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March 19, 2015

Fred Hoiberg

Jameel McKay

Monte Morris


UAB - 60

COACH HOIBERG: First of all -- sorry, I'm a little under the weather here. Congrats to UAB, congrats to Jerod. They deserve that one. They played well. They played hard. I think the difference was the glass. They outrebounded us 52-37 and just kind of had their way on the offensive glass down there. It's just tough. It's as tough a loss as I've ever been a part of. With what we had going, I thought the momentum we had coming into this tournament, and then just to go out there and not play very well. Again, UAB had a lot to do with that. So give them credit.

Q. Jameel, what was it like under the boards? Did you anticipate they wouldn't be that difficult to deal with under the boards?
JAMEEL MCKAY: It was like a war under there. We knew they were athletic, but we also played some bigger teams this year. We knew it was going to be a war all night. We were just going to have to box out. Unfortunately, they played harder and wanted the ball more than us tonight.

Q. They hung around, and obviously you guys have had a lot of comebacks. Was there any sense, as the game went on, that you guys would put together a run and be able to put them away at some point?
MONTE MORRIS: We've done it before. We just tried to get away from it, and we thought tonight would be a great start to do that. Unfortunately, our luck has run out, and we've just got to take it how it comes. It's tough, but we've got to move on.

JAMEEL MCKAY: Yeah, we anticipated we would start to make a run. Throughout the day, shots weren't falling like we thought they were. We're such a good offensive team and we also great players but we expect them to start falling. Then we just thought that our effort would just go up and we were just going to start getting stops, and with us getting stops, start making shots, and we thought we'd go on a run personally.

Q. Was energy an issue? We've seen other teams go through tough conference tournaments and then really have kind of a dip in energy when we get to the NCAAs. Was that an issue for you at all, do you think?
MONTE MORRIS: First off, I feel like our first four minutes we played good. We had a lot of energy. We were up 10-2, and it died down. I don't think the banging in the Big 12 had anything to do with how we performed tonight. We got great rest, and Coach did a great job at practice. It was just mental days and keeping us off our feet. I just felt like UAB wanted it more, and we just didn't come out ready to play tonight.

Q. Fred, how good was William Lee for them in the last 30 seconds or so, hitting the jumper, blocking the shot, and hitting the free throws?
COACH HOIBERG: William Lee, I thought he was really good all night. He and Brown, I thought, were the two guys that would play through, and they did. They stepped up and delivered, and that's what big time players do.

Q. Fred, had you run into those types of rebounding issues very often? Do you agree with the players' assessment that they probably seemed like they wanted the ball more than they did?
COACH HOIBERG: Yeah, that was our big emphasis coming into this game. We knew how well they rebound and how they outrebounded their opponents pretty much every game the last couple of months. That was our emphasis coming out. We needed to take care of the glass, and we thought, if we did that, we would win the game. We had a very good defensive rebound percentage all year. We led the Big 12 in defensive rebounding. We just didn't put bodies on those guys, that's the bottom line. We just went in and turned and looked, and they got the ball. You can't do that against an athletic team like UAB.

Q. What, in particular, were they doing with Georges? Was it just the length? Did he maybe push a little too hard with his offense tonight?
COACH HOIBERG: I thought he got a little out of rhythm with the foul trouble. He hasn't been in foul trouble in a long time. He's really done a good job of that. He got off to a good start. We were up ten at the first media. Then we just tried to slip passes into small spaces. That's when we started turning the ball over, and that's when they made their run. We could have extended that. But to answer your question about Georges, length, we play as long a conference as anyone in the country. Georges just has a knack of finishing over longer players. Unfortunately, they just didn't go. He had some great looks. Georges Niang, I wouldn't trade anyone in the world for Georges Niang. The kid is an absolute warrior and a winner, and I'll take those shots every day of the week with him.

Q. Just to follow up, Fred, on your opening comment, you said, this is as tough a loss as you've ever been involved with. Is that just because of the expectations that you had and the context?
COACH HOIBERG: Yeah, I think that's definitely part of it. I loved how we were finding a way to win games. We won against three great opponents. They're all playing in this tournament. A 2 seed, a 3 seed, and then Texas was playing their best basketball of the season. It was an emotional three days in Kansas City. Then you bounce back, and you play the first game basically of the tournament on Thursday. I'm not going to make any excuses. You've got to come out and play 40 minutes. Again, I thought our turnovers in that first half was the way that we let them back in the game after getting up double digits. I don't know, maybe we should have let them get up double digits. That's kind of how we play our best.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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