March 8, 2007
An interview with:
CHARLIE FISS: We are joined now by the
Baylor Bears. Congratulations on your victory
tonight. Coach Scott Drew and his three student
athletes, Aaron Bruce, Henry Dugat and Curtis
Coach, your thought on tonight's game?
COACH Scott Drew: I want to thank
everyone for staying up for us. I know it is getting
late. Anyway, we are very happy right now from
the standpoint we felt like we really executed well,
did what we wanted to do offensively, attacking the
press and trying to get easy buckets.
Now we just got to get focused and ready
Q. C.J., can you talk about how you got
through your press? It didn't seem like you
had very much trouble with it at all.
Curtis Jerrells: Like I told you
before, our team is just -- like I said, we guard.
When we got both going, we are really hard to
beat. You know, they played into our hands really
because we got four good guards on the team plus
a couple guards off the bench who can really play.
There was three of us in there breaking it
down and we had another freshman coming in.
We did a good job of handling the ball, getting
open and attacking.
Q. Curtis, what is it about Missouri that
brings out the best in you? Last year you had
a 28 against them, a career high and you have
another one tonight?
Curtis Jerrells: Basically it is a love
for the game. I love to play. We played them and
they beat us up there. Our whole team had a little
bit of that on our mind. We wanted to come out
and give it our all and win it here.
Q. Do you guys feel like this is the way
you maybe could have played all year had you
all been healthy?
Aaron Bruce: We knew what we were
capable of. Obviously we would like to play like
that and shoot like that in every game. Basketball,
you have to deal with different things, different
defenses and you are going to have off nights.
As far as tonight is concerned for us, it is a
great feeling right now. It is also over right now.
We have to start the preparation for Texas. They
are a great team. We have go out and stretch out
and get ourselves ready for that.
Q. Curtis, can you talk about the
mind-set of the team when they closed it to
within three points early in the second half?
Curtis Jerrells: I didn't know they
closed within three (smiling). Coach did a good job
of keeping us focused. That's been kind of a
downpoint for us all season. We get a lead and
then in between a certain frame time like in the
second half, we would lose our leads.
We just didn't want to go down like that
again. We wanted to change the way we played.
We did a good job with the intensity level. They
press a lot and run around a lot. They were going
to get some steals and get some scores. It was
just a matter of us keeping our composure.
Q. Curtis, you guys played Texas tough
twice. Can you talk about the confidence you
have now going into that game.
Curtis Jerrells: We played them
pretty tough but not good enough. I think
everybody on the coaching staff and our team
knows that. We will have to give a better effort
than we did tonight in those other two games if we
want to be able to beat them.
Q. Curtis, being from the Austin area,
and I'm sure you have been asked this before,
did Texas look at you very hard? Did you ever
want to go to UT?
Curtis Jerrells: Oh, yeah, early on.
But in that time frame they had Daniel Gibson -- or
they had T.J. Ford and Daniel Gibson going. They
were pretty stacked. But they looked at me early
on, but took one visit to Baylor University and I
found my home.
Q. This is for Henry. You all came in
playing well, coming off a win and then played
well tonight. Can you maybe just talk about the
confidence of the team right now.
Henry Dugat: I think it goes toward my
teammates for getting me open shots and
everybody keying in on them. And also just
everybody on the team being put in the hard way,
pushing each other to get better and better every
Q. Curtis, I know you're not on the
selection committee, but do you think you
might have just cost Missouri an N.I.T. slot?
Curtis Jerrells: I don't know. I don't
know what they deal with or where they are going.
The only thing I am focused on right now is Baylor.
Q. If you were on the selection
committee, would you invite Missouri?
Curtis Jerrells: I don't know. That's
not up to me, man.
Q. For anyone, first tournament win
since 2001. Can you just talk about what this
means for the program?
Aaron Bruce: I think it means a lot to
the program. We went through some hardships
that we personally didn't go through but the
University has been through hardships. I think this
proves you put a pretty good system in place,
recruit the right people, have the right coaches and
you can really turn something around. That's been
our goal all along. I think we are starting to see
some fruits of our labor. We have worked
extremely hard. We deserve a tournament win.
We have worked very hard. I am happy for our
guys and happy for our staff.
Q. C.J., I don't know if you have gone
over this, can you tell me the tale of the tooth,
Curtis Jerrells: Just a little sore, got
a little puffy, took a little medicine and I'm fine.
Q. Coach Drew says you are going
back to the dentist every game day from here
on out. What do you make of that?
