football

Post Pac-12 title game comments

1219592
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After winning the Pac-12 tournament championship, Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle and Colorado players Carlon Brown, Spencer Dinwiddie and Austin Dufault answered questions from the media.
Coach Boyle: "I'll start by saying,
obviously, to say I'm proud of these guys is
probably the biggest understatement I've ever
made, but we beat a great program, a storied
program in Arizona. Very good coach in Sean
Miller, and a good Cal team, a good Oregon team,
and a scrappy Utah team to get here. I want to
recognize our opponents.
It wasn't easy, but I'm telling you, before
this game, we talked about it as a group. If you
believe in destiny, you believe in the Colorado
Buffaloes because it was meant to be for us.
We dedicated this game beforehand to
Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, Marcus Relphorde,
Trent Beckley, Javon Coney, and Alec Burks. Not
a lot of you in this room may know those six guys,
but those six guys sat in my home last year on
Selection Sunday for their last opportunity to go to
the NCAA Tournament, and they were snubbed.
That inspired us.
They picked us 11th. That inspired us.
What these guys have done over these last four
days is something that college basketball is all
about. We recruit good kids, from good families,
and they have a high degree of character, because
you cannot win championships without it.
Our whole locker room is full of them, and
you see three of them up here before you right
now. I'm just so proud of these guys. We'll answer
any questions that come our way."
You had said or talked about fatigue
possibly being a factor in this game. Did you
ever see the point where your team was really
getting tired?
Coach Boyle: "Well, at times. We tried
to sub as quickly as I saw long faces out there. I
tried to get in, even if it was just for a few seconds.
Hey, fatigue is a factor in every
tournament. They played three games in three
days. We played four in four. But we've got
nobody to blame but ourselves if we had taken
care of business against Oregon State late in the
regular season, we wouldn't have a fourth game in
a row. But, again, it was meant to be. These guys
took it on as a challenge. We came here on a
mission, and fatigue was a factor, but it was a
factor for both teams."
Carlon, just take us through your
windmill move there at the end?
Carlon Brown: "I was just going to the
rack strong. Something Coach was preaching
every time out. Wasn't going to be lackadaisical,
so I just attacked the basket and jumped with all
my might."
Walk us through that last play. How
were you able to lock up so well defensively?
Coach Boyle: "Well, again, we didn't
finish very strong. Obviously, we turned it over,
missed some free throws. We didn't execute
offensively really good down the stretch, except for
Carlon's dunk, I think that was our first basket in
like eight minutes. We've gone on droughts all
year.
But you rely on your defense. You rely on
your rebounding. We beat this Arizona team in
Boulder the same way on a stop. It's appropriate
that it ended that way. It shouldn't have been that
close, but our guys did what they had to do.
Again, it just shows the perseverance.
We do a drill, we call the bubble drill. We
put a bubble in our basket with four or five minutes
to go, and we have a lead. The only way you can
win the game is by getting stops. And that drill,
Carlon alluded to it in one of our timeouts, our
players believe in it, and it won us the game
tonight."
Carlon, can you talk about that
stretch to start the second half where you guys
built the lead? How big did you feel that was in
the end?
Carlon Brown: "It was a very big
stretch that we came out in the second half, being
aggressive, executing the offense and defense.
Guys were making plays. Guys were making the
right reads whether it was passing, scoring, and
getting in the passing lane. Just a credit to all of
my teammates. We just really wanted this and
weren't going to be denied."
Austin, what does this moment
mean to you given all you've been through in
your career, including Selection Sunday last
year?
Austin Dufault: "It's hard to explain in
words what it means. There have been so many
up and downs for the last four years. But I've just
treasured every moment at CU for the last four
years. The tough ones have only made me a
better person along with my teammates. We
couldn't have gotten to this point without going
through ups and downs. I think that's a testament
to our team. We just came together today and
played through ups and downs again, and got it
done."
Carlon, could you talk about your
last two weeks? Coming out of a slump and
then going to the top?
Carlon Brown: "Yeah, I just tried to
put everything in the past, knowing that I had this
opportunity to be aggressive and play in this
tournament. Like I said, I just let everything go. I
played the game as aggressive as I could, attack
the rim, making the right reads, making the right
shots, and stepping up and being the leader the
team needed me to be and I wanted to be for this
team."
Just wondering if you could kind of
relive that day at your house, Selection
Sunday? Also, if you've heard from Alec or
any of your seniors this week at all?
Coach Boyle: "Well, I text them all last
night about 1:30 in the morning, all six guys that
were in that room that aren't with us today. Told
them we're going to dedicate this game to them. It
was the hardest day. One of the hardest days.
Other than leaving Northern Colorado and telling
my team that I was coming to CU was the next
hardest day in my life as a college basketball
coach, because I knew what that team deserved.
We got shut out. But, again, this team
wasn't going to be denied. Inspiration can come in
a lot of different forms. For me, as a coach, those
guys will never have that opportunity again is what
inspired me. To push these guys every day in
practice, and I get as much inspiration from our
players, probably more, than they get from me."
Spencer, knowing you had to win
four in four days, what were your realistic
expectations before the tournament? And to
achieve what you've done, how thrilling is it to
be sitting here as the winner?
Spencer Dinwiddie: "We wanted to
win the tournament, and we expected to win the
tournament. To win it is a great feeling. I don't
know (smiling)."
Carlon, can you talk about contrast
your feelings today compared to Selection
Sunday last year when you guys went through
what you went through? How much did it
inspire you this year?
Carlon Brown: "Yeah, it was definitely
a heart break. I still have the picture on my phone
just to remind me, even though I didn't contribute in
minutes played last year, I still understand how it
felt.
To come out here today, I told these guys
at halftime, there is nothing like the feeling of
winning a tournament championship and cutting
down those nets and getting all this free gear
(laughing).
