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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: ALBUQUERQUE


March 14, 2012


Quincy Acy

Scott Drew

Brady Heslip

Pierre Jackson

Perry Jones III


ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the Baylor student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Brady, what's it mean to you as a Canadian‑‑ and it's really your first opportunity to play in this tournament‑‑ what's it mean to you to be a part of this tournament knowing the nation's probably keeping their eyes on you as well?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah, that means a lot.テつ All the people are sending me great messages and supporting me from back home.テつ But it's been my dream my whole life to come play Division 1 basketball, and to get an opportunity to play with these guys and be part of the NCAA Tournament is just amazing.

Q.テつ Quincy, can you just kind of talk about how things have changed at Baylor, the perception of the school in the wake of the recent success of your football team, you guys, and the women's basketball team?
QUINCY ACY:テつ They know who we are now.テつ We can go to the local grocery store and they recognize you from pictures and stuff like that.テつ So it's what our mindset was coming in, to try to put this program on the map.テつ Everybody in every sport has done it, so it feels good to say you're a part of Baylor.

Q.テつ Quincy, you talked about putting Baylor on the map.テつ Arguably it's been on the map for all the wrong reasons.テつ How long does it take to erase the stigma of the Dave Bliss era?
QUINCY ACY:テつ Well, we're still in progress, but I feel we're doing a good job right now with the recent success of all the programs, really.テつ You don't hear Baylor and think of that whole episode anymore.テつ You think of RG3, Brittney Griner, this guy right here.テつ So, I mean, it feels good.テつ I mean, it's going to take time to completely erase it and for us to become a complete powerhouse, but I think we're headed in the right direction.

Q.テつ Brady, is it true that you used to sleep with a basketball and you actually took it in the shower with you when you were younger a few times?テつ Can you talk about that and your love of the game coming from Burlington?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah, that's true.テつ I've still got a ball in my bed right now in my room.テつ But basketball's just a really big part of my family.テつ My mom played basketball.テつ My dad played basketball.テつ My uncle and my grandfather are a big part of basketball.テつ It's something that's been around me since I was coming up.テつ It's not like I was pushed into it or anything, but I just loved playing and that's what I wanted to do with my free time.

Q.テつ Pierre, you played in the national JUCO tournament last year.テつ Did that help you prepare for this at all?テつ I know you probably watched the NCAA Tournament on TV, but just that stage, did it help you prepare for this?
PIERRE JACKSON:テつ Yeah, somewhat.テつ I know what I've got to do individually and I know what we've got to do as a team to prepare ourselves for big games and to make a deep run in this tournament.テつ So, yeah.

Q.テつ Brady, let's talk about SouthDakota State.テつ What do you see in them?テつ Obviously, you're the favorite in this game.テつ When you look at the Jacks, what do you see in them?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ They've got a point guard that can really go.テつ He creates a lot for them.テつ He scores and distributes.テつ He's pretty much involved in every play.テつ They can all shoot the ball, and they spread the floor really well.テつ They kind of play four out, one end.テつ They're aggressive, and they've got the exact same record that we do.テつ So we're not taking anything for granted.テつ We keep getting after the film and keep learning more about them, and we'll be ready.

Q.テつ Perry, you had a really good tournament in Kansas City.テつ How much momentum do you feel like you and the team have coming in here?
PERRY JONES III:テつ We've got a lot of momentum from the tournament for the fact that we all trust each other and play with each other.テつ We've all got confidence in each other and we're all looking for each other for support.テつ Just being aggressive and playing together is what we're looking to do because we know every game is going to be close, and everybody's going to need each other to perform like we did in the Big 12 Championship?

Q.テつ Quincy, the last time you guys were in the NCAA Tournament you lost to eventual champion Duke, 78‑71, in a good game.テつ Can you just tell me what the lessons from that game might mean to you guys now that you come back to the tournament?
QUINCY ACY:テつ At the end of that game, Coach really stressed that we got outrebounded on the offensive end.テつ They kept tipping out a lot of offensive rebounds for threes and stuff.テつ We've had some of the same problems this year.
But I feel towards the end of the season we've really locked in on getting complete stops and getting a stop and not letting them get an offensive rebound.テつ So I think that helped us right now.テつ I mean, we don't want to have that same taste in our mouth just off the things that we can control.テつ We got stops and they kept getting offensive rebounds.テつ I think we've worked and we've gotten better in that category.

Q.テつ Pierre or Quincy, it's been a couple of days right now, but I want to get your reaction to Seth Davis calling the upset as soon as your name came up there in the watch party.テつ How often have you heard about that in the last couple days?
QUINCY ACY:テつ Anything can happen in this tournament.テつ I mean, they wouldn't be in this tournament if they weren't capable of beating us.テつ We wouldn't look at it as an upset.テつ We're focused on trying to get this win.テつ We're not taking any team for granted.テつ We don't look at seeds or anything like that.テつ Every team is capable of winning on every given night, and we're going to go out and play Baylor basketball for 40 minutes.
PIERRE JACKSON:テつ I really could care less about what he had to say.テつ I just see it as another person stating an opinion, but he just happened to be on TV.テつ I just know me and my teammates are ready to play.

