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March 18, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by BYU student-athletes. We'll open it up for questions.
Q. All of you have been great shooters in your career. Maybe you could describe what goes through the mind of a shooter when he hits and then struggles then hits again. What kind of attitude do you have to bring to the game?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I always think it's to stay aggressive. My brother and family have always taught me when it comes to shooting to have short-term memory loss. The last shot that you shot doesn't matter anymore, it's all about the next one.
That's the kind of mindset you have to have when you're a shooter or a scorer because sometimes you have off nights but you got to keep being aggressive, keep playing your game, and do the best you can and try to find a rhythm.
NOAH HARTSOCK: I think it's just being confident. If you miss one shot, step up and make the next one.
I think we all possess that, and our teammates. Coaches have great confidence in everyone that we can make shots. When we step up, they expect to make 'em. I think everyone on the team expects to make the shot, too.
CHARLES ABOUO: I agree. I think you have to be ready to shoot when you have your opportunity. If you miss a shot, have a short-term memory, like Jimmer said. With our team, a lot of shooters we have, it's been easy because you get a lot of confidence from other guys and the coaches. We run great sets, get each other good shots.
Q. Jimmer, you talked about gaining confidence in guys to distribute the ball. Is that found in practice, games?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Yeah, definitely found in practice and also in off-season when we're playing with the guys and we're scrimmaging. You just see the guys out there, how hard they're working on their own game. You know they're ready to go and they have confidence in themselves that they can make those shots.
We just see it over and over and over again when you practice with them. I always have confidence in my teammates that they can make plays, make shots.
Q. I know the coaching staffs in this game are pretty close. I understand you stayed at the same hotel as Gonzaga in San Diego a couple weeks ago. Are there relationships there as well? Are you friends with any of the Gonzaga players?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I actually don't know any of the players personally. I've never met 'em. We haven't played against 'em before. So I don't know much about them personally. I know they're a great team and they have very good players. Noah I think roomed with Steven Gray in the adidas camp. So he can tell you about him. I don't know them very well.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, I roomed with Steven Gray at the adidas camp, I think it was the summer of '05. He was a great kid. I enjoyed being with him. He's a great athlete, competitor. It will be an exciting matchup against him.
Coach Giacoletti, one of the assistants at Gonzaga, he used to be head coach at Utah, and he recruited me a little bit in the recruiting process. I know him quite well. It's kind of interesting. I get to see some familiar faces right now in the tournament.
CHARLES ABOUO: I don't know anyone personally. They're a good team. I've had a chance to watch 'em on TV the last couple years. But I actually got a chance to play against I think his name is Kelly Olynyk. I played against him twice this summer when I was playing with my national team, but that's about it.
Q. Yesterday Gonzaga out-rebounded St. John's by 23. How big of a factor do you think rebounding is tomorrow in the game?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think it's one of the biggest factors. They're a very big team. They go to the offensive glass very well. They get a lot of second-chance opportunities, which gives them a lot of energy.
We just have to do a really good job on the boards, box 'em out, go after rebounds as hard as we possibly can. We know that's a big key if we can get them to miss shots and get them the rebound.
NOAH HARTSOCK: I think that's key if we can get them out. They're a great rebounding team. Push them out of there. Kyle did a great job yesterday, coming in and grabbing 11 rebounds. We get Charles in there, Logan. We can battle with them. We just have to be really physical and make sure we box out and get our assignments done.
CHARLES ABOUO: That will be a huge key to the game tomorrow. That's a stat that really impressed me with them playing a Big East team who is a very good rebounding team. We'll just have to do whatever it takes to come up with rebounds and make sure we don't have that much disparity in our game.
Q. Could you explain the noun 'Jimmered' and what happens when that occurs?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I just think it's, you know, whenever you do something good, the team does something good, you get excited, maybe hit a long-range shot, make a nice move, make a shot, whatever it is. I think it has to be good, though (laughter).
NOAH HARTSOCK: I agree. It's probably a 40-foot jump shot in the half. I consider that being 'Jimmered.'
CHARLES ABOUO: I really have no idea (laughter). I've seen it being used in all kinds of different ways. I'm sure it means something good, but I don't know what it means (smiling).
