March 14, 2009
MISSOURI 73 (28-6), BAYLOR 60 (20-14)
FORD CENTER - OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP, FINAL
MARCH 14, 2009
CHARLIE FISS: We are joined now by Coach Scott Drew and his two student-athletes from Baylor, Curtis Jerrells and Kevin Rogers. Coach, we will call on you first for an opening comment on today's championship game.
COACH DREW: I liked the other press conferences better than this one. Missouri, give them all the credit. They played a deep rotation.
They pressure you. We tried to slow it down. Their pressure really made it tough to do.
We tried to get the ball inside. Their pressure made it hard to do. We got some open looks, and we got guys that are normally going to take and make open shots. Even though it is day four and we emphasized getting inside, I think Missouri deserves a lot of credit from keeping us from doing that.
They have had a great season, and we wish them the best of luck in the NCAA tournament. Very proud of our team how we performed and played and excited about where we go in postseason.
Q. About the 10-minute mark of the second half, you guys had quite a few open threes that just seemed to be this much short.
What do you think happened on those shots?
Curtis Jerrells: I'm not sure. Like Coach said, those are the shots we normally make. We were making them all tournament. It may have something to do with fatigue. I'm not really sure. Those guys make you play a little faster than what you want, what you like to. Sometimes you may think you got good, open looks and may not be the right shot.
Like I said, we have been taking and making those shots all tournament. We continued to take them and unfortunately we didn't make them.
Q. You guys, defensively -- I guess their defense pressure, how tough was it for you guys? It seemed to be kind of constant.
Kevin Rogers: Any time you play a team like Missouri that basically presses the entire game, it kind of wears guys down, especially our guards and trying to break their press and get into our offense and run things like that. It is always tough.
But that's the style that they play. It is very successful for them.
Q. C.J., you have said all along at the press conferences this week you came here to win four games and win the Big 12 tournament.
You came up one short. One might say you guys got here but you don't look satisfied.
Curtis Jerrells: Not at all. The goal was to come and win it. Like Coach said, we are in it to win it. We fell one short, but I couldn't be more proud of my teammates and the coaching staff and myself.
I think that we came into this thing, we finished ninth in the conference. That's where we want to be, that's where we expected to be. We think we did ourselves a disservice all season, I'm just proud of the way we came out and played.
God giving us the opportunity to come out and play. I'm happy the way we played. We beat, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas and then we fell short. Like I said, I'm very proud of their effort.
Q. Touching on what Curtis just said, Kevin, it stings now but as you go on into the postseason, what can you take away from this experience having beaten three pretty good teams?
Kevin Rogers: We know everybody on this team has big hearts. For us to do what we did, it was really special, you know. For this being my senior year, I could pick no better way to go out.
Playing the teams we played and nobody expecting us to be here.
But at the same time coming in, we were picked preseason third place. So we expected this all along. But, you know, this is really special. I mean, you know, obviously the end result is not what we wanted. We can take into the postseason that we won't back down from anybody.
Q. Scott, in essence the first five minutes of the second half went a long way toward determining what happened, did it not?
Y'all just came in a little cold?
COACH DREW: I think Missouri deserves some credit on that. They made shots today. Against Oklahoma State they didn't make a lot of threes and we thought that zone would be a little more effective.
They hit some shots. Could have contested them better but, again, give them the credit for it.
The other thing is I know offensively we really, again, wanted to get the ball into the paint and get the ball down low and their pressure really prevented us from doing that as much as we'd like.
It is a good learning experience for what's further down the road for us hopefully.
Q. Given Missouri's style, given their depth and everything, were they maybe the worst matchup you could have faced playing that fourth game in four games?
COACH DREW: Yes. You want me to elaborate or are you good with that? When you play a team that plays as many as they rotate, they are always going to be fresh. And then the second thing is them playing one day less. And then the other thing with that is their style, not allowing us -- we really tried to slow it down more, but, again, when you are getting hounded, you have -- it is like someone swinging at you. You have two options, duck and hit and both of them are actions.
