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BYU basketball: Cougars next opponent San Francisco talking big before WCC semi

BYU is set to take on USF in the 2014 West Coast Conference Tournament semifinal at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Here are some photos from both teams.
BYU is set to take on USF in the 2014 West Coast Conference Tournament semifinal at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Here are some photos from both teams.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The USF Dons obviously feel they belong at the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas this week -- because even head coach Rex Walters is running his mouth prior to the Dons’ tangle on Monday, March 10 against BYU.

After the 21-10 Dons dispatched their quarterfinal opponent San Diego 69-60 Walters took to the microphone proclaiming in a Muhammad Ali of yore moment that his team is indeed the greatest of all time.

"I told our guys, 'I think we're the best team here, quite honestly,'" Walters said at the press conference. "We have a chance to prove it. ... I think we've got as good a chance as anyone, and I think we're better."

BYU head coach Dave Rose said he admires Walters’ conviction -- and added the USF coach was named the WCC Coach of the Year for a reason.

"Well, he’s got the hottest team," Rose said about Walters’ remarks. "If you [look] at what they have done down the stretch, they are playing really well. I respect a guy who has a lot of confidence in the team he’s coaching."

Walters is a former Kansas player and a Japanese-American who played over a decade in Europe and the NBA before he became a coach.

For a team that has lost 10 games to say they are the best team in the conference tournament -- considering that BYU, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s all remain -- is a stretch to say the least.

But the Cougars will have an opportunity to make actions speak louder than words on Monday night at the Orleans Arena.

BYU has already defeated the Dons twice this season -- and is looking for a third opportunity to close out the season sweep -- and silence Walters and his Dons team.