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March 9, 2006

Aaron Bruce

Scott Drew

Curtis Jerrells

Tommy Swanson


COACH SCOTT DREW: From our coaching staff point of view, so pleased with what this team has been able to accomplish. There's nobody ever been put in a situation we were put in and just very proud of how our team handled it, how they have been able to overcome adversity. It's something that will happen the rest of their life.
Obviously we wish we would have won the game and want to thank everyone in Dallas, the hospitality has been great, and I wish we were here to enjoy with you a little bit longer.
Q. Curtis, defensive job on Richard Roby obviously very good job today. What did you see about his techniques or what did you try to concentrate on as far as taking away his shot?
CURTIS JERRELLS: He's incredible player, as everybody knows. I just tried my best to limit his touches, just tried not to let him touch the ball because if he doesn't have it he can't do anything with it. I tried my best all night and he did a great job, knocked down a big shot at a crucial time.
Q. What are your thoughts about the season coming to a close? Is it bittersweet? Are you happy? Is it upsetting?
AARON BRUCE: We're happy with that fight. It's always tough to say that you are happy when you lose a game especially in a tournament, but we have shown a lot of progress and we can see that by us being in position to win games. Once again tonight we had a good lead. As part of growing in this league, learn how to hold off teams, extend leads and really kill teams when we have the opportunity.
Q. Talk about how difficult it was not having the guys who fouled out in there at the end?
AARON BRUCE: They fouled out because our fighting so hard all night. They did a great job. It definitely hurt us, made us a lot smaller, so that's sort of when Colorado started to capitalize on the boards a little bit more.
Q. I guess the next to last possession down by 3. What were you all trying to set up? Anything in particular? I believe it was 62-59?
AARON BRUCE: We had the ball at the side. We have a little landing, ran a little duck in trying get a quick 3. They ended up switching, which they hadn't done the whole game. We ended up getting the ball and trying to -- I think Tim got a good look, doubled again on me and Tim got a good look.
Q. Is it sad to see your career come to a close to -- I know you hoped you could play four games.
TOMMY SWANSON: Kind of disappointing to lose in this tournament. But I mean to me the way we played and fought to the end, I can't ask for anything else from myself and my teammates. Especially the time I had with them and the team has much promise.
Q. Talk about the progress this program has made all season long and maybe today's game, chance to show that next year the --
CURTIS JERRELLS: We just spend a lot of time at the gym. We know that coming in here we were the underdogs, probably by 20, 30 points. We just got a lot of negative talk about us and we all got together and we stay in the gym a lot, even after the practice hours. And we had a ton of practices before our season even started. So we motivate each other. We go out an compete against each other in practice. We don't want to cheat each other.
Q. If you had to kind of maybe predict, what do you think this team would do next year with a full season?
AARON BRUCE: That's hard to predict too far into the future because we're going to have a lot of new great recruits coming, we have a lot of outstanding players, outstanding freshman coming in, so just have to work hard individually in the off-season and then come practice time next time this year -- next year, reevaluate ourselves and start the whole process again, gel together as a team.
Q. A lot of people mention you when they talk about your team. How excited does that have you for next season? What are your prospects for next year?
COACH SCOTT DREW: Hard to think about next year when you just lose, but I know that our team has improved tremendously from the beginning of the year, you look at Texas Tech we lose by 18 then we beat them by double digits, play Oklahoma State, lose home by 18 then have a chance to win that game on the road. Lose by 33 at Colorado have a chance to win today. I think we have made tremendous progress. The big thing when you are building a program you have got to be competitive. We have reached that point you have got win your home games of the I think we did that at the end of year. Now next step is just to be more consistent.
Q. Talk about the defensive job Jerrells did today and those of us who didn't see the game -- did you all attack Roby differently today?
COACH SCOTT DREW: We weren't the same team as we were up there, just I mean that should have been our first game -- completely different team. Curtis, one thing that everyone knows, he can score, but he's our best perimeter defender, and that's the great value that Curtis Jerrells, he helps you on both ends, and it takes a team effort to slow down Roby, you don't ever stop him. He hit the big three, contested three. In games like this it comes down to who makes the big shot. He hit a big shot. We hit a couple of big shots to get us there down the stretch, but it didn't.
Q. I know the season is just over but perhaps you have thought about this before, what did you learn from this season that you think will carry over that you can use in coming seasons?
COACH SCOTT DREW: I hope no one has to endure a season like we had to endure because it's a lot tougher than people would ever realize. You are so excited to play and then you find out you are not close to being ready. Hopefully it is a deterrent from keeping people in our situation.
Second, I think our team learned how to win, how to be competitive. I think that bodes well, just like Colorado last year I believe they won 4 games in their conference and now they are top 25 as of what, two weeks ago? So hopefully we can now take that a step forward.
Q. How much do you think Colorado has come back down the stretch?
COACH SCOTT DREW: You can't replace experience. 10 seniors, in a situation they don't want it to be their last game and play for an NCAA tournament berth. The good thing is we will have that experience in a couple of years.

End of FastScripts...

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