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March 21, 2013

Jim Boeheim

James Southerland

Brandon Triche


Syracuse – 81
Montana - 34

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined now by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and student‑athletes Brandon Triche, a senior guard, and James Southerland, a senior forward.
COACH BOEHEIM:  This was a game that we just got things going early and Montana just ‑‑ they couldn't make any shots.  And it was just one of those games where they had a game where they couldn't do anything right and everything fell right for us.
Coming off New York, we played well in New York and we continued that tonight on both ends of the court.  Our defense was good.  Our offense was good.  And everybody really ‑‑ everybody had good games.  It was one of those nights.  It was just our night.

Q.  Brandon, was the priority to take it to them early, as underdogs just take their will away early and take the lead?
BRANDON TRICHE:  Yeah, that's what we wanted to do.  We knew that we were favored a little bit in this game and as far as our talent level.  So we wanted to not give a team like that a confidence in thinking that they can win the game.
C.J. did a great job for us starting the game off with the first six points or so.  He had a mismatch and we tried to go to him early.  He kind of jump‑started us.

Q.  James, did you feel like your height and length gave them problems?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  Yeah, definitely.  I feel like we did a good job of staying active, which also gives them a problem out there, especially with our length with Rakeem, C.J. and me and Jerami.  And we did a good job of talking on defense and rebounding.

Q.  Brandon, you kind of righted the ship a little bit in the Big East tournament and you started getting yourself going again.  But tonight was probably the best game you played in a while.  Did you feel like you were back to where you were earlier in the season?
BRANDON TRICHE:  Sort of.  Helping the team as much as I can as possible.  I shot the ball pretty well, but teammates gave me the ball to score.  I was pretty active on defense, so I got a few steals and that kind of helped me get going.

Q.  Obviously you guys played a very complete game from start to finish, but what's the challenge, if any, to refocus for the next game, which would be much closer?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Well, first of all, we're really pleased that we played this way and in the NCAA tournament you need to play this way every night.  Things just happened to go our way tonight, both ends.  They didn't play well and we did.  But that doesn't happen very often in this tournament.
We know how good Cal is.  We have our work cut out for us.  But we're coming off playing well in four straight games, and we played well tonight and we anticipate playing well in the next game here.

Q.  What do you think about the fact that despite being a 12 seed Cal is playing a virtual home game against you Saturday?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I don't think about it.

Q.  Obviously Rakeem had a size advantage inside, but what do you think about the way he played and how active he was in there?
COACH BOEHEIM:  I thought he was good.  I thought he did a tremendous job.  I thought he and Baye were very good defensively, they were very active.  I thought getting DaJuan in there, I think he showed some of the things he can do offensively.  He's had good practices and it was good to be able to get him out there and get him in that game.  I thought he did a really good job.
But both Rak and Baye were really active and I just thought that they really did a good job inside.

Q.  When you're a higher seeded team and you can jump a team, can you set a tone that can last the rest of the game?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Well, I don't know, I think you can, but not always.  I think sometimes the game changes, levels off a little bit.  It looked for just a second like it was going to level off.  They made a couple of plays.  They had a couple of opportunities in transition to score that could have gotten it back down and they just didn't finish.  They just didn't finish plays where they had advantages in the fast break.  They're plays that I'm sure they would normally make.
I don't think it was that we made any ‑‑ an extraordinary play on defense, they just didn't finish two or three plays and we were able to then go down and score.  So just things didn't go their way.  It was just one of those games.  You don't have them very often but they just had one of those games tonight.  We were able to take advantage of it.

Q.  Your thoughts on facing the California Golden Bears?
COACH BOEHEIM:  They're very good.  We didn't get to see a lot of that game.  I did watch a little bit of it in the locker room.  They're very good.  They've got a tremendous team.  I watched them during that streak this year where they really played well in the conference.  I have a lot of respect for them.  Mike's a really good friend of mine and has been for a long time.  He's a tremendous basketball coach.  This should be a great test for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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