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March 15, 2019

Dan Hurley

Jalen Adams

Memphis, Tennessee

Houston, 84 - UConn - 45

COACH DAN HURLEY: Obviously, crushing, crushing loss, perfect storm, you know, out there. Playing obviously, you know, an incredible team, deep, incredibly well-coached. Obviously Final Four caliber team, and it was kind of the perfect storm. We were probably, you know, at our worst offensively, which had obviously something to do with the level of defense that they play and depth and everything. But just, you know, a really tough way to end a year where, you know, we felt like we were making progress. And just a tough way to -- a tough way to end the season, and now obviously several, several months to stew over this and what happened, so several months to stew over this.

Q. Coach, you pulled everyone in with about 8:40 left when they were reviewing for Josh. Can you talk about what you told everyone at that time?
COACH DAN HURLEY: I'm trying to think about that. (Laughter).

There were a lot of things said in those second-half huddles. There were a lot of plea-ing, obviously. You know, that was like a tidal wave that hit us, you know. They were, you know - listen, they were playing at such a high level, ten high-level players rotating in-and-out of the game there. We just talked about continuing to compete. Obviously, we couldn't match the level, winning was out of the equation. We just talked about not quitting.

And today wasn't quitting, today was being completely overmatched and being outplayed at the absolute highest level. If you watch the game and you felt like we laid down and played dead, then you know nothing about sports or basketball, and you should stop watching it. We just got completely, you know, demolished, and I just think we just got demoralized by the level that they were playing at.

Listen, you know, we -- let's try to finish this game in a manner where we can look at each other when it's over in terms of how we compete. That is all you can ask at that point when it is getting like that.

Q. A lots of ups and downs and a roller-coaster season to the last two days, where yesterday was a feel-good moment and today not so much. You saw the team that is setting the bar for this conference. What do you take away from your first season in terms of what you are able to accomplish and setting the foundation for reaching that level?
COACH DAN HURLEY: Houston is where we want to get some day. The message after the game was -- like 1 through 10, that's how good we've got to get. I mean, at times out there -- put it like this, Jalen is a talented player and can play at the level of just about anyone. It was just kind of a humbling reminder of how far we have to go, both from a recruitment, development standpoint, and it's going to take us some time.

There are no delusions of grandeur with this coaching staff. Throughout the year, we've known exactly where we are at. If we don't have the injuries -- you know, with Alterique and Jalen, obviously could have represented ourselves maybe better throughout the course of the year. We've known where we're at, how far we have to go. And, again, like you want to get to the level -- we want to get to the level where Houston's at. That's a Final Four contending program, Championship-caliber program. That's where UConn is used to being. We just saw how far the distance is we have to go. When it's --it's vast. It's -- again, it's recruiting, player development, culture, character.

Q. You kind of just answered what I was going to ask in terms of when you look at Houston, that is what you want to be in a few years. And not just in terms of talent and depth, but the way they were playing hard even when they had a big lead and just not kind of -- relentless out there?
COACH DAN HURLEY: Yeah. Listen, that's a pick of wolves. Those guys, that is a pack of wolves, 1 through 10. No let-up. I mean, they play with incredible confidence, toughness, intensity, joy. The depth, they just kept coming and their second group they put in, it would have finished in the top four -- that is a Final Four caliber team.

So, yes, I mean, we know -- we knew what it was. For us -- listen, we had to go all in with our preparation for South Florida. I'm not making excuses for these guys, but having basically a half a day prep to prepare for that team was not a very good recipe for us either coming in. But, yeah. No, that's where we want to get to, and it's going to take us a little bit of time.

Q. What will you remember about your career the most and what do you think about all your senior season win?
JALEN ADAMS: Just my time here, the connections I've made on and off the court. Some of them will last a lifetime. And just -- on the court, I feel like I have learned so much about myself, so many lessons, how to handle adversity when things aren't going my way. I kind of have to go with it. You can't get too high or get too low on yourself. You have to stay balanced and keep a level head. That's really what I have learned from being here.

And I think my senior season has been my biggest season for me mentally. I think since Coach has got here, he's pushed me to limits I haven't been pushed before, and that is why I have had my best season since I have been in college basketball. So, appreciate you.

Q. Jalen, what went through your mind as the game was winding down and the finality of things and your career is coming to an end, the coach pulls you out, you had a moment with him on the sidelines. What went through your mind and what transpired there?
JALEN ADAMS: A whole bunch of emotions. But I think mainly -- I tried to think about the good things more than the bad things, so seeing all my brothers standing up for me. I don't know, just -- it is definitely, it hits a soft spot in your heart, all the love that you see on your team is different from -- college basketball to the next level, it is different, you are never going to have the same -- people will never have that same genuine love for you. I don't know. I was just -- I don't know, I can't tell you what I think. There is a lot. It is feeling the love for my teammates.

Q. Congratulations on everything you have accomplished. Can you talk about your experience at UConn, a reflection on it overall?
JALEN ADAMS: As I look back on it, coming in, I was a young child, an immature kid. I think as I have progressed throughout my time, I became more mature and I kind of looked at things, looked at the bigger picture. I think a lot of people go through different things and I think adversity was probably the best for me. I think it's turned me into a man. I think it will help me in my future career, so I think all ups and downs that I've experienced at UConn has been beneficial for me.

Q. Coach, from your perspective, how have you seen Jalen progress from when he came here in the beginning and convincing him to stay and until the end of the season now?
COACH DAN HURLEY: He's grown a lot and I'm not sure if -- listen, he's had incredible bad luck in terms of the timing of a player of his caliber coming into the program. I just -- my heart kind of breaks for him because of the conditions that he's had to play through. And he's had an amazing career playing through it. But just -- there's not many players of his caliber that have come to UConn that have had to play and go through the career under the conditions that he's had, you know, the program sliding, coaching transition.

Obviously, not being surrounded by what some of the great players in the past have been surrounded by, so, you know -- I don't think a guy could have handled it much better, you know. I don't think somebody could have just kept such a positive attitude and been such a good guy to be around while having kind of everything around him kind of not be what he signed on for.

So, I mean, I'll always admire that about him. And, you know, I hope to stay connected with him through what I think is going to be an amazing professional career.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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