Q. What comes to mind when you think Gonzaga?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I just think of a great college basketball program. That's what I think. They've had great teams there, great players that have come through that program and made great runs in the NCAA tournament. Very historic program. To have been very dominant out west, especially in the West Coast conference, they're just a great team with a great story, a mid-major team that shows they can play with anybody.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, when I think Gonzaga, I think of Adam Morrison, Coach Few, just that. It's a great program. They might come from a smaller conference, but they're a big-time team with big-time talent and players. It's one of those hotbeds in recruiting. They get a lot of great people out there.
They're quite a powerhouse now.
CHARLES ABOUO: Yeah, I agree. I think they're a great program. Coach Few does a tremendous job. You always see them playing on TV every year. They always have a good team. I think it will be a great challenge for us. We're looking forward to playing against that type of a program.
Q. Jimmer, with all the traveling you do, what's been the funniest thing that's caught your attention? Last night there was, Welcome to Jimmer Land.
JIMMER FREDETTE: There's been so many great signs, clever things that people have done this year. It's been fun. I always like the phrase 'Fredette about it.' That's funny, me being from New York, knowing a lot of Italian people.
But the fans have been great this year, very creative. I've had great support wherever we've went throughout the country. Even opposing teams will make up stuff that's kind of funny, too. It's been fun, we've had a lot of fun with it.
Q. Obviously there's a Sweet 16 bid on the line, but this is also going to be a conference rival for you next season. Is there any thought of trying to get an early edge up on your future WCC foe?
JIMMER FREDETTE: Maybe a little bit. I won't be there to play against 'em. I'll be a senior. But these guys will be. I'm sure they want to go out and say we have a good program, too. We can play.
I hope it will be a great rivalry and that it will help the conference and just help West Coast basketball altogether, especially in college, know there's some really good teams in that conference. For us to join it, I think it helps it out. Hopefully we can have a great rivalry there.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, that's what I expect tomorrow when we play Gonzaga. It's a preview of what's to come in the following years. We got to play Saint Mary's earlier. It was a close game. It's going to be exciting when we get to join the conference and play all the teams in the West Coast conference. It's going to be exciting.
It would be great to start out 1-0 against them. We're just gonna play our game tomorrow and worry about the rest of the year next year.
CHARLES ABOUO: Yeah, I think it's cool that it will be a team that's in the same conference as us next year. But the most important part is a bid to the Sweet 16. I think that's the most important thing in what the two teams will be playing for.
Q. In the six games you've played without Brandon, I think you've only managed to match or exceed your shooting percentage in one of those games. What do you attribute the fall-off in shooting to outside of not having Brandon in there?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You know, sometimes you go through slumps like that during the season. I think that's just kind of what has happened. We haven't shot the ball great. Maybe we've rushed a little too much. I think we're going to be fine.
Yesterday we started to shoot the ball better. Guys were starting to make shots. We didn't shoot great still, but I think we're on the up and going forward. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to take our time. When we have open shots, just make 'em like we normally do.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, I think the teams that we played, especially Mountain West, played teams two, three times. They understand what our offense is. They scout us out pretty well. Especially here in the tournament, tougher competition, better defenses. I mean, that contributes to it.
We're just playing hard right now. We're just playing to win. I think that's what makes us good. Even though we're not shooting as well, we'll find different ways to win.
CHARLES ABOUO: I agree with these two guys. We haven't shot the ball as well sometimes as we would like to. I think that will change for us. We'll start making our shots. Like Noah said, at the end of the season, we played some teams a couple of times. The Mountain West tournament, you're all playing for an NCAA tournament bid. This being the NCAA tournament, there's a lot of emotion out there and teams play really hard.
Whether you're shooting well or not, the most important thing is to try to get a win. That's what we're going to try to do.
Q. What are the intangibles that make Jimmer the player that he is? Obviously it's a team game. What is it about the team that allows him to be as special as he is?
JIMMER FREDETTE: For myself, I just think that I just try to be as aggressive as I possibly can. I feel like I'm pretty mentally tough. I go out there and just be aggressive all the time, you know, especially offensively, really try to make shots and also get my teammates involved. There's different times to do that depending on what the defense is doing.
I just think it starts from a young age, you know, just playing with my brother and older people. Having to be tough at a young age, I think that ingrains in my head. I have to go out there and play as hard as I can, take whatever I can get, and hopefully it will be okay.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, Jimmer is a fierce competitor. I think that sets him apart from a lot of players in the nation. He's not afraid of anything. He has a great drive to win. He's going to do whatever he can in his power to help us win.
