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March 12, 2006

Rick Barnes

Brad Buckman

P.J. Tucker


COACH RICK BARNES: Congratulations to Kansas. We made a lot of mistakes with the ball and they turned them into opportunities and scored, and that was the difference in the game.
MODERATOR: Let's go to questions for our two student athletes. We'll come back to Coach Barnes.
Q. Talk about the Kansas defense in the last five minutes of the game.
P.J. TUCKER: They played pretty good defense, but I think it was more of us just bogging down on offense and not doing all of what we were supposed to have done.
I think that we still, you know, are a good team but we just -- that last five minutes we didn't tough it out as we should have.
Q. Following up, particularly on Julian Wright, maybe the two biggest plays of the games he comes up with steals. Can you reference those two plays, how big they were?
P.J. TUCKER: When you gets caught up in the moment like that it's coming down to -- everybody is trying to make a play and trying to get their team going, so he came up with two big steals that was probably two of the biggest plays in the game, and just plays where some players, especially myself, just trying to make something happen when there's nothing there.
Q. Did you see anything missing mentally internally here for you guys at all?
P.J. TUCKER: I don't think that we displayed being the same team that we usually are tonight today. They came out, played really hard, got to give credit to them. They didn't give up at any point in the game. We definitely just let down. We weren't the team that we usually are today
BRAD BUCKMAN: I agree. We weren't the team like we were at the end of the season. But it happens, and we're going to learn from this and our season starts the big -- I mean, March Madness starts next week, so we have got to worry about that right now.
Q. What did you notice about them that was different than when they played in Austin?
P.J. TUCKER: I don't think they played any different. They still did mainly the same things they did in Austin. We played different. We never gave up. We kept attacking, kept on making big plays, and we played hard the whole game. I don't think it was more of them. I think they still did the same things, but I think we were a totally different team.
Q. Particularly after the first two games, what were you looking for out of yourself as far as effort and results in this one?
BRAD BUCKMAN: You know, I feel like I was a no-show in the first couple of games. This team deserves a lot more out of me than I gave them first couple of games. I can't have that now. I am a senior. I should know what I have to do every game, and I let my team down in the first couple of games.
I can't be having that coming into next week because it's All-Star next week, so, you know, I wanted to be a lot more effective this game. My shots is not falling and I got to do some other things besides shooting the ball.
Q. Can you guys talk about the atmosphere today, what it was like, how that can prepare you for what you will face in the week coming?
P.J. TUCKER: A lot of times we're used to playing on the road anyway because a lot of games, called neutral games, we end up -- seems like we're on the road anyway. So we're used to it.
Crowd today was pretty good, we had a lot of fans. They did as well, so it was a tough game. These are games you can expect in the first, second round after tournament. Just getting us prepared for next week.
BRAD BUCKMAN: Obviously they had a lot of fans; we had a pretty good amount of fans. That's how the environment is going to be from here on out. We have got to get used to it. We have seen it before, we have to understand that that's how it's going to be the rest of the games.
Q. Same question I asked the guys, anything intangible about today's game that concerns you at all?
COACH RICK BARNES: No, none of that at all other than the fact that it's pretty simple, you look at the line, I mean, they scored 32 points off turnovers and they shoot -- end up for the game 44 percent. You take away those turnovers, I don't think they would have shot that high a percentage.
And the biggest difference, if you want to look at the line, LaMarcus didn't have the game he had in Austin, that was obviously the difference in him having to be on the bench there. But again, even with that, the two turnovers that Julian Wright made, you can say what you want to say, those were two big plays. But we come out and make two free throws and we missed three of them, it's a one-possession game and we'll see from there.
We don't make the plays we had to make, and that's the most disappointing thing. Give them credit for what they did because they did the things they had to do. We didn't. Taking care of the ball again, you turn the ball over 16 times and a number of those being unforced, that's the most frustrating part of it.
Q. You just touched on it, LaMarcus, 5 points and 5 rebounds in 28 minutes. What did they do to take him out of the game?
COACH RICK BARNES: I don't know. I can't tell you that. They obviously came in, tried to be physical because they have got -- I am sure they are sitting there thinking they got 20 fouls to give there and they were being very, very physical to start with and getting him off the lane a little bit.
He had two fouls, he had a foul where he -- the illegal screen, which I don't -- probably would tell you that's not necessary for him to do. And he reached in on a ball screen which he didn't need to do. Those are the kind of plays I told him all year that it takes him out of the game, he's not as aggressive. He picks up a couple of fouls, but they shot the ball. They made 12 threes, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that our turnovers gave them some breathing room.
I would have loved to see if we made those free throws with a one-possession game, see what happened in the last couple of minutes. But we didn't do our part to get it to that point.
Q. Just two quick questions. How do you think this loss affects your team with the tournament selection committee? How does it affect your team period?
COACH RICK BARNES: I can't answer the first one at all. I can't answer that. But in terms our team, we talk about different seasons that we play, you got your none-league schedule, regular season, and a conference tournament. I'd say that we have done pretty well except getting the final result in this tournament.
Even if you win this tournament, it doesn't matter, starting next week it is a whole new basketball season for 65 teams and if we do what we have done in the past, we'll bounce back. We'll learn from it. And better now than later because we definitely can do things better than we did today. We're going to have to, or this is what happens this time of year. It's single elimination, it's not a series here. But you know, it is what it is. We lose today, and we have got to get ready to play. I think our guys will.

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