Curtis Jerrells: I see him pretty
often, just checkups. It happened to act up and
swell up on me. I took a little medicine and I was
Q. Scott, was this the biggest victory
you've had since you have been at Baylor?
COACH Scott Drew: Is this the
biggest win? I don't think it is the biggest win, but it
is big for a couple reasons. One, we haven't won a
tournament game since 2001. Two, it is the most
wins Baylor University has had since 2001. And
shows we are on the right path.
Q. Coach, after the two close games
with Texas, how much confidence does it give
you as a head coach going into round three?
COACH Scott Drew: I think that's a
rivalry game. Whenever you have rivalry games, I
think you are excited to play. We have a lot of
guys on our team that know their guys, D.J. and
Tweety grew up playing each other. I know we will
be excited and ready to go.
Q. Coach, after having a big lead at half
time and they made their run to make it a
five-point game, what did you do to step on the
COACH Scott Drew: We knew going
in it was going to be a game of runs. You could be
up 20 or down 20. With their style of play, you
need to weather the storm. Our guys knew that.
We needed to make sure we could handle that, not
panic and let an 8-0 run or whatever run it was
lead to bigger run.
Again, credit the maturity of our guys to be
able to do that.
Q. Scott, do you feel like your guys
have clicked in to some new gear here or what
is your thought process?
COACH Scott Drew: I like the way we
shot tonight. I won't say anything about that, but
as far as a new gear, I think we have been playing
I mean, if you come to our practices, you
probably wouldn't see that because the last two
days we haven't had Kevin practicing or A.B.
practicing. C.J. missed because of his abscessed
tooth. Maybe we practice too much. So we will
keep people out for a while, I guess.
An interview with:
CHARLIE FISS: We are ready to begin
with the Missouri Tigers. Our head coach, Mike
Anderson, and his two student athletes, Marshall
Brown and Matt Lawrence.
Coach, your thoughts on tonight's game?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: First of all, I
always say when you get to this part of the year, it
was about surviving and advancing. We did
survive tonight. A lot of credit goes to a Baylor
team that is steadily improving. They shot the ball
extremely well. At the same time, I didn't think we
came out with the energy that you got to have in
order to guard players of that magnitude.
They had some quickness. They made
some shots. You got to give them credit. I just
didn't think -- we came out a little tight, and you
can tell when you look at the stats, the starters
shot 63%. I think that's a record this year, maybe
in this tournament. They scored 97 points. That
tells you getting into this setting I think maybe a
little nerves were going. But at the same time, I
didn't think we played the type of defense that has
been typical of our basketball team all year long.
Let's give Baylor some credit. I think they
are the team that's steadily improving. They shot
the ball extremely well.
Q. Both players, just talk about what's
going through your mind at the end of the first
half, I think it was 18-5 run to close things out.
MATT LAWRENCE: Well, we knew that
their guards were playing real well and we need to
stay in front of the ball. Going into half time, we
need to have adjustment and keep the ball in front
With that kind of lead, I think we need to
play with some reckless abandonment and
scramble. We tried to but our guys, you know,
they fought all the way to the end. You got to
They hit some shots today and their
guards were pretty incredible.
Q. Both players, do you look at this
game as kind of a missed opportunity for you
with how everything went down tonight?
MARSHALL BROWN: It was definitely
disappointing any time you get to a conference
tournament. I felt like we were playing good
basketball coming into it. I am disappointed the
way we came out. I thought we came out of the
second half and gave ourself a chance. We just
couldn't finish it.
Q. After Jerrells' three-pointer at the
end of the first half, how demoralizing was that
after you cut it back to ten for him to hit that?
MARSHALL BROWN: He was in a
groove. He was hot. He was hitting pretty much
everything he threw up. That was kind of the way
the game went. Going into the second half, I think
we turned our defense up, turned pressure up and
started playing the style of basketball we wanted.
We just couldn't finish it.
Q. How much different was this Baylor
team than the one you faced back in Columbia?
What were the differences?
MARSHALL BROWN: I think it is pretty
much the same team. They didn't have Aaron
Bruce when we played them in Missouri. But I
think their movement was great. Their space was
It also helps when you are knocking down
Q. Mike, since you didn't have any
guards up here, can you talk about your guard
play and kind of their inability to kind of settle
down Jerrells and Dugat?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: It was kind of
shocking to me in terms of how we did defend. It is
something we work on and something we talked
about. I think that was the strength of Baylor's
team, their perimeter guys.
We just played these guys three weeks
ago. But as Marshall alluded to, they made shots.
I just don't think our guys played one of their better
games. I don't think they played well at all
Who knows why you know. I take the
blame on that. I didn't get them ready enough in
this particular setting. But I will do better, I promise
But, again, it was kind of interesting just to
see the expression on our guys' face even as we
talked about the first and second time out. I just
didn't think we were defending like we have all
We have defended -- especially guys on
the perimeter. But tonight for some reason, it
seemed like we were a half step slow. We didn't
have that energy.
Q. Mike, in conference play you guys
have relied a lot on that matchup zone you like
to use and kind of went away from that tonight.
Was there something about Baylor's make-up
that concerned you with playing the matchup
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: It didn't seem
like we were playing anything else. We played the
matchup, trying to mix it up. We didn't have the
energy. We tried to scramble when we came back
in the second half.
One thing about us, 13-point lead at half
time, that's no big deal. We have been behind
before. But it was one of those deals -- hills we
had to climb. I thought we climbed back pretty
good. We cut it to four. We even cut it to three.
So now you really got to dig in and make
stops. We just weren't able to. And they made
some tough shots. Even the shot he made --
Jerrells made at half time. As a player you have to
understand they have that kind of range.
But we tried to play a lot of different
defenses. It just didn't work tonight.
Q. Mike, do you have a sense of maybe
your chances to keep on playing in the N.I.T.?
Have you looked into that at all? Could you
make a case for you guys to keep on playing?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: Absolutely. I
think we've had a pretty good year. When you talk
about day one with this basketball team to see
where they are right now -- even as we start out in
the Big 12, we started off 0-4, 2-6, there has been
From a coach's standpoint, you want your
team to get better. You want players to get better.
And I think as a whole, our team has gotten better.
If there is an opportunity for us to play in
post-season play, which hopefully there is, we will
continue because I think it would be great for this
Q. Mike, you talked about day one.
Can you assess your first season as coach and
what your goals are for your second season?
What you need to improve on?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: I think
coming in and trying to assess what we have, it is
one thing to assess it when you are talking about
working out and practicing and all that. Now that
the season is going on, this team -- these guys
have bought into what we're doing. They are trying
They got better as the season went on, but
you also get a chance to assess and evaluate
them when you start playing nonconference,
conference play. You find out a little bit more
about your guys. One of the things I know we got
to get, we got to get a little bit more tougher.
Toughness is defined even from a defensive
Overall, there was steady improvement. I
think from a coach's standpoint, you could -- you
don't mind that. I think we just got to -- hopefully,
we can get some additions that will help our
basketball team and some of these guys will be a
whole lot better next year.
Q. With so many juniors returning for
next year, what did you -- compared to what
you thought at the beginning of the year, do
you think this year was a success?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: Absolutely. I
think when you talk about where this team came
from to where it is now, these are some of the
same guys that played last year. You got to
We added some guys. It is a brand-new
basketball team. For these guys to amass 18
wins, and of course winning seven games in the
Big 12, I think that's improvement.
I think if you want to call it being
successful, I think these guys have. Who knows,
they may still have some more basketball to play.
Q. Coach, going back to what you said
about possibly having more basketball to play,
how much tougher does it make this loss
knowing that your team could have all but
sealed up an N.I.T. bid with a win tonight?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: I think, first of
all, we are playing to the Big Dance. Everyone
who comes in with an opportunity -- I always say
the most important game is the first game. For
some reason, I think the nerves got us caught up.
That's what happens to a lot of teams, the nerves
catching them in this particular setting.
But at the same time I think it was a good
opportunity. This is a Baylor team that's steadily
I got a feeling, I said it before, we are
heading for something, I don't know what. Maybe
that means going to the N.I.T. We'll see.
Q. Coach, having said that, with every
team's goal being reaching the NCAA, how
would you look at an N.I.T. bid concerning
where this program has been and hasn't been
in the N.I.T. in the past few years but not
reaching that goal of the NCAA tournament?
COACH MIKE ANDERSON: I think, again,
any post-season play with this basketball team is
going to benefit. You got to remember this team
here is a brand new -- if you look at my basketball
team, they are all like freshman. When you talk
about playing the up-tempo basketball and true to
form, we looked like freshmen tonight. At the
same time if they can continue to play in
post-season play, they played in the conference
tournament and maybe can play -- I think it will
benefit us I think in the long run.
I think our -- my goal is to win a national