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March 22, 2007

Antonio Anderson

John Calipari

Chris Douglas-Roberts

Jeremy Hunt

Jon LeCrone


JON LECRONE: Before Memphis gets here, I just want to give you a quick explanation on the end of the game sequence, and our process. Tony Barnhart, who has that responsibility, I can't find him, so I guess I drew the short straw. He made this explanation on the end of the game sequence. The ball was inbounded and was touched. So we have a live ball situation where the clock is supposed to start. The clock did not start. And if it had started properly, it then would have stopped when the ball hit the scorer's table. That did not happen. The play was reviewed by videotape in real-time. The officiating crew put a stop watch on it and after several times it came down to 1.1 seconds that should have elapsed. Now the game clock is reset at 2 seconds. That's the explanation.
Tony Barnhart is working on a statement that will be distributed in the media workroom a little later, probably within an half hour or so. We'll have that for everyone, an official statement.
COACH CALIPARI: Really a hard fought game by two teams playing out of desperation at the end. I'm proud of my guys. We just fought and did what we had to. We had foul trouble that was ridiculous. We had played guys I haven't played all years, in this game, in this environment. And we just hung around, that's all we were trying to do. And in the end made a couple of free throws, made a couple of baskets and walked away with a W, in front of 30,000 Aggies, which makes it even more of an amazing thing. But just happy right now. Happy for these players.

Q. Antonio, could you talk about the free throws, did you use the visualization technique, and when you had done it before and had you considered it in that sort of situation?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: Being a basketball player, you look for situations like that. You want the game in your hands, if you've got the mentality as a player. I had that. When I got to the line I knew my teammates were tired, we were all beat down, and I said, let me get this game over with. I missed free throws earlier, and I just had to knock them down.

Q. Antonio, when you got fouled I think that that was your third offensive rebound in that sequence, can you talk about that whole sequence where you guys were desperately getting the offensive boards?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: When Jeremy put up the three, I was ready at the basket and the ball just fell in my hands and got out, got another shot, everybody struggling for the ball, and I put it up and that's how it was.

Q. Jeremy and Chris, really, what did you guys do offensively, today it seemed like you made an aggressive effort to take everything to the rim. Can you talk about that?
JEREMY HUNT: We knew on a couple of drives from my other teammates, I felt like they were, I just gave them a pump fake and went around them. And the bead man wasn't stepping up. It was a free lay up. If they don't play me, coach always tells me, shoot the ball. So I just -- in my mind I said if they play me I'm going to drive it to the hole. And Chris did a good job going there, too.
CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS: That's what we did. We wanted to be really aggressive today. Our coach told us to either man up or go home. And we really aren't trying to go home. And so we knew that this was going to be an aggressive game, and they were going to be aggressive, which they were, they played us tough. We kept on driving. We kept on driving. And that's our offense, we try to get to the basket.

Q. Chris, how healthy is your ankle right now? Were you surprised you would be so effective today?
CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS: It's pretty healthy. Honestly, it really didn't matter how I was going to feel coming into this game, because I was playing. I worked around the clock to get it healthy as it is. Honestly, it didn't matter. But it's been a real good -- feeling real good right now.

Q. Antonio, was it two or three offensive rebounds that you had? Did you think you were fouled at any time during that sequence enough to warrant a foul being called in that situation?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: Of course I got fouled. The first time I didn't even touch it. The second time, kept pushing me, so they blew the whistle. That's just how it was.

Q. Antonio, earlier in the game Jones got loose for A&M for a lay up that he missed. Then with less than a minute left Acie got loose and you were with him down the floor. Did you remember anything from the earlier lay up that Jones missed on defense when Acie was on you there?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: No, not at all. When he started he caught it and I just tried to run and I cut him off a little bit and that slowed him down and he ripped it out. That helped us a little bit. I was just trying not to foul.

Q. Jeremy and Chris, do you guys feel any sense of vindication? There's been so much talk about your conference and how it's not that good and you come here and win in San Antonio?
CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS: We all played with a chip on our shoulder, and we've been playing like that since earlier in the year. We heard everything we could hear about how bad our conference is and we had a cake walk but now we're winning, and -- in an NCAA Tournament and we're playing the elite of the elite, and we're still winning. So I don't know -- I definitely think we're feeling good right now. We're proving people wrong.
JEREMY HUNT: He took the words out of my mouth, really. They pretty much said the same thing about last year's team. We made it to the Elite 8. Think about that. This year's team is pretty much the same, they're down on us. We was just wanting to prove everybody wrong. We came out and played so hard. Like he said we just keep winning.

Q. Did you have a sense that you were a part of the game that was really special when you were out there?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: Of course. Being in that type of environment, that was a tough environment to play in. You look around and you see a little piece of blue and see a squad of maroon up there. It was a tough atmosphere and very loud. You really had to look at coach and get what he was trying to say. It was tough on all of us, but we all fought it out and it was tough.
CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS: Like Antonio said, as a basketball player and a competitor, you love being in a situation like this. Honestly. We are all on the same page. We just wanted to, like he said, we're playing really well right now. We're on a roll.
JEREMY HUNT: It's actually fun in games like this, when you come out and your crowd is out numbered. I looked over and I was like, whoa, we've got our set of fans, too, and they're pretty loud. When our fans started yelling, their fans started yelling, and I'm like, oh, my God. In situations like this, like they said, we live for moments like this. And there's nothing else to say, we just keep winning.

