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March 11, 2020

Bruce Weber

Xavier Sneed

Mike McGuirl

David Sloan

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas State - 53, TCU - 49

THE MODERATOR: All right. We are now joined by the Wildcats of Kansas State, Coach Bruce Weber. Coach, we will call on you for an opening statement.

BRUCE WEBER: We have been through a lot of these games all year, people that have fouled us and I think it's nine games we looked at last night that was 6 or less. A lot of them the same thing where we had leads and teams make runs and we get dysfunctional and all three of these guys made good plays, David back-to-back jump shots, Mike with a big pull-up and Xavier with a big shot down the stretch. I'm happy for them. They grinded it out, fought their butts off. I thought our defense was really, really good, slipped up a little bit at the end of the half. You know, I know Bane had 16 but he had to take 17 shots and has 5 turnovers, and I thought Mike did a great job with everybody guarding him.

I'm just happy for them. We get to live for another day and finally found a way to win a close game and it's been a while, since the second game of the season at UNLV, oh, Tulsa, I forgot that one at Christmas. Big plays, happy, team effort, get to play another day.

Q. Mike, what was going through your mind when you made those plays coming down the stretch and what do you think led to your success there?
MIKE MCGUIRL: Same thing Coach been preaching, X preached it before the game, crunch time, or gut check time of the game, not folding this time and being ready for it and executing and making the plays that we need to make and I was just focused and along with my teammates, we were able to gut it out.

Q. Xavier and David, would you mind talking about Mike's game tonight, 8 points, 7 assists, 1 turnover and how big he was for you guys tonight?
DAVID SLOAN: I feel like personally, I think Mike is really our glue guy. He had 8, 6 and 7 and the stat sheet shows it and he usually guards the best player then Xavier, so I feel like he does a lot on the court.

XAVIER SNEED: Just like David said, you know, he does a lot on the court for us. Sometimes it goes unnoticed and today he shined for us today.

Q. Mike, just with everything going on today and also it being a new season, new life for you guys, did you enter this game with a different attitude or mentality than usually?
MIKE MCGUIRL: In a way, yes, but I mean, it really started on senior night when obviously X had the big at that game and we played defense and it started against Kansas and we started to lock in on defense. We have just been trying to carry it over and improve from game-to-game and I think we're building up to what we know we could have been or should be.

Q. Bruce, when it comes to Baylor, your next opponent, it didn't go well the second time you played at Waco and now you're going to play in front of 350 people, your overall reaction to playing to an empty arena?
THE MODERATOR: Let's let the student-athletes answer that.

XAVIER SNEED: It's definitely going to be a different feel. It's basketball the same way, lace your shoes up and go on the court and make the plays.

DAVID SLOAN: Basically what X said. You gotta come out and play no matter whose in the stands and just be ready.

MIKE MCGUIRL: Piggyback off that, regardless of who is in the stands, although we love to have our fans in the crowd, but regardless, we're trying to win the game.

BRUCE WEBER: You know, it's going to be different, like the guys kind of teased, a preseason scrimmage. I think it's 125 tickets, that's what they're going to allow for family and staff, so it will definitely be a different feel. But you gotta come and play.

You know, that's what it's about. For us it's our last chance. We said we had dreams and goals before the season and didn't happen like we had hoped, but now you got one last chance to be something you thought you could be. We played them very well at our plays, obviously at their plays it was different and they made every shot. Come and play. We had a game, we got to play, they didn't. So hopefully we're a little more ready.

Q. Xavier, you guys have been in this situation a lot this season coming down to the wire and it's gone the other way. What was special about tonight that allowed you guys to make the clutch plays late and win?
XAVIER SNEED: Like I said earlier, we learned and grew from all the experiences we had this season and kept growing like I said before. These guys did a good job of buying into the scout, had a really good game and locked in on defense as well.

THE MODERATOR: We will let you guys return to the locker room. Thank you for coming. Congratulations on the victory. We will see you tomorrow.

