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March 20, 2011

Rick Barnes

J'Covan Brown

Jordan Hamilton


Arizona – 70
Texas - 69

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then questions for our student-athletes.
COACH BARNES: Well, again a really hard fought basketball game. A really tough time for our team obviously because our guys, I thought they showed a lot of character and determination coming back. Put ourselves in position there at the end, and I told them, again, I'm just so proud of our team, and our seniors have done a tremendous job all year.
They're hurt, disappointed, obviously. But I just told them that at this time of the year games come down to a possession like that, and there is going to be talk about this, that or whatever. But I just told them sometimes we don't know why it turns out the way it does, and I haven't seen anything about it. There are a lot of people back in the back saying this, saying that.
But I do think it was a hard-fought game, and Arizona's -- Sean does a tremendous job with his team. When you get two teams that play as hard as the two teams that you saw play today, it could come down to a possession.
But, again, I'm just really proud of our team and really proud of our seniors because they were the one that's led the way all year.

Q. If you could describe your last drive to the basket, and if you thought there was contact there, and if you had any vision of what happened on the rebound as well?
J'COVAN BROWN: I don't know. I just tried to get to the rim, and just, you know, put it on the rim for my teammates. I don't know about the foul. I didn't see when the rebound came off if Gary got fouled or not. But things happen, and we've just got to move on from it.

Q. I know you were trying to get the ball on the inbounds play right before that. Did it seem like five seconds to you, or what did you think of that call?
J'COVAN BROWN: Cut for it. I got a trip at the time, and I put my head down. And Cory said he called a timeout, but the ref said it was 5 seconds, so I didn't see it.

Q. Do you feel like you got fouled going to the basket? Was that clear?
J'COVAN BROWN: Every player's going to think he got fouled in that situation, but it's hard for the refs to call it when the game's on the line. But things happen. I'm just trying to move on from it.

Q. Talk about the second half that J'Covan had, and how you all regrouped after a not really good first half?
JORDAN HAMILTON: Well, I knew those guys couldn't stay in front of him. So I just told coach, hey, just have me come off walkaways, and if I'm open, I know J'Covan will kick it.
But he made shots down the stretch. And he got fouled and he knocked down his free throws, and that's what he did. I just think he did a fantastic job down the stretch in the last five minutes of the game.

Q. On the play where Derrick scored and they called you for the charge or called him or whatever, could you walk us through that?
JORDAN HAMILTON: To be honest, I didn't even feel contact at all. But the ref made up his mind and called a foul. There's nothing we can do about it now.

Q. On that inbound play, I believe that Derrick Williams was covering you, if I'm wrong, could you correct me? Also, were you surprised, if it was him, that was covering you?
J'COVAN BROWN: I don't know what out of bounds play you're talking about.

Q. The five-second call.
J'COVAN BROWN: No, I think it was the wing guy, Fogg, that fouled me or whatever his name is, he was guarding me at the time. I think the big kid was on the out of bounds play on Cory. You've got to just, I guess give him credit for the 5 seconds, you know, but it is what it is.

Q. You were beating them to the left the whole second half. Did they kind of push you to the right that last time? Was there somebody in your way? Do you know what happened there?
J'COVAN BROWN: No, coach called for a wide walkaway. And the thing when Gary was sitting, he was playing me to my right. I like to go right, but most teams play me left. So I'm strong with my left.
But when it comes down to, I try to go to my right as much, but try to give us a chance and just put it on the rim for us. But the ref didn't call it, so game's over, and I just move on from it now.

Q. I know you didn't play that great in the first half, and you had 10 turnovers. Do you feel like you were rushing yourselves? What do you feel like was the cause of that?
J'COVAN BROWN: I think we just came out too anxious. Too anxious, moving too fast instead of just letting the game come to me like I did in the second half. I fought ten turnovers in the first half on me. I was out of sync. But I just tried to come back in the second half and help my team get a win.
JORDAN HAMILTON: I think the first half we didn't start the game off with energy. They knocked down some key threes in the first half. I know we both shot 38% in the first half, but what separated was they hit some threes that -- yeah, that's what they did.

