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March 19, 2022

Scott Drew

Adam Flagler

Matthew Mayer

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Dickies Arena

Baylor Bears

Media Conference

North Carolina - 93, Baylor - 86

THE MODERATOR: Welcome the Baylor Bears Head Coach Scott Drew, the student-athletes, Mr. Flagler, Mr. Mayer. Begin with an opening statement from Coach Drew, and then move to questions in the room and on Zoom. Coach Drew.

SCOTT DREW: I told Alie in the interview afterwards, and Rudy Tomjanovich, is never underestimate the heart of a champion. I thought our guys really displayed that, having a chance to have the largest comeback in NCAA history in the last 10 minutes.

Really proud of their effort and just how they carried themselves all year long. 15 and zero, face a bunch of injuries, adversity. We could have gone away, end up win in conference.

Same with today, you get down 25, it's easy to fold. These guys don't. It's a joy to coach them every single day. We might be losers on the scoreboard today. Give North Carolina a lot of credit. Coach Davis is a great coach, does a lot of great things. They got a lot of great players and a great program.

But I'm proud of these guys and how they represent Baylor University.

Q. This is for Adam. Can you talk a little bit about how y'all got back into the game and what y'all did to pressure them and a whole bunch of turnovers?

ADAM FLAGLER: Well, we knew that as a team we weren't going to give up. And we decided to apply pressure a lot more and be assertive out there. So once we got into those diamonds and traps, we were able to get some stops and get some easy looks, and therefore got the run going.

Q. Matt, I know you didn't want this to be your last game, but considering how you fought, the ankle injury, if this were a way to go out, is this still kind of a good way to go out for a great career at Baylor?

MATTHEW MAYER: Yeah, I'd be proud of how this last game went down. I didn't know that that was one of the biggest comebacks in March Madness history.

But that just kind of shows like what we've been dealing with all year. We've had a ton of adversity. We've had three guys with big injuries. And, I mean, this team fights. So I'll definitely be proud to go out with that.

Q. Adam, you guys went on a massive run in regular regulation and then just one of 11 in overtime. What kind of happened in overtime? Where did the shot go?

ADAM FLAGLER: We were getting good looks, we just didn't knock them down at the end of the day. And we needed some key stops, and at the end, he didn't get them. So that's a credit to them.

Q. Yeah, Coach Drew, I was just wondering if you could walk us through the decision not to press to start overtime? It felt like it was working there. Why did you decide to step back off of that?

SCOTT DREW: No, we were pressing in overtime whenever we got a score, dead ball. If they got a rebound, we weren't pressing. But we had some good looks in overtime. I think that's one of the tough things, when you spend all that energy, sometimes you run out of gas.

And you can say we did that a little bit, but you also got to give them credit. I mean, Styles has made two threes all year. He banks that first one home into the shot clock. As a coach, you're, like, that's not good. But these guys don't go away.

Q. Coach, when you guys went to overtime, did you feel confident you'd had the momentum and that you were finally going to be able to overcome and get over the hump? Did you still feel like you were fighting a --

SCOTT DREW: I always feel good in overtime. You come back like that. But credit to them, they scored first. And that's why I said that Styles' three was really big. Late in the shot clock, someone get two for 12 on the year. So he made a big three. Then they get a foul. I believe, go up four.

And it's hard to play from behind in overtime. It would have been nice to get the lead.

Q. Scott, what did you tell your guys in the locker room after that? You get that furious rally to get to overtime and, like you said, they scored first and keep you guys at harm's arm's length in the first five minutes?

SCOTT DREW: I think in overtime it's more be thankful for just the season we had and thank them for the time together we've had, the ability they've let us to coach them and learn from them, like they've learned from us, hopefully.

At Baylor, it's always bigger than just basketball. I mean, we prepare champions for life. It's great to have an impact spiritually, character formation. Academic-wise, it's one of the best groups we've had.

Spiritually, it's a real deep group. And proud of their growth and what they taught me. And character-wise, they represent their team and the school the right way. So I couldn't be more pleased with the kind of men we have here.

Q. This is for Matt and Adam. You guys have been through some physical games throughout your career. But as physical as this one, can you compare what this was like to other games that you've been in your careers?

