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March 23, 2013

Jim Boeheim

James Southerland

Brandon Triche


Syracuse – 66
California - 60

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined now by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, student‑athletes Brandon Triche, a junior guard, and James Southerland, a senior forward.
COACH BOEHEIM:  I thought our defense was really good tonight, the whole game.  I just thought we played tremendously on the defensive end.  Offensively we made some mistakes and some turnovers and missed a lot of free throws.
But when you get in this tournament and you get a tough environment you just ‑‑ you want to get a win.  I thought the team ‑‑ I thought our team really dug down deep and in a tough, tough environment and won the game.

Q.  James, were you guys making considerable effort in the second half to take the ball to the basket and get to the foul line?
JAMES SOUTHERLAND:  Definitely.  We did a good job moving the ball around, which made it easy to get to the basket and we took advantage of that early in the first half.

Q.  Brandon, did you sense that Crabbe was getting frustrated, you guys really throttled him out there?
BRANDON TRICHE:  I wasn't paying attention to the crowd as much.  But I knew they wasn't as loud in the beginning of the game.  We wanted to put our foot on the throats a little bit.

Q.  Not the crowd, Allen Crabbe.
BRANDON TRICHE:  Oh.  Yeah, I think he was getting a little frustrated.  We were pushing him out three and four feet behind the free throw line.  He did a good job trying to penetrate and find guys.  But we made sure he didn't get in a good shooter rhythm.

Q.  Defensively in terms of the steals, ten steals tonight, what is that in terms of getting extra possessions for you guys in the first half?  You guys were all over Crabbe at the top of the key, but to get those extra possessions, what did it mean for you defensively?
BRANDON TRICHE:  It meant a lot.  We also had ‑‑ they had unforced turnovers.  They stepped on the out‑of‑bounds line, we were able to get in transition.  I think that and again steals and rebounding the ball helped us get in transition and got us a lot of easy buckets.

Q.  Brandon, in the first half you guys only got five free throws but in the second you got 36.  You had them in the one and one under the under four timeout.  Did you want to go in and create fouls?
BRANDON TRICHE:  Yeah, you know, Coach was on me about trying to get to the basket.  And everybody else.  We knew we had an advantage, us guards, being able to get by their guards.  So that's what we wanted to do.
I think C.J. did a great job, also, around the basket, getting fouls.  And I think within the first five minutes or so, we probably created six fouls on their guys and got in the bonus very early.

Q.  From a technical standpoint, how would you describe the last two minutes?
COACH BOEHEIM:  It was not pretty.  It was not pretty.  Honestly, I don't think I can describe it.  It was about as ugly as I think it can get.  We turned it over and made mistakes and they stepped out of bound and threw it out‑of‑bounds.  And it was just ‑‑ it just wasn't pretty.
Really bad turnovers, when you've got possession and you've got a 12‑point lead and just maintain possession of the ball and go to the foul line.  And we just made some really bad turnovers.  Fortunately, we had enough cushion that it didn't cost us the game.
But it was just not pretty, that last part.  Again, I thought we played really well for a long time tonight.  Even though we missed a lot of free throws.  We wanted to get to the basket.  Once we got them out of the zone we really were able to get to the basket.  And we went to the foul line and we missed a lot of free throws in those situations.  But we made enough.
And our defense was good enough and what happened sometimes when you don't get an open three for a long time against us, when you do get one, you think about it a little bit.  They hit two open threes when we made a mistake in transition, when it was 8, 10, something like that, and they missed both of them.  And we got the rebound.
But they did a good job trying to get it high‑low.  We did a pretty good job early, deflecting that pass or getting back in and stealing that pass.
They moved the ball well, as well as anybody.  They really did.  We just were reacting really, really well.  We really had great defensive movement.  Our defense was as good as you could ask it to be for a long time tonight.  I mean they weren't getting shots, you know.
We let Crabbe have one shot in the first half.  Freshman redshirt kid went in there and didn't know who Crabbe was, I guess.  And he watched ‑‑ he got to watch him the rest of the game.  But we did a good job, we didn't want Crabbe to get open looks.  Him and Kreklow coming off the bench, there, we didn't want those two guys.  Cobbs, we did a pretty good job with him, too.  I think they got their two threes, two of their four at the end when the game was over.
So our defense was really good, our offense not so good.  But our defense was really good tonight.

Q.  What did you do defensively in the zone to shade Crabbe so much and make it tough for him to get shots off?
COACH BOEHEIM:  We practice every day during the year against a designated guy, and move him around.  And normally we can do that.  The one guy that got away from this year, the second game, was Porter.  Usually we can find a guy.  But Porter was able to go inside, too, so he hurt us, a lot of his buckets were inside.
But five guys have to be aware where he is.  And we have to move out on him.  And make sure everybody knows where he is.  That opens it up a little bit for inside guys.  Solomon had a good game because of that.  I thought we were in pretty good position on Solomon a few times, and we just didn't make a good play.
But you've got to give up something if you're going to cheat.  We really tried to do a good job on Cobbs and Crabbe.  Those were the two guys we really wanted to guard.  And you're going to give something up someplace else.  We wanted to foul Thurman.  When he got it we weren't good at that.  But he's strong down there, he's really strong down there.

Q.  Brandon said that at halftime you got on them, especially the guards, about wanting them to go to the basket.
COACH BOEHEIM:  It was mostly Brandon, he was pulling up and taking a 15 footer, when we could get by.  We wanted to get by and make them make a defensive play.  The drives ‑‑ all the drives we had we got fouled.  They were calling the fouls.  They were fouls.  And we wanted to get by.
We didn't take great advantage of it once we got in that foul situation.  It was 6‑0 and then 7 or 8 and then all of a sudden it was 8‑8, six straight fouls the other way, which that happens sometimes.
I thought we were good throwing the basket, that's what you have to do when you're not making shots.  Brandon didn't make any shots in the first half.  And Mike has not been making shots.  So we wanted to drive and get to the basket.

Q.  Does it seem a little jarring that you're going to get Indiana right away?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Well, it's just the way it is.  This is a difficult tournament.  We had a long trip out here.  I'm more concerned about the travel and the wear, you know, it's tough going three thousand miles and then going back three thousand and Tuesday getting on a plane again.  It's difficult.  There's no question about that.  We're just going to have to do what we can do in that situation.  This was tough.
Cal is good and obviously Oregon and Cal are really good teams.  And for them to be playing right here is tough to overcome that.  I'm proud that we were able to overcome that.  That's not easy to do.
You look at these tournaments, and it's just the way it works out.  We've had that advantage sometimes, but if you look at the teams that played near home, they usually win.  I think one exception, I'm sure there's some, but one exception, like Kansas State lost at home but they were 19 down and came back to 2.
So it's a big advantage to play close by where you have your fans.  Home court advantage, everybody knows it's big.  When you factor all the teams in the country and the home court team wins 60, 70 percent of the time.  But when you factor just the best teams in, if you just take the teams that are in this tournament, those teams win 90 percent of the time at home.  And it's the fans.  It's the support you get.  That's a big part of it.
So when you're playing in this tournament and you're playing somebody who gets the fan base there, for whatever reason, you know, it's difficult to overcome that, it really is.  But it happens ‑‑ it's happened our way in the past and where we've had fans.  And it happens the other way.
But I told the players before the game, I mean the fans aren't going to score points.  We played in tough places all year.  We've won some tough places.  Arkansas is probably the toughest place I've ever taken a team to.  And we played a great game there.  We were the only team that beat them there this year.  We talked about that and our ability to be able to play and play well on the road.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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