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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: PITTSBURGH


March 15, 2012


Gary Bell, Jr.

Mark Few

Kevin Pangos

Robert Sacre


PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Gonzaga テや 77
West Virginia テや 54


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Gonzaga.
Coach.
COACH FEW:テつ Well, I thought that was just a great opening game for under the circumstances.テつ You know, these opening games, they're hard.テつ There's a lot of buildup to them.テつ It's almost paralysis by analysis on the staff's part.
I was so proud of our guys.テつ They came out and executed the game plan defensively, offensively, especially on the rebound aspect of it.
Beat a very good basketball team.テつ I'm really happy for our guys to be able to move on.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Robert, since you're the old man up there.テつ Last year similar scenario.テつ You played a Big East team in the second round.テつ Team had a great performance.テつ You had a hard time turning it around.テつ Do you remember that?テつ Is that something you take with you into the next round?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ I have to be on my best behavior right now (smiling).
Yeah, you won't forget games like that.テつ I feel that's what's so special about this tournament is you always want to win every game.テつ When you lose one, it's heartbreaking.テつ You'll take it with you for the rest of your life.テつ Every year is a huge year.
I think that BYU was a tough one.テつ I wanted to bring it into this season and show these guys not to let up.

Q.テつ Kevin, just wanted to ask you about your first experience here in the tournament.テつ You obviously had a nice game.テつ Were you thinking about that at all in terms of having your debut?
KEVIN PANGOS:テつ I had jitters going into it, I'll be honest.テつ Once you get playing, it's just the same game.テつ It was easier.テつ Everyone brought it on the court.テつ It was a lot of fun, playing with the guys.テつ Everyone did their part.
I'm happy we got the win and are moving on to the next game.

Q.テつ Gary, it was not a great game for you guys in the final of the West Coast Conference tournament.テつ Were you able to put that behind you quickly?
GARY BELL, JR.:テつ Well, for me, I just had to toughen up.テつ I know throughout this whole week, once we found out we was playing West Virginia, we knew they were a tough rebounding team.テつ Myself, I didn't rebound as good as I could against Saint Mary's, so I made sure in this game I would help the bigs out and rebound with the big guys, so...
That was a big part that I felt like I needed to do to help us win.

Q.テつ Coach Huggins said that Coach Few told him it's the best you guys shot all year.テつ Was it just something you were feeling it or getting more open looks?
GARY BELL, JR.:テつ Well, I think we were just, like before the games and everything, get a whole bunch of shots up and it carried over to the game.テつ Like you said, we were getting open looks and we were just knocking them down.

Q.テつ Rob, you had a good game against Saint Mary's in the WCC final.テつ Is there something extra you wanted to bring to this post‑season?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ You know, just go out with a bang.テつ Coach always said, Play like Rob, have a lot of energy, have a lot of passion, have fun.テつ That's what I'm trying to do.テつ That's what the results are.

Q.テつ Robert, you guys were able to keep the ball away from K.J. tonight.テつ What were you doing in particular?テつ Was that a major emphasis going into the game?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ You know, it was a huge emphasis on the game.テつ But I think all our bigs did a great job on him.テつ You know, he's a great player.テつ He rebounds.
But I think our key was to keep him off the offensive glass.テつ He scores a lot of his points on the offensive end, on the boards.テつ We really wanted to focus in on that.
I think we did a great job and really made him shoot tough shots, contested shots.テつ I think all the guys made a great effort to do that.テつ It came out in our favor.

Q.テつ Robert, did you, as one of the older guys on the team, have advice for your freshmen guards coming into this game?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ Hit 'em, is all you got to say.テつ Hit 'em, be physical, let everything else work itself out.テつ As long as you're physical, that's all that matters.テつ Show that Gonzaga's not soft.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you.テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Few.

