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March 13, 2019

Mike Boynton, Jr.

Curtis Jones

Yor Anei

Kansas City, Missouri

TCU 73, Oklahoma State 70

THE MODERATOR: The Cowboys of Oklahoma State have joined us with Coach Mike Boynton, Jr. and his student-athletes are Curtis Jones and Yor Anei. Coach, we will turn to you for an opening statement first.

MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: First of all, congrats to TCU, obviously played really well to start the game. Put us in a really, really deep hole. Really controlled most of the game to be honest. We made a really good comeback. So I'm proud of our kids for not giving in. It's been the theme of our season in a lot of ways, but happy I had the opportunity to coach these guys and looking forward to getting back and trying to figure out how to be better.

Q. Yor, can you talk about that stretch down the end of the game, last 7, 8 minutes when you guys took over defensively and the way you were able to protect the rim and knock back some shots?
YOR ANEI: It just felt normal to me. I was trying to block everything that came to the rim and I was trying to get the stops for our team that we needed to win us the game.

Q. Curtis, you guys are down 21. It's not been a great season. How did you find the fortitude to hang in there and be able to make a rally and take the lead?
CURTIS JONES: I think that's something we've done all year is continue to fight. We came in at halftime Coach said continue to fight. We didn't want our season to end that way, and I think we kept fighting and cutting the lead and kept playing for each other. It didn't finish the way we wanted it to, but I think we went in with a little momentum.

Q. Yor, for most of the game they did control it, but what switched in your mind and in the players' minds to get you guys going in the second half?
YOR ANEI: Coach had, like, came in during halftime and really got us fired up and ready to play like we should have from the beginning, but he reminded us what we were playing for. We were playing for the program and it's bigger than basketball. We were representing Oklahoma State and that's what got us fired up.

Q. Curtis, can you talk about what you've seen out of Yor and his development this year, how he went from not playing a lot early and the kind of player he's become down the stretch?
CURTIS JONES: Yeah, he's made a big jump this year, his willingness to learn, come to work every day, have a great attitude about the right things. That's what I've seen from him and then just as the year got o he got more comfortable and you got to see the growth. Excited to see him as we go into next year and as he continues to grow.

Q. For both players, can you talk about the difficulty of this season and how you think the adversity you've gone through is going to pay off in the future for you guys in the program?
CURTIS JONES: Yeah, we went through a lot of adversity this season, but I think it will make us stronger. One thing we never did is never gave up. We came to work every day. I think as the year went on we got more comfortable with each other, got more familiar and I think going into next year we can use this to really try to help us and have a great season next year.

YOR ANEI: Yeah, with all the adversity, going through like our Coach told us "adversity introduces a man to himself," so it was part of all of us growing up.

THE MODERATOR: Curtis and Yor, we will let you go back to the locker room. Thank you. Questions for Coach?

Q. Coach, talk about how big having 5 double digit scorers was. As the game started and you guys got a slow start but talk about ball movement and how big that was?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: Honestly, we're a team that the whole is better than the parts. For us to have success this season, we had to have multiple guys play well. We didn't have that in the first half, obviously, so we were down, big. Really kind of turned it on and our balance showed there. Lindy obviously made a lot of plays. Yor made some. Isaac Likekele made some. Cameron made a big shot. Kind of a summary of our season. Got down big, face an uphill battle and the kids just kept competing because that's what they do.

Q. Mike, you played such great defense the last six, seven minutes, but it looked like a breakdown on TCU's last possession. From your perspective what happened on that play?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: I will be honest, I don't know, it's hard for me to say right now. There was a breakdown somewhere in the communication. I don't know exactly who was involved because we were switching a lot in that possession. We wanted to avoid exactly what happened, which was Bane specifically getting a rhythm jump shot there. I'll have to go back and watch the film, and I would be more than happy to get back for you on it. But you've got to give credit to the kid. He still has to make the shot. So credit goes to him and his teammates for being able to make the big shot and be able to move on.

Q. Coach, can you talk about how you've seen the players grow through all that they've gone through this season and having such a short roster and how they have, I would assume, come together as a unit?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: Yeah, those are the type of things that give you a chance at life, really. What they've gone through basically is what a lot of people go through, adverse times.

You really find out about yourself when things aren't as easy as you hoped they would be. What I learned about this team is they are guys that love to compete. They love each other. They love representing this program and the school and I'm certainly proud to have been there with them the whole way. We chartered some rocky waters this year, but every day they showed up with a good attitude. They stuck together. No one pointed fingers at one another and there was a reason why here in the last two weeks we've played better basketball. They've gotten really comfortable with one another and they've laid it on the line for each other.

Q. Coach, your guys obviously had times during this game where they could have just said we're going to give it up and call it a season, but they didn't do that. What's this say about your players and does it surprise you that they kept fighting like that?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: Doesn't surprise me. Again, I've been with these guys since June. I've watched how we've transformed, a lot of positive. But certainly there has been some negativity also, some things that we were not necessarily happen that happened during the season, but I never came to practice and felt like the guys didn't want to be there or didn't care it about one another and what we were trying to accomplish. The record doesn't indicate that this season was a success at all, and I wouldn't stand here and tell you I'm proud of being 12-20.

But I do believe the way we got better, the way our kids played gives me hope that, you know, everybody talks about the future but the future is here. Now. One of them was sitting right next to me. So we're excited about what we can become as we get back in the off-season and figure out how to get better for next year.

Q. A few weeks ago when we were talking, we were talking about most programs need a star and I asked you where one was coming from and you said, well, I might have one in Anei. Is that what you were talking about? The way he played the last 20 minutes?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: Yeah, really, and a lot of the last part of the season. This is not against players I don't know how many times we have had a player lead in blocks and not get any recognition, not even an honorable mention and that's not saying that the players who made it weren't deserving. But we think we have one that may be a little more deserving as well. I'm excited about what he can become, he's really just scratching the surface, Barry of what he can become. A lot of times he's playing on I think not something. He's got to develop in the weight room and develop a go-to inside and the instincts he has from a shot-blocking stand oint you can't teach and it's a game changer for the other teams in terms of game preparation. So it's a good start with when you have a 7-foot kid in there who can change the game without scoring a basket.

Q. Toward the end of the game you were forcing a lot of turnovers, scoring a lot of points which is the complete opposite of the beginning of the game. What were you seeing out of your players at the end of the game where you went on a large run and got those turnovers?
MIKE BOYNTON, JR.: I think a sense of urgency kicked in. We knew coming in, our season is over when we lose here. It's that simple. I think these guys cared enough about each other that they wanted to play together again. So they played with a great sense of urgency in the last ten minutes and if maybe we had played that way for the first 30 we wouldn't have been down so big. It's water under the bridge. It's something to learn from. This whole season has been a learning experience for all of us, and I'm just really proud that I had the opportunity to coach this group.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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