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November 21, 2011

Lee Bailey

Eric Bovaird

Rickey Clayborn


UCLA – 92

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, we'll take opening comments and then Q & A.
ERIC BOVAIRD:  Yeah, sure.  I thought we really battled in the first half.  I thought we had a great game plan for them.  I thought our guys played really, really well.  I never thought UCLA would shoot that ball that well in the second half.
It seemed like there was a stretch there where they made five or six of them in a row.  That kind of hurt us a lot.  We kind of struggled offensively there for a while.
Our guys played tough though.  They didn't give up.  As you could see in the first half, we were in a ballgame.  Unfortunately, we just weren't able to stop them in the second half, and struggled a little bit offensively.

Q.  Reeves Nelson didn't play for the first half and was suspended for half a game.  How did he change the way they played?  Have you ever in your years of coaching suspended a player for a half a game?
ERIC BOVAIRD:  No, I haven't.  I've only been a head coach here for a few months.  In high school I was a head coach for a while.  No, I have never suspended a guy for a half.  You know, he's a really good player.  I don't think he had a major impact on the way they played in the second half.  I think it was more the three‑point shooting.
Then when we had to close out and guard the three‑point shooters, obviously they'll open it up for the big guy.  He was able to do a little bit more work down there when we had to close out on all the shooters.

Q.  Coach, was it just them making three pointers and shots in the second half, or did you see any adjustments that UCLA made?
ERIC BOVAIRD:  I'm sure when I look back at the film they made a few adjustments.  You know, I know it's kind of plain and simple, but we struggled a little bit.  Things weren't going our way that well on our offensive sets and so forth.  I don't think they made huge adjustments.  I think it was more us making a lot more mistakes and so forth.
But I think it all came down to they really through that stretch, they really shot the ball incredibly well.  I've got a really tough freshman point guard right here.  He obviously played like a seasoned veteran.  Played against great competition all his life in high school.  He battled with those guys and kept us in the game for a long time.

Q.  What was it like when they went on a 29‑3 run?  What were you thinking?  Was it just like what can we do to stop them at this point?
LEE BAILEY:  Yeah, like I said, we came in knowing that we were really outsized, and in the previous games this season they haven't shot the three‑ball well.  So us packing it in coming in was our strategy, and we were going to force them to make shots and that's what they did.
I think offensively we just got stagnant, which stopped moving as much.  I don't think UCLA did that much different defensively.  I just think we had to keep moving, keep our motion going because that's what we were getting open looks at, and that's how people were creating for other people.  I think that's what we didn't do.  It's more our mistakes than what UCLA did.

Q.  At halftime, for both the players, at halftime you were only down two.  Were you thinking they've lost two games and they were kind of on their heels a little bit?  We can get them and win this game?
LEE BAILEY:  We knew it was going to be a battle before halftime because they were getting some kind of hype.  They were trying to get their momentum up.  So they knew that bucket they got before the half was a big momentum for going in and they were going to come out strong.  So we were just trying to come out and score the first bucket and keep the momentum going.
RICKEY CLAYBORN:  Yeah, we knew they needed to win this game.  They've been struggling this season.  They dropped a couple games they didn't feel like they should have dropped.
Yeah, I just think they came out and we battled.  But at the end of the day, they came out and hit a shot.  I'm sure that was part of the things was that they were getting open looks and starting to hit them.
I do think Reeves had not as much of an effect as a player, but just mentally for the team.  Kind of like the fresh legs.  Just the energy he brought, I think, that kind of sparked their team and got the crowd kind of into it when he got in there.
But at halftime we were executing the way we wanted to.  Doing the things we were thinking about in practicing and getting points off their post.  I think we executed well in the first half.  In the second half they did what we wanted them to do coming in.

Q.  Rickey, this is a much different looking team for you guys than what you had here last year.  What can you say about giving back how well you guy it's in the first half?
RICKEY CLAYBORN:  We came in definitely as underdogs.  Last year the team that I played with before, we were much bigger.  They looked at us and we looked like a D‑1 team.  We had size, quickness, and we were big.  This year we have a lot of all‑around players.  Everybody plays more as a team this year than we did in our previous years.
So we play as a family out there.  As a matter of fact, everybody's got heart, and that's the difference between the two teams.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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