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March 8, 2018

Shaka Smart

Jacob Young

Matt Coleman

Kansas City, Missouri

Texas Tech - 73, Texas - 69

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Texas Longhorns, Coach Shaka Smart, his two student-athletes are Matt Coleman and Jacob Young. Coach, your thoughts on tonight's game?

SHAKA SMART: We're extremely disappointed that we came up short. Texas Tech deserves a lot of credit. They battled. They made some big shots throughout the game. But certainly in the second half they made shots down the stretch when they needed to. These two guys really, really fought and battled, I thought when we had five gaze on the floor who played with aware your spirit, I thought we played pretty well, but that was not for forty minutes and to beat a team like Texas Tech, I say a 40-minute game, and you've got to have five guys out there connected around one cause. So very, very disappointed. But obviously we have more basketball left to play.

Q. Jacob, are you now the secret weapon for Texas and what got into you tonight? Career high?
JACOB YOUNG: I don't see it like that. I see it as my teammates pushing me up to be who I am and do what I do, and that's what they know me for is making shots and being a fighter. That's basically it. I couldn't do it without my teammates.

Q. Jacob, with all due respect to what your teammates were doing, did you feel like you were in a zone out there when all of the sudden you hit your first six threes, things like that, what's the feeling like for you as a shooter?
JACOB YOUNG: Felt just like practice. I got in my zone and never got out of it. I told myself I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and just keep trying to fight for my teammates and everybody on the staff.

Q. Matt, you guys got off to a poor start again shootingwise. How demoralizing was that for the team and how much does that take out of you guys trying to fight back all game long?
MATT COLEMAN: As a point guard you have to stay level headed and continue to support your teammates to take those shots because they're open, shooting with confidence. I don't want them to stop shooting it, because I know they can make it at a high level. The biggest thing is not getting frustrated, letting that bother you on the other end of the floor, the defensive end. We did get to a rough start, but as the game got on we got more comfortable and shots started to fall in our favor.

Q. Matt, as far as the future what do you feel like you guys took out of this game? You were looking at a sense of urgency and maybe in a play-in game, but do you feel like you got what you came for?
MATT COLEMAN: At all, we left a lot on the table. Coming into Kansas City it was a tournament we felt like we could win, so I feel like we came up short. Our focus was Big 12 championship, this was my first year playing in it. It was an unbelievable experience and a great opportunity and I looked at it as a gift. But we did come up short and my main focus was winning because I felt like as a team, as a group we could win this.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, guys, thank you. Questions for Coach Smart?

Q. Shaka, how do you feel about your team? Do you feel comfortable where you guys are going into Sunday?
SHAKA SMART: We just lost a tight game, so we never feel great after a loss. I think Texas Tech deserves a lot of credit, but there's a lot of things we will look at when we watch that tape and we'll say, if we would have done this a little better or this a little harder or been a little more connected in this area, we would have won. After a game that's where your focus is.

In terms of Sunday, we have had a really good year, a ton of ups and downs in terms of adversity we've been hit with, I think our guys have responded with great resolve, great togetherness, great fight. I think when you come out of this league, obviously you go through the fire and we have and we've got a ton of great experience and a ton of great wins. I think we put ourselves in good position, as I've said all along when I get asked. I'm not on the committee, but certainly the way that we've played over the last couple of weeks, you know, we look like an NCAA tournament team.

Q. Shaka, how do you think Mo played tonight and take us through the process.
SHAKA SMART: I thought Mo played well. It was back and forth whether he was going to be able to play and then he went through a workout today, went pretty well. So the athletic trainer told me he could play 10 minutes. So, you know, it's tough as a coach because 10 minutes, it's a 40-minute game. He's a really good player. So put him in. In the first half he had 7 points in 7 minutes, 4 rebounds. Played really well. The second half we put him in again. He was helping our team. I thought he brought good spirit, but the athletic trainer said maybe a couple more minutes but that's about it. So he ended up playing 14. I thought he played really well. Obviously the way he played we would have loved to have had him for 29, 30 minutes. But the sports medicine department at UT does a great job, and they decided the best thing for him right now is to come in and play the minutes that he played. So hopefully he can grow from that and be able to play more next time.

Q. Shaka, Jacob told us it felt like practice for him out there. How often have you seen that version of Jacob in practice that we saw on display tonight?
SHAKA SMART: He does that all the time in practice. That was the guy we recruited a couple years ago. It's funny because when we lost last year up here it was our last game, and a couple media members said, hey, is he a Big 12 player because he had struggled his freshman year and he was tonight! Pretty damn good Big 12 player tonight. He has that in him. The challenge for him is playing with poise and being calm and collected when things get frantic, and I thought tonight he did that. He took a real step. He still has a lot of growth to make, but really, you know, he's got a warrior spirit about him. He's extremely competitive. I told the guys in the locker room. I said, if our whole team had the competitive spirit that he had in that game we're in here feeling really good about ourselves. Pleased with that. Effort from him and hopefully something we can build on.

Q. I think you had four starters with 10 points and you mentioned if everybody else played with the same competitive spirit. The fact that you didn't play that well but you were competitive, what did you take from that? Do you feel like maybe Kerwin Roach kind of tired out a little bit?
SHAKA SMART: I got to get to the bottom of why he wasn't himself, because he wasn't. The reality for us is when we've played well, particularly since we lost Andrew, we've gotten contributions from pretty much everyone that goes out on the floor. They haven't played perfect but the formula for us in the big wins we've had in the Big 12 has been we've had really everyone go in and give us solid time. In some of our games everyone has gone in and played really well. Without sounding like it's oversimplified that goes a long ways toward your team playing well. Tonight J.Y. was terrific. I thought Matt was really good. Mo gave us good minutes in the time that he could play. I thought we had some other guys that struggled. Obviously those guys want to win. We've got to help them have a clear mind for doing what goes into winning. Our two juniors tonight, those are our oldest guys, we need to help them be better. End of the day that's on me and them. That's what it is is figuring out a way for those guys to be the best version of themselves because they weren't tonight.

Q. You mentioned that you're hoping that Mo could play 29, 30 minutes. Do you have a sense that he might be able to get to that level next week or is it wait and see?
SHAKA SMART: I don't know. This toe saga has been very, very interesting and you know, Mo wants to play. He was mad at me. Every time I took him out of the game he was mad at me. I said, Mo, what if you play 25 minutes and then you get hurt and then the trainer says to me you were supposed to play him 10 minutes. On the flip side, we're trying to win the game. So I would have loved to have had him out there longer. We were in this position one time before with another player and it's a tough spot. Literally during the game he's negotiating to play more. The trainer is negotiating for him to play less.

But, yeah, we're hopeful. He couldn't -- when we played last week he couldn't come close to playing, so he's come a long way. Yesterday he wasn't quite there. Today, obviously, he was well enough to score 10 points in 14 minutes. So hopefully he can get some more rest over the next couple of days and hopefully that thing is feeling better and we can get him out there for as much time as he wants to play and we want him to play.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you so much. Good luck next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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