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March 5, 2010

Jim Les

Chris Roberts

Andrew Warren


Bradley – 81
Creighton - 62

THE MODERATOR: We have Coach Jim Les, Andrew Warren and Chris Roberts. Coach Les will open with a statement, and questions for the student-athletes.
COACH LES: Just really proud of the effort of this group. In particular on on the defensive end of the floor. It's something that we were talking about all week, and I thought in the previous two meetings, you know, we didn't put our best foot forward like we can defensively. These guys were challenged to do it, and whenever they're challenged, they respond.
These two guys beside me led the way defensively in making plays. That's a great sign.

Q. You guys were switching up defenses a lot throughout the game. Can you kind of take us through your preparation for this game? Obviously having played them was that part of the strategy to kind of mix it up some?
ANDREW WARREN: I think overall we just wanted to play good defense. No matter what scheme we were playing because the last two times we've played them we didn't really have the effort. We were missing assignments on guys as far as matchups. We weren't playing them the way we should have played them. That was just the focus.
We know it's hard to beat a team three times. We had to learn something over the first two losses to them. We just came out with a lot of effort and intensity, and we just executed defensively. And I think a lot of what we did bothered them, and that's why we were successful tonight.

Q. Coach and Andrew both mentioned defense as the difference from your two losses to Creighton. But just what about offensively? Off obviously you scored more points this time than you have before?
CHRIS ROBERTS: Defense is a big part of our offense. I mean, we can create offense off our defense. But just offensive rebounding, being aggressive offense, that's what really helped us.

Q. When Maniscalco started having cramps, how did you guys that were on the floor start to make up for his presence being gone? He really had a hot hand in it. How did you atone for him not being on the floor?
ANDREW WARREN: Any time that somebody goes down we're always taught somebody has to step up ask that's what we did. We just had guys step in and continue to stay aggressive offensively. I hit a couple of shots, Chris was aggressive driving the basketball, and brown got some shots and it was three in a row, and found a roll man a couple of times. Anytime someone goes down, somebody has to step up, and we had good contributions from Jake Eastman, and Edwards, the two freshmen. So any time somebody goes down, we're taught to step up, so a lot of guys did that tonight. A couple of guys filled in and we were able to keep it rolling.

Q. Creighton regained the lead and you got that rebound dunk that really got the crowd going, and can you describe that play and what happened after that?
CHRIS ROBERTS: We were rebounding hard and being aggressive. And I knew the dunk would spark our team, and that was for our team and our fans to get going.

Q. For both players, the decision to wear the black uniform today, have you guys planned this for a while?
CHRIS ROBERTS: I think it was a last minute thing, we didn't know about it. Coach surprised us or whatever, so we just suited up and played. You're in love with these black uniforms. I got a lot of questions after the Illinois State game. But we like them. We were surprised we only brought our red and white and went to breakfast this morning. So thank you for allowing us to wear these. You know, I don't know. So many jerseys or something that gets us amped up, so we like the different look, so hopefully we can keep wearing them with the win today.

Q. Can you talk more about crashing the boards in the second half and how offensive rebounds played into your strategy down the stretch?
ANDREW WARREN: Well, they hurt us with their offensive rebounding early on. And even early in the second half. Later we started boxing out and getting a few more defensive rebounds. But offensively you know Chris sparked us several times. Even when we had the lead late, we had a couple of big offensive rebounds and able to on kick it back out and run some time off the clock and we ended up scoring. So it pushed our lead up further.
Anytime you're able to do that and teams make a run late, that is a momentum killer for the other team, and we had some big rebounds. Taylor and Chris really stepped up and got us some big offensive rebounds and we really killed their momentum when they were trying to get a comeback in the second half.

Q. 27 for 28 from the free-throw line. Anything different you guys have worked on?
COACH LES: Who missed one?

Q. Sam.
COACH LES: Oh, well, not playing tomorrow.

Q. Chris, comment on the free throws, please.
CHRIS ROBERTS: That was very big for us. I mean, it was a spark offensively when he knocked down the free throws, we buckled up on defense. So that was a big spark for us.

Q. If you can just speak to beating Creighton. Kind of your nemesis this year, and you guys hadn't even had a lead on them until the end of the first half this year. Can you just speak to obviously on the big stage what it means to beat Creighton?
ANDREW WARREN: We wanted to beat whoever was in our way today. We wanted to beat them. Was it last year or the year before last we lost to them down here. Lost to them in the regular season twice this year.
It's not so much about beating Creighton. When you come to the tournament, whoever you're facing, you want to beat them. But I guess we could use this as a victory for next year. But we wanted to beat them. It didn't matter today whether it was any other team in our league, we wanted to do the best we could at trying to beat whoever it was, and it happened to be Creighton today.

Q. You guys seemed to really feed off the crowd's energy today. Can you talk about what a big enthusiastic crowd it is that helped your play?
ANDREW WARREN: It was very big for our fans. For them to come down and support us. They've been supporting us all year. So we just feed off whoever is supporting us. Like I said, we're one big family, so it helped us a lot.

