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March 7, 2012

Jaye Crockett

Billy Gillispie

Jordan Tolbert


Oklahoma State – 76
Texas Tech – 60

THE MODERATOR:  We're ready to begin with the Red Raiders of Texas Tech, coach Billy Gillispie and student‑athletes Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert.
Coach, opening comments.
COACH GILLISPIE:  As a game, I thought we had a great chance to win.  We got in a great position to do it, and just made some critical errors and gave some easy baskets up.  And then to their credit, they made a couple of big shots and we turned the ball over too much, let them get it out there again.  And before you know it, they had too big of a deficit for us to overcome.
So I give them credit for advancing.  Good luck to them as they move forward in the Big 12 tournament.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Jaye, you guys talked a lot this year about peaking at this right time and kind of really setting your sights on this game tonight.  And right there having a lead in the second half, how kind of disappointing is it the way it sort of ended tonight?
JAYE CROCKETT:  Anytime you start letting a lead‑‑ I mean, we were up by 1 at one point I think, and anytime you let a lead get away, it's devastating.
We just did simple things like turn the ball over.  We weren't getting all the defensive rebounds.  They were getting layups on us, and that was just too easy for them and we didn't make it difficult enough.

Q.  Jaye, that run, as soon as you guys did take the lead it was a 15‑0 run in about three and a half minutes.  What was sort of the biggest problems you guys were having defensively during that stretch?
JAYE CROCKETT:  We weren't getting stops.  It was easy buckets.  A lot of times my man would drive me to the hole.  Sometimes we weren't in the help‑‑ we were in a triangle and 2 at one point.  They hit some 3s.  It went away from there.

Q.  Jordan, how much fuel is this going to give you going forward the way this ended tonight and the motivation you're going to carry into the offseason?
JORDAN TOLBERT:  It's a great game to build off of.  We had a lot of positives as far as defense and rebounding and pushing the ball, defensive rebounds.  So it's a great thing to build off of.

Q.  Jordan, could you just talk about how far this team has come since the beginning of the Big 12 season and what you think the future holds for this group?
JORDAN TOLBERT:  We've come a very long way.  When we first started it was very tough.  But we never stopped.  We always kept fighting.  And as the season goes on, the wins and the losses, they don't show it, but we know that we got better in a lot of different aspects of the game.  So just waiting for next year.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  I'll ask you the same question, kind of a lot‑‑ focus on this game and you talked a lot this year about wanting to peak.  What were your thoughts on the way it ended tonight?
COACH GILLISPIE:  I noticed at the start you all were identifying yourself of who you were and where you were from and who you represented, so I wish you would all go ahead and do that.
It's hard to see.  I was just playing.  Poor attempt at humor, obviously.
But I thought we'd play our best game of the year and came out and just made some‑‑ we just‑‑ they try as hard as they could possibly try all year long.  But it's just like‑‑ it seems like we've continued to be the coyote and the roadrunner deal where the anvil always hits you on the head.
Just too many times that happened tonight and over the course of the season where you're in good shape to do something, lose the ball, you don't get it, they turn it into a dunk.
It didn't really happen in the first half too much except right at the start of the game we got down pretty early, and then I think we were down 13 and ended up being down 5 at half on a pretty good run.
But even at the last 30seconds of the half really kind of shows you what's gone on with us all year long as far as we need to be better thinkers of the game, because we go in and we shoot it with 18 or 20seconds to go in the half and Jaye does a great job to get an offensive rebound.
At that time what you should do is take the last shot of the half.  We don't, they end up with the balls, Ty runs over a guy, that's why we subbed him.  Those are things difficult to overcome.  Third foul, fourth foul wasn't the smartest foul either.  Those are things where you're trying really hard, but you have to think the game a little bit better than we thought it especially at critical junctures.
We got ahead of the game‑‑ we got ahead in the game 36‑35 tonight, and then after that we had a timeout very shortly after and Guerrero makes two shots.  We told him he's going to be the guy that going to make the shot, and we didn't really contest him.
He had to make the shot, but we didn't contest him like we needed to, and the game was kind of over at that time because we had turnovers on the other end or poor shot selection.
So while we tried really hard all year long, they never gave up.  And so you look at our record definitely in conference and everybody knows me, knows I'm not much on losing.  We lost too much as far as that goes.  And we'll get that fixed in short time.  But it could have been a lot worse.
To the credit of the players, those guys, they learned, as you saw in practice, came to several practices, many practices over the course of the year, they were a new group.
We never made an excuse, we've got 10 new players.  We never made an excuse, we've got all these freshmen.  When I hear all these things about other teams, they always talk about how many freshmen they have and how many injuries they've had.  It's nothing we've ever promoted or will accept as an excuse and we won't as we move forward.  And so I'm proud of that.
Those guys always kept their head up and they continued to get better as the season went along.  Like Jordan said, the wins and losses don't exactly show what they were exactly made out of or exactly how much they improved.  But they kept fighting until the very end.  And it could have been a lot worse, if you would have had a team that didn't really care.  These guys really cared and they really cared about each other.
And so what you have there is when you're saying that, you're saying the wins, the losses still add up to the same, that's the bottom line of the business, and I understand that more than anyone, but what we've done, we've set the foundation of how we're going to move forward.
There's so many things.  I've been through it before.  And it was very similar to what we went through at Texas El Paso, and those guys really learned to work and love each other and took care of everything off the court and in the classroom and all those kind of things.  And I'm not a Bill Murray saying it just doesn't matter, because it does matter.
But they've got the foundation set as we move forward to build our program, and it will be built in a big hurry I think because of a lot of the efforts of the players that have been here.  I hope I used up all my time on that.

Q.  You've talked about what this team has done off the court and all the things you want, but in terms of maybe what you need from your lineup and the talent you have and what you maybe need to add to this, what do you think you need for next year, Billy?
COACH GILLISPIE:  We'll start assessing that.  We've done some things in recruiting already and we've had inconsistent play from every position.  And we've had inconsistent coaching, I'm sure, too.  So we'll assess that as we move forward.
And we'll get closer.  It takes a little time.  It takes a little time to get a complete roster like you want it.  But we've got to get faster.  We've got to get bigger.  We've got to get stronger.
A lot of that happens when you have more mature players.  So our guys are going to get stronger.  Once you get bigger, you'll be stronger.  And that really gives you a great deal of confidence a lot of times.  And all this experience all these guys have had, every single player on our team had an opportunity to play minutes, and we've played probably more guys than I've ever played as far as the numbers.  We played everyone that was basically eligible to play as far as‑‑ I mean, all of them are doing great academically, but I mean regarding redshirts and all those kinds of things.
So they've had great opportunities, and those minutes should be great teachers for them.  And they're great young people.
And so if they'll just look at what happened to them this year, the good, the bad, and they'll try to move forward.  I think it will be a little different‑looking group even though it may be the same guys.
But we've got to get faster.  That's the thing.  And every single time‑‑ I've said this several times.  But Seabiscuit is a very good movie and I remember the scene where Seabiscuit goes through the gate and he's about two feet shorter than Gary Steven's horse, maybe more admirable or whatever, and he's looking down at him.  Every single time we went up for the jump it seemed like we were Seabiscuit about two feet shorter and about 100 pounds lighter per man.
So we've got to get stronger, we've got to get bigger, faster, we've got to get more skill, and you can develop skill.  So we have to improve in every single area, including coaching.  It all starts with me.  And I'm the head of the program; I'll take responsibility for every loss we had.
And we'll move forward and every single aspect of the program we'll move forward.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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