for 36 minutes. Start of the second half about the 18 minute mark to about the 14 minute mark we were a little bit tired and didn't rebound very well and by that time they were tired and they missed some open looks because we had just really guarded them the first 20 minutes.
We executed, we made shots, Khris hit four in the first half and B.J. hit some open looks and I think we're a good zone offense team and we worked really hard on it this week and we executed well and made shots. So but it all came down to defense. We didn't guard last weekend, so I was on them pretty hard this week in practice about defending and we have done it for one game. Now we got to do it on Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. B.J., talk about that stretch around the 12 minute mark or just under it where Middleton hit the three. I think it was against the zone and you hit back to back and that kind of opened things up.
B.J. HOLMES: Yeah, that was in the zone because Khris hit his. He moved the ball great all day and was able to find the open shooters and then I think the shot clock was going down. Sloan had his hand and they collapsed and Sloan and I was wide open and able to knock it down.

Q. Khris, could you talk not just about today but the last couple weeks the way you've been shooting the ball?
KHRIS MIDDLETON: Just feeling real confident. Shooting the ball knowing it's going to go in. If I miss the previous one just shoot the next one and think it's going to go in.

Q. For B.J., what made you more effective defensively today? What were you most pleased with your defensive effort?
B.J. HOLMES: I think we just fought through a lot of screens. They set a lot of them. Rebounded the ball pretty good and limited them to one shot and I think that as we go on in the tournament we're going to have to play great team defense as a team because there's a lot of good teams in the tournament. And if you just have one player playing good defense you're not going to go too far.

Q. David, you picked up two quick fouls in the first half but then you came back what did you do differently to stay out of foul trouble?
DAVID LOUBEAU: I tried to get low, pushing them out and just stay between my man and the basket really, that's really it.

Q. B.J., what was the key for you guys being effective on Jared Quayle?
B.J. HOLMES: We tried to wear him down. We knew he was going to play a lot of minutes. Me, Dash and Sloan tried to pick him up a little in the back court to try to wear him down throughout the game and just fight through the screens, not giving up open shots, playing all the shots. I think we did a good job.

Q. David, talk about the effectiveness in the second half against Wesley after how good he was in the first.
DAVID LOUBEAU: I was just like I said again just being going three quarters, just being physical with him and making him take tough shots.

Q. B.J., can you just discuss getting this first win? I think it's five straight years you get that first round victory. Is there kind of a sense of relief now to get that first one out of the way?
B.J. HOLMES: Yeah, we have been talking about that. We didn't come here just to win one game and it's a great win for us today, but we can't celebrate. We need to get back to the hotel and focus on Purdue.

Q. To any of you, with the way the games went yesterday, as a team do you guys see that and talk about it and as the higher seed be aware of what was going on in the tournament?
KHRIS MIDDLETON: We all watched the games, looked at the scores. We just don't want to be one of those teams that get upset or on the highlights losing to the team that we shouldn't be losing to.
B.J. HOLMES: It's March, anything can happen. We don't underestimate anybody no matter what the number is by our name. So we go out and play everybody like they don't have a number by their name, just go play as hard as you can.
DAVID LOUBEAU: We just going out there and just having fun. That's all it is, really.

Q. Khris, do you have any feeling before the game when you were warming up or just any feeling early that you were going to be that on? I think you hit your first five threes.
KHRIS MIDDLETON: Going into the game I was a little nervous but once we started playing I started to relax and just played. I think that kind of helped me knock down those threes.

Q. David, how important was it or how big was it when Wesley got in foul trouble? Seemed like he was in foul trouble the whole game.
DAVID LOUBEAU: It was pretty big. We were trying to do that the whole game, get him in foul trouble. To just be easier to battle on the boards.
THE MODERATOR: We'll let the student-athletes go and take questions for coach.

Q. How great of an experience is it when you can kind of empty out your bench in a NCAA tournament game?
COACH TURGEON: Well, I thought the kids that got in deserved to play at the end. But just to say you played an NCAA tournament game I think is pretty important. So I wanted to make sure I did that, got everybody in. And doesn't happen much in this tournament. And we were able to do it today. But, yeah, it was fun.
They cut it to eight I think in the second half or seven once and got a little tight, but then we started to play again. So just it's a good 40 minute effort from the guys.

