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March 20, 2015

Ron Baker

Darius Carter

Gregg Marshall

Fred VanVleet



THE MODERATOR: Wichita State Shockers are now with us, Darius Carter, Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet represent the student-athletes. Coach Marshall is in the middle. Gregg, please.

GREGG MARSHALL: I'm just excited to be moving on. Another nail biter, another game with back and forth, not much separation either way. Down at halftime, and we finally make our run midway through the second half against a tremendous team that played very well, I thought. Indiana, another, just, historic college basketball team, so we've got Kentucky last year at the end, Indiana, now Kansas, I mean, I guess we could play the Lakers and the Celtics after that, but it's amazing the lineup that we get to go. These guys made the plays and the free-throws and the things we needed to do down the stretch.

Q. Gregg, talk about Fred's performance today not only offensively but defensively on Yogi Ferrell and your decision to put him on Yogi in the first half.
GREGG MARSHALL: Bob, I thought Fred is really good guarding point guards and Tekele is a great defender but, I think, at times he's better off of the ball in a denial stance trying to create havoc on a shooter, coming off a screen or whatnot, and Fred just understands guarding point guards a little better. Yogi was having his way, and Fred I thought did a wonderful job, besides scoring all the points he did, he defended beautifully.

Q. Darius, did you lose a tooth when you got popped in the mouth on that play?
DARIUS CARTER: No, I almost lost my tooth. It got pushed back pretty far, the guys that were out there couldn't see it when I was in pain. I'm thankful I got my tooth, that will be a bad look to not have a tooth! (Laughter.)

Q. Fred, what was working for you offensively? It looked like you were able to get to the basket, I won't say at "will" obviously they were very difficult shots but describe your game tonight offensively.
FRED VANVLEET: I just wanted to be aggressive, honestly, I found opportunities in ball screens with the bigger guys, I could use my quickness against them. Just a team that is so potent offensively a lot of times it's hard to do both. They were running -- they were kicking us in transition and, you know, I was just trying to do a little bit of the same to keep 'em on their heels and balance the floor willing a little bit. I was getting in there to pass and the first couple of times I went in there to pass and I noticed I could have shot it to I started to be more aggressive, trying to get there, trying to get to the free-throw line. I think a key tonight was the free-throw line and how many times we were able to get there and at the percentage we were able to knock 'em down.

Q. Darius, sorry to go back to the tooth, but you seemed like a different player after that. Did you feel like that at all? Seemed like you had a different energy.
DARIUS CARTER: Mostly just the pain, when they pushed my tooth back in place, I let out a big scream and I felt a release. Maybe that was it, I'm not sure. I just wanted to win; that's all.

Q. Fred, can you elaborate on what Gregg said about your defense on Yogi Ferrell and what your mindset was in terms of what your plan of attack was?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, I just wanted to make it tough on him. All week I wanted to be the one who started off on him, but that's the great thing about our team is we have unselfish guys and it would have been selfish of me to say I want to make it a mono-a-mono match, but I just wanted the opportunity. He's a great player. He's going to get to the foul line. He's going to make tough shots and I wanted to make it hard on him and make him work for everything that he did and whenever I got the opportunity. He was also putting pressure on me, making him trying to play at both ends. Just trying to stay aggressive. I just wanted to keep up the pressure and we don't like to lose and we approach it that way.

Q. Darius, did you catch how your tooth got loosened up and was that a Wichita State win, the symbol of the rough stuff?
DARIUS CARTER: I'm not sure who hit me, but I think I caught an elbow. We pride ourselves on toughness, the whole "play angry" thing. It's just we all have a will to win, and we want to play through anything that happens to us, so that's a big thing we pride ourselves on.

Q. Hello, Fred. Gregg talked about Yogi's quickness and how you enjoy guarding point guards. Is that the quickest point guard you've guarded in a while?
FRED VANVLEET: That I can remember, and I don't know if you enjoy chasing that guy around, but I was up for the challenge. He's a tremendous player. Obviously, he's so fast and explosive off the bounce. I just wanted to make it tough on him, like I said, make him work for it. Obviously he's probably quicker than me, but there's opportunities were where I could use some of my advantages as well. It was a team effort. It wasn't just me. We had guys in the gap and guys making it hard on him when he went in to try to make layups, and we made a lot of multiple efforts on plays, closing out and rotating. And I think Zach Brown was big, Shaq was big, we had a lot of production off the bench, and obviously Dairus was a different player after his tooth deal, and Ron closed it out for us.

Q. Gregg, Shaquille Morris came through for you. How do you describe his and Zach Brown's contributions today?
GREGG MARSHALL: Big minutes for youngsters playing in their first NCAA Tournament game. Shaq would have been really dynamic with a stat line, but he couldn't stay out of foul trouble. He seems to be a magnet for fouling. Zach Brown was dynamic. I thought his follow shot when Tekele missed the layup in transition was a really big play. He knocked down one of the two threes we made on the day and he rebounded and defended in the second half like we can. Tremendous contributions for those two guys.

