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March 19, 2015

Robert Brown

Jerod Haase

Tyler Madison


UAB - 60

COACH HAASE: First of all, Iowa State, Coach Hoiberg, it's a fantastic team we just beat, and they've had a fantastic run, Big 12 champions and a great season. Now having said that, I'm awfully proud of our guys. I thought we played a very good basketball game. We did not play a perfect basketball game, but I thought we competed throughout. I thought we changed defenses a little bit. I think our length bothered them on the interior. And then offensively, we made enough plays to get it done. It wasn't always pretty. It wasn't always perfect. But the guys' ability to take what we said in the time-outs and apply it on the court after each time-out, I thought, was as good as we've done all year.

Q. Tyler, you were all over the offensive glass. That's something that you usually do, but were you more determined and more focused today, just given that you guys needed the extra opportunity, especially in the first half?
TYLER MADISON: The coach told us that everybody needs to do their jobs. I just put my best effort to go to the rim every time. Coach said, "If we go, good things will happen." So I just tried to do that.

Q. Tyler and Robert, how key was that? You kind of dominated on the offensive glass especially. What was making it so easy to get those balls? They were taking a lot of jumpers early, but even when they were missing on short ones, you were out badly for the ball. How much did that help set up your offensive rhythm as well?
ROBERT BROWN: Coach just told us, "If we go, we can get the offensive rebounds." We had to be the more physical team to beat them, and we were able to do that. Especially Tyler with the nine offensive rebounds, it was a huge part of our game, the huge part of our scouting report. And the long shots equal long rebounds, and we were able to chase them down.

TYLER MADISON: Really by everybody going, it kind of opened it up for us. If everybody goes after the rebound, it gives a more percentage chance to get it. So we just followed hard and were able to get it.

Q. Robert, you missed a lot of shots there for a while in the second half, but then you got the three-pointer to fall. What kept your confidence up at that point? And how nice was it to see William Lee follow up with the plays he made?
ROBERT BROWN: Just my teammates and Coach Haase having confidence in me. They didn't tell me not to shoot. They didn't tell me anything negative. They're always encouraging. It's something this entire year we've done, stayed as a family, stayed as a team, just kept encouraging, and thankfully we had that shot fall.

Q. Can you gentlemen just talk about your emotions at the end of the game. Looked like a very fun celebration, kind of a big upset. How did you look at it?
ROBERT BROWN: For us, it was just huge. We come here, not just to play games, but to actually make some noise and to win some games. To be able to do that and win for Birmingham, win for Coach Haase, it's a great feeling.

TYLER MADISON: Like Rob said, it was fun for us. It was great for us. We also wanted to do it for our friends, our family, the community of Birmingham. So it was a big win.

Q. Tyler and Robert, the last couple of years we've seen upsides, 14 over a 3, 15 over a 2. How much does that give -- when you're one of the lower seeds, how much confidence does that give you knowing that it's been done by other people, so there's no reason you guys can't do it too?
ROBERT BROWN: Once you step inside the court, it's anybody's game. Whoever wants it more usually is going to get that win. A lot of times in those upsets I feel like the lower seed wanted it more, and they came out and played harder. Today I think we did that.

TYLER MADISON: The coaches told us that our best could play with the top teams in the country. So we just went out and tried to play our best. Everybody plays to their roles and to their strengths. We can play with anybody.

Q. You guys have talked about playing for Birmingham. What exactly does that mean, and why is that so important to you guys?
ROBERT BROWN: Birmingham right now has been through a lot, especially UAB and our community. We just want to give them something exciting, something to cheer for, and do something to hold on to and believe in.

TYLER MADISON: Our fans are great, they come down and support us whenever they can. They travel five hours and support us. They were the key in the win tonight. Up or down, they cheer us on. They were a big help in the game today.

Q. People notice that you guys wear one green shoe and one white shoe. What's that? I understand it's just to call attention to pancreatic cancer for children. Is that all part of the feeling that you guys have, the excitement that you're doing something good for somebody?
ROBERT BROWN: I think so a little bit, but it's just more we want to do that just to focus on pancreatic cancer and draw attention to that. It really doesn't have anything to do with us.

COACH HAASE: Pediatric cancer.

ROBERT BROWN: It doesn't have anything to do with us or draw attention to ourselves. We want to do it just to get attention. The pediatric, we wanted to get the attention for that.

Q. Robert, if you would, they jumped out to that 12-2 lead and just seemed to have everything going. How did you stop that or get to that momentum, stop, and then get back in the game? Could you just talk about that stretch because obviously it was huge.
ROBERT BROWN: Basketball is a game of runs. Especially with Iowa State, the way they run in transition, they get a lot of shots up. They're a high-paced, high-scoring team. We knew they were going to come out and score. We just had to weather the storm. Once they made their run, it was time for us to make our run. We just tried to stay poised and calm and collected.

Q. For both players, do you consider this an upset?
ROBERT BROWN: If you look at the seeding, it is, but we came here to win, and we're not surprised that we won. We came and listened to the scouting report and came prepared to do this.

TYLER MADISON: Coming into this game, we played against Wisconsin, UCLA, and other great teams. We just come in, and we know that we can compete and we can play with any team in the country. I wouldn't really consider it an upset. I think our best can compete with anybody else's best.

