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March 11, 2020

Steve Prohm

Michael Jacobson

Tre Jackson

Prentiss Nixon

Caleb Grill

Kansas City, Missouri

Oklahoma State - 72, Iowa State - 71

THE MODERATOR: We are ready to begin with the Cyclones of Iowa State, Coach Steve Prohm and he has four student-athletes with him, Caleb Grill, Tre Jackson, Prentiss Nixon and Michael Jacobson. Coach?

STEVE PROHM: First off, congrats to Oklahoma State for their win tonight and advancing in the tournament. Obviously it's a special tournament, special place, special environment and venues. It's great to be a part of it. I was proud of our guys. Thought we competed and put ourselves in the position to win the game. They just made one more play at the end. We didn't get back in transition and they were able to get to the basket. Proud of our guys and hopefully tonight is another learning lesson for these young guys as we go forward.

Q. Prentiss, with six, seven minutes to go in the first half, what was going on there? With your head or whatever?
PRENTISS NIXON: I split my head open. Went back to the locker room and got it fixed up and that was really can. It was bleeding a little bit, put a little Vaseline on it to stop the bleeding and went back out there and played basketball.

Q. Mike, what did you see from Prentiss offensively, obviously he made a ton of shots for you guys?
MICHAEL JACOBSON: Yeah, he came out and battled, give him a ton of credit, obviously with what happened with his head. Biggest thing making shots, he got to his spots on offense and played with a ton of confidence and knocked 'em down and it was great to see that for him.

Q. Were you guys kind of following the situation today, just kind of wondering if fans were going to come and what are your thoughts about just playing knowing that tomorrow they aren't going to allow fans in?
PRENTISS NIXON: I just think you gotta play basketball at the end of the day. You can't really worry about what's going on outside the game. You've got to stay focus and had stay honed in on your job and go out there and do what you got to do, no matter if there are fans out there or not, we still got a job to do. You've got to get out there and do it.

Q. Mike, the two guys sitting on your left what can you say about the way they played this year?
MICHAEL JACOBSON: I'm proud of them. I told them this after the game, proud they stepped up. Obviously we had two guys out and just the way they stepped up as young guys and filled the big role especially in an environment like this. Like Coach said, March is here and I thought they did a good job in their first game and I think they will have a ton of success going forward they will have to keep moving forward and build on it and realize what this program is about and the year that they had this year is unacceptable and keep moving forward.

Q. Mike, you touched on it there, calling the season unacceptable. But how do you, I know it just ended, but how do you evaluate your year as a team?
MICHAEL JACOBSON: Yeah, I think just what I've talked about all season, a ton of ups and downs. You've got to find some consistency and just make sure you're competing every day, competing in the games. Just understanding, I guess, the biggest thing is what it takes to win at a high level. This year we didn't have a ton of guys that had that experience. So just realizing what that takes and everything that goes into it and taking nothing for granted. Like I said, just realizing what Iowa state is about and the success they have had and how important it is to this fan base and going out there with that in mind every game and every day at practice and competing.

Q. Steve, how tough is Isaac Likekele for you guys to defend?
STEVE PROHM: He was good tonight. The biggest thing with him is when he gets downhill -- you want to put pressure on him so he didn't have a burst of speed. When you play off him he has a burst of speed. He's got good size, physicality, physical guard. There are not many guards that can go the length of the floor at the end and finish like he did with their left hand, credit to him he had a very good game for them.

Q. Caleb, what can a game like this do for you launching into next season and what I asked those guys, you have family in the area, how much were you paying attention throughout the day wondering if they would be able to come to the game?
CALEB GRILL: The whole thing with the Coronavirus thing, I have not paid too much attention to it today, just trying to stay focused on the game come you go up and Oklahoma State and for the most part they were saying media and family could come so nothing like that was concerning me or anything like that. This game, going into next year gives me confidence going into next year, just going to come in every day with a different mindset and try to do with these two did. They came in and worked every day, so I'm going to follow in their foot steps and do what they did.

Q. Steve, you mentioned a couple of times this year that you would does it down with Tyrese, can you tell us about the timeline, what that might be and for him to make a decision on his pro future?
STEVE PROHM: He will go home for spring break. I will meet with him after the break. The guys are supposed to be back after the break. I will talk to him and his family this week, I'm sure. But he will be out this week for the break and then I will visit with him in person after that. I don't think it will be a long drawn out process. But whatever he decides.

