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March 28, 2019

Rick Barnes

Grant Williams

Admiral Schofield

Louisville, Kentucky

Purdue-99, Tennessee-94

THE MODERATOR: We'll ask Coach for an opening comment and go to questions for the student-athletes.

COACH BARNES: We've proud of the effort the way we fought back in the second half. The first half, didn't do much at all on the offensive end. We knew they were going to make shots. They're an offensive team.

Second half, we found some rhythm on the offensive end, started making it more difficult to be scored on. But it was a high-level game, and really I can't say enough about our guys fighting back. And taking nothing away from Purdue, but we were there. Tough one at the end. We had the lead with one-point-something seconds left. Tough foul.

Lamonté Turner played his heart out. We wouldn't have been in that situation without him. That's a tough one for him. I'm really proud of these guys.

Admiral has been with us since day one and Kyle Alexander and the two walk-ons. Go back four years ago and where we are today, there's a lot to be proud of, though right now it's hard to feel any of that, because you're always numb when this happens to you.

But, again, give Purdue credit.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Admiral, I'm sure that you haven't had a chance to put it into perspective yet, but just how much different of a place do you feel like you're leaving this program in than where it was when you got here?
ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD: I think we've got something special. I think that the biggest thing that you have to appreciate is just the culture that we built at Tennessee, winning culture, and I just really appreciate it. I'm just sad that I have to go out on this note.

But I think the biggest thing I can say is we left this program winning. Us four seniors, we left this program winning. That's the biggest thing. We really came from the bottom, and to make it to the Sweet 16 is a dream come true. Came up a little short.

But at the end of the day, I remember when we were losing 19 and 16 games and no one believed in us. I remember when we could barely get 17,000 in the arena. This year, we averaged around 20,000. God's been amazing this year. He's been amazing all my four years here and it's just a blessing to be able to call myself a Tennessee Volunteer.

Q. Grant, I think you were closest there, the ball after your block on Edwards, was there a chance that it went off your hand or might it have gone off of a Purdue player?
GRANT WILLIAMS: I couldn't tell you. When I blocked the shot, I didn't know if it went off me or his leg or anything. They just said they looked at the clock and the time on the clock. I don't know if they looked for who it went off on. So couldn't tell you.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes? Grant, Admiral, thank you.

Let's go to questions for Coach.

Q. Coach, I don't know if you've had a chance to see the replay yet. But thoughts on the last play in regulation, the foul called on Lamonté.
COACH BARNES: It was a foul. It was a foul. He missed the shot. Lamonté hit the him after the shot. That's a tough play because, again, we knew -- I think actually they were trying to work something inside. It was close to a five-second count. I even think they got that in. I know they got it in because I saw it.

But Lamonté being a competitor that he is, he went up, and the ball was gone. It was three feet out of his hand when he hit him. We know the rule. You've got to allow the shooter to come back down. It's a tough one, because in that situation, we know we can't foul there and they've got to make that shot. But we wouldn't have been in the situation to come back in that game if it wasn't for Lamonté.

Q. You say good-bye to four seniors tonight. Admiral and Kyle, can you talk about how they built the culture of this program, how they're leaving things better than they found it four years ago.
COACH BARNES: They've done that, left it better than they found it. I always reference that the first year here. And Kevin Punter was the one guy that once we got here in the spring that really bought in. When Kyle and Admiral first got there and Kevin had really understood what we talked about, the culture we had to build with those guys were going to put their time in and hold each other accountable. Those were the three guys that got us where we are really today.

Then we had Brad and Lucas, who have been a huge part of our program. They're as respected as anybody. When you go back from four years ago, we lost 19 games, then 16. This league is different. This league is a lot different league than it was four years ago.

But there's no doubt that it's been a blessing to have these guys with us and the fact that they definitely left it better than they found it.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for your time.

COACH BARNES: Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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