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March 12, 2011

Rick Barnes

Jordan Hamilton

Tristan Thompson


Kansas – 85
Texas - 73

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the Texas Longhorns, coach Rick Barnes and student-athletes Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson. Coach, opening comments.
COACH BARNES: Congratulations to Kansas. They came out and really, really a terrific first half they put on us. But obviously from where we sit we're disappointed we didn't play up to our ability. And, again, you have to give them credit for that. And we just got down and kept trying to work our way back into it, and every time we gave ourselves a chance, we either took a quick shot or made a poor decision, or we went down and made a poor decision on the defensive end and gave them either a pretty good look from the perimeter or an offensive rebound.
With all that said, and with certainly Tristan wasn't in the game who alters and changes so many games, we cut it to eight.
But, again, we made some poor decisions at the wrong time on both ends. But, again, Kansas will make you do those type things. And they're an outstanding team, outstanding program, and they played terrific and certainly deserved to win the game.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Tristan, just how frustrating was it for you to be in foul trouble and have to watch a lot of this game from the bench?
TRISTAN THOMPSON: It's very frustrating, especially putting my team in that situation. I put most of the blame on me in terms of results of this game, putting my teammates in this kind of situation and getting in foul trouble. But you gotta give credit to Kansas. They executed the game plan and it just didn't go down for us today.

Q. Jordan, what's it like playing as many minutes as you guys have had to without Tristan in the middle?
JORDAN HAMILTON: It was tough, because I know last game he did a great job on the Morris twins.
And this time the Morris twins, I think they did pretty good. Tyshawn Taylor did a good job, and it was hard for us because usually when Tyshawn Taylor gets into the lane like that Tristan would usually block those shots. Instead he was getting easy layups.

Q. Tristan, could you just describe your fourth foul and what happened there?
TRISTAN THOMPSON: You know, it was off a rebound and I tried jumping, make an attempt to do a tip back, but unfortunately it was called a foul. Ref called right around his back. But plays like that happen in the game of basketball, and you just have to go play with it.

Q. Jordan, can you explain why Gary Johnson was having some shooting woes and how much did that cramp you up with Tristan's absence?
JORDAN HAMILTON: Shots weren't falling. The Morris twins did a good job of contesting shots down there, and we didn't get a lot of second chances because Tristan was on the bench, and it was tough because all those guys are big and they rebound.

Q. A lot of people say these conference tournaments don't mean anything, that for teams like you and Kansas, that this game would be -- doesn't mean anything because you're going to the NCAAs anyway. What did this game mean to you guys coming into it? What did you guys want to accomplish and how meaningful was it?
JORDAN HAMILTON: To me personally, it was a big one for us. I mean, give credit to Kansas. They came in and they played hard. And we just have to execute and listen to what Coach says. I know at the end we kind of melted down as far as running the plays, and it was hard for us.

Q. Why was it a big one for you? Is it just to win the championship or was it to get ready for NCAAs or was it the fact that Kansas probably wanted revenge on you guys? Were you guys just trying to just --
JORDAN HAMILTON: Honestly, every game is big for me. I don't care if it's a conference game, non-conference game or preseason game. Every game means something to me. For us to come in here and not win is pretty disappointing.

Q. Jordan, you guys seemed to do better on offense against them up at Allen Fieldhouse. Did they do something better today or just you guys not executing like you said?
JORDAN HAMILTON: We missed some shots. Like I said, we didn't get second-chance opportunities when usually we do. And it was tough for us tonight, that's why.

Q. Jordan, is this team ready to go in the NCAA?
JORDAN HAMILTON: Absolutely. We're going to get back to practice and get back to the drawing board and look at film and see what we have to work on, and once we do that I think we'll be ready.

Q. Jordan, how difficult was it crashing the offensive boards, when you're so concerned about Kansas's transition game, the way they turn the court around?
JORDAN HAMILTON: When I went up for a rebound, you know, the guy would turn around and he would bump me with his arms instead of boxing me out. It was kind of hard to fight around that. So that being said, it was hard for me to get to the offensive glass.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Could you be a little more specific, why was it so difficult for you guys to cover them in the corners? Their 3-point shots hurt you really bad.
COACH BARNES: At the wrong time, you're right. I thought that question was a great question in terms of their transition was because of our lack of good offense. Didn't have the floor balance. Again, one pass not letting our offense develop and guys getting caught out of position.
But, again, at the wrong time, just I would call it discipline, being in tune, whatever you want to -- whatever word you want to put on it -- we wanted to help each other. We knew they were going to come out and go right inside. We wanted to do the same thing. You go back, they put it in there -- I think Tristan went -- I don't know if he touched it in the first four minutes.
And, again, they worked hard. I do think that we -- and we were trying to help off -- certainly to start the game we wanted them to play, to help by choking down.
Then when the ball came back out, get into our rotations, but they were scoring and they made -- again, you've got to give them credit. They put the ball in the post.
But, again, we gave them eight points in the first half off just run-outs and where we didn't have floor balance, again, because of poor execution on the offensive end.

Q. You're aware of the circumstances of the first game in Lawrence. Do you think KU came out with something to prove about that game, or did it have anything to do with it?
COACH BARNES: You know, you'll have to ask them that. I can't tell you. I don't know anything. I thought they played really, really hard. Like Jordan said, I think we'll really learn from this game and the fact -- you look at their team, they've been together longer. I can sit here and tell you that we're a younger team, which we are. There's no denying that, but I love the way Cory Joseph competed today.
I thought he played his heart out. There's some good things that came out of this tournament for us. The fact is, for everybody from here on out, there's no redos. I'd rather lose now and rather win it later on.
But, again, I don't think the game is that hard. And I'm like what Jordan said, I think all games are big. I like to think that people play the game for the right reason, and whatever motivation I guess they need, they need.
But the fact is, we played a lot better that day. We screened. We ran really good offense. Today we didn't. Bill does a great job with this team, he really does. And knowing Bill, I don't think that was his motivation, to win a game, or his team, I'm sure they -- and I do think young people say things that -- whatever.
I do think that was a difficult time for Kansas. I've said after the game, and I know that I could tell Bill had a tough night, I can tell it. But, again, I don't know. I can't answer that question. I'm sure that you ask them, different guys will say it. I don't know how to answer it for you.

Q. Having gone down that list of 57 things you're not happy with, you're right there. You're within eight. In a weird way are you encouraged? Is that something you can sell to them?
COACH BARNES: We're a good team. We can beat anybody. There's no doubt in my mind. We'll be a team that no one wants to play. We're capable on any given night to beat anybody.
But we've got to be disciplined. We've got -- we've been in situations before. But we need -- we had two starters tonight that -- I mean, Tristan is a key guy. He played 11 minutes. And sometimes you just have to work your way through it. It's not pretty. It's not fun. But we kept trying to do this, do that. Some of the adjustments were good.
When we got some momentum, because of the situation with the fouls, him not being in the game, we, again, took some quick shots. And on the defensive end, you know, we gave up, again, some big plays at the wrong time.
But the fact is cut it to eight. And am I disappointed? Absolutely. Because I know we're better than this. Foul trouble happens. But even with that, we should be able to work through it.
But, again, Kansas did a great job. They came out and I thought really executed. They're not the best team in the country in terms of assists and field goal percentages without a reason. They move the ball. They defend. You look at the balance they had today. They got one, two, three, four, six guys, they play the role, and that's why they won the regular season, and that's why they won the regular season tournament.
They're the most consistent team, from start to finish.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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