Q. (No microphone.).
STEVE PROHM: Yeah, there is a lot. I don't want to talk about that right now because I know there is a lot of unknowns. So for right now our guys are going home for spring break and like I told them in the locker room I will meet with the administration this week and we will put a plan together and go from there. But I can't talk about that until I talk to my administration this week. Sorry about that.

Q. Coach, just your opinion, the NBA League cancelled or suspended the rest of the regular season. Do you think the NCAA, just your opinion, do you think that they will follow their lead and cancel the tournament all together?
STEVE PROHM: I don't know. I heard about the NBA. I heard it was suspended. I didn't know they cancelled the season.

Q. Suspended.
STEVE PROHM: Suspended for the rest of the season. To comment on that I will leave that up to Mr. Emmert and those administrators. Obviously you pray for everybody affected and you pray that we can find a cure and everybody can get back to their simple lives. The most be important thing is people's health. You can trade a lot of things but you can't trade your health. Whatever the best thing is to keep people healthy and safe, I'm in support of.

Q. Steve, what must happen during the off-season for this next season to improve? For things going forward to improve?
STEVE PROHM: I think we've got some good young guys in the program, guys returning, I think we've got a good class coming in, obviously we've got to address some needs in the spring recruiting. But like I told the guys in the locker room, I said I've got to change in some ways, they've got to change. It starts in the spring when we get back on campus and start our spring and summer withouts. Workouts. Our mental and physical toughness has to get better and there are a lot of little detailed stuff we gotta clean up so we can get back to the tournament and be back where we need to be. I'm not going to give you 25 different examples, but everyone in the locker room that's returning and I know myself I'm the leader, I'm the head coach, I judge myself the hardest to where there is I need to change in but 1-25, everybody needs to change in certain areas for us to get back where we need to be.

You could see a year ago today, you know, we won this tournament. We were top-20 basketball team and had a terrific team. You know, it can change in a year, it can flip in a year. I'm excited to lead this program and get us back to where we need to be.

Q. (No microphone.).
STEVE PROHM: I think I just gotta change. I gotta be a little bit more aggressive in a lot of different areas. That can go in a lot of different areas but I think I gotta be aggressive and I've gotta continue to be myself, but the areas that I need to improve in and get better in, I've got to challenge myself to do that. It will happen and we will get back to where we need to be.

Q. Tre, how do you feel like the second half of your season went?
TRE JACKSON: Of course it didn't end like we would wanted it to or anything like that, but I feel like my shot was falling the second half of the season. That's what boosted my confidence but just losing and stuff, that's not what we want to do. So I'm not really satisfied with anything, but I'm satisfied with our effort and everything but just going into next year trying to improve.

Q. Steve, what was your comfort ability level when it came to playing with fans tonight knowing that tomorrow it's going to be shut down for fans?
STEVE PROHM: What was my comfort level?

Q. Yeah.
STEVE PROHM: To be honest just wanted these guys to get to the next day. That's all I really -- family and close family I think have been here. I think they're allowed to come maybe it what I heard, for tomorrow. I could be wrong on that but I just wanted these guys to have an opportunity to play Kansas. Obviously in the tournament form you love playing Kansas. They wouldn't be a 50/50 split obviously because nobody would be there. But I wanted these guys to win a game like that because they've been through a lot and I thought, you know, we made the last play but they made one more and that's what as a coach that's what bothers you, because you get opportunities. You've been to the tournament. You've won championships, but not all these kids have shared in that. So you want them to have that moment and this would have been a good way to tough one out because Prentiss got hurt. We had adversity. I think our two freshmen, both almost played forty minutes tonight. Caleb was 3 for 5. He had 8 rebounds. We showed grit and we've got to build off that.

But you hate going home right away because this is the best time of the year. This is what you work all your life for, to be in these moments and it's a special tournament.

Q. Caleb and Tre, now that you've been through the grind of a college season it's longer, more physical. What did you guys learn about yourselves during the last few months and what can you take from that into the off-season for your sophomore campaigns?
TRE JACKSON: I've learned personally just the physical side of the game at this level, gotta get better with the physicality and everything and being smarter, a smarter player mentally and physically, stay on the court, not foul and all that stuff. I've got to be a better player.

CALEB GRILL: I would say for me, positioning is a huge thing because if you're in the wrong spot it can go that quick and you can mess up a play or something like that. You know, you can have a defensive breakdown or something like that, pretty easy. And offensively, I've never been part of a coach who likes spacing that much, so that was a struggle for me a little bit, I thought, with spacing and I thought having the floor space and giving opportunities for everybody else to get open shots and opportunities to drive and things like that.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much for coming.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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