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March 18, 2011

Lavoy Allen

Fran Dunphy

Juan Fernandez

Ramone Moore


THE MODERATOR: From Temple University we've got Lavoy Allen, Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez.

Q. From what you have seen in San Diego State, what concerns you the most?
LAVOY ALLEN: Their size and athleticism. You know, they got a couple big guys, Kawhi Leonard, Billy White and Malcolm Thomas who, you know, are strong from in the post and they like to rebound. So this will be our biggest concern is our rebounding.

Q. Lavoy and Ramone, with one day to prepare for a team that probably hasn't been on your radar at all, how difficult is it for you to prepare for this team?
LAVOY ALLEN: I mean, you know, they're a great team. You know, they've been in the top-ten most of the year. So, I mean, we've seen them around, on TV and things like that, so we got a good idea what they do, what they do well.
So, I mean, it's not as difficult -- I mean, I would like more time to prepare, but, you know, we only got two days, so...
RAMONE MOORE: I kind of agree with Lavoy. You know, a short period of time to get prepared for a team like those guys. You know, they're very athletic. They get out in transition. I think we've been doing enough film yesterday and today, you know, to see things they like to do.
But, you know, in a short period of time, we can't make any excuses, we just got to be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Juan, what do you guys do they might have a hard time with, maybe they don't see often or the kind of things you guys specialize in?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Well, I think we're going to try to base our game on our defense and defensive rebounding first. And, then, you know, I don't know what kind of teams they play, but, you know, we like to share the ball and try to find the open man, not play just through one guy. We're going to try to take what they give us. They're long and athletic, so we are going to have to pass the ball around a lot.

Q. Juan and Ramone, you know, a lot of people talk, and they've talked about you guys being sort of a typical East Coast team and they're more of a West Coast team and the stereotypes or finesse on the West Coast. Can you just describe what, you know, maybe that means. What is an East Coast team and the physicality and toughness that maybe you bring to the game that maybe they haven't seen as much as maybe you have?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Well, like I just said before, we're a team that, you know, tries to slow down the ball a little bit, play more half-court offense and defense, I think. That is where we feel more comfortable. On the other hand, they prefer to play an up-tempo game and go up and down and, you know, try to get as many fast-break points as they can.
So we will have to try to establish ourselves and play our rhythm.
RAMONE MOORE: Like Juan said, it's one of those teams that like to get up and down. I think we have to do a good job of managing the game and doing the things that we like to do to control the ball and not let them get in transition and do the things they want to do, which is something they've been doing a pretty good job, which is why they had a good season.

Q. Ramone, what impresses you the most with Kawhi Leonard?
RAMONE MOORE: I think he's one of those guys, you know, that can play inside, out. You know, if he has a bigger guy on him he steps on the perimeter. You know, he gets by. Or he has a smaller guy you can post up. He is one of those guys, you know, like they said, he is like an NBA prospect.
But, you know, he shares the ball and he plays along with his team. Seeing film on him, he does a good job on the boards and doing a good job of sharing the ball with his teammates.

Q. Lavoy, you had a great box score yesterday except for maybe that one line where it says field goals. As that game went along, what was your mindset, it wasn't really happening for you on the offensive end? Were you just trying to help other ways? As you look at this game coming up tomorrow where inside presence against a big-time team is going to be important, do you think this is a game where you have to maybe assert yourself a little more?
LAVOY ALLEN: I mean, yeah. When I'm not making those shots, then I try to find other ways to help my team. You know, whether it's on defensive end or finding the extra guy open for the open shot.
But, you know, tomorrow I'm going to continue to assert myself and try to get it going early. And just hope that the ball goes in tomorrow.

Q. Juan and Lavoy, the Aztecs have never won a game in their school history. You guys had a ten-year drought, which obviously is not as long as school history. But was it talked a lot about in Philadelphia and amongst the Temple faithful about how long it had been since you guys had won a tournament game?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Yeah. Well, especially in the past few years, you know, we were having good enough seasons to get to the tournament, but, you know, we were out in the first round. So, you know, we weren't hearing that much about the ten-year, you know, thing. But it was more about what we have done, you know, we've been here before the past two years for me, three years for these guys. And, you know, it's tough to lose in the first round. So it was something we needed to get off our backs. And we finally did it yesterday.

