March 17, 2023
Denver, Colorado, USA
Baylor - 74, UC Santa Barbara - 56
COACH DREW: We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game and every game in the NCAA Tournament. It's a blessing whenever you win. Thank God for giving us an opportunity to play. And no one got hurt.
And really credit to Santa Barbara first half for running great offense, hitting shots. And then credit to our guys second half for making some adjustments and really dialling in defensively.
And helps when you got veteran guards in Adam and LJ. And Caleb really gave us a great lift. He always is tremendous on the glass and defensively. And offensively he was really productive and taking the right shots, right times.
Q. Another tournament win. Do you ever kind of reflect back, 20 years ago when you took over this program to now and this kind of success becoming routine?
COACH DREW: Yeah, there's really no reflecting, especially in the middle of this tournament. And once you reflect, then you're done. So one thing that did hit home to me was when they said it was a 25th anniversary of my brother's shot. I thought about it and none of the guys were born when that happened. I really felt older at that point. That's the only reflecting that will be done.
Other than that, love these guys. Want to coach them as long as we can. And God's giving us a great platform. We'll see how long we can go with it.
Q. Caleb, you obviously played at altitude at BYU. Is there some secret to that? What did you guys do defensively in the second half?
CALEB LOHNER: Me and Coach Drew actually had this conversation yesterday. And I told him we should be drinking 10 to 12 water bottles. I don't know if that's an exact scientific number that you should be drinking. But I think we have a great staff. They've helped us all stay hydrated and doing the proper work to help our lungs and oxygen levels during the game. I think we were good in that area. And grateful to be able to move on to the next round.
COACH DREW: What he didn't take into account was when you get in your 50s you wake up three or four times in the middle of the night to pee.
Q. Not to bring up last year, but how much did last year maybe prepare you for a tight game this year, and knowing the confidence you could put this away?
ADAM FLAGLER: It prepared us a lot, I think, for the guys coming back. I prayed to God. And I'm just thankful that I'm able to come back and be with this group of guys. It definitely put a bad taste in my mouth losing last year. It's a new opportunity, and we have a group of guys that are hungry and excited. We can't wait to keep it going.
Q. I had a question about your family, with GCU being here as well. I got to talk to Homer, your dad and your sister earlier today. Could you describe maybe the emotions of having so many different people in your family here to support? How unique is the situation that you have so many members in your family in Denver?
COACH DREW: It's great, you get extra coaching advice. But it's truly a blessing to be at the same site. Parents are getting older. It's harder for them to travel. So it's great that it's at one site.
We'll be preparing for our next game, but obviously be cheering like crazy for GCU and we'd love for both of us to stay until Sunday together.
So proud of my brother and the program they have. They've got great young men, and they're helping them grow spiritually, character-wise and on the court and playing good basketball.
Q. Caleb, you scored a season-high 13 points today. How did it feel to get back in the groove and just play that much and contribute so much?
CALEB LOHNER: First of all, I want to thank my team. I want to thank the man above for giving me the opportunity to play this game. And I'm just so grateful for all the teammates that I have and coaches that have instilled confidence into me.
And I was ready when my number was called. And I think my role on this team is just to do whatever I can to help win. At the end of the day, today was the day that I needed to step up a little bit. I'm so grateful that we can be moving on and keep playing basketball.
Q. Back to your dad, how has that relationship evolved, obviously came up coaching under him? Do you still talk to him after games? How is that working now with Homer?
COACH DREW: He's a Hall of Fame coach. That doesn't go away. The great thing is he knows how to approach me, too, when I need encouragement, when I need to get tougher, motivated.
And I mean he's got great advice. He says get Adam the ball (laughter), but he loves our players. Loves their character. Loves how hard they compete.
Q. Caleb, moving forward, how much of a confidence boost is this for you, especially after conference play and how that went?
CALEB LOHNER: It gives me confidence, but I think at the end of the day, the real confidence just comes from the group of guys I'm around every day and just staying ready and doing what I can to help.
Q. I guess you held a very good shooting team to 30 percent in the second half. How can you explain that at all?
COACH DREW: The players deserve all the credit. I thought our bench really did a good job, especially in altitude. Having a deep bench helps in early morning game. And I thought the second half they had some good looks but they were short on shots.
We got short on shots at the end as well. But really credit the guys for locking in defensively. And I think, again, without the bench, they don't play as many as us, I think we're able to wear them down a little bit.
Q. Adam, like Coach Drew mentioned played much better D-Fenders in the second half. Is that a matter of bearing down a little more? How did that help the offense run more smoothly?
ADAM FLAGLER: It was huge. I felt like we were together and connected and flying around for one another. And we know in this tournament, especially in order to win just one game, defense wins game. So at the end of the day we want to pride ourselves on that and be better. We have a new opportunity with this game and the next game to show that.
Q. Adam, talk about Ajay Mitchell, how tough it was to maybe contain him a little bit. He seemed pretty dynamic out there.
ADAM FLAGLER: He's definitely a high-level guard. For him to be a sophomore is very surprising, the things he's able to do the things out there.
I think it's a credit to our teammates. It was a collective effort at the end of the day. We were flying around, giving him different coverages and make it tough on him. I'm just thankful my teammates were just honing in and locking down.
Q. Adam, what was Coach Drew's message at halftime? How did he keep you guys calm, but also knowing what you needed to do better in the second half?
ADAM FLAGLER: He just pointed out the three keys at the end of the day. We have three keys -- defensive percentage, rebounding and turnovers. If we can get at least one of them we have the opportunity to win.
And first half we weren't doing that at a high level. We wanted to come back the second half and show that. So he really came in there and provided the energy. And at the end of the day we just had to go out there and show effort.
Q. Scott, Dale checked in with his jersey inside/out actually.
COACH DREW: I think it was his shirt underneath.
Q. Was that kind of weird to see that a little bit?
COACH DREW: I told him it was a great opportunity to show his muscles to the nation. Maybe he's a genius for that.
Q. You guys played 10 players. I guess obviously that probably helps on a couple levels. You needed it for the altitude, and it probably helps down the road. Could you talk a little bit about that?
COACH DREW: This is the time of year where you've got to give 100 percent or you're going home. And we thought with the altitude we definitely wanted to -- our guys have played together all year. They know their roles. They know what to expect.
And the coaching staff has confidence in them. And as Caleb said, the players have confidence in each other. And if everyone goes in and gives all they've got, we can live with the results.
Q. Caleb, I see you got 13 points today. And the only other time you did that, double digits, was way back in November. Can you speak about, I don't think you missed a shot today, could you speak about your performance in the NCAA Tournament?
CALEB LOHNER: I think just staying ready, continuing to get better every day no matter whether play a few minutes, play 20 minutes. Our goal at the end of the day is to win. And I think tonight was a night I could help out.
And I want to give all credit to my coaches and teammates just because I think I was put in great opportunities to be successful. And at the end of the day God gets all the glory. This team, I'm so proud of them. We're excited to get that win.
COACH DREW: And a proud coach, one thing I'll say, it's great to brag about guys when they do the right thing. Caleb, all year long, if he played two minutes or 20 minutes, worked really hard, was a great teammate on the bench.
So for coaches it's so rewarding for us when someone does well because they've done the right things, and I know his teammates feel the same.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports