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March 7, 2018

Shaka Smart

Dylan Osetkowski

Kerwin Roach II

Kansas City, Missouri

Texas - 68, Iowa State - 64

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Coach Shaka Smart, University of Texas. Student-athletes are Kerwin Roach and Dylan Osetkowski. Coach, call on you for comment.

SHAKA SMART: I thought our guys showed a lot of fight, and I think we came into the game really, really wanting to win and that showed at times with our guys getting a little down when we missed some shots. But they hung in there, and what won us the game really was the last six minutes of the first half because I think we were down 10 and then we went into halftime up 3. You have to give Iowa State credit for the way they fought and battled and they had nothing to lose, and I think our guys made enough plays.

Q. How is your mouth? What happened and what happened at halftime?
KERWIN ROACH II: My mouth is pretty good. I was kind of worried because I had braces for a little while and I thought all that money went to waste and I was worried about that. But at halftime I went to the back and got it fixed and they glued it back together. It looked back to normal and I wanted to go back with my teammates.

Q. What is it like front jammed in there? What is it?
KERWIN ROACH II: I split it in half. They just glued it back together. That's it.

Q. Dylan, talk about your night all the way around from the start, you know, got hot at the end of the first half, went cold again, then got hot again. Talk about the whole thing?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: I think I missed my first four or five threes and came into a media and between Coach Smart, Coach Horn, Coach Morrell, everybody on the team, Coach Roose, saying, "Just let it fly." I took 12 threes today. Started out sluggish and Coach drew up a couple of plays to get me the ball inside, saw the ball go in a few times and felt good from there on out. It was a team effort today and everybody played great.

Q. Snoop, you said you had dental work before. Had you ever been hit in the mouth in a basketball game that hard?
KERWIN ROACH II: Not really and the crazy thing about it is it didn't hurt at the time. I just felt like wind going through my mouth more than normal. I looked down and seen a tooth on about the free throw line, and I was like, oh, snap, my tooth fell out. So I was just worried about that. I went to the sideline and I was just hoping that I don't bleed that much so I could just get back in the game.

Q. Both of you, was this the definition of hanging on and doing what it takes? Obviously, Iowa State had nothing to lose like Coach said and they kept bringing it pretty good.
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: I wouldn't say it was the definition of nothing to lose. I would say it was the definition of fighting. We knew it was going to be a fight for forty minutes tonight and we took it one game at a time. We wanted to focus on this one and I think the guys did a great job collectively throughout the game just having the mindset of fighting and focusing on the next play.

KERWIN ROACH II: Like we said earlier, Iowa State had nothing to lose and they came out swinging and fighting, and with Lindell Wigginton tried to keep his team in the game. But we didn't give up. We stayed together and fought.

Q. Can you talk about how difficult it was when Matt Coleman got his fourth foul and had to leave to the bench for such a long period of time?
KERWIN ROACH II: It was very difficult especially for our point guard. Like you seen, he came in and made a huge jump shot for us and we really needed this. It was difficult because we were already short guys. We lost another guy to foul trouble and we had to adjust and keep fighting and do what it takes.

Q. I came in as you were discussing your tooth. Did it come completely out of your mouth or was it just broken?
KERWIN ROACH II: Split in half.

Q. What did they do at halftime to get it reattached?
KERWIN ROACH: They basically glued it back together. I used to get braces. They had like a blue light, really a heat sensor thing and glued it back together. I still can feel the glue on my teeth kinda sorta.

Q. And they just happened to have a mouth guard? You travel with a mouth guard?
KERWIN ROACH II: Yeah, our trainer does a good job of preparing us for situations like this.

Q. For both of you, Jericho Sims had a big game tonight. Talk about how he has emerged as a rebounding threat over the last few games?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: We knew Jericho could rebound the ball. His athleticism takes over. He has a knack for playing above the rim and grabbing everything that comes his way. I think he set a tone that was good are us in the first half, I think before the first media he had five or six rebounds and we wanted him to continue to crash defensively and offensively and he did a great job.

KERWIN ROACH II: Before the first media, like Dylan said, he had five offensive rebounds by himself. He's like the most athletic dude in the country and when Mo went out we was missing that rebounding and getting those extra possessions and he came in and filled the void. Jericho Sims, whatever we need him to do he comes in and does it. That's an athletic dude, man.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations. We will see you tomorrow. Questions for Coach Smart?

