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March 15, 2019

Bruce Weber

Barry Brown, Jr.

Cartier Diarra

Kansas City, Missouri

Iowa State 63, Kansas State 59

THE MODERATOR: We have Kansas State, Coach Bruce Weber. Student-athletes are Barry Brown, Jr. and Cartier Diarra. Coach?

BRUCE WEBER: Obviously, you're always disappointed when you lose. Proud of our guys, been proud of 'em all year. They battled their butts off. We had a bad stretch in the first half, ended the half, allowed them to make that run and we got together at halftime and they came together and I thought played as well as you can play to start the second half. You've got to use so much energy though to come back. You still have a 5-point lead. I told them it's an identical spot to the game at their place. We were down 5 with 2 something left and we scored the last 7 points and got a win. They made the plays. We had lots of chances, missed too many layups, had a lot of wide-open threes, didn't make 'em. Disappointing. I'm proud of our guys, and hats off to Iowa State. I thought Michael Jacobson played his heart out, 8 points, 16 rebounds, played so hard for them and obviously Shayok with the big 3. When we were all struggling making shots he stepped up and made that big three that turned the game.

THE MODERATOR: Let's go to our student-athletes.

Q. Barry, you guys took the lead with about 10:43 with Xavier's 3-pointer and held on to the lead, but it seemed like offense got difficult from there on out and I think you missed 8 straight to finish the game. What changed from that point on? You were so good and then just dried up.
BARRY BROWN, JR.: I think maybe we got a little stagnant, some quick shots, then just got some missed, wide-open shots. Not being strong in the paint, not making the extra pass, maybe. I think all that kind of played a factor into it.

Q. For both of you, in a lot of ways after losing tonight you guys are in the same position you were in last year going into the tournament, same group of guys, Dean's out. Do you feel better equipped or as well equipped certainly as last year for what you're going to do in the tournament?
CARTIER DIARRA: I'm not going to say we're in the same position. Of course we have grown from that. You learn from experience. I just think we also learned from this game. We know that it's win or go home and we gotta play together at all times, follow the scouting report and play K-State defense and K-State basketball and give ourselves an opportunity to win. I think that's the biggest thing moving forward is keeping that mindset and just focusing on who we are going to be playing against and not looking ahead.

Q. Barry, compare where you are now to where you were last year. You guys obviously had a pretty fine postseason last year and you've got a lot of the same elements in place and same circumstances except what you did last year is under your belt.
BARRY BROWN, JR.: Like he said, I don't think we're in the same position. We've grown. We went through it, been through it without Dean, which is always tough. But we survived and advanced last year and we were able to get some experience under our belt. Obviously, it's not last year. It's going to be different teams. The ball is going to bounce different. The shots are going to fall different, but it gives us the self-confidence that it's able to be done.

Q. For Cartier, I know you're not happy with the loss. But how do you feel playing 30 minutes yesterday and how did the tournament feel overall after missing over a month?
CARTIER DIARRA: How do I feel? Man, I feel good. I feel good. But of course I'm upset we lost and I had two wide-open shots at the end to, you know, extend the lead or take the lead back again and I didn't make those. So I'm really upset about that.

Other than that, I felt pretty good running, just getting fatigue back and stuff like that. But the game is over and done with. Coach stresses about moving on and now we gotta wait and get ready to see who the competition is for the NCAA Tournament.

Q. For Cartier and Barry, considering you have one less game to play and something that can obviously distract you until Selection Sunday, is it going to be more difficult to not dwell on tonight over the roughly next 48 hours before you find out who you play next or no?
CARTIER DIARRA: Nah, we good. The game is over done with. We lost it. Can't get it back. Everybody is going to get their bodies right, get back focused mentally and get ready for this next game because we know it could be our last of the season and for the seniors. So I'm definitely going to be prepared and ready to play for my guys.

BARRY BROWN, JR.: I agree, man. We're not going to dwell on it. It's going to suck today, maybe even suck tomorrow. But once our names go across the screen and we find who we are playing it's going to be about that team and not what happened in the past, not the good that happened in the past and not the bad that happened in the past, just what we can do to move forward and survive and advance.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you. Good luck next week. Question for coach?

Q. I wonder if you could speak to how much better equipped are you for this postseason run after last postseason and despite the fact the feeling that you have right now?
BRUCE WEBER: I said it two years ago when we were one of the last ones in, to have that experience to go to Dayton and play that game to get to go across country to Sacramento and play Cincinnati even though we didn't play well. One, they got a taste of it. Two, they got a win, and each experience is important. Last year it helped us because they had been through the NCAA Tournament. So I think we're much better equipped. Obviously we're older, we've been through it. We played NCAA games. It was great to get Cartier back going. I didn't expect or anticipate him to play that many minutes, but Mike McGuirl kept getting in foul trouble both games and we had to push him.

So I feel good about it. But we really gotta focus on one game win streaks and that's all. Being prepared. We've been so good. If you think about it, Iowa State is really good, but we were so consistent and dealt with so many things and kept fighting even within today. It was like a microcosom of our season all the things we went through. And hopefully we will have that drive, that determination to fight through and be ready for the tournament.

Q. Coach, it never felt appropriate to ask about seeding or anything at any point in this season and maybe it's tough after this loss, but where does this team deserve to be seeded?
BRUCE WEBER: I think our league is very, very good. You see West Virginia beating the league champ last year, so the balance in the league, I've said it all year, I'm not sure the top teams are quite as good, but the balance is unbelievable and you have to grind it out to play for a third time, to grind it out like we have, you know, there was, what, about six weeks ago. Iowa State was a top-16 team in that first, whatever they announced the top 16. So it says a lot and they end up 9-9 in our league.

I have no idea. I don't follow. The coaches do. I gotta believe we're somewhere between 3 and 5. But, you know, we'll just have to see. I think we found out last year it doesn't matter. It's how you prepare and if you're ready to go.

Q. Coach, it looked like you started so well in the first half. The second half, it kinda looked like you ran out of gas in both halves is the tempo of the game and injuries and illnesses just add up on you tonight?
BRUCE WEBER: There is no doubt. You played last night and tonight and it's hard fought and they go at you. That is the one thing they do is push the basketball. You guys asked what happened to offense. One, they blocked three unbelievable shots. Those were big-time plays. Two, we missed, what, four, five, wide open threes where they weren't guarding us, and we went out and missed them. I thought after the first couple go to the hoop, get in the paint, get some layups. But we didn't do that.

And, you know, I don't think either team made threes down the stretch except for Shayok's because you're tired. How do you make threes without legs, and I think that might have been the difference.

Q. Following up on the seeding question, you think the Selection Committee looks more at your regular season co-championship or the tournament? Is there any way to figure that out?
BRUCE WEBER: I know they say the entire package. I think that's, and we'll see with the new "net rating." I know there are some questions about the net and it's been brought up to them. I don't know if they're concerned, but they're definitely looking at it. But we will know more is it net, RPI, is it all the different BPI, whatever it is, what becomes a factor. But I hope our consistency in the league, our schedule nonconference. We went and played road games which not a lot of teams did in nonconference. We won road games in the league, and we did it with injuries, without guys. So I'm just proud of 'em. But whatever happens, happens. We just got to have a good mental mindset going into whoever we play.

Q. Bruce, how do you feel you can assess Dean's status right now? X came out limping. Is he okay?
BRUCE WEBER: X has something. An aggravated thing through the season, probably needs a couple weeks of rest. But we don't have that chance. He fought through it, still played 28 minutes. We need Mike McGuirl not to get in foul trouble because it kept putting us in a bind. Dean, we will wait and see how he's feeling. Says it feels better than it did two days ago, but we've kept him in the boot. He did treatment basically all day today. He will do it all day tomorrow and then lots of hope and prayers that maybe we find a way to get him back.

Q. Coach, I wanted to ask about Shaun. I know he struggled, but he gave you guys some good minutes that first half. Does that give you some confidence going forward?
BRUCE WEBER: I hope so. If you look at the bench scoring last night it was 18-6. We won it and tonight. It's 12-0, but I thought Shaun gave us a nice boost, made a couple nice plays, played with confidence. I was happy with that. Levi was really good last night, didn't quite give us that tonight. But we need everybody. We gotta do it together, and if we stay together we will be fine. We can guard. We play our butts off. If we share the basketball we'll be good.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you. Good luck next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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