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Donovan : They wanted to get better

Coach Donovan answers questions.

With a team that early in the season was perceived as being maybe a year away, what have been a few or maybe the biggest keys to going this far?

              COACH BILLY DONOVAN:   Well, just the main piece has been their willingness to remain extremely unselfish, their ability not to embrace success.   I think that's the hardest thing that happens to a team is, when you get to be 17-0, you can think it's easy or that you got it all figured out.   They really remained very humble.   They wanted to get better.

              I think the losses that we went through this year, I've said this many times, have helped our basketball team understand how to get beat.   We were able to make corrections.   I would say besides the passion, the unselfishness, playing hard, they're a very, very attentive group that care about each other a great deal, want to be coached, want information and want to get better.

              I think that's the key.   Although they're young in terms of their year in class, they're a little bit older mentally in terms of what they've got to zero in and focus in on.   That's been a bit surprising to me because I didn't know what to expect.   I felt like we'd play unselfish, we'd play hard, and they'd give me everything they had night in and night out.   But I didn't know when the experience factor would kick in, would we be able to overcome that.

              Al started but was pretty much a defender, rebounder for us.   Corey was the same thing, perimeter defender, slasher.   Corey was our leading scorer coming back from last year's name, scoring seven points a game.   There was a lot of uncertainty.   These guys have shown when you play together as a team what can be accomplished.

              So you talk about UCLA's tradition.   I'm hoping teams that continue to come up, this will be a reflection of what a group of guys, a collection of guys, can do together.