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March 23, 2008

Frank Haith

Lance Hurdle

Jack McClinton


COACH HAITH: Obviously I thought our kids didn't quit. We got behind really big early. I thought Texas played outstanding. They were really shooting the ball well. Second half I thought we played better defense. We just ran out of time.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lance and Jack.

Q. For the two players, I just wonder if you could talk about the difference between the first 35 minutes of the game and the last five minutes you out scored them I think 22-8. Just talk about the difference.
LANCE HURDLE: I think we played tough all game. I think we just played hard, you know. That's all I would say.
JACK McCLINTON: I'm saying what he said.

Q. Just wanted to ask you guys both, how frustrating was it when they were hitting so many shots in the first half, and how did you guys kind of handle that?
LANCE HURDLE: They're great shooters. We knew they was going to hit some shots. We had to maintain our composure e like coach said and keep playing hard. That's what we did throughout the game.
We hit some tough shots at the end, too, so we knew the game was going to be like that, and we just played hard throughout the whole game.

Q. Jack, what did it take to get you going in the last ten minutes of the game?
JACK McCLINTON: I don't know, man. I don't know.

Q. Could you guys talk about the last play with 1.8 seconds, what you were trying to do there? What was the plan?
JACK McCLINTON: The plan was to throw the ball the length of the court. Our big man to tap it to either guards on the outside, but Texas got a hand on it, so we couldn't really execute it like we wanted to.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for the players? Gentlemen, great to have you here. Appreciate you very much, guys. Thank you.
Questions for Frank, please.

Q. Talk about the last couple minutes. You guys got hot, hit some 3s, got the deficit down to 3 points a few times. Talk about your play in the last couple minutes.
COACH HAITH: We just didn't stop playing. I thought our guys just kept playing. And we made some plays. We got some stops. You know, I thought it was -- there was a couple possessions I thought really hurt us. We were on defense probably two minutes, over two minutes. One possession where we either fouled at the end of the shot clock, and then there was I thought a shot clock violation. Then there was another foul, and we stayed on defense for like two and a half minutes, and I thought we had a little bit of rhythm there offensively, but that hurt us. But our kids never stopped playing, and you got to give them credit for how hard they competed.
Texas is a great team, one of the top five teams in the country. I wouldn't be surprised they don't win the National Championship. They've got a great guard in D.J. Augustin. He didn't affect us that much in terms of offensive point production, but did he so much for his team in play making and getting the ball where he needed to get it.

Q. Frank, is there any adjustment you can make when A.J. -- when all their guys are hitting their 3s that well?
COACH HAITH: In the first half, a couple times I've seen them this year, they win on those runs. When they're shooting the ball like that, they're tough. Second half, I thought we were better getting to the shooters, but even when we were there, they made some tough shots, too. They're great shooters. You put four guys out there, all who can shoot the ball, actually five guys, have five guys with Connor and Damion James, all five can shoot 3s. That's difficult to guard when they're making them.

Q. Frank, what -- along the same lines, what makes Abrams as effective as he is, his ability to get open and hit the shots?
COACH HAITH: He's got a tremendous motor. He keeps coming off screen, he keeps working, and he's got a great release, Pat. He gets his body aligned with the rim very quickly even though he's a little guy. That helps him because his release and getting to the shot pocket and getting his body lined up to the rim. He's a terrific shooter. He really is. But the other guys, Damion made 3s. I think Connor is shooting almost 50 percent on the year from 3s. When you've got a 6-10 center shooting 50, it's tough.

Q. What do you think this effort will do for the program going forward?
COACH HAITH: I mean, I think we had a tremendous year. This ball club has been doubted all year. All the negative stuff been said about this team, even as the season started, these guys never were phased by any of that. Even when we lost a couple games, they kept -- everything was positive within our basketball family, even when it was negative outside our basketball family. They are to be commended for that. There's no question the kind of season we had. We have a lot of guys coming back. The core of our team is back. Then we've got some guys that are sitting out, we've recruited some guys. I think the future is really bright for this basketball team.

Q. They out-rebounded you guys 41 to 30. Did you expect it might happen that way?
COACH HAITH: I think they knew we're a pretty good rebounding team. There's -- when they shoot 3s, long rebounds. Got to block out the perimeter guys. I thought a lot of those rebounds -- Damion did a great job of getting rebounds. Their guards got a lot of loose rebounds. We didn't do as good a job in terms of blocking out their perimeter players.

Q. Frank, Duane only played 15 minutes, five minutes in the second half. Was that a matter of he was not playing well or the kids were playing better?
COACH HAITH: Defensively, guarding a guy away from the basket, they put five guys out there, picking and popping. He really had a tough time with them, and that's something he's got to get better. You're not going to play many guys like that when you got Connor and Damion. Those guys flying in the ball screens, picking and popping it was a little difficult for him.

Q. Jack obviously got hot and lead you guys back into the game, but he didn't score in the second half until five minutes left. Can you talk about what took him so long?
COACH HAITH: I mean, Jack still ended up with 18 points. I don't know what -- I mean -- I think he wasn't pressing. I thought he did a great job of just handling himself very well. I thought they did a good job of chasing him, and, you know, I don't know what his numbers were in terms of shooting percentage. I know he had some attempts. He had some good looks, you know, that he didn't make.
He's going to miss some shots and sometimes you're going to make some shots. During that stretch there, he got hot and was able to -- we've seen it before, bring up a couple points in a row.

Q. How did you feel about the neutral crowd that ended up not being so neutral?
COACH HAITH: Neutral crowd ended up not being so neutral. I don't know what was going on in the crowd, to be honest with you. I can't tell you what was going on. Sorry.

Q. The same question I had for the kids. The last play, can you talk about a little bit what were you trying to do there, how much chance --
COACH HAITH: You had 1.8 seconds. We didn't have a time-out left. We call the play home run, which is we send the guy over the top and then we try to clean -- so we can throw the ball to Anthony King. He's supposed to catch it and throw it to one of the guards that is crossing underneath and try to get an open 3. We were down 3. We were trying to get the ball to King, and they tipped it away.

Q. Just a quick follow-up on that. Do you look at the odds of what's better sometimes late game play of a long home run pass and a tip or maybe trying to get a pass short of half court and get a long toss?
COACH HAITH: I mean, I don't know. If you're able to catch that ball and throw it to one of your perimeter guys, you've got a 3-pointer which is 20 feet as opposed to 70 footer. He only had 1.8 seconds.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? Coach, congratulations on an outstanding year. You've got some beautiful folks waiting for you back there in the corner.
COACH HAITH: Thank you.

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