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March 8, 2012

Arthur Bouedo

Francisco Cruz

JayDee Luster

Larry Shyatt

Adam Waddell


UNLV – 56
Wyoming – 48

COACH SHYATT:  Let me first of all congratulate UNLV on an inspired first half and a great game.  Then let me say what's really on my mind.  If I would really say what's on my mind, my wife would kill me.  I would really like to talk about the inspired second half that these guys played in pretty trying circumstances.
Where before this game I told these guys I wasn't sure if we ever trailed a team this entire season by more than 13 points ever.  I don't know if there's another team.  I seen some of these top teams in America, I've seen them get obliterated by 20‑30 on certain nights and crumble, and I'd never seen that.  We may have been on the brink tonight.
But in a lot of different leagues with a lot of different teams, because I'm an old guy, I don't know if I've ever seen a team play more inspired in a time of adversity.  And I got to tell you I love 'em.  I think the world of 'em.  I think they've earned the respect of a lot of people who I think lacked respect for them.  And I'll never forget 'em if this is the end of the road.
The fact that UNLV could make 56 points from these guys is incredible.  It's absolutely incredible.  And if you want to ask them any questions, you'll find them to be just as classy as they were all year on the court.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  That was a rough first half.  Just not knocking down shots or what was UNLV doing that was so effective?
ADAM WADDELL:  When you have Moser had some huge shots in the first half and when we shoot 12%, that's kind of a half right there.
But you see a team that comes in and keeps fighting in the second half, everyone in the arena saw that we kept fighting and we've done that all year.

Q.  JayDee, what was the mood like at halftime?  What are you saying to each other?
JAYDEE LUSTER:  The mood was like it's been all year.  We all came together and we told each other we ain't gonna quit, we don't give up.  Paco came in at the free throw when it was at the free‑throw line.  He told us, We gonna play harder than them this half.  We all came together collectively.  That was our mindset.  I felt like the second half we did play harder than them.

Q.  Paco, I know it's disappointing right now.  There's probably some post‑season in front of you guys.  Are you thinking about that now?  What is going through your mind now since this tournament is over for you guys?
FRANCISCO CRUZ:  We thought about how proud we are from each other because we came like a family during this season.  If it happens to be a post‑season for us, it would be great.  If not, we really have a good season and we came together like a family.

Q.  Arthur, you got good looks, open looks, looks at the rim.  How do you not get frustrated when something like that happens?
ARTHUR BOUEDO:  You know, just try to rely on our defense as we always did.  I mean, when it's not going in, it's not going in.  There's nothing you can do about it.  Just believe that your next shot's going in.  That's what we did.  That's why we came back in the second half.
As they say, I'm proud of every one of our team, from player to coach.  I really hope we still got something in the future to come up.  I think we deserve it.

Q.  JayDee, does it matter which tournament?  Does that matter to you?  Just hoping you get to the post‑season with this group of guys?
JAYDEE LUSTER:  You know, at this point that's out of our hands what tournament, if we even make the post‑season.  That's something that we can't really focus on.
We just got to hope for the best.  And I really just want to play again with these other five guys, you know.  This year has, you know, been the best year I've had by far since I've been here at Wyoming and even been in college.  You know, I really love these guys.  I got a lot of respect.
I thank Coach Shyatt and the staff for coming in and changing the culture of the program, giving us something to believe and fight for, installing a whole new identity for us.  We just appreciate it and we don't want it to be over.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll dismiss the student‑athletes at this time and continue with questions for Coach Shyatt.

Q.  I know it was a struggle in the first half.  Moser had a huge half.  Was it that and just not being able to knock down shots or was there anything else you were seeing from your guys that wasn't working tonight?
COACH SHYATT:  Well, I think the first half, when you go 3‑24, I'm not sure it would matter who you're playing more or less a team as talented and nationally ranked on their home court.
But I got to tell you, at half, at the end of the game last Saturday here, and at half, I saw the same body language.  Like I said, it's incredible.  Many and most teams, you think about your team, whoever you admire.  Many and most teams, when it's not going for an individual offensively, or it's not going for their team offensively, it gets ugly and they surrender.  Not these guys.
I feel like we ran out of time tonight.  I feel like if they'd have put four or five more minutes on the clock, the outcome might have been different.

Q.  Was there any speech?  Anything that triggered the turnaround in the second half?
COACH SHYATT:  There's too many women in here.
No, realistically I talked about where we'd been in our body of work this year.  And this was undeniably one of the worst situations we were in.  We probably could do three things:  we could flee, we could flow or we could fight.  And I trust them.
I said the only way I've ever seen anything like this happen is to divide this up in four‑ and five‑minute segments.  It didn't look good after that first five‑minute segment.  It got worse before it got better.
But these guys have a heart more than any team I've seen this year and like I said, I love them to death and I respect 'em.

Q.  You don't have control over what happens in the post‑season.  I assume you feel this team is worthy to be playing somewhere in the post‑season.
COACH SHYATT:  Yes, I do.  I think they've earned the right to play in some high‑level tournaments.

Q.  There's been a lot of talk about UNLV playing on their home floor.  Can you put into words what kind of impact that makes?
COACH SHYATT:  I'm not going down that road.

Q.  You say they missed a lot of shots the first half.
COACH SHYATT:  I thought they were doing a great job defensively.  I always thought they had the high level of intensity on their defense.  That contributed a lot to missed shots.  It wasn't turnovers this time, it was missed shots.
On the other hand, I thought the second half was quite the opposite.  I think my guys did, too.  Fortunately there were two halves.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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