April 5, 2003
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
JOHN GERDES: We'll be joined by Coach Crean in just a moment. We'll go ahead and open it up to questions for Dwyane and Travis.
Q. Could you try to express the disappointment you have right now not making that game on Monday.
DWYANE WADE: I think when you lose any game, you're disappointed. Of course, you know, this being the biggest game, you know, of our career so far, we didn't play as well as we wanted to. So, of course, we're going to be disappointed. We have a great team. We just want to go back in the locker room with our team and let everybody know that, you know, at least we never quit. Marquette never quits, no matter what the score is.
TRAVIS DIENER: We're extremely disappointed not to be playing in the championship game. But our goal from the start was to win the national championship. So we didn't meet our expectation. But we had a great year. I got great teammates and a great coach.
Q. Having seen Kansas' transition game live, what were your impressions?
TRAVIS DIENER: Well, they're extremely fast and quick and got the ball up the court pretty fast. But we didn't do a good job like we did all in practice. We didn't translate it into the game. They took advantage of that and made us look pretty bad.
Q. Seemed like when you were on offense, you were having to work awfully hard for some pretty contested shots. Can you talk about Kansas' defense.
DWYANE WADE: I feel that we didn't get into the flow on offense as good, and that was partly our fault. We didn't really listen to Travis when he was calling the plays. Guys was out of position. Kansas is a great team. But I think that we was out of position more and wound up having to force a shot up. When we ran the offense good, we got good looks at the basket. Like I said, Kansas is a great defensive team. They did a good job of making us get out of offense and take tough shots.
Q. Dwyane, how long do you take before you make a decision on what you do with your future?
DWYANE WADE: You know, I don't live for the future. Right now I'm living for the present. I just want to get back in the locker room with my teammates.
Q. Is this going to spoil all that you accomplished so far this year?
TRAVIS DIENER: We're extremely disappointed not to be playing Monday night for the chance to win the championship. This will be in our minds forever. But no one can take away that we -- we're one of the Top 4 teams in the nation. We're extremely disappointed. This will live with us forever. But also making it to the Final Four will live with us forever, too.
Q. Could we get a comment from Coach Crean about where the game got away, all the time-outs you tried to get to stem the tide?
JOHN GERDES: One or two more questions for the student athletes, then we'll let Coach speak.
Q. Could you speak to how badly you thought the team looked? Was this one of your worst performances or was it a situation where you caught Kansas on a perfect night?
DWYANE WADE: You know, of course, as players we feel we could have played a lot better. We didn't play as great as we wanted to on either end of the floor. Kansas, it was their night, it wasn't Marquette University's night. They had a great game. Their transition game was unbelievable. They got back and they made us take tough shots. Of course, we always feel we can play better. We didn't play up to our standards tonight.
Q. Could you summarize what Coach Crean said to the two of you when you both came out for the last time, kind of stood and talked for a few moments there?
TRAVIS DIENER: He just told us that when we get back, we've got to get better. We've always responded when something negative has happened, when we got a loss. We have to go back to Milwaukee. I think we made ourselves to where we are this year from the last spring and last summer. That's what we're going to do this year.
JOHN GERDES: Thank you, Dwyane and Travis. Coach, we'll ask you make some opening comments.
TOM CREAN: First of all, they played a great, great basketball game in every facet of the game, be it their transition certainly, offensively they moved the ball extremely well, defensively they made it tough for us to score, and they rebounded the ball at a high rate. We contributed to it by not having obviously a day like -- we haven't had a day like this all year. We missed so many easy shots around the basket that we could never get that little run going or get that confidence that we needed. They just played so well, moving the ball. As hard as we tried to assimilate that in practice, I'm sure I learned now what so many other teams learned in the past playing a Kansas team, you cannot prepare for how good that break is. We did not play the kind of game certainly that we're capable of, but at the same time you should never take away the fact that this team won 27 games, 53 games over the last two years. For many of us that cover this team on a daily basis, haven't had the opportunity to come watch Marquette in the Final Four for a long time. We'll regroup from this. Hopefully we'll learn a lot. Like the players said, it never leaves you. You can use it one of two ways. That's what we're going to focus on.
Q. People have watched your team before, had to be surprised as well as you are. The uncontested shots, the layups it seemed Kansas was creating, very uncharacteristic that you guys were giving that up. Did that shock you, the looks they were getting against you?
TOM CREAN: Yeah. I mean, certainly none of us were happy with that. I think first and foremost our communication broke down from the very beginning of the game. We did not do a great job of stopping the ball, we didn't stop the inside play. We didn't talk on defense for one reason or another. We've talked all year. Our communication has improved a great deal. You don't win the games we've won and not be pretty good at some things. That's the kind of year we've had. But today I don't have a lot of answers for how good their break was, other than the fact that we did not get back the way we needed to and we did not communicate. We did not build confidence in each other during the game with our communication. I thought we played a much better second half. We settled down and played. We did a much better job after a while. Obviously, it was too late.
Q. Offensively you missed some open looks, had some turnovers. Do you attribute that to Kansas' defensive effort or you guys coming out a little nervous on the opening game?
TOM CREAN: I don't know. I mean, I think everybody that plays in the Final Four, I mean, I would question people if they weren't a little nervous. There's a sense of urgency. We were paralyzed a few times with our standing around and not getting back. You've got to be able to continue to play at a high rate. We just didn't do a great job of that. I would say it's a combination of us missing some shots that could have got us a run, could have built that confidence. We never got our confidence from our offense. They did such a great job of pushing the ball on us. We could never build those stops that we needed to have and get on the run that we needed to have. It was very uncharacteristic of our team. We did not play well. That's an obvious statement. But they are very, very, very good. Their leadership from Roy on down is very, very prevalent when you're out there on the same floor with that team.
Q. Where did Kansas' performance rank as far as teams you've played this year?
TOM CREAN: Well, it's our worst loss, so I guess I'd have to put it right at the top. We played some excellent teams, conference champions. I would put them with as good as anybody we faced.
Q. Along the lines of the question earlier about experience or your guys being a little nervous, talk about the experience factor. Your guys hadn't been here, theirs had.
TOM CREAN: Oh, I think the way they ran the break, Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich had a little more to do with it than our lack of experience. There's nothing you can do about it. It was Roy's first time one time, it was Mike Krzyzewski's, Lute Olson's. All you can do is learn from it, grow from it, have as good an off-season as you possibly can have and continue to learn what you can do to get better. That's what we're going to try to focus on.
Q. What did you say to your team at halftime and also after the game?
TOM CREAN: I really don't get into stuff that I say. We talked some strategy things, you know, we just wanted to make sure we continued to play with more pride, do a better job on the ball, things like that.
Q. How frustrating was it, sharp-shooting 3-point team, yet 3-16 tonight?
TOM CREAN: That just added to a day that wasn't very good for us.
Q. When Keith Langford has the kind of game he has as a third scoring option, does that make them even better?
TOM CREAN: We tried to do -- Keith is the second leading scorer on their team during this tournament. He's gotten nothing but better. That's attribute to Roy, Joe, Steve, all those guys on his staff. They make their team better. They are playing at such a high level right now. Obviously, my staff, we had a pretty good year. We got better as the year went along, too. They've improved tremendously. Jeff Graves is as improved as any big man that I've seen from start to finish. From the start of the season to the final weekend. That's a tribute to not only their players but their staff.
JOHN GERDES: Thank you, coach. Congratulations on a great season.
TOM CREAN: Thank you.
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