In that respect, he's a great teammate, a great leader, a great friend to everyone both on and off the court. When we go out there, he's looking at ways to win, either he makes a great shot or a great pass. He trusts all of his teammates. When that happens, that makes us a dangerous team.
CHARLES ABOUO: Yeah, you know, I agree. Jimmer, he's as competitive as they come. He's super aggressive. I don't think he's ever shot a shot he didn't think he could make. That's one of the things that makes him so good, is he has a whole different type of confidence that not many players have.
With having him on your team, a lot of people look at his scoring, but he's a great passer. He gets guys involved and makes his teammates better.
But one of the things that impressed me the most is he's always making a play to help us win. A lot of times it's on the defensive end. A lot of that doesn't go recognized. But he's the key to our team and he's what makes us go.
Q. I don't know how closely you watched last night's Gonzaga/St. John's game. Your impression of Gonzaga's outside shooting, how it can stretch a defense, even though they have all the big guys on the inside.
JIMMER FREDETTE: That's why they're a tough cover. They can stretch you out, have big guys on the inside that are tough to guard and can score inside. That's what makes them a very good team. That's something we have to be conscious of. Kind of a little bit like New Mexico in our league, because they have very good big guys that give us a tough time, but they also have guys that can really shoot the ball.
We have to be conscious of that and try to get it out of the post as much as we can and get it out to shooters on the catch. We've been working on that. Hopefully we'll be able to execute it.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, they play great. They played on the attack last night against St. John's. Seemed like St. Johns was always back on their heels. They're an impressive team, great talent. Steven Gray played great, hitting the long shots. Also when they get down low, great, physical big men who are athletic. They're great at spreading the floor. When they knock down those open shots like they did last night, they're a really tough team. They showed that last night.
CHARLES ABOUO: Yeah, I was impressed the way they shot the ball. I thought they played really well in that game. They're a very talented team. They've got some great shooters. Having those scorers inside, having the inside presence, opens things up for them.
Like Jimmer said, you're going to have to try to get the ball out of the post, and fly off the shooters, and make sure we try to stop them from getting those open shots.
Q. Jimmer, I was wondering if you followed Adam Morrison when he was playing at Gonzaga and if you've crossed paths? Do you see any similarities in the games?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I haven't crossed paths with him. I did watch him play. He was a very, very good offensive player. He's a lot taller than I am, so it's a little bit different. He could really get people off the dribble and just elevate over them. His length and his shot, when smaller guys tried to play him, it was hard for them to guard him. He can just make every shot. Good three-point shooter, could shoot off the dribble, take it to the basket, post up a little bit. He was a great offensive scorer. He was very, very aggressive at that. That's the way I try to be, as well.
Q. Jimmer, you're obviously being pulled in a lot of different directions off the court. What puts more pressure on you, is it's what's on the court or off the court?
JIMMER FREDETTE: I think the stuff off the court is what puts pressure on you on the court. Everybody on the outside - either the media, people on the outside - are telling you what you should be doing, expects you to do great things every single night.
I try not to think about it. I know that the expectations are there, but I also have high expectations for myself and high expectations for our team. If you look at it that way, you're trying to do it for yourself. You're not trying to do it for anybody else outside of that. If you have that mentality, you don't think about the pressures of all the people, you think about it yourself. That's the approach I try to take.
Q. Are you guys tired? You have a short bench. Jimmer, with the load you carried this season, where are you with your fatigue factor?
JIMMER FREDETTE: You know, we try to do the best we can. Maybe a little tired, but tomorrow that doesn't matter. We're going to go out and we're going to give everything we possibly have. I think since it's an NCAA tournament game, end of the season, a lot of people in the stands, everybody watching, you're going to have a lot of adrenaline.
I think you'll be able to carry it through for that game. I don't think it will be so much of a factor for either team. After the game, you definitely are going to feel sore and tired. But you just take care of your body as well as you can, get enough sleep. I think that tomorrow, you know, we're going to be ready to go and so will they.
NOAH HARTSOCK: Yeah, everyone gets bumps and bruises, everyone gets a little worn out this time of year. I think that's just competitive spirit in every player, every team. They just want to go out and win. This is what we train for in the summer for. That's why we run so much and lift weights, just so we can be ready for this end of the season.
