home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 19, 2010

Tweety Carter

Scott Drew

LaceDarius Dunn

Ekpe Udoh


MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Seems like throughout a lot of the Big 12, the majority of the teams had really good scoring guards. But Old Dominion, their best scorers are in the paint. Do you look forward to that challenge?
EKPE UDOH: It's a challenge every game. You know, they specialize in their front line. I think we have a great front line, too. It's going to be a battle in the paint tomorrow, so we've just got to come and be ready for.

Q. Is it good to get that first one out of the way and maybe y'all will be a little more relaxed tomorrow? How do you feel about that?
TWEETY CARTER: It's always good to get the first win out of the way any tournament you go to. But I thought we were relaxed yesterday. They came out in a totally different defense, something you don't expect. But at the same time we got the win. That was the most important thing. And I think our focus is to win the next game also. We've just got to keep our focus and intensity up throughout this journey.

Q. You just mentioned the defense Sam Houston threw at you guys. And after the K-State game, you were pretty upset at your own play. Do you feel like your game has suffered a little bit and how anxious are you to get back on the court and kind of get back to your normal scoring ways?
TWEETY CARTER: I don't feel like that. You know, K-State was a game that I felt like shots I should have made I didn't make. Some nights that happens.
To bounce back and get a win yesterday, I felt I had a great game yesterday. I got the right people the ball. You know, Ekpe was a guy that they left open, and Jones and A.J. Walton were guys they left open throughout the course of the game. So I thought I did a great job of not forcing anything and feeding the hot hand, and it was Ekpe Udoh.
LaceDarius got going later on in the game. So the point guard scoring for me is not big, winning is the most important thing, and I think we do a great job of winning.

Q. High-seeded teams that survive a scare in the first round usually as they progress talk about what a benefit that was. Similar to the question for Tweety, what benefit do you see in having won that game and two having taken it over late and won it as y'all did?
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Well, coming out here was tough. It was a tough game coming out. We didn't look over them at all. We knew it would be a 40-minute fight. Just to come out and get that first victory really gets rid of the butterflies and we refocused.
So coming in tomorrow, we're really just focused on Old Dominion, and trying to go over the things they do well, and hopefully we can play our same ball tomorrow, even better.

Q. What parts of Coach Drew's personality did you think transfer most into how you guys play and how you guys prepare and how you guys work?
TWEETY CARTER: His energy. The energy he brings every day throughout practice. Even through film. Just being around him, really. He's always excited about what we got up next and what challenge that we have next.
So any time you have a coach that believes in you and believes that you can win every game, you always have a great feel for him and always want to be a part of his team.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Yeah, really about the same thing. Just what he brings to the table. Just being around him, he's a great guy. Wouldn't trade him for nothing. So just the energy he brings. Not even on the court but off the court as well. Every time you see him, he smiles and he just keeps it going. So it's just really a blessing for me to be placed under him and playing for him.

Q. Would winning tomorrow -- maybe it's already happened -- mean that Baylor has finally turned the corner from where, oh, yeah, that's that school where they had the shooting a few years ago to, oh, yeah, Baylor's a school that could be in the Final Four?
TWEETY CARTER: I always felt throughout the season that I felt we've got a great team. Wouldn't trade any of these players for anybody. When we step on the floor, we believe we can win every game.
We're going to continue to focus on just staying together and staying focused and getting prepared for each game that we have.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Yeah, it's about the same. Coming here that was the past. We don't focus on the past. We don't get caught up in the things that happened at Baylor when we weren't here. So the main thing we focused on here was just getting this team together and getting the chemistry as tight as it is right now and even tighter to just do great things.
So we don't really get caught up in the things that already happened. We just stay focused and stay on our journey that we're already on.

Q. Before the pairings came out or whatever, what did you know about Old Dominion? Have you even heard of them or seen them play at all?
TWEETY CARTER: I've seen them play a couple of times. Old Dominion is a good team. They're big, long. It's a game that we've got to come out and play for 40 minutes again. So we're not looking past them at all.
You know, we're focused on one game at a time. They're our next opponent, so we're just going to get prepared for them like any other team. Because they beat some good teams, you know, and we've just got to stay focused.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Really the same, you know. Long team, long athletic team, with a lot of length. So we've just got to stay focussed and come out and play.
Like I said, we're not looking past Old Dominion because that's the next one on our schedule for tomorrow. So we're going to come out and play. We know they had a lot of good victories, like Tweety said. They beat Georgetown early in the year, and that was a great win. So we ain't going to look past them, we're just going to prepare and get focused.
EKPE UDOH: What they said.