Q. Lavoy, this seems like a team that you are going against where Scootie's talents could really come in handy. I mean, he is a versatile guy. They seem like a pretty versatile team. What do you see from him as a teammate, you know, he got out there for a few minutes? Do you have any feeling as to how much of a, you know, the old Scootie you have here right now?
LAVOY ALLEN: I'm not really sure how much Scootie can play or, you know, how well he is coming back from his injury. But, you know, even when he is not in the game, he tries to communicate with us on the bench and just trying to be a leader. So that can help us also even if he is not playing.

Q. Ramone, you are the only guy of the three there who really had to wait a little while before you could play. Tell me about biding your time and waiting your turn and improving your game while you were waiting to do that.
RAMONE MOORE: I think one of those things where it came in, I think I wasn't really prepared to play my first year. I kind of sat out. You know, I learned a lot from the older guys. I think, you know, seeing through the years how hard it is to be the player you want to be, it doesn't take easy work. So, you know, I just sat back and took my time.
It was kind of frustrating at times, but once my time came, I took full advantage of it.

Q. Juan, was the game winner that you hit, was that your biggest thrill in basketball? And could you maybe mention two or three other great moments you've had in basketball, whether it's at Temple or before that.
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Yeah, I would say so far it was probably the biggest shot I've had in my career so far.
You know, another great moment for me have been with Temple getting every year I've been here to the NCAA tournament is something amazing. You know, I been lucky enough to play on good teams. And back in Argentina also and win some things.
But, you know, that shot was big yesterday. But we already celebrated. There is not too much you can do about it now. We just got to win tomorrow.

Q. Juan, you described your team as a team that likes to share the ball and a team that has some pretty good athletes on it. It almost sounded like you described the Aztecs team as well. Do you see a lot of yourself, your team in that team and vice versa?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Yeah, well, I think, the only similarity maybe I can see is that, you know, they don't have really a very long team like we do. Maybe play seven or eight players, basically. And then, you know, I don't know if the two type of games are very similar. I think it's more different really. And, you know, whoever can establish the way they want to play their game, you know, is going to have more chances to win it.

Q. Juan, Ramone, you guys did a good job exposing the smaller guards with Penn State. D.J. Gay is a small guard for San Diego. Is that something you are thinking about exploiting tomorrow as well?
RAMONE MOORE: Yes, today in practice we, you know, we ran through a couple of plays to try to get me and Juan in similar positions like yesterday to get in the post and try to, you know, get little easy shots over him, you know. I think we did a good job yesterday after Frazier and Battle, using our size and our length.
JUAN FERNANDEZ: We definitely talked about it right now in practice. But we also know they got a lot of, you know, good help defense because they're long and athletic. So it's not going to be, like, we're going to have one-on-one against just him.
If we get it, we'll take it. But we're going to have to be aware of our teammates because they help. We have to find the open man.

Q. Juan, can you talk about basically what basketball is like back home for you compared to basketball here, some of the big differences?
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Well, I think the main difference probably, a lot of rule changes. We play more FIBA basketball. It's a 24-second shot clock and 8 seconds to get down the court. I think that's probably the biggest adjustment. I would say back home is more of a European style, maybe. And, you know, here it's different.
But, at the same time, the way we like to play the game is more similar to what I was used to playing, half-court offense and defense and, you know, trying to be smart about it. Trying to find the advantage, you know, on offense.
But the rule changes is probably the biggest difference.

Q. Does San Diego State remind you of anybody you played this year or are they basically unique to what you have seen?
RAMONE MOORE: I would say they're unique. I can't remember any teams that we played, you know, similar to, you know, the style of play they like to play.
You know, they like to get out in transition like we've been saying this whole time. And they got, like, four men who are playing five men, you know. They can get out in transition and like to play. So I think this is one of the most unique teams we've played all year.

Q. Juan, you worked with a sports psychiatrist earlier this year?

Q. Can you just talk about what led you to that process and maybe what you took from it.
JUAN FERNANDEZ: Um, well, it was really -- I really didn't want to at first. And then, you know, Coach Langel told me why didn't you try it, because I was going through a tough time, especially shooting the ball, coming from a good last year. So, you know, it definitely can't hurt you. So, you know, I think the guy helped me.
You know, you got someone to talk to and, you know, it was just something different, something new for me. I never had to go through this. So, you know, this has been a -- personally a pretty interesting year. You know, and as a team, you know, we're doing something we haven't been able to do lately, which is win that game yesterday. So it will be awesome if we can win tomorrow, too.

Q. Lavoy, it's a team game and everybody's got to do their job. But when you are playing a team that's long and athletic and good in the front court like this team, do you find you put more responsibility on yourself in those games, particularly since Micheal's been injured and you really are kind of the presence down there?
LAVOY ALLEN: Yeah, definitely. You know, with their size and length, you know, definitely going to be a couple disadvantages we have down low. You know, sometimes Ramone or Juan or Rahlir will be stuck on a much bigger guy. So just to be able to help and just keep the guys off the backboard at the same time. So definitely put a lot of pressure on myself.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, guys, thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow.
We have head coach Fran Dunphy.
COACH DUNPHY: Just thrilled to be here, playing the next round of the NCAA tournament. Happy for our guys.

Q. Fran, there was a school of thought when you were hired at Temple, of which I was a part, that you might not be the right fit for Temple, that you might not be the right recruiting fit. And, clearly, I was wrong. We were all wrong. How did you recruit some of these guys? They weren't really top hundred talents, a lot of them. Ramone wasn't. I don't believe Khalif Wyatt was. And give me the process of, I guess, changing the image there, in coaching some of these guys up. They weren't like four-star talents, I don't think. Is that correct?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, for us, we just watched kids play. And I think for us as well we do a lot of work locally, because it's the base that you work from. And we can study guys rather than just watch them play. So if I were recruiting a kid in California, for example, I might be able to see him once or twice, but if you are in Philly, you can see him play five times at a game, couple of practices, you can watch film of him. When you watch him play you can see how he interacts with his teammates, how he interacts with his coaches, how he interacts with the opponents, the officials, how he carries himself. All these things are critical, I think.
I guess I'm brutally honest when these things happen. And I might say to a kid, You know what, you are a great player, a great guy, but there was a couple things you did that we can't have. It may mean you are not going to come, but if you are going to come, this is what we are going to ask you to do. You can't be doing all these kinds of things.
So I think it's a very honest approach. I think we have a wonderful university and a spectacular city for college basketball. We have everything you need. We have a tremendous diverse university that will give you a great education, a wonderful opportunity to play basketball. So it will be really good for you to come and take a look at us.
And when you come on campus, we have really good people that take care of you. And want to see you succeed. And any way that we can help, that's our job.
I don't know, I don't know how to do anything different. That's how we did it at Penn as well. We just got good guys who wanted to work real hard and we've been very fortunate.
But, that being said, Lavoy Allen was a guy, he is a mainstay. Once you get that base and Lavoy has provided that. I'd like to tell you right now that I would be here if it weren't for answering these questions if Lavoy Allen wasn't in the program. You know what, that wouldn't be true. That guy has kind of carried us unbelievably in his four years and after my first year at Temple. He's a guy that you build that program around. And he's been spectacular.

Q. While watching film of San Diego State, what was your impressions of that team? Also, what was your impression of Kawhi Leonard?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, Leonard is a very versatile guy. He can step away from the basket, make shots. He is very good at posting up. He is good at running the floor. He is good at finishing plays at the rim. He is a tough match-up for us. Especially if we have to play three guards, and Aaron Brown will probably start on him and that's going be a tough match-up for Aaron Brown. We'll need to help him greatly.
When Scootie gets in, he'll probably play him and Scoot's not used to playing over the last month. So he is a very difficult match-up for us, there's no question about it.
But, unfortunately, they have other players than Leonard as well. So we're going to have to really pay attention to detail. There is a reason why they're 33-2.

Q. Coach, along those same lines, what concerns you the most when you see Billy White, and what he's been able to do, especially in the last three games?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, I think the thing that concerns me the most is how active he is and how hard he plays. There is no quit in any possession. That guy plays every possession as all out as he possibly can. Again, they have other guys just like White as well.
So they're -- White, Thomas and Leonard, it's a very formidable up-front group. So we'll have our hands full. Everything concerns me about San Diego State.

Q. Coach, when you mentioned the three guys up front, but they also have D.J. Gay who had a game-winning shot a couple games ago, they have Chase Tapley who hits from outside, James Rahon. With all these weapons, how difficult is it to defend a team where it doesn't seem like they care who gets the shot as long as the basketball goes in the basket?
COACH DUNPHY: I talked about the up-front guys because that's what the question was. But I think, for me, I'm looking at Gay's statistics. They're ridiculous. His assist to turns are great. His personal fouls for the year, 29. How can that be for all the minutes he played? But to me what it says is he knows he's got to play a lot of minutes, he is smarter than most of the guys that play the game, and he understands exactly what his role is.
Then I'll go back to what you just said, they don't seem to care who gets the credit. They just want to win the game. I think that's a credit to Coach Fisher and how his approach is.

