home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 21, 2019

Scott Drew

Jared Butler

Makai Mason

Salt Lake City, Utah

Baylor - 78, Syracuse - 69

THE MODERATOR: We welcome Baylor representatives to the stage, student-athletes Makai Mason and Jared Butler, and Coach Scott Drew. We will ask Coach Scott Drew to make a brief opening statement and we will turn it over to questions to the student-athletes. So, we'll ask Coach Drew for his brief opening statement. Coach?

SCOTT DREW: We thought we could get looks if we executed and it was important we knocked down shots, and we made shots and that makes the offense work a lot better against the zone. 16 for 34, you have to have good guard play to win in March, and we are blessed to have very good guard play and make us coaches look very good.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Makai Mason and Jared Butler.

Q. We talked about Syracuse and their zone, and the players were saying there is nothing like our zone, we are longer than other teams, you can't prep for it. But you guys play a zone. You haven't used it as much this year. So did that play a big role in you being so confident in taking so many threes that it was something you were used to?
THE MODERATOR: Jared, let's start with you.

JARED BUTLER: Our zone is very different and I think our mentality going to the game, that we had to make shots, was important. And we know when we play zone and guys hit tough shots, it's heartbreaking. So we had that same mentality going into this game and we had to lock down on defense.

But like I said, the zone is different, they make you think. I think our aggressiveness and wanting to shoot the ball helped us a lot.

MAKAI MASON: The fact we play zone helped us in this game, being able to go against that and practice every day with our guys flying around, we are used to those kind of shots, just kickout threes. That helped us tonight.

Yeah, they have great length across the board, sometimes tough to get in high post. I thought we did that well at times. That really helped us.

Q. Can you describe the win for Baylor Nation, the crowd was loud and you guys were going like two heavyweights toe to toe, but you ended up... describe this win for you guys.

MAKAI MASON: It was pretty special. Honestly, being picked ninth in the Big 12, we harp on that a lot these days. We have the underdog mentality. We're not backing down from anybody. That's the reason why we were able to stay calm in those big moments. We know we're sticking together and, at the end of the day, we ain't supposed to be here, and we're just happy to be moving on.


JARED BUTLER: We have been through a lot all season, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of doubtfulness. I want to say this, these guys stuck together, we stayed together, even through four losses back-to-back. So these guys are special. Everybody believes in Coach Drew and the coaching staff. So, man, I think we deserve this in a way, so it's big time.

Q. Again for both of you. How many three-point shooting contests have the two of you participated in and did it feel like that the first half? Each team only attempted five twos and I noticed when you guys came on the floor to warm up for the second half, no one was taking shots in the paint, it was all outside the arc.
MAKAI MASON: Jared doesn't want to talk about our three-point contest.

JARED BUTLER: In the first half, we expected Makai to hit at least five threes. Makai, when he comes out in the first half, it's butter. In the second half, I had to get him. I had to hit a couple and-ones, took a couple of threes. Yeah, he's a great shooter, man. (Laughter.)

MAKAI MASON: It was fun to go back and forth with them. We weren't expecting them to hit shots like that. They hit some tough ones and we hung in there and they pulled up.

Q. You both talked a lot about just now your three-pointers and how big of a momentum swing that was for you guys. You both hit threes and you turned around on defense and took big charges. Can you talk about how much that means for your team to have that impact on the defensive side as well?
SCOTT DREW: That is a great question.

JARED BUTLER: Makai actually leads the team in charges. We actually stat the charges after their game and tried to get the most charges for a pair of shoes. Lucky. (Laughter.) Makai does a great job. I want to be just like that when he takes charges, he gets the team riled up. And any way I can get momentum swings and get the good players in foul trouble I'll try to do. Makai has taught me how to take some charges, I'm not going to lie.

MAKAI MASON: JB has three more years to get to that charge level (laughter.) But it shows our mentality, our toughness. We're not trying to celebrate threes, we're trying to make the next play. That's big for us.

THE MODERATOR: We have time for one more question for the student-athletes.