Q. Talk about your guys 3-point shooting, especially in the second half. They went zone and man and nothing really seemed to work against your guys 3-point shooting tonight.
COACH TURGEON: Well, we made shots. Khris got hot. Khris is capable. He hasn't shot the ball great all year and the last month he started to shoot it well. He just gets better every time he plays. So that helped us and we expect B.J. to make every shot so, we got some good looks and we really moved the ball well against their zone. We worked on zone offense every day this week.
And it showed today. Our movement was better, passing was better. Our whole thing was Utah State had to beat us with 2s today. And we didn't help down, we let Wesley do his thing in there and stayed close to shooters. The only time we really let down was in the second half and Quayle missed two or three wide open ones which he normally doesn't miss but I think they were sagging. You could see right before half time they were sagging because they had to work so hard to get a shot. You look at our minutes, compared to their minus, Sloan played 34, but Sloan could play 80 in a day. And we shared our minutes well and I think our depth kind of wore them down. That's why they didn't shoot the ball as well.

Q. How much of Purdue have you seen and what are your thoughts about that matchup tomorrow?
COACH TURGEON: I hope it's not tomorrow. I hope it's Sunday. But...
I coached against Matt when I was an assistant at Southern Illinois and he's he was the head coach there and he's just a great coach. And he's got a lot out of this team. I think what happened with them is they got mad at everybody saying they were going to lose, that they were done. And they kind of regrouped and had a great day today.
I know they're going to run their motion, know they're going to be real physical. They're going to guard us, and it's two defensive minded teams and I think whoever makes the most plays, obviously, will win the game. But I got a lot of respect for Matt and his staff. They work hard and do it the right way.

Q. You talked earlier in the week about how they run sets and how well they run their offense but can you just talk about the way you ran yours? Because the first half it looked like the roles had switched almost.
COACH TURGEON: Yeah, well when you make shots it makes you look better. We made some shots. We really executed. Our secondary break was good, and our zone offense was good and we really executed our half court man-to-man. So we have executed well all year and sometimes we didn't make shots and it doesn't look quite as good. Today we made them and it looked nice. Second half we didn't make them. We struggled a little bit more to score but there was a stretch there, the eight minute mark to the four minute mark we really executed when we had to and built the lead back up.
So we executed tonight. I thought we followed our defensive game plan. We played with great energy and the guys executed our game plan much better than we did last weekend against Kansas. So that's why we were successful.

Q. What was the specific plan on Quayle? What did you do exactly against him?
COACH TURGEON: They run plays for him and within their system they have certain plays that they run and Quayle hit the three in the second half. I don't know if it was his first or second three. And he made that one. I thought we guarded that better the rest of the night. And we tried to pick him up and wear him down. But he missed three or four open ones. It was a combination of us and it just wasn't his day. Sometimes when you can't get an open look then all of a sudden you get one you rush it a little bit. And a lot of their jump shots came up short in the second half and I think it just wore them down. I thought we did a really nice job defensively.

Q. You guys seemed to have the luxury of rolling in a lot of length rotating in and out.
COACH TURGEON: I thought we did a great job with Loubeau and Bryan Davis with two fouls in the second half. At the 12 minute mark they both had two fouls. And they were able to play Wesley with two fouls more than we did but I thought those two went back in and did a nice job. Then I thought Nate and Ray really had great minutes. I thought Ray really helped us in the second half of course he's mad at me now because he thought he should have played more in the second half, so he won't look at me. But we'll work it out.
But, no, I really didn't play a lot of guys, but I wasn't going into this game with the long media timeouts thinking I was going to play nine guys just to play nine guys. The guys are going to play well and I'm going to play them. Naji only played five minutes and he really helped in those five minutes. It just gives us a little bit more depth.

Q. Coach tell us what its like to be in the second round now.
COACH TURGEON: We want to go further. We want to advance. 32 is nice and to win the first round game, especially sitting around you ask the guys if they were worried about being up. I was a nervous thinking about how the games went yesterday and I know how good some of the teams are that lost. We were dialed in. But yeah it's a great accomplishment. Final 32, and down to two, us and Pittsburgh, and there was some teams in that company that didn't even make the tournament this year. So just to make the tournament five years in a row for Texas A&M, where we were and where we are now is huge. Hopefully down the road we'll expect to be in it and expect to make runs. But we're proud of that. But we didn't come here just to win the first game. We really didn't. And hopefully we can play well again on Sunday and give ourselves a chance.

Q. Yesterday you talked about going through the Big-12 wars would help you in the tournament. Could you expand on that in light of today's game and the chess match?
COACH TURGEON: Our league is -- Texas lost at the buzzer, or we would be 5-0. I don't know who is playing today. Our league is -- it was phenomenal this year. Saw a lot of good athletes, saw a lot of good shooters, saw teams that ran they're half court. Oklahoma State ran a lot of plays like Utah State so you had to really prepare quickly for a lot of sets. And we just saw a lot of good teams, a lot of good players. Probably the only thing I was disappointed in was the way we rebounded in the second half. I thought that with our length our size our athleticism we should have rebounded better than we did. But hopefully we'll rebound better on Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks, coach.

End of FastScripts

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