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What they said… Tyrese Rice and Joe Trapani

03.20.09 at 11:25 pm ET
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That was not the way Tyrese Rice wanted his career to end. The senior point guard and BC team leader made just four of his 11 shots on the night and finished with nine points as the Eagles fell to Southern California, 72-55, in a Midwest Regional first round game in Minneapolis.

Here is what Rice and teammate Joe Trapani had to say following a loss that finished their season at 22-12.

Q. Talk about the difference in philosophies. Tim Floyd was saying that he wanted to not necessarily focus on you, but focus on the parts around you. You know what I mean? How difficult did that make it for you?

TYRESE RICE:
I mean, I think that’s what most teams do on defense. I don’t think anybody just focuses in on me solely, but I just think that they just try to come up with some kind of scheme to stop everyone. I don’t think they just focused it on me.

Q. Tyrese, can you just talk about your last game now. This is you guys got back into the tournament, you did what you wanted to, you accomplished this part. How difficult is this right now?

TYRESE RICE: Of course I wanted to do more, but overall, I mean, pretty good year. I can’t really complain. Probably give or take winning a couple more games than we have, but overall I think it was a pretty good year.

I definitely wanted to make more of a run in the tournament, but, I mean, that’s how it is sometimes. That is how it was for us my sophomore year and my freshman year. We probably could have went farther in both of those years, too. So we can’t really harp on it, but just say it was great.

Q. Tyrese, it felt like in the first half you had your fingerprints more on you were very active scoring wise and the second half things fell off. Describe the differences and what happened.

TYRESE RICE: I just think we executed more in the first half, which opened more things up. We went through more of our offense in the first half and got to the second and third options. And then if something broke down, we then made something happen.

In the second half, when something broke down, we just automatically just thought like get a shot up instead of just keep going through the whole thing and then waiting for something to come about. But in the second half, I think they bunkered down a little bit tighter on defense and made things a little tough.

Q. For either one of you guys. Could you feel when Rakim Sanders, you made the play to kind of kick him the 3 or whatever, it felt like that was almost trying to keep the momentum from slipping away because they were kind of putting together things. Could you feel momentum kind of shift in? What was it like in the second half when they were starting to put things together and you were trying to clean things up?

JOE TRAPANI: It basically came down to us not making stops and then hitting shots. You know, they would get the ball, pass around the perimeter, you know, and then get it down low. We weren’t boxing out.
We weren’t rebounding like we were in the first half. You know, basically we just couldn’t regroup from there.

Q. Joe, we talked a little bit before about this being kind of what you came here for. What does it mean to you to be at this point, and kind of the way you guys are going out? And looking ahead, I am assuming it is a lot of progress that had been made.

JOE TRAPANI: Obviously it is great to make the NCAA tournament, but once you’re here you want to win. We felt like we could have definitely won this game tonight. And I don’t know, we just couldn’t get the stops down the stretch in the second half.

Q. I was going to ask Tyrese, a lot of people are saying just describe the last three or four games. It has been kind of quiet for you. Has it been frustrating? Are you playing the kind of games you want to play? Describe the last few games.

TYRESE RICE:
The last couple of games we lost a couple and we won a couple. I can’t really say that because I didn’t have big scoring numbers that I guess people expect, but other than that, we are still winning games. I mean, regardless of even that’s how the whole year pretty much played out. I didn’t really have any big scoring nights but we were winning games. And that’s all that really mattered to me regardless of stats or anything else. I just wanted to win games and that’s what we were doing.

Q. Tyrese, you kind of said all season long that you came back for your senior year because you felt that there was some unfinished business last season. Now that you made the NCAA tournament but the season is over, are you satisfied with that decision?

TYRESE RICE: Yeah, I am definitely satisfied with that decision. I think coming back definitely helped me grow. It definitely got me definitely helped me mature a little bit more as a person. And being able to change roles from like being basically a main scorer to being someone that gets everybody involved, I think it really helped me a lot. It helped me learn how to like pick and choose spots a little bit bitter. And another year in college definitely can’t hurt anybody. I think it was fine.

Q. I think one other thing was wanting the other people to benefit, too. How do you feel you coming back and you take that role where you are supposed to help other guys, do you feel that the team you are leaving behind, you know, as a team that can continue on?

TYRESE RICE: I have a lot of confidence in the team that they will have over these next two years. They have got a lot of great pieces coming back and we have some guys that will definitely step up. And I think they will take care of business.

I mean, we have a lot of confidence levels, like Joe here, Rakim, with Corey. A lot of the guys are really starting to realize what they can do on this level and they are definitely going to take care of business. And I think Biko Paris is going to be ready to step in and lead the team next year.

Q. The same question for Joe compared to when you first came to now.
Talk about the team that, you know, will be around for next year, what you guys are expecting from now, what have you learned from this year basically.

JOE TRAPANI: Well, you know, we can’t just go home to sip sodas and come back next year and expect to make it to the NCAA tournament. We have to get nine guys in the gym. The guys that weren’t playing as much this year and the guys that were. We have a lot of growing and maturing to do, but I definitely think we have the pieces to build off of this.

Read More: Boston College, Joe Trapani, NCAA, Tyrese Rice
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