Q. How do you guys adjust to playing a team that you don't have as long to prepare for, and you obviously aren't as familiar with? How do you adjust to this quick turnaround?
LACEDARIUS DUNN: For me it's just a quick refocus. It's really just it lets us know how quick we refocus and put one game behind us and get prepared for the next one.
But, like you said, it's a quick turnaround. And we as players and as coaches, we've got to do a good job preparing. Get the things that we need, and they get it to us and let us know what we need to know to get prepared for them.
EKPE UDOH: Yeah, just staying within ourselves. It's the end of the year. March Madness, I mean, X's and O's really don't matter anymore. It's just what you believe in, what you put on the court. We just put our all on the court, and we know we can beat anybody.

Q. Given where Baylor was when you guys first got there, did it make it easier to choose the school and to go there based on the fact that Tweety was already there and there was somebody of that stature already in the program?
EKPE UDOH: Yes, sir. When I first got there, I mean, me and Tweety hit it off immediately, so I didn't care about anything else except for just the point guard presence.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Yes, basically the same thing. When I first got there -- Tweety was there before I got there. So when I got there, before I got there we used to talk, and he really is one of the reasons why I really came, because I knew him back from high school. So I just really would love to play with him, so I'm happy to be part of this program.

Q. A lot of other coaches in the Big 12 have kind of pointed to Udoh as the missing ingredient, the guy that kind of changed your team. When did you see that from him and can you elaborate on that?
TWEETY CARTER: They're exactly right. You know, the energy, the focus, the love, the support. I mean, you can name all kinds of things that he brings to the table. You know, he was a guy that came in humble. Took some of us -- a lot of us under his wing and showed them the way to be better, the way to work, you know. It was just great to have him along on this team. He's the big reason why we're successful right now.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Yes, you know, the things that he brought to this team was not only on the court but off the court. Just having the chemistry just among us. Me and him the relationship that we have, besides basketball.
But on the court, you know, just having a big man like him is really grateful to me. A shot blocker, the rebound, the scoring, all the great things he just brings to the table. And he really brought it out to this team this year, and still has a ways to go.

Q. Are you guys even further driven to make it to the Sweet 16 considering it's in Houston and a lot of students, a lot of fans and alumni would be able to make it?
TWEETY CARTER: To be honest, I'm really I'm not -- I'm focused on Old Dominion. We've got to get past them in order to make it to the Sweet 16. So we're just going, continuing to prepare for them, and continuing to focus on them for right now.

Q. Two years ago was just one and done and you were out. Do you feel more like you're in the tournament now that you've won a game? And you said last night that you couldn't celebrate yet. Will you celebrate if you get to the Sweet 16?
TWEETY CARTER: Our goal is not to win one or two. Our goal is to make it to the Final Four and hopefully win the National Championship. That's something we focus on.
We know we've got to take one game at a time. So I'm going to continue to get prepared for Old Dominion, and just try our best to come out and play for 40 minutes like Baylor knows how. So that's our focus right now. One game at a time.
As long as we can continue to do that, we're going to be all right.

Q. It seems like all year you guys have been able to adjust to different styles that other teams play. Do you think that's kind of one of your strengths and can you talk about that?
EKPE UDOH: Yeah. Our team IQ is pretty high this year. With what happened yesterday, we figured out ways to get a win. You've seen it a lot with this team, just building us up for this moment.
We're just ready. Our IQ is ready, so we can change it up at any time.

Q. A young man with your high school credentials, given where Baylor's program was, what motivated you to choose Baylor?
TWEETY CARTER: Wanted to be a part of something special. As you can see, it's happening. Each year something else comes to the table, like for us this year Ekpe Udoh coming to Baylor.
Just guys that want to be a part of something special and put themselves away for a while and focus on us and the team. Not just thinking about I. I know that this team is the reason why we're where we're at right now. Just continue to focus on that.
Baylor was a perfect opportunity to come here and be a part of something special, and I think that's one of the reasons why I came here.

Q. What was the selling point for you guys from Coach Drew? What did he emphasize when he was trying to convince you to come to Baylor? Where would you rank him in terms of aggressiveness and energy as a recruiter in terms of the guys that were coming after you two?
EKPE UDOH: He's a great recruiter with the stuff that Baylor brings to the table. But for me it was really just Tweety. That was it for me.
LACEDARIUS DUNN: Like Ekpe said, he did a great job recruiting me, too. Like I said, it just made me have that vibe for him, that different love that I don't really have for certain people. But he just got that vibe for me.
Like I said, Tweety, I talked to him before I came, so he was one of the reasons why I chose the school to come play with him. But, like I said, I think I made a great decision. I'm happy to be here.

Q. When they ran a triangle and two the other day, did you take that personal at all? Because the two was those two guys and they just kind of left you open.
EKPE UDOH: Oh, no. These two are great players. They hit threes, and when they have the ball in their hands, they're very effective.
I commend their coach, but we got the win, so I'll let that test speak for itself.
MODERATOR: Coach, your comments and thoughts as you prepare for Old Dominion?
COACH DREW: We're very excited to still be in the tournament. I think we all saw last night how tough it is to win in the tournament. I believe nine higher seeds won, and six or seven lower seeds won. So, again, parity and balance in college basketball makes it a great month. Now we're clearly focused on the next task at hand, and that's Old Dominion.
I see a lot of similarities in both teams. Lot of size, lot of length, lot of athleticism, so I think it will be a great game for fans to watch.

Q. Coaches of higher seeded teams in the past who survive a scare in the first round have all talked about what a great benefit that was as they moved forward. Considering that, how you won and that you saw something you hadn't seen and eventually solved, what kind of benefit do you see there?
COACH DREW: I think just the feel you get from winning a close game is something that you can't measure. That confidence you get from that and the closeness it brings a team. The only bad thing is Old Dominion had a close win as well, and a lot of teams had close wins the other day. So I think in this tournament every game's going to be, or most of the games are all going to be close.
What I was most pleased with was just the leadership of the players not to get rattled when it was a tie score late in the game. Not to press and feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. But to just do what we've done, and that is play basketball and compete and finish strong.

Q. The fact that y'all were at the tournament earlier in the year, you've played in the Big 12, does that help you in terms of the quick turnaround and getting ready for that next game?
COACH DREW: Most definitely. The familiarity with a tournament. When you go from the Big 12 Tournament that's operated just like the NCAA Tournament. The first time you get a police escort, I know our players are looking like, What do we do? And now it's just normal procedure. So I think they're more relaxed with that.
As far as the quick turnaround, players love to play. They don't really like to practice as much. They love tournament formats.

Q. You mentioned the other day that Dale Brown would make it to the game Saturday. Were you too young for him to have any real sort of influence in your coaching? Or has he influenced your coaching and in what way?
COACH DREW: He's been a great family friend and a mentor to and the Drew family. He's somebody that -- he's come up when I was assistant coach at Valpo University. He spoke at our tipoff banquet the first year we went on to win 20 games. He was at the NCAA Tournament when we made the run at the Sweet 16. So he's somebody that's always been there for the Drew family.
Great motivator. Any time you need a pick-me-up, you give him a call, and the good thing is you don't have to pay for the speech. You get it for free. He's a great man.

Q. Do you like the fact that their best scorer is a big man? You have Ekpe to combat that. Do you like that match-up?
COACH DREW: I think both teams match up well with the similar size and athleticism. And both teams rebound extremely well. So really a lot of similarities. And I know our front line really gets excited about challenges like that. I know Ekpe gets excited about that as well. So, again, big guys like playing against other big guys. So I think all the bigs are happy tomorrow.

Q. Tweety was saying that one of the primary reasons that he came to Baylor was a chance to be part of something special and the chance to be part of a team and a program. I was just curious, given where Baylor was, how did you sell young men such as him on that?
COACH DREW: Well, Tweety came from a small Christian school that went on to win state championships. Coach Byrd became a legend as far as winning state titles. Tweety's the one that really helped start Reserve Christian High School. And basically Baylor, there are a lot of similarities. We needed players to come in and help build a program, a program that needed positive attention and needed a chance to build history.
Some players really respond to an opportunity to play right away and have a chance to build something rather than be a follower. And, again, to each their own. And Tweety's somebody that not only came in and was successful, but he also helped recruit everybody around him because he knew at this level you have to have teammates and you have to have good players around you. Tweety is an outstanding recruiter as well.

Q. What's pretty much worked or gone as well as you could have hoped from the start? What do you feel like you've had to change and adjust along the way to bring this program back from where it was?
COACH DREW: Well, I think the first thing was just getting enough players in, because the Big 12 you have to have so much depth to be successful.
I think when we first started bringing in recruits, they were good players, we just didn't have enough numbers. The other thing is you need experience, and they didn't have experience.
So it just took time for those players to get enough teammates around them and get the experience to where you could have three straight 20-win seasons, and three straight postseasons.
Again, coaches are only as good as their players. We've been blessed to have not only good players, but good-character people that do a great job in representing us and representing Baylor University.

Q. What do you feel like are the major components that have to go into these quick turnaround games in terms of preparation? What needs to be done and taken care of first?
COACH DREW: Well, I know the thing that every coach struggles with is you don't want to give them overload, and you don't want to give them too many things that they can't digest anything. So I think it's that fine line of making sure they have enough information but don't get to a point where they have to think out there and can't react.
Obviously they need to know what their basic assignments are, and beyond that let them play the game.

Q. What do you see in Old Dominion's defense? Obviously they put up some great stats.
COACH DREW: It's an outstanding defense that's done it against quality teams. Beating Georgetown at Georgetown, holding them to 56 points or something like that. So top 20 defense in the country for a reason. Size, length, lot of similarities to our team. Again, that usually makes for a good defense.

Q. I think I insulted Tweety by asking him about scoring over the last two games and not recognizing how he controlled the game and changed his style to combat that defense. Can you put a value -- first of all, can you describe his court demeanor and put a value on a point guard who understands the nuisances of the game?
COACH DREW: That's a good question as far as it's so tough for players when you get done with a game, and if you have a high scoring average, and your family and friends are like, What's the matter? You didn't have a good game.
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters for a point guard -- it's like a quarterback -- did you win? And Tweety does those little things. If we need assists -- that's why he led the Big 12 in assists. He does that. If we need the ball pushed, he pushes it. If we need a more half-court game, he slows it down. Defensively he sets the tempo because he's the one that starts the initial attack.
Again, a lot of players who don't have that experience and confidence or just an overall belief that the team's more important than me, they go out there and try to get their own or maybe worry about themselves. Then in those cases, the team doesn't win.
So the best thing you can say about Tweety Carter is he's a winner.

Q. Despite the state the program is in when you came in, you had immediate recruiting success at least by the rankings. What is the difference now the level of play? You talk about getting depth. The level of players that you're able to go after and get as compared to five, six, seven years ago?
COACH DREW: Well, I think when we first started we were able to get guards a little bit easier, because guards are normally easier to recruit. Now I think we're able to attract quality big men as well. And when you're able to do both of that, that's obviously what you have to have is balance.
The good thing is we don't need as many numbers now as we used to. But, again, every year as our program has improved, it's a little bit easier to get in the door different places because people have seen us play on TV a lot more. So they're more familiar with the successor the style of play or what we do, and the players on the team, and that helps.

Q. Given just kind of where the program was at the time, were you confident at all that you could get Tweety to come to the program? And what does it say about him and his character that he was willing to take on that challenge?
COACH DREW: Well, I think, first of all, you have to see what you have to do to win your league or win your conference. If you're going to compete with Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, et cetera, you're going to have to have players equal or better to what they have.
So first thing we had to do was bring in those type of players. And with that, again, Baylor has a lot of opportunities as far as it's in a great location. Largest Baptist school in the nation. Only private school in the Big 12. So it has a lot of positives that would attract players.
With Tweety, he was just one of the first McDonald's All-Americans that would ever be interested in something like that. From the standpoint we were close to home for him, he was coming from a small Christian school similar to Baylor. Helped build the program there. So a lot of similarities attracted him.