Q. Big challenge tomorrow against Northern Iowa. Can you speak to obviously you've played well against them this year. Can you just speak to that rematch?
CHRIS ROBERTS: Yeah, we're looking forward to the challenge. We've proven that we can beat this team and we've done so in the past. We know that it's elevated down here at the tournament. So we're just going to have to go tonight, watch some film, and get physically rejuvenated and be ready for them tomorrow. They're a tough team. They're not the No. 1 team in our conference for no reason. They've proven that. We have to execute like we did today and do the same thing tomorrow.

Q. Have you ever had a guy get three free throw attempts three times in one game? And second of all could you just talk about getting to the line and making all of those shots making the difference today?
COACH LES: Well, first of all, Sammy's a ton coming off ball screens, and he's really worked hard at his set up and reading ball screens. They were really chasing hard over the top. When you chase hard and he rises up and shoots it, the momentum carried him in. So I thought he was smart based on how they were playing him and trying to take advantage of that. He's a really good free throw shooter. Him getting to the line is a positive for us and our whole team.
We just talked about being aggressive and being in attack mode. Whether they were in match-up, man-to-man, we wanted to get paint touches with our dribble drive and read and make good basketball plays. You know, we've got some guys that are awfully good off the dribble. And I thought getting in the bonus early in the second half and continuing to put that pressure on allowed us to get to the line. You know, we think we've got some pretty good shooters, too, and they knocked them all in.

Q. Can you talk more about being aggressive and how getting in the bonus so early in the second half affected your game plan down the stretch?
COACH LES: We're the type of team that I think we can score in a variety of ways. We don't necessarily have a low-postgame. But the ability to get paint touches off the drive and then kickout's or get to the basket and get multiple drives is for us as effective as maybe having a low-post score. So that's maybe how we substitute getting paint points.
I look at the numbers and we have 28 paint points. We don't really have a post-up player, but we get them off our dribble drive and that is multiple opportunities to get into the paint. And I thought our aggressiveness to do that. You know, then you pick up some fouls and guys are aggressive attacking the rim.

Q. Obviously big game tomorrow against UNI. What do you take from this game to bring to that one?
COACH LES: Well, I think what we take is on our defensive effort and intensity. This team can really defend and create some havoc on that end of the floor. We've got to stay with that formula. And that defense helps create some offense for us.
We know how good Northern Iowa is especially with their defense, and it's going to be a defensive grinded-out struggle tomorrow and we're looking forward to it.

Q. I know you were talking about your scoring in the paint. But after that first five or six minutes did you think you'd come away with a positive in the paint? Holding Lawson and all those guys quiet in the second half?
COACH LES: Well, I thought and we had a couple of timeouts early to talk about it. I just thought they were the aggressor. And tonight over the course of 40 minutes whoever was going to establish themselves as the aggressor was going to win the game. Initially they had us back on their heels and they're a good basketball team.
I like the fact that this team weathered that storm. They just continued to battle. And then establish themselves as the aggressor, and that was the difference from probably middle of the first half on.

Q. You got on Eastman a little bit in the first half. He responded on some big plays for you. Can you talk about his game?
COACH LES: Well, Jake -- both freshmen guards, Jake and Dyricus gave us a lot either starting or coming off the bench. Jake's playing with a lot of confidence. And those guys really respond. They respond when you get after them and challenge them. He's been a play maker for us.
When he gets on the floor I thought our run as being the aggressor started with him getting on the floor, getting after the loose ball. He gets the rebounds, takes the ball to the basket strong, and that's what you need off your bench. Those guys being freshmen, had they know how important they are to this team and they're responsible for production and they generally produce for us.

Q. Couple key points in the game, end of the first half when you went on that flurry and took the lead and then I guess you were up 4 in the second went on that 14-0 run and caused turnovers in that stretch. Can you talk about both of those periods?
COACH LES: I thought we just became very stingy defensively. And we did for one stretch there finish our defense and hold them just to one shot. During that span I think Sammy got hot. We called his number a few times running some ball screens. He knocked in a couple of threes and combined that with some stingy defense, it allowed us to get the lead at halftime.
Then I thought Chris really established us defensively in the second half. I told him after the game I thought his activity was unbelievable to start the second half, and that is infectious. When a guy puts that much effort. And we all know, those of us around our program, how dominant he can be defensively getting his hands on balls and making plays and lo' and behold now we get out in transition and get some fast breakpoints and get Creighton back on their heels.
But I think it started with our defense in both those segments.

Q. Talk about the black uniforms?
COACH LES: Well, I'm giving all the blame to Rob Bogardus on the plane coming home from Creighton who was adamant about breaking went to Sammy and asked him if it mattered. It really doesn't matter to me, Sammy thought for some guys it would matter. I let Mike cross carry that football to President Glasser's office and decide how we wanted to handle it. I don't care if we wear the short shorts. As long as they play. So I think it was that. It was not a big deal to me, but the guys seemed to like it.
We're not trying to change our colors; okay. I'm entrenched in this tradition in history as much as anybody else. So I believe Bradley red and white, but if we've got to mix in black for a little motivator, I guess that's okay.

End of FastScripts

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