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March 21, 2013

Mark Few

Kelly Olynyk

David Stockton


Gonzaga テや 64
Southern テや 58

THE MODERATOR:テつ We welcome Gonzaga student‑athletes David Stockton and Kelly Olynyk and Coach Few.
COACH FEW:テつ Well, hey, it's obviously great to advance and move on.テつ I mean, that was a tough, hard‑fought battle right down to the very end.テつ All the credit goes to Southern, the players and Roman, for just an amazing job he's done flipping that program around in such a short time.
The more I watch film on them the more I thought, hey, this could be a real grinder.テつ They don't give you a lot of easy opportunities, and they're very patient on offense.テつ When they start shooting the ball like they did at multiple spots that they hadn't necessarily shown all year, and then the crowd gets going and everybody wants to see that first 1/16 loss.テつ My guys played well when there wasn't a whole lot going their way.

Q.テつ Kelly, could you talk about what changed for you between the first half and the second half?テつ First half, you only had a couple of baskets.テつ But things opened up in the second half.テつ Did you approach things differently?テつ Did the offense open up a little more?
KELLY OLYNYK:テつ In the second half I really just had to focus on finishing plays.テつ We got to where we wanted to get; we just didn't deliver down below.テつ We didn't finish any baskets.
So the second half, we focused on finishing tag contact.テつ David Stockton and Kevin got me the ball off the pick and roll, so all I had to do is lay it in.テつ So they really made my second half what it was.

Q.テつ To finishing through contact, they finished with eight blocks and there was certainly one possession in the second half, for instance, where there were two or three in a row.テつ Kelly, can you talk about the way they played and met you at the rim?
KELLY OLYNYK:テつ They definitely weren't scared to jump up and meet you at the rim.テつ They played really physical down low and a lot of times they have guards or other big men rotating over and trying to block shots up high.テつ They're a very athletic team, and we kinda just had to fight through that.

Q.テつ Can you talk about how that affects you, if at all, moving through the tournament?テつ Are you more motivated, mad, worried?テつ How do you feel?
KELLY OLYNYK:テつ I think moving forward‑‑ any win in the tournament is a good win.テつ So we have to kinda take that into consideration and then moving forward.テつ We got some stuff we can work on and stuff.テつ We can improve.テつ Hopefully we got the cobwebs off from the conference tournament and we will continue to get better.
DAVID STOCKTON:テつ It's great to get a win in this tournament, and anytime we can do that we're happy and moving forward we're going to be‑‑ try to crank up our defense and play Wichita State.

Q.テつ David, I know you fool around in the arena, but had you played a game in the arena?テつ What was it like?
DAVID STOCKTON:テつ It was just another game, NCAA Tournament game, so it was great.テつ The fact that it was in Salt Lake City where I used to hang out is irrelevant, I think, because we're here to play basketball not worry about the stuff outside of that.

Q.テつ Kelly, can you go into how you feel you match up against Wichita State's bigs for Saturday?
KELLY OLYNYK:テつ Quite frankly, I couldn't tell you the names of their bigs.テつ I'm not sure who they are.テつ Obviously they're good.テつ They made it past Pittsburgh who has great bigs as well.テつ I'm pretty sure‑‑
COACH FEW:テつ We'll go over the scouting and you will see all that.テつ Guys, we were focused on Southern this entire week.テつ We didn't spend one moment on either Wichita State or Pitt, you know.テつ So that's a tough question.

Q.テつ Guys, you had 10 days off between the WCC final and this game.テつ Was that a factor in the performance today?
KELLY OLYNYK:テつ I don't think it was a huge factor.テつ Basketball is basketball.テつ We practiced every day, so it's not like we sat at home for ten days watching television.
But I guess you could say that there is a little bit of kinda getting back into the swing of a game.テつ Other than that, no, it was good to get back out there and looking forward to the next one.
DAVID STOCKTON:テつ Not too much of a factor.テつ Good to get out there and finally play a game, because other teams have been playing their conference tournaments less than a week ago.テつ So we needed to get back in the swing of things and start playing the game.

