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March 3, 2012

Colt Ryan

Marty Simmons


Creighton – 99
Evansville – 71

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement, please.
COACH SIMMONS:  We're obviously disappointed in the result.  But overall really proud of our guys and just how they've gone about the season.  Creighton was just really, really good today.  They were hard to guard in all aspects.  We struggled with guarding the ball.  We struggled with guarding the post.
We had a hard time getting out to their shooters, and they beat us up on the boards as well.  They're a very good basketball team, and they certainly deserved to win.

Q.  Colt, do you feel size was a factor in this game today?
COLT RYAN:  No, I don't feel like size was a factor.  We are a little undersized, but with rebounding and stuff, I'm guessing that's what you're getting at, I don't think that has anything to do with blocking out and going and pursuing the ball, which is what we didn't do today.

Q.  I know you guys came back a little bit and played in the end, but did you feel you could carry some momentum going forward?
COLT RYAN:  Yeah, I think there were a couple games late in the season that we played well and executed well.  Hopefully when we get a postseason tournament, hopefully we can draw from those games and move forward.

Q.  Colt, what did they do differently against you this time after the last game when you were so hot and hardly missed anything?
COLT RYAN:  Yeah, they made sure they always had a guy in my face.  I don't think they did too much different.  They had guys had some open shots.  I had some open shots didn't knock down.  If they were up in my face, that gave more opportunities for the other guys on the team to score the basketball.

Q.  Coach, what do you learn from a game like this one today?
COACH SIMMONS:  There will be a lot to learn.  Just from an execution standpoint and how we have to play to be competitive against a team like Creighton.  I think we can learn a lot, ball screens, the way we handled ball screens, our inability to block out.  Not being able to sprint back in transition and get them stopped.  There are just tons of things that, as a staff, we can go back and show our basketball team and they can learn from and we can still improve.

Q.  What made the difference in rebounding, because you guys played so well on the board today?  Was it them getting all those three pointers and them making it a little more difficult and you had to respect it some?
COACH SIMMONS:  Just rebounding is effort, and our effort yesterday was better.  That's not to take anything away from Creighton.  They've got good size.  They've got good athletes, but you still have to be fundamentally sound.  You've got to get bodies on people.  You've got to pursue the basketball.  We've been able to compete pretty well throughout the course of the season.  But we just didn't do a good job of that today.

Q.  Obviously they were hot from the three‑point line early on.  Was that just a case of not getting out there in time or a case of they're going to hit everything, because you guys in Evansville, they missed 18?
COACH SIMMONS:  Yeah, they're one of the best shooting teams if not thee best in the country.  That's their deal.  They've got very good shooters.  They're a very unselfish team.  They do what they do with their system of play very well.
As we did in the prior two games, we have to show a lot of help.  They recognize that.  They skip the ball.  We were a little slower, I think, as far as closing out on the shooters.  But I mean, they knocked them in.

Q.  Coach, your team was down 49‑30 at halftime.  What did you feel had you to come out and do in the second half to at least stay in this game?
COACH SIMMONS:  I thought the first four minutes, if we could just chip away there and get a little momentum.  They got off to such a good start.  Then we seemed to battle back, and they got away from us there.  But I really thought if we could just have some success those first four minutes that it would carry over for the remainder of the half.  But it seemed we played pretty even there the first four, and we probably didn't get out of that what we would have hoped.

Q.  Beyond the disappointment of today, can you put this late‑season surge that you guys had into perspective?  You won 4 out of 5 coming into today.  Do you think you've done enough to get into a tournament again this year?
COACH SIMMONS:  Well, I would certainly hope finishing third in the league that we compete in would be justification to play in a postseason tournament.  I'm not on the selection committee, but I would think that.  I would think our guys have battled all year long.  We were in a position maybe to have even more success, and we didn't quite get it done.
But I think they certainly showed that they can compete in this league.  I think more than anything we've talked about is just their resiliency of being able to come back.  I think that's probably the thing that makes me the most proud.

Q.  You guys have done a good job of keeping Gregory Echenique down.  What was the difference today?
COACH SIMMONS:  I just think from an execution standpoint they executed better.  We had to show more help.  Our rotations defensively weren't what they needed to be, and he's a really good player.  He's explosive around the rim, and we seem to be a step late at times in our rotation to not only prevent post passes, but to take charges.  Again, I thought they did a great job of getting him the ball in positions where he could score.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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