Xavier vs. BYU Pregame Quotes (Round 1)March 14, 2007

NCAA Tournament First Round
March 14, 2007
Lexington, Ky.

BYU Head Coach Dave Rose

I think our players are excited to be here. This is something we worked for all year long. I think our match up in the first round is a very good team in Xavier and were looking forward to the game tomorrow.

On Xaviers defense & They are a very aggressive defensive team and they have, at times, changed from zone to man in games. I think its a very fundamentally sound, aggressive team. At this time of year you just have to adjust to the personality of the game and how the game goes. Thats been one of the strengths of our teams because we have good senior leadership and our three captains have done a good job recognizing defenses and being able to adjust to them.

On if he pulls from his NCAA Tournament playing experience to help his team & One of the most important things is just to be consistent. Our preparation is the same and our focus is the same. Travel, obviously, this week has been a little bit different, but you try to do things your scouting reports, practice times, practice sessions might be a little bit shorter the same way so your players can have confidence with that consistency.

On winning an NCAA Tournament game as a building step for a program & Every opportunity you have to play, winning is very important to the success of your program. We had an opportunity last week to win a couple postseason games in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Were fortunate enough to continue to play this week so hopefully we can do the same.

On similarities between Xavier and BYU & They have three seniors who are very experienced and they really share the ball. They have a point guard who shoots 55 or 56 percent (actually 45.9, but 57.1 in conference games) from the three-point line, similar to ours. They do a good job getting the ball inside and working it out. Offensively, were very similar. Defensively we do some things a little bit different, but both teams are very aggressive. They play together as a group. Theyve had multiple players with big games during the season, similar to our team. They like to push the ball. They scored, in their conference, close to 80 points per game (80.1). Those are similar things to our team.

#13 Austin Ainge, G

On how meaningful it would be to win a game in the tournament& It would be a big accomplishment because its been a while for us. Its a goal we have and it would be good for our team to get a win.

Its all about what youve done for me lately and its been a while since weve won. We have to prove ourselves and go out and win a game. People arent just going to hand that to you.

On what teams he can compare to Xavier and similarities between BYU and XU& I cant think of a team exactly like them, but UNLV is similar. They have a lot of guards that can shoot and penetrate. We can go inside and outside a lot so I can see some similarities between our two teams. We both like to play the transition game.

On playing in front of Xavier fans& We are aware of it being close for their fans, but we have played in front of hostile crowds before. This is a neutral site and weve played tough road games all year so were not too concerned about the fans. Were more concerned with how we execute and how we play.

#23 Jimmy Balderson, G

On playing in the NCAA Tournament& We are all excited to be here. We have had these goals all year to be in the NCAA Tournament. It is good to be in the tournament, everyone looks forward to the it. It is a fun time of the year and we just want to get some wins and play the best we can.

On playing at Rupp Arena& I think that throughout the course of the year we have played at a lot of good places. It is fun to be on the road when you get to play in these big arenas. It inspires us to play hard when you are out on a court where there is so much history.

#44 Trent Plaisted, F/C

On the match up with Xavier& Xavier is a really good team. They have a lot of good athletes on their team that penetrate and move the ball really well. We match up well against each other and this game should live up to its seeding.

On BYUs lack of NCAA experience& Im not too concerned (with our lack of experience). We have all played in a lot of college basketball games. I know the NCAA Tournament is a different stage, but we are very confident.

#3 Keena Young, F

On Austin Ainges leadership& He is a great leader. He keeps us all together as a team when we are out on the court. His leadership has played a large part in our teams success.

Xavier Head Coach Sean Miller

Were very excited to be a part of the NCAA Tournament. As the coach of Xavier University Im excited for our University and our basketball program. The tradition at Xavier is very unique; when you consider the number of years that we have been able to make the NCAA Tournament under different coaches and under different conferences for so many years. To be back here in 2007 as a nine seed were very excited and hopeful that we can play a great game tomorrow night against a very good team in BYU.

On Drew Lavender& Well, Drew has made an immense contribution to our season. Like all players that have to sit out a year, it took him some time to get used to a new system, a new coach and new teammates. Really right around Christmastime he hit his stride. Then I think he went to another level right at the turn in February. In large part our last 10 games, which weve won 9-10, he has a big role in that. I think the one characteristic he has as a point guard that separates him from so many other good point guards is his assist to turnover ratio. Hes right around 3-1. That speaks volumes about how he makes the other players on our team better.

On Brigham Youngs Keena Young& I think he is a terrific player. Hes the Mountain West Player of the Year and I watched so many different teams try and deal with him, its interesting. Certain teams trapped him and other teams tried to corral him. In spite of the other teams effort at the end of the game he always seems to be that player on BYU who is in double figures and who has made a huge contribution to the win. We have our hands full with him. I like to think throughout our entire schedule that weve played, weve seen so many different styles of play, so many good players both out of conference and in our own conference that will help us do the best that we can. Theres really no easy remedy because he has a partner (Lee Cummard) in place who we respect a great deal. Those guys are surrounded by such a strong group of three-point shooters that you really have to pick your poison and I dont think anybody has really come to grips with which one is best.

Xavier Player Quotes

#33 Brandon Cole, F

On junior-transfer Drew Lavenders play& Hes made a great difference to the team this year. We have a two-headed monster with Johnny (Wolf) and Drews contrasting styles. Drew is so lighting quick and really has worked hard to be a great shooter. Hes opened things up for the rest of the team because he is so hard to contain off the dribble.

On playing at Rupp Arena& Im looking forward to it a lot. BYU had to travel all the way from Utah and we had to make a much shorter trip. We should definitely have the crowd support in our advantage. I know every game could be my last and I want to go out there and do the best I can.

#3 Justin Cage, F

On matching up with BYU& Its going to be a great game. We match up really well with them. They shoot a lot of threes and have two inside players that can hurt you. We have a balanced team as well and thats why its a good match up.

They have a lot of good players. Their two leading scorers are on the inside so it is a little different that the A-10 and we are looking forward to playing them tomorrow.

On playing against BYUs Keena Young& I have to try and force him to take a lot of tough shots. Im sure hes had to go up against a lot of players who have tried to stop him and he has done a great job. You also have to depend on your teammates when you make a mistake and he gets by you.

We have seen him a lot, he is a very good player and he is his conferences player of the year so over the past couple of days we have been getting familiar with their system.

On reminding people about the history of Xavier&. Our program is one of the most winningest programs in March but we dont really get the respect for it. We are glad to be here and we just want to come out tomorrow and have a good showing and put our name out there about how we play in this tournament and let that speak for itself.

#24 Drew Lavender, G

On last time he played in an NCAA tournament game& We lost at the end and (Utahs Andrew) Bogut scored a triple double

On the backcourt match-up& We are just going to keep playing the same way we have been playing and stay consistent and keep pushing the ball. We watched BYU and they are pretty fast with their transitions and passes but we just have to g o out there and play our game.

-Courtesy Kentucky