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March 16, 2012

Rick Barnes

J'Covan Brown

Clint Chapman


Cincinnati – 65
Texas – 59

THE MODERATOR:  We'll begin with an opening comment from Coach Barnes, and then we'll take questions for the student athletes.
COACH BARNES:  We're disappointed that -- this team worked hard all year, and we were just inept at the start of the game.  They came out very aggressive, and we turned the ball over and then we started pressing a little bit and missed a lot of shots at the rim when we were able to get the ball up there and shoot it and -- but we fought back, and as a coaching staff, we kept telling our guys we've been here before and we knew we would come back in the game and we did that.
Defensively I thought we played hard throughout, but we tied the game and actually had two chances to take the lead and sort of kind of where our season has been, turnover, not a very good shot.
But I'm really proud of the fact that these guys fought.  Cincinnati played hard, did a good job.  We put ourselves back in position to win the game and we didn't.  But I'm proud of this group because where we started a year ago, they've come a long way.  They earned the right to be here, and we know that we have to play better, we didn't, but again, congratulations to Cincinnati.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student athletes.

Q.  J'Covan, that three-pointer you put up when it was 49, 46 would have given you guys a lot of momentum, but do you feel like you rushed it a little bit on that shot?
J'COVAN BROWN:  Yeah, I thought I did.  You know, instead of just catching and shooting the first, you know, I passed open good look, the shot they gave me, and just made it hard on myself, you know.  My legs had something to could with that, too.  I rushed the shot.  Just a bad shot.

Q.  J'Covan, you guys were pretty aggressive coming back, moving the ball, making shots.  It seemed like you slowed down again once you caught up and got into some of the same bad habits.  Why was that?
J'COVAN BROWN:  You know, we just started -- they got into us.  We were a little frustrated.  We just hadn't adjusted coming out in the second half.  Move the ball like coach said and just make the extra pass.  When we did that, you know, it just -- got us back in the game.  It just started going their way.

Q.  This is a question for Clint.  Two things:  One, Yancy Gates is a large human being and obviously difficult to play against.  Can you just talk about the challenges his physicality presents; and the second question about Yancy is, when he took that 17-foot fade-away that put them up 6 with about two minutes to go, is that a shot you want him to take?
CLINT CHAPMAN:  You know, our game plan was we got to keep him off the boards, because he's a great offensive rebounder.  Early in the game he was working on backing me down, playing real physical, so the spin move he made in the second half was something I just wasn't ready for.  You know, obviously he's got a lot to his game.  He's a great player, and then he took that 15-footer a couple times, but we wanted him -- we wanted to force that shot, and I tried to contest it but, you know, credit goes to him.  He knocked the shot down.

Q.  Clint, you sat out last year to come back this year, fifth-year senior, bit of an up-and-down year.  You guys get in the tournament, young team.  Just talk about your senior year, I mean everything you guys went through and now that your career is over, looking back on your four, five years, how did everything go?
CLINT CHAPMAN:  I'm just proud to be able to -- I was just -- I'm proud to be able to say that I played for this program because, you know, it's just special thing to be a part of this team and this program and I think this year a lot people thought, you know -- they really didn't think that much of us.  They didn't have us in the tournament, stuff like that.  We fought all year and grew as a team, and we kept doing the things that, you know, Texas does, and we played defense and we fought every game, and I think I'm just proud to be part of a group of guys that said they weren't going to give up even, though a lot of people gave up on us.

Q.  J'Covan, you carried much of the offensive burden for your team all season long.  When a game is coming down to the wire and the season is on the line, do you feel extra pressure that the scoring has to come from you in that situation?
J'COVAN BROWN:  I don't think so.  Chapman, Sheldon done, all those guys did help us score the basketball, but some nights they're not hitting shots and I am, you know, but which you could tell tonight and they finally came through, you know, big time when I wasn't hitting shots.
I just told them keep being aggressive.  You could see those guys put up some numbers for UT.  The game didn't turn out how we wanted to, but I'm just going the play basketball.  Whatever coach wanted me to do, I was going to do it.

Q.  This is for J'Covan and for Clint.  Offensive shooters all go cold, but for it to be that much of a drought that long collectively, have either of you ever experienced that sort of thing on any level?
J'COVAN BROWN:  No.  We just have to fight through adversity.  We've been doing it all year.  We wasn't making shots.  Some of the shots were good looks and coach just said keeping shooting it.  I guess, you know, I don't remember who it was shot the free throws and hit both of them, that kind got us going to see the ball going in the net.  But, we've been fighting through adversity all year.  We didn't let that get to us.  We just kept fighting.
CLINT CHAPMAN:  I have to agree with what J'Covan said.  We've been through this situation plenty of times.  I think, you know, coach said it best in the huddle.  We've been down 10 points with four minutes left and came back and won.  It's something we've been used to.  Obviously in the first half, that drought isn't something that we've experienced as a team, but, you know, fighting back is -- coming back and getting the game close was something that we've done multiple times this year.

Q.  J'Covan, do you think this was your last game in a Longhorn uniform?
J'COVAN BROWN:  I'm not going to answer that question.  I got a season to worry about next year.  I'll make the decision, talk to the coach and talk to my parents and see what the best thing is for me.  I'm not worrying about moving on right now.  I'm just worrying about these six freshman that we have in the locker room and the two seniors that gave their all.  I'm going to cherish this moment right now.
THE MODERATOR:  We have time for about two more questions for the student athletes.  Any more questions?  All right.  Thank you, guys.

Q.  Rick, what happened from your view with the offense in the last few minutes after you caught up being aggressively?  Did you want them to milk clock, did they just go back into the usual?
COACH BARNES:  No.  Actually when we got back in the game, I called time out just to make sure they understood we're right where we need to be right now; now it's a matter of execution, that we've got to take care of the basketball.  The game was going -- definitely they were back on their heels.  They were probably looking at like -- they were worried about the score more than we were, but we came down and, you know, threw it out of bounds, got it stripped, took a bad shot and -- no, we weren't.  They went zone, but they did that early.
We really tried to stay with the same thing, because we ran it and we wanted J'Covan with the ball, not so much maybe to score but make the extra pass.  We were really playing well, that's exactly what it got down to; we were making the extra pass, whether inside out, perimeter, perimeter pass, and when -- but you don't give yourself a chance.
