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March 16, 2016

Toddrick Gotcher

Justin Gray

Keenan Evans

Raleigh, North Carolina

THE MODERATOR: At this time we'd like to go ahead and begin the Texas Tech portion of the press conferences. Are there any question for the student-athletes from Texas Tech?

Q. Could you guys talk about Coach Tubby Smith and what he's meant to the program, and then you'd have a difference, because one of you was already there when he came and the others, I assume, were recruited by Coach Smith. Talk about his impact.
TODDRICK GOTCHER: His impact has been so good to us. Like you said, I've been with the program for five years. He's changed the whole program and he teaches us life lessons. He teaches us things on the court, off the court. I mean, it's amazing to see a legend to come to Texas Tech and corral us up and get the right guys in and change the program around. It's been a blessing to have time.

KEENAN EVANS: It's been a blessing to have somebody like Coach Smith. Fortunately last year -- I've never been on a losing team. Last year we had a losing season. It feels good to have a great coaching staff and head coach to turn the program around and teach us so much.

JUSTIN GRAY: Like Toddrick and Keenan said. It's been a blessing. He's had our backs through ups and downs. Just him recruiting the right guys to the program speaks of to his character as a coach on and off the court. Just the human being he is recruits the right guys to get the job done. Our success this season is a tribute to that. I couldn't be more proud of our teammates and coaching staff. What we've done this season, we're not done yet.

Q. Since we saw you Sunday night, obviously you've had a chance to watch them film on Butler. What are your concerns and impressions on them?
TODDRICK GOTCHER: They are a very great team. They're very experienced. I actually played with one of the players, Kellen Dunham, on a mission trip in the Philippines. They can shoot the ball. Roosevelt can handle the ball, get to the lane whenever he wants. We know we have a tough game in front of us. I think we're prepared to play and we're already in the locker room and we're ready.

JUSTIN GRAY: We watched a lot of film on the plays they run. Like Toddrick said, they're a great shooting team. Very athletic, as some people may not assume they are a very athletic team. Roosevelt Jones is a great leader for them. Just have a lot of great assets for a great team. Just had to play solid defense in order to get it done.

KEENAN EVANS: At the end of the day they are a great team and we have to be ready to show up and play them.

Q. Justin, what has Coach been saying to you guys? He's been through so many NCAA Tournaments; you guys are doing this for the first time. What is his message to you guys to keep you grounded for the first time?
JUSTIN GRAY: His message is to validate the moment. We're here, he always reiterates that we belong here, not that we're lucky and the ball is in falling on our side of the court the right way. He says we belong here, we deserve to play with the best because he believes we're one of the best teams in the country.

I think that has to do with the confidence thing throughout the whole team. He does a great job getting guys to believe in one another. Once you have a team that does that, great things start happening.

Q. Toddrick, what is the biggest lesson you all took away from the TCU loss and what areas have you improved the most since then?
KEENAN EVANS: Oh, just we have to show up and play every game. I mean, everybody -- especially in the Big 12, everybody is a good team and I mean, Butler is in the Tournament, so they're going to be even better. So we have to show up and be ready to play and not just like come and BS with them.

JUSTIN GRAY: Like Keenan said, you have to show up and be ready to play. We can't come out slow and assume things. They have to fall the right way for us. We have to be aggressive, be the aggressor, be in attack mode and make things happen.

TODDRICK GOTCHER: Each game we have to come out with energy and play to our abilities. We can't take games off and practice. We got a lot of rest, I think we're very prepared for this one. So I think we're ready.

Q. This is for Justin: You guys were down in Puerto Rico with Butler. You didn't play them, did you cross paths with them much at all? Was there any extra familiarity being in that tournament setting with them even if you didn't play them?
JUSTIN GRAY: We saw them maybe a few, for a few minutes when we first got there. We got to the arena early when they were playing. So we got to see them a little bit. Other than that, we haven't really seen what they have until we watched film yesterday for sure.

But, while we're in Puerto Rico, obviously, it's the same thing we've been seeing on film. They're a great-shooting team, well-coached team. They get out in transition very well and look to spot up for three. So we have to play solid defense and get out on the shooters.

Q. Keenan, if you had to target one area, mostly responsible for the turnaround at Texas Tech this year, what would you say it was?
KEENAN EVANS: Oh, that's a tough one. I mean, everybody just believes. I just felt like last year, everybody wanted to play, and they -- we wanted to win, but I felt like everybody didn't believe in what we could do, and this year everybody believes in one another and we just play for one another and we just play hard together and believe we can win.

Q. Toddrick, what is the key to really balancing the emotion of this is the first time in a while Texas Tech has been here, to we need to act like we've done this before so we can get this win tomorrow?
TODDRICK GOTCHER: I think just staying focused. Coach been telling us to stay focused in practice. It's about the team that's going to get hot at this time. I feel like we got hot before. And if we get hot, we can make a big run in the Tournament.

And it's all about focus. The games are back to back and you have to get ready for each scouting report. So, just focusing on in and locking in, and I think we'll be all right.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Gentlemen, thank you very much and good luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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