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March 20, 2008

Aaron Bruce

Scott Drew

Curtis Jerrells


COACH DREW: It wasn't the performance that we wanted, but at the same time I think this team has accomplished a tremendous amount this year and it's something that hopefully will be something they can be proud of the rest of their life from the standpoint, you know, they've done a lot for Baylor University, the community. And this team picture is going to mean a lot to everybody for years to come.
As far as the basketball part of it, I think this is just the beginning of a successful program and we can't thank Aaron Bruce, Mark Shepherd and Richard Hurd enough for coming here and getting this thing started.

Q. C.J., you guys got into an early hole, what were you thinking when they started to make that big run? Were you guys thinking, We'll get back into it. What was going on out there when they started to make that big first run?
CURTIS JERRELLS: We wanted to just cut into the lead by each media time out. We wouldn't get it all back in one shot, one possession. We were just trying to weather the storm and get some stops and get some scores and cut it down as low as we could.

Q. I know before yesterday you said you didn't want to be satisfied with just being here. But now it's over can you all reflect back on what you all have done for this program and what you have achieved and from where it was to helping to get to this point again?
AARON BRUCE: Sure, I'm still trying to deal with what just hit us. In a long time we'll look back on things.

Q. Could you talk about how physical the game was? Looked like the officials let you play in the first half, there was a lot of good contact going on out there.
CURTIS JERRELLS: It was very physical. We did a poor job as a team of matching their intensity. We should have got physical back with them, but our first time here we didn't know what it was going to be like.
We were playing passive, coach put it that way in the huddle. We started getting aggressive in the second half. If we had put our whole game together that way it probably would have been a better outcome.

Q. It seemed like you guys came out shooting pretty well, but then after the shots didn't fall in the defense kind of got bad. Was it kind of a combination of those?
AARON BRUCE: Yeah, it's always like that, it's always a combination of a lot of things. It's not one thing that defines a loss like that. They just wanted it more and did the little things.

Q. C.J., was this more of you guys maybe not shooting well or Purdue hitting everything pretty much they shot? Was it more you or more them?
AARON BRUCE: Yeah, like I just said, it's probably a lot of things that go into it. They played a very good game. They were very aggressive offensively and defensively.
CURTIS JERRELLS: You know, they're a good team. They've got a lot of shooters and they were getting some good looks. We were doing a poor job of fighting them in transition. They did a good job going inside out. So I think it was a little bit of mixture of ourselves, but them taking advantage of knocking down the shots.

Q. How much do you feel like the experience of this week is going to help you going into next year?
CURTIS JERRELLS: It's going to help me, it's going to help the team, it's going to help everybody, the coaches and everybody because, like I said, I wasn't satisfied with just being here, but it's tough and we found it out today. We'll work hard all summer and we'll be back next year.

Q. Can you just sum up what this experience means for your program and moving forward and the things that you can go off of this?
COACH DREW: It's a huge thing for our program from the standpoint you have to crawl before you can walk, you have to walk before you can run. And just getting here, experiencing all this, will make our guys hungry for next year. Plus it will give them the confidence to know that we can go in the NCAA tournament and we have a chance to be competitive. This is huge for us.

Q. Can you please talk about the decision to start Mamadou and the quality of minutes he gave you and Shepherd playing the second half, as well?
COACH DREW: I thought Mamadou came out with a lot of intensity.
To credit Purdue, they hit some big shots. Calasan at the beginning of the game hit those two 3's and I thought that changed the complexion of the game for us from the standpoint we were guarding well with the other perimeter guys and they start hurting us with him.
And then Johnson scores a couple and now all of a sudden our perimeter starts having some holes because we're helping out on the front line. So credit Purdue's front line for really playing well, especially early on and I thought that kind of changed the complexion for us.

Q. It seems like you played much more aggressively on defense in the second half.
COACH DREW: I think second half obviously we started to attack the basket more. We got to the free throw line and then we got some stops on defense.
And we didn't turn the ball over as much. We had 11 turnovers, Purdue had 13. And all year long they've done a great job in turnovers and when we took care of the ball that was important for the second half.
I didn't finish your question, I apologize, for Mark Shepherd, he did a great job getting the loose balls, tracking down the rebounds and I thought him and Mamadou played hard. I thought Purdue especially early hurt us in the front line department.

Q. Was this an atypical defensive performance from you, and is that one of the things you can learn and they can build on next year?
COACH DREW: Our defense at the beginning of the year was very good, and as the year went on we weren't as effective as we were early on.
But at the same time I think it was a combination, we took some rushed shots, that led to some transition, and really credit Purdue from early on they made some big shots and when they hit those big shots we tried to get things back too quick, and that sped us up to taking poor shots.
I think the worst thing is you come out, you get down, and then you start pressing and trying to get everything back and that leads to a bigger deficit. The second half I thought we did a much better job getting higher percentage shots. Defensively we did a better job forcing turnovers. And the big thing was the second chance points, they had 23 to 10. We had 16 to 16 offensive rebounds, but they outscore us. If you take that away and it's even, we win the game. Second chance points was huge. They made theirs, we didn't win ours.

Q. It seemed like a lot of balls bounced off kneecaps, fell out of hands. Was this a frustration thing, is this chalked up to never being in an NCAA tournament with a squad or was it Purdue, and how physical they are?
COACH DREW: Purdue does a great job getting 50/50 balls. But we definitely had some opportunities, and I think you saw some nerves out there. We dropped a couple of passes for layups and things that you experience when you're nervous. So again, this is a growing step for our program and something you have to go through.

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