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


March 17, 2012


Gary Bell, Jr.

Mark Few

Kevin Pangos

Robert Sacre


PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Ohio State テや 73
Gonzaga テや 66


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Gonzaga coach and student‑athletes.
Coach.
COACH FEW:テつ Hey, it was just a great basketball game.テつ Great to be a part of.テつ I think both teams played really good.テつ I love how my guys fought, love how they fought back.テつ They've been like that all year.テつ I've never had so much fun coaching as I did this year with this group.
You know, we had a couple shots that were down in the hopper and just bounced out.テつ I think that was basically the difference in the game.
But Ohio State's a heck of a team.テつ They have a lot of weapons.テつ We picked our poison.テつ Wanted to hit some jump shots, cover down on the bigs.テつ They did a great job of stepping out and hitting 'em.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Robert, if you could sum up your four years at Gonzaga?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ Fun.テつ Just fun.テつ I've never had so much fun in my life.テつ It's been a great growing experience and sometimes growing pains.テつ But I love this program dearly.テつ I leave it to these two.
He just needs to shave his sideburns.テつ That's the only problem with him.

Q.テつ Kevin, looked like you had one of those from the corner that was halfway in the hopper.テつ Describe what it looked like from your view.
KEVIN PANGOS:テつ Stockton made a great play.テつ Classic defense, kicked it out to me.テつ It felt really good.テつ I was relaxed.テつ It just came off my hand nice.テつ I thought it was good, for sure.テつ But it rolled out. テつThat's just the way it goes.

Q.テつ Kevin, how difficult was it trying to get your team to run the offense with the type of defense Craft was playing on you?
KEVIN PANGOS:テつ It was tough.テつ He's a great defender.テつ I thought my teammates helped me out pretty well.テつ He's got active hands, quick feet.テつ There's a reason why he's known as one of the best defenders.

Q.テつ Robert, I saw at the end you huddled everybody up at center court.テつ Is that something you usually do or because it was your last game?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ That's tradition, you know.テつ My seniors all taught me that.テつ That's what I thought I should leave for these guys.テつ It's tradition.テつ When you go out, you go out with a bang.テつ And, you know what, thank the crowd for supporting us.テつ We have great fans throughout the country.
We still are America's team.テつ I don't know why people forget that.テつ We just wanted to thank everybody who does support us.

Q.テつ Gary, towards the end of the second half you kind of got more assertive and started attacking the basket more.テつ Was there something that changed?
GARY BELL, JR.:テつ Basically when Stocks passed it to me on the wing, I hit that three, I felt like I needed to be more aggressive for the team, help us score a little bit more.
There was an opening.テつ So Coach Few always told me, If there's an opening, take it.テつ So that's what I did.

Q.テつ Robert, you guys were up seven with about six and a half to go in the first half.テつ Sullinger was on the bench.テつ It looked like you were in a good place to assert yourselves.テつ What did they do to punch back?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ They hit tough shots.テつ They hit shots.テつ They just hit shots.テつ There's nothing really much else to say.テつ We were in a good spot.テつ We were comfortable.テつ I don't think we let up.テつ I think they just hit great shots.テつ That's how basketball is.テつ Can't be upset with them.テつ They're great players.
That's how the cookie crumbles.

Q.テつ Robert, for the most part in the game, you and the guys coming in for you looked like you frustrated Sullinger for a large extent.テつ They still went to him.テつ Did he do anything different down the stretch to score where before he wasn't scoring?
ROBERT SACRE:テつ We were in zone, so it was easier for him I think to just duck in, get easier touches.テつ I think I let up my guard a little bit and let him duck in a little harder.
But that's basketball.テつ He's a great player.テつ I wish him the best in the future.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, gentlemen.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Few.

Q.テつ I'm not sure if you went to the zone when you called the timeout with 11 minutes or the TV timeout shortly after that.テつ Why did you decide to go to it at that point and I think you held them to 11 points over 12 minutes, what do you think it did to them?
COACH FEW:テつ Well, we knew we were going to play it going into the game.テつ We wanted to play it.テつ Again, on short preparation, you had a day to get ready for these guys.テつ Sometimes playing zone helps in that regard.
You know, the game was going all right in the first half.テつ We led for most of the first half.テつ We were directing the shots that we wanted.テつ They were mostly perimeter jump shots.テつ They were hitting 'em.テつ So I was a little bit hesitant to go to it then.
Then when they jumped us in the second half we decided to go to it and it worked great.テつ The guys did a great job in it.テつ We didn't guard their non‑scorers, even though they're pretty good shooters.テつ For the most part we rebounded out of it well, which is a huge concern when you play zone against these guys.
Then like Rob saying, kind of takes away a little bit, you know, of the attention that you give to Sullinger because you're in zone and you're mixing up your coverages in there.テつ So he was able to get loose a little bit there.
When we were playing man, I thought Rob did a heck of a job on him.

