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March 16, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by BYU student-athletes. We'll get started with questions for the student-athletes.
Q. We just saw a report I think yesterday that your brother T.J. said he'd love to see you be drafted by the Knicks. Have they always been your favorite team? Have you thought about anything like that looking ahead to the pros?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I always liked the Knicks growing up because I was pretty close to there, my brother liked them. I always liked those teams. They had with Allan Houston and Patrick Ewing and those guys, I always liked them growing up.
It would be cool to go there, but you never have any idea where to go. Right now I'm not really focused on that. Right now I'm focused on this tournament, this game we have ahead and what we have to accomplish here first.
Q. Jimmer, how do you rebound from an 18-point loss at the end of your tournament play in the Mountain West?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You just got to go out and play. We've been a good team since I've been here and since Jackson has been here. After we lose a game, we come back and win the next one. We've been good at that since Coach Rose's era. I think we're going to come out, play well, play hard.
Obviously it was a tough loss. A lot of teams have lost like that in the Conference Finals. You just have to move on and go out and play the best that you can. I think we're going to be fine if we just go out and work hard and do what the coaches say.
Q. Jimmer, when you look at the cylinder of the basket, are you an over-the-front-of-the-rim guy, back of the rim?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I look right over the front of the rim. I just try to place it over there. If you can do that, hopefully more times than not, it will go in.
Q. The three-point you're known for, shooting off the dribble, it takes a lot of strength. Do you lift weights?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I definitely lift weights. I lifted weights my whole life, worked with my uncle, who is a personal trainer, just on agility drills, lifting and power, different type of power fast, switch muscles workouts. It definitely helps out.
Shooting off the dribble just comes with practice. You have to go out into the gym and really practice that. The thing is you have to go a hundred percent every single time, make sure you're going game speed. If you're going game speed, obviously when you get in the game it will be like second nature to you. I think that's the biggest thing.
Q. Jimmer, you're in town with a guy that has gone through a lot of what you've done before, Tim Tebow. Have you watched how he progressed in his college career?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think that Tim Tebow is a great guy, a great football player, and a great leader. I think that's one of his greatest qualities, is that he knows how to get his team to play the best that they possibly can.
That's what I try to do, go out there and lead by example, try to say some things, try to get my team motivated to go out and play.
I definitely watched him throughout his career. He's been a great story, similar in that people definitely have doubted us throughout our careers. But one thing about both of us I think is that we're very mentally tough. And we want to show these people that we can do these things, we can go out there and be successful at any level.
I have great respect for Tim Tebow for that.
Q. Jimmer, you came off of a 52-point game in the Mountain West tournament. Do you have any more games like that in you?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I hope so. You never know what's gonna happen. But the main thing is that we go out there and win. Whatever I have to do in order for us to do that, that's what I'm going to try to do, whether it's score the basketball, distribute, play defense. Whatever it is at the moment that we need, I'm just gonna go out there and try to do it.
It's our last run. It's my last time here with Jackson and our team. I'm just gonna leave everything out on the floor and hopefully I'll be able to play and score the basketball and be aggressive like always.
Q. Jimmer, a lot of people are saying John Jenkins of Vanderbilt is the best three-point shooter in the country. Both of you are in this tournament. Will this become a three-point shooting contest this weekend?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You know, I hope not. Sometimes I'll shoot a lot of threes. But I'll try to get to the basket as much as I can. I like to get as close as I can just because it's an easier shot. Sometimes they're not allowing you to get into the paint and score baskets or get your teammates involved. That's what breaks down defenses, is when you get into the paint, either with the pass or the dribble.
But I have confidence in my three-point shot, that it's pretty good. Hopefully my teammates and coaching staff does as well. But we'll see.
Q. When you were coming out of high school, were there any Big East schools who gave you a serious look? Because what the perceived physical limitations were as far as speed and jumping ability, what did you have to do to overcome that and develop the incredible variety of shots that you have?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Out of high school I wasn't recruited by many Big East schools. I wasn't offered a scholarship by any of them. I looked at Syracuse a little bit and they looked at me a little bit. They had Scoop Jardine and Jonny Flynn coming in the same year I was. They were pretty much set at that position. No other Big East schools recruited me very hard.