Q. Bruce, with everything that's gone on today and the news about the fans and the NCAA tournament, the Big 12 tournament, what has been your reaction and how tough was it to stay focused?
BRUCE WEBER: The big thing is we knew we were going to play a game tonight and if you win you get to play another one and that's the main thing for these guys to have that one more opportunity for the seniors. I think what they said was right. The last stretch probably after Baylor, the Kansas game, played 'em really hard, I thought we played hard against Oklahoma State. Same thing, Iowa State, Iowa State comes back tonight and it takes a game winner to beat them.

If we guard and play that hard, I think we'll have a chance. Obviously it helps to make a few shots, we did early, we didn't as it went on. Grind it out, find a way to win. I would say that I know it's a tough decision, NCAA, the Big 12, everybody. But, you know, I've tried to watch and we just can't let what happened in China and Italy happen to our country. I think it's the best decision for everybody. We gotta keep people healthy and safe and that's going to keep our country strong over the long haul.

Q. Coach, I asked about Mike already, but on a night where you had 14 turnovers to 10 assists, he was 6-to-1 assists to turnovers.
BRUCE WEBER: He made some big-time passes. The guys were calling him "March Mike" in the locker room. He's had some big games this season. I'm happy for him. He and DaJuan have been in the gym just constantly. He wants to do well. Not only this year, he's got to be the leader. He's been through it and it was good to see some things go for him. That's a great line and Bane, who was really, really good.

Q. Coach, you just be kind of touched on there with what's best for the country and everything like that but you wake up tomorrow and the Big 12 comes out and said we're not going to do it kind of like the NBA said tonight, how do you go from there?
BRUCE WEBER: It would be sad. But if they make that decision, obviously it would be an educated decision. We're trying to protect everybody's health and we don't want our country locked down like Italy is right now where everyone is quarantined. It's scary. I'm old. I'm in that group where people die. I don't want to die. I want people healthy, including myself. I got a grandson coming soon, any day now. I want to be able to hug and hold him, and play with my other grand kids.

We've got to do what we have to do. I would feel for the kids. I feel for the Ivy League kids. I know they cancelled their spring sports because kids work so hard. But at the same time we're talking about the long haul of our country and what it means to stay strong and healthy.

Q. Coach, you've played Baylor twice this year. Didn't go your way either time. What do you feel you need to address before tomorrow night's quarter final?
BRUCE WEBER: We have to guard 'em. The first time we were not ready. We spotted them 22-2, I think it was and we came all the way back, cut it to 1, they made the shot before half, we were in the game pretty much on and off the whole game.

We have to guard 'em. We can't give them the easy looks. They got great guard play, very unselfish. Their defense I thought early was disrupting some of the injuries, some of that has taken a toll on them, but Scott has done an unbelievable job. I know his big dream and goal is to get deep into the tournament and I'm sure he would like to get a little momentum here so they will be ready to play.

Q. Bruce, this is two games in a row now where you've had really good starts. I think you were up 10-2, something like that early. Is there a change there?
BRUCE WEBER: You could say we put Pierson in last time and he helped us get going. This time we went with DaJuan, I think the biggest thing is we guarded and that's big. We guarded and played hard.

Even Carti, Carti had the good start. He got a little shaky in the second half, but, you know, he's a guy who can break people down and make plays for us. If we can keep him solid, when you talk about Baylor he's the key because he's one guy that can get by people along with David. If they can make the right pass, obviously it helps us.

Q. Bruce, this is the first time you guys started 4-0 that you won back-to-back games this season. One, is that hard to believe? Two, how good is that you are putting momentum together?
BRUCE WEBER: I thought Senior Day gave us momentum. It's been a long time. It was a long month of February for us. To the guys' credit, to our staff's credit, we had a couple, Baylor was probably our worst game where, you know, some of it was them, some of it was us. But for the most part they have come to play, and like I said, just go through the scores.

Number one team in the country. We're tied 48 deep into the game. They made the plays. Tonight we were fortunate they didn't make that 3 at the end and we made a couple of big stops, got a rebound and guys were, why did you call timeout? I didn't want anything to go wrong, foul a three-pointer that would have been typical of our season, but we were able to get a win.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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