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March 18, 2016

Nick Zeisloft

Thomas Bryant

Collin Hartman

Yogi Ferrell

Troy Williams

Des Moines, Iowa

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the student-athletes from Indiana. Questions for our student-athletes?

Q. Yogi, how much have you watched Ulis? What do you think of his game and is this a match-up that guys like you get excited about each other going against each other?
YOGI FERRELL: He's been a great point guard all season, leading his team. They have athletic bigs, finds his shooters and he's a great part of that team and he's a big reason why they've been so successful this season.

Q. Yogi, is there any added significance to this game because it's Kentucky, such a rival?
YOGI FERRELL: Well, we have a lot of respect for Kentucky, just, you know, the level of their play and how they've always played very well. So, you know, we're not get into the rivalries so much. This is just us versus them now.

Q. Yogi, are you the type of guy that gets up for an individual match-up when you know the guy that plays your position across from you is considered one of the best in the country? Does that motivate you to equate yourself well against him?
YOGI FERRELL: I wouldn't say so, not at all. This is a team effort, 5 on 5, it's not 1 on 1, 5 on 1, this is 5 versus 5. I don't get too hyped up in the match-up, go out, play the same we would have played all year, stick to our strengths, not try to do anything fancy, just try to go out there and get the win.

Q. Nick, thoughts about this season, all the different bumps you guys have had along the way. What's it say in terms of you guys having survived it so successfully to this point and how much rides on this game in terms of how the season turns out in your mind's eye moving forward to the Sweet 16?
NICK ZEISLOFT: The way we've been talking the whole year everything we have been through has strengthened us to this point. The success and the struggles, we've been through a lot of different situations that have showed us how to succeed through all types of situations that we can face and that we will face.

Q. What will be some of the keys to slowing down the freshman, Jamal Murray in tomorrow night's match-up?
THOMAS BRYANT: I would say some of the things that we have to do is maybe just stay disciplined. We have a game plan for each and every one of them out there, and we just gotta go out there and follow it.

TROY WILLIAMS: As long as we stick to our transition defense and the principles and everything and back on defense things should work out in our favor.

COLLIN HARTMAN: We have to come out and be aggressive and stick to out game plan. We have a coaching staff that puts different things together for every game and we just have to execute our game plan and limit shots.

NICK ZEISLOFT: I think those three hit it pretty much on the dot. They're fast and athletic and we have to get back in transition and take out their half court sets, and we'll get with the coaches on that. We already have some and we will continue to.

Q. Yogi, I'm sure you saw last night they set the NCAA Tournament record with 15 blocks. What's the key to drawing those bigs out so you guys can have the space you want to get the shots you want?
YOGI FERRELL: The key is always stay in movement. We always like to preach on moving the ball, and I feel like against a team such as Kentucky since they play such great defense you've gotta move the ball, wear 'em down a little bit, try and get those bigs out, penetrate the ball into the lane, kick it out and just find a way. You especially can't go in there and drive in on those bigs.

Q. Yogi, the bow and arrow deal last night was pretty amusing. You just piggybacking on Jamal Murray, or what was the deal with that?
YOGI FERRELL: Actually, Wesley Matthews started that when he played for, he obviously came from Coach Crean, but I saw him do that first.

Q. Yogi, how much will tempo be an issue in this game and what kind of tempo do you guys want to play? One of the last times you played them it became a high-tempo game. Where do you see this game going?
YOGI FERRELL: I see this being a very fast tempo game, two high-powered offenses, especially both of us, we like to get up and down. I expect it to be a multiple possession game on both ends.

Q. For any of you guys, how have you seen Yogi's game evolve, develop, how have you seen him become more of a leader over the course of this year or his career here?
NICK ZEISLOFT: In all facets of the game he's improved being a leader out there, communicating, sharing his wisdom and experience and what he sees and his awareness out there have really made us all better throughout the whole year.

COLLIN HARTMAN: I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me was how vocal he was every day in and sharing it and trickling it down to the younger guys, even myself because he sees the game in a different way and it's nice to have him be that vocal leader every single day.

TROY WILLIAMS: I mean, me and Collin have been with Yogi the longest, but seeing him grow on the court and off court is amazing. It helps us out even better, and he has a lot of wisdom of the game and a lot of wisdom in the college NCAA, and it's all helped us.

THOMAS BRYANT: He's been a true leader for me, being a freshman coming in. His work ethic on and off court is amazing. I try and take that some of that from him. I just keep working every day to try and get better with him.

Q. For Troy and Collin and anybody else that wants to weigh in given the profile of these programs and the proximity, is this a game that should be played every year?
TROY WILLIAMS: I mean, it's what we came to Indiana for is what people go to Kentucky for, these big games. Like it used to be, I would say as -- should it be? I have no say on that, but if it were to be, it's what we came here for, those big games.

COLLIN HARTMAN: I think it's a great rivalry that runs really deep, always has and always will, whenever we meet like we are tomorrow. But I don't have any opinion on whether we should or shouldn't. We have big games all year long, so we have our hands full the way it is.

