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March 11, 2015

Rick Barnes

Cameron Ridley

Isaiah Taylor


Texas – 65
Texas Tech - 53

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined now by Coach Rick Barnes from the Texas Longhorns, his two student‑athletes will be Cameron Ridley and Isaiah Taylor.  They will be on stage shortly.  Let's get comments from Coach.
COACH BARNES:  Good win for us.  I really thought that Isaiah was really, really good tonight, maybe as good as he's been all year.  Defensively first half, again, I thought Texas Tech put a lot of pressure on our guards getting down the lane in a high percentage area and did a great job not only driving the ball but coming off some throws in there.
Second half I thought we were a little bit better defensively and from the 16‑minute markdown to about the 6‑minute mark, we were maybe as efficient as we've been all year offensively.

Q.  Isaiah, can you talk about that stretch he's talking about in the second half?  Ball movement, everyone is hitting, it's almost like everything is clicking.  How good was that to see that?
ISAIAH TAYLOR:  I think it was great.  I think this team still hasn't reached its potential yet.  It was good to see our wings filling the lanes, Cam dunking in and just being a defensive presence.  We know we can do a lot of great things and that's what we're trying to do in this tournament.

Q.  Cameron, seemed like you got a spark from the play when you were on your back and made a pass to Kendal to make the layup and seems like you were the dominant player that you were last March.  Can you go through that play and talk about you starting to feel like this is your time of year again?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  First of all, all the credit to the guards for looking for me.  I just wanted to come out the second half and do the things we do in practice and work on playing harder, dunking in and creating angles for my teammates and opportunities for myself.

Q.  Cam, just following up on what Mike was asking, do you feel that Marchis your time of year, that it's your time to shine?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  I'm going to play a lot more aggressive than I have before, because that's what the team needs from me.  Any player on this team can come out and have a good game like I had today.  It all comes out to us playing together at the end of the day.

Q.  Cam, in the second half, did they make more of an effort at halftime to tell you, hey, let's get the ball inside, feed the post more?  You guys shot 13 threes in the first half and only six in the second.
CAMERON RIDLEY:  That's the way we should play, inside‑out and I did a good job of making myself presence in inside, and the guards delivered the ball.  And I just worked as hard as I could to get the position I could.  Isaiah and Kendal and the other guys got the ball to me.

Q.  Your thoughts on the game tomorrow and having another crack at those guys?
ISAIAH TAYLOR:  Iowa State is a great team, they can put a lot of the points on the board and it's our job when they go on 8‑0 runs, 10‑0 runs.  Whatever it is we have to stay composed.  If we stay composed, we have a good chance of winning.  We are looking to come to this tournament to compete and win as many games as possible and potentially win the championship.

Q.  For Isaiah and then Cameron, three games ago, conventional wisdom was you had to win three in a row to have a chance at the NCAA Tournament to secure things, how do you feel about your chances now?
ISAIAH TAYLOR:  I think we have a good chance to get into the tournament, but that right now can't be a focus.  We're looking to win the Big 12 tournament.  We have Iowa State ahead of us tomorrow and we're looking to come in and compete tomorrow.
CAMERON RIDLEY:  Pretty much the same thing he said, we're focused on this tournament right here and trying to do the best we can this weekend.  And when that time comes, we will be ready for it.
THE MODERATOR:  Guys, thank you for coming.  Good luck tomorrow.

Q.  Rick, you've been super frustrated with them because you know that they have it in them, their ability to do that, like they did in the second half.  Was it good for you to finally see it?
COACH BARNES:  Yeah, and, you know, again, I did think we shot too many threes start of the game.  I'm sure Tech and anyone would like for us to do that.
Certain guys, when they're open and they're in rhythm, we want them shooting them.  Other guys we want them to pick their spots and we probably shot four of those in the first half that weren't good threes from our point of view and we wanted to get inside.
It goes both ways.  Those guys, and Cam said it, they've got to want the ball.  Like we threw it into Myles once and he scored, and we tried to go back to them.  Connor's brother actually did a great job post defense, and wouldn't let them catch the ball where he's got to make the second, third effort to get it.
Cam did a good job posting deep.  Prince actually did but he got called because he got wrapped the guy up.  We need those guys to do that for no other reason because we are telling those guys to throw it to them, but they've got to know where they want to catch it.  Cam did a really good job of finding people tonight.  We knew they were going to double him at some point tonight and he did a good job.  And I thought Isaiah's demeanor has been as good as it has all year just in terms of running things for us.

Q.  Rick, Isaiah and Cameron were important to you guys this time last year more than anybody, do you see what you saw from them at their best?
COACH BARNES:  We need them to be.  You guys watched that all year, that's what we want.  We want ‑‑ consistency‑wise we want to know what we're going to get.  In terms of posting up, making yourself big, that, we want to get that and I do think Cam is more confident now and why he hasn't been, I'm not quite sure, I wish I knew how to answer that.
I thought‑‑ yeah, those two guys are important.  They were kidding coming down here, Isaiah is telling him he's got to catch those balls and I keep telling Isaiah those passes in traffic down by his feet are kind of hard to come up with and even find them, because Cam has great hands.  If we make the simple plays and move the ball‑‑ what was huge tonight, the rebounds were huge.  We got 18 second‑chance points where we were able to get to the glass that way and score some.
Like Cam said, we need 'em all.  We need everybody to step up and give us what it is they give us.

Q.  Coach, there was a day in college basketball when the 20‑victory plateau would be a magic number for making the NCAA Tournament.  Now that you have 20, does it make you feel better about your chances?
COACH BARNES:  You know, I don't know about‑‑ I think years ago they went away from that, the Committee, I think they went to strength of schedule and making the emphasis on that.  All I knew, where we were, the hole we have been trying to dig out of, we just knew we had to win games.  Everybody‑‑ I know those guys on the outside, everyone is talking about we need to win this game, three in a row, four in a row, whatever.  I tell everybody every game you need to win 'em all, because you ever know when you're going to‑‑ somebody getting hurt, this, that, or whatever.
I truly believe with the NCAA Tournament, they really do their homework now, I do.  I think they really‑‑ they don't wait until two weeks out, three weeks out, they work it all year.  They're going to know why we struggled in the middle of the year, they're going to know we dealt with injuries and different things.  They're going to know it all because they do want to put together the best tournament they can and I have confidence in that.
And at the end of the day, we have done enough and if we've done enough, we will be in it and if we're not, we haven't.

Q.  Coach, I hope you allow me to ask a broad question.  There has been a lot of criticism about college basketball this year with points being down and play doing this and that.  From your perspective, do you feel that way and if there is anything you can do to improve it, what might you do?
COACH BARNES:  I think there is a lot of things we can do to improve the game, I think a 30‑second shot clock.  I think we should be playing with the same lane that the NBA plays with.  I think officiating has to get more consistent where they've got to get a set rule on how they're going to allow post defense to be played, what's going to happen on the perimeter.
I think with the new hire for the officiating, I think it's the biggest thing facing college basketball right now and officiating has to get more consistent.  And the only way it's going to do that is I think NCAA and college basketball realizes how important it really is.
I think there is a lot of things we can do.  I think we should be playing with the international three point line.  And the question is, it'll take too long to put it all together.  I think they're going to‑‑ it wouldn't surprise me next year if we go to the 30‑second shot clock.  We should open the lane up.  We should make the restricted area bigger and all those things should be implemented at one time.  But because of the Rules Committee and the people that I know that have sat on it tell me it's a joke in terms of the way they go about doing it.
And we should have a universal game at Division I, Division II, Division III level; it should be a universal game.  But there will be too many politics involved and that's what you would like to see changed.  We can definitely make it a lot better, there is no doubt about it.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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