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March 21, 2008

Jonathan Cox

Keno Davis

Adam Emmenecker

Klayton Korver


THE MODERATOR: From Drake University we have Coach Keno Davis, and student-athletes Jonathan Cox, Adam Emmenecker and Klayton Korver. Opening comments from Coach Davis.
COACH DAVIS: Well, I didn't know exactly what to say to the team after such a tough loss and a great season. So I've been very proud of my team's effort all year. They've represented Drake University well. I thought their effort tonight was outstanding, especially in the second half. They didn't let the deficit bother them. They came back, and we just fell one possession short. But as a coach, I think you've got to be pretty proud of your team's effort, and especially today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Adam, at halftime you told this team before they took the floor that the season might be 20 minutes remaining while it was 25. But can you tell us again or perhaps share with us what you said or what was said in this locker room before you showed up here in your locker room this afternoon, before you showed up for this postgame interview?
ADAM EMMENECKER: Well, you know, there's not too much to say. Keno kind of touched on it a little bit. We've had quite a year. And we have people that went out there and gave their best effort today.
You know, there's not too much you can say after a game like that. Just tell everyone that you're proud of them, and talk to them individually, I guess.

Q. Talk a little on that last sequence. You were able to cut over. You almost got your hand on the ball there. But take us through that sequence and Rogers' shot. How did you see that play unfold?
JONATHAN COX: Talking about when he made the shot?

Q. Yeah.
JONATHAN COX: I don't know. He was just driving at me. I didn't know how deep he was. I thought he was real deep. But apparently he wasn't that deep. I guess he just made a good shot. It was tough. It was Josh or Leonard, I'm not sure, that was right there with him. He made a good shot at the end. There's nothing we can do about that.

Q. Did you expect from the scouting report that Brazelton would have as big an impact on tonight's game?
ADAM EMMENECKER: Well, you know, I don't know if you expect anybody to score 33 points in a game. He had an outstanding night and shot the ball really well, but he's a good player. We knew him and Courtney Lee were the two keys to their team, and those were the guys, we were going to have to try to neutralize as much as possible. But he came out, and had a great night, and great players step up in big games. That's what he did tonight.

Q. You had fouled out by the end of overtime, can you take us through what you saw in the final shot from your perspective?
KLAYTON KORVER: I thought we played pretty good defense. He made a tough shot. I'm sure everyone's going to see it a lot today. Bucky was there, Joshua, I don't know who else was there. Adam, I guess. He made a big shot. I don't know what to really say about it. He made one more play than we did.

Q. Can you give us your perspective of that play. Did you expect Brazelton to just continue trying to get to the basket on that last shot?
ADAM EMMENECKER: Yeah, well, we know they have a couple outside shooters that they could get the ball to, and a couple guys that could take the ball full court in six seconds and get a lay-up. So we tried to slow down the ball handler as much as possible.
I really thought we played really good defense. He pitched the ball back to a guy shooting from 26 feet, or whatever it was, and he just stepped up and made a big play. We had two guys there contesting the shot, so there's not much else we could have done, I don't think.

Q. When you guys were down by 15, 16 points there midway through the second half, how difficult was it to stay patient at that point?
ADAM EMMENECKER: Well, it's happened to us a couple of times this year. We've fallen back and had a little bit of a deficit. But the one thing about this team is we understand other teams are going to make runs because we're playing Division I basketball and we're playing high-quality opponents. So we know to expect that, and we just know our shots are going to go down, too, and we're going to make a run. We just have to be patient and wait for our chance to come back. That opportunity came tonight, and they just kept making big plays down the stretch.
You know, it's hard to win games when you fall down by that big of a margin in the second half.

Q. Talk about what your approach was at the free-throw line there. You hit both free throws. Again, take me through that a little bit. You hit both free throws. Did you feel good or uneasy at that point when you had given the team lead?
JONATHAN COX: My free throws had been feeling good the whole day. I just try to do the same thing I do every day, do the same routine, and they felt good. I didn't want to think about them too much because when you start to think about them, that's when you miss them, so.

Q. I know this isn't the most important thing, but what do you think this may or may not do to maybe the perception of the kind of season you had this year? Did you kind of need this do you think? Or do you think you guys can stand on the accomplishments you had coming in today?
KLAYTON KORVER: Well, coming from a school who hasn't won in a long time, and we did a lot of things this year, winning the tournament and the regular season. We did a lot of great things. So I think we lost to a good team on a last-second shot. It was an awesome year. And I think what we did speaks for itself.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, gentlemen. Questions for Coach Davis.