Q.テつ Coach, Kevin really stepped up and made two huge jump shots.テつ Talk about everything that went into that and those are three possessions‑‑ Gary Bell made another shot, but those were must‑score possessions, and your guys came up big.
COACH FEW:テつ Can you believe those two are sophomores, too!テつ They're only sophomores.テつ Kevin is just a clutch player, and you're sitting there as a coach.テつ You have no problem with whatever decision or shot that he takes or the results of those shots or a free‑throw at the end of the game because that kid has been in the gym 365 days a year.
We will practice, do some things, maybe I'm up doing recruiting or something and monkeying around and go to leave at 9, 10 at night, ball is bouncing and I look down there it's Kevin Pangos shooting.テつ That odd little runner he shot with a minute left in the game there, he practices those all the time.
The guy puts his time in and he gets rewarded for putting his time in.テつ And Gary Bell has been like that all through his high school career and even with us.テつ He's Big Shot Gary, made a huge shot at OK State and made some big shots against Saint Mary's this year.テつ They're very heady and very poised, especially for sophomores.

Q. テつCoach, do you think the tightness of this game was an example of the parity that everybody has been talking about this year?テつ Was this them playing great or you not playing great?テつ What was it?
COACH FEW:テつ I would say the former.テつ Again, the more I watched them on tape the more I was like, these guys are going to be a handful.テつ They defend every possession, kind of direct your shots.テつ They have size and athleticism around the rim, which they showed earlier, you know.
The way the game was called it was a very physical game.テつ I think that's one of the first halves we haven't been in the bonus.テつ In the second half, we got in the bonus and started making plays.テつ I thought we attacked the rim a little bit better, and that helped us.テつ When you got guys that can shoot it like that and then you also had a post man that, you know, we needed to double down on because he was a "load" one‑on‑one in there.テつ So that was opening up some opportunities for them, also.テつ We haven't had to double a post in quite a while.

Q.テつ Mark, what do you think of Kelly's second half performance?テつ I think he scored 16 of the first 20 points.
COACH FEW:テつ As you know, it's kind of vintage of how it's been all year.テつ We started calling his number and directing the ball his way a little bit, and the guys do a great job of figuring out where we're having success.
Tonight it was with K.O. We were able to get him isolated on sides, and when you have David Stockton or Kevin Pangos coming off those ball screens, they usually make good decisions and set him up pretty well.テつ He has had some big second halves for us all year.

Q.テつ Coach, you talked about the poise down the stretch.テつ Were there messages or reminders that you gave them late down the stretch?
COACH FEW:テつ I reminded them in the conference tournament that we were up 2 or 3 against Loyola in the conference tournament.テつ I reminded them nothing is going to be easy and the longer this thing goes you're going to see pretty much everybody in the whole arena outside of loyal Zag fans slide over to the other side.
I said it doesn't matter.テつ Doesn't matter.テつ Whatever comes at us, if the call doesn't go our way, we miss an easy bunny, miss an assignment, move on to the next play, we're going to get this done.テつ Nothing is going to stop us.
I think we had one timeout where they came away dazed and for the most part they were pretty dialed in and we were, at times, guarding pretty darn well I thought. .テつ Gary Bell is a hard guard, jabbing' and pulling 3s from the NBA off a jab and hitin' 'em and kicking his leg up on 3s, too, that's a hard guard.テつ Gary was doing everything he could on that stuff.
I think we were patiently helping‑‑ I was happy that we just didn't settle on offense.テつ We kept running very good offense and kept getting great looks.

Q.テつ Was it at all a bit of a surprise the way the crowd was behind Southern, or is it the fact that everybody loves an underdog?
COACH FEW:テつ To be honest with you, it was a surprise to me, here in Salt Lake.テつ But, again, I think everybody‑‑ everybody was so moved by their effort and their resilience and their confidence.テつ If I wasn't coaching on the other sideline, they would be a tough team not to root for, you know?
I think that was probably the case and, again, you get in this 1/16 game, I've watched 'em before on TV and momentum can really get on their side.

Q.テつ Did Kelly Olynyk at all, in your opinion, battle through adversity in this game?テつ He had a slow first half, and there were a couple of calls that didn't go his way on the offensive end as well.
COACH FEW:テつ That's what I'm talking about with our whole team with our poise.テつ I think there were several that didn't go our way and maybe some rim attacks that we didn't get rewarded on.テつ I'll have to watch tape and see.
But, no, he hung with it, and I thought pretty much our whole team did a nice job.テつ Gary Bell hung with it.テつ We always just say move on to the next play and we try to prepare them for these moments.テつ I think they did a great job of showing that here on the biggest stage.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.テつ

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