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March 10, 2011

Jim Christian

Greg Hill

Hank Thorns


BYU – 64
TCU - 58

THE MODERATOR: We're ready to begin with Texas Christian University. Coach, we'll start with your general thoughts on today's game.
COACH CHRISTIAN: Again, I'll start it the same way I did yesterday. I can't be more proud of the effort our players put in today. It's very difficult to play BYU. We have seven players. We had a lot of guys that played 40 minutes. It came down to a couple plays. We left some points out there, a couple two-on-one breaks, a couple free throws. You have to make all those little plays to beat them. I think they're that good.
Again, I couldn't be prouder of our effort, prouder of the way we fought. I think everybody who saw the game saw the foundation of what's coming here.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll open it up for questions for the student-athletes.

Q. What is y'all's performance the last two days say what you think about Coach Christian?
HANK THORNS: Coach Christian is a great coach. I knew that coming in. I'm sure all our players knew that coming in. We all had faith in him from day one. He kept us together. I thank him for that. He taught everybody a lesson. We all learned something from this season.
This last few weeks, we felt like an undefeated coming in in this season. It just hurt after the game today. I applaud Coach Christian. He never gave up on us.

Q. Coach alluded to you leaving a few points on the board. Several times you had the numbers, turnover ended it. Is that something that you had thought about before the game?
HANK THORNS: No. You never think negatively about anything before entering a game. I mean, it's basketball. Turnovers happen. You just got to get back and play D. One player dropped the ball. Just get it back and let us get a stop. That's how we look at things, so...

Q. Greg, you talked before the game how you wanted to make sure you continued to lay the foundation for this program, leave a legacy for the young players. Talk about what that means after this game, the way you finished your career.
GREG HILL: Well, these last three games have been awesome. Like that's a good start, a new beginning for these guys, the young guys. I feel like I went out a winner even though it was a loss. This team, TCU, going to be coming up real soon.

Q. Greg, could you give us your impressions of BYU? Do they appear to be a much different team without Davies?
GREG HILL: They're a much different team without Davies. He's a big inside presence, brings a lot of attention, which also gets a lot of attention off the key player.
We went out there and tried to take, you know what I'm saying, good shots, move the ball, stay in the game. That's what we did. Couldn't be any happier.

Q. Greg, could you talk about coming back after the injury, how it happened, hitting a big three at the end.
GREG HILL: Well, injuries happen. It's up to you whether you got the heart to play through it or not. Playing for Coach Christian, you got to have heart.
Just a little ankle sprain. Ain't nothing that can't be fixed. Go out there and play my hardest.
COACH CHRISTIAN: It was a little nerve racking because at that point he had four fouls. So with Greg out, we only have two guards. If Hank would have fouled out, I was going to ask you to go play point.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll dismiss the student-athletes and open it up for questions for Coach Christian.

Q. How do you feel like your team played against BYU in terms of the pace that you wanted and executing the offense?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Again, we knew coming in we had to try to control tempo as best we can. The game was in the 60s, so we couldn't have done a much better job of that.
Again, because of our lack of depth, especially on the perimeter, we had to be patient, try to score with the shot clock at 10-under, 15-under. At the beginning we took a couple quick shots, adjusted to it. To beat BYU, that's the kind of game we have to play.

Q. Can you give us your impressions of BYU without Davies?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Again, I think BYU is a great basketball team. They're one of the top-10 teams in the country for a reason. You're not a top-10 team because you have one or two great players. They're adjusting. I thought the only obvious emphasis is they don't score the ball on top of the rim as often as when Davies is in the game. It also makes them a tougher team to guard on the perimeter. With Abouo and Hartsock, you have guys that can hit some threes. That makes a difficult matchup for some people.
The tournament is going to play out. They're a top-10 team coming in. To me, they're a top ten team in the country.

Q. Can you comment on Cadot?
COACH CHRISTIAN: JR obviously made a bad decision when we thought he got fouled and he got the technical foul. You're giving them two points, giving them the ball back, extra possessions.
The first time, when he made a play knew was wrong, came back emotionally, apologized to the team. In the second half, he kept us in the game on the backboard.

Q. Can you talk about the foul trouble that you had to deal with relatively early in the game.
COACH CHRISTIAN: Yeah, it's tough. We don't have a lot of depth. So we had to keep changing defenses, going back from man to zone, had to protect certain guys, put guys on guys they normally wouldn't guard to get through each four-, five-minute stretch. That's difficult.
Our guys rose to the challenge. You hold BYU to 36% shooting at the half, you're playing hard. I thought our team played unbelievably hard tonight.

Q. Hank mentioned the fact he learned a lesson from you this year. Do you think that lesson was sometimes you learn more from taking the hard road? Do you think fighting through adversity was a lesson you taught him?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Yeah, I think the lesson is that we're going to do things the right way. The lesson is that we're going to build the program based on the proper foundation, based on the right type of character, the right type of values. They've learned that lesson. It's not an easy lesson to learn. Day in and day out, they know we're depleted a little bit.
They never made excuses. We held each other accountable as best we can. I think we grew. I think individually some players grew. Collectively without question we grew.
It was a different feeling in the locker room today before the game and a different feeling after the game. So I feel good about that. It's the right kind of feeling. Now we just have to keep looking forward and do the right things.

Q. You played zone before the foul trouble. Is that the way you slow down the tempo of BYU?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Yeah, we played it the whole game, especially on made baskets. I just thought it was hard for us to play man-to-man with them because there's so much movement in their offense. Hank has to play 40 minutes a game, Greg has to play 36. That's a lot of screens to chase. JR, obviously when he has to guard Jimmer is away from the rim. We had to try to find ways for a little bit slow the pace for them, make them stand a little more, less movement. I think the zone kind of did that.

Q. With all due respect that you've given to BYU, did you sense your players were more confident today because of Davies being out?
COACH CHRISTIAN: I don't think it had anything to do with him, to be honest. I think our guys would have been confident regardless of who stepped on the floor. We had a huge monkey off our back yesterday. They woke up at breakfast today ready to play. I knew we were going to play well today. We would have to play with huge hearts, we had to play unbelievably smart. I thought we did that for the most part. A couple times our immaturity kind of bit us a little bit. To beat BYU, you're not going to have that.
I'm not going to take anything away from BYU, but I'm going to give our guys credit. I thought we were confident. You could see it from the first minute. We were loose and confident to play the basketball game today regardless of who we were playing.

Q. Are you surprised that the national attention that Fredette has gotten this year? Is it good for the league?
COACH CHRISTIAN: It's obviously great for the league. I'm not surprised. It's a great story for a lot of reasons. I think the main reason, he's a guy that tested the NBA draft and came back. What a storybook year he had just by coming back. Had he gone, whether he got drafted or not drafted, those are debatable questions, I don't really care. I know by coming back, he had one year he'll be remembered and the people at BYU will remember for a long time. What a great story it is to stay in school and have the kind of year he has.
Not many times you have a chance to be national college Player of the Year. Hopefully he'll go on and do great in the tournament and he'll end his career the way a guy making that type of decision should make.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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