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March 16, 2018

Mike Anderson

Daryl Macon

Jaylen Barford

Detroit, Michigan

Butler - 79, Arkansas - 62

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Arkansas. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH ANDERSON: First of all, congratulations to Coach Jordan and the Butler Bulldogs. I thought they played an outstanding game. We fell off behind early in the game, but I thought we actually kind of battled back and got ourselves back into the game by halftime.

And I thought we really got into the fold the second half. But give them credit. Their all-conference guys, they stepped up and made big, big plays. When you think of Martin, some guarded 3s that were big. We cut it to six. We had three opportunities to actually cut it a little further, like within that 11- to 10-minute mark. And then I think they went on a barrage of 3s.

But give them credit. I thought they were the more physical team. And it showed in rebounding the basketball. And, of course, they made shots and we didn't shoot the ball particularly well. And that first game is always -- you never know how the psyche, how they're going to come out. True enough I thought we came out on our heels.

It was such an uphill battle once we got behind. We got behind by 19, I think. But with our team it's a game of runs. We just kind of stayed true to who we were. Had some outstanding performance, guys coming off the bench. And I thought that was really kind of spur us on. But it didn't. Give them credit. I thought they played well.

THE MODERATOR: We have seniors Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford. Questions for the players.

Q. I know you guys came back. You talked about unfinished business, and this obviously wasn't the way you wanted it to end. How tough is this? You had a great season, but it's not ending the way you wanted it to?
JAYLEN BARFORD: It was a great season, a good run while it lasts. Butler did good tonight by making tough shots, getting rebounds, getting key stops. They just made plays down the stretch that hurt us a lot.

DARYL MACON: Kind of what he said. It was a great season. We got back where we wanted to be, which was the tournament. Can't thank this man enough right here. He gave us a chance to show our true talents. That's what we went out there and did all season. I can't thank him enough.

Q. You guys obviously are both really good 3-point shooter, team shoots 40 percent. But today four out of 18. Was that a tough day for you? Was it something that Butler was doing? What do you think contributed to that shooting?
DARYL MACON: I think it just comes and goes. One of those -- today was one of those days where it just wasn't falling. And we just didn't adjust to it. It's nothing they were doing. It was a great team tonight. They made shots, made tough shots, and we didn't execute on either end of the floor. So these were the results of it.

JAYLEN BARFORD: I mean, they didn't do nothing specific from shooting. I mean everybody got good looks on the team. We just weren't knocking down shots and they were knocking down shots. So they won.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. You guys made a great run, got the lead, I think 29-27, and then they regained the lead. Is that deal when you come from that far down, it kind of takes some gas out of your tank; and how big was that you think for Butler they were able to regain the lead, because they never lost it after that?
COACH ANDERSON: I thought it was big for them. But I think we had some opportunities where we could come down and execute. I think we came down, turned it over one time. And one time I think we just came down and hurried the shot. I always talk when you've got momentum you take it as long as you can, and we didn't. But credit them, they didn't go away. I think you're right, it was 29-27, and I don't think we even scored.

I think we ended up scoring 31 right at the end. We scored two free throws something like that at the end. But they went on a run.

But it does, it takes a lot out of you when you go uphill. I've got to thank our bench. The guys came off the bench, gave us some great minutes. Darious Hall, Arlando Cook, Trey Thompson, C.J. Jones, those guys were the catalyst, I thought, today.

If there was a game ball, it goes to those guys for getting us back in. But it takes something out of you. And no question about it, especially going down the stretch.

Q. I know your seniors, especially Daryl and Jaylen, talk about coming back for unfinished business because they obviously had opportunities to turn pro somewhere. How disappointing is it that you guys weren't able to go farther, because obviously they came back to do something?
COACH ANDERSON: In one sense you say you're disappointed. But just because -- they had an opportunity to actually participate in this tournament. You want to see them advance and continue to play good basketball. I thought we was playing good basketball. This game here wasn't, to me, how we were playing. We just didn't make shots. So I don't think it's a disappointment.

I'm sure they're disappointed right now, where there's a lot of people disappointed. But they gave themselves an opportunity. I thought these guys had a fantastic career.

You're talking about two guys that, especially those two guys, 1000-point scorers in two years, two NCAA Tournaments. All-conference in the SEC. That doesn't normally happen for guys coming from junior college. You may have one, but not two. But I think they've evolved as players. They got better and they impacted this team. They impacted this program.

We're going to miss those guys. And our fans surely can relate to those guys. I thought those guys were some of the fan favorites. And not only -- but this team, I think they like the makeup of this team. But like I said, right now I've got a real disappointed locker room in there, because guys thought they were a much better basketball team than they put on display today. But give Butler credit; they were much better today.

Q. I guess only 22 points in the game or in the paint tonight. What did they do, I guess, to kind of limit Gafford in there and make it so difficult for you guys?
COACH ANDERSON: I just thought we weren't in attack mode. I thought there were times we did attack. I didn't think we finished strong around the basket. I think they pushed us around a little bit. That's what you get in -- they let you play. And that's what you get in this tournament. And so I think the physicality. Not only that, we had some opportunities where we didn't finish as well. But, again, they made shots. We didn't make shots.

And they beat us 20 on the boards. You get pounded on the boards like that there -- and obviously they're going to have more defensive rebounds because we didn't shoot the ball well.

But I thought the killer was when those offensive rebounds or rebounds that we have on our hands, they come up with them on offense.

And whether they stick back or have an extra opportunity, those are killers there for you. And we had some of those in this game here. And even go back to, as I said, when we cut it to six and we had, like, three or four opportunities to cut the lead and I think turnovers that took place and all of a sudden they get on the other end, they make a 3. But, again, it just wasn't our day.

Q. What did you think of Daniel's game overall today?
COACH ANDERSON: I didn't think Daniel played one of his better games. I thought his intentions were there. I just didn't think he didn't finish well around the basket. But I thought he played with his heart. That's all you can ask.

Q. You got five seniors that have done a lot for the program. How would you sum up those guys' careers, what they meant to you and the program?
COACH ANDERSON: I think they've impacted this program in a mighty way. And I always say that -- it's funny because two of those guys were true seniors, when you talk about it. When you think about Anton Beard, he's been on three NCAA teams. Started his freshman year in the NCAA Tournament.

Trey Thompson graduated in three years. And those guys have been like the core, I think the backbone of what has taken place, what has transpired. They may not be the high major players or the impact players that everybody thinks about, but they fit in; they played a role and they played a role. And they were winners.

When you look at Jaylen and Barford and Arlando Cook, as well as Daryl Macon, they just got here. And you can see the impact. Normally takes junior college players a year to get it figured out a little bit, but these guys jumped right in and they became mainstays.

And those guys, they imparted some great, great things on our program. And I think people recognize we have some talented individuals and we had a really good basketball team. And I think it just continues to set things up for the future.

Q. With the rebounding, you guys missed the last shot, you could have got more offensive boards. Was that frustrating? Because you guys have done --
COACH ANDERSON: We've been doing well. We've been really rebounding the basketball. That's why I say you get to this game here -- that's the thing about it, you never know how a guy is going to come out.

And we've been really, really good on the glass in most games. But tonight we just didn't have that energy to come up -- we got our hands on a lot of them; we just didn't come up with it.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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