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March 31, 2009

Scott Drew

LaceDarius Dunn

Curtis Jerrells


SCOTT DREW: I thought San Diego State showed why they are one of the final eight teams playing. They played with a lot of heart and passion early and competed. I thought the second half we made just a couple more shots than they did and I thought our leadership, our senior leadership was outstanding down the stretch and very proud of the guys and how they fought and how they really did a good job trying to limit second-chance opportunities for a very good rebounding team.

Q. Could you talk about how you got it going there in the second half?
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Credit to my guards, the great guards we have. First half we were trying to get them and make them make plays.
Second half, I just give credit to my guard for finding me and me taking responsibility more knocking down the shots. I just give them credit?

Q. Talk about how CJ got you guys off to a good start in the first half?
SCOTT DREW: It was great for him being a senior. He just gave us that lift the first half and I thought he was going to have a great game, which he did and I just give credit to him.

Q. You guys didn't seem intimidated at all by Madison Square Garden; pretty calm going in or how you did you feel?
SCOTT DREW: It's a court with two goals. It's a great atmosphere. We just know we have to come in and take advantage and play hard. San Diego is a great team. We came in and it paid off for us.

Q. You had 15 assists tonight; talk about how you shared the ball.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: The guards we have, that's the No. 1 thing. Us being a team guard and being so close -- we penetrated and shot the ball real well, and the guards we have, we penetrated and just made plays.

Q. Would you talk about what this means to the campus?
LACEDARIUS DUNN: We started the season and we ain't made it to where we really wanted to be but we take it as it's coming and I think it's a great moment for us to be here and playing the championship game, it's a great game for us. Give credit to the seniors, I hope we go out and win it and go out with a bang for them.

Q. CJ, can you talk about the second half that you guys had, you kept the team in in the first half, and seemed like everybody else picked it up in the second?
CURTIS JERRELLS: My teammates did a good job of giving me the ball and I did a good job knocking down the shots but as we all know, basketball is a team sport. We all know when we are playing Baylor basketball, we have five guys, and that's when we are at our best. We addressed it in the locker room and we started sharing the sugar and guys started making shots. Just helped out the defense more.

Q. Were they focusing more on you in the second half or did they change anything?
CURTIS JERRELLS: Definitely. They switched the way they were playing, screening and trapped me and Coach decided to take ball out of my hands a little more and used me as a decoy and before you know it, this guy started making shots and started getting hot and that opened up the driving lane for Tweety (Carter). It was Coach's strategy and we just went out and did a good job executing.

Q. What does it mean for you, your last college game is going to be in this building?
CURTIS JERRELLS: I just keep telling guys, every time I do an interview that I just enjoy the opportunity to play. Our goal was to make the NCAA Tournament and we didn't do that. We were able to muster enough to get everybody to the NIT, and as long as you're playing, man, you've got to go out there and take care of business. At the end of the day, it's a basketball game regardless of where it's at.
I'm just proud of my teammates and just proud of the coaches that we held our heads, even though we are in the NCAA Tournament and now we are in the championship game of the NIT.

Q. San Diego State's guard play was off tonight; what were you doing that was so effective?
CURTIS JERRELLS: Watching film we didn't have much shooters, even though we play the zone. That's pretty much what it is, if you can't penetrate the zone, and if those guys are not exceptional shooters, with the exception of Spain, it makes it tougher for guys to get something going.

Q. Were you sensing them getting frustrated?
CURTIS JERRELLS: I could. Once everybody started making shots and we started to build on the lead, that's when we started getting frustrated and I think every team, once things stop going your way you start looking at each other. We did a good job keeping our foot on the pedal.

Q. Blade said it's just two goals, just a court. Y'all didn't seem intimidated by the whole surroundings, Madison Square Garden; y'all seemed comfortable out there.
CURTIS JERRELLS: I told you my feelings might change when I got on the floor, but like Blade said, it's just another goal. No disrespect to the place, but like I said, as a player, you have to adjust and play anywhere.
We are honored to be here most definitely and I'm glad we were able to come out and get the job done.
SCOTT DREW: If the Knicks did want to draft him, he did say he would play here more often. (Laughter).

Q. I think you guys lost ten out of your last 12 games --
SCOTT DREW: Thanks for bringing that up.

Q. Did you see something like this coming, this kind of a postseason run? Were you that optimistic?
SCOTT DREW: I think the thing I'm most proud about this team is I think we really grew spiritually. We really grew with adversity and persevering and I think during that stretch for the rest of our lives, including the coaching staff and everyone a part of the team, learned how to persevere and not quit, because a lot of people could have thrown in the towel, just ended the season.
Again as coaches, we are all supposed to be role models and help young individuals growing in life, and they have taught me as much as I have thought them this year.

Q. What does it mean playing for the Championship, considering where the program was when you took over?
SCOTT DREW: I think, again, when we brought in this group of seniors now, we knew that they had the character and they had the potential and the ability to be playing in Final Fours and having a chance to do these kind of things.
Credit them for putting in the hard work, getting better, improving, but it's really a tight team and you need that to be successful. And down the stretch, every coach know, you always want to finish strong, and again, it's been a blessing that they have been able to go out the way they have.

Q. Talk about how effective the two, three zone was tonight?
SCOTT DREW: I think the first half it was not very effective. Their guards are very quick and one of the reasons we didn't play man is we tried to keep them out of the paint. Zone we figured would be better doing that. They were knocking down a lot of 3s, 7-for-12 in the first half. We tried to contest more shots in the second half, and again, they missed some that they made the first half and that helped us get the lead.

Q. Did you extend the zone at all?
SCOTT DREW: We did try to extend it and we did try to contest more shots.

Q. Talk about that adjustment that y'all made offensively knowing there was maybe going to be a little more pressure on CJ and what they were going to do defensively.
SCOTT DREW: That's again a credit to our team. We are our best when we have multiple people in double figures and we are passing the ball. We have different weapons and we took advantage of some match-ups in the second half that in the first half we didn't need to because CJ, he was just in the zone for a minute there.

Q. How big was that basket that Tweety made to cut the lead?
SCOTT DREW: It was a big basket in a game like, this every basket is a big basket because you know every team does not have any quit on it.

Q. How were you able to minimize (Lorrenzo) Wade and Richie (Williams)?
SCOTT DREW: Again that's where that zone came in because very tough to defend great players one-on-one.

Q. Coach Fisher?
SCOTT DREW: Coach Fisher is an outstanding individual everybody in the profession looks up to, and as good of a coach as he is, he's an even better person. I hate to see him lose to be honest, but against us, that's okay. (Laughter).

End of FastScripts

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