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March 19, 2011
San Diego State - 71 (Dbl OT)
Temple - 64
THE MODERATOR: We have Khalif Wyatt, Ramone Moore and Lavoy Allen along with Coach Fran Dunphy.
Coach, if you want to make some opening remarks.
COACH DUNPHY: Well, obviously, a hard-fought game. I'm so proud of our guys and how they hung in there. We were struggling mightily at one stretch and somehow found a way to get it back and have an opportunity to win the game. And then, obviously, in the second overtime we didn't do a couple things that we needed to do.
We just talked a little bit about this season and we talked a little bit about Lavoy's career and what that has meant to us. Then we talked a little bit about if we all make one extra good play, you know, starting with me, then maybe we'd get out of here with a great win and on to Anaheim.
But San Diego State deserves a lot of credit. They're a really good basketball team. And they made more plays than we did in that second overtime.
Q. Lavoy, sum up your career. Is it kind of the way you wanted to go out in the NCAA tournament?
LAVOY ALLEN: No, I didn't really want to go out this early. You know, I really didn't play well the two games that we played here. I wanted to, you know, perform better for my team and hopefully come out with a victory.
But, you know, I mean, it's been a great four years. Made a lot of friends. Hopefully our friendships last longer than my basketball career. And I'm going to miss it. Miss putting on this Temple jersey.
Q. Ramone, they're the No. 2 seed, they're very well thought of and had a great record this year. At what point of the game did you say to yourselves we can play with these guys?
RAMONE MOORE: I think coming into the game we thought we could play with those guys.
I think we got out to a slow start. You know, I told the guys, you know, we've been here before, early in the game against Penn State we got down ten. Tried to tell the guys to keep our heads and everything. We did that. I think we fought hard, just wasn't able to pull out the win, which was disappointing.
Q. Khalif, it looked like maybe in the final five minutes of the second half they started looking a little tired and their legs seemed to go away from them a little bit. Did you guys sense that at all, and did you feel like there was a stretch there where you had kind of an energy advantage against them?
KHALIF WYATT: Yeah, I think, like, the last five minutes of the second half, I think we got like a sense of urgency and, like, we just, I mean, we put together a good stretch to get us back in the game. Yeah.
Q. Ramone, they only had the one really great athletic stretch, I guess, in the first half and they built a lead. And it was a tough time for you guys, but you managed to reel it in by the end of that half. How important was that stretch leading up to the rest of the game, do you think?
RAMONE MOORE: I think it was very important. You know, any time a team gets the lead you try to just get back bit by bit. You know, I think we did a good job, you know, decreasing the lead. Coach came in at half-time and said we were pretty lucky to be in the position we were in. He was right. But I know we've been through a lot this year. You know, been tough environments. I think playing throughout the year and tough games helped us in this situation. And I'm just proud of my teammates for not giving up even though we lost in the end.
Q. Ramone, was it tough to play in this environment, which was basically an away game?
RAMONE MOORE: No, not at all. I think Duke was the most tough environment we ever played in. So I think it was, you know, something that we were used to. I kind of told the team in warm-ups it's kind of like a road game. You see all the crowd and the advantage they have being close to Arizona. So, I mean, it wasn't, you know, it was something that we looked at and said, They got the home advantage, we can't play with these guys. It was just a tough game in a tough environment.
Q. Lavoy, I think every one of your guys' shots in the second overtime was short. Some of them really short. How were your legs, how did you feel like your fatigue was in that part of the game?
LAVOY ALLEN: I mean, you know, this is what we prepare for all summer, you know. We work hard during the summer to prepare for a long season. So, I mean, I don't know what it was. My legs are feeling all right. I could play a couple more overtimes.
But, you know, I mean, our shots were just short.
Q. What type of adjustments did you make to get them out of that transition?
LAVOY ALLEN: I think we just took care of the ball more. You know, most of their transition came off the turnovers. So, you know, as long as we took care of the ball we could stop them and make them play half-court offense.
Q. Lavoy, was this one of the longest games you ever played?
LAVOY ALLEN: Yeah. I think this is the first game I played in double overtime.
Q. Khalif, in the first overtime there was a lane violation. Obviously, those guys trying to get the call right. I know you spoke to the guy about it. Did you see anything out of the ordinary on that free-throw?
KHALIF WYATT: Juan was trying to get in, make sure we could pitch and get Billy White out of the lane. I mean, I think he might have -- the ref thought he got in a little early. And, I mean, called lane violation. I mean, it was a big call. But it happens.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much.
Q. Fran, you showed a little zone to start the second half on a few possessions. What was your thinking and did you get out of it what you wanted?
COACH DUNPHY: I think so. I thought they were a little comfortable in running their man offense. They were doing a good job on their high ball screens and we let Gay get into the gaps a little too easy a couple times. So we said let's throw some zone at them and see how they react.
I thought zone helped us. We actually threw just a triangle in too and one possession and it worked for us just really by accident. I'd like to tell you it was a great strategy, but it was really just by accident. The kids threw the ball away a couple times.
So we got ourselves what we needed out of it, no question about it.
Q. Fran, it seems like in those final few minutes of regulation their legs got a little heavy and that seemed to even carry into the first overtime. Did you try to, after regulation, try to press to the guys, I think we have a little bit more left in us? When did you sense they got a second wind maybe?
COACH DUNPHY: You know, I didn't, to be honest with you. You know, it's going to be a long game. We got guys that are playing, you know, Lavoy and Rahlir played all 50 minutes, and Ramone played 49 minutes. But I don't think that's what you do at that point. You just hope and trust in these guys that they're just going to dig down deeper and however tired they are, they're going to find some inner strength and some adrenaline they can call on.
And I think it just comes down to really mentally saying to yourself that I can't make this play or I've got to make that play and I've got to trust in my teammates.
Obviously the last couple minutes we did a couple things that we can't do. We had a couple of lay-ups that probably would have helped us immeasurably. But we didn't get it done. We didn't find a way. I'm disappointed for them, but very proud of our guys.
Q. Coach, can you just talk about the career of Lavoy Allen and how important he was to this team?
COACH DUNPHY: I mentioned it to our guys in the locker room. We talked about how we will celebrate Lavoy's -- number one thing, we will celebrate Lavoy Allen's career, which has been just remarkable, in all honesty. He has pretty much dragged all of us with him. And four straight years of going to NCAA tournaments and having just a remarkable run for us. We're going to miss him greatly.
He's been a special player and we will talk about that for a long time to come.
Q. Fran, you had kind of more of a chance to grab the game in the first overtime than ever really happened in the second. And you had a couple looks where the ball just chose not to go in where nine out of ten times maybe it would. Any of those that stick in your mind when you said, I'd really, really like this one? Not to put it on the guy, whoever missed or whatever, you know.
COACH DUNPHY: Yeah. I can't remember exactly what the plays were in that -- I wish I had the score sheet in front of me. I thought we went up three early in the overtime. But they kept chipping away. There was a couple of foul calls that, you know, you -- did we foul them? One was I think on a jumper. Another one was fouled down low. Maybe on Lavoy. If we can just stop that from happening, one less point obviously we'd come out with a victory in the first overtime.
I can't remember specifics, to be honest. I'm not sure if I'll watch the film. Haven't watched too many last games. Maybe next year I'll watch it. I don't think I want to visit it that soon after the game.
Q. San Diego State seemed to make so many athletic plays, especially in the last 2, 3 minutes of that second overtime. Did you sense they were fresher or just maybe playing with late momentum?
COACH DUNPHY: I think neither, to be honest with you. I think both teams had to be dog tired. Again, just going on adrenaline at that point.
I think they are a little longer, a little quicker. I think it was Leonard that blocked the last shot. I mean, that was as crooked jump -- I know he anticipated the jump hook coming, but he got off the ground so quickly to make that block. There were a couple really great blocks by them in the second overtime that I think it just -- it's a testament to their -- it's a testament to their athleticism and their length and how they work.
