UTA (26-8) 105 at BYU (22-12) 89
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Marriott Center Provo, Utah
UTA Head Coach Scott Cross
How important was ball movement in the win?
"We preach it all the time. Ball movement, player movement. In our semifinal game in the Sun Belt Tournament, our guys did not move the ball. We weren't locked-in defensively. I told them before the game that the definition of insanity is doing the same the over and over and expecting a different result. They know when we don't move the ball, we are probably going to get beat. When we don't play defense. The definition of a champion is doing the things you know a successful team does. They did it tonight. We moved the ball. Luckily our shooters were feeling it. It helps when you take the right shots. Drew was on fire tonight. When he gets going, it makes a lot of things easier for us."
How important was it to have so many players with strong offensive performances?
"It was unbelievable. It starts with our point guard. Erick Neal got everyone involved. He made the right decisions. He was using the pick-and-roll extremely well. Kaelon was extremely aggressive. He was feeling it. He is a guy that has been struggling a little bit recently. He got in a rhythm. He is a guy who can really drive and finish. Hervey is just a dynamic player who can score inside and out. When we are playing the right way, he gets going."
Can you talk about the performance of Jorge Bilbao, who has been ill?
"At shootaround today, Jorge couldn't even stand up. He had so much abdominal pain. He had to go to the doctor and get three bags of IV for dehydration. He is the toughest player I've ever coached. Probably any other player I've coached would not have been able to gut it up and play that game. For him to go out there and fight show how tough that kid is. I'm so thankful that he had the opportunity to experience this. He deserves it, as well as the rest of our seniors."
How important is hosting the second round to the program
"We know we are going to have another big challenge in Akron, another very good basketball team. To have a home game in postseason play is a special opportunity for our guys.."
How did you have an answer for every BYU run?
"We tell our guys to simply control the controllables. You can't worry about officiating. You can't worry about the other team getting hot. You can only worry about making the right play, taking good shots. When our guys are locked in and focused, we are usually pretty good. When we take good shots, we hit a high percentage of them."
UTA senior guard Drew Charles
"That was a barnburner. We scored over 100 points and they scored more than 85. There was a lot of offense. We need to tighten up our defense. But, it was a fun game. Guys just hit shots. Kaelon was hitting shots, Hervey, our whole lineup. And, BYU was hitting some crazy tough shots. (The key to defense) We go over in practice to just keep active hands. Hands up and keep them active. Once they put (the ball) on the ground, go get it. That was our gameplan. We play at our best when we are swarming the ball. We have a flight out tonight. The plane is going to be jumpin. We are excited."
"Jorge (Bilbao) is a tough guy. He is a senior. He is going to leave it all out on the floor. (Eric)Mika is a great player. Jorge did all he could (on defense) and that's what we needed him to do tonight."
MBB: Mavericks drop league game at Louisiana
MBB: UTA travels to league-leading Ragin' Cajuns
MBB: Mavs fall to Warhawks despite Neal's offensive show
MBB: Mavericks looking to reverse road fortune in Louisiana
MBB: Hervey's Career Night Leads Mavs Past Cats
MBB: Castro has the heart of a Maverick