Everyone's a little fatigued. But, like Jimmer says, everyone gets up and gets excited for these games. We're just pumped and thrilled to be here.
CHARLES ABOUO: I agree. I think everyone at this time is a little tired. All the teams having playing since November.
But, you know, this is what we play for. We have a chance to do something special, a chance to win a game and get in the Sweet 16. So despite everything that has affected us, we're going to go and lay it all out on the line and it won't really bother us.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. We'll dismiss you and continue with questions for Coach Rose.
Q. What are your impressions of Mark Few and what he's done with the Gonzaga program over the last decade?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think my impressions are probably the same impressions everybody has around the country: that he's a fantastic coach, he's got a terrific program that has been consistent year in and year out. He's been extremely successful in the NCAA tournament.
I think that that kind of speaks for itself.
Q. Can you talk about the challenge of matching up with all the bigs that Gonzaga can throw at you, especially without having Brandon Davies down low now?
COACH ROSE: I think that will be one of our challenges tomorrow, is our ability to rebound the basketball, our ability to be able to defend the low post. They do a great job of throwing the ball in there and pounding the ball on the glass. I mean, you talk about an impressive performance with Gonzaga out-rebounding St. John's, I think it was 43-20 or something like that. That's pretty impressive to have a team be able to dominate the inside and the boards as much as that was in that game.
We've been through this before as far as playing teams that have great strength up front, great depth up front. So we'll kind of rely on those experiences to try to help us through this.
Q. After the St. John's loss last night, Coach Lavin of St. John's called Gonzaga, he said, They're definitely a Final Four capable team, national championship capable team. Would you go that far in describing the potential of Gonzaga?
COACH ROSE: The way they played last night, because they had such balance, they had great three-point shooting, I thought their inside presence defensively was very strong, very intimidating. I think their ability to offense rebound the ball. I mean, you look at the pieces that you need on a team in order to advance, continue to advance in this tournament, and the way they played last night I can see why Coach Lavin made those comments.
Q. Coach Few talked last night about the friendship that you and he developed at the Coaches vs. Cancer event last year. Can you elaborate on that a little bit, how often you keep in touch.
COACH ROSE: You know, we met quite a few years ago. We were invited, Cheryl and I, my wife and I, were invited to their event, and actually asked to speak at their event. It was kind of an interesting time. It was late August when we went up there. We were so impressed with just the support that that community, Spokane, has for his event, for Coaches vs. Cancer. It was right at the time when our football team was talking about maybe going independent and us trying to affiliate with some other league. There was talk about us maybe affiliating with the WCC for our men's basketball team.
So it was quite an interesting time to go through that and speak to a group of people that we may be playing twice a year for the next few years.
Mark and Marcy are terrific. They're great people. Mark is not only a terrific coach, but he's just a wonderful person. He's left me quite a few messages. We've kind of shared, you know, messages back and forth during the season about this year, the challenges he's been through, the challenges we've been through.
Kind of interesting that things would turn out this way when a year ago, you would have never, ever thought that we'd be aligned as far as a league affiliation is concerned.
Q. So much of this conference hopping that's gone around the country has been driven by football. What I was curious about is, how much input did you have in this whole thing? Where do you think the move puts your program? What are the challenges, the advantages, to moving over there?
COACH ROSE: Well, you know, it's funny, because as basketball coaches, you know, we sit around in groups at times. I remember sitting with Frank Martin of Kansas State, and Steve Fisher, Lon Kruger, some guys at different events over the spring and summer. We were all kind of looking at each other wondering what league we might end up in as far as football alignment is concerned.
So I think we understand that we're, as basketball coaches, not really in control of those things. So we'll just kind of take the challenge of whatever that might be. I think we have not spent a lot of time thinking about where we'll play next year because we're so committed to this season and our final year in the Mountain West Conference. And our ability to win co-championship of the regular season on the last day was a terrific accomplishment for this team.
But, you know, I think once the season's over, we'll spend a lot of time getting to know the teams in the WCC, and actually look forward to that challenge. Won't know really for a year or so on how it really affects our program. But I do know that it will be a real challenge trying to continue to, you know, win games and compete at the highest level.
Q. This time of year you see 1983 footage, Jimmy V running around looking for somebody to hug. Do you get good feelings from that or painful feelings?
