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March 8, 2007

Aleks Maric

Charles Richardson, Jr.

Doc Sadler


CHARLIE FISS: We are joined by the Cornhuskers from the University of Nebraska. Coach Doc Sadler and his two student athletes, Aleks Maric and Charles Richardson Jr.
Coach, your assessment of tonight's game?
COACH DOC SADLER: I thought both teams played really good defense. I couldn't be prouder of a team. You know, to hold a team that is as talented as Oklahoma State to 53 points, I think that says a lot about our guys. That's the way it has been all year. They have just given everything that they've got.
That's why they had chances to win. We just couldn't score tonight. You got to give Oklahoma State credit. They're so big and physical. You know, they jumped that first five or six minutes and came after us like we knew they would do. And we weren't able to withstand that kind of pressure to stay with what we needed to do and that was to get the ball to Aleks.
I thought we rushed some things and made their defense look better than it would have if we would have been just a little more patient.
Overall, 24 turnovers, you can't win in the tournament with 24 turnovers. Again, that's a credit to them. But overall, I couldn't be any prouder. I told our team, there is not a team in this league that I would have rather coached because I promise you there is not a coach that can say what I can say, and that is we've had one bad practice all year. And when you have only had one bad practice and you're a coach, you know that they are giving you everything that they've got.
That's a credit to our players.

Q. Charles, can you just address Oklahoma State's defense? How much did that catch you off guard the way they came out in comparison to how they came out on Monday night?
CHARLES RICHARDSON JR.: They came out with a lot of energy. You know, they pressured the ball. They just came out and played pressured defense. I don't think -- they didn't do anything different than they did on Monday. We just wasn't ready the first couple minutes for their defensive pressure.
You know, credit to them. They came out ready to play tonight. You know, both teams played hard and they just -- they just came out on top.

Q. Guys, both of you, Coach was talking about how tired this team was on Monday. Do you think that had anything to do with the performance tonight?
CHARLES RICHARDSON JR.: No, I don't think so. It is just one of those nights. We didn't shoot the ball well and we wasn't patient at times to get Aleks some touches down low. Their defense took us out of our game plan a little bit.
Once we got going, we was back into the game. But by that time, it was almost over. But I don't think -- I don't think we had any fatigue problems out there tonight.

Q. Aleks, getting behind as early as you guys did, does it start wearing on you after a while being down ten consistently throughout the game?
ALEKS MARIC: No, not at all. I think we are a very tough team. We have shown during the year we can come from behind and win games. That's no excuse.
I think both teams played hard, and like Coach said, with 24 turnovers, it is hard to win.

Q. What about your defense, Charles, as Nebraska's defense as a team?
CHARLES RICHARDSON JR.: Both teams played great defense. We held them to 50-some points. I don't think defense was a problem tonight. We just didn't make shots and take care of the ball. Looking at the stats, only two people in both teams had double-digit points. So defense was real good by both parts.
We just got to be able to control the ball, take care of it and make open shots.

Q. Charles, can you kind of comment on the play of Sek and Chris Balham, what do they bring when they come out onto the court?
CHARLES RICHARDSON JR.: As a substitute player, you can't come in trying to get ready. They came in tonight with a lot of energy. They was ready to play and they tried their best out there and they gave it all they had. Sek made some shots. Chris played his butt off on the boards and tried to box out, and defensive holding the big men. Like any other night, we needed somebody to step up and they both played real well tonight.

Q. Doc, can you just talk a little bit more about Oklahoma State's defense? Did they do anything differently from Monday night or was it all energy?
COACH DOC SADLER: I thought their intensity was much better. No, Oklahoma State is a team that is one of the most talented teams in this tournament. I mean, they're -- you know, for whatever reason, I don't know because I don't coach them, but they were a Top 10 team. They are very talented. They are very big. They are very athletic. And their bodies got against our bodies and we weren't strong enough to get open.
That's what the 24 turnovers were. It was just -- it was strictly an intensity thing, in my opinion. I have made this statement, I think you've got to play so much harder offensively when you play against good defense teams. I think that was an example of that tonight.

Q. Coach, do you think post-season play N.I.T., is that still a possibility?
COACH DOC SADLER: I don't think so. I would like to sit up here and blame it on the conference if we don't. But I don't think we're going to be a tournament team. So I will blame it on the media. It is the media's fault (smiling).

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