Q. Ron, you had a tough day shooting the basketball, but at the end of the game you made some things happen, got to the line. Just describe your overall feeling about your performance today.
RON BAKER: Yeah, like you said, I wasn't shooting the ball like I normally do. That's fine. I've got good teammates and a good coaching staff to keep me grounded, keep my mind right. Just gotta keep shootin'. I was getting down on myself, because I was doing some things on the defensive end that was kinda hurting our team. Missed check-outs, things like that. Just need to do a better job of helping our team win. If I focus on that, I can be a good asset to the team.

Q. Ron and also for Gregg, there has been a little bit made about getting to play Kansas now that the opportunity presents itself. What does it mean for you guys and for the program?
RON BAKER: Obviously when people saw the bracket they were already talking about this day on Sunday. It's a big thing for the State of Kansas; a lot of excitement, a lot of houses are going to be divided. It's just going to be exciting. As a player, being from Kansas, just really, really fortunate to be in this game. Obviously these type of games don't happen a whole lot.

GREGG MARSHALL: I just, like I said at the beginning of the interview, Kentucky last year, Indiana this year, Kansas next, I mean those are blue-blood programs. Those are programs with some of the winningest college basketball in the country. It's an honor to be able to play them and it's an honor to compete with them to win. That's what we're after, no matter who the next opponent is, our goal is to get to Cleveland and the Sweet 16. That's our goal. Kansas has great players, unbelievable coach, Bill Self does a great job, and they're right up the road. It's a game in the making. They whipped us last time. I don't know where I was 23 years ago, I was a neophyte in coaching, I can assure you that. It's an opportunity, it's a wonderful opportunity and whoever plays the best is going to win. We're not the "blue blood," so to speak, that those teams are, but we generally play well against them, and if we play really well, we'll have a chance to win.

Q. How much of what Fred did offensively is by design? Obviously there is a structure to your offense, but how much are you calling plays and how much is he reading the defense?
GREGG MARSHALL: There was one call he called his own number, which was fun, and he told me what they were going to run as he was coming down the court, and they were shooting a free-throw on the other end and I just nodded and said, I like that! What we wanted to do is get him come downhill off ball screens and that's exactly what we got. We wanted to be downhill and cause help and Hanner Mosquera-Perea is probably their own rim protector, just like us, they don't have great rim protection with all the injuries that they had, so we were able to get in the middle of the zone in man-to-man and attack the zone. There are going to be times coming up where there is going to be a wall there and he's going to have to make a decision to spray it to a shooter and we are going to have to knock those down, but tonight in our break-down offense we were trying to attack those ball screens and go downhill.

Q. Ron, Wichita State was down 5 with five minutes gone in the second half. After that point, Wichita State was ahead most of the way. What changed? Was it getting used to their pace? Getting used to their attack? What changed the last 15 minutes of the game in your favor?
RON BAKER: I think we executed on both ends. We were able to get stops and we made our run right around the 15-minute mark. Fred had some good plays at the rim and we just piled up a couple stops. Anytime you can do that and turn the table like we did, it enables us to play with a little different attitude and aggressiveness.

Q. Fred, I think Wichita State scored on maybe three inbounds plays and you had a nice play that Tekele scored on near the end of the game. Were those set plays, something you thought you would have opportunities on coming into this game?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah, for sure, you have to talk to this guy right here. He's the mastermind behind the X's and O's, and we saw some things we thought we would have opportunities on, on the out-of-bounds they tried to deny and make you switch to get it in. Zach Brown was underneath and another one was Tekele, and the last play we drew up -- we didn't draw it up, it's just a play that we have and executed it well and somebody made a great pass to Tekele to get the layup and sealed the game. Coach said we executed well, we haven't been doing things great in recent weeks, but those weeks are behind us and it's all behind us now.

GREGG MARSHALL: We have things that we do that are general better in preconference and postseason, and when you don't face a team twice or three times a year, you're not as familiar with what they do. Indiana scored on some of their stuff against us today. We were able to exploit some of the set plays and attack certain players at certain times, and one of the beautiful things about playing out of sets is everyone knows what the other person is doing, so even if you don't score on the initial set, you can often score quickly by playing out of the set.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for the Shockers of Wichita State?

Q. Fred, do you remember the instance that Coach was referring to when you told him what play you were going to run and took it to the rack?
FRED VANVLEET: Yeah. I didn't even shoot it, that's the funny part about it. I called my own play, I passed it to Darius and he got a wide-open look at the free-throw line and it didn't fall, but we still got a good look. And it's like what Coach said, when you play teams that aren't familiar with you, you're able to get good, open looks, and everybody was executing down the stretch.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, gentlemen, we will see you here tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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