Q.テつ You're up seven with six and a half to go.テつ Sullinger is on the bench.テつ Looks like you might be able to make it double‑digits at the half.テつ They come back.テつ Was it as simple as them making shots?
COACH FEW:テつ Well, we were in foul trouble, too.テつ We had both our bigs in foul trouble.テつ They had Sullinger in foul trouble.テつ We were trying to sub around that.テつ Thomas picked and popped on us on a couple threes which we had game planned for.テつ But, you know, he stepped up and hit some big shots.
Then we lost Craft.テつ We didn't stick with our ball screen coverage.テつ Lost him twice.テつ He was able to get some lay‑ins on us, both at the end of the half and start of the second half.
It was a combination.テつ Foul trouble.テつ They have a variety of guys.テつ It ain't just Sullinger, I can tell you that.テつ They got some guys that can really make some shots.

Q.テつ Craft had his first career double‑double tonight.テつ What was it about his game today that he was able to not only score the ball, but also set up his teammates?テつ Had you been prepared for that even though he never had a double‑double?
COACH FEW:テつ Yeah, again, I mean, you go into these things, you got a day to prepare.テつ You know, love the kid's game.テつ Love how tough he is, how smart he is.
We just decided that he needed to score, and we were going to dedicate some of our attention to some other people, you know, who had been kind of proven scorers.
So, therefore, that allowed him to kind of get the corner a couple times because we weren't showing quite as hard because we were worried about Thomas and/or Sullinger.
But, I mean, Sullinger hits two threes on us.テつ I know he can do that.テつ But if he's taking pick‑and‑pop threes instead of taking you to the woodshed inside, I think I would have taken that 24 hours ago.テつ Those are kind of the by‑products of that.

Q.テつ Yesterday it seemed like you were really focused on staying aggressive against them.テつ Could you comment on the team's aggression coming out of game, especially Sam on the offensive boards?
COACH FEW:テつ I loved how we fought.テつ We were tough.テつ I think if you ask the Ohio State guys, they know we hit 'em and we went at 'em.テつ I think our bigs did a great job of attacking their bigs inside.
Then the guards, you know, for the most part did a nice job, especially there at the end with the ball screens.テつ Like somebody mentioned with Gary, turning the corner, getting in the lane.テつ Stocks did a nice job of getting in the lane and kicking out for some threes, too.
We were very aggressive.テつ I'm very impressed with them, with how other people had to make shots.テつ If Kev's three goes in from the corner, we might be dealing with something different here.

Q.テつ You alluded at the beginning when you were talking about being a high‑level game, how well both teams played.テつ Does that at all softening the loss, that your team came out and played well?
COACH FEW:テつ Yeah, no, you want your team, as a coach, to play great.テつ If they play great, you're proud of 'em.テつ I mean, that's all they can do.
We weren't great tonight, but, man, we competed.テつ We executed.テつ We made plays down the stretch.テつ We fought when we got down 10 and got it right back to basically a one‑possession or even a tie game.テつ That's what you want.
Went toe‑to‑toe with a really good team.テつ Wouldn't surprise me if they are cutting down the nets in New Orleans.テつ They're right at that level with some of those other good teams, like Syracuse and Kentucky.

Q.テつ You referenced the shots that you had that go in the hopper and came back out.テつ After you tied it up, and Sullinger gave them a lead back, I think they stopped you on five consecutive possessions.テつ Were you happy with the shots you were getting or did they rush you at all?
COACH FEW:テつ Yeah, no, absolutely, we got great shots.テつ I don't have the play‑by‑play, but I'm sure some of those possessions‑‑ I mean, Gary hit a three at the end.テつ I don't know if you're counting that one or not.テつ Might want to check your play‑by‑play stuff.
So, yeah, no, we got wide‑open threes, got a couple nice drives down the lane that didn't go.テつ Pangos had one right in the middle of the lane that didn't go, and E had a great look after making a three prior.テつ We definitely got some pretty good looks at it.
We had a dump‑down to Rob that went through his hands, or else that probably would have been a dunk.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH FEW:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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