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March 11, 2005

Jarrius Jackson

Bob Knight

Ronald Ross


THE MODERATOR: We will conduct our interviews with our student athletes first; then we will come back for Coach Knight. Let's go to questions now for our student athletes.

Q. Ronald or Jarrius, what was the team's thought process, what were you thinking when it's 50 to 42? Seemed like you couldn't buy a basket in terms of what you had to do to come back and get the win.

RONALD ROSS: We just wanted to stay to the game plan because in the past we know that we get down a little bit, we get out of character of our team, so I mean, we just wanted to keep doing what coach wanted us to do and handle the ball and just try to execute offense.

Q. What did you do to shut Homan down about the last 10, 12 minutes of the game? He had been getting inside pretty easy the first half.

JARRIUS JACKSON: At halftime we were just concentrating on our help defense and we would just had to rotate down whenever you get the ball. Whenever he kicked it out everybody just rotated down.

RONALD ROSS: Like Jay said, we had to make sure we adjusted and rotated where we were supposed to rotate. Then Devonne Giles, he went out there, he was battling Homan so that really helped us out too.

Q. Ronald, you got Oklahoma next. There were two games that were so different. Especially with the road team win.

RONALD ROSS: We came ready to play in Norman and we didn't show up to when we played them at our house. Each of us showed up. That was the difference, to play when the other team didn't. That was the difference in us winning and losing.

Q. It's another Saturday, there's a possibility you are going to be wearing black; does that scare you all because in the past you all had a little bit of a problem with that on the weekends .

RONALD ROSS: No, wearing black is definitely not an issue. We're going to come out ready to play. We know Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the country. They are an extremely good team. So we will come out ready to play regardless of what we wear.

Q. You guys think that 22 to 4 run at the end of the game was one of your better stretches of basketball this season?

RONALD ROSS: Definitely one of our better runs in post-season. I mean, we made a little good run, we was able to control it and keep it in our favor.

Q. Ronald, what was the key to that run, anything in particular that you guys did?

RONALD ROSS: We got a couple of steals on the defensive end and then we got some rebounds then we just went down and executed. So I mean that was just a matter of us going down there and making, you know, the best of everything that we got.

Q. When you picked up your fourth foul, still a lot of time to go in the game, did you adjust the way you played at all?

RONALD ROSS: Yeah, because I was guarding Stinson so I had to guard Carr. He's not as aggressive as Stinson is. I was just trying to play smart and just stay in there and try to help my team the best that I could.

Q. Ronald, during that late run it looked like their defense wasn't quite as ferocious as they were early on in the game. Could you tell if they were getting a little tired maybe?

RONALD ROSS: It was definitely not as intense as they usually are because they played that full court defense like nobody else in the country. They are really good at that. They can make a lot of things happen for them. We definitely saw a little change in that and I think our team went out there and stayed aggressive and I think we made some good things happen.

Q. Seems like through most of this season this team, kind of guys as you two go, you take turns of taking control of games. Is this team going to go as far in the post-season as you guys can take it?

JARRIUS JACKSON: I still think it's going to come from everybody on the team, even the ones that don't get as much playing time. I think everybody is going to have to contribute in some way for us to continue to win.

RONALD ROSS: I agree. Everybody does little things, whether or not me and Jay just scored, we got people that rebound, play defense, we all have to do the things that we're supposed to do and the thing I think is going to help us with success in the post-season, we just stick with Coach Knight's game plan and keep that approach for 40 minutes.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. We will take questions for Coach Knight. Your thoughts about the game.

