home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 11, 2006

Rick Barnes

Kenton Paulino

P.J. Tucker


COACH RICK BARNES: First of all, we really beat an outstanding team today, a team that we respect as much as any team we have played this year and the fact that they play hard. They compete every possession.
But I am also proud of these two guys on our team because when we had to make some plays, we made it. P.J., I think, showed today why he's the player he is. Not only you look at list line, his rebounds, his points, but defensively what he's done for us, the play at the end of the game where we switched him over to guard Acie Law and made a great played there, the drive and dish down, passing, he's a complete player.
Kenton made a huge basket for us when we needed. Daniel Gibson steps up makes some free throws. Great team win. Again, it's what you'd expect this time of year, a hard-fought game and being a close game and come out with it, it's a good win for us.
Q. (Inaudible)?
P.J. TUCKER: Just I just got the ball in my hands. He just tells me to go make a play sometimes and drive whatever is open, just take it. And that time Brad happened to be open when I drove the ball, so I got him the ball.
Q. P.J., how long have you been waiting for another shot at A&M? How much did it motivate you?
P.J. TUCKER: I think all week everybody has been talking about getting a matchup with A&M just because how we ended the game last time we played them. Truth be known, it don't really matter who we play. I don't think we all came into this tournament thinking that we just want to play A&M because they beat us. We just wait and see what we're going to play next game. Whoever we play, we take a look at it night before and get ready to play.
Q. P.J., was there some extra motivation for you because rightfully or not you took a lot of blame in that A&M game with the shot clock violation? Did you come out with extra motivation to show what is up?
P.J. TUCKER: Not at all. I would be motivated anyway. Anybody on my team can tell you I am a motivated player every single game. I haven't played Big 12 tournament since my freshman year, so I am motivated here by getting a chance to play. I don't think specific teams motivate me, but just playing basketball does.
Q. Would you describe how the play unfolded where you made the 3, how the past came to you and all that?
KENTON PAULINO: Play was designed for P.J. to get the ball, just create something. Unfortunately he missed the shot and LaMarcus, he grabbed a big offensive rebound, he kicked it out. My feet was set, so just let it go.
Q. As a senior you have seen this A&M series change a little bit. How much better are they now, because this game seems to be so much different than, say, it was three years ago?
KENTON PAULINO: A&M is a totally different team. They are more competitive than they have been in the past years. With Acie Law and Joe Jones, what they have done for that team, you know, with them getting a new coach, they made a complete turnaround.
Q. Can you react to the fact that Joseph Jones took that shot? I mean, he's taken 19 3-pointers all year. What is going through your mind as to where the final shot came?
P.J. TUCKER: We knew we wanted to take Acie Law out, make sure he didn't take the shot. Try to put the ball in somebody else's hands for them to make the play because they look for him to make things happen. When Joseph Jones got the ball, I particularly wanted to try to deny Acie Law the ball and make sure he didn't get it back and make it Joseph Jones, that's the shot we really wanted.
KENTON PAULINO: We just didn't want Acie Law to catch the ball to him to create something and get an open look, so we wanted somebody else on their team to make a play.
I think the play broke down and Joseph Jones ended up being the 3-point line and he took the shot, but we just we wanted to contest everything.
Q. There was a time where you it almost looked like you ran an ISO as it cleared out I'm going to take this thing in. Were you getting the feel that there's nothing that's going to stop me from taking it to the hole?
P.J. TUCKER: My teammates and coaches, a lot of times the shot clock gets low, they might think I've got a mismatch so we were cleared out and just make something happen. Not just to get a shot for myself, but a lot of times to free up Ken or LaMarcus to get a good look at it because people come and gravitate to me a lot.
As I said, it's the trust I get from my teammates and Coach to make a play happen.
Q. What happened in the second half that allowed them to slow it down and get it more into their pace of the game, and surprised that LaMarcus only got two shots in the second half?
KENTON PAULINO: I think we turned the ball over a couple of times and they made some 3s, they got back into the game, but I that I was due to our turnovers.
Q. Since you guys and Kansas tied for the regular season title, would it be fun to play them in the Championship tomorrow?
P.J. TUCKER: I guess so. Like I said to the first question, it really doesn't matter to us, really doesn't. Playing Kansas would be fun because they are a great team, but playing Nebraska would be good too because they gave us a pretty good game at home when we played them. Really doesn't matter. Going to sit back, watch the game and after the game is over analyze the teams, see what we are going to do tomorrow to play.
KENTON PAULINO: Same thing: Whoever we play we're just going to prepare for them tonight, just come out and play them.
Q. 27 wins, a new record at UT. Any thoughts on -- a little history?
COACH RICK BARNES: Not really. Haven't thought much about it. I think you probably, when the season is over with, you might reflect on that. But right now, I said it a couple of weeks ago, I think we still got work to do and it's not time to sit back and think about that right now.