Q.テつ Could you talk about Ryan Spangler, kind of came out of nowhere tonight?
COACH FEW:テつ Yeah, it's one of those, we always say, every dog is going to have his day.テつ We talk about that in our program a lot.テつ It was just one of those games where we knew he could play and be effective.テつ They had two bigs as opposed to we've been playing a lot of teams that have been running around with four guards.テつ It's been difficult to play him in those games, especially when we've been switching ball screens.テつ This was kind of a game made for him.
He did a great job utilizing his minutes.テつ He really helped us because we were in probably as serious of foul trouble as we'd been in all season.

Q.テつ You heard what I asked Robert.テつ What might you have learned where you have this quick turnaround and you have a team play so well, how do you get them refocused for Saturday?
COACH FEW:テつ We talked about it.テつ We talked about it in the locker room.テつ Just, hey, this was game one.テつ We didn't come here to just win one game.テつ Let's get back, enjoy this thing, and understand why you were successful.
They did a wonderful job taking the scouting report and executing the plan.テつ Now we'll have to do the same thing on Saturday.
So they get it.テつ They're not satisfied.

Q.テつ You went on a 13‑0 run over six minutes in the first half.テつ What do you think were the keys there?テつ You were mixing up the defenses a little bit.テつ What were the keys to your defense to hold them to zero points over a six‑minute span?
COACH FEW:テつ We stuck with our core man‑to‑man defense.テつ We were making plays in the lanes.テつ We were making it tough for Jones to get a lot of space, and also Bryant, we really kind of keyed in on those guys.テつ When we did get stops, we were able to push the ball.テつ We're best when we're pushing the ball, getting opportunity baskets.

Q.テつ Your basketball team has had a chance to get to know a young man named Brandon Chastain over the last few years.テつ He passed away today.テつ You wore blue ribbons on your jerseys.テつ Was there more motivation for your team?
COACH FEW:テつ You know, no.テつ That's just something that we've kind of carried with us just personally and privately. テつYou know, I think we'll just keep it that way.
It was a tough morning.テつ Ended up being a great night.

Q.テつ When you go into an NCAA game with two freshmen guards, is it a deal where you're really not sure what you're going to get?テつ What did you expect?
COACH FEW:テつ I know what I'm going to get now with those guys.テつ They've been doing it for 35 games now.テつ I know they're going to compete.テつ I know they're not going to be afraid.テつ They've been shooting the ball really, really well.テつ When they don't shoot it well, it's a surprise.テつ It's not from lack of confidence or lack of, you know, stepping up and doing their preparation.
You know, I was a little bit worried with the physical play.テつ They have big, strong guards.テつ That worried me, if they could kind of knock them off their games as far as that.
They did a nice job of holding their own, taking care of the ball, pushing the ball like we wanted.テつ We wanted to push it, see if we could get it out of the halfcourt.テつ Did a great job of stepping up and making shots, which they've done all year pretty much.

Q.テつ A lot of the pundits and experts questioned the team's ability to hang with West Virginia physically.テつ Was that something you stressed going into the game?
COACH FEW:テつ Yeah, I don't know what pundits or experts, what qualifies to be an expert.テつ I don't think a pundit and an expert go hand‑in‑hand.
But we talked about we wanted to be the toughest team.テつ Anytime you face a Coach Huggins team, you know they're going to be tough, you know they're going to be physical.テつ We knew we couldn't back down from that.
It started and ended with the rebounding.テつ They're a phenomenal offensive rebounding team and we did a great job of keeping them off that pretty much all night.テつ They got some there at the end, but I think that was probably the biggest difference in the game.テつ I thought we matched their physicality.

Q.テつ Any thought on the respect you might have for Thad Matta on the chance you might meet?テつ Can you talk generically about what he's done at Ohio State?
COACH FEW:テつ He's had a great run, just an incredible run of success, incredible run of high‑level recruiting, which is what you need to do at a place like that.テつ Not only does he do a great job of getting them there, but they play together.テつ They stick to their core principles.テつ They always play phenomenal defense, take pretty good care of the basketball.テつ His teams have always shot really well, too.
They're a typical Big Ten team.テつ Hard to generate baskets on.テつ Going to play physical and rebound it.テつ He's got a great player in Sullinger and a bunch of other really good players around him.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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