So there is a reason why teams didn't shoot more than 40 percent during the course of the year. They're a really good defensive team. They do a great job of collapsing and so I didn't think it was pressure or us more tired, I think it was just a bunch of kids giving everything they had, which is what this tournament is all about.
Q. Fran, you know, you see lane violations called once in a blue moon. But it seemed like the timing of that in overtime, you would expect it to have to be really egregious. What were you seeing on that, and seemed a lot of jostling was going on before the shot?
COACH DUNPHY: I don't really know what I could say, Dennis. Could they have let it go? Yeah. But, that's the way it worked. We had to live with it.
Q. Fran, considering how depleted you were, weren't you impressed with the stamina of your guys that far? And there was one play when Juan had a little stop/start move in the first overtime that gave you a three-point lead. Did you feel it there, did you feel it right at your fingertips, it was real close?
COACH DUNPHY: No question. I think once we got it back to even -- first of all, very impressed with our guys all season long to do what they did and overcome -- again, it's not great adversity. It's what happens to teams and athletes. They get hurt sometimes. Somebody else has got to step in and pick it up.
But I felt like maybe again it was going to be our time and maybe we were going to hold on in that first overtime. It would have been a great, great victory for us. But we were short. We came up short. And hopefully we will learn from it.
Q. Last two games you guys were down ten and came back to take the lead. What do you think inspires, like, never give up attitude?
COACH DUNPHY: I would like to think it's the character of the individuals who make up the group. We work pretty hard at it. But every team works hard at it.
But these guys have been a special group. We have a lot of guys coming back. So you just hope that we can sustain the momentum that we have. But it's a special group of guys. They're good people. They take care of one another. They're a good family.
Q. Fran, when it was 11 there in the first half, I mean, it seemed like there was sort of a crossroads there. I mean, it could have turned into something like the Duke game or not. Did you have any feeling as to how your team was going to react or where they were mentally at that point?
COACH DUNPHY: Well, again, I think it's a resilient group who did this a number of times during the course of the year. We were in trouble a number of games. But they found a way. Other than the second half of Duke, I think we found a way to get back into just about every game that we played.
So I was thrilled that we were down 5 at half. If you had said to me when we were down 11 you are going to get it to 5 and have the ball to start the second half, I would have chosen that right away.
But I just think it speaks to the character and the integrity and the resilience of the group. And very proud of their efforts.
Q. People talk about the tournament all the time and how hard it is. Do you think people underestimate how hard these games really are?
COACH DUNPHY: I don't know. I think there's a lot of people that come to the games, watch the games, the CBS and TNT and so on, they put a lot of time and effort and a lot of money into it. So I think it is what it is. I think it's A tremendous extravaganza, in all honesty. You are so thrilled to be a part of it. Then when you can win and then you have a chance to move on, it's a thrilling experience.
I will say this to you. If somebody asked me, I would expand the field in a heartbeat because these kids, they're never going to get this experience again. Hopefully our guys will get it if we can get back to -- get back to the tournament next year. But once they leave this college experience, it's a phenomenal thing. So I really wish there were more teams that had the opportunity. Because in all honesty, what are we in this for? We're in it for the experience each and every one of these kids can get.
So when you fly out here and you get a special treatment by everybody that you deal with, it's a tremendous opportunity. So I would like to expand it to as many kids as possible. I know people say water it down. Well, it's gone from 16 to 32 to 64 to 65 to 68, I haven't seen any watered down yet. So if somebody would ask me, I'd like to bump it out again because of the experience. And that's what we do.
Those three guys that just sat up here, that's what you do. Without them, I'm pretty much insignificant. So I'd rather be significant and I'd like to deal with these guys as much as possible.
It's a thrilling opportunity and I'm so glad that our kids had a chance to do it. I just wish it was open to more people.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports