March 26, 2023
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Elite 8 Postgame Media Conference
Miami - 88, Texas - 81
THE MODERATOR: We are ready to begin our interview session with the Texas Longhorns, Coach Rodney Terry and the student-athletes, Timmy Allen, Marcus Carr, and Brock Cunningham. Coach, we'll call on you first for an opening statement.
RODNEY TERRY: Thank you guys for being here. I'd like to just start by saying I'm just so proud of this group that I got a chance I was blessed to work with this year.
These guys more than any group I've worked with in 32 years of coaching have really embodied in terms of staying the course and being a team. These guys were incredible teammates all year. They were so unselfish as a team, and they gave us everything they had. They really did.
Every day they came here with a smile on their face ready to go to work. We learned a lot of tough lessons through some losses and through wins, but, man, I can't say enough how proud I am of this group and what they've been able to do this season.
They accomplished a lot. We had guys that came back and were on a mission to accomplish some great things, and we're were right on the brink of being right where we wanted to be to close out this season.
Give Miami a lot of credit. They continued to play. They played well down the stretch, and they made some plays down the stretch to win the ballgame.
Q. For Timmy or any of the guys, it felt like the first half of the game was free flowing. Did you sense the tone of the game change in the second half? Just kind of ground to a halt with all the stoppages.
TIMMY ALLEN: Yeah, it was tight in the second half, you could say. We were fouling early in the half and put them on the line a little bit late, so there it is.
Q. Marcus, could you take us through the collision you had at half-court with their big guy. How much does that affect you down the stretch?
MARCUS CARR: It was a loose ball saved by Timmy. He threw it back, and I jumped up to get it. I guess we both jumped. His body hit my body, kind of kneed me in my quad. Big strong dude, so yeah, it hurt, but I was all right throughout the second half.
Q. Coach, you're up ten with about nine to go. What things would you point at that that led to Miami's run?
RODNEY TERRY: Miami really started trying to get downhill. They started putting their heads down, going one-on-one a little bit, tried to spread us out. And really did a good job of getting into the paint and getting to the foul line. They made 28 free throws and gave them 32 foul shots. They did a good job of really attacking the paint.
Q. For Brock and Timmy, it's been 20 minutes since that game ended. How much of the past three, four months have you gone over in your head these past 10, 20 minutes, and how emotional was it the way the season ended that included so many ups and downs?
BROCK CUNNINGHAM: It was very upsetting. This team dealt with a lot of trials and tribulations. It's just the family that we are. You want to keep playing with your brothers for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there's only one happy team at the end of it. Wish the game would have went differently. But just a lot of emotions.
TIMMY ALLEN: For me, it just hurts for the brothers next to me. I'm not playing with them no more. That hurts. I mean, we've just ran through every obstacle to this point.
The media called us out our name time and time again, talking crazy on Texas. Because we're Texas, we just wanted to represent the right way. It just hurts that we can't play with each other no more. We really grinded.
We were in the trenches every day. No matter what anybody said or what opinion they had about us, what opinion they had about our team. We just went to work and put our heads down. So that's really what hurts with me is not playing with my brothers.
Q. Rodney, those last couple minutes, a couple of questionable calls or calls people are going to be talking about for a long time. What was your viewpoint as to how some of those decisions really affected the final couple minutes for your team?
RODNEY TERRY: Yeah, I thought it was a well-played game. They do a great job of crashing the glass. We do a great job of trying to defend those guys in terms of rebounds. I don't know, I thought it was a clean block-out.
At the end of the day, it's not the one or two deciding calls that decides the outcome. You still have to play through some of the adversity as you're working through games, but it's a little harder when it's at the end of the game.
Q. Brock, you're coming back next year. The two guys to your left aren't. What did you learn the most this year from those two guys, and C.B. and the other seniors that won't be here next year.
BROCK CUNNINGHAM: The power of being together. This is my fifth year. I've been around a few teams, and this team is far and away the most connected, and it correlated to the season that we had.
I mean, this group lives together. We do everything together. It's truly a family. That word gets thrown around, but I have no doubt this team will stick together, and that's just the main thing, how powerful a group of people all connected can be.
Q. Rodney, you've coached a lot of really incredible teams over your 32 years, but when you look back on it, what will be the lasting memory? What will stand out about this group in particular?
RODNEY TERRY: I think just the way this group handled adversity. They were probably the most challenged team of any team in the country this season, and they just stayed the course every single day.
We stayed in the top ten all year long, and it's a testament to these guys and their chemistry that they had all season long and playing for one another. They were truly a team. It wasn't about one guy trying to be a one-man show. Any given night we could have had a guy lead us in scoring.
Guys played incredible defense for a better part of the whole year, and they just embodied everything about a team on and off the court. That's the thing I'm most proud of, how they carried themselves. They carried themselves with a lot of class off the court and a lot of class on the court.
We didn't have any issues this year off the court in terms of guys staying the course. And really having laser focus on trying to achieve a common goal as a team, and that was to try to win a National Championship.
Q. Rodney, the guys have talked about how you've taught them so much about togetherness, team chemistry, brotherhood. What have they taught you in the initial first year as a coach? And invariably talk about turn to whether or not you get the full-time gig. Will that be in your thoughts the next couple days?
RODNEY TERRY: I think what this group has really taught me is, again, like I told these guys in the game of life, there's going to be a lot of times you get knocked down on the mat or you have to fight through some form of adversity. These guys really stayed the course the entire time.
Their leadership, these three guys up here's leadership, they kept this ship together all year long. It was a player driven -- the best team to coach a player-driven team. This is a player-driven team. We were just along for the ride in terms of trying to put the guys in the right position every day and every game.
But they were player driven in terms of really leading this team and helping the young guys blend in and do what they needed to do and share their experience with those guys. That's what I learned most about this group in terms of just embodying that leadership and that ownership and investment in the program and wanting to be as good as we could be this season.
Q. I've talked to a lot of your players, and they have told me about some of your sayings. You've got "meat and potatoes." You've got "laser focus." Another one starting the morning with "a great day to be alive." Can you talk about some of those things and kind of comment on how it brought this team together.
RODNEY TERRY: I think you try to set the tone with the guys in terms of how hard we needed to work to try to achieve the goals we wanted to achieve for this season. When the time came for us to really have to get some really good quality work in on a particular day, we use that as a meat and potatoes day, guys.
They had to bring their hard hats, and we really had to work hard that day to get better. We talked about laser focus the day before the game. I think it's really important that guys lock into the details and they have a really good cerebral understanding of what we're trying to get done offensively and defensively.
Guys were really bought into understanding, today is a laser focus day. We've got to be really sharp with what we're doing and we have to be really spot on on the details.
A great day to be alive, I think that's something we take for granted a lot of times, and a lot of people around the world don't have the privilege to have the health and the passion we have to get the chance to do what we love doing. I love coaching, and these guys love playing basketball and trying to be the best student-athlete that they can be.
So we want to be very thankful of that opportunity and that we're alive here today. And we have a chance to spend time with one another. So that's what I kind of try to convey and instill in those guys to attack every day with a great positive attitude and great approach.
Q. Rodney, could you comment just on how bad do you want to be the head coach at Texas next year?
RODNEY TERRY: I haven't really had a lot of time to give a lot of thought to that, to be honest. I've been so wrapped up and invested in my team. Again, I love these guys. Not only will I just love these guys for the time I got to coach them, I'll love them for the rest of their lives. I'll be at their weddings. I'll be talking to those guys when they have their first born.
It was all about this team, man, and I enjoyed every single day of this journey with this group. I'm going to really miss -- I'm going to really miss working with this group. (Crying). It was never about me. It was always about these guys. I love these guys.
Q. For Marcus and Timmy, I know it's hard to process right now, but what do you hope the impact of this group is on this program? Not just for the team next year, but for years in terms of what the impact of this group can be and for the fabric of this team going forward?
MARCUS CARR: Like you said, that's kind of hard to fathom and process, but I know that we'll forever be proud of the foundation that we laid here. Obviously the season that we just had. But most importantly, I'm just proud of, like we've been saying, just the family and the brotherhood that we have.
Hopefully for years down the road that continues, and Texas continues to be elite. It's an elite school. I'm just proud of this team. I love this team. I love what we did.
TIMMY ALLEN: We have a lot to be proud of. When you think about the year we had, we came up with a goal, and we knew we had to break through barriers and set a new standard.
I hope that we can say that we brought some real toughness and fight to Texas, some griminess. I just hope that carries on.
One thing when I got here, I remember CDC said to me, he said, leave the place better than you found it. That's something that's always kind of stuck with me, and I hope we can say that we've done that. Obviously we didn't accomplish what we wanted to accomplish, but the foundation we've laid, the culture that we've established, you've got to have what it takes to come and play at Texas. I think we take a lot of pride in what we did.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports