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March 18, 2010

Tony Barbee

Derrick Caracter

Randy Culpepper

Julyan Stone


Butler – 77
UTEP - 59

ROGER ROSS: We're joined by UTEP Coach, Tony Barbee, Randy Culpepper, Derrick Caracter and Julyan Stone. We'll open with a couple of comments from the coach and go to Q and A with the athletes.
COACH BARBEE: Always tough to end your season on a loss, particularly like that. But I'm not going to let these guys hang their heads. I told them be proud of the year they had. They've all gotten better. We had an outstanding year. Butler got hot at the right time and we went cold at the wrong time. It's never an easy feeling when your season ends, but it is what it is.
ROGER ROSS: Questions for the athletes, please?

Q. For any of you three, what did Coach tell you guys about the picks and were you guys to work through them or work around them? What happened?
JULYAN STONE: Coach, you know, going through the scouting reports, he told us everything we needed to do but it ultimately came down to us not communicating on defense. We had the right tools and everything we had to do.
But, you know, we got away from what we were taught and what we needed to do and it got to us. Communication was a key factor for us in the game and second half we didn't communicate like should have and it led to them getting shots off, particularly 3-pointers, and particularly hurting us.

Q. Randy, seemed like you got frustrated in the second half was it them playing well defensively on you, or were you not finding the basket today?
RANDY CULPEPPER: I wouldn't say they got to me. They're a great defensive team and, you know, they was doing everything they could, you know, not to let me touch the ball. I was trying not to let that get to me.

Q. Derrick, you looked a little frustrated in the second half. Did you feel a lot of pressure because of the double teams and you weren't getting the looks that you wanted?
DERRICK CARACTER: I was frustrated that I felt that we should have been winning, we wasn't executed as well as we could have defensively. Defensively was mostly my fault, just me not coming out and they did a good job of reading, and ball screens and they were making open jumpers, and I was just frustrated because I know we were better than we showed today.

Q. Julyan, can you talk about Mack and the way he was able to hit those three's? Was that a point where it deflated you guys?
JULYAN STONE: Mack is a great player, and he was making some tremendous shots, but ultimately we pride ourselves on defense and that has always been our knack this whole year. It was tough for us to see our defense like that, deflate like that. A good player is going to make open shots, and it was us not doing what we know how to do and we got away from the defense which got us to this point.
It was deflating, it was Mack as well as everybody else, because everybody contributed to them scoring, you know, false actions, things like that. But as a team, I keep reiterating we pride ourselves on defense. For us to break down that many times defensively in a game of this magnitude in a high-level game it comes down to everybody deserves to be here that is here and they're all good teams, and us breaking down on defense, it showed and they're a good team and they're going to make shots. That's what it comes down to. We can't blame it on anything but ourselves and the defense that we played.

Q. Any of you, it seems like you guys have a junior laden team this year, you have another one coming back next year what are you going to learn from this year and take to next year?
JULYAN STONE: We've got to continue to get mature as a team and all of us have to do that. We're just going to take this experience and look at things we did wrong and the things we did right and grow on it.
We're a junior team we've been through this together and all of us -- this is our first time at this, you know, so you're always going to take something away from this. So we're going to take what just happened to us and the magnitude and the level of play here and get back to doing what we have to do and taking it to practice, take it into practice.
I think everybody on our team is great players. I think everybody in this Tournament is a great player, and we have to take the experience -- we hate to learn off a loss but we have to right now, there is not much we can do, but we have to take this experience and get better and grow as players and as men.
ROGER ROSS: We'll let the student athletes return to the locker room. Thank you, gentlemen. Questions for Coach Barbee right now?

Q. Coach, I know you've been frustrated in the past when your team doesn't communicate. How much did that hurt today?
COACH BARBEE: It was the number one key to the game today was communication. We've been a fantastic defensive team all year long. We've guarded the 3-point line outstanding top team in the country guarding the defensive 3-point line all year long, and that's one of Butler's strengths. It's rare you have one or two guys taking 100 3-point shots in a year, and they've got four guys. The key to the game was to talk and communicate better than we have all year long.
I thought we executed great in the first half, defensively. In the second half, it's not a 20-minute game, it's a 40-minute game, and for whatever reason we didn't communicate effectively and efficiently like we needed to, and it allowed them to get open threes and those guys are proficient shooters, when they get open three's, they're going to knock 'em down.

Q. Coach, it seems like you guys have been a second-half team on that 16-game winning streak that you had and the last two against Houston and Butler, two good 3-point shooting teams, what changed for you?
COACH BARBEE: The communication. The communication. We broke down areas where we were supposed to switch. They did a better job I thought of bringing Derrick and our big guys up into ball screens in the second half, and we were late in getting up into the screen and it put us into help situations and we were late in our help and allowed their shooters to get open.
Disappointing when you -- we were as good as we were defensively all year long and we couldn't put two defensive halves together. We had a great first half defensively and second half we broke down and it's disappointing but I'm not going to let this game take away from what was an outstanding season.

Q. Coach, I noticed you took Randy Culpepper out quite a few minutes there at the end of the game, was he frustrated? Why did you take him out for so long?
COACH BARBEE: I thought he was getting a little worn down. They were making him work on the offensive end of the floor. They were doing a good job of not leaving him, not helping from him and he got a little fatigued with the effort that he put in on both ends of the floor. So I wanted to get him an extended rest.

Q. Coach, how would you summarize the season?
COACH BARBEE: It was an outstanding season. We've taken a lot of steps over the four years I've been there, we've grown, matured, gotten better together. It's disappointing to end what was such a good season on this type of note, but one loss doesn't make it a bad year.
You want your season to extend this time of year, and unfortunately we're done. But I'm proud of the effort that the guys put in all year long to get better, to improve as a team and the fact that defensively we took the next step we needed to take to get to this point.
Now we've got to continue off season, we've got to get better, and when we come back we've got to continue to grow and we've got to continue to mature and understand some little things that might have hurt us today or over the last week or so. We can't let those things happen and that's part of growth and maturity.

Q. Coach, last two games when you guys were ahead it seems like you're unable to keep the lead, it's always something like able to spark the other team to come up and tie the game and eventually go ahead. Can you talk about why you're not able to keep a lead, play in front, keep it all game?
COACH BARBEE: Well, all season long we've been a great second half team. So one game doesn't make it a trend, we've been a great second half team, we've played great from the lead all year long and there was a lid on the rim for us in the second half and our defense broke down in the second half and gave them some good looks and when you got good shooters like they do. They're going to knock 'em down.

Q. Coach, what are you going to do to try and keep this team together for next year, then?
COACH BARBEE: Where are they going?

Q. Will they stay together?
COACH BARBEE: Yeah. This team will be back intact next year.
ROGER ROSS: Thank you for your time, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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