April 2, 2009
Box Score |
PENN STATE 69 (27-11), BAYLOR 63 (24-15)
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - NEW YORK, N.Y.
APRIL 2, 2009 - ATTENDANCE: 10,254
Scott Drew: We want to thank everyone from the NIT committee and just thank everyone who was a part of this tournament, because we had a great time, great memories we will cherish because of it. So we want to thank them first for all they have meant for us.
And then obviously with the game, disappointed we didn't win, but as a coaching staff, very proud of how we didn't quit at the end. I think the one thing we will all take away from this season is adversity hits everybody, but the most important thing is to make sure you persevere and I think we showed that at the end of the game tonight by trying to make one last run and not giving up when we could have.
Q. Kevin with that crowd, did it feel like a road game; did the crowd affect the game?
Kevin Rogers: Not really. We are pretty used to a hostile environment.
The crowd really didn't affect us. You knew that they had a lot of support. That's just a great team that made a lot of great plays, and they are very well coached. That's a big reflection on the coach.
Q. Can either of you talk about the physicality of the game, especially in the second half?
Curtis Jerrells: Yeah, it got physical out there but Coach told us it was going to be like that from when we started playing Georgetown in the first game.
We were able to battle with them, but I mean what's his name Cornley, he's a pretty big dude and he played his tail off tonight. Got to tip your hat to him.
I think the game, we matched up physicality a little bit, too.
Q. Seemed like you had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm?
Curtis Jerrells: That's pretty much the story with us. We can really score the ball and they did a good job of working the zone and they have a few shooters who made shots, and we were not able to score, and that allowed us to get down when we wasn't scoring, and we wasn't stopping anybody, either.
Q. Talk about Penn State's defense tonight.
Curtis Jerrells: Yeah, we got plenty of good looks. Kevin did a good job screening for me. These are shots that myself and Lace (LaceDarius Dunn) made yesterday and Tweety (Carter) did a good job of shooting the ball tonight. Me and Lacy (LaceDarius Dunn) were a little off. We had good looks and it just up to us to make those shots.
Q. Can you talk about this being the last game?
Curtis Jerrells: Yeah, I laid it out in the locker room, and it wasn't even really about the game. I've lost a game before with these guys, and I think it's just I'm getting ready to go away from a group of people who have meant so much to me for the last four years of my life, and I think it's kind of made me who I am. I really appreciate them and it was very emotional.
Kevin Rogers: It was definitely tough. We had a lot riding on the game, and, you know, we kind of wanted to do some special things for Baylor University. It was definitely tough knowing you won't get to be around these group of guys like I have for the past four years.
But, you know, the experiences that I have and the knowledge that I have gained has definitely turned me into a better man and a better basketball player.
Q. CJ, how difficult was it to keep your head when things were not going your way in the second half?
Curtis Jerrells: It was tough. But, I mean, I've been in this situation before, and I'm a competitor, and sometimes I do lose my cool.
When my teammates see me, after awhile, made me realize it and I need to come back down to earth for the sake of the team because we want to win the ballgame.
Both teams got frustrated. Courtney, he got a technical foul. Coach Drew got one. Our tempers flair, because we want to win. They went on that run, but, you know, the game of basketball is about runs.
Q. What do you call that defense? It was sort of a morphing amoeba of 3-2 and then a 2-2-1. I couldn't quite figure it out.
Scott Drew: I called it good defense when they are missing. When they are making, I don't know what it was.
I thought it was basically 2-3 zone but we have different rotations out of it.
Q. But you wanted your guys way up top obviously to watch up the shooters.
Scott Drew: It starts out as a 1-1-3 and goes into a 2-3.
Q. Talk about your zone tonight.
Scott Drew: That's why we have been so successful is because one on one, we have been able to guard inside and Cornley really set the tempo by being able to score and catching it in the high post and down low. He's a credit for playing a great game. Obviously he really controlled a lot of things, 18 7, and we didn't have enough answers for him.
Q. Seemed like you had more success covering the perimeter.
Scott Drew: It's kind of good teams, you have to pick your poison, and if you can't score inside and outside, you're not a good team and usually this time of year, you're both. Cornley tried to stop in the second half and you saw what happened, they got some looks from three and they made them and Morrissey's three big ones were huge.
Q. Could you talk about the group of seniors?
Scott Drew: I think it's remarkable, coming in, and their first year, winning four games; basically having half a season, which really wasn't even half a season. And then being able to walk away being the all time winningest group of seniors to set foot on Baylor's campus, they have really raised the bar for the program. We could be here for a half hour going over all of the firsts. But as a coach, very proud of who they have become.
Q. Seemed like CJ had a lot of trouble getting into offensive rhythm.
Scott Drew: I think we took some shots in transition that we either hit or we have set up on, and because of that, we didn't really get into flow. When we ran our sets, I think we got some pretty good production.
We had some pretty good looks, and that's where obviously wanting to get the ball in the paint more, and we needed to. But when you are open from deep and you have been hitting them, I think we have shot over 50 percent pretty much for the last eight or nine games. So it's tough when you are hitting those shots a night ago or a couple of nights ago not to take them again.
Q. Was this game more physical than you anticipated?
Scott Drew: Oh, yeah.
Q. Can you talk about the frustration when you got a technical?
Scott Drew: Shouldn't have done that but had an itch in my coat and threw it. (Laughter).
I apologized to the guys because obviously I should not have gotten a technical at that point. Only good thing as a coach is we tied it up 37 -7, so they have my back.
Q. Would you say it was more physical?
Scott Drew: Yes. I don't want to go into it because I'll get in trouble.
Normally later in the year, it gets more physical, but I think we tried to go to the line a little bit more than six times. I know Penn State got there 28. The one thing we try to do is get to the free throw line, and again, I think we took jumpshots. Credit Penn State for making sure they kept us in front of them and had to shoot over them.
But you expect the last game of the year, you expect teams to lay it out on the line, so we expected it to be a physical game. We were prepared for that. Just again, each year, we have gotten more physical, but we are still not a physical team yet. And in the future that's what our goal is to become, more physical.
Q. Kind of the same question I asked CJ, how difficult was it to keep your head and keep things cool in the second half?
Scott Drew: That's life on the road. Penn State had a great following, great crowd. Again, they are the ones that hit big shots. They won the game.
As a coach, you never feel bad after a game like this when the other team has won the game. The coaching staff did a great job with the game plan.
So we played on the road at Auburn, at Virginia Tech. This was like a road game, and the other two games were more fortunate than tonight. The big part was we made shots. Tonight, we missed them, and again, we wanted to get to the paint more. Wanted to get to the free throw line more. We weren't able to do that. Credit Penn State for not allowing that to happen.
Q. Got down to 12 and you kept trying.
Scott Drew: I think that's the biggest thing from this year. I think we all face adversity in life. Again, I think I'm really proud of how the guys responded and didn't throw in the towel. In life, it's tough, it's easy to give up hope. The seniors didn't allow us to do that. We really bonded together and played the best basketball game of the year and because of this NIT Tournament, had a great experience and again, set a lot more firsts and they will be able to walk around tall. That's why this is a great tournament, and we thank the people for having it.