COACH ROSE: You know, most of the time it's a really good feeling. It was a great experience. I've coached in high school, coached in junior college, now I have an opportunity to coach in Division I. Through that process, I've had a lot of players that have played for me call me up late at night in a hotel room or tell me the night before they saw the game. That's been kind of a great experience for our players, my players, to be able to watch that game and to see that happen.
I always make the same response, Did we lose? The game is played over, and the same thing happens every time.
But I think that that experience for me personally and for my family was so unique that I remember all the good things about that.
Q. Given that they have been through something similar to what you guys are going through now with Jimmer with Adam Morrison, did he ever give you any advice on how to deal with the level of attention that Jimmer has received?
COACH ROSE: You know, we did talk about that. He had some great advice. But I think the thing that I remember the most is, as difficult as it is to manage that situation off the court, to figure out a way to enjoy it because they're special players and they bring special attention to your program. I do think about that quite a bit when we are in some really tough situations.
Q. On the line of what you experienced as a player, what would that mean to you to have these players experience another week, possibly two, of that hype?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think every time you advance in this tournament, it's a unique experience for the coaching staff. I think it's a unique experience for the players, for the support staff, for your university, for fans. I've experienced, you know, a pretty deep run in this tournament as a player. I've experienced a few first-round wins as a coach, and look forward to being able to continue to advance, have everybody associated with your program be able to experience that.
Q. This could be Logan's, Jimmer and Jackson's last game for BYU. What do you have to say about their overall contribution to the program and how they helped the status the program has built up to now?
COACH ROSE: Well, I think the common thread of all three of them, they're great people. I just am very privileged to have the opportunity to have coached them. I talk about their competitiveness. They're all different in their personality and their approach. But they're all very similar in the fact that their number one priority for their team is to win. They're winners. They won at every level.
I just feel, like I said, really privileged to have the opportunity to have been able to coach all three of them. You know, Jackson, we had our very first year. Then he served a mission two years. We've had him the last three years. Jimmer we've had four years straight. Logan we've had for two years. Everyone is unique in our relationship, but all three are as good of teammates and competitive players as I've ever coached.
Q. Who appreciates Jimmer more, you who coaches him or the coaches that have faced him after they've played him?
COACH ROSE: There's no question. It's me. I appreciate him more (smiling).
I think that, you know, what he's done for our program and what he's done for our university, just our ability to bring BYU's brand to everyone across the country. I mean, he's a special player. It's caught the hearts of the country. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity I had to coach him.
Q. It seems like every coach, even at this site, that hasn't played BYU, won't see them, has seen Jimmer on TV. How much do you remember seeing Adam Morrison during his run? Do you see any similarities in tenacity, playing style, along with off-the-court stuff?
COACH ROSE: You know, I saw a few games of Adam's in his career. For the most part, I saw highlights. I think that's what the majority of this country saw with Jimmer, is highlights. I don't know if they really appreciate how good he is until maybe the game against San Diego State on the nationally televised game with CBS. A lot of the media attention that he's received from all around the country this year, I've asked, Have you actually seen him play or have you just seen highlights of him playing, because it's totally different?
I mean, this guy plays to win. I think a lot of people think he plays to score. But he plays to win.
We were trying to figure out the other day. I do know the last two seasons, he's won 61 games. I think he won 25 games the year before that as a starting point guard. That's somewhere in the range of 86 games or so. And he plays to win. I think you really appreciate that if you watch him play a full game.
Q. Gonzaga sometimes refers to getting out of the WCC in terms of at the end of the season and getting into the NCAA tournament as a bit of a relief from teams that really know their style really well. Have you seen the same sort of phenomenon in the Mountain West where teams really have you scouted well?
COACH ROSE: I think all coaches will tell you that there's a little bit of relief in playing outside of your league after 19 league games or 21 league games, depending on tournament play.
But it doesn't give you any relief when you see the talent that's on the other team and you see the coaching staff and you know those guys are going to do the same things that the rest of the coaches have done. Maybe the players don't have the familiarity with each other as they do when you're in league play.
But I think the Mountain West Conference is a very well-coached league, very talented players. This year was as good a league, top to bottom, as I think we've ever been involved with. I think it's a real compliment to these players that we're able to go 14-2, have a co-championship of that regular-season title.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach. Good luck tomorrow.
COACH ROSE: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports