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March 20, 2014

Davion Berry

Randy Rahe

Jordan Richardson

Kyle Tresnak


THE MODERATOR:  We would like to welcome Weber State, we have Kyle Tresnak, Davion Berry and Jordan Richardson.

Q.  Kyle, it's been a few days since you found out who you were going to play, maybe talk about the last few days as you tried to game plan against these guys and what has stood out on film that presents challenges?
KYLE TRESNAK:  For the most part we have been focusing on ourselves, being mentally ready, competing, keeping our juice up.  But we have watched a little bit of film and they're a fast team, they're real good, long, athletic.  They're out of the transition really well and that's what we saw from them.
There is a reason why they were No. 1 for a long time.

Q.  Have you guys talked about how cool it would be to making history and beat a No. 1 team?
DAVION BERRY:  We haven't really thought about it.  We just want to approach this game like every other game, stay loose, play free and easy, stick to the game plan.

Q.  Davion, how much did Damian Lillard influence you to go to Weber State and how much has he helped you throughout your career?
DAVION BERRY:  It was a big reason.  We've been together since we were young, since AAU days, club ball days, high school, it was a big reason when I decided to transfer from my Division II school he was the first one I talked to about going to Weber State so Weber State had an edge right there.
We still talk every other day, text, communicate, so he was definitely a big reason why I came to Weber State.

Q.  How difficult has it been for David, I believe you have a 4 year old son, how of difficult is that playing basketball for Weber State and missing him?
DAVION BERRY:  It was tough my first year because I had to sit out, I was home sick, always been close to home, as my second year came around I got used to it and this year it just flew by.  It wasn't a change from my second year.  But it was tough.  It was a tough decision.

Q.  Question for Jordan, you guys have obviously been a strong team the second half of the year and I know you guys are a confident team how confident are you about the way you're playing basketball right now?  You guys don't seem to be intimidated by the situation you're in?
JORDAN RICHARDSON:  We feel like we're playing our best basketball of the season.  We're not scared of anybody, we played UCLA and we weren't intimidated and I feel like we're playing great basketball so we're ready for the situation at this moment.

Q.  Kyle, you're one a bunch of guys from Arizona on this team.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing that you might know a lot about the Wildcats?
KYLE TRESNAK:  I don't know much about the current past of the Wildcats but I definitely followed them being from Arizona, everyone chose U of A or ASU so I followed them and it's always funny, I said I was going to go down there and play for Lute Olson because he was my hero and all that growing up and when we finally made it to the NCAA Tournament we get to play them.
It's‑‑ it's sweet to be able to play them and play the and I know a lot of people that go down there.  I actually know Nick on the team so I have some connections to U of A.

Q.  Jordan you have seen their defense and how tough they are.  Can you talk about which of your game plan you feel like you need to focus on to be successful offensively?
JORDAN RICHARDSON:  We watch a lot of film.  They pride themselves on the defensive end.  We know we need to set hard screens, we have to have great pace on our offense and he that's what we have been doing all seen so that alone will help us giving the advantage on the opposite end.

Q.  Kyle and Jordan, how important will it be to not let a team like Arizona runway early and build up a big, early lead, how important is that going to be?
JORDAN RICHARDSON:  I think it's important to have a fast start.  Arizona is a great team, they're No. 1 for most of the season so I feel like we don't let them get in transition and get a fast start and keep it close in the first half I think we will stick with them the second half as well.
KYLE TRESNAK:  Same thing Jordan said we have to contain them in transition, they're a fast team, they like to play in transition.  So if we can stop their transition buckets we can stay close to them in the first half.

Q.  Kyle, how do you plan on stopping Gordon?
KYLE TRESNAK:  Me and Joel will be matched up on their two big guys.  He's a tremendous athletes.  He can score around the basket, he can bring the ball down in transition.
I mean, it's just playing tough defense and just using your body, can't play with your hands, gotta play with your feet and always keep 'em moving.

Q.  Kyle, just following up on the question before, did you ever get any letters or interest from Lute Olson back in the day?
KYLE TRESNAK:  I went to games down there when I was younger.  I went to an elite camp down there, Lute's‑‑ the year Russ Pennell took over, and got to meet him so that was a great thing for me but that's about the extent of the interest I got from them.

Q.  Are you guys drawing any motivation just from the fact of being on the bottom, playing on the top seed, the old David and Goliath, thing?
KYLE TRESNAK:  We thought of ourselves as the underdog all season.  We didn't start off well, we had a tough nonconference schedule and the mid‑season poll they chose us fifth or something in the conference so we have had that chip on our shoulder and we were always out to prove something.  It hasn't really changed from then to now.