Q. The Aggies, as you know, have made their mark by their tough, gritty style, winning games at the end. You like what happened with your team when things got tough late today?
COACH RICK BARNES: I really do. One, I can't -- I could sit here for a long time and talk about the job that Billy has done with the program and I have got a lot of respect for the fact that guys -- teams that play as hard as they play and compete and to be there in a game like this -- this is what it is this time of year. And you can have a lead, we watched it happen yesterday, you watch it unfold in the Big East with Syracuse down, coming back. You watch it all week. This time of year is what it is.
For us to do what we did today, making the plays, I do think players have to make plays at games. Ken was a big player. P.J.'s defensive rebound where he took it away from LaMarcus was huge on the other end. Daniel going through the free-throw line, Buckman's one was a big one. There were a lot of big plays in it.
Being a close game and the way the guys carried themselves I thought was really good. P.J.'s defensive play on Acie Law was a great play when he came out, stayed in front and we had a foul to give. I said to him, if you get a chance to go for a still, go for it. Once he picked up his dribble I would have preferred him not to give it right there, but he did anyway. That was a big defensive possession and P.J. did a terrific job on that possession.
Q. Is P.J. the toughest guy in the conference to guard?
COACH RICK BARNES: He is tough because he can give it to you a lot of different ways. And, again, people will look at his line, 26 points, 13 rebounds, and he didn't have a great day shooting it from the free-throw line, which he's pretty darn accurate. But his rebounding -- but it's what he does. He said it, we diagramed a play that we wanted to get guys in position, wanted to play, we had designed, we were going to throw it back to him, let him make a play. But we had Brad and LaMarcus on the backside to get offensive rebounds kind of using Daniel as a decoy and Kenton was going to play off P.J. and P.J. turned the corner, made a great read.
We could work and work and work, but he made the play, players make those plays and he has got great vision and he can give it to you a lot of different ways. And, you know, the tough thing about this time of year too when you are in conference play, I mean, Texas A&M can probably come in here, talk to you about everything we do. They know our people, our personnel, as we do them. You got to work to get things done this time of year once you are in conference tournament time.
But P.J. is special, he is. His mindset, what he has got, I don't know if I have ever coached a kid that it means as much. This game means a whole lot to him, and it's always been well-documented what he's gone through. And he responded to that one question like I thought he would. I don't think he had any more motivation. He's one guy that he lets things go and moves on to the next play pretty well. He's not going to beat himself up very long, but today, this time of year, you would expect him to do what he did today.
Q. Because of what he's been through, do you get any satisfaction -- are you happy for him as a person because he could -- he took so much flak for that A&M thing?
COACH RICK BARNES: I love him. After the game, first thing I said to him, I said, you know what, you have won a lot of games for us. I said, before you are done, you are going to win a lot more. You love anybody as a coach that's going to give you everything he's got. And he does. He gives it to us every day. It's not just a one-time thing. I mean, you know, when he -- I don't even know if I can tell you if he's ever had a bad day in terms of practicing. What he does off the floor as a person. He's a great person. He really is. He's all about his team and I have said to him before, one of his greatest strengths is probably he's stubborn and sometimes that's probably one of his biggest weaknesses. I kept telling him, they are going to surround you, do this, do that. He looks at me, he says, they ain't taking it from me. That's the way he is. Believe me, I am glad he plays for us.
Q. Could you talk about the plan to defend Josh Carter late in the game?
COACH RICK BARNES: Well, they obviously can shoot the ball. Our zone has been good the last couple of days, people have -- again, people know how to play against us. But we have switched back and forth a little bit between the 2-3 and a 1-2-2 zone, 3-2, any way you want to write it.
They can shoot the ball. We knew they were going to do that first half. We didn't cover out very well. A lot of the 3s he got was really from pretty good defense where we got out there, and all through double penetration, Acie Law made a couple of terrific passes where he got us up and got into the gut of the defense and kicked out. It is just naturally when somebody drives you are going to help on that. He kicked out, they started making some 3s.
But we think we're a good man team. We think our zone is best when we mix them both up, and really and truly we stay in that zone based on how people handle it. If they're not handling it, we're going to stay in probably longer than we like. I think sometimes -- and I tell the coaches this all the time, I like when we play man because I feel like we're more aggressive on the offensive end. But sometimes people aren't hitting shots. Handle it, we'll stay in it until they do.
And but we knew coming in. They proved yesterday they could make a bunch of 3s. But we ran well out of the zone first half, we really did. Got a lot of good transition baskets out of it.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297