March 9, 2007
An interview with: BAYLOR
CHARLIE FISS: We are ready to begin with the Baylor Bears. Coach, we will come to you first. Your thoughts on tonight's game.
COACH Scott Drew: We started out well, very pleased with how we came out and the intensity we had and then give Texas a lot of credit. I thought their press changed things around. We didn't handle it very well. That's disappointing since we were pressed for 40 minutes the night before and handled it very well. We all saw what Durant did in the second half. We tried three different guys, four different guys on him three different guys on him. And Texas deserved the game. Give them all the credit. Very proud of our guys. Proud of the fact that we competed like this. I hope this leaves a taste in our mouth that we don't want this to happen in the future. Everyone that played tonight is back next year. We're a year older and hopefully this experience will pay off next year so we don't have this feeling like we do right now.
Q. Curtis, what was the difference between the first and second half as far as the way you guys played?
Curtis Jerrells: I think we played well throughout the game. But in the second half, we stopped making some shots which may have let us let up on the defensive end. They had a good run, they are a good team. They made some shots and made a run. We didn't do a good job of stopping them.
Q. Aaron, Coach just said you guys are a year older and a year wiser now and that maybe this will help you not have the feeling you're having in your heart right now. What is that feeling you're having in your heart right now? What was the roller coaster ride you were on all night?
Aaron Bruce: Expectation, I think, from going outside perspective didn't have much of an expectation for us in the tournament. Inside out we knew we were very good and knew what we could do, I think we showed two sides of us tonight. We showed what we can do in the first half and you have just have to credit Texas with having heart and Kevin Durant for making plays for them in the second half. He really did step up and led their team to a win.
Q. Mamadou, talk about the defense on Kevin in the first half and what happened in the second half?
Mamadou Diene: Like Coach said, we started to get him pretty good. We gave everything we got in the first half. But he is a good player. He just step up in the second half and make shots. Q. Aaron, did your offense change at all in the second half or the way you attacked the basket or what happened? Aaron Bruce: It wasn't necessarily our offense that changed or our defense that changed, it was just that Texas made a run. Momentum changed more than anything. Them being the aggressor both on the offensive and defensive end. We struggled with dealing with that. They did an excellent job on putting us on our back foot in the second half and keeping us there.
Q. Aaron, can you expound on what Coach said about being a year older next year and leaving this bad taste in your mouth?
Aaron Bruce: We have a long time to sit and watch and we are going to recover immediately. I think a lot of us are feeling pretty drained right now, emotionally more than anything.really improve. We're all very, very driven people. But I think being in these situations in the past few days for us will spear us on a little bit more and leave a bit of taste in our mouth. I think we have seen where we can go with things. It is just a matter of working hard and making it happen.
Q. Coach, normally we would talk to you and you are chipper under all circumstances. You look like you are feeling a lot of pain with what happened out there tonight.
COACH Scott Drew: From the standpoint we really prepared for this, really wanted this. To basically have the lead we did and have it slip away, I mean, that hurts a lot worse than not being in the game. Again, you look at the shooting percentage, first half we held them to 22% which when you get stops, you get fast break opportunities. Second half, they shoot 53%, you don't get stops, you don't get fast break opportunities. We obviously didn't shoot well in the second half. So to answer your question, we were running the same offense.
Q. Scott, what's going through your mind when Durant comes out and pretty early in the second half got in a groove?
COACH Scott Drew: Change defense. Try something new. We throw a zone out there. He hits in the zone. We go man. He still scores. Switch a different man on him, and he still scores. At that point you say he is definitely the first pick in the draft but you can't do anything else.
Q. You touched on it earlier, Coach, talk a little bit about the press. Do you feel like that got them into a rhythm and took you guys out of it in the second half, despite, like you said, you handled the press very well last night.
COACH Scott Drew: That's what's so frustrating from a coaching standpoint. Last night the whole game was about pressing and attacking. Tonight we are in the same situation. Again, they had all the momentum. We missed some finishing opportunities, we didn't miss last night. They just led to more momentum for them. Again, Kevin Durant made the plays. That's a special player. Those guys don't come around a long time once in a long time. Just back to the drawing board, another year, another chance, same crew. The off season is where you put in work and where you