On a serious note, I'm the only person
that's been to the tournament. I know how it feels.
I wanted these guys to feel it, especially A.B. and
Nate and Trey because I know what this program
has been through the last four years. It wasn't
always like this. Those guys deserved it, and I
wanted to win it for them and I wanted to win it for
Coach."
Spencer, what did this mean to you
having gone to Colorado, being from L.A.,
having won this championship here?
Spencer Dinwiddie: "No, no. That
means a lot. That was great. Playing in front of
family and friends and showing that I made the
right decision in my college choice. Thank you,
Coach. I mean, it's a great feeling to come back
and win this championship. To make it to the
tournament my freshman year, it's a blessing."
Spencer, yesterday you said you
were happy with winning. A little disappointed
in your shooting. Did you put a little emphasis
on it? How did it feel hitting that first three and
going four for four?
Spencer Dinwiddie: "That felt good to
hit your first shot it always gets you rolling. But I
just credit the seniors and stuff for believing in me.
They told me don't stop shooting. Even though I
was in a little bit of a slump throughout the
tournament, they said when we pass it to you,
make the shot. I've got to keep shooting."
Carlon, talk to me a little bit, not
looking too far behind, yesterday you had that
windmill dunk. What was the response that
you got after that happened yesterday? Did
that put any more pressure on you to deliver
another performance or signature moment
today?
Carlon Brown: "I had like 50 texts
waiting for me yesterday after that. Everybody
saying I made SportsCenter or what not. But that's
something I've done before, so it wasn't too
exciting for me. I just knew I wanted to put an
exclamation on the game and make sure we won.
Today I was just trying to finish at the rim, like I
said earlier. I'm thankful that God gave me this
talent and ability to leap."
Spencer, do you feel any pressure at
all? You get out there and feel loose. You're
hitting everything. That's pretty unusual for a
freshman. And Tad, did you see that in
Spencer when you were recruiting him?
Spencer Dinwiddie: "No, I don't really
feel any pressure. I practice every day and I
played hard and I prepared. Once again, the
seniors and the coaching staff instill confidence in
me every single day so I don't feel any pressure.
I've just got to go out there and play."
Coach Boyle: "In terms of recruiting
Spencer, the thing I love about his game is he can
affect it in so many different ways. I saw Spencer
score 20, 25 points in games when I watched him
play. I remember seeing him play a game where
he didn't score a point, but he ran the team. He
rebounded. He made plays for others.
He's got the ability, I think, to be a leader,
like Carlon's been on the perimeter and Nate. I
think he's learned from two great seniors this year.
As his career progresses, his game will continue to
evolve. Again, what makes his game great is he
can affect the game so many different ways.
Shooting is just one of them. Scoring is just one of
them.
One of the things I talked to Spencer about
in the last couple of weeks, every time I'd see him,
be aggressive, be aggressive, be aggressive,
because when he's aggressive, he's pretty darn
good."
Coach, these two local guys, can
you talk about not just this weekend, but the
contributions and the impact they've had on
your program?
Coach Boyle: "Yeah, I mean, I think our
veterans would attest to that. These guys have
come in with a confidence and a little bit of a
swagger about them. Sometimes that's a good
thing. Sometimes it can get a little bit too much,
and that's why sometimes they've got to be put in
their place by the coaches or seniors.
But when the ball goes up and we're all
trying to win a game, I think our guys love the fact
that Spencer and Askia are here, and they do have
the attitude and the swagger that they've got
because that's what helps you win games. You've
got to have a little bit of that to win.
But we recruit L.A. guys like Spencer and
Askia. We talk about moments like this. Spencer
and I talked about it on the phone coming back to
L.A. and making a statement, and I think both
those young men have started pretty good in their
careers. The good thing is they've got three years
left."
Can you talk about your feelings
when you're watching Carlon go up for these
windmill dunks?
Coach Boyle: "I just want him to finish
them. Now Carlon's banged a few off the back of
the rim, but I'm telling you what, big players make
big-time plays, on big-time stages. I think what you
saw out of Carlon Brown these last four games is
he's a guy who kind of put this team on his
shoulders. He's been more vocal than he's been
all year in timeouts, in huddles, on the floor,
encouraging his teammates. And those windmill
dunks are just icing on the cake.
I'm extremely proud of him and all of our
seniors. But Carlon deserves the MVP of this
tournament because he was big when we needed
him to be big."
Down the stretch you guys had a
series of air balls, the ball went through your
legs. What were you thinking on the last
possession?
Austin Dufault: "Just get a stop. For
all the stuff that was going our way, we still had an
opportunity to dig in on the defensive end, which
was what we were preaching all year, get a stop
and win it that way. I just think once again it was
kind of fitting.
It would have been nice if we could end
the game a little bit smoother. If I could have
knocked down a couple free throws or caught that
pass. But we went down to the other end. Once
again, we just dug in defensively and got a stop."
What did it mean to have the
members of your student section, and who
made the decision to let one of them be the
first to cut down the net?
Coach Boyle: "Mike Bohn, our athletic
director, who is as big a part of this win as anybody
at our university. We brought him in the locker
room after the game because I wouldn't be the
coach at Colorado if it wasn't for Mike Bohn. His
leadership and bringing those students here, I
think, is a testament to what he's all about. That's
helped make dreams come true and lifelong
experiences as a student-athlete or a student at
the University of Colorado become a reality.
I'm just so thankful that those 50 kids could
come here and experience this with us. They're a
big part of it, as are the rest of the students who
have been supporting us all year at The Coors
Event Center. I know a lot of you haven't seen a
game there, but it's a special place. And Mike
Bohn's a big, big part of that. So for me, I tip my
hat to him."
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