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October 17, 2007

Scott Drew


PETER IRWIN: We now have Coach Scott Drew from Baylor up here on the podium. Coach, welcome this morning.
SCOTT DREW: Hopefully everyone has their coffee cups filled and we're ready to go today. Our staff is very excited from the standpoint for the first time since we've been at Baylor, one of the first practices I looked at our staff and I thought we actually have players out here knowing where to go and what to do. We are excited to finally have juniors and seniors that have played a couple of years in the Big 12.

Q. Last year Bruce went into the NBA draft and stepped out. What was that experience like for him and how will that help him this year?
SCOTT DREW: I think it was a great experience for him from the standpoint he was able to see what he needed to work on and also at the same time see what kind of tryouts he will go out next year when he tries the NBA. Aaron approached it with the right frame of mind, I'm going to go out and work out for the NBA teams, and I'm going to get better and not stress myself out, to see if this is something. If he was a first round pick he would have gone out, if he wasn't he was coming back to college. I think it was a great situation for him.

Q. As much as you like the veterans, can you talk about Dunn and some of the other guys you hoped to change the dynamics?
SCOTT DREW: Our most highly touted newcomer is LaceDarius Dunn. He provides us a bigger guard than we have, he's strong, physical and can rebound and really score. He's going to leave his mark at Baylor University.
We also have another freshman, Fred Ellis from California, he's transitioning from the inside position to the perimeter. And we have a junior college player in Delbert Simpson, and he should help out with the rebounding and those kind of things.

Q. It's been a long time since Baylor has had a player picked preseason first team All-Conference like Curtis Jerrells, what has he done to get better in the offseason?
SCOTT DREW: Well, Curtis worked the Adidas camp this summer, that gave him a chance to go against some of the elite college players in the nation, and also at the same time he spent a lot of time working on his shots trying to be more consistent from the perimeter.
But we're very excited about the year that we think Curtis is going to have. I know he's extremely excited about being recognized in the preseason.

Q. You talk about Curtis working on his shot. It's only been a few days, but can you see where it's more reliable from the perimeter instead of a scorer?
SCOTT DREW: He has better rotation on the shot, better arch on his shot, seems to be more confident on it. So hopefully that continues.

Q. Kim Mulkey and some of the women's coaches talked yesterday about how it elevated the Big 12 when she won, when Baylor won a National Championship and how important that is for a conference. Do you think that the men have suffered in any way because that's one thing that the Big 12 has yet to do is win a National Championship?
SCOTT DREW: I think the big thing that we look at as a coaching staff from the Big 12 is you look at the Final Four appearances. In the last six years the Big 12 has more Final Four appearances than any conference. It's a matter of time until one of those teams gets to the Final Four that will win a National Championship. I think the important thing is getting teams there, because that shows that you're close, you're knocking on the door. When you get to the Final Four, as we all know, a tipped ball, loose ball, things can influence the game. It's going to happen, and it won't be long. As long as we get teams there we'll have a chance to win a National Championship.

Q. What do you make of the new bench decorum rules. The enforcement of those rules?
SCOTT DREW: I know that's been a point of emphasis and something that us coaches have been made aware of. The more that they call it the more that we'll obviously watch what we do. But hopefully it doesn't affect us too much.

Q. You were picked for 9th in the preseason poll. Was that a disappointment about where you see yourself going in?
SCOTT DREW: I think preseason polls are always preseason polls. Where you finish is the important thing. If you're picked low, it can give you motivation, and we feel that this year we have the chance and potential to be a very good team. We need to make sure we take care of things on the court.

Q. That being said, how disappointed will you be personally if you don't make a move this year?
SCOTT DREW: I'll be very disappointed from the standpoint we have the experience now, and our players -- each year our players have taken a step forward. Last year we won five conference games, which was more than the year before, and we had a number of close games. So hopefully we are able to win and be more successful in some of those close games.

Q. With LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter you've had some terrific scoring high school players, how do you see them projecting down the line?
SCOTT DREW: I know they're going to shoot it. Those are two guys that provide instant offense. I know Tweety Carter, probably more than anyone else on our team, took a step up on the offseason. He lost a lot of weight. He's becoming more confident and really worked hard. So I think this year he's going to have a very good year for us.

Q. When you say you'll be disappointed if you don't take a step, a couple of steps, how do you define that?
SCOTT DREW: Well, that's one thing that our team will talk as we get closer to season about what our team goals are. But at the beginning of the year there's not one team in America that doesn't want to make postseason. But at the same time you need to focus on the game you have in front of you, if you don't take care of that game you can't take care of the big picture. In the Big 12 we know if you don't win a game, you're going to lose, so we need to be ready every night.

Q. When you came in you obviously had a plan and goals for where you would be. Is this what you thought it would be and the timing and all of that, especially with the leadership that you have now on this team?
SCOTT DREW: I think our staff is extremely pleased with where our program has gone in the time period that it has. From the standpoint we have the type of players that we want representing Baylor University. A couple of things you'll never see in the record book. In the last 4 out of 6 semesters, we've set academic records for those that had over a 3.0 GPA. Players are doing the right things and taking care of the right things. They're representing the school the right way. We're pleased with the talent level, how they've matured, adapted and how they've represented Baylor University. I know we're excited.
PETER IRWIN: Best of lung to you, have a great season.

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