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|| BAYLOR QUOTES
"The game I thought A.J. Walton really set the tone on the defense end and Cory and Isaiah really protected the rim for us, and then on the offense Pierre really second half controlled things and was dropping dimes right and left to give us a chance to pull away. Iowa is going to be a great team in the next couple years. Everyone is going to know how good they are. Fran has done an unbelievable job with them in a short period of time.
"But I'm proud of these guys. '09 we were runner ups, and we saw teams celebrate. We've been to two Big 12 championship games, saw the other teams celebrate, so it's just great that this team could win the first championship for the Big 12 conference in the NIT and also the first championship for the school.
"Really proud of their heart and determination, and they'll always be remembered. Whenever you make history, you don't get a lot of chances to do that."
On how far the program has come:
"I think first of all we've had great leadership from our administration, President Starr, Ian McCaw, they help us have the resources to be successful, and we've been blessed to bring in talented guys that care about a team and putting others in front of themselves. Again, any team that makes postseason probably has good chemistry and has good leadership and has good kids that care about the right things. We've been blessed to have a lot of that. Again, really happy for them because I've seen enough teams celebrate before, and it's great with two Big 12 runner ups and then the NIT runner up, it's great to win the championship."
On the team's resiliency:
"Well, I think you look at most teams in the NIT they probably lost a lot of close games, and with our team we lost some close games, and the common denominator was when we shot over 70 percent from the free throw line we won, and when we shot in the 50s and 60s we lost. That's with a young front line with all first year college players except for Cory, really it's his first year playing. Normally the longer you're in college the more consistent you become at the free throw line. I thought the longer we played the better we've gotten from the free throw line. Tonight we were 18 for 23, and you'd win a lot of games at 78 percent.
"So that was a big thing, and I think, again, the NIT, it's such a great experience, a lot of people don't realize until you've been here, come to New York, I mean, this is something our '09 team went to the NCAA the year before, and that '09 experience is something that they still all talk about. The committee and everybody really does a good job of making this special for them."
On the seniors:
"Well, I think Pierre Jackson is somebody that when he came in, he just won a national junior college championship, was national MVP, we came off an Elite 8 and we didn't go to postseason; he comes in, we go to the Elite 8, school record 30 wins, really was tremendous the entire year.
"This year down the stretch, I mean, he was you put his numbers up with any guard in the country. To have an NIT record of 16 assists, to have a game against Providence 13 assists, zero turnovers, the bigger the stage, the bigger the moment, the better he performs. He really cares about winning, and because of that he has an Elite 8, 30 win season and an NIT championship. So he's done a great job.
"A.J. Walton leaving as the winningest player in Baylor history, that speaks for itself, and he's been here four years and done a tremendous job.
"And Jacob Neubert, he's a guy behind the scenes, a walk on who's there to serve everybody else, gave a great chapel service today. If we'd have probably had him do a couple more, we'd be in better shape. But those three really have meant a lot to our program, poured a lot into it, and glad to see them get this championship."
On ending his career with an NIT title:
"I'm just extremely proud of my team. The way we played tonight, it was domination. Isaiah had a great game, A.J. started off on the jump just firing us up. My emotions are really high right now. I'm trying to relax in here."
On making a second-half run:
"I don't really think it was in check. My game plan was -- I don't know, sometimes unfortunately I coach but try to get my teammates involved, and in the second half they were getting some good screens for me to get to the paint, and I got to the right spots and knocked down shots and dunks."
On the defensive effort:
"It started with A.J. on the ball on defense, just locking down whoever he was guarding, getting steals. That energized everybody and got us playing defense that much harder."
On his emotions right now:
"I can't even explain it, really. This is the first championship Baylor has won for the men, so that's something great. And the first NIT for the Big 12. It's just great to be a part of this team right now."
On the defensive effort:
"From the jump A.J. Walton had six steals, he was muscle on the ball, and then me and Cory, we just protected the paint for us."
|| IOWA QUOTES
| Head Coach Fran McCaffery
On Baylor pulling away down the stretch:
"Yeah, you know what, I really thought we came out in the second we go into halftime, we're only down five, didn't feel like we played well at all, were seemingly fortunate to be down five. If we could start with a run, we cut it to one, but seemed like we just kept missing easy shots. We'd get it to the stat that jumps out at me is we had 20 offensive rebounds against this team. That's effort. That's special. That should have equated to more success offensively. Instead we shot 27 percent in the second half and then didn't, I think, have the attention to detail at all. They're a terrific offensive team. They had us spread out. They were moving the ball, and they've got a lot of weapons, and Jackson is tremendous."
On Baylor's defense:
"Well, I thought it was good in two areas. I thought they got up into us on the perimeter with their quickness and I think their length bothered us as we got to the rim. What it caused us to do was settle for a few too many jump shots. We're a driving team, we get to the free throw line more typically, and we just didn't do that tonight."