BYU meets with the media in Milwaukee
For more photos from Wednesday's press conference and Tuesday's practice, visit the BYU basketball Facebook page.
For media articles from Wednesday's press conference check out the links at the bottom of the page.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – BYU coach Dave Rose and guards Tyler Haws and Anson Winder addressed the media at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Wednesday in preparation for the team's second round matchup with Oregon in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The Cougars and Ducks meet tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. CT in the Bradley Center. The game will be televised live on truTV and broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.
Select quotes from the press conference are listed below. For a complete transcript, visit ASAPsports.com.
Q. Tyler, when you guys got the bid and were in the tournament, there were some national experts who basically said you didn't belong, that you shouldn't have gotten the bid. What would your reaction be to that and is that going to be any kind of motivation for you guys?
TYLER HAWS: You know, we don't pay attention a lot to what people say about us, but we're pretty confident we should be in the tournament and we've got to go prove ourselves.
Q. Tyler, how important is it for BYU's program to be recognized as an NCAA Tournament team? This is seven out of Dave's nine years, and to be able to get in. Is it important that everybody perceives BYU as an NCAA Tournament team?
TYLER HAWS: For sure. That's our goal at the beginning of every year is to get in this tournament and to make some noise. And so I think it's really important for our program, and we're definitely proud to be in the tournament and want to win some games.
Q. How has the team regrouped in the last week or so without Kyle and collectively how do you replace the different things he does?
ANSON WINDER: I think in practice coaches have been stressing for us to be more aggressive and just to make plays when we have the opportunity. We're losing so much without having Kyle that we'll have to make up for rebounds, assists, and points. It just means that everyone has to be more aggressive and step up to the challenge. I think we're all pretty excited about coming out and playing and hopefully going on a run.
Q. Anson, you guys struggled from three-point range in the West Coast Conference Tournament. How important is it to get that shooting back from long range in this tournament?
ANSON WINDER: It will be important, especially because that's such a big part of our offense, especially now with Kyle out, we'll probably shoot a little bit more 3s. We didn't shoot as well as we would like in the conference tournament. We're trying to get our confidence up and hopefully shoot better in this tournament.
Opening statement from BYU coach Dave Rose
We're excited to be here in Milwaukee. I think that it's more like March here in Milwaukee as far as the weather is concerned than it was in Utah. When we left Utah, it was 60 degrees. This feels more like basketball weather, so we're excited to be here. I think our team is really looking forward to our second round matchup with Oregon. It's a team we've played, and it was a little surprising when the brackets were released, but in a lot of ways, I think it's kind of beneficial to be able to play somebody that you've already prepared for and you have a scouting report for and familiarity. And as we go back and watch films of the last eight, 10 games, Oregon is playing really well and there will be a lot of challenges for us, but we look forward to it.
Q. Coach, of your seven NCAA Tournament appearances, would this have been the season with the most in-season adversity to overcome and how will the characteristic of resiliency serve you ideally against Oregon in this tournament?
COACH DAVE ROSE: I think that as far as challenges during the year, we've had quite a few this year. I think that's the thing that this group is probably most proud of, the fact we've overcome quite a few challenges to get here to the NCAA Tournament. Now hopefully we can overcome another hurdle, which is the loss of Kyle Collinsworth, our starting point guard, one of our leaders in points scored and assists and rebounds. But what we've always said going through the season and the issues you have to deal with is that is an opportunity for other players to step up. And we have good players and we're fortunate that that position, we'll start a guy who started over 70 games for us in Matt Carlino. We're bringing experience into that position, and hopefully we can have some guys on the bench that will really step up their play here in the tournament.
Q. Dave, this is seven out of nine for you in the NCAA Tournament. How important is it for BYU to be recognized as an NCAA Tournament team and also how critical was the non-conference schedule to get you to this point?
COACH DAVE ROSE: I said this before and what I really want for our players who come to BYU is to be able to have this experience. I remember as a player, the two NCAA tournaments I was able to play in, it's like nothing else. It's a life experience that you relate to forever. And that that's what I want for our players. The fact that we've been able to get back here seven of the nine years is, I think, a real tribute to the guys and to our assistant coaches. And I'm happy for this group because this group went through some real challenges in November, December, and we flew from one end of the country to the other, playing really good basketball teams. We had a lead against Wichita State in the second half and that gets away from us and we don't win that game. Our guys were kind of crushed. At the time we didn't know Wichita State was going to win 34 games in a row. We played UMass back in Springfield and at Stanford, at Oregon. So we had quite a few road games where our guys were really tested. The Iowa State game at home always sticks with us because it was a two-point game and one we thought we could win, up 12 at one time in that game. They've gone on to have a great year. The challenges that our guys have been through, I think there's confidence in that, but hopefully that will help us in this game on Thursday.
Q. Coach, what are some of the ways specifically as a team collectively you can compensate for what Kyle does that you're playing the first game without him?
COACH DAVE ROSE: I think the most important thing is the aggressiveness of our guys, and I think that the NCAA Tournament lights are really bright and you get kind of an interesting game from all your players, and what you hope is we get a real consistent feel from not only the starters but the guys who are going to get a few extra minutes. Skyler Halford who started for us, had a 28-point game at our place against San Diego this year. So the guys are capable of doing of job. Josh Sharp is another guy who can help with the rebounding issues. He's a really athletic, explosive guy, and hopefully he can perform well in his minutes. Frank Bartley who played really well for us early in the season and then during conference didn't get as many minutes will get a real opportunity. And what you want is for the guys to play their best. And if we do that and we manage the personnel, and these guys are playing their best basketball, then we'll be able to maybe compensate for the loss of Kyle.
Q. Dave, if you could reply to some of these national guys who have said that BYU is either overseeded or doesn't belong, would you reply, and if so, what would that be?
COACH DAVE ROSE: Probably I'd just tell them that if you would spend five months with our team, you would have a whole different understanding or reasoning or interpretation or feeling about our team because these guys deserve to be here.