As far as the other question, no, I just go out and try to be the best I can. I know I'm very skilled and I've worked on my skills a lot throughout the years 'cause I knew I was going to have to. I knew I wouldn't be the biggest, the most athletic. The thing is I'm deceivingly athletic and deceivingly fast. People don't realize that. You have to be in order to get by guys. You can't be slow. Even if you have great moves, they'll be able to guard you.
I've worked very hard at that with my uncle in personal training. I'm a lot faster and shiftier than people give you credit for.
I definitely worked on my skills. Being able to shoot the ball from long distances, handle the ball and get into the lane and try to finish.
Q. Jackson, you're on a team now, BYU is known for being a passing, team-oriented. This year you've been Jimmer-oriented on offense. How has that been for you guys, one guy carrying the offense?
JACKSON EMERY: Well, I mean, Jimmer, he demands a lot of attention. He's a great player. He can score in so many ways. When he demands a lot of attention, he's really good at passing and finding us. We do an excellent job at spreading the floor.
When we won down at San Diego, I think it was a prime example of sharing the ball when they double-teamed Jimmer. Everyone just hitting shots.
It is a little different. You have to adjust to the personnel you have on your team. At the same time we kind of have the up-tempo style. When Jimmer is on, you like to keep the ball in his hands. Like I said, we let Jimmer play his game. If it's pass, shoot, whatever, we know Jimmer is going to make the best play.
Q. Jackson, how do you plan on stopping Wofford defensively, particularly on the perimeter with Noah Dahlman?
JACKSON EMERY: They're an excellent shooting team, I think top 10 in the nation field goal percentage-wise. The biggest thing we have to do is we can't give them open shots, open looks. We got to attack 'em. Every basket they get, they earn it. We can't give 'em any easy looks at the basket, whether it's from the three-point outer core or easy layups at the basket. Make them earn everything they get.
Q. Jackson, how important will your transition game be in this first round?
JACKSON EMERY: It will be really important. That's our style. That's the tempo we like to play at. When we don't play an up-tempo style, we don't feel as comfortable. We really want to impose our will on the teams we play, first off with Wofford.
We know they're a great team, very efficient. We're going to have to really run and play hard because that's the way we like to play. That's the style that we feel most comfortable at.
Q. You've had a little time now to adjust to playing without Brandon Davies. Do you feel you're as good a team as you were at mid-season?
JIMMER FREDETTE: No, I think we are. I think we can really do some damage in this tournament as long as we play our game and are unselfish and just work hard.
Obviously, we're a little bit smaller without Brandon out there. But guys will step up and guys can play. I think as long as we're playing defense, rebounding the basketball, getting out in transition, I think we'll be a tough team to stop. So I think we could be.
JACKSON EMERY: I think we play differently at times because of the lineups we have. Like Jimmer said, I think we have the talent and the confidence in one another to be just as good. That's the way we've practiced and played all year.
Brandon is a terrific player. It was a loss for our team. But you move on. If it was injury or whatever it is, you just got to play. We know that some of the guys are going to step up, including ourselves.
Q. Jimmer, has it come to your attention that President Obama talked about your game last night? Now does anything surprise you regarding all this hype that follows you around wherever you go?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I heard about it. I haven't seen it yet. I'll have to look it up. That's pretty cool to have the president talking about you and everything. I'll look it up definitely.
It just comes with the territory. If you have a good team, you're playing well, you're going to get notoriety. You have to realize that and just take it in stride. There's times for everything. There's time for media and there's time for basketball and there's time for everything else, school, social life, whatever it is. You just got to separate everything so it doesn't all mesh into one.
But it's been fun. It's been a great year. I've had a lot of fun with it. I'm just excited for it to keep going.
