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March 20, 2015

Bryce Drew

Alec Peters

Tevonn Walker



THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Drew.

COACH DREW: We knew whoever we drew was going to be a really good team, and Maryland is an excellent team, one of the better teams in the country. I'm extremely proud of our guys. It's been an amazing year with this group. They're very special to us. There's a lot of tears in the locker room, not just because we lost, that's part of it, but because of the friendships and camaraderie and brotherhood that we've had together. And I genuinely think our team is going to miss more than anything just being with each other every day at practice and on trips and in games. It's something special when you have that brotherhood together. Really proud of Tevonn and Alec. Thought they made key baskets when we needed it. Kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win at the end.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for student-athletes.

Q. Alec, what was the thought process on the final 30 seconds there? What would you guys have drawn up and what did you see?
ALEC PETERS: We were down three. We needed a 3 in order to tie the game. We wanted to extend the game to overtime. We thought we'd give ourselves a chance. And they played great D. They switched the screen and I was supposed to pop back for a 3 and just they guarded it well. They defended it well.

Q. Alec, does this hurt more because it was so close?
ALEC PETERS: Any game you lose hurts. And especially one that we knew that we put ourselves in a situation to win. There were other things along the course of the game. We missed more free throws. I missed two free throws, completely uncharacteristic. And missed a couple of easy bunnies under the basket, just different things that add up over time that could have helped us win this game.

Q. You had such a tough time getting to the basket and scoring in the paint. Why was that?
TEVONN WALKER: I find that they're really big in the post and made it tough to drive and kick to open, wide open 3-point teammates of ours.

ALEC PETERS: They took a couple of charges early in the game. And it just -- it kind of -- you kind of lose your aggression. Not lose your aggression, but makes you second-guess yourself when you're driving into the lane. You've got to start kicking out for open shots and they did a good job stepping in there, taking hits and causing a couple of fouls.

Q. Alec, what was it like playing with four fouls in a game like that?
ALEC PETERS: You don't worry about it. You just gotta keep playing the game. You gotta be out there for your team. You gotta remember to be smart. And if there's a situation where someone's going to get an easy layup you just gotta remember that you can't foul them. You can't foul someone on the drive to take yourself out of the game.

Q. Tevonn, was the game plan to shoot 27 3-pointers or was that what they were giving you guys today?
TEVONN WALKER: I think when we found out it was kind of difficult for us to drive over and over again, we had to stick to what we were good at and what we practice mostly in practice. And the 3-point shot was there. And it worked well for us.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Bryce, did you expect that? Did you think they were going to foul at that point to put you on the line or did you think you were going to have you tie the game, go for the 3-pointer?
COACH DREW: No we thought they would defend. They're an excellent defensive team. They take pride in their defense, which they should. And I think any coach that puts that much pride in your defense thinks you can get a stop to win the game.

Q. Pretty clear picture of Carter's hand getting hit. Sure there's a lot of emotion in the locker room. How do you coach your guys through not pinning it on the refs or anything like that?
COACH DREW: You know, I think the game of basketball, there's a lot of ups and downs, a lot of things that go on. And our team's whole focus all year has been worry about the things we can control and a lot of that's our effort, our execution, our togetherness. And, you know, there were probably different things throughout the game that could have gone either way. I'm extremely proud of our guys and extremely blessed to be around these guys for a year, this group that we have. And we had our chances. We had several chances not just the last possession but possessions before that we could have taken the lead which maybe could have changed the tempo and the flow of the game.

Q. What was the final play?
COACH DREW: Yeah, you know, I'll take the blame for that. Our guys executed it well. I thought Maryland did a really good job. We tried to do something a little different off one of the plays we usually run. Because we wanted to get obviously Alec Peters the ball to give him a chance to tie it. And it's not just that he's a fifth-year senior, been in a lot of games. And he made a really good defensive play at the end.

Q. When you were drawing up the final play there, did you consider at all throwing the ball in the back court, having that player throw the length of the court pass to a guy who would tip it to a shooter?
COACH DREW: We have a lot of different looks but that was not talked about at the timeout.

Q. Obviously you've been asked that a million times throughout your life but having lived through a tight NCAA Tournament game as a player, and now you're down to the last-second thing as a coach, just what are your emotions having lived through it as a player and coach. It went a different way but I'm sure you can relate to how your players are feeling having played that tight?
COACH DREW: It's easier as a player. You take it hard. But a coach, you don't sleep very well for a long time. So you second-guess everything you do as a coach. As a player, you go out and work harder in the gym. And so for a coach I definitely think there's more of that that sticks with you for a longer period of time.

Q. Same question about 3-pointers. 27, I think, today. I think it's three months since you've had that many in a game. Is that what they were giving you?
COACH DREW: Yes, their length really gave us difficulty at the beginning of the game when we got to the rim. And every day in practice we work on penetrating and passing, getting the extra penetration. And we haven't had to do this in a long time. And I thought our guys made a great adjustment after that initial start of the game to really penetrate and 12 3s is as good as we shot all year, but that's what the defense was giving us. And so our guys did a great job getting looks and penetrating to pass.

Q. I'm sure you were in the moment. But during that timeout was there one moment where you thought back to your shot?
COACH DREW: No, I'm way beyond that.

Q. Can you just kind of summarize your thoughts on how this year went now, 28 wins with a group that was really thought next year was going to be the year?
COACH DREW: You know, kind of what I said earlier. It's been a great blessing to be around these guys, not just for the 28 wins and making the NCAA Tournament, but just everything else that goes along with them. It's a sensational group of kids that you love sitting down, having dinner with. They're just really, really good people. And they accomplish more than what anyone thought we'd ever accomplish this year, winning a game or some games, NCAA Tournament definitely would have been the icing on the cake. But I'm proud of our guys. We were in a position to win, the last five minutes we were in the position, and I think that's something they can be proud about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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