COACH BOB KNIGHT: I think if there was a key to the game for us, it was the fact that we had 12 turnovers in the first half, we committed three or four of them in the last minute of the first half. Then in the second half we had three turnovers. So we had a lot more opportunities to score in the second half than we did in the first half and we did a much better job with the basketball in the second half than we did the first half. The game was really a game of spirt with only one fairly even stretch in the whole ballgame - actually two, we started out with a fairly even back and forth; then we got up by 10, so we have a spirt. Then Iowa State comes back and almost ties it at the half. Their spirt. Then we play a little while in the second half, similar to the start of the ballgame with both teams going back and forth. All of a sudden Iowa State is up by 10 like we were in the first half. That has not been a great spot over the season for us to be in. We have on occasion come back when we have gotten down like that, but not as nearly as well as we did today nor probably against as good a team. That was -- I think that our coming back to be able to win the ballgame was a real highlight in the play and the competitiveness of our players for the season, I think. Were you just thanking me for being here or for that brilliant discourse I just gave?


COACH BOB KNIGHT: Thank you, I appreciate that. I didn't mean to interrupt you.

Q. As you go into Sunday, selection Sunday, does this conference deserve to get six teams in and where do you think Iowa State fits in?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: I think it does. Don't get me started on the NCAA tournament because what I have said in the past is and the thing that I don't like about it, and I may be in a minority of one in America, but this is not the U.S. Open where you absolutely have to qualify to get there. Like I -- Oral Roberts, 25 and 5 or something and they lose one game in the tournament and they are not in this tournament. I think there's something wrong with that. I think that there should be - I have always said this - there should be restrictions on the percentage of games a team has won to get into this tournament. I think there are teams that -- this will not be and never is the best 64 teams in America. I have never been able to get anybody to pay any attention to that as long as I have been in coaching, but I think this should be the best 64 teams in the country, period, regardless of who wins what conference or where or what or anything. It's The Masters; not the U.S. Open. There will be teams and I can take the brackets on Sunday night and I will guarantee you that I can match 20 teams in the NIT against 20 teams in the NCAA and the NIT will win all 20 games. I have no doubt about that and I have thought about that as long as I have been in coaching. Anybody got an easier question? (Laughter) One I can answer yes or no?

Q. Coach, what about Darryl starting, what is his status?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: Because I didn't think he should.

Q. Not injury-related?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: No, I just didn't think he should start.

Q. How do you think Damir did?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: Not real well. You want to start for us tomorrow? I am down to you. (Laughter)

Q. You got Oklahoma next. You had two widely different games against them. What has to happen tomorrow that didn't happen last Saturday in Lubbock?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: We have to play better. I mean Oklahoma had to play better against us in Lubbock than they did in Norman. We have to play better against them tomorrow than we did in Lubbock. If we don't, Oklahoma wins. If we do, maybe we wind up having a chance to take the game down to the end. There isn't any great mystery. It isn't like we have to make more left-handed bounce passes or shoot two handed set shots. We just have to play better.

Q. Do you like this team? Do you like your team?

COACH BOB KNIGHT: Sometimes. You know, usually. Sometimes I don't -- I've never had a team I liked every minute I coached them. I don't care when it was and I am sure that I have never had a player that liked me every minute I coached him either. But when it's all said and done, and the season is all over with, this will be a team that I really liked. It's a team that was picked no higher than 7th anywhere in the preseason pickings by all of the people that pick. I can look at how intelligent this group looks and none of you were involved in that picking process before the season. I can just see that -- I am a pretty good judge of intelect. I commend you guys for not any of you having picked the 7th. But I said at the beginning of the year that we had a chance to be a better team than we were last year. I don't think anybody really gave that much credibility. I think at times and a pretty significant number of times, we have been a better team than we were last year. So that's something that really pleases me. These kids, it's the first time that Tech has ever finished as high as fourth in the Big 12. It's the first time obviously that we have earned a bye. There are some things that were really good happened that during the course of the year. When it's all said and done and I put the fly in the absolute right spot, and a fish comes up, I mis-hooking the fly, I will be able to just lean back and say goddam, I will trade that game against Iowa State for missing that fly. That's okay, I am not worried about missing that fish right there. So this team will bring back some really good memories to me as time passes.

End of FastScripts...

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