Q. How do you plan on stopping Tim Johnson, 9 rebounds away from breaking a thousand?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Box out. You gotta really box out and go after the ball. He's a very good rebounder, great offensive rebounder, strong guy. Not the tallest guy, but he's very strong. Big bodied. Really pushes you under the basket and gets those rebounds.
You just have to be physical with him, get your body into him, maybe face guard him, get him out there and occupy him so someone else can come in and try to get the rebound.
Q. Jimmer, could you comment on your friendship with Pete Noordsy, the Wofford pitcher, communication in the last few days?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Pete is a great guy. He went to my high school. I used to play little league with him, all the way up, basketball. He's a good guy. I've been in contact a little bit. He actually texted me before the game. He said, You guys playing Wofford?
I was like, I don't know, maybe. Then it happened. So it was kind of funny, he predicted it a little bit.
We've talked a little bit about the team and everything. He just said, Good luck. I'll be watching you guys.
I don't know who he's pulling for, whether he's pulling for Wofford or us. We'll see. But Pete is a great guy. It was cool he was at this school.
Q. Curious how much of an advantage you think it will be, especially in the early rounds, playing in Denver, so close to home, knowing you will have quite a large Yukon contingency here?
JACKSON EMERY: I think it's huge. Both times when we played Air Force and Colorado State, we had a big fan turnout, not just from Colorado. Now we know a lot of fans are coming from Utah and all over to watch us play, it's going to be big for us. Anytime you have a lot of fans there, it creates a lot of energy. We build off that energy.
It means a lot, especially in this tournament when you have a lot of ups and downs and you need that fan support. So we're really excited we were able to be close to home.
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, I agree with Jackson. It will be great to be able to have the hometown fans here. I think wherever we've gone this year, we've had a great fan base for us. They're really excited about BYU basketball this year. I'm expecting no different. I'm expecting a great crowd for us, a lot of people. Hopefully it will give us energy to pull out this win.
THE MODERATOR: We'll let you guys go. Joined now by head coach, Dave Rose, from BYU. Coach, if you want to begin with some general remarks, then we'll open it up for questions.
COACH ROSE: Well, we're excited to be here. This is where our team wanted to be when we started the season, in the NCAA tournament. I think that anytime you have an opportunity to play in your area, your part of the country, that's exciting.
We look forward to a great matchup with Wofford. It's a team that is playing really well the last three or four weeks. They've been terrific. Extremely well-coached. It's a team that is really efficient. They don't beat themselves. They've been very, very successful. Senior-ladened team, a lot of experience. We look forward to the game.
I think our team has been through quite a bit in the last few weeks, but I think we responded well. I think we're ready to play.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. It was recently announced you were a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year. Any initial reactions to that?
COACH ROSE: Not really. I'm really proud of these players. These players have had a terrific season. They've had a really consistent year. Hopefully we can just keep it going.
Q. You've had a lot of games now to play without Brandon. How much more comfortable has the team gotten to their roles with him no longer on the court?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think time is a good thing to have when things change. So our ability to play, to practice, to be successful, win games. We won the Mountain West Conference championship, co-championship, on the last day of the season with this group. Went to the finals. Went to the quarterfinal game and the semifinal game in the Mountain West Conference tournament.
I think the fact that this team has moved on and been able to be successful, you know, is a positive thing, and hopefully we can just continue to play with confidence. The team is different. I think that we play a little bit different. But I do believe that we can continue to be successful.
Q. I'm sure Jimmer has seen a million kinds of defenses. Can you tell me how he's able to handle it as well as he does and what you do to help him be able to create his shots? How much of it is him and how much of it is what you do?
COACH ROSE: A lot of it is you have to give credit to his teammates. How teams decide that they're going to game plan for him and then execute that game plan. Our players have to respond to that. I think Jimmer does a great job of being patient, being able to read defenses.
Our coaching staff, we prepare for a lot of different things depending on, you know, film and things that we watch. But you don't really know exactly how things are going to play out until you start the game.