Q. Same question that I asked your guys about playing for Birmingham. Can you describe for you exactly what that means? How important was it to go over to the fans afterwards and kind of see their reaction after this win?
COACH HAASE: We have tremendous fans. It's been well documented. There's been a lot of turmoil around Birmingham, around the university, around the athletic department. We've done a good job, as a staff and as a basketball team, of really narrowing our focus and focusing on the task at hand, trying to improve our team, trying to win basketball games. By doing that, we can serve as a rallying point or a central point for all the fans to maybe become united and cheer for something. It's nice that that kind of plan has worked out. As time goes on, we're going to have to, as a community, get together, grow together, and I'm hoping that, with our success right now, we can aid in that process.

Q. They talk about this coming in and expecting to win. With all the youth and kind of lack of experience on this team, is that almost a benefit with this youth, that they maybe don't know any better, just come in and not feel any pressure, just come out and try and play and win?
COACH HAASE: There's something to be said about that. I'd be willing to bet -- and I'm pretty sure about this. Four or five guys on our team didn't realize a month ago that the Conference USA tournament champions got an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. I bet a third of our team had never watched the Selection Show. So we are young, we are inexperienced, that kind of thing. But I will say this, all of us, you're a product of your thoughts. There's been more talk right now about 14 seed or upsets than we've said the entire year. Our thoughts have been, when we play well, we think we can compete with anybody, and those thoughts have been expressed to our team, and our team has made the choice to believe in that. I think that's what you saw today.

Q. Jerod, a lot of coaches with a 14 seed with a young team like yours, you get down double digits, they're turning cartwheels to call a time-out and settle them down. You didn't do that. Why not?
COACH HAASE: Because I needed all the time-outs. I was out of them at the end. Part of that is stubbornness, part of it's from Coach Williams, who likes to hang on to those time-outs, and part of it is we've talked a lot about ebbs and flows throughout the year. Going into this game, we said these ebbs and flows are probably going to be more dramatic. It's not going to be a four-point run or a six-point run. This might be the game where we get up ten or down ten. Our guys believed, if we were up 20 points, we were going to play with confidence and really go for the jugular. If we were down 20 points, I believe everybody in our locker room would come out and continue to grind, grind, grind, and get it back. It wasn't a panic mode because we set it up before the game that if that happened it wasn't going to be a panic situation. Any of the time-outs, that was by far the most calm I was. I said, we're fine. They played best the first four minutes of the first half and the second half they outplayed us.

Q. I don't think you guys have won away from Birmingham since January. Anything you did with this team to get over that hurdle for this game?
COACH HAASE: Not talk about it. We also hadn't won in green uniform, and we were able to win a game in the conference tournament in green uniforms. It's one of those things, you focus on what you want to focus on, and that's not something we chose to focus on.

Q. Some of the players were talking about the trip to Spain and kind of the importance of that for a young team. What were you able to see, over the course of that trip and then beyond? Did you see the pieces starting to come together?
COACH HAASE: Yeah, with us, look, there's obviously a huge basketball element here of trying to become a good team and score more points than the other team. The human element, the personalities, the chemistry, the camaraderie, was the biggest purpose of that Spain trip, and I vividly remember early on in that trip, we sat down for a team meal, and I don't think there was one thing said. They all kind of looked at each other -- nine new faces, four guys that put on a UAB jersey before this year. So by the end of that trip, they were hanging out with a group. It was like a flock of geese. Anywhere one went, the others went. So that was really the foundation for the personal level we're dealing on right now.

Q. Jerod, how much debate was there between you and the other coaches, the time-out, the possession under the basket, to go to Robert in that case? He looked a little gassed down the stretch before that.
COACH HAASE: He did, and kind of our philosophy, our rallying cry this whole tournament, even the conference tournament, is that we do what we do. We do what we do. Now, having said that, we've thrown in a couple wrinkles here and there. We've talked a lot about trust with the team, with the coaches, with our tire group. One of my assistant coaches, Robert Ehsan, gave me a couple of wrinkles earlier in the game that were woeful at best. One of them was to get Robert Brown the basketball. He dribbled it off his foot, they went down and laid it up. I didn't -- I didn't even say anything. I looked at him, and he knew. At the end of the game, I think there was 50 seconds left, there was an out of bounds underneath. Not a whole different play, but he said, "Coach, I think something will work." I promise you, of any coach in the NCAA Tournament or in the country, I have more confidence in my assistants than anybody. Maybe that means I'm lacking confidence in myself, I don't know. But I trust them a great, great deal. He had a little wrinkle in a play we already had. We ran it. Let's be honest, if Robert Brown doesn't make that shot, nothing looks so good. But he was able to step up and we were able to get him the open shot.

Q. The way they rebounded, you played well in Conference USA on the glass, but what were they doing particularly maybe better today than they had?
COACH HAASE: I don't know if we did it better than what we're doing, we've had some big-time rebounding games, but that was a huge point of emphasis with the team. We felt like, to be able to have a chance in this game, we'd have to dominate the boards, dominate the offensive boards especially. So when the shots went up and Tyler Madison, he was the prime example of crashing and getting in there and fighting for the boards. It's been a focus all year. It was maybe even more of a focus this game, that we really needed to dominate in there.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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