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March 13, 2012

Noah Hartsock

Dave Rose

Brock Zylstra


BYU – 78
Iona – 72

THE MODERATOR:  Right now we're joined by BYU student‑athletes Brock Zylstra and Noah Hartsock as well as head coach of BYU Dave Rose.
Coach, an opening statement.
COACH ROSE:  What an exciting game.  I thought that the first 15minutes of that game was really fast‑paced and Iona was really good.  It was hard for us to even catch them.  They're good in transition.  They were really active defensively.  We turned the ball over.  They were good after we made baskets.  They raced it back on us and scored.
We had to make some real adjustments defensively in those first 15minutes and it didn't pay off until later.  We started sending three back to try to slow down their break.  But those guards are really good.  They're fast.  They're talented as far as their ability to drive the ball, score the ball, dish the ball, shoot the ball.
So it was tough.  It was tough for us early.  And the start of the second half, kind of the same way, where we turned it over.  But our guys fought.  We fought hard.  We fought all game long.
And we got a big win.  And I'm really happy for our players.

Q.  Noah, this was the largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history.  Can you just talk about how it feels to be a part of that?
NOAH HARTSOCK:  You know, it's part of that March Madness I think and it's a team that's worked hard all year.  Never given up on anyone.  And we just came out here and we got down early but we're just trying to make adjustments.
Coaching staff did a great job helping us, and players got out there, competed and played as hard as they could.

Q.  Did you notice a difference when you became more aggressive with that zone?  Can you just talk about how that disrupted them offensively?
NOAH HARTSOCK:  When we got out there, we played a lot of zone this year.  I think we felt very comfortable in it.  We were just trying to be active.  We started getting our hands on loose balls and tipping it.  We just started getting that momentum and confidence.  That's what helped us make those runs.  And we were just being really aggressive as a team.
And when we get in that mode, we become a team that's hard to stop.

Q.  Brock, Scott Machado had nine assists in the first half and you held him to one in just the second half.  And you were talking about adjustments.  What kind of adjustments did you make on the team and him in particular?
BROCK ZYLSTRA:  I didn't know that stat.  But that's it's amazing.  He's a great player.  We knew that coming into the game, that he can score as well as pass the ball.  He gets people open right under the basket in position to score.
I think, like Noah was talking about, that we just were more aggressive.  We were doing to them what they were doing to us in the first half, getting hands on balls and trying to just knock things away and just being more aggressive.
So I think that contributed to that quite a bit with his one assist.  But just aggressive‑‑ aggression on the defensive end in the second half is what helped that.

Q.  Noah, any part of you wondering if maybe President Obama should have stuck around and seen you guys made history, were you thinking that after the game?
NOAH HARTSOCK:  I started looking around and didn't see him.  But I'm sure he had some important things to take care of.
But it was just great just being here at the game and just grateful that we could man together and get a win.

Q.  Noah, how much did that little run you make right before halftime play into the confidence that you guys had at halftime?  And then can you kind of share with us what was said in the locker room at halftime by the coaches?
NOAH HARTSOCK:  Yeah, I think that gave us a lot of confidence, making a little run there, and we talked about it at halftime, Coach Rose, talking about how that 15‑point lead wasn't safe, either we were up 15 or they were up 15, that the style of the game that was being played, that a comeback could happen.
We just focused on chipping it down, trying to get it 12, and trying to get it at 10 at the 12‑minute mark and get it to six points.  And we just kept doing that little by little going on runs.  And it really helped with our confidence and the momentum swing.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  Dave, you were in this position against Gonzaga about a week ago and couldn't come close to even getting a rally like that, what was the difference tonight with the guys?
COACH ROSE:  I thought the pace of the game early was really fast.  And the challenge for us would be to fight through that and find a second wind where we could keep that pace the entire game.  And that was what I think was a big difference for us.  And one of the reasons I'm so proud of these players is it wasn't like we just went on a 7‑, 8‑, 9‑possession run where we just made shot after shot after shot.
We had a lot of disappointing offensive possessions that we still had to react to positively on the defensive end.  And that shows some real character from the guys.
And I think that they were maybe a step slower in the second half for whatever reason, which helped us.  But a huge key for us was to try to control their penetration, because when they got inside of our zone, they just kind of torched us.  And I think we did a better job in the second half of not letting them in the seams of our zone.

Q.  On Sunday you talked about character of this team.  Seeing what they've done throughout the season, seeing the hardships they've overcome that maybe not everybody else that watches them on TV has seen, now to set a record coming from behind like this, what does that say about their character, not just your seniors or team leaders, but guys who are role players too?
COACH ROSE:  Coming back from 25points down is really satisfying now that we've won.  At the time it wasn't that satisfying being down 25.  But I don't think that any one of us, especially our coaching staff or our players, doubted the fact that we could chip into that lead.
If we could get‑‑ and we're going to have to be very fortunate to be able to get the lead.  But when we got that thing down to‑‑ I think it was 10 and then we got a steal, hit a big 3, got it to 7, and they called timeout, the look in our players' eyes at that time was game on, we got a chance here, and we were able to finish it off.

Q.  You played Damarcus Harrison way more than he's played lately, obviously rewarded you with the 12points.  Can you just talk about your decision to play him, why you played him so much and how it paid dividends?
COACH ROSE:  I think that the break, the eight or nine days without a game, really helped Damarcus in practice.  We talked coming here, when we got the information that we were going to be in the NCAA Tournament and our first staff meeting, we talked about Damarcus and how well he had practiced.  And I think a lot of times you get so caught up in preparing for the next game that practices are difficult, especially for young players that haven't played the game before.
And I think that break where we weren't preparing for another team, we were practicing.  We were really worrying about ourselves, and Damarcus had a couple of really good practices early, and then the last three practices he was one of the best guys on the floor.
So I told you all along he's a really good player and I think his confidence really grew tonight.  But he stepped up in a really big‑time atmosphere and had a great game, and a lot of that has to do with preparation.

Q.  I know last year you used a lot of zone to help protect Jimmer a lot.  Is it something that you've continued to use a lot through this year, or was that an anomaly that you threw out there tonight?
COACH ROSE:  We've played more zone this year than probably we've ever played in the six years we've been together as a staff.  And a lot of that was we were having a hard time keeping our big guys in the game.  We were in foul trouble a lot.  That was a huge part of this game, the fact that there weren't very many substitutions on our bench based on foul trouble, foul issues.
But that zone has gotten better and better for us all year long.  We play so many new players, especially early in the year, and we're trying to win and our man‑to‑man is pretty complicated with our assignments and rules, and we played that zone quite a bit early.
And with Brandon, as good as he is in the middle of that zone, as long as he is, as good as he is rebounding and challenging shots, it actually had us look more and more at playing zone and we kept winning games, and so we kept playing it.
Tonight was good, really good in the second half.

Q.  How maybe extra happy were you for Brandon Davies tonight considering he wasn't able to play in the tournament last year?
COACH ROSE:  There's a time‑‑ one of the timeouts where I think Brandon took the ball from half court and dribbled it on the break and charged, and it just was not him.  It's not what he does.  And I kind of brought him over at the timeout and just explained some things to him about how important it was for him to play well for us, but for himself; that he waited for such a long time and worked so hard to be in this situation, let's at least play like you play and make the plays you make, and I think he settled down from there.
And I'm happy.  I'm really happy for him.  He's been through a lot, but he's been terrific through the whole thing.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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