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Baylor, Providence Postgame Quotes

March 27, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Baylor Photos  |  AP Photos 

 Head Coach Scott Drew

Opening Statement:
“Well when you got a lot on the line like a chance to go to New York and play in a Final Four-like atmosphere in Madison Square Garden, you know you don’t have to motivate as a coach. Our guys were extremely excited all day long for this game. Providence really played well in that first half and we couldn’t stop them, and then in the second half I thought we did a much better job defensively. A big thing was we took care of the ball all game – 19 assists and only 5 turnovers. Pierre Jackson had 13 assists and zero turnovers, and I think that everybody wants a point guard to play a game like that; he was outstanding.”

On how proud he is of his team’s play of late:
“I am very proud, very happy for them. It’s fun coaching them because everyone is so focused and, again, no Big 12 team has won an NIT championship and a chance to do that, a chance to cut down nets, a chance to get a ring, a banner; those are things that motivate players. To leave a mark with a championship like that would be outstanding. There’s only two happy teams at the end of the year, the NCAA champ and the NIT champ, so we’d love to be one of those teams.”                                                           

On the chance to win a championship:
“You play to have a chance to win a championship, for the chance to leave a mark. That’s something you can always come to the school and be able to do. Not many people have an opportunity to win a championship. It wasn’t hard to motivate our guys to play in the NIT because you have a lot of quality, household name teams and players. So everybody’s been excited and focused and wanting the season to continue.”

 Senior Guard Pierre Jackson

On going to New York for the first time:
“That’s what I was thinking the whole time I was playing. I get to go somewhere I’ve never been before. I don’t think anyone on my family has been to the East coast, so that’ll be a great experience for myself and the team.”

On what it took to close out Providence:
“Stops. We took care of the ball tonight and I’m proud of my team for that. These two guys right here [Rico Gathers and Cory Jefferson] and the guards blocking out is what it came down to.”

Junior Cory Jefferson

On how physical the game was:
“It was very physical. Coming into the game, coach told us that it would probably one of the most physical games we’d play and it was. That’s just the competition of the game and I love going against someone like that.”

On the motivation to win a championship:
“I don’t think we really need any more motivation. When we started the NIT the first game, we knew what we wanted to do. Like we said, ‘Mission MSG’. We’ve wanted to go to MSG (Madison Square Garden)and win a championship since we first found out we would be playing in the NIT. That was our goal, and I don’t think we need too much more motivation to win a championship.”

Freshman Forward Rico Gathers

On how he helps the team in critical games:                                                                                                                                            “I stick to my role. It’s been giving us success all year. Rebounds, rebounds, rebounds, that’s about all I can say – and finishing.”

On if he’s been to NYC before:                                                                                                                                                                   “I’ve been to New York, I know what it’s like out there. We get to play in the Garden. It’s going to be exciting, just playing at that level, at the mecca of basketball. I can’t even imagine it right now.”

 Head Coach Ed Cooley

On the slow start in the first half:
“It was a tough way to lose. We played well for about 34 minutes. I thought we got tired. I thought that their depth was greater than ours. Give them a lot of credit, they made a lot of plays down the stretch. That is a talented group and they advanced. I am proud of our guys. We have come a long way with our program, a long way. Being picked last in our league to advancing this far, we were inches away from an NCAA Tournament with a short roster. I am proud of our progress and I am looking forward to next year.”

On the team’s ability to match Baylor in the first half and stay in the game until the end:
“It is a testament to the players and our fortitude and belief. They made some timely shots. Again, we had five or six wide open looks that we normally make that just came up short, and I just thought that was a little bit of our fatigue. Especially (Bryce) Cotton, they couldn’t guard him for 30 minutes and he got tired the last 10.”                                                                            

On Baylor’s length and athleticism:
“Well normally LaDontae Henton is the spark and he got in foul trouble. That is a credit to the size of their team in (Isaiah) Austin. Everybody praises the other kid (Austin), but the other kid (Cory Jefferson) played like a lottery pick the last four games. He is tremendous. We were worried about his length and he is a heck of a player. Pierre Jackson, how that kid wasn’t the player of the year in this league… If there are five guys better than him then they better be winning the national championship. He is terrific.”

Junior Forward Kadeem Batts

On the game tonight:
“It is tough coming to the end of the season, but the guys in that locker room battled all season and battled through adversity. We played with six players at one point. We went through a lot and a lot of people didn’t expect us to be here.”                                                                                  

On the size of Baylor:
“They had a lot of size. Personally I like playing against size as a team, but this year we were kind of small so it was tough for us.”



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