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March 5, 2010

Mark Phelps

Adam Templeton

Ryan Wedel

Josh Young


Northern Iowa – 55
Drake - 40

THE MODERATOR: Drake Bulldogs are with us. We'll ask Coach Phelps to make a statement, then questions for the student-athletes.
COACH PHELPS: Well, it was an extremely tough game for us. Obviously a physical game. To summarize the game, I felt like the shots that we were able to knock down in the first half were good shots. Just from recollection of the rest of the game I'm not so sure if we didn't also have some good looks the remainder of the first half and the second half.
Certainly UNI is an outstanding defensive team. Their numbers confirm that throughout the season. Points allowed and also field goal percentage defense.
But we had a couple of shots not go down in the first half. I thought we could have built a little larger lead. Two that come to mind are Craig Stanley's leads. One from the right side, one from the left side. Over the course of the game when you play a physical style of defense which they're very, very efficient at, the shot typically goes like that. We may have hit most of our shots in the first half and it evened out in the second half where our shooting percentage was really poor. But we knew we'd have to make some tough shots.
We tried to get to the free-throw line as much as possible. That was intent. Didn't get there as much as we'd like. But in the end we played an outstanding team. Regular season Championship. And they had a real identity about who they are and how they go about their business and they executed that well today.

Q. You guys had a tough win yesterday, very emotional win. Obviously it looked like you guys were riding that at the very beginning. Did fatigue finally set in? Because Josh you started off 3 for 3, and then just couldn't seem like you could get the ball to fall later on in the game.
JOSH YOUNG: You know, I think that we were, you know as you said coming off that emotional game. I think that we had some momentum going there in the first half. But I think that UNI made some adjustments defensively and they were really able to key in on our shooters and did a good job on our shooters. I think they made some good looks in the second half, just they were knocking down shots and that really hurt us.
RYAN WEDEL: I think fatigue could have been a factor but it's not a good excuse. There are not any good excuses out there. This is our last game to play. We were leaving it all on the court, and fatigue wasn't a factor for I don't think any one of our guys. It's just UNI played a lot better than us this afternoon. You know, we didn't finish up.

Q. How disappointing was it for your team to go 21:01 without a field goal?
JOSH YOUNG: I think the most disappointing part about it is I know how good a shooter our team can be. I think yesterday in the second half we showed we can shoot the ball pretty well. Just to not see those shots go down and knowing we could have knocked them down was kind of frustrating.

Q. You guys ended up finishing the Game 6 of 19. Was there any point in the first half you thought of stopping shooting threes and trying to work it inside more?
RYAN WEDEL: Later in the second half we started to drive more. We got in the bonus and got some free throws. It was a little too late. We thought we had great looks and we've just got to knock them down.
ADAM TEMPLETON: Just to echo what Ryan said and Coach, too. He said that our intent was trying to get to the line. We were going early. But when you have those open looks as our team as good of three-point shooters as we are, we have to take them. That's part of our game, so to answer your question, our intent was to get to the line. At the same time we were shooting threes when we were open.

Q. At what point during the game did you guys feel like you were in a shooting drought? And does pressure start to build and you start to press a little bit?
JOSH YOUNG: I'm not exactly sure. It was the mid point there in the second half where we were really having a tough time knocking down our shots. I think there were a couple possessions where we really started to press. I know in particular myself I took a couple possessions myself to score. And kind of got away from team ball and I think that really hurt us.
I think we tried to get back to distribute the ball and finding each other, but once again we were just not able to knock down shots.

Q. Talk about was there a surreal aspect to that drought? You had played well. No team goes 21 minutes without a basket. How did that play out to you guys on the floor? Was it kind of surreal?

JOSH YOUNG: As a shooter, one of the things you have to have is confidence. All of our guys have that. So to not see those shots go down shot after shot was kind of difficult.
At the same time, when the shots are falling, you have to hold the Fort on the defensive end, and we weren't able to do that either.

Q. Has it set in yet that you've played your final game for Drake?
ADAM TEMPLETON: It definitely has set in. There are already a few tears dropping in the locker room. It's hard to believe five years for me and four years for Josh have already gone by.
What I can say is I've had a hard remarkable time here at Drake University with great teammates and great coaches that care about each other, and it will always be remembered.
RYAN WEDEL: To echo off of that, there were some tears shed. I sat in the locker room the past three years, and when you get to the last game of the season, you see it's an emotional time for the seniors. I thought to myself that probably won't happen to me. But as I look at it now being here, it's the thing that you're going to miss is the experiences you have with these people. All the interaction with your teammates and your Coaches, your strength and conditioning people, all the people you see every day.
So I think as I started to think about that it was kind of emotional. Even being able to deal with the media on a daily basis during our games is something I'm going to miss.
I want to thank you guys right now. I won't get you guys in the room together. So I appreciate everything you've done for myself and my team these past four years. It's been great. I guess it's kind of surreal now that it's over.

Q. How would you best describe your four years?
JOSH YOUNG: I'd say it's been amazing. You know, I've had difficult times in my career, but I think that the difficult times is what's made me stronger. Ups and downs and I've always had people that have given me support. My family, my teammates, my coaches. So I wouldn't trade my experience here for anything.

Q. Talk a little about UNI in terms of how far can this team go in the tournament? And when they get to March, how far can this team go?
COACH PHELPS: They're good. They're a very good defensive team. They have good balance on fence. Making it to the NCAA Tournament, they'll have to get a couple of breaks. You typically make your own breaks. They're a smart team, very well coached.
Having said all of that, they could cause some havoc in the tournament.

Q. On that note, there was some national pundits saying UNI either needed to win today or win the whole tournament. What statement did they make today about the tournament worthiness, I guess?
COACH PHELPS: They didn't have to make a statement today. Their body of work up to this point clearly puts them as one of the best teams in the country and clearly one of the 65 teams that will get invited to the tournament. They didn't have to win today in my opinion. They're a very good team. I don't know if he has a lot of company with that opinion.

Q. In the first half you guys had an 11-point lead, dwindled down to one point at halftime. What happened in the second half? That drought happened, but what changed in the second half compared to the first half?
COACH PHELPS: More of what happened at the end of the first half. We missed shots. When we missed shots there's always a combination of why that happened. Certainly defense has to play a large role in that in their ability to defend at a high level. And then sometimes you just miss shots.
So that drought continued, and we'll look at the film and we'll evaluate it and learn from it for the future. But I certainly can't break it down fully for you right here to why it happened.

Q. Everybody kind of poo-pooed the tired legs theory, which is a popular one when you have to play in games in two games that close together. Did you see any short shots?
COACH PHELPS: There were some short shots late. But I thought we did a really good job last night. I think guys were talking to the sandman about 9:30. They didn't get up until 8:15 this morning. They were full of fluids, full of food. I thought our training staff did a great job.
I'm sure UNI was a little fresher but fatigue, I don't see that playing a major role in today. I think it was more those guys and the way they defend and their physical nature.

Q. You obviously had some good young players with Seth and Ryan coming back. But have you thought about it a little bit of going on? This program moving forward now without Josh Young?
COACH PHELPS: Yeah, I'm going to miss him a lot. He's, you know, the poster child for what we want to do on the court, off the court, in the classroom, leadership-wise. We're going to miss him a lot next year.
Not just his 15 points a game, we're going to miss him in a lot a lot of ways. The other thing he's done is left a legacy for the Young guys to follow in his footsteps and become leaders themselves. So we'll miss him a lot.

End of FastScripts

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