Q. Do you guys have any thoughts on Gonzaga? Have you watched them at all this year? Did you watch them at all earlier?
JARED BUTLER: I have watched being a college basketball fan, they have a great, solid team. Every team can be beaten in March. We will prepare just like any other team, scout, look at their tendencies and their best players. So we are going into it like we are playing another team.

I'm not saying Gonzaga are not good, they are amazing, but we are levelheaded going into it.

Q. This question is for Makai. You beat Baylor in 2016 in the NCAA tournament.
MAKAI MASON: Today was better.

Q. How would you compare and contrast the feelings of those book-end tournament wins?
MAKAI MASON: Both are very different. But both are special for their own reason.

When I was at Yale, we hadn't been in the tournament for like 64 years. We were a huge underdog going into that game. With Baylor, just -- basically, they missed the last two years, just go through all that physically and mentally. Just to come out here and have a chance to compete against the best, you know, going into March Madness, you can't write a better story, really.

THE MODERATOR: We will let the players go and once they have left the stage, we will turn it over to questions for Coach. Questions for Coach Drew.

Q. Scott, what were you thinking the first half when you were trading threes? Were you enjoying it or were you thinking maybe we could put the ball in the paint occasionally?
SCOTT DREW: I'm an offensive coach so I liked it. Defensively, when you're making shots like that and not getting separation, that is frustrating. So, I liked what we were executing on offense, but defensively, I thought we needed to be better. And really credit Syracuse for making a lot of shots and some tough shots. And we had some defensive breakdowns and Coach Boeheim has his team executing at a high level and you can't have breakdowns against a good team.

Q. Coach, Buddy has been a big three-point shooter for Syracuse, and he did not hit a single one. What was the game plan on him to stop him hitting threes today?
SCOTT DREW: You can see his influence on the court. People spend so much time, it opens up other people, similar to Makai. Sometimes Makai doesn't score but others get a lot of great looks because he's on the court. And Buddy is the same way, you have to pay so much attention to him that it makes it easier for other guys and he spaces the floor to give them room to operate.

THE MODERATOR: More questions for Coach?

Q. Coach, I wondered if that was part of the game plan, to go against their zone to shoot that many threes going in?
SCOTT DREW: I told them they could shoot 40 today. I did want to make 25, though, so we were a little short. On both fronts.

Q. Have you watched Gonzaga at all this year? Did you see any of their game or were you in the locker room preparing for 'Cuse?
SCOTT DREW: Can you repeat the question?

Q. Have you watched Gonzaga at all this year? Did you watch them?
SCOTT DREW: We have two guys on our staff from their program. They called them and made sure they didn't play any of their play calls. We have so much respect for their program. Coach Few does such an amazing job. Those guys competed at such a high level.

I know we'll be very familiar with their program, and they're familiar with ours because we've played against each other, we have scrimmaged against each other.

Q. Coach, in a tournament format like this, how long does the feeling of euphoria of surviving and advancing last before you have to try and put that in the closet and turn your attention to Gonzaga in the unique format setup?
SCOTT DREW: Once I get back to the locker room, it is all on the Zags. So that's the tough thing is you can't rely celebrate a win in that first game when you play so quick.

Q. Makai mentioned about being underdogs the whole year, injuries happen, piling up, and you come in on a four-game losing streak. How satisfying is this win after everything you guys have gone through this year to come out now on top and go into the Round of 32?
SCOTT DREW: I think one thing that's safe to say in any college program, you will have to face adversity and you will have to persevere. Everybody gets banged up and everybody faces tough games and challenges each and every year. When you deal with people, you have issues.

And one thing that I can tell you is this year we have been blessed to have outstanding leadership with Jake, King, and Makai, and they've always done a great job keeping the locker room and making sure everyone is focused on the right thing.

And you have to credit the whole team for having great chemistry for supporting one another. When you lose, fingers come out and you are pointing blame. We haven't done that. That is why we have been able to achieve what we have been able to achieve. All logic would tell you, you are picked ninth, you only three have your returning lettermen, you lose your best player at that time at that time who was so dominant on both ends of the court, and you have to credit the guys for playing with a lot of joy and really sacrificing for each other.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297