March 13, 2009
Box Score |
BAYLOR 76 (20-13), TEXAS 70 (22-11)
FORD CENTER - OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP, SEMIFINAL
MARCH 13, 2009
CHARLIE FISS: We're joined now by the
Baylor Bears, Coach Scott Drew and his three
student-athletes, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat and
COACH DREW: Thank you. Players
really competed, really battled, were down most of
the game till the second half. And for them to
persevere and obviously Texas is a very big,
strong, physical team. We never backed down and
we kept playing and couldn't be more proud and
happy for them.
Q. Curtis, which is sweeter, getting to
the championship game or beating Texas?
Curtis Jerrells: I say getting to the
I think that we came in here with a
mind-set of -- with a task. Today was step three,
and I think that any -- either team that won, that
would have been in this place, they would have got
that type of game from us in the tournament.
Q. Curtis, how did you manage to get
that rebound, the last free throw with Dunn with
Dexter Pittman was boxing you out like that?
How big was that?
Curtis Jerrells: Usually when
LaceDarius is at the line, I don't even move
because I know he is going to make it. But I watch
the ball and I seen it, it was falling short. I just
used my judgment, and it darted right back and I
just got in there.
Q. Curtis, you have struggled this
season shooting against Texas. What kind of
emotions were you going through when you
made several big plays in a row down the
Curtis Jerrells: I don't think it had
nothing to do with Texas. I shot it okay. I shot
13 shots, had 13 points. I still wouldn't say I shot it
well. I made free throws and rebounds. I made
other plays rather than just scoring the ball. We
got a ton of scorers on this team.
I can kind of not do well in that area and
we can still get a win.
Q. This is for Curtis, Henry and Lace,
you guys came into this tournament the
underdog and now you are in the title game.
How has your philosophy of wiping the slate
clean in this tournament affected your
performance these last several games?
Henry Dugat: I think it helped us. We
came into it, you know, the underdog, like you said,
and we took that as a chip on our shoulder. We
came in and knew what we had to do. Like C.J.
said, it is not over yet. We have one more step to
do, and we are willing to do it.
Q. Lace, can you talk about that three
you hit. Did you feel like you were pretty open
there with 1:11 left? What was happening on
LaceDarius Dunn: I just felt the first
one I had before Damion smacked it out of
bounds. (Laughter) I felt great. I heard Curtis
saying we got to get him a ball, we got to get him a
shot. They got it to me and I was willing to shoot it
and it went in. I think it was the biggest shot for my
Q. Curtis, can you talk about when you
finally got the shot clock turned off, you guys
went to the foul line but you ended up having
to make about five or six free throws there
before the game was secured. You guys were
smiling in the huddle. Looked like the
confidence was there and you knew what you
had to do.
Curtis Jerrells: First thing I want to
say, it is never too late to thank God so I want to
Secondly, we shoot free throws before the
game, after the game we had all our best
free-throw shooters on the floor. That's what it is
about. Basketball is about having confidence.
Anything you do is about having confidence, and I
think if you look up at your teammate and he is
smiling, he got -- you got to believe that he thinks I
am going to make these.
If you got a frown on your face or you are
like, come on man, we need this, you are putting
pressure on your teammates.
We try to have fun. We try to go out and
have fun while we're doing it.
Q. Henry, you have been kind of in a
drought from the three-point stripe. When you
made that, what kind of lift did that give you?
And, I guess, for your teammates, what kind of
lift did it give you to see Henry knock that
Henry Dugat: It was a big weight lifted
off my shoulders. The first one I shot it went
halfway in and came out. I got to give glory to my
teammates for continuing to believe in me and find
me. He found me and I was able to knock it down.
Q. LaceDarius, are you guys looking
forward to this next step here? Oklahoma
State and Missouri both get up and down the
court a little bit. Looking forward to that
challenge and running a little bit in this
LaceDarius Dunn: Exactly. I think we
got here for a reason. We got here for just leaving
it out on the court at the end of the game playing
40 minutes. That's something Coach has been
preaching all year.
I think the last three games we played,
everybody just left it out there on the court and
gave it their all. Whoever we face tomorrow, I think
we have to come with the same game plan for the
last two games. We will be all right.
Q. Do you have a preference who you
play, Oklahoma or Mizzou?
Henry Dugat: I don't think we do.
Whoever it is, we are going to be ready for them.
We didn't make it this far for nothing.
Q. Dexter Pittman has been one of the
hottest players in the tournament. He had 21
rebounds yesterday. Talk about the job you
guys did neutralizing him out there?
Curtis Jerrells: Our bigs did the
tremendous job inside with him, fighting him. We
did our best to come down and help.
