PROVO — Coming off a 72-54 defeat in the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game on Saturday against San Diego State, BYU players and coaches say they've put that loss behind them.
As the Cougars prepare for their NCAA Tournament game Thursday against Wofford in Denver, they are looking to rebound from that humbling setback.
"It's an NCAA Tournament game, but it's a bounce-back game for us," said coach Dave Rose. "We need to get back on the winning track."
BYU is hoping to apply lessons that it learned against the Aztecs.
"We need to find a way to win, no matter what," said forward Charles Abouo. "The San Diego State game that we lost was tough for us. We were finding ways to win the first two games (of the MWC Tournament). That's something we can learn from going to the NCAA Tournament, regardless of how we're playing we need to make sure and find a way to win. At this point, if you lose a game, you're done for the year."
"We saw some things we were exposed to as far as rebounding and certain things," said guard Jackson Emery. "We're still adjusting to different lineups (since the suspension of forward Brandon Davies). One characteristic of this team is we're going to fight and play to the end. That's the most important thing."
Guard Jimmer Fredette said his team's confidence has not been shaken.
"We're still very confident in our abilities. We've played five games now with all of these guys, and we know kind of what we're going to do," he said. "It was a good game by (SDSU), and we didn't play so hot. Sometimes that happens. We're confident that we can come back and get a win. We've been good at winning the next game after losing one. Hopefully we can do that."
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: The Cougars practiced Monday at the Marriott Center and will do so again Tuesday before departing for Denver.
"What's important now is to settle into the routine of this week," head coach Dave Rose said. "We have some guys who have been through this before."
PRIME TIME TIPOFF: BYU will play Wofford at 5:15 MDT on CBS. The announcers for the game are scheduled to be Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser.
DROP IN POLLS: The Cougars fell from No. 8 to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll released Monday. They dropped from No. 8 to No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.12 comments on this story
INJURY UPDATE: BYU is relatively healthy going into the Big Dance.
"We're banged up a little bit," Rose said. "Logan (Magnusson) has a sore back that has caused him some problems. Jackson (Emery) and Noah (Hartsock) are feeling better. This time of year, everybody's sore."
While Hartsock's ailing foot is improving, his voice has been hoarse as a result of being hit in the throat during the San Diego State game. "It messed up my vocal cords for now," he said. "Hopefully it will go back to normal soon."