March 25, 2009
Box Score |
AP Photo Gallery
Baylor 74 (23-14) - Auburn 72 (24-13)
Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum - Auburn, Ala.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Baylor head coach Scott Drew
"You can tell that both of these teams are led by seniors and upperclassmen because neither team wanted to lose. I think that Coach Lebo has done a tremendous job all year long and that everyone in the SEC really respects the program here. We are very fortunate that we won and I am very happy that we get a chance to have these seniors become all-time winningest class at Baylor. That is a great accomplishment."
On senior class...
"I think their play says enough for it. I think they've done a great job leading team and I'm so happy they are playing their best basketball at the end of their careers. I think all of the Baylor people are very pleased and happy for their accomplishments."
On last few seconds of the game...
"I think Auburn's fans really did a great job getting the arena real loud. I think Auburn made some good defensive plays. We didn't execute as well as we would have liked to. There was one possession for sure and then the inbounds; I probably should have come up with a better play. I was very pleased with that with six seconds left, we first contested the shot and then rebounded the basketball; those were the two things that we needed to do."
On the back and forth battle and how Baylor was able to keep answering...
"We fully expected that. Auburn is a very respected team, they fight to end and a very good team will do that. We knew that both teams want to go to New York and wanted to keep winning. Both teams, again, have a great upperclassmen leadership, so we knew it was going to come down to end. We'd prefer it not to get that close at the end. Credit to the guys for getting the stop."
On the team's confidence...
"Whenever you can put string together like we have with wins over Texas, Kansas, Georgetown, at Virginia Tech, here, every game your confidence builds. At the same time, as long as we stay humble, give credit to man that deserves it upstairs and keep doing the fundamentals and basics, we'll be fine."
Baylor Senior Guard Curtis Jerrells
On going to New York...
"Like coach said, it's an honor to become Baylor's winningest team. It's an honor to go to New York. I think it shows great character. We didn't have the kind of season we wanted during the conference season, but we pulled together and were able to find the energy to go into the conference tournament and do some damage and continue on from there. Coach is doing a great job of preparing us and we have done a good job of preparing as well."
Baylor Sophomore Guard LaceDarius Dunn
On making it to the NIT Final Four...
"I'm happy for the seniors and, that for the end of their career, we have been winning the last couple of games and it will be something for them to remember. We struggled during the Big 12 season, but we just pulled together and came close. We had to get back to what first got us the victory, so we pulled together as a team and I just want to go out with a victory for the seniors."
Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo
"Congratulations to Baylor, they certainly a deserving win. They were playing really well. It hurts obviously; we battled awfully hard. We had a couple of chances at the end to win the game, but we just couldn't finish it off. We battled and there were a couple of turnovers at the end and a couple of key plays to get back into the game there and take the lead, we just weren't able to finish it off. I'm really proud of our seniors: Quantez Robertson, Korvotney Barber, Rasheem Barrett and Drew Smith. We've had an unbelievable year and I am really proud of them and what they have accomplished."
On Rasheem Barrett being pleased with his last shot at the end...
"You have to be pleased with your shot, there was only seven seconds left to go and you don't have a lot of options. They played zone and we had a good look at it, but weren't able to make it. We also had the foul shots at the end that we missed. We had a couple of great defensive plays to have a chance at the end to win the game, but they hurt us with our penetration in the back court. They got us numerous times. Baylor's Curtis Jerrells is really good. He really controlled the game with his ability to handle the basketball and go with it where he wanted to go and use his body. He got into the paint a bunch and I think he was the difference in the game. He was terrific."
On DeWayne Reed's disappointment for not making his foul shots...
"That is just an area that he needs to get better at. It is certainly an area that he needs to focus on [his free-throw shooting]. We have had numerous games where free throw shooting has cost us and this one was another one. If we just shoot average percentage for the year, we would have a whole different record."
On defensive plays at the end...
"Quantez Robertson was all over the place deflecting balls. You could see the team's grit and determination, certainly the last two minutes of the game. You could see what kind of team that we have. We are kind of like junkyard dogs; we just keep playing and battling. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well tonight, but we still had a chance to win the basketball game. We just competed to the end. Quantez Robertson has been a player that competes everyday here. You just see him during game day, but he competes everyday and every drill so that is not surprising to see him do what he did out there at the end."
On this being a tough pill to swallow for the seniors...
"It is difficult and that is why basketball is so hard to play. Most teams leave the court with a loss. It is not like a [football] bowl game where half of the teams win. It's a hard thing and it is always hard for the seniors because they always leave with a disappointment in their mouth. I remember mine as a player. For the seniors too, for them to put their jersey on for the last time and not be together as a team in this kind of environment again and not knowing what is lying ahead for you is a hard thing. It's certainly difficult on the four seniors right now."