Q. Any of you three guys, what were your thoughts on the play where they took 1.1 seconds off the clock? Were you involved in any of that, you were surprised they took that kind of time off and do you think it made any difference?
ANTONIO ANDERSON: Well, that had nothing to do with us, that play. We were out defending the ball. The referee is making the call. They looked at the clock, they watched it, went to the screen and watched the clock and made their decision.
JEREMY HUNT: When they took time off, we knew that it was going to be a tough shot. We weren't going to get them -- get anything easy. If there was a shot to take, it would be the shot they took from half court. That's basically what we were focusing on. We didn't want them to get anything close to the goal.

Q. How was all that with three seconds left explained to you?
COACH CALIPARI: Just simply I knew my guy hit it, and the ball hit in bounds, because I was staring at it, which means the clock doesn't start until it hits something. And if it went into the 6th row, like boom and it took three seconds, the game would have been over. And my man touched it. It hit in bounds. Until it touches something in play. And that's why I said the guy didn't start the clock, because I was standing right there and saw it. And he came over and said your man hit it, it hit in bounds and it wasn't touched until it was moved, 1.1 seconds. If it would have been three seconds, two, we would have been fine. But I was standing right next to him. Did everybody see is that? It may make you mad, but that's what happened. It's right there (laughter.)

Q. Talk about how the environment played into your time out strategies and trying to keep the atmosphere --
COACH CALIPARI: We were 10-1 last year and 9-2 this year on true road games. That's 19-3. So my team's -- it's almost like the challenge. This is what we wanted, to come to Texas in front of 30,000 and prove ourselves. And what happened, truly the pressure was on them, not us. The foul trouble we had was, for us to survive it, I was surprised. And I did -- our people that watched me, I like to go home with three or four time outs, because I don't want the game to stop. I want the game to just keep going. So I'll go home, most games with three or four time outs. I had to use them today, because it could have gotten away from us at two or three different points.
I'm proud of this, Andre Allen played poorly, but made that 3 point play. Anderson missed and we fouled on both misses of him. He misses a free throw but comes back and makes that play, those two free throws. Willie Kemp who has struggled the last games came out the second half and played well. The only reason I took him out is because he passed on the three. You don't pass on a three. That means to me that you're not playing to win, you're making sure that you don't -- no, that's the only reason I took him out. He's a freshman.
But I was proud of how they responded and it was like a gut check at times.

Q. Louisville, Cincinnati, Marquette, De Paul, they all leave. Your program is supposed to fade, they're supposed to rise up. Second year in a row you're playing, they're watching.
COACH CALIPARI: The only thing I'll say is what a basketball league does is give you a schedule in January and February. It gives you your schedule in January and February. When we're playing at Arizona, at Gonzaga, at Tennessee, playing in Maui, the teams in the tougher conferences are playing Popcorn State. It's just switched around. Now, we got in our league and our league was stronger this year than it was a year ago. We were just a better team. We were 13-1 last year. Three teams are building practice facilities, one built a new building, 10 thousand seats in Central Florida, rise is adding 12 million dollars in their arena. There's more investment in this league than any league in the country. All of us have all our players coming back except Central Florida and we're adding people. We'll get two or three teams in the NCAA Tournament with a couple in the NIT. The league killed them. Yeah, maybe we could have won by more, I don't know.

Q. On the A&M final play with two seconds left, what was your defense on Law? Did you expect them to do something to get them, maybe that long bomb again?
COACH CALIPARI: We put our big 7 footer back in that gap so there would be no back screen and a run toward that sideline toward their bench. They were going to have to throw something over the stop, which we were going to switch or throw it to the back court to take a heave. That's -- we were going to switch deep and make them throw it to half court with our.
7-foot-two guy standing there. If you know what I'm saying, the back screen and run toward their bench and make -- we weren't going to give that up. And I put the big kid in there for that reason, just stand there. He did a great job of just standing there.

Q. At this time of year certain names come up for certain jobs --
COACH CALIPARI: Please, please, stop. I'm not -- look, I'm so happy with what's going on and where we are and this program and what we're doing, I'm new jobs, high school jobs, college jobs, I just don't deal with them. I'm coaching where I am. I've been here 7 years and I was leaving every year. I've been here 7 years. I'm worried about right now coaching this team, trying to do something unique. At a school that needs something unique to happen for it. And so there's good stuff -- in our city -- our city deserves this. Our city deserves something like this to happen. I'm doing everything in my power.
My focus is so much on these young men. We're running an offense. If you watch it it's a little bit like Princeton. It's European, and Princeton with the back doors. But there's patterns to it. It's not helter skelter. You may think it's helter skelter, it's Princeton. They're coming out running stuff. And so these guys and what they've been able to do, I'm so proud of them. Now I just have a question. Can we get one more? Can we get one more? I don't know. We're going to try.

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