Q. Can you talk about the emotional roller coaster of that late game? You're smiling at one point ear to ear, and then the way the game ended, what that's been like to go through here in these last 10 or 15 minutes?
J'COVAN BROWN: Like coach said, at first half our body language was terrible. When I went into the locker room and I thought about it and I said my body language, I had to change that for us to try to get back in this game. You know, I just thought about the seniors that we have on our team and how big of a role they play on this team.
I just tried to give my all to them. I just tried to be aggressive and have to realize that when bad things are going on, you can't show your body language.
I think I learned in some games not to let it frustrate me, but some games it happens, so I've just got to learn to change my body language when things are going bad.

Q. Can you talk about the slip that Williams had to the basket on the last possession by Arizona and the basket he made on that final play?
JORDAN HAMILTON: Well, I saw that he had position of getting to the basket when he slipped. I tried to come up and take a charge, and I think he did a good job of using his body. Honestly, I didn't even feel contact.
But I guess the ref had his mind made up and he made the call, and he made the basket and he made the free throw, so.

Q. Did you have any words with Derrick in the last 5 to 10 seconds or after the game?
JORDAN HAMILTON: I just told him good game, and told him I love him. That's one of my best friends. They ended up with the victory, and that's how it ended.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Barnes.

Q. Can you address the calls at the end of the game, the 5 count, and J'Covan's drive to the basket?
COACH BARNES: Well, honestly, again, I was surprised. If you watch my reaction -- and I was looking around like what happened here -- I know it's a tough game to officiate, and at the end, again, I haven't seen it.
But at the end of the game I don't know how much contact was with J'Covan. I'm not so sure of Gary when he had it if the lights weren't already on. So I don't know until we see it.
It's just really -- because you play so hard to get to this point, but it's part of the game. Again, I don't know. I didn't see it. I'd have to see it before I really had comments, but my initial reaction was, what happened.
We only had made one cut, and we had another guy coming. The last thing Cory said to me was, Coach, do we have a timeout? And I said, yeah, if you have to use it and use it quick.
But, again, I don't want to take away from Arizona. They played hard. They worked hard. And like I told our team if it's a controversial situation we don't need to talk about it, other people will be talking about it for us because this time of the year it's what you play for. You hope it can all go smooth, but sometimes it doesn't. We don't know the answer to that sometimes. I told our team maybe somewhere later on we'll find out.

Q. J'Covan just mentioned body language. That's something that came up a lot when you talked about J'Covan this year. How was his body language in the second half?
COACH BARNES: What I actually talked to the them about was I was upset with them in terms of I thought they were getting too -- letting their offense dictate the way we were playing the game. I said let somebody get upset about not defending for a while. And I just thought that we had a -- first of all, we came out of the game playing terrific, really moving.
As Jordan said, I thought we had great energy to start the game in terms of doing what we wanted to do. We had some good stops and we actually got away from executing.
They made some shots, which, again, we talked about having to be play makers away from the ball and getting back to our man. We wanted to run them off the three-point line, which we did there a couple of times at the end, but Arizona's a team that they execute. They do good things. But you would expect a game this time of the year against two teams like this to maybe come down to a possession.
Overall, I was really proud of the way our guys fought back, and came back. Again, it's tough because it's a great game. I just hope there is no controversy to it. I just hope that you just hope it wasn't -- I just hope that it was a legit 5-second count. I can live with some of the other things because it's a tough game to officiate. But counts, there is no reason to not get those right.

Q. I'm sure you're aware of J'Covan's free throw shooting the past two games. On that final play, are you trying to get him a shot or contact? Was it the plan the whole way for him to keep the ball?
COACH BARNES: Yeah, open up the floor. The only thing I wish he would have done is I said I wish he would have brought it down the floor faster so we would have had a chance, so Gary would have gotten the rebound. I don't know if Gary -- that wouldn't be the one I would probably be so concerned about.
It would be you compare contact on both ends. I guess when I sit down and look at it -- but, again, I don't want to say the wrong thing about officiating. I think they try. I do.
I think it's a very hard game to officiate. But the one thing that -- one of the things that I know this year was emphasized was if it's a foul in the first second, it's a foul in the last second. I don't know. I think it's a hard game. But, again, the contact stuff, I think that can happen. But the counts, I don't think anyone should ever make a mistake on that, ever. I mean, ever. I'm telling you the truth, I hope he got it right. That's what I hope. I really do. I hope he got it right.

Q. They had some guys come off the bench, some guys had games that they haven't had recently. I know your first turnover in the second half resulted in them getting a pretty easy basket. Games like this in the tournament, it's those unexpected thing that's make a difference.
COACH BARNES: You look at it, they ended up with 12 turnovers, we had 13. But we did a better job in the second half. The rebounding was a pretty even game across the board there. But, again, both teams, it was a hard fought game early, a very physical game. But it's a very fine line. There are a lot of things that play into it sometimes.
Again, I think our guys have been the type of team all year that care about each other. The hardest thing, honestly is in the locker room with them because they care. If you were in there with our seniors the way they feel, they don't get another chance at it. But they've given so much to our program.
A year ago this time I had no idea where we really were. Again, those guys have done a tremendous job putting our program back where we want it to be.

Q. Could you talk about Tristan Thompson's offensive troubles and why he couldn't get on track?
COACH BARNES: I think they did a really good job. They wanted to get physical with him. I told him early in the game I didn't think he was fighting to earn his position early. But he got a little frustrated. We knew they were going to double. We knew that. But, again, he got a little frustrated with it, and defensively he got overly aggressive a couple of times.
But, again, he'll learn from it. I don't think there is any question, but he forced a couple of things. You've got to give them credit. I thought they really worked hard at trying to neutralize him. So with that said, we started to really try to play through our guards.

Q. You say you hope there is no controversy, and I understand you're talking about the 5-second count. The tournament as a whole has had several controversies, whether they're real or not. You had the Pitt-Butler outcome last night. You had the no call on Derrick Williams block shot two days ago. Some other things like that. Do you think that the officials kind of see that stuff and swing back and forth from the swallow-the-whistle philosophy to the call-it-early-type philosophy? Do you think that affects the outcome of your game at the very end?
COACH BARNES: Well, again, I think last night in the Pitt game they got it right. They got it right. Both of those calls you look at it, they were fouls and they got it right. So I don't think there is controversy there. Now there will be people that say, hey, in a situation like that you've got to let the players decide. The fact is the players did decide. One fouled at half court. One fouled underneath. One guy makes a free throw, and one guy made one. So the players do decide.
The fact is the one thing is a foul's a foul. I really do think that John Adams is going to do a great job with officiating. I don't think there is any question with where he is with the NCAA, and it has improved. I think that's going to be, I think, it will really take strides here.
Like I said, it's a hard game to officiate, but the fact is all coaches want it to be consistent across the board. And you get this time of year, again, it's tough. I mean, I've known Jim Burr my entire life, and personally there is not a finer person. He's a wonderful guy. I certainly have known him longer than anybody.
So as coaches, there are officials that we know that we truly we know that they love the game. They're passionate about it. But it's a hard game.
I don't think any of them purposely try to miss calls, but there are certain things that I don't think they can miss. There are certain things they can't miss. Now with the electronics that we have, if there's any question about it, I think they ought to be able to fix it. I think they should be able to fix it. They should go over there, and if it's a missed call, they should do the right thing.
They have rule plays in other leagues and even on an out-of-bound play. There are certain things that can be corrected. In our game there's not. We've got to be willing to make the rules that are right, because at the very end if you truly want the players to determine it, the officials have to be willing, the NCAA has to be willing to say, okay, we're going to get this right. If we have to go to the monitor, which sometimes coaches say that's a tough thing to do, but the bottom line -- whether it's a deflection out of bounds -- in this situation, I wish we could go back and review the 5-second call. Again, I don't know where it stops.
But I do have confidence in John Adams that he's going to continue to work hard at improving officiating around the country. So I just think we've got to continue to help the whole thing we do get better, not just officiating, but the whole college basketball game.

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