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March 19, 2017

Mick Cronin

Jacob Evans

Troy Caupain

Sacramento, California

UCLA - 79, Cincinnati - 67

THE MODERATOR: From Cincinnati we have student-athletes Jacob Evans and Troy Caupain and head coach Mick Cronin. Mick, you had a 3-point lead at the turn and then some stuff happened. What's your overall assessment of how this game went?

MICK CRONIN: First of all, congratulations to Steve and his team. They obviously have had an unbelievable season. I told him they got a chance to win the whole thing. I wished him luck. He's got a very tough job coaching that team with the expectations at his school. I told him I'm rootin' for him.

That being said, I think the turning point in the game was when we started going inside in the second half and we weren't able to get to the foul line. Repeatedly we went inside and we came away empty. We also weren't able to get the call, and I said for the last two days we're going to have to score the ball or get to the free throw line so we could set our defense.

When that didn't happen they got out in transition and as everybody knows, they're probably the best offensive team to play college basketball in a long, long time. Team averages 90 points a game, shoots 50% from the field. That was the key. Once we struggled to get to the foul line or get the ball in the basket and knock done some shots and they got out in transition, that's what they do. Couple times we panicked and tried to match 'em, but give them all the credit. They've got a great team. Fatigue I think got us a little bit, too.

Once they got on a roll a little bit they were running downhill. I thought fatigue got us. It affected our defense. We have some guys that are solid defenders that don't make mistakes on the defensive end. When that happens, as a coach, experience tells you that fatigue is the reason. They have NBA players and some elite athletes which probably caused that.

Proud of my team. I told them that there is no shame in losing to UCLA in California, a team with maybe the top pick in the draft and at least two other lock NBA players and Leaf being a lottery pick as well. I'm proud of them. They had an unbelievable season.

Q. Troy and Jacob, could you talk about what Coach was saying, how the game went, how you guys controlled the pace in the first half, and then how did you guys see it in the second half? What happened out there?
TROY CAUPAIN: Coach just said it. We didn't get to the foul line, and we didn't score the ball matching and they got out in transition and you seen 'em make a couple shots. They got on a run, and the game went how it went.

JACOB EVANS: I would have to agree with that. They got out in transition. We couldn't get some shots to fall and then on the other end they were making some shots and we couldn't get to the free throw line in the second half. That's just how it went.

Q. Coach, could you quickly evaluate the season?
MICK CRONIN: I already did. Wild success.

Q. Yeah.
MICK CRONIN: Wild success. Second most wins in the history of the school, three seniors that are unbelievably good kids that have been to four NCAA Tournaments that are all going to walk in late April in our graduation. Selfless effort all year by our team.

Not only did they win, they won the right way, and we're really proud of the way we win at Cincinnati, graduating players, selfless, doing it the right way with integrity and character. It's what intercollegiate athletics and amateur athletics is all about. To do it at the level that these guys have done it was awesome. Obviously we're just as disappointed in today's loss, but our season was a wild success.

Like I said, to lose to this team with the talent they have in California and give 'em the game that we gave 'em there is absolutely no shame in that. We're not happy. You see how disappointed these guys are. That's why I'm so proud. They expect to win every game, and you see that they believed that they were going to win today.

That shows you what our program is all about and what these guys are all about. They expect to win because of how hard they work, which I believe will translate for them in life in whatever they do. They're always going to be successful. Sure we would have loved to have kept playing.

Q. Troy, could you say a few words? I know you're thinking about the game right now, but you had a great, great career. Could you just make a few comments about that?
TROY CAUPAIN: First, I want to thank my coach and Coach Davis and the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to come to Cincinnati. I'm blessed that school went well and we had the great career that I had as a senior going to four NCAA Tournaments, getting through school and being able to graduate the end of April.

I'm thankful for my family to have the opportunity to see their son play at the college level; and my teammates, I love them to death. They're going to go down in my book as my favorite group of brothers to play with. I'm going to keep this group alive, forever it's going to go down. I wish the best success for the team. I will probably talk to them later this week about keeping the Cincinnati name alive, keep everything we did this year alive and move forward and stay positive.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, folks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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