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There have been more experienced teams that have struggled more after a lay-off. You all didn't seem to miss a beat out there. What was behind that?
I definitely attribute that to our run and shoot and the two practices that we had coming up to this game for the simple fact that everybody went hard in the run and shoot. Most guys went all three days of the run and shoot. You had the option to do two, but most guys did all three. [It] kept us in shape, kept us going up and down the court, kept us alert and playing basketball, so that was key for us.
Was it more individual work, or were you all able to work together. You worked together well out there tonight.
It was more individual work and, like I said the two practices we had before this we got right back into it. Coach had a difficult practice for us the first practice coming back. Then we kind of laid back yesterday. I think it definitely helped us out that we were able to get those run and shoots in even during exam time.
What do you feel particularly good about that this team did tonight, aside from winning the game?
We toughed it out. They definitely gave us their best shot. They didn't hit as many shots as they normally hit. We did a great job of defending the ball for the most part. I think that is always key for us. When we can defend the ball it's going to be hard for teams to beat us.
The second half you got a couple of shots to fall and started pressuring on defense. What do you guys need to do to keep that intensity the whole game?
We just have to come out with that intensity from the start. When we hit shots, get guys open, get baskets, I think we feed off that defensively. If we are making shots and getting in guys, we are going to win a couple of games.
Talk about the lay-off. David Noel has done it before and every team has that. How did that affect the younger guys?
It was different. We had different kinds of run and shoots earlier in the week and then a day off. Coming back to practice, you were kind of not out of synch, but we came with enthusiasm and had really good practices. Just getting back out on the court felt good.
Did anyone mention last year's game at all. Hardly anybody on last year's team was playing, but was it brought up at all?
Yeah, when we were watching film, the first highlight they showed was the final score and a guy from Santa Clara holding up his jersey, so they showed us a clip of it, but in reality all those guys are gone so you can't really say it's revenge--it's a completely new team.
You didn't miss a beat out there. How were you able to stay in synch. You had the run and shoots, but how were you able to stay in synch as a team because it didn't look like you missed a beat out there?
Just staying more focused and knowing that we had--this is a team that was very good and we couldn't overlook them. Just following our goal--we have big dreams this year and big goals. We know we have to be focused every night we come out on the court.
Did you all talk--you and David are really the only two guys who saw action last year; most of the others have moved on--did you all talk about that at all? Were you looking at it as revenge or just another game?
Definitely, we had to get them back, but at the same time it was just another game we had to play tonight because it was today's game. We didn't really have too much back to say, 'OK we have to get those guys back; this is what we've been waiting for.'
You've been through exams before having to worry about academics first among the basketball schedule. What were you able to share with the freshmen when it came to balancing exams and getting in workouts and that sort of thing?
Just letting them know how it was going to be before it happened so they can kind of be prepared for it when it comes--just telling them to stay focused and remembering, of course academics first but also to work on what we have coming up and that was today's game.