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March 28, 2019

Chris Beard

Jarrett Culver

Tariq Owens

Davide Moretti

Anaheim, California

Texas Tech 63, Michigan 44

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Texas Tech head coach, Chris Beard and student-athletes, Tariq Owens, Jarrett Culver and Davide Moretti. Coach?

CHRIS BEARD: I want to congratulate Michigan on a great season. Just really pleased and happy for our players to advance. We came to Anaheim to play 80 minutes, so we're halfway there. But the top of our list of why I'm so happy for our guys is I think we just beat one of the best teams we've played all year. We guarded at a high level, played team basketball and played 8 guys in the rotation and everybody made rotations.

I've always thought that was the key is in March everybody has to play well. Sounds like captain obvious, but you have to bring something to the game and I thought the eight guys we played tonight really did and we were locked in on defense and we had just enough assists to keep our offense balance. I thought the guys played well. Pleased I get to coach these guys another day, another pregame meal, another practice tomorrow. I don't want this to end, man. These guys are so fun to coach.

Q. What were you guys doing defensively to lock them down to the extent that you were tonight where they missed their first 18 threes?
DAVIDE MORETTI: We work a lot on personnel. We know they have really great guys, NBA prospects and pro prospects, and I think we did a great job personnelwise and played great defense second half.

TARIQ OWENS: Pretty much what he said. They have a really good team and they have some really good shooters. For our game plan we knew we had to have a lot of urgency in getting out there because they're a really good team.

JARRETT CULVER: I feel like we stayed true to ourselves. We played the defense we've been playing all year and their shots wasn't going in. We had urgency. We knew they had great players that could shoot the ball pretty well. So urgency and staying true to our defense.

Q. For Tariq and Jarrett, was there anything going on tonight where you just felt like they knew they couldn't score? They were looking frustrated and a little bit helpless. Anything that happened out there that symbolized that to you?
TARIQ OWENS: No, not really. Like we said, they're a really good team, really good offensively. But we knew coming into this game we're the No. 1 defense and they're No. 2. So we knew it was going to be a power struggle offensively so we just tried to stick to what we did as a team.

JARRETT CULVER: Like Tariq said, some shots wasn't falling for them that usually fall and I mean, that's just how it happens sometimes. We had urgency on the shooters and stuff like that. We was just playing hard and they was playing hard and their shots just weren't falling not tonight.

Q. Davide, you had family watching today. How special was that for you to step up for your team and in front of your family for the first time that they've seen you for awhile?
DAVIDE MORETTI: It was amazing for me. My mom had never watched me play here, so it was kind of special for me and I play for my team first of all and then for my family right after that. It was really a special moment for me.

Q. Jarrett, Coach touched on it yesterday in the press conference and then again earlier, but limiting the turnovers, how important was that and how were y'all able to do that?
JARRETT CULVER: It was huge this game. We know they not don't turn the ball over a lot and it was a defensive game. So we came in knowing that we couldn't have turnovers, me, Moretti and Matt talked about how we couldn't have turnovers and I feel like we focused on that and did a good job.

Q. What happens in practice if you let a guy drive middle or you don't close out on the shooter? You're laughing.
JARRETT CULVER: I mean, you've got to deal with Coach Adams. However you take that, Coach Adams stops the practice and he gets on you and you have to deal with Coach Adams. So you learn not to do it again.

Q. What does dealing with Coach Adams mean?
CHRIS BEARD: I think it's the same thing as what happens at Michigan State and it's called coaching.

Q. Chris, what was different about the offense in the second half? You guys hit 12 of the first 18 shots. It was defensive heavy for both teams in the first half. What opened it up for you guys?
CHRIS BEARD: I thought we shared the ball more. Half of our baskets tonight were assisted. That's always the objective. I thought we trusted each other, ball got moving better the second half and the shooting is always going to be the law, you put in the time, shots are going to go down. We were fortunate tonight. Michigan didn't shoot the ball well. But you have to give our guys credit. I love the way we were sharing the ball, getting assists, and we had nice balance. Several guys stepped up and made shots.

Q. Jarrett, kind of playing what Coach just said there. When you look over to the sideline and see how passionate your coach is and how much he's enjoying the game, how much more is does that make it fun for you guys out on the court, being able to soak it in?
JARRETT CULVER: It has a huge impact on us. We see Coach he brings outs the best in each individual, so we out there trying to play hard for Coach. We don't want it to end. We all brothers on the team and we want to keep playing. So we out there playing as hard as we can. Coach coaches us hard and he's expecting nothing less than the best out of us.