Q.テつ Brady, one more question regarding SouthDakota State being the heavy underdog in this game.テつ Does it help to kind of try to jump on them early and take advantage of them being a little bit intimidated by their first NCAA Tournament experience trying to put them away and not let them gain confidence?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah, for sure.テつ We're going to come out of the gate firing.テつ We're going to be pressuring them.テつ We're going to give them 40 minutes of Baylor basketball, basically.テつ It's going to start from the opening tip.テつ We're going to be playing and executing the game plan that Coach Drew has for us.テつ So we'll be ready come Thursday.

Q.テつ Perry, Quincy was talking a little about how the perception of Baylor is changing.テつ What is it about Baylor that's making it a more attractive place for top recruits to go play?
PERRY JONES III:テつ Just winning.テつ Winning in every sport now.テつ RG3 is the reason for that right now.テつ He pretty much started to show the world that Baylor is a place he can play and be successful as well, and that we're up and coming.テつ We are a high‑major school.テつ We're not a mid‑major low‑major school.テつ Just everybody winning in every program, basketball, girls and football.テつ Just winning.テつ Everybody wants to be a winner, so if the team's winning, everybody wants to go there.

Q.テつ This piggybacks off that last question, Brady, but can you talk about your decision and what you went through in terms of sitting out for a year?テつ Does this kind of solidify you deciding to come to Baylor and your adjustment to the game as your first real year playing NCAA?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah, my decision was basically after I built a good relationship with Coach Drew and the coaching staff.テつ It was just left for me to take a visit.テつ When I transferred, I visited five places.テつ It came down to my last visit.テつ When I visited Baylor, I knew I wanted to come here right away.テつ It's a great school academically and obviously athletically.テつ It's a good environment to be in and grow as a person.
My teammates are like my brothers now, and I'm close with the coaches.テつ It's been the best decision I've made.

Q.テつ Perry, you guys hit a rough stretch in February and dropped three or four.テつ What lessons do you guys take out of that?
PERRY JONES III:テつ We just need to play unselfish basketball, play as a team.テつ Don't try to go one‑on‑one because anybody can get a one‑on‑one shot.テつ If we play team ball, we'll be successful.テつ That's what we've been doing in the championship.
In the Big 12 Championship we were playing team ball, and we were playing together.テつ That's what made us successful.テつ Just defend well, defend and rebound well.テつ If you defend and rebound well, the game will either be close or you'll be up on your opponent.

Q.テつ Quincy, as a senior, can you put into words your level of motivation to keep playing as long as you can in a Baylor uniform?
QUINCY ACY:テつ Just not having the same taste I've had, especially last year, not even getting called into the NIT selection.テつ So right now, I don't know.テつ I can't really put it into words.テつ It's win or go home.テつ For me to go home, I'm not coming back.テつ So, yeah, that's it.

Q.テつ Perry, you talked about being unselfish as a team.テつ But Coach has talked about and the other players have talked about you needing to be more selfish.テつ Is that hard for you to do?テつ Is this kind of the time you have to do it?
PERRY JONES III:テつ My teammates tell me they need me to do it.テつ So for me to be unselfish, I have to be a little more selfish for the benefit of the team.テつ That's what they want me to do.テつ They need me to do it for us to be successful, and that's something I've got to do for us to win games.

Q.テつ You guys have such a long athletic front court.テつ Is there anybody that matches you guys that you've played yet in that part of the game, and how do you try to use that advantage against teams?
PERRY JONES III:テつ Well, I don't have any bulletin board material, but any team can match up with anybody, whether it be speed and quickness, like Missouri.テつ They use their speed and quickness to match our length.テつ I mean, we've just got to be prepared to play and defend and rebound.テつ It's about toughness.テつ I mean, we can be the tallest team in the world, but if we're not rebounding and defending, there is no reason to be tall at all.テつ You just put all five guards out there.テつ But we need to be tough, rebound, and keep teams off the glass.

Q.テつ Brady, I'm sure you've watched film of them by now.テつ From where they shoot, is that Brady Land?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah, they've all got Brady range.テつ No, they can definitely really shoot the ball.テつ They've got four guys over 40%, and their point guard's capable of making threes too.テつ So we're just going to have to guard the three‑point line better than we've guarded it all year.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach Drew.

