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March 10, 2018

Bob Huggins

Daxter Miles

Jevon Carter

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas - 81, West Virginia - 70

THE MODERATOR: Okay, we're joined now by the Mountaineers of West Virginia, Coach Bob Huggins, and student-athletes are Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles.

Q. Dax, how did you see things just kind of get in the way for you over the last six minutes of the game, when they went on their run? What happened with Kansas making their run at the end of the game? How did you see them doing it and what did you guys not do?
DAXTER MILES: They made shots.

Q. For either one of you, can you talk about Kansas without Azubuike. What was the approach to attacking them without as Azubuike today?
JEVON CARTER: Same as it always is. They just did a real good job of knocking down shots. Every shot they put up went in and when we went cold they kept hitting and that's when they went out and got the lead.

Q. For either of you, looked like y'all pressed a lot in the second half. How effective do you feel like your pressure defense was?
JEVON CARTER: Um, it was okay. We've done better. It's just hard to press a team when they're making shots. Like no matter what we did on defense they made tough shots.

Q. Jevon, you've been in this environment. You know what it's like playing in a title game in front of a partisan crowd. Did you need to clue your younger guys in on how they would have to deal with this environment today?
JEVON CARTER: Yeah, it was the championship. We had to come to play. I feel like we did a good job. When it came down to it we didn't make shots and they did.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Congratulations on a great season and good luck next week. Thank you for coming. Questions for Coach Huggins?

Q. Bob, the league is set to get a bunch of teams, whatever it is into the tournament. How important do you think NCAA tournament success is to the reputation of the league and how important will it be to the Big 12?
BOB HUGGINS: I think in that that's all that you hear about, see, read, whatever, for a month. It's pretty important.

Q. There has been a reputation by some that the league over the years has underperformed a little bit. Do you have a response to that? Do you agree with that?
BOB HUGGINS: I've never heard that, so I don't think it has. I haven't really looked at it that close to be honest with you.

Q. What Jevon said, they made shots. You guys didn't. It's pretty simple analysis. Is that the way you see it? I guess that's what most games come down to, right?
BOB HUGGINS: They shot 72% the second half. They shot 56 for the game. They shot 56 from 3. They're going to beat everybody when they do that. They were contested shots. We didn't give them wide-open shots. They were contested. They made 'em.

I think probably J.C. and Dax got a little bit tired, because of the way we play and the fact that they've played a lot of minutes in the first two games. It just didn't seem like they had legs at the end, but that's, you know, that's to be expected, I think.

We just couldn't get -- they did a good job with the rescreen on the ball screen and you have to help a little bit whenever a guy gets loose, and we tried to help a little bit and still get back, which I thought we did a pretty good job of recovering. The last three or four shots they made from the corner were contested shots.

Q. Bob, you had them on the ropes at some point in the last three or four games at some point in those games. What is it about them that allows them to come back and what is it about you guys that you haven't been able to finish the deal?
BOB HUGGINS: It's nothing about us. They've got a lot of guys that can make shots. I mean, let's be honest, all those guys out there--if they weren't McDonald's All-Americans it's because they're from another country, you know? So they've got good players. They've got good players and the guy can coach. He's a Hall of Fame coach. We've got great kids who just play their tails off that aren't as skilled, quite frankly. But we're able to compete because of their character and because of how hard they play and because of the fact that they're good people.

Q. De Sousa, 8 for 8, 10 rebounds. How big of an impact did he have on the game?
BOB HUGGINS: They made shots, Wendell, so you're gonna get spread. When you make shots like that you're gonna get spread and we got spread and then all of the sudden now you're chasing them. Then with we tried to double the ball screen then you double the ball screen you've got two guys chasing and if y'all haven't figured it out, Devonte' Graham is pretty good!

If we ran in and helped they kicked it to the corner and made threes, and if we didn't run in and help they threw it to him. We made some mistakes early on with them. They got some baskets early on. We didn't do a very good job of doing what we were supposed to do. But that's basketball.

Q. Coach, moving forward and moving out of this league schedule and taking on teams that are more unfamiliar, and this team likes to compete. How do you feel about this team as it moves forward?
BOB HUGGINS: Well, we've beaten the No. 1 seed earlier in the year. We've had, what did we have, 11 wins or something like that in the hardest league in the country. I think we'll be okay. We've just got to, you know, you can't miss shots. We just missed shots. We missed a couple of lay-ins. We can't do that. We're not good enough to overcome that. We don't surround the line with all those guys that can make shots. We've got guys that quite frankly when they make one we all stand up and cheer because we're shocked as hell.

Like I said, we're able to compete because they compete their butts off. They played hard. We have to play a different style to be able to compete, which is very taxing.

But if we went back and played half-court with them, we would get beat by 20. And we've had chances, you know? And you guys know the history, man. I don't have -- I can't go into that and I don't need to go into that. It's not like we haven't had chances. We've had chances.

Q. Keeping with the theme of looking ahead, is it fair to say this looks like a year, feels like a year where we could have some surprises in the tournament, some unexpected teams advancing to the Final Four?
BOB HUGGINS: Well, I think Bill would say this: They have to make shots, but the majority of the time they do. When they struggle they don't make shots. You know?

They're very dependent on spreading you and making shots. So, yeah, I mean, if they miss shots, yeah, they could get beat. I tell our guys all the time, you know, if you're going to advance to the NCAA tournament you've got to make open shots. You can't miss open shots, because you don't get very many. Everybody is playing hard. Everybody knows you're one loss and you're out, so you gotta make open shots. We had open shots, didn't make 'em. They had contested shots and made 'em. They're going to win. If they can do that for three weeks, they could win a National Championship. But if they have one game where those don't go in, it's going to be a struggle, just like it is for everybody.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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