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March 11, 2020

Jamie Dixon

RJ Nembhard

Desmond Bane

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas State - 53, TCU - 49

THE MODERATOR: We have TCU, head coach Jamie Dixon and Desmond Bane and RJ Nembhard.

JAMIE DIXON: Congratulations to Kansas State for the win. I was proud of our guys, how we played in the second half and late in the first half. We obviously weren't very good to start the game and turnovers I think we turned it over 11 times in the first half, most of them early in the game.

Disappointed how we played, how we performed but fought back, came out ready to go and compete and then that second half told them we could cut this thing down and we did rather quickly. But, you know, we didn't get it done. 4-point lead and I don't know that we scored after that. I guess we scored but didn't execute down the stretch, they made some tough shots. I give them credit. They made some tough shots, jump shots I thought we defended pretty well, we got better shots than they did and they made the tougher shots than we made.

That's sometimes how the game goes. But I'm disappointed in this loss. There is no question about it, but we fought and we competed but we got outrebounded by nine and that can't happen. We've come up short on a number of things all year long and that was just another one of them today.

Q. Desmond, how tough is it to kind of end your career on this note, and, you know, can you put that into emotions yet?
DESMOND BANE: Not really. Like Coach said, I'm proud of the way we fought back in the second half and I mean, I enjoyed every bit of playing with these guys all year long. I mean, I wish the best for them and for the program moving forward.

Q. RJ, game high 19 points, did you feel like that 3, did you feel good about it at the end, hey, you had it there?
RJ NEMBHARD: For sure. Been in that situation numerous times. Desmond had a great attack to the rim, found PJ, they threw it to me, just didn't knock the shot down.

Q. Desmond, why do you think you guys kind of got off to a bit of a sluggish start and then in the second half what changed? You guys went on a 15-2 run, were able to tie it and take the lead?
DESMOND BANE: I think we settled in. We were playing out of control and kinda trying to do too much early on, playing one-on-one and we got the ball moving in the second half and I think we only turned it over three times but once we got settled in and stayed true to our stuff we played pretty well.

Q. RJ, how much do you think you grew this season? When you look at the freshmen how much potential do you think you guys got going forward?
RJ NEMBHARD: I personally think I grew a lot, coming in under older guys like Des and guys before him, Coach Dixon has instilled a lot in me throughout the season. Didn't end the way we wanted to. The young guys showed a lot of fight. This team is close knit. We got a lot of good guys. We gotta execute more consistently and I think that's going to happen next year for sure.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, we will let you go back to the locker room. Thank you for coming.

Q. Jamie, why do you think you guys got off to such a slow start and what turned in the second half?
JAMIE DIXON: The turnovers, as I think I mentioned earlier, 4 of our first 6 possessions we turned it over. They were aggressive, they got into us, we told them that, we prepared that way, I was disappointed how we handled it, there is no question, that's on me if we didn't see it, didn't recognize it, but we've had this trouble before.

We're an impatient group as far as making -- and sometimes we make bad decisions with the ball, we have been a high turnover team all year, highest I've every had and it's been a challenge all year long and it probably has something to do with our youth and we only had three returning guys. We fought back. We cut it down. I like how we competed in the second part of the first half, cut it down to where we wanted to, executed at the end of the half and got it down to 10. I told our guys, given how bad we were, 11 turnovers in the first half to be down 10 have the ball coming out I thought we were in a pretty good spot.

We had an opportunity. We came out. We did it. We played and competed and seemed to be getting the loose balls early in the half and made some shots, got to the basket. But, you know, same things got to us. We get outrebounded. It's a problem. When we turn it over at that rate, it's a problem. And when we be don't get to the free throw line it's a problem.

So that's why we came up short in the end but at this point you get the lead, you're up 4 and you just -- and I'll go watch it again, but I mean, I think it was a unique game in that I would say we probably had better shots down the stretch than they had, they made 'em, we didn't. That's not usually how it works. But that's kind of how this year has gone for us, as far as gotta get it done. We won a lot of close games but this one I thought early part had a lot to do with it. But we fought. JR was out with the injury, so we had to do some things differently and I don't know if Francisco every got back to where he was from the concussion. So we were down in numbers there. So we battled. We fought. I thought Ed gave us good minutes, defended pretty well and hopefully it's something we can -- for these young guys because we're playing a lot of freshmen out there. Hopefully we can get something better for it, but I thought they hit tough shots at the end.

Q. Coach, did you notice any difference in the way Kansas State carried themselves in this one?
JAMIE DIXON: No, similar game, pretty similar game. They were close. I guess the difference was in the first two games we got off to a good start. We had the lead early but they fought back similar to what we had. I think at the end of the day we were in a good spot, we were up 4 considering how poorly we played and they made shots. I think if you look at the four shots they hid, the jump shot from the big kid, which is probably the shot we wanted, and then three mid-range jump shots all tough shots, down the stretch. I'm not sure, but I think Sneed hit 2 of 11, the one was big down at the end there. I thought we guarded pretty well.

Q. Coach, on your last possession there you call a timeout, you get a play drawn up and an open look for RJ. Is that the look you were look for in that final possession?
JAMIE DIXON: It was to get Desmond the ball and we figured they would double team and someone would be open and that is how it played out. That's how we've been playing lately. Our offense, we like the growth of our offense the last two or three weeks, even though we came up short in games, beat Baylor, came up short in Oklahoma although our offense was good for most of the game, played pretty well at Kansas, but we thought our offense was good playing through Desmond a lot more and we got some good looks on that one we got what we wanted. Des made the right pass and the right play. That's all you can do is get the best shot you can possibly get and that's a pretty good shot.

Q. Jamie, 16-16, your fewest wins, but you guys were picked to finish last. Do you feel like you exceeded expectations this season or is it too early to evaluate?
JAMIE DIXON: I don't know what expectations are. We were picked last. We finished seventh, had a chance to be 5th, 6th in the end. You have a team that has three guys coming back from your thing. We're all in a new world of college basketball and everything seems to be something new every day in this last couple years.

You know, we had a good group of kids. They worked hard, they liked each other. Could we have won some more games, yes, I wish we would have. But, you know, I think the last game hurt a lot, the Oklahoma game, I was wondering how we would respond and to be honest with you, practiced very well on Monday, so I was encouraged by that.

But, you know, we didn't win as many games as I'm used to. But, you know, we certainly, I don't know that I've every had a team this young. I was proud of how they competed, kept battling, played down the stretch and had some good wins. But I'm obviously disappointed right now. Again, once you look at it you see the team was down, fought back, got a lead. It was an effort. We do some things wrong. We make some mistakes. I believe it's because of experience. Hopefully we won't be this inexperienced again.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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