Q.テつ First of all, just talk about the match‑up.テつ Obviously, you're the heavy favorite in this game.テつ What do you see in SouthDakota State?
COACH DREW:テつ I think, first of all, they've won 27 games, so they're a very good team.テつ They're in the NCAA Tournament, which means they're a very good team.テつ But I've been very impressed with their skill level, their discipline.テつ They're very well‑coached, fundamentally sound.
Us playing a team like Missouri might help prepare us a little bit because they shoot the three so well.テつ Wolter's point guard play is so good.テつ Kind of reminds me of my brother Bryce Drew back in the day when he played for Valpo.テつ This is a very good team.テつ We know it's going to be a hard‑fought contest, and that's what March is all about.

Q.テつ Against Missouri you talked about how you guys got baited into taking three‑pointers and maybe playing their sort of game.テつ Do you have to remind your guys to pound the ball inside against SouthDakota State?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think especially in a conference tournament when you're playing three games in three days and the legs tend to go out, the last thing you want to do is be jacking a bunch of threes.テつ I think we're going to be excited.テつ Everyone's going to have good legs, so we definitely want to get the ball inside no matter who we play.テつ At the same time, if we have the outside shot, our percentage should be better than three games in three days.

Q.テつ Coach, I wonder if you have any thoughts about playing in a unique venue with a good NCAA Tournament history here at The Pit?
COACH DREW:テつ I think first and foremost it's tremendous hospitality.テつ Everybody knows things are run first class here, and fans really appreciate and like college basketball.テつ So I know we're very excited to be here.テつ Hopefully we can stay a couple days.

Q.テつ Coach, obviously when you came into Baylor, you took over kind of a tough situation.テつ How have things changed perception‑wise for the recruits during your nine years that you've been there?
COACH DREW:テつ I think first and foremost we've had outstanding leadership at our university.テつ Our athletic director Ian McCaw and our president, President Starr, have really helped build and enhance our university.テつ I think when people come on our campus that haven't been there in five, seven years, they're in awe of all the new buildings and how everything is shaping up.
So I think it's a lot easier.テつ Baylor always has great people, and it's a family atmosphere.テつ But with the newer buildings like this, it's just more impressive.テつ I think that's helped with recruits.
Then winning is something that obviously players want to play with players and they want to win.テつ As we've been fortunate and blessed enough to play with good players, other guys have wanted to follow and be good teammates of theirs.

Q.テつ Coach, can you talk about what Brady brings to the team?テつ I know he's officially a sophomore, but I believe this is his first year playing.テつ So how has he adjusted to the game and how impressive is that?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, we have four out of five starters that this is the first time playing in postseason NIT or NCAA Tournament.テつ So we're a relatively young team.テつ Brady is somebody because of his international experience, that does help.テつ He has a great lineage.テつ His uncle was Jay Triano from the Raptors.テつ His grandpa was a great basketball player in Canada.テつ So he's fundamentally sound.テつ You trust him with the basketball.テつ One of the best shooters in the country.
But he's a very good competitor.テつ He doesn't like to lose.テつ He bleeds basketball.テつ So you love coaching somebody that after a loss you don't have to worry.テつ He's in the gym.テつ You like knowing at night when a coach can't sleep that some of those people on your team aren't sleeping as well.テつ So he's one of those hard workers.

Q.テつ Can you tell me what lessons were maybe learned in that loss to Duke a couple years ago, eventual champions and you guys played a pretty good game against them.テつ But what lessons might hold for your team now from that?
COACH DREW:テつ I think experience is something that you can't teach.テつ You've got to go through.テつ The fact that we were so close to having a chance to go to a Final Four, and having a chance to win a National Championship, I think it just helped send that message through to the rest of the people in our program and the incoming people in our program that if you work hard, you have a chance to win the National Championship.テつ We are closer to our goal and dreams than you might think, so let's put in that work and get better.

Q.テつ You talked about having four first‑time guys in this tournament.テつ How important is it to maybe get off to a fast start with so many guys that are going to be new to this experience?
COACH DREW:テつ I think every coach would like to get off to a fast start, but the great thing is that we do have some depth.テつ If certain players aren't playing well, we have other players that can go in and do a great job.テつ The other thing is you look at it, the Big 12 Tournament really provides that experience.テつ It's similar to the NCAA just how they regulate the events, set it up.テつ I think it makes it a little easier for these first time guys that are more now used to the regiments, and regulations and routines of postseason play.

Q.テつ The adversity that you and your program has faced since you came in is relatively unprecedented.テつ So what's gotten you and the program, other than the outside factors that you talked about, what has gotten your program going to the point that it's at?
COACH DREW:テつ Yeah, that's the easiest answer in the world, and that's players.テつ We've been blessed to bring in some talented players, and they've helped attract other talented players because we have not only good players, but good kid that's represent Baylor the right way.テつ Our last 21 of 22 seniors have graduated.
So I think that tradition and that pride that those guys have instilled with one another in the.テつ In the summer time a lot of our past players who play professionally come back.テつ Our All‑Star weekends, Ekpe Udoh, he comes back, talks to guys.テつ That kind of stuff passes and spreads throughout the program just how important each of them are to us.