Q. Fran, could you describe a little bit how Juan goes from shooting 3 for 17 to at the end of the game you and his teammates pretty much agree that you want to put the ball in his hands with the likelihood that he might have to take the last shot? And maybe just a little bit on what Juan has meant to this team this year.
COACH DUNPHY: I was in the back listening a little bit to what he had to say. He has had an interesting year. He's had sort of an up and down year. Some of it was interrupted by injury.
But he's one of those guys that has built two years of trust into this year as well. So these guys know exactly who he is and what he's about. And he's a tough guy. His mental approach is very good.
But he is going to have games like he had against Richmond. He tried to do too much. We sat down and talked about it afterwards, you know, and he had too many shot attempts. And he had 17 shot attempts and 10 assists. So I said to him, When didn't you have the ball? (Laughter.) But he can't have 17 shot attempts. If you are the point guard, be the point guard. Let everybody be involved.
But he has this -- the same things that make him great are the same things that trouble you sometimes as well. There's sometimes a hardheadedness in him. That's why you gave him the ball last play of the game, by the way. Because you know that hardheadedness is going to hopefully result in something positive that. That certainly happened yesterday. But if he was guarded, hopefully he was going to give it up to somebody else as well.

Q. Fran, I was just curious, have you ever gone head to head with Coach Fisher in a game setting? And what are your impressions of him as a National Coach of the Year candidate?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, we have. I coached against Steve when actually one of my assistant coaches, Shawn Trice, was a senior at Penn for us with Jerome Allen, Matt Maloney, we had some really good players, and we happen to win the game at Michigan. It was a great game for us. So we have coached against each other. Not a lot.
He is a terrific coach. And I'm sure many people have said this before about him. He is a better man. And that's the person that I think about. I don't worry too much about what we're like as far as competitors are concerned. But he is just a good man. He's obviously done a terrific job. Things have now come into place right where he is. He certainly is one of the top candidates for coach of the year in this country. And he deserves it.

Q. Coach, what are the critical components that you are going to need to keep this tempo at a level where you guys can succeed?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, I don't think -- San Diego State is not blasting it up and down the court. They're going to run intelligently. But they don't turn it over too much. We're similar in how many times we both turn it over. Their defensive field goal percentage is spectacular, which means you are not going to get a real good shot easy -- early on the shot clock. You are going to have to work like crazy to get a good shot. So that alone will keep the tempo of the game down.
We're A team, if we get a good look early on the shot clock, we'll shoot it. But as you look at their percentages, you watch their film, you see how good a team defensive group they are, we're not going to be having a whole lot of real clean looks early on. So we're going to have to work like crazy to get good shots. That may influence the tempo of the game.
But, like yesterday, I don't know that people would have necessarily predicted that game, especially late, was going be one team score, the other team score and it was an unbelievable basketball game. I'm a thrilled for our guys that we had the ball last, which is probably the way it was going to come down.
But I'm not overly concerned about the tempo. I think we can play fast and play deliberate, but I'm sure it will probably be somewhere in between.

Q. Coach, I'm sure this has been well documented in the past, but talk again about how you guys ended up with Juan.
COACH DUNPHY: Just Pepe Sanchez played at Temple a number of years ago and just made a phone call to the staff and said, you know, you need to look into this kid. So we did and followed through. He was basically Temple was the only school he was interested in, really because of Pepe. Pepe was an idol back in Argentina. And Juan's dad was a very good player as well. So Juan's dad knew Pepe as well. So Pepe sung the praises of Temple University.

Q. Fran, what's Scootie's situation now? Is two days a little better or no?
COACH DUNPHY: I think so. I think yesterday we gave him the opportunity, as I said before, he deserved that opportunity to get in there yesterday. He had actually run full court on Tuesday and looked pretty good. Wednesday a little bit -- we didn't run real hard on Wednesday, but gave him a little bit of a run there. And he ran a little bit full court again today. And we just finished our practice. So we'll do the same thing, put him in midway through the first half and see if he's more comfortable out there and he's helping us, then he can stay out there.
I think Scoot's fine with it. But he's a great guy and has meant a tremendous amount to our program.
THE MODERATOR: All right, coach, thank you very much.

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