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November 26, 2013

Jim Boeheim

Trevor Cooney

C.J. Fair


Syracuse – 92
California – 81

COACH BOEHEIM:  First of all, we saw just a different team.  I thought watching Cal yesterday that their team this year is much better than last year's team.  I just think Bird is one of the better freshmen composure‑wise that I've seen.  And he gives them a really steady guy.  It's just such a different team.  I thought they battled their tails off, and it took a long time for us to get a solid run out of the offensive end.  Those were unbelievable today.  I didn't even know how good until I looked at the stat sheet.  I knew they were pretty good, but they were better it was a really good battle.  These two games out here have been great games.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions for both Coach and players.

Q.  There was a sequence when your team went on the run where Cooney hit a three‑pointer, and I think it was Ennis who stole the ball and hit a lay‑up.  Just talk about that and how your team was able to gain control after that sequence?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Well, the first corner jumpshot he hit off the out of bounds was really difficult.  The second was harder, which is hard to believe.  Then those are tough shots.  The guy was right in his face; Kreklow was right in his face.  You make those shots and there is no defense for those shots.
Tyler made‑‑ it's a nice play to be able to get a basket on a play like that, but we made a good run because we made those couple shots, and Jerami Grant was really good, got on the boards and made a couple of really good plays.  Made his free throws.
We played very, very well the second half is really the best we've played all year by far offensively.  Defensively I thought we really are struggling defensively.  Part of it is these courts, these smaller courts are great places to shoot in for both teams.  There's just going to be more points scored, I think, in these kind of buildings.  That's always been my experience that way.  But defensively we've got some work to do.

Q.  After a couple of games earlier in the season, you said you wanted Tyler to be more aggressive and look for his own shots.  Tonight it seemed that he was really being more aggressive and getting in the lane.
COACH BOEHEIM:  Yeah, I guess he was.  I guess he was.  Well, their face guy in Trevor, and they're playing C.J. really hard.  One time we just spread it out, and Tyler just went right before the half to try to get a 2 for 1.  Just go to the basket.  And then playing these other guys so tight that there are lanes there to get to the basket.  They're just virtually face guarding Trevor.  I mean, he doesn't get many shots.  The ones he gets, he's knocking down.

Q.  If calculations are right, I think you're 45 of 51 from the free‑throw line?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Oh, good.  Let's not talk about it and maybe it will stay that way.

Q.  You did have that session at practice‑‑
COACH BOEHEIM:  No, that had nothing to do with it.  We're going to make free throws.  We've got to let guys shoot the free throws.  They called the three best players and those guys are going to make free throws.

Q.  For both players, if you guys could talk about what coach mentioned about shooting in a small gym like this, do you like it?  Is it better?
TREVOR COONEY:  It's different.  The deep back drop is totally different for us.  But the gym is warm.  Your legs get going, and you can get into a good rhythm here and that's what we've been doing.
C.J. FAIR:  Yeah, I'd say the same thing as far as these favorite shooters.  Not saying they're favoring Trevor, but he's been on fire the last few games.  So just once you see the ball going to the rim a couple times, it gives you confidence, and you get them in that shooter role ale times, and that can kind of work in your favor.

Q.  For the players, could you talk about (Indiscernible) dunk and how that felt for you guys?
C.J. FAIR:  Yeah, I think Trevor shot it, and I was going for the rebound opposite side, and I just see Jerami almost jump over my head.  That was a big play for us.  It got us momentum and then we turned it up from there on defense.
TREVOR COONEY:  Yeah, plays like that just kind of get you pumped up to go down in defense and get that next step and keep it going momentum‑wise.

Q.  Trevor, I know you've only had a couple games with Tyler so far, but you guys seemed to have a lot of chemistry in the back court passing back and forth.  Can you talk about that chemistry?
TREVOR COONEY:  He's a very talented point guard.  His head's always up his eyes are up, and he's going to come down and make the right play no matter what it is.  Whether it's a kickout or a lob to one of the big guys or just giving the ball to C.J., that's what he's going to do, and that's what he's done the whole year.

Q.  C.J. and Trevor, when the game started out really intense, really tight score, is there a way you think about playing a game differently?  Are you going to try to go for a fast break and try to make that big play so you can build up momentum for your team or would you rather stay back and try to get a three and that will boost your team's momentum?
C.J. FAIR:  Early in the first half we were trading baskets a lot, and we weren't really getting stops.  We were good offensively, but going into the half we knew we had to get some stops so we could win the game and pull it up because Kyle, they were hot from the outside.  They basically were doing whatever they wanted and we were doing whatever we wanted opposite.  So it was coming down to who was going to stop who.

Q.  Your opponent was shorthanded inside today with a player out and another player with foul trouble, so did your team really want to try to exploit inside?
COACH BOEHEIM:  Yeah, our centers really exploited that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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