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March 3, 2011

Mark Phelps

Rayvonte Rice

Ryan Wedel


Bradley – 63
Drake - 48

THE MODERATOR: Drake Bulldogs are with us. Coach Phelps, if you could make a statement on the game.
COACH PHELPS: Two back-to-back tough offensive games for us against Bradley. First half, we didn't shoot the ball very well. We made a reemphasis at halftime to get the ball in the paint. Thought we did a really good job to start the second half. Rayvonte did a great job getting in the paint, driving, finishing, and getting three-point plays.
Then the thing that stands out to me the most was it was a game that was going back and forth. We had a four-point lead. Simms-Edwards was difficult to deal with all night long as anyone can attest to that watched the game. He's getting in the paint quite a bit, and it really, really hurt us.
The last time I looked up, they were up two. It was a tight game. Then Andrew Warren went on a 7-point run on his own, and stretched it out to nine, and the game began to get a little bit more difficult.
So another tough, offensive night for us, which don't have a lot of answers for that. Guys who have been making shots all year long just came up short, and that, at the end of the night was certainly a big part of why we couldn't pull it off and certainly Bradley gets credit for their defensive efforts.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Rayvonte, talk about the second half coming out. What was your mindset coming out? You looked like you were getting ready to take over there?
RAYVONTE RICE: Just coming out and trying to get Ryan our best. It was his last game. Just really trying to come out and compete and trying to get this win.

Q. They put Andrew Warren on you and you didn't score again. Can you talk about what happened after those three minutes when you had those eight points?
RYAN WEDEL: Really they just played great defense, closing down the lanes. Did a good job not letting me get in there. They were just playing great team defense.

Q. Can you just reflect on your Drake career? This last game wasn't the best way to go out, but what your career at Drake has meant?
RYAN WEDEL: It definitely wasn't the way I wanted to go out. But you have to give them the credit. Looking back on my career, I have no regrets. We didn't win as many games as I would have hoped, but the program is building off the 2008 season, and we have a bright future at Drake. I just feel like I gave it everything I had, and I have no regrets as far as my career.

Q. I guess two big defensive adjustments you made in the last game which was Clarke on Warren and Rice on Dunson. Talk about how you thought that played out for you?
COACH PHELPS: Obviously Jordan's our best defender whether it be he a post player or perimeter. We thought we'd have a better chance of him guarding Warren. I thought he did a good job. Andrew shot 19 times and got 15 points. It hurt us a little bit when Jordan picked up the second foul on the shot fake. But we thought that was going to be a better match-up. We felt like Ben did a good job guarding Egolf. Looking back, obviously, Egolf didn't score in the game.
Also, Dunson is a little shiftier, we felt like, that Simms-Edwards. And gave Ryan a little bit of a match-up problem simply because of his size and his ability to spin. We wanted to put Rayvonte on him. As it turns out, Simms-Edwards had a terrific night. We had a real hard time keeping him out of the paint.
A lot of that was off of ball screens and he would get detached from our ball screen defense and get in the paint. Those are the two adjustments. I like the adjustments, again, look at Bradley they scored 63 points but we didn't get it done on the offensive end.

Q. Obviously the key sequence was the 13-4 run to go up four, and they come back with a 13-0 run. What was going wrong in that sequence for you guys?
COACH PHELPS: Yeah, that was a really tough situation there, again, Warren had his own 7-0 run in the middle of that 13-0 run. I'd certainly have to look at the tape. We hit a really tough shot over there, and Kirk was trying to get out of his way. The referee thought he bothered him on the shot.
So when you give a great player -- I mean, he makes a couple shots. You saw his mindset tonight. He was going to get them up and rightfully so.
But we couldn't score consistently. I think Rayvonte said it well. They started doing a better job closing down the driving lanes. Then it got a little congested down there, and we couldn't sustain scoring in the paint. So as they were scoring, we weren't scoring. So if that run's 13-7, 13-8 or 13-6, it's a different story.

Q. What kind of adjustments were you making after that 13-0 run trying to get Rayvonte back on track?
COACH PHELPS: Well, when they made their adjustment to close down the passing lanes, at that point you've got to play basketball. You've got to get in the paint, you're drawing one or two more guys and just a defender, you have to kick it out.
Again, I'm missing shots. I look at Ben, and I feel bad, bad for him. 0 for 4, 0 for 3 in this game, to follow that up in the game Saturday. Don't have a lot of answers for why guys missed open shots. They work on them. At home we were a lot better knocking down shots.
Overall, you have to make more shots. Sorry it's so simplistic, but we shot 31% in the game, and I thought we had good open looks.
I just want to mention Ryan. I don't know if he got his full due tonight. He's been an unbelievable ambassador for our basketball program. He's set the example these last three years, and there will be many times looking forward that our team will point to so many things that he did the right way. Tonight we celebrated his contribution to our basketball program. It certainly wasn't the way we wanted him to go out, but he's a true competitor, the essence of a student-athlete. Does it right all the way around.
We're going to miss him a lot. His contribution will be evident for many years to come to our program.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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