Q. You've talked about why players came to Baylor. Why did you go there? Why did you want that job in the first place?
COACH DREW: First of all, not going anywhere without prayer, and I felt led to go there. And I really felt comfortable with the leaders of the school at the time and their vision. Then, obviously, the opportunity at Baylor and what the school stood for. So there are a lot of things that attracted me there.

Q. When you heard what had happened there, in the coaching circles or people you talked to, did that seem like it was a promising opportunity, or did a lot of people want to just have nothing to do with it?
COACH DREW: Probably the latter (smiling). Yeah, so that answered that.

Q. When you got out and recruited Tweety, were you targeting that position in particular for teams that are maybe not quite of Kansas' level yet, having a guy with the ball in his hand who could control the game, or was the net a little bit wider than that at the time?
COACH DREW: Definitely net was wide. We were doing a lot of fishing. But it all starts with guard play, and we knew we needed to build our team on some quality guards.
Again, it's usually easier to attract guards, but to attract good guards is a little tougher. We were fortunate enough to get Tweety Carter, Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Aaron Bruce. So we got a good string of guards, and that kind of helped secure the future of Baylor University.

Q. You talked about it two years ago it was so sudden. It was, wow, it's over. How much fun is this to stay in the tournament and kind of have a little bit of a run here?
COACH DREW: Well, for coaches I don't know how fun it is. Because you're worried about the next opponent. But I know definitely our players were very excited and I know our fans and all of the Baylor Nation out there was ecstatic.
The big thing is not to obviously be overwhelmed by the distractions and not pay too much attention to that and focus on what's at hand. That's your next game.

Q. Rightly or wrongly, justifiably or not, I think you and your staff have raised eyebrows with your aggressiveness, the energy you pursue guys with and do everything with. Is that something you felt necessary? If you're building a program from the ground up, you have to be that way almost?
COACH DREW: I think it's a personal style. We're one of those people if we see a good basketball player, we're going to recruit them. We're not going to say, well, he's not going to come to our school or he's going to go to this school or that school. Our job is to recruit elite players and bring them to our school.
If we do that, we're going to be successful. So we're definitely going to do that. We're smart enough to know that if you don't have good players, you're not a good coach.

Q. Do you get the feeling from the coaching fraternity, particularly in the Big 12, that they're not as supportive of what you're doing and how you do it?
COACH DREW: Well, I think this is my seventh year in the Big 12, and I have the third longest tenure. From a personal standpoint, I think the Big 12 coaches are tighter, this group, in the last two years probably than we've been since any time that I've been in the league. Got a number of text messages, "congratulations" or "good luck" or "we'll be cheering for you." And we do the exact same thing.
So I think sometimes something might get out, and now all of a sudden people think perception is reality. But I really feel that it takes every coach working together and pulling their weight to have the No. 1-ranked league in the country. And I know that's something all 12 coaches are extremely proud of. To have seven teams in the NCAA Tournament, Texas Tech in the NIT tournament, I mean, we're all very happy for that.

Q. Have you done something different this time around than you did two years ago when it was so disappointing for you?
COACH DREW: Well, I think the biggest difference is just the experience for the players that have already been in the tournament. Again, there is no secret to our success. We've had great upperclassmen leadership.
Those players that were in the tournament before, passing on to the younger players, hey, this is business. We need to focus. This is something we need to take care of. They're the ones that set the tone, and they've done a tremendous job all season, and that's why we've been successful.

Q. I realize you still have Old Dominion ahead. But how much would it mean for you and the university and fans to be able to play a Sweet 16 in Houston?
COACH DREW: That would obviously be a dream come true for a lot of people. So we know there is a difference, though, between dreaming and making things happen. That's why we won't think about that right now. We'll focus on the game and put all our efforts into that.

Q. Talking to some of your guys, they all talk about Ekpe as like this elder statesman, call him Uncle Ekpe. Is he one of the more mature guys you've coached, and did you see right away he was going to come in and be that kind of leader?
COACH DREW: Most definitely. Ekpe is one of those people that just has a calming influence on everybody. It's like being around a big brother. Somebody who just makes sure you know what the right things are, the wrong things.
I think his perspective just being a little bit older, being a transfer, he just brings some other wisdom to the team that's really been beneficial.
And I know he's helped out, especially with our front line development. You take Quincy Acy, he's really learned a lot from him.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297