March 11, 2005
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
COACH RICARDO PATTON: I thought it was a heck of a ballgame. I thought our kids came out and really stepped up to the challenge of playing one of the top teams in the country. Unfortunately we fell short. But we gave ourselves a chance. I am very proud of these young men. I told them the only disappointing thing about tonight's loss is the fact that it took us this long in the season to realize how hard we had to play to win ball games but I am very proud of the young men and in the two nights that they played here.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for our three student athletes.
Q. Marcus, talk a little bit about that last shot?
MARCUS HALL: The whole game we have been running the same out-of-bounds play. It was pretty much open. I came up with the intention of getting a good three and he kind of knocked it out of my hand a little bit. When I picked it up I turned around, tried to shoot it, unfortunately I missed.
Q. When you get this close, how frustrating is it to look at that free throw line and see how many points you left out there tonight?
RICHARD ROBY: Very frustrating. We struggled from the line all year. I think yesterday we shot pretty well from the free throw line and we won the game. When it comes down to the clutch part of the time you have got to knock down free throws. Free throws win ball games.
Q. Talk about the way Julius played in these past two games?
MARCUS HALL: Yesterday after the game I told him that I thought yesterday's game was the best game that he played this year. Today he just played like a man. He had three dunks within a span of two or three minutes. We all knew that Julius had it in him. He came out with it today. I thought today he played phenomenal.
RICHARD ROBY: Julius is big for us. This is the type of basketball he was playing before he got injured. We were looking forward to getting him back to the status he was. It happened to happen a little late in the season but we're probably going to take this game and hopefully next year Julius can bring it like this every night.
Q. Julius could you address your play?
JULIUS ASHBY: I think came down to the end of season even though like I still have some nagging injuries I tried to give it my all. That's all I can say.
THE MODERATOR: We will take questions for coach Patton now.
Q. Was it just guys realizing how hard they had to play at this level or what really happened? You had a really good tournament even though you lose tonight.
COACH RICARDO PATTON: There were a few things that happened throughout the season that really affects a team and particularly a young team and inexperienced team. For example, Andy Osborn missed 28 days of the season with injuries. Julius Ashby missed a month of the season. We suspended four guys for a game. There were a number of things that hurt I think the development of this team. Julius Ashby started out the season in the preseason playing the way he played in this tournament and unfortunately when he got the injury it just affected him longer than any of us thought it would. He wasn't the same guy. So we really didn't have an inside presence. This tournament, if you have got guys that can make shots from the perimeter and you have got inside presence then that makes all the difference in the world. But when people only have to guard your perimeters it's just kind of tough. They pound the ball inside because we didn't have his defensive presence as much as his offensive presence made a difference. So certainly those things don't count as excuses for coaches sometimes but those things are real. They affect particularly young and inexperienced teams. Maturity happens at different stages for different people and there's no difference in how it happens for teams. I think sometimes it takes a team a little bit longer to mature.
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