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March 7, 2020

Darian DeVries

Anthony Murphy

Liam Robbins

St. Louis, Missouri - Arch Madness

Bradley - 76, Drake - 66

THE MODERATOR: Drake Bulldogs are with us. Liam Robbins and Anthony Murphy represent the student-athletes. Darian DeVries, the head coach is in the middle.

DARIAN DEVRIES: First, congrats to Bradley on advancing. I thought they played really well. For us, disappointing to be heading home. I thought our guys really left it all out there, gave it everything they had, and unfortunately came up a little bit short tonight.

Q. For both players, three games in three days, physically, mentally, all that. How did you feel in this game? Was the second half different from the first half just in terms of your legs and everything else?
THE MODERATOR: Anthony, you're first, please.

ANTHONY MURPHY: The three games in the three days, it was tiring, but mentally, we were well prepared. Coach gave us some good motivational speeches, and we just wanted to win.

LIAM ROBBINS: If I was to tell you we weren't tired physically, I'd be lying. Mentally, I thought we were as fresh as you can be. We're a confident group and stuff like that. Coach gave us a great game plan. We were ready to go and execute.

Q. Liam, you had a good first half, tough second half. How much did their defensive strategy interrupt your flow?
LIAM ROBBINS: Yeah, they played really good defense and stuff like that, especially their bigs. They really made me work for position and stuff like that to get my shots. Overall, that's something I just have to be better at, is just being more physical and getting to the rim on my finishes and stuff, fading away, which I did too much in the second half.

Q. Darian, how is this game different from the last time you played -- you played Bradley about a month ago, your place. What was different about this one?
DARIAN DEVRIES: The game at our place was Noah Childs, first of all. So that certainly impacted our matchups. The way we were defending completely changed just by one guy, just the way guys match up better with other guys. At our place, there was a lot of fouls called in that particular game, and probably the biggest difference was Brown. I thought he was super, especially in that first half. That was a senior not wanting to go home, and I thought he played exceptionally well. At our place, he didn't play quite as well in that particular game in the first half. I thought overall, Brown was a huge difference in this one.

Q. Liam, you took obviously a big step this season. Just what is the next step for you next season for this program?
LIAM ROBBINS: Yeah. Just I don't want to put like a roof on or a ceiling on what I can do so I'm just going to try to keep getting better. I know my coaches are going to help me do that. So my mentality is just to get better and not limit what I can do. Just in every aspect, get better.

Q. Coach, your team made a great run coming out of the second half. What adjustments did you make at halftime to make that happen?
DARIAN DEVRIES: We tried to get up on the ball screens in the second half. We haven't done that a lot this year, but we did it a little bit. We were a little worried about doing it initially because Liam had Koch Bar down low and Childs posting up Anthony. We didn't want to get him too far away so he could provide some help. We just felt like Brown was hurting us too much in the pick-and-roll and was getting downhill and getting into the paint really whenever he wanted. So we had to do something to keep him out of there a little bit better.

That's why we adjusted the ball screen defense. And offensively, we tried to spread it and drive it a little bit more, get them out in space. It was good for us for a little while. We just -- at the end of the day, we cut it down to three, and we were right there.

I just thought the next three or four possessions in there, I thought they had some guys really hit some big shots. Kennell hit the big one in there. We fouled the three-point shooter. Childs hit a big one. When we cut it to six, he hit a three at the top of the key to push it back to nine. Every time we gave them a challenge, I thought they answered and hit us right back with a big play.

Q. You guys finished 20-14. Can you kind of describe this season, how it went, the ebbs and flows, and how you guys will look back on it?
DARIAN DEVRIES: I think, when we look back on the season, the 8-10 Valley record, Valley was tough. It was hard. Where we really struggled was on the road, and we had six games, I believe, where we didn't win any of them, and with five minutes to go, we were either ahead or within a possession. That's something that, you know, as we move into next year and things, those are some of the things we've got to clean up. We certainly were on the verge of maybe finishing a little higher.

Like I told our team all the time, you are what you are. So your flaws are what gets you there, and as a coaching staff, those are the things we've got to figure out why did we end up where we ended up and fix them and hopefully we can -- the year after this year, we can figure out a way to finish those games a little better.

Overall, it's been a fun group. They're an awesome group to coach. They come with a great energy, great spirit every day, and I'm really going to miss this guy, just the tremendous leader, tremendous smile, tremendous person. You saw him all weekend. He just left it all out there for us. What he did these last three days, did offensively, was really special to watch. So glad that he's been a part of our program these last couple years.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. Best of luck in the future.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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