Q. When things have gone wrong for you guys, let's say the Michigan game in the quarter finals in the Big Ten Tournament, what are the things that have gone wrong and how do you correct them in a game like this against a team that plays such good defense?
YOGI FERRELL: The biggest thing I say where turnovers to start the game, being loose with the ball, careless with it, so going into this game we definitely have to be more careful with it starting out, going against such a great defense. We saw that in the Michigan game and our defensive coverages weren't there, so I think those were the two key thins for us.

NICK ZEISLOFT: Like Yogi said, taking care of the ball and defensive stops are a big key to our success, and whenever we're not getting stops out there we have to make adjustments quick on the fly and whether that's just a reminder in a huddle, on the court, or in a timeout, you know, we can figure that out and we have to make quick adjustments throughout the game.

Q. I guess this can be for Yogi, Nick and Troy. With the history of the programs aside, some would say that is almost unfair that such a strong match-up is happening so early in the tournament. Is this the sort of thing that you guys look barred to no matter what time it occurs in terms of these two teams facing each other?
YOGI FERRELL: I would say so. You know, when tournament starts I feel like anybody can beat anybody. That's why the teams that were selected for this tournament are in the tournament.

So I feel like we're just going to play this game how we always wanted to, not try and look at it as -- we're not going to treat them as any different than Chattanooga, just by the way we prepare and how we do things and how we go about our business.

NICK ZEISLOFT: Yeah, I mean, some people might say it's pretty early for us to play, but we don't look at it like that. Everyone has to win six games if you want to win this tournament anyway so everyone at this level is great and they're here for a reason and you've got to win six games to win the whole thing.

COLLIN HARTMAN: Like Nick said, you have to beat everybody anyways. Yeah, great team to play, very talented, very athletic and very skilled. We've gotta come out ready to go. Like Yogi said, we're going to prepare the same way we have all season, and we're going to come out prepared and we have been locked in all season and we're not going to change that now.

Q. My question is, none of you obviously played in this rivalry, but Coach Crean has been a part of it before and some of the guys that have graduated like Victor have been in this game. What have they told you about it and about the history?
YOGI FERRELL: Coach Crean has just said it's going to be a very up and down game, so get our shoe laces ready, gotta get back on defense. Kentucky has always had players that can score at a high level, high rate. So, you know, the main thing is you've just gotta get your wind right, get ready for this game because it's going to be a very fun game.

NICK ZEISLOFT: Transition defense is going to be big. They like to play up and down. We do, too. We've always liked to get up and down and we have to be physically and mentally locked in for anything they're going to throw at us and we will be.

COLLIN HARTMAN: Growing up in Indiana you've obviously watched the games, every single time they've played. But they're always highly talented and highly athletic and get out and run and block shots and score at a high rate. We just have to prepare the way we always have and come out with our own mind-set.

TROY WILLIAMS: They done said it all.

THOMAS BRYANT: I don't know that much about it, but I'm going behind my teammates what they know. So I'm just going to be prepared for anything.

Q. If this season ends tomorrow for you guys, how will you look back at this season in terms of its success with the Big Ten season regular season Championship and overcoming so many adversities and losing James Blackman, Jr.? And the flip side of it, if you advance to the Sweet 16 is that an endorsement more of where you have come from?
THOMAS BRYANT: We see our season as a success but we don't see it ying tomorrow. We're just going to keep working. Just try and get better each and every day.

TROY WILLIAMS: If the season were to end tomorrow, looking back on it everything that we overcame, everybody that we proved wrong and all the success that we done. But if we were to advance after tomorrow it just more success and more memories to make and more things that overcome.

COLLIN HARTMAN: I think that the Big Ten Championship that we won was just a stepping stone in our journey. We're glad to have it and I think we all appreciate it and that we worked hard for it all season, but we also have an ultimate goal so tomorrow is another opportunity to get closer to that next step.

NICK ZEISLOFT: I'm right there with Collin, he said it all for me.

YOGI FERRELL: Same thing with Nick.

Q. Ulis and Jamal Murray get the most of the headlines on that team. Who is the third guy on Kentucky that can give you problems if you're not paying attention to him?
YOGI FERRELL: I would say definitely Willis, him being stretch 4 or stretch 5 that can knock down 3 at an unbelievable rate. Scout can knock down 17, 15-footer and you have Alex Poythress down there in the alley that can score over any shoulder. You've got multiple guys on that team that can hurt you in any way. So the biggest thing is stick to our defensive coverages.

NICK ZEISLOFT: At this time of the year, anyone can play well and make shots. Whether it's those two guys making shots or someone that doesn't play a lot making shots, we have to focus in on every single one because one shot here or there can be the difference in the game.

COLLIN HARTMAN: I think the big guys down low are a big key. Keeping them off the boards and making them foul and be the let them block shots and create transition opportunities for them, so we have to be smart with the ball and be aggressive on box outs.

TROY WILLIAMS: Another will be Isaiah Briscoe. He's crafty with the ball. He can get to the rim, get fouls, and like Collin said, their bigs and Willis is also a really good one.

THOMAS BRYANT: Anyone and everyone on that Kentucky team is a threat on the court. So you've just got to be aware of anyone that comes on the floor and take it from there.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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