ADAM FLAGLER: Well, being in March Madness, everyone is going to bring their pest punch. And they have great size. But the Big 12 conference just definitely prepared us for these moments, we just came up short. So credit to them for finishing strong the way they did.

MATTHEW MAYER: They're a good team. But we're in the Big 12, so we're pretty used to the physicality. But they definitely came prepared to play today.

Q. Coach, do you have any sense of why your team got off to a slow start? Was the 11:00 a.m. tip a factor?

SCOTT DREW: Actually, we started strong. We were up four-zip. And then I think RJ had a lot to do with that. And credit him, he made shots in the beginning and then got them rolling. And then after that, Manek was -- I mean, he really shot it well. And you take out that 56 points -- but credit to them.

I mean, at the end of the day, it's hard making shots in that second game. And both of us don't have deep benches. And usually the numbers will probably back that up. But they had two guys that came out of the gate shooting it well.

And coaching-wise, we'll go back and should have trapped ball screen, should have done this, should have done that. We'll play it a million different ways. But proud of us giving ourselves a chance and getting back in it.

THE MODERATOR: We have about five minutes left with Baylor. Remember, if you're on Zoom, to raise your hand vertically if you have a question.

Q. Scott, what exactly do you think that press was able to do to North Carolina, especially at that ten-minute mark that allowed you guys to work back from the 25-point deficit?

SCOTT DREW: Well, definitely the turnovers, quick shots, allowed us to get in transition, get some buckets. And then, obviously, extended the game.

So once at 11 minutes, they started slowing it down, which is a good move by them. And working it, we knew we had to do something different.

Q. Coach, what kind of challenge did Armando Bacot pose to y'all? Especially in that first half, it seemed like he was everywhere on both ends.

SCOTT DREW: I mean, there's a reason he's got 26 double-doubles. So he's not only got great size, does a great job with his body, Coach Davis and their staff do a great job at putting him in positions to be successful. And when they don't put him in position, he goes and gets offensive rebounds. So he's a big piece to their puzzle and what they do.

And, obviously, their shortened rotations has helped them. And it's a real talented team, a good team. Give them credit for defeating us.

Q. Scott, what were they doing to get Manek such good looks? Obviously, he went off.

SCOTT DREW: Yeah, well, Manek, first of all, is a tough guard. Because he's got a quick release, he's got a high release. I mean, he's got good pieces around him, which allow him to get a lot of good looks.

But it's hard to guard him. Because if you're a little late, he just gets it off. And I thought, the second half, the big thing for us was we had in the first half eight turnovers. I think they had 15 points on those turnovers.

The second half, we only had three and in OT. If you do that both halves -- I mean, we were down, what, 13 at half? So those turnovers really hurt us as much as anything first half.

Q. Scott, what do you feel like you're going to take away from this season? What are you going to remember most about this team?

SCOTT DREW: Well, first and foremost, just what great young men they are. They're fun to be around. Each and every day they came to work. They had good attitudes. They really represented the school the right way.

And our theme: What is impossible with man is possible with God. I mean, to win back-to-back conference champs with three season-ending injuries, that's phenomenal, along with all the other injuries these guys have overcome.

And I know Adam will be excited to finally rest his body and get 100 percent healthy. He hadn't been 100 percent healthy in six weeks or so. But it just shows you the toughness the guys have.

THE MODERATOR: We have a couple more for Baylor.

Q. Matt, what did you learn about yourself and how did you grow coming back for another year to Baylor?

MATTHEW MAYER: I just felt like kind of most the time when I would go in the game, it didn't really feel like I was a part of the team almost. It felt like I was trying to, like, survive out there. And I was just trying to make some sort of an impact.

But this year, it felt like I had to show up in some way every day for us to be able to be the type of team we wanted to be.

And, you know, my shots have not been falling all year. But I really prided myself on defense this year. I mean, I wrote on my mirror before the year started that I wanted to win defensive player of the year. And I think I really gave myself a good shot at that.

So there was just a lot of different things that I just tried to work on. But I really gave it my all this season and I'm really proud of how it worked out. And I definitely wish we could have gone farther, but, you know, I have no regrets looking back on this year.

THE MODERATOR: Time for one more. Not seeing any, we'll let you guys go. Thank you, guys.

SCOTT DREW: Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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