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March 14, 2019

Bob Huggins

Jordan McCabe

Emmitt Matthews, Jr.

Derek Culver

Kansas City, Missouri

West Virginia 79, Texas Tech 74

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by the student-athletes from West Virginia University. Coach Bob Huggins will be here in just a little bit. Our student-athletes are Derek Culver, Jordan McCabe and Emmitt Matthews, Jr. Let's go to questions for them.

Q. Derek, the rebounding was a big advantage tonight. How much did you think you could do that against a team like this?
DEREK CULVER: Yes, sir. I just kept faith, you know, I try to go out there and play with energy, you know, bring energy to my team and play out there with pride and heart and everything else that carried on which made me, you know, go out there and rebound at a high rate.

Q. This is for Emmitt, two of the last three games you've set career highs in helping this team out. What factors do you think has led to that?
EMMITT MATTHEWS, JR.: I think my teammates do a really good job of getting me open. Without them I would be nothing. Coach Huggins does a really good job of getting me in the good spots to get the right shots off and when I'm open I just shoot it.

Q. Jordan, what's the biggest difference in this team? You guys look like you enjoy playing together. You're playing harder. What changed?
JORDAN McCABE: You know, I can't remember exactly when it was during the season that we kind of got everything in order and started to grow day-by-day, but you could just feel a difference in the culture. We knew that needed to shift in terms of our practices and all of our workouts, wherever it may be workout, and wherever, on the court. We started to take steps and strides, and I think to be honest we just got back to what West Virginia does. We got back to doing the things that made us come here in the first place. We watched the teams led by Dax, JC and guys before them, just playing extremely hard and representing West Virginia in the right way. I think once we all bought into that, I think a buy-in is the biggest thing you need out of a successful team and I don't know if we had the buy-in early. But we figured that out and that's been a testament to our success here down the stretch.

Q. Derek, coming off of last night's game Texas Tech was rested coming into this. Was it adrenaline that kicked in in the last four minutes, or what do you think held up for you guys?
DEREK CULVER: Yes, sir. I wouldn't necessarily say it was adrenaline. But I'll say this has been a long season. So with that being said we have had ups and downs and we know how it feels to be down. So when it's time to dig in and we're in the trenches, and you've to go out with your brothers and take the game over and no mishaps. If you take care of those, everything else will fall into place and we were fortunate enough to come up with a W.

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

Q. Coach, do you feel like you're playing with house money at this point?
BOB HUGGINS: We're playing to get into the NCAA Tournament is what we're doing. We had a meeting. We sat down and talked about it and this is our chance. Two down, two to go.

Q. Bob, how frustrating was it for you this season as its lowest point? Obviously, you guys are starting to climb out of it toward the end. Why did that happen?
BOB HUGGINS: Well, the hardest part is, you know, we had so many injuries and we basically lost four starters and these guys have been great. They believe in what we're doing. They're incredibly coachable. They believe we can win. It seems like every game somebody different steps up. Like Emmitt stepped up today. Jermaine stepped up. Derek stepped up. Seems like every game a different guy steps up and we're guarding better. We're guarding better and rebounding better, and that's been a staple of what we've done over the years.

Q. Coach, how would you sum up the production in the last two or three games from Matthews?
BOB HUGGINS: He's getting more comfortable, I think. That's the biggest thing. He's obviously a talented kid, and he's playing with a lot of confidence. He listens to everything and he's really learning how to move without the ball which is critical for, you know, someone that plays his position and he's shooting the ball better. But he puts time in. Good shooters or great shooters always put time in, and he's be not afraid to put time in.

Q. Bob, can you speak to the importance of getting out to the fast start that you did and how that set the tone?
BOB HUGGINS: Well, it's better than a slow start, I guess. I don't know, I thought our guys were really ready to play. They were really looking forward to this having gotten beat up pretty good in Lubbock. They were looking forward to the game.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, we will let you go back to the locker room and get ready for tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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