He is a large man. He needs a lot of
attention. I told my guys, I said, man, that dude
has been averaging 20, 23, 24 points a game in
the tournament. Y'all held him to seven. Y'all did
y'all's job. We tried our best to contain A.J. We
have been watching that dude for years. The one
thing he can do is shoot the ball.
If both of them have good games, I think
we lose. But we was able to contain one and get
Q. Curtis, how did it feel to have all
those Oklahoma State fans cheering you on
Curtis Jerrells: I thought that was
our fans cheering for us. I really didn't care.
Obviously, if they was cheering for us, that
would maybe be a little bit of disrespect. We split
one in the conference. They protected their court.
We protected ours. Like Henry said, it doesn't
matter who we face tomorrow. I'm pretty sure the
coach will do a good job of getting us prepared.
The players will be prepared and we will go out
and play another game.
Q. Were there one or two things that
turned this team from a 5-11 team to one that's
on the verge of going to the NCAA
COACH DREW: I think God gets a lot of
that credit, just like Curtis said.
The big thing is during the conference
season, people don't realize how tough the Big 12
is. I mean, every team -- it doesn't matter who it is,
you got to bring your A game to win. We played a
lot of non-conference teams and we were very
successful against them.
I don't know why our RPI we finished third
best conference because it is tough. That and
number two, we started losing -- I think we lost
confidence. When you lose close games, that is
really tough on you.
And then the big thing is we had such high
expectations and goals set for ourselves. Ones
you realize you don't meet those, it is tough. Once
we got to the conference tournament, we knew it
was a new season. That weight vest was lifted off,
and, again, guys are really playing well, like we did
in the non-conference.
Q. The streak had reached 24. How
had you come to view that streak?
COACH DREW: I really didn't like that
streak (laughter). It is a situation where you had so
many close games with Texas and chances and
you just knew it was a matter of time you would
I was really hoping it would be with this
group of guys, though, because they had
persevered and been through so much from their
freshman year until now. I'm so happy they are the
ones that broke through the streak.
Q. Talk about that closing -- at the end
of the first half, you're down 12. You run off, I
think, eight straight points to get back in it.
COACH DREW: We didn't take the lead
going into halftime, but we were able to get enough
momentum where we went into the locker room
and we were feeling good about our situation and
felt that second half we could be successful.
Q. You have been able to play these
last three games like there is nothing to lose.
Now you are playing for something. What is
the mind-set going into tomorrow with that
title -- with that tournament spot just sitting
there for you?
COACH DREW: I don't think you should
bring that up to the guys (laughter). We're just
going to keep doing what we have been doing.
Q. C.J. was talking you had to stop at
least one of those guys, Pittman or A.J. Can
you talk about the job the defense did.
COACH DREW: I think C.J. -- in the
locker room, they just really told our bigs they did a
great job because I know they are all going to need
ice because Texas is very, very physical and they
do a great job playing hard. Our guys really
battled, especially second half when first half
Texas kind of had their way with things and we
really did a good job -- and then the big thing was I
thought our help-side defense and our rotations
was much better, too, tonight.
Q. Scott, do you believe in destiny for
COACH DREW: I believe in God, and I
know He can do miracles. I definitely believe in it.
Q. I was wondering if you spent more
time doing mental preparation to get this team
ready to try to win four games in four days.
COACH DREW: A lot of people say
coaches become psychologists. When you are
losing, it is tough. It is tough on the coaches, it is
tough on the guys.
Again, just like any of us in life, when you
see your kid struggling, there is nothing that brings
you more joy than to see them have success,
especially when they are doing the right things. I
mean -- and our guys did. Even when we were
losing, they were in the gym, they were working
The seniors made sure it never got to a
situation where people were pointing fingers and
really dividing the team.
Q. It looked like A.J. kind of shot you
guys out of the zone early in the game. I just
wondered if you can talk about how you guys
didn't lose confidence in what you are able to
do defensively and come back in the second
half to play like you did.
COACH DREW: Well, I think the man
helped give us confidence. When we came back
to the zone, we were a little more aware of A.J.
A.J. for four years he seems to play well against
Baylor. If you want him to have a great game in
the NCAA, make sure that team is wearing a B and
if he thinks it is Baylor, they're good.
I mean, he is as good a catch-and-shoot
player you will find in the nation. He gets it off so
quick, it makes it very, very tough to stop.
Q. Can you chat briefly about Missouri
and Oklahoma State and what challenges might
COACH DREW: Both teams are obviously
on a roll. Both teams are successful. Both teams
play fast. So we'll wait and see who wins and then
we'll prepare and knock out a game plan from
Again, Missouri and Oklahoma State have
had great runs and they will hopefully do well in the
CHARLIE FISS: Coach, thank you and
again congratulations. Good luck tomorrow.