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March 3, 2016

Ray Giacoletti

Casey Schlatter

Reed Timmer

St. Louis, Missouri - Arch Madness

Missouri State-69, Drake-67

COACH GIACOLETTI: We dug ourselves a hole and got down ten at halftime, and we talked about how we were going to get back into it in the second half, and it was going to be three or four points each time out, each four-minute segment time-out. And we made a really good run to get seven points made up right away, and after that, it was kind of even.

I couldn't be more proud of this team. It took us a while to figure out how to play the right way, but we have a good foundation. We have young guys that are going to get better from this experience. Little things of 18 assists tonight, that's steps in the right direction for us. Obviously, we didn't get the win. It's a credit to Missouri State. But we did some things that will help our program out as we move forward.

Q. Hey, Reed, it took you a couple minutes to get your shot up in the first half and the second half. Was there anything that Missouri State was doing in particular to maybe make you feel uncomfortable?
REED TIMMER: I don't think it made me feel uncomfortable. Just in a zone like that, you try to get the best look you can. What was working for us is getting the ball inside and getting the ball in the middle. Typically, the guards on the outside are going to take threes that are wide open or drive and kick to someone else. So I was just trying to make the game come to me and just try not to manufacture and get good shots. I think it was just the way their defense played.

Q. Reed, coming into the Valley tournament with just two conference wins, it seemed like you guys really started out playing with confidence. What was said maybe before the game from the coach or with the players to kind of give that sense of urgency and really come out playing some of the best basketball you guys have played all year?
REED TIMMER: I think coming into this game, especially the Loyola game and the Bradley game before that, we've been playing really consistent on the defensive end. We talked about that before the game. And especially playing for Karl, being it was his last year, and we really wanted to come out and leave it all out on the floor for him and for the rest of our team, just to kind of build off what we had going towards the end of the year, and I think we did a good job of that.

Shooting with confidence and playing defense with confidence and just having a swagger about us that I think we can take into next year and take in the off-season to build off of.

COACH GIACOLETTI: This team's played much better the last month of the season. It hasn't equated so much into wins, but the last four weeks, we've gotten better, had opportunities to win games. Evansville goes right down to the last two possessions of the game. We played much better, but to equate to wins, that's the last step we need to be able to get to.

Q. For Casey, obviously, your 11 assists jumps off the stat sheet. What was your mindset when you had the ball in your hands in order to get to such a gaudy number of assists as a forward?
CASEY SCHLATTER: Looking down Dom. It's something we preach every day in practice. He's a big target, and he does a really good job of sealing and putting himself in position where, if you throw it right to him, he'll be able to get right to his move and score.

And later they started kicking it down a bit and kick to Graham, Reed, or Ore for jump shots. They were wide open because they were trying to take away Dom, but just making the simple play.

Q. You guys came out shooting 9 of 11 -- sorry, 9 of 13 in the second half. Anything in particular that Coach said that gave you confidence to get you guys the looks you were getting?
CASEY SCHLATTER: We came out, and we talked about we were going to get it down to five after the first media. We just came out, pounded the ball into Dom, hit a couple of wide open inside-out threes, and like I said, just making a simple play and getting the best shot available.

REED TIMMER: Our team has had confidence all year. Our guys are great shooters. We never have to question our confidence. It's just the fact of getting good shots and stepping up and knocking them down, but I don't think anything has to be said or will ever have to be said about our confidence because we're a good shooting team, and we know that.

Q. Hey, Coach, rough season. You guys came out, though, and played very well tonight. What does that tell you going forward for these guys?
COACH GIACOLETTI: I mean, our future's bright. We had a freshman center who come in the game tonight and was shooting 76 percent or 75 percent for the field, for the conference. He would be leading the country in field goal percentage if he had more attempts. It took us a long time to understand how important he was and how it was going to make the game easier for everybody else.

I think Casey has found a way to exploit Dominik's size and ability to score the ball, which in turn makes others shoot wide open jump shots.

Missouri State played all zone tonight, but last Saturday Loyola had to start doubling him. And it took our team a long time, for whatever reason this year, to figure out we need to play inside-out. We're fortunate that we started two freshmen and three sophomores, coming off the bench with two more freshmen. So it's a young team. They grew as the season went along, and we were playing our best basketball at the end. Our future's bright. We'll add a piece or two to this thing, but we have a good foundation.

You look at the record, and right by looking at it, it may appear to be something else, but next to Bradley, we're as young a team as there is in the Valley.

Q. After the stoppage of plays and the two free throws that were missed by Missouri State and that last play by Timmer, where he pulled up for the deep three, what did you maybe tell the team before that to try to get something to happen. He had a wide open look. It was a great rim out, but what did you say to maybe --
COACH GIACOLETTI: We weren't going to call time-out because you didn't have enough time if they were getting set up in a 1-3-1 or a zone of some type to be able to run a play. If it was a made, we have a little play called Chicago. And on a miss, we were just going to push it and try to get the wings running wide.

And you had to make a decision where you run through situations all the time in practice. If you're down two, three, four seconds, you have three dribbles. So you can go a long ways in three dribbles. If there's six seconds up there, you have five dribbles to get to where you're going.

So those are things that we've talked about. I didn't go back and look, but I think he probably went as far as he could and got a clean look. That's probably as good a shot as we're going to get because you're not going to draw something up, especially against zone, and get any better look than that.

Q. You guys got the outside shooters, and you guys got the two big guys in the middle. What does this team need? What are you going to be looking for in the off-season here to try to take this team to the next level?
COACH GIACOLETTI: We need probably a bit more athleticism to become a better defensive team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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