That's where I think Jimmer has been very good this year, is the ability to be able to read and react, and his teammates be able to respond, as well, in different situations.
Q. You have come in as 7, 8 seed in this tournament. You're a 3 seed this time. Does it feel any different coming in as a high seed in the tournament?
COACH ROSE: Not really. It feels very similar. It's a great opportunity. You want to be able to seize that opportunity. When you start your season and you realize that it's, you know, November 12th, November 13th, and there are so many teams, their goal is to get to this tournament. You realize that a small percentage are going to be here. You hope it's you.
The bottom line is the feeling is very similar. Now you have this opportunity. Let's try and play our best basketball while we're here.
Q. Among Wofford's regulars, you have to look pretty hard to find a guy that doesn't shoot the ball really well. Are they among the best shooting teams you've had to scout and would you compare them to anybody you've seen this season?
COACH ROSE: I think the last three or four weeks may be as good as we've seen as far as consistently making shots, taking good shots. They don't make mistakes. They don't beat themselves. They're on balance. They share the ball extremely well. Then they've been really efficient.
When they miss, they're pretty good at rebounding their missed shot and getting the ball back up on the rim.
I'm really impressed with Mike's team. I think he's done a terrific job of getting better throughout the season 'cause when you watch some of those early-season tapes, films, you realize that this team has continued to get better. And right now I think they're playing their best.
Q. Can you go over the coaching philosophy you've had with this team when you have one guy that is an enormous star, gets all the attention, just how you keep the rest of the players onboard consistent with your team.
COACH ROSE: I think the most important thing is the attitude of our group, of the players, that winning is the most important thing that we do. It takes the entire group. It takes our scout team in preparation. It takes our starters to play well. It takes our reserves to come in and fill their responsibilities.
Jimmer has been, you know, very consistent throughout the year in scoring the ball. His ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter, you know, he's had really, really hot streaks, then times when he struggled a little bit. But the ability of this team to continue to win through that I think is what we all hold onto. I think that's what we all base, you know, our identity upon.
I think a lot of credit goes to those players because whatever the situation is, I think that they've responded well.
Q. Just in terms of what you hear from pro scouts about Jimmer over the years, has there been kind of an evolution in their thoughts on him? Have they come around to believe he's a lottery pick?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think those NBA scouts, you know, they're pretty reserved when it comes to their opinions about players.
But, you know, you can tell by where they are who they're really interested in. The fact is, they had a lot of questions about Jimmer after his sophomore year. They showed up a few times last year. They've showed up quite a bit this year. So you know the interest is high.
Most of the comments that I get, you know, where you realize that he is a player that's really on their radar is a lot of teams say they really love him, but they don't think they'll be around at his pick. Then you realize there's probably a lot of talk about Jimmer in the draft.
Q. You've had Jackson Emery in your program since day one basically. What kind of a bond do you have with a guy like that after six years?
COACH ROSE: Well, Jackson's as good a competitor as I've ever been around. I'm talking about players I've played with, players I coached in high school, junior college. He is an ultimate team player, but a great competitor. Really, really wants to win. Hates to lose. I think that kind of fits well with my personality a little bit.
You know, in fact, it's hard to think about not playing with both these two guards because they've been together and basically started the last three years' seasons together. As good as Jimmer has been offensively, Jackson has been that good as far as helping this team win games in so many different ways.
Hopefully they can play well this weekend and continue to play. I know this is a huge goal of theirs to get to the tournament and then to advance.
Q. When you're talking to your players about not only making the tournament but going far in the tournament, do you rely on your playing days as far as what it takes to go beyond the first weekend?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think that was so long ago, the things I do remember probably are half true, you know (smiling).
But the one thing that is true is that the more success that the team has, the more it will help each individual be successful later on. And so I do know that. I just do know that if you can continue to play and advance, that no matter what your role is on the team, that will really help you as you continue through life, and hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of that.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach. Good luck tomorrow.
COACH ROSE: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports