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March 9, 2016

Bruce Weber

Dean Wade

Wesley Iwundu

Justin Edwards

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas State-75, Oklahoma State-71

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by the Kansas State Wildcats. Coach Bruce Weber, and with coach tonight is Justin Edwards, Wesley Iwundu, and Dean Wade. Coach, we'll call on you first for opening comment on tonight's victory.

COACH WEBER: Just excited to get a win for our guys. They battled all year. You know, through injuries, through close losses and they keep coming back. And I think the big thing was who wants to keep playing, who has that passion, and we came out with great passion in the first half. We did a good job of moving the basketball, which we didn't do at their place. Got it to open men and made shots. Our older guys really came through for us.

Stephen Hurt did a big bucket when we were struggling there on the baseline, great pass by one of these guys, either Wes or Justin. And Justin Edwards, after maybe a little slow start, really played good. Wes's normal game 14-6-4, three steals, a lot of different things. It was nice to have Dean really step up against the big stage in the tournament and play well. So we knew it's been there at times all year for Dean, and he was big-time for us tonight and gave us a chance to win.

I have to give Travis a lot of credit. He's kept those guys playing. They battle everybody, they don't quit. You know, you lose Forte, one of their best players in the league, you lose then probably the freshman Jawun Evans, and those other guys have come through. Newberry is a warrior, I love him, I love how he competes and plays. The little guy, Griffin, has done a nice job of getting in the paint, ten assists, 11 points, does a lot of nice things that was tough for us to deal with.

A good win. One of the things, the last two years we haven't won, we haven't had the winning locker room, and now we have the winning locker room. Now you just go, you have got No. 1 again. We played No. 1, Oklahoma, a couple of times and found a way to win. We played Kansas a couple of times. We've just got to go and play. And obviously you're going to have to play at a high level, but it should be fun. For our guys being part of March Madness.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. Let's move to our three student-athletes with questions. We'll come back to Coach Weber at the end.

Q. Wes, another one of the games where you guys start off well, big lead and got close in the second half. What was the difference between the two halves for you guys?
WESLEY IWUNDU: You know, we probably just got a little too comfortable, you know, with our lead and let it slip away a little bit. But it kind of worked out in the end each though we missed some free throws. But we did found a way to win. Stephen Hurt hit a big shot in the end and kind of settled things down and we came out with the win.

Q. Dean, earlier this week, you said you were excited to get out there and play. How exciting was it for you to be out there playing and then have a career night tonight?
DEAN WADE: It was very exciting. Big stage, it was fun. Great competition. It was exciting.

Q. For both Wes and Justin, it seemed like Dean played with a lot of aggression tonight, 20 points on nine shots. That's a career high for him. Talk about how well he did.
JUSTIN EDWARDS: I thought he did really well. We're always pushing Dean and yelling at Dean to shoot the ball a lot. I would be happy if Dean shot 20 shots, I know most of them are going to go in. He played well on the big stage, he proved he was the freshman he can be and he did a good job.

WESLEY IWUNDU: To piggyback off that, it is good for him going forward, a good confidence booster. He needed a game like this and we needed a game like this from him to push us forward. And it's always good when you have a game like that.

Q. Dean, you know, you're playing in the high school championship or high school playoffs last year and here you are. Down the road from where you grew up and watching this tournament. Was it surreal being out there and have a career night like this? What was the feeling like stepping off the floor after this win?
DEAN WADE: It was like a dream-come-true. Always dreamed when I was little to play in this tournament and have a good game, so it really felt like a dream.

Q. Justin, when Dean steps out early in the game and hits a three-pointer without hesitation, does that kind of relax everyone? It looked like this was about the most comfortable you guys have looked in the office.
JUSTIN EDWARDS: Definitely. When he comes out hot like that, it takes the pressure off everyone else. When Dean gets the shots, the defense has to start stepping up and it opens the lane for me and Wes because we like to drive. Just him making shots is a really good sign for us.

Q. For Justin and Wesley, Coach talked about having to play at a high level tomorrow against Kansas. Do you feel like it's going to be challenging, considering you're going to be playing in roughly about 14 hours and you're playing a team that's had a first-round bye and will be well rested?
JUSTIN EDWARDS: Yeah, it is definitely going to be challenging, the null one team in the country, obviously they will be playing at a high level. Like Coach said, we have to go back to the hotel, get rested and hopefully be energized for tomorrow.

WESLEY IWUNDU: And it's all about getting rest, getting good preparation. And you know, coming to fight the hardest tomorrow to make it a good game and hopefully come out with the win and see where we can go from there.

Q. Dean, you're playing Kansas tomorrow here on this stage. Growing up in this state, I mean, is the type of game you looked forward to for a long time?
DEAN WADE: The K-State-KU games are always intense, rivalry games. It's a big game for us. We'll just go back to the hotel and get some rest and bring it back tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for coach.

Q. Coach, it seemed like this has been a different team when they have come out as the aggressors like they were tonight. How do you ensure that we see that tomorrow and they come out with that same attitude?
COACH WEBER: I think we just have to go play.

No one expects us to win. They're No. 1, they won the league again, they've done a great job. We just have to come and play and enjoy the opportunity. That's what we've talked about. And being part of March Madness is the thing that you dream of, as they talked about.

And it this tournament, Kansas does a great job, Big 12 does a great job, great environment. And just enjoy it, battle them and see in we can put some pressure on them. There should be no pressure on us. Obviously you want to win and see if you can get an NCAA bid, but they will be the team that will definitely be favored. You talk about the short turnover -- turn-around, it puts new a little bit of a bind, but Austin Peay did it last week, winning four in a row. I think they beat higher seeds the whole way through.

One of my teams at Illinois, with Coach Frazier, we got to the championship and beat teams that we hadn't beaten all year, so it's the fun of it. And we just have to go back, get something to eat, get rested, get prepared. Our guys know them and see if we can give it a go.

Q. Coach, you know last year your season ended here in this building with a loss to TCU, and it just seemed like that was kind of the low point for you guys. Could you tell coming into this Big 12 tournament was that specific game any sort of a motivation factor where you talked about it at all?
COACH WEBER: We didn't talk about it, one of you guys asked me the other day about it. But it's a distance memory.

For us, we're focused on our team and it's been a great group. They've been fun to coach. The season has gone very quickly. You know, a couple of people asked me, usually at the end of the year, I was out recruiting the other day, about eight, ten coaches at a game and two or three of them are in the NCAA tournament and they are like they can't wait until it's over. And I am like you've got to be kidding me. And it's been fun. They are a fun group and they always keep -- in a way they surprise me, they keep coming back and playing with, you know, a good passion, great energy. So I expect them to do that tomorrow, but we know it's going to be a difficult challenge.

Q. Did you ever think Dean could go 35 minutes without committing a foul?
COACH WEBER: No, usually he can't get to the first TV time-out without two. And that will be a big key tomorrow. You know, both the games he's got in foul trouble. Obviously a tough match-up with Perry, but we talked a lot with him and showed him on film. He crowds people and he gets -- and then he gets his hands on people. And you know, today he did a much better job.

We were pretty good defensively the first half. Travis really complimented us after the game. The second half, I think they came out loose and free and got the spread, got Griffin in the lane and were dishing and jumped up and made some bomb threes and put a little pressure on us. But I was really happy that our guys made plays.

Justin made several big baskets when the momentum was kind of shifted. Stephen Hurt's basket. I mentioned Wes. We did the little play at the end, Wes got the dunk and Justin finishes it with some free throws. And the big rebound on the missed free throw. We talk about that all the time. Be at the top of the key, get a tip-back it is a difference-maker. A lot of good things from our guys.

Q. Coach, throughout the season, Dean's looked maybe a little physically or mentally worn down, but he seemed really fresh today. Did you see that coming into the game?
COACH WEBER: We knew we couldn't practice much this week. They were off Sunday, we practiced about a half-hour on Monday, 20 minutes live on Tuesday and that's it. And we felt if we had to have any chance we had to come with some energy.

First of all, he had pneumonia and you have pneumonia, he didn't practice like one day in two weeks. He totally lost his conditioning. Your lungs are a mess, and then I think it played a big difference in his mind, because, you know, you're worn down, you're tired, now you don't play well, and it took a toll on him, there's no doubt about it. But slowly but surely, he's come back. He's had huge games. I said in the post game with Wyatt after Texas Tech, he keeps showing us glimmers of what he can be. When it clicks, he's going to be special. And tonight he was special, along with a lot of other guys on our team.

Q. You talked about all the close games, you finally won one. Made just enough free throws. What was the difference in this one to hold on and pull it out?
COACH WEBER: We got the lead. The other ones, it seemed like we didn't have to lead. And at their place, we got one lead and they got some rebounds, and then we had the chance at the end, you know, TO win it a couple of times and we didn't. But I think a good focus of our guys, you have to have people make plays.

We play Texas. Taylor goes between his legs, jumps up and makes the three. Frank Mason goes between his legs and makes a play. Justin today jumps up and makes the shot and Stephen Hurt makes shots. Players make plays. The t-shirt they have, the Nike thing, just bring your game. And that's what it's about now. Players make -- this is their fun time. Step up, make plays, don't play -- I kept saying in the huddle when they were making a run, don't play not to lose, play to win the game. Come and have some fun, get after it.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Coach, thank you very much. We'll let you go start preparing for tomorrow's game. Congrats.

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