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March 14, 2019

Shaka Smart

Jase Febres

Dylan Osetkowski

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas 65, Texas 57

THE MODERATOR: We are ready to begin with the University of Texas. Coach Shaka Smart, student-athletes Jase Febres and Dylan Osetkowski. Coach, thoughts on tonight's game?

SHAKA SMART: I thought our guys fought a lot down the stretch, and we got stops at the latter part of the game. But we didn't score enough points, earlier in the half we didn't get enough stops, particularly in transition. I think the difference in transition baskets is one of the key factors that led to Kansas winning the game.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes?

Q. Dylan, there were times where a lot was clicking for you out there. What did you feel against their defense when it wasn't working for a lot of other guys?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: Nothing really that their defense was doing. I was just playing aggressive. Yeah.

Q. Jase, how hard was it for Snoop to find rhythm in the game tonight, and the how much may that have hurt you all offensively?
JASE FEBRES: Can you repeat the first part please?

Q. With Snoop missing the last five games it seemed he struggled to get in an offensive rhythm. I wondered how that set your offense back tonight?
JASE FEBRES: When you haven't played five games it's going to set back your offense a little bit, but regardless he came in and contributed what he could. As for what he could have done better, I'm not the sure, because I'm not him. But I know he gave it his all and that's all I could ask for.

Q. In your heart, have y'all played well enough to get in the NCAA Tournament?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: Absolutely. Absolutely, no question about it. Regardless of our record, every game that we've played, it was there for us to win, and we've been in every game. It's a tough place leaving it up to the Committee now. But I think we've definitely done enough for them to see that we are a NCAA Tournament team.

JASE FEBRES: Same. I think we've given our all every game we've played. We've had our ups and downs during the season, but regardless we have stacked up enough wins to put ourselves in a good position to get deeper into March.

Q. Dylan, how much did y'all feel hamstrung with Jaxson's foul trouble and the few minutes he played tonight?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: What do you mean by feel hamstrung?

Q. One of your best players, he played 15, 16 minutes.
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: I mean, he had, whether he had 2 points, 2 rebounds. Forget about what the stat sheet says. When he's out there he makes a difference. So he only had 2. Matt didn't have any. Regardless of the points, guys are out there and they affect the game and Jaxson definitely affected the game on the defensive end as well.

Q. Guys, how aware are you, I assume you are by now, that a 500 team has never made it into the NCAA Tournament and I guess, again, how would you state your case to the Committee that you're deserving?
DYLAN OSETKOWSKI: I actually didn't know that. I mean, like I said, look at our games, early on in the season, North Carolina, Purdue, Michigan State. We couldn't finish that out in the second half. Kansas at home, at Kansas, every game in the Big 12. I think Big 12 is one of the toughest conferences in the nation. Look at the Texas Tech-West Virginia game, team that won four or five games in the regular season comes out and punches Tech in the mouth. Every night in the Big 12 is a dog fight. All that war. Not to say you don't get that in other conferences, but every night is a fight. Like I said, I think we've done enough to put ourselves in a position to play in March and go win games in March. I think you get to a one-game situation, teams don't want to see us. Teams don't want to see us out of our league.

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

Q. Shaka, you touched on it a minute ago, but their transition points and just how much of that was a killer, do you think? Do you think that may have been the game itself? Transition buckets?
SHAKA SMART: That was definitely, defensively that was the biggest key and going into the game we knew we needed to do a good job on them in transition. I thought for most of the first half we did. Lawson got loose and got a 3-point shot in the first half. There was one or two others that were caused by turnovers. But the second half they were able to get out in transition too much. Particularly there was a 3-point shot that Quentin Grimes hit midway through the half that was a big one for us because it was after one of our makes. That's unacceptable. We can't give up a three after we make a shot. Our guys got confused, got their wires crossed in terms of match-ups and defense. That was a big factor in the game and I think defensively that was the biggest factor because in the half-court possessions we guarded them pretty well.

Q. Shaka, how did you present this game to your guys as far as the significance? Did you present it as, hey, we need to win this to make sure we get in?
SHAKA SMART: Yes. Absolutely. We talked about the fact that this was a game that I didn't necessarily tell the guys that it would get us into the NCAA Tournament, but I told the guys that it was a game that we had to win if we wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament.

I thought our guys "want to" was definitely there from the standpoint of, like, they really wanted to win the game. You can see the looks on their faces after the game. They told that story. We just didn't do enough to win the game, particularly on the offensive end, didn't make plays and down the stretch we missed some good shots that didn't go in that could have made a difference.

Q. Shaka, does it leave you a hollow feeling? It seems like you have a patent to the close loss. Seems like you played well enough to be right there at the end?
SHAKA SMART: We put ourselves in a position where, you know, we were within 4 points. Matt missed that three in the corner. That's one way to describe it. Hollow. There's a lot of different areas where we could have been better tonight. Somebody mentioned Jaxson obviously having him on the floor more makes a big difference. It was not Matt's night. He didn't play particularly well. Then, again, as a team there was a lot of things offensively that we needed to work together to do better. But Kansas deserves a lot of credit.

Q. Shaka, two things, do you have an update on Jaxson? I know it's early. And two, what would you tell the Committee why you deserve a bid?
SHAKA SMART: Jaxson hurt his left knee. Don't know the extent of it. We will evaluate him when we get back to Austin. Hopefully it's not, you know, extremely serious. But he was in some pain.

In terms of talking to the Committee, we don't get that opportunity to speak directly to them. But, you know, if you're going to evaluate teams based on the quality of their wins we definitely, I think, deserve strong consideration. But, you know, for us, our focus is on our guys and helping them process this game today and understand what we can learn from it.

Q. Shaka, I know the game just ended, but how are you going to approach the next 48 hours until Selection Sunday with the guys knowing the 500 team factoid and all that. Are you going to keep their hopes up? How are you going to approach that?
SHAKA SMART: We'll spend a lot of time together as a team. You know, we know that we will obviously, the season is not done. So we will practice and work on getting better. We've got a lot of young guys that need to learn a lot from this game, from this experience up here.

That's what we will do. No different than what we do any other time. It just happens to be a couple days before Selection Sunday. Certainly you want to control your own destiny and that's the most disappointing thing about tonight.

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

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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