Q.  Davion, do you see anything that matters between your game and Nike Johnson?
DAVION BERRY:  He can jump higher than me, but it's a great challenge and we got a chip on our shoulder, like Kyle said and I'm excited to get after it.
THE MODERATOR:  Anyone else for the student athletes?  Thank you, gentlemen. Now we'll have some comments from Coach Rahe.
COACH RAHE:  Mission accomplished on the first goal, that's to be able to see over the podium.  (Laughter.)  Obviously we're excited to be here.  I got a bunch of guys that we weren't good early in the season.  We had a tough preseason schedule and we had a lot of young guys that were trying to get in the mix and so from where our team came from Decemberto where we are now, I'm proud of them, they've made great improvements and they deserve to be here, they've earned the right and we're really excited about the challenge coming up.  Any questions you have?

Q.  How do you go about scoring against such a good defensive team?  What do you have to do other than make shots?
COACH RAHE:  You got any set plays for me, Steve?  It's going to be a challenge.  They're impressive to watch.  I've enjoyed watching them on film because of how well coached they are and how good they are together.  It's a system I want to study when it's all said and done.
I would sure like to be able to guard like they guard.  What they have is high‑level athletes and high‑level ability.  What you do is mix in great coaching with that, that's what Sean does with them, he's a fabulous coach and that combination, that's pretty special and that's where they are special it's going to be a challenge.  We can't hurry ourselves.  We got to try to get the shot we want.  This team has done a great job on shot selection and turning down an average shot for a good shot and this is going to be a challenge but we're going to do what we have done all year long and hopefully we can make a couple of shots early to get some confidence going.

Q.  Coach, you mentioned early in the season that your team wasn't playing well, young, tough schedule, specifically why weren't you playing well and what turned it be around?
COACH RAHE:  Just because of things I mentioned.  Our preseason schedule was probably way too hard for the team I had.  I got a few veterans and then I was mixing in the freshman and a sophomores and the combination of the tough schedule and the youngness, trying to mesh the young kids with the old kids was difficult in the beginning.  We run a pretty diverse system and it takes a while for kids to get comfortable in our system and then you combine that with the fact that we didn't play enough games in the preseason.  We were allowed to play nine, we couldn't get into a preseason tournament this past year even though we tried on 7 or 8 which would have given us extra games so we had 9 preseason games we could play from November10th until January2nd.  So it's spread out.  We had a ten‑day layoff between two of our games, and then we had a game cancelled right when we were starting to play pretty well, against San Jose State.  We were scheduled to go to UT Arlington about four days later and that game got cancelled because of ice storms in Dallas.  So now we had a 12‑day laugh and it's hard to get better when you're just practicing.  It was a process, though, and once we got to conference play and we started playing games consistently.  We played two games a week, our younger kids found some rhythm, got confidence and found some comfort level and we grew as a team.  Week‑by‑week in conference play we started getting better and better and these kids stayed the course even though we had a tough preseason.  They stayed the course and tried to figure out how good we could get and they got pretty good.

Q.  Coach, can you tell us a little bit about the importance of Jeremy.  How much he's grown since the start of the season?
COACH RAHE:  He's done a great job, he's the first true freshman to start at the beginning of the season I think in forty years for Weber State.
He's a talented kid.  It took him a while to get comfortable.  We started him at the one and moved him to the two and kept him at the two but he's grown.  I think the biggest thing with him is game by game his confidence has gone up and he's got a bright future.  He does a lot of things well, he can shoot the ball, got a good feel for the game, got some toughness.  So he's going to continue to grow in our program and be pretty darn good.  He's meant a lot to us, he's become stable for us, which is what we need and he's become a stabilizing force for our team and our program.  I've been real proud of him.

Q.  Coach, the other day I was talking to Kyle and he said he felt like you guys matched up well even though obviously 16 versus 1, personnel wise, he felt like you guys could match up against him.  Can you talk about that?
COACH RAHE:  I'll have a talk with Kyle.  We have more than the conventional team.  We have a couple of bigs and we play against a few bigs and in the conference it's turned into four and sometimes five guards and Arizona plays more traditional with two bigs.  They got a 6‑9 guy at the 4, we got a 6‑9 kid at the 4, they got a 7‑2 guy at the 5 and we got a 6‑10 at the 5, it's irritating having a 6‑9 kid running around guarding a 6‑2 guard.
But in terms of that I think we match okay with them.  Obviously they have some pretty high ability but we've got some kids that can play, too, so we'll see how those match‑ups turn out tomorrow, obviously.

Q.  Coach, do you play up the 16 seed as never beaten a 1 or do you stay away from that?
COACH RAHE:  No, we talked about it.  It's out there.  I told our kids from day one when we found out we were playing Arizona, I said a 16 has never beat a 1 and it's going to happen someday.  There have been some close calls and we'll see what happens tomorrow but from our standpoint all you want is an opportunity to have a chance to do that and when you have opportunity, there is hope, and that's we're going to take into that game tomorrow.  Our kids aren't going to be afraid.  They're going to come out and play their game and see what happens.  We don't hide from the fact, we don't run from the fact, they've heard it from probably 100 people between now and the last time we figured out we were going to play Arizona.  It is what it is, let's go and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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