Q. You guys came with the pressure in that second half, how much of a factor do you think that was in helping you guys get back into it and forcing overtime?
COACH DAVIS: Well, I think without the pressure that game wouldn't have gone overtime. We've used the full-court pressure in spots at games. But also there have probably been maybe four or five games this year that we won just because of our full-court pressure. When we get down late in a game and there's 8, 9 minutes left and you're down double digits, there's not a whole lot of time left to let the clock run down each time.
So we've been in that situation before, and you get the momentum. You get a couple buckets and the other team gets hesitant. I thought our guys did a great job in the full court. We're not built -- our team isn't built for that full-court pressure. We don't have quite the athleticism that would make that where we'd use it all game or more in the first half. So we use it when we need to. And I thought we just, Western Kentucky was in control of that game with about 9, 10 minutes left. It looked like it was almost out of hand. So we went to the full court out of necessity.

Q. How difficult is it for the players to stay patient on offense when they're doing what they're doing on defense?
COACH DAVIS: Well, I don't know that I would describe our team as patient on offense (smiling). So I don't know exactly how it would be if you were a team that used pressure defense, and then you wanted to take the air out of the ball and run 25, 30 seconds, that would be tough to do. But it's not what we try. We look for that three-point shot. We look to drive it to the basket and get to the free-throw line.
At one point today I thought everything was going well and we had all the momentum in that overtime. I think we had a couple possessions while we were up there and had open looks to make it a six-point game and maybe knock them out. But you have to give them a lot of credit. They made the last shot. It looked like it was going to go that way. The team with the ball in their hands at the end had the best chance to win.

Q. As you come out of that last timeout in between Bucky's free throws, what kind of defense did you set up at that stage? Or what did you talk about doing in those closing seconds?
COACH DAVIS: I think with that amount of time left you see enough NCAA highlights with a guy that will take it all the way and get a lay-up. And I think that's what you want to try to prevent in that situation. So we had a couple of players to try to contain that situation. We wanted to make sure if they were going to beat us, they were going to do it from the outside on the perimeter on a contested shot.
So until I see the tape I won't know exactly. But it looked like, like the players said, I thought we played pretty good defense. We contained them. Didn't let them get all the way to the basket. Had to pitch out, and the guy made a big play. You practice those situations all year. You practice them back in October. And sometimes you play as good a defense as you can. And the other team just makes the play. I thought that's what happened today.

Q. Did you expect in that last sequence that Brazelton's going to be the man and that you had to key on him for your defense?
COACH DAVIS: I think in the last situations with seconds left, when a team has to go the length of the court, most common you'll find their best ball handler will just take it, and try to go the whole length of the court. You don't have a lot of time to set up any plays. So that's what we wanted to stop first, knowing they were going to have a second or third option if he wasn't able to get there.
So we forced him to an outside jumpshot, past the three-point line, and they knocked it down.

Q. Did you and your staff assistant coaches think of the Duke-Belmont game? I'm sure you watched the highlight where Henderson went coast to coast. Is that the play you had in mind to prevent by fanning Rogers out to the right flank there?
COACH DAVIS: You know, in my mind, actually, at the time, it was UCLA versus Missouri. It was Tyus Edney, I believe going the length. This time of year you see all those highlights. But it's also when you're practicing those situations, you think of the late games, whether it's Danny Ainge or Tyus Edney or those guys going the length of the court. That's what you want to stop first. To force them into a jumpshot out there, I think that was pretty good defense.

Q. Early in the basketball game there was three of your guys, a sequence, a rebound, three of your guys all seemed to look at each other and the ball went over to Western Kentucky. You turned to your bench and told the kids on your bench that you want them to be selfish on the rebounds. Was that the stage? Did the stage get to them at that point early in the game do you think?
COACH DAVIS: I don't know. I mean, probably a little bit. But I've said that, I've used that line a few times this year, that at times we all watch other guys shoot the ball. Sometimes we let other guys rebound the ball. I'd rather have two or three guys go after it and then travel because they both grabbed it, or knock each other out of bounds. So I want to just try to get our intensity up on the rebounding side of things instead of stop worrying about when they make a shot or we couldn't knock one down during a stretch. I was just trying to get their attention.

Q. Can you just talk about when Rogers releases the ball. I don't know if you're just stunned, but did it seem like it went real quick? Or did the ball get frozen in motion there? And just your thoughts when you saw it go through and then the backboard turned red?
COACH DAVIS: Well, I think most coaches in that situation and if not most, anyway myself, you expect those shots to go in, because you see those highlights all the time. That last-second shot, you get a good look at it, they tend to go in more times than not, it seems like. So you're figuring it's going in. They got a good look. And just a lot of emotions go through your head.
But I think the best thought that I had after that game was, even though it might be easier to lose by 20 and just not play your best game and not be able to do anything right, that's not the way you want to go out. You want to go out with your best effort, and I think we did today.

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