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March 21, 2014

Aaron Gordon

Nick Johnson

Sean Miller

Gabe York


Arizona – 68
Weber State – 59

THE MODERATOR:  Coming up Arizona, Coach Sean Miller, Nick Johnson, Gabe York and Aaron Gordon.  Comments by Coach.
COACH MILLER:  Weber is one of the best teams we've played all season.  We played some of the great teams in college basketball and I don't care what the name of their conference is or what they say on their shirt, they have a center who can score in the low post as well as any player that we have scouted.  Their power forward, I believe, will play in the NBA, unbelievable rebounder.  He had eight second shots or seven second shots, terrific player, Joel Bolomboy and obviously, Davion Berry, I thought Nick did a great job on him but he's a great player, can create place for himself and others and they're well coached.  We knew it was going to be a difficult game, and I think we're excited and in some ways fortunate to advance.  We weren't ready at the beginning of the game, not because we took Weber for granted.  I thought we had some anxiety, dropped balls, missed shots and got down 7‑0, once we got through that stretch we played some really good basketball and I think for half of the second half we did the same thing and let we let our guard down, I didn't think we finished the game well and when you play against a good team they make a run at you, which they did.  We're excited to advance, we're 31‑4.  I know the next game is going to be a terrific game and one of my hopes is playing one of these, getting one of these under our belt, we're more ourselves and even better here on Sunday because I think all of us know we will need to be.

Q.  Nick, Davion Berry talked a few minutes ago about how he really enjoyed facing you today.  Talk about your experiences facing him today.
NICK JOHNSON:  He is a great really scores in a variety of ways.  We were just battling the whole game.  They run him off a lot of screens, ball screens and stuff like that so it was fun chasing him.  Fouled him too much, let him get to the line too much but overall I think we did a decent job on him, but he's a great scorer.

Q.  Aaron, talk about your first game in the national tournament.
AARON GORDON:  It's a big time tournament but it's something you have to rise to the occasion to and I felt like I did pretty well for my first time.  It was fun.

Q.  I know you guys hate to hear the word free‑throws but I think the past two games the opponents have made more than you've been able to shoot.  Is that something you're thinking about, proving the doubters that you can knock down the free throws?
AARON GORDON:  It's not really about proving the doubters wrong.  It's a complete mental thing we're not making it any bigger than it is; we're not making it any smaller than it is.  We're just going to go to the line and knock 'em down.

Q.  Nick, as a perimeter defender can you talk about the security blanket that you have knowing that guys like Kaleb and Aaron are back there blocking shots, I think they had 10 or 11 today.
NICK JOHNSON:  They're our anchors down low.  They really held me on ball screens.  A lot of offense we play are ball screeners, and coming off that flat ball screen I need a little bit of help get hit on, and Kaleb and Aaron have done a great job altering shots and blocking shots and you saw that today.  I mean, I said it before, I think both of them could have been on our all‑conference defensive team because they definitely have helped myself and say T.J. and Gabe throughout the year.

Q.  Nick, can you tell us a little bit about that 3 you made that put the lead back to 12?
NICK JOHNSON:  I believe they went to a zone, probably 10 minutes left in the game, gave us trouble in the first half a little bit.  We weren't really running our zone offense and Aaron got in the post or found me on the wing and I mean, I just knocked it down.  We've been working on our shooting, you know, it's the NCAA Tournament you gotta hit shots and that's what happened.

Q.  Aaron, if you will, talk about what it was like to play against Weber's post players, specifically, Joel Bolomboy.
AARON GORDON:  He has really high motor, you know, it was fun to go against him.  Like myself I have a high motor and he positions himself very well to have the ball bounce into his hands.  All credit to him for getting those rebounds and helping his team.

Q.  ‑‑ two great guys like that and it's going to just get more difficult throughout the tournament.  What does it do moving forward to you guys?
KALEB TARCZEWSKI:  I think it kind of prepares me and Aaron for the type of players we are going to play.  They had two great post players a tremendous rebounder and another one an all‑conference center and really kind of prepares us moving forward.  I think Aaron and I did a good job at containing them today, and that helps, the wings helping down and stuff like that.  It gets us prepared and gets us comfortable, kind of gets those jitters out.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, gentlemen.  We will continue with Coach Miller.

Q.  Coach, what do you feel was the deciding moment in the game that really put it over the top for you guys?
COACH MILLER:  I never felt the game was in doubt.  They made a really good run but I think our lead was as many as 18, 20, and once we got through the first four minutes of the game, I felt like we were in control, but, you know, I think just looking at it, one of the things‑‑ you asked the question in the back about teams making more free‑throws than we attempt.  That's not a problem for our offense, that's a problem for our defense.  When you think about it, out of their 59 points that they scored, 20 of their 59 came from the foul line.  Now they went 20 for 23 but I think five different times during the game with 5 seconds or less on the shot clock one of our perimeter defenders reached in and fouled.  Just a complete lack of discipline, lack of concentration.  You're going to foul in the game of basketball but the silly reach‑ins, especially when the shot clock is that low, it makes it difficult because they're either going to go to the foul line and shoot or they get a brand new 35 seconds and they get another possession.  If we would have been more disciplined with our fouls and kept them off the line we would have had an incredible defensive performance.
That's why when you look at the stat sheet they is the shot 30% for the game and we shot 55% for the game and usually when that happens the score is even more lopsided but we neglect gated some of our great defense with reaching in and that's something we have to correct going forward.
We've been doing that and tonight was another reminder that for us to be the great defensive team that we are moving forward we have to foul less.  I think we can control that.

Q.  Sean, you called a time‑out with 15 minutes ago in the second half, you were up by 15.  Was that a normal procedure for you?
COACH MILLER:  No, we talked about Joel Bolomboy before the game, I feel like he's an NBA player.  We have not faced a player who is a better offensive rebounder than him.  I think he leads the nation or is he's close to leading the nation, we knew that so we gave up two second shots to him on the first two shots of the second half.  It's something we emphasized.  I wanted to make sure on our end that once again, we're responsible and doing the things that we know we need to do.
And we gave him a couple of second shots, I think he had seven, actually and I think he kept others alive, I think he had more toward 10 offensive rebounds than 7.  Now, his partner, Tresnak had one field goal during the game so part of what Joel Bolomboy enjoyed was the fact that his man was trapping Tresnak.  Someone said moving forward it's only going to get tougher in the post.  I don't believe that.  I think Weber State's two post players are about as good as you can get when you consider how big they are.  Their size.  One leads the nation in rebounding or is close and one is a first‑team all conference center who can score and they do a great job of getting him the.  Well coached team, disciplined team great.  Weber was playing great basketball today and no question, it was a good game for us to play, because I think it reminded all of us how hard it is to play in this tournament.

Q.  Coach, season high 11 blocks today.  You mentioned playing the post.  Talk about that.
COACH MILLER:  Well, we blocked a lot of shots that Berry drove.  I know he ended up he was 5 for 20 from the floor, a number of his drives both Aaron and Kaleb blocked them and our length around the basket, that's something that has been good for us all year and it helped us today.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions for Coach?  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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