Q.テつ How did you convince that first group to get involved?
COACH DREW:テつ I think every player wants playing time, and all they had to do was beat out some college walk‑ons for it.テつ So I think they realized they had a chance to come in and play right away as a freshman and help build the program.
I think that first group that we brought in was throughout the state, Curtis Jerrells from Austin, Texas, Henry Dugat from Houston, Kevin Rogers from Dallas, that kind of covered the state.テつ All of them were well known, well‑liked kids that people wanted to play with and said that's a good get.テつ They kind of opened the door.

Q.テつ I think the way they described it is all their shooters have Brady range.テつ Do you have to stretch the defense out even farther on the three‑pointers?
COACH DREW:テつ Yeah, they definitely have range.テつ Doesn't matter if it's the college line or NBA line.テつ They can shoot from anywhere.

Q.テつ You guys have a unique and talented front court.テつ I imagine people have thrown everything, including the kitchen sink at it.テつ Talk about the different ways people have tried to slow your guys.
COACH DREW:テつ I think normally the first thing that comes to mind is people try to front and limit the touches.テつ The next thing is people will try to double team.テつ Then the bigger guys will try to be physical and push them out, slant help, you name it.テつ They've seen it.テつ They've faced it.
The good thing is college basketball nowadays with as much videotape, I think everybody's able to pretty much figure out this is the best way we can attack this team, and I think that's also led into more competitive games, because I think everybody has their own techniques and teaching styles.
But going into games, I think they're more prepared than they were 10 or 15 years ago where right now we'd be hustling around, trying to get VHS tapes of people.

Q.テつ How concerning is it that you're playing a team that's kind of got nothing to lose?テつ They're heavy underdogs.テつ They'll be pretty relaxed, I would think.テつ And Stew brought up earlier about The Pit.テつ I'm guessing the crowd is going to probably be on their side.
COACH DREW:テつ First and foremost, there are no heavy underdogs or underdogs in this tournament because anybody can win any game.テつ In the last couple years you've seen not just win a game, but go to a championship game, go to Final Fours.
I think players nowadays recognize that there are a lot of other good players out there.テつ So, first and foremost, I know it's going to be a great game.
As far as nothing to lose, nobody want it's to be their last game though.テつ That's why games are so competitive.テつ Doesn't matter if you're up 15, 20.テつ You saw that last night.テつ The BYU game, 25‑point deficit, the other game, a 19‑point deficit.テつ They're just great games this time of year.テつ That's why people get so much done at work.

Q.テつ You played some of your best basketball last week in Kansas City in those games.テつ How much do you think that might translate into continued good play this week?
COACH DREW:テつ Hopefully we gain some confidence and momentum, and hopefully that continues to grow.テつ Again, one game changes everything in this format.テつ But coming off the Big 12 Tournament, I think we got better; and hopefully we can keep getting better.

Q.テつ For those of us in Canada, we don't get to see much Baylor basketball.テつ But it's the second time I've heard it.テつ So if you could explain "Brady Range", that would be great?
COACH DREW:テつ Normally there is a three‑point line and then there is walk into the gym, and when you step on the court, that's "Brady Range".テつ You'll see a lot of great shooters tomorrow.テつ I think sometimes those great shooters, just to get a better look, they're going to shoot it from 23 feet and they're just as effective from 23, 24, as they would be on the college line.テつ If you like shooting, you'll see a lot of great shooters tomorrow.

Q.テつ This is kind of a golden era in Baylor sports at the moment with the football team and women's team and your team.テつ How do you see your team kind of fitting into that?テつ What does this do for the overall perception of Baylor as a whole?
COACH DREW:テつ I think nationwide people are just seeing what talented players we have and what great programs we have.テつ But hopefully most importantly they get a chance to know the people that we have.テつ For young kids out there, Robert Griffin's a great role model.テつ Perry Jones is a great role model, Brittney Griner, Quincy Acy.テつ I mean, you can be a great player and a good person.テつ You don't have to be either/or.

Q.テつ Coach, you hit a couple of rough patches and back‑to‑back losses in January and again in February, three or four.テつ What did you do to get the guys kind of through that and head into the tournament?
COACH DREW:テつ That's part of playing in the Big 12, when you play Kansas and Missouri back‑to‑back.テつ Every time we played Missouri it was right after we played Kansas.テつ You're going to have ups and downs in any conference because every conference is competitive.テつ That's where you grow as a team, and your resilience steps up and hopefully the leadership has a chance to bring everyone closer together.
I think those losses helped us become a better team this time of year.テつ As we all know, you can teach after a win or loss.テつ It's always more enjoyable to teach after a win.テつ But sometimes losses are needed to make your team better at the end.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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