Q. Shaka, why this game plan almost 40 three-pointers when that's not y'all's strength?
SHAKA SMART: It's 31. Depending on the way teams were guarding you, guys were wide open so they were packing their defense into the paint and they were wide-open shots. We ended up going inside a little bit about midway through the first half, had some success. They started doubling after that. So you gotta take what the defense gives you. I tell you, I mean, a lot of those were really, really good shots for our guys and you could say it's not our strength, but Dylan hit 7 threes against them couple times ago playing Iowa State. I think in that game he shot 13.

Jacob Young, Jase Febres, that's kinda the best thing they do, you know? Without us having Andrew Jones, Eric Davis, Mohamed Bamba, those guys maybe bring something different to the table. You gotta let guys do the best thing they can do. I can tell you this, if we told our guys, hey don't shoot anymore threes, it probably would have been even more difficult to score just because of the way they were guarding.

Q. When you go through seven overtime games, how much does it prepare you for March and to survive grind-it-out games like this?
SHAKA SMART: It helps. We've been in so many close games, as you mentioned, seven overtime games, a lot of close games that ended in regulation as well. We told our guys down the stretch in a six minute game if you are solid on defense, take care of the ball and make your free throws. It gives you a great chance to win. Our guys did enough of that down the stretch. Obviously we were far from perfect. The reality is we got some guys in the game at the end right now that maybe weren't in the game earlier in the year in some of those situations.

I thought the guys hung in there and showed a good level of fight. We almost played better and with more aggressiveness when we were down. I definitely thought there was some hesitancy at times tonight but for our guys to fight through that and find a way to win was big.

Q. Shaka, the decision to go back to Matt with four fouls when you did, what went into that and his ability to step up and hit that medium-range jump shot with 44 to go?
SHAKA SMART: We were trying to figure out when to put him back in the game because he picked up that fourth foul early. When he had three fouls and he went back in we said don't foul! He's a freshman, so sometimes they do bone-headed things and he fouled on accident. So then he had four fouls, but our team, everything runs so much more smoothly when he's out there. The assistants wanted to put him in a little bit earlier, but I waited until about 6 minutes or so and then we took him out on defense a couple of times just because if it's a close game down the stretch like it was, with one minute left, we needed someone that could execute our play and make a play like he did when he hit that jumper.

Q. Shaka, what's the latest on Mo as far as his availability throughout the tournament and the foul on Kerwin Roach when he went out?
SHAKA SMART: Mo's status is the same. It's day-to-day. He's getting better and better. We were hopeful he was going to be able to go tonight. He didn't, but there is a possibility he will go tomorrow. He's out there shooting and running.

I think part of it is him kind of figuring out how hard he can push that thing. But he's close. Obviously we need him out there. He would make a big, big difference, but we're not going to put him out there when it's not the right thing for him.

So we have to monitor him, check in on him tomorrow again when he gets his treatment, see where he's at, get him moving around. Jericho I thought gave us a big lift. He's still young, figuring things out. He gets down on himself, believe it or not. He's a perfectionist, so when something doesn't go his way he gets really, really upset because he feels like he hurt the team. For him to be able to go get 15 rebounds in a game where he really didn't feel great about how things were going the whole time says a lot about his growth.

Q. Shaka, winning the ugly thing, in a way is that a benefit because there never seems to be panic with your team and as you said you're used to playing so many close games?
SHAKA SMART: Yeah, you know, I think obviously in any tournament setting you just want to survive and advance. So whether you win by 1 or by 40 then you get to lace 'em up the next game. Tonight wasn't our best game, but we were able to respond to some situations that weren't going our way. And I think as a team that's something that we've really tried to build on throughout the year.

The reality is, there's been a couple times we had to kind of reinvent ourselves in terms of who is out there on the court. I mean, to be honest with you, at the beginning of the year, first, I don't know, ten games, Jericho Sims, Dylan Osetkowski, Matt Coleman, Kerwin Roach and Jase Febres or Jacob Young, those guys just weren't on the court. That just wasn't the group that was out there.

Those guys all played some, but they had to figure out tonight how to win a game together when things weren't going great to the point where we didn't shoot the ball from outside, and they did that. Obviously we have to play better tomorrow night in order to win. But that's the thing about when you are in a tournament, you can play better the next game and that's what we've gotta go do.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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