CHRIS BEARD: Culver, you having fun?


CHRIS BEARD: We should do this again next year together. (Laughter.)

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. Questions for Coach Beard?

Q. Coach, you took a lead to the almost, but it was competitive first half. What were your thoughts going in at halftime? Did you see something you thought you could exploit?
CHRIS BEARD: Exploit, no. We just tried to do the best job we could. Watching Michigan it's been like a coaching clinic. I have an old school spiral that I used. Im not really an iPad guy. I have a red pen, black pen, old school spirals, and on the back of the page before I write notes for us basically to steal things from other people. During the off-season I will go back and add things and my whole notebook is filled with red because Michigan is so well-coached and Coach Beilein does such a great job.

We knew they were going to exploit our pick-and-roll switch and going inside and come out and do some things different and you just try and do things to help your guys and at halftime we made a few adjustments.

Q. Coach, you had given up like 6 points after 9 minutes. I don't think they got to 20 until a couple timeouts into the second half. Do you set actual goals for your guys like that? Would those numbers be beyond what you would have hoped for today?
CHRIS BEARD: Absolutely we have goals. We try to play each four-minute game, from media to media timeout whether it be do not foul this four-minute game. We got to get an offensive rebound this four-minute game. That media timeout Coach Adams was like we need to make an adjustment and I was like, Coach, they've scored 6 points. We need to get a basket. I thought they were dialed in defensively tonight. I'm not going to speak for the players, but I think they think Michigan is one of the best teams we played all year and we're normally pretty good when we're on edge.

Q. Coach, there are obviously different ways to play defense. Syracuse zones and Michigan plays one way and Gonzaga switched everything tonight. Where does your idea and philosophy come from? Why do you force everything down the sideline? What is it about that that appeals to you?
CHRIS BEARD: Our philosophy more than anything is to win. So each year with our players we just look at our talent and try to devise a system that gives our guys the best chance, and then we'll obviously adjust as the season goes on. When you got a great shot blocker like Zach Smith or Zhaire or Tariq you might funnel things to him. Other years you have bulky protection and it goes back to our coaching staff. We have coached one year at a time because things change and we have philosophies and things we believe in. We call them nonnegotiables. We believe in blocking out and high-hand closeouts, but we're going to change the way we play from year-to-year based on our talent.

Q. Coach, what are your early thoughts on Gonzaga?
CHRIS BEARD: I haven't seen them at all except for games watching as a fan. Were they in Maui this year? I watched all those. Then I watched about four or five of their conference games. Just a fan. I know Coach a little bit through Pat Knight and Coach Knight. I think they're big fly fisherman. When we were in Denver a couple of years ago, Little Rock a few years ago, Coach said some great things about us. I respect him. I really like their balance. He's a great coach. It doesn't define him. I look up to him in that way.

But, yeah, I've seen Gonzaga as much as anybody, just as a fan. I mentioned this yesterday we show our team clips of winning basketball. We show a lot of Gonzaga clips. Their passion, their togetherness, their courage, thousand aggressive they are, at this point I'm a fan and here in the next hour or so I've got to flip that and start to get ready to try to prepare against them. I can say this early on no one has more respect for Gonzaga than I do personally and our program.

Q. Coach, you haven't seen much of Gonzaga yet. Can you talk about how you going to stop their best player, Rui Hachimura?
CHRIS BEARD: We're not going to stop him. That's for sure. We're just going to try to contain and try to pick and choose times and play team defense. He's one of the best players in college basketball. So we don't have anybody on our team that can guard him one-on-one. So we will play team defense as we always do. He's a special player.

Q. Coach, I was talking to a lot of the guys yesterday. They talked a lot about the culture within the program and it seems like they're a very self-motivated group. I was curious, is that something you instill as a coach, recruit, because just talking to them it seems like guys getting in the gym with our without you, no matter what to get to a point like this?
CHRIS BEARD: You've got to give the guys credit. A lot has been made of the culture, but it's these guys. The first thing in recruiting is making sure they can play in the Big 12, and it's a talent business. We do really good with guys that love to play. Last night we went to a local high school and got shots up and just played shooting games and stuff and some of the younger coaches on the stuff want to keep their legs. Is this too much? No, this is us. We made Jarrett Culver go to bed when we got back, but everybody loves to "hoop." We have a culture that is based on guys that love the game and love each other.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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