The last couple games we could dictate the tempo a little better. We don't mind playing fast and like that, but I don't know if we had -- our advantage was inside, and I don't know if we had enough in the tank to do that nonstop.
We wanted to attack. Any time we had numbers, we wanted to attack and they did a good job spreading back and not allowing us to get as many easy ones and we would have liked to have had.
Q. You guys came here to win it. You came up one short. Are you guys feeling good you got here or is it more disappointment that we had a chance to get the conference championship?
COACH DREW: Very disappointed because our goal was to win the tournament, the goal was to be in the NCAA Tournament. But at the same time, I know we're fortunate enough to have postseason hopefully, so we can't be so down that we can't get up for that opportunity.
So it is one of those situations as a coach, I mean, we could have had that talk in there and everyone cry their eyes out. But at the same time, we still have basketball hopefully to play and we want to be ready for that opportunity like we were for this one.
Q. Along those lines, you have always talked about how some of your best basketball memories have come in Oklahoma City. When you look back on this, will it fall in the really good basketball memory or the "we came so close" category.
COACH DREW: That's the tough thing in coaching, we seem to remember the losses more than the wins. It will be bittersweet.
Q. Scott, at the end of the first half when Kevin got his second foul, it looked like -- were you trying to get him out? Was there something as far as the substitution?
COACH DREW: With Kevin being the veteran player that he is and basically us needing him and using him out there, we tried to go as long as we could. And just at the end, he actually asked for his self to come out because he was tired and fatigued. We tried to sub and we couldn't get him out in time.
Again, everything would have been perfect if we didn't get a back call. Hindsight, obviously we could have gotten him out two seconds sooner.
Second half, it doesn't bother us. He wasn't in foul trouble. Again, with some players, that really hurts you because -- Kevin has played with fouls most of his career. If we are going to lose, we are going to lose with our best.
Q. Can you talk about the impact DeMarre Carroll had for them and just how tough he is to guard.
COACH DREW: There is a reason he is first team all-conference, 20-9. He is the Energizer Bunny out there. I think he could have played eight games in eight days. Him and Lyons are as tough a matchup you will find in the country because they can guard anybody and do it inside and outside. We are glad they are both graduating.
Q. You talked about trying to get it inside. Kevin only gets six shots. Is some of that on the guards not getting it there? Or is it denying it inside?
COACH DREW: Definitely we had opportunities but, again, I think that's where the first couple games we were able to get it down there today because of pressure. I think physical fatigue is always one thing, but I think what we all forget is mental fatigue.
When you mentally get tired, you don't operate as well either. And I think both of those situations led to us being -- not being able to get the ball inside as much as we wanted to. And so, again, we'll credit Missouri but obviously we'll learn from it, too. Wherever we play again, we will try to get back to what we did for those three games.
Q. What did you guys learn about yourselves in these four days?
COACH DREW: I think the toughest thing for me as a coach is we finished second in two tournaments now. There is nothing better than celebrating after getting a win in a tournament.
So we all made a deal we are going to celebrate after the next one. Hopefully that comes true.
The second thing is I couldn't be more proud of the guys as far as how they came back.
Again, people don't understand, it was frustrating on the fans this year during conference and it is frustrating on all of us. But how they bounced back and played good basketball, played together -- again, we are a program that's still building. It is the first time in the school's history with 20-win seasons back-to-back, hopefully -- only second time ever postseasons back-to-back. Sometimes we all forget that stuff.
Q. Beating Kansas and Texas back-to-back --
COACH DREW: That's huge for our program. Snap some streaks and some of you guys won't be able to ask the same questions anymore (smiling).
But I mean -- again, as a coach, there is nothing you want more when you have seniors that are going out, you want them to enjoy their experience and you want them to go out on a high note. Now I know -- again, the ending wasn't what we wanted, but they are going to be able to look back on this conference tournament and talk about some highlights and talk about some great moments. As a coach, just like a parent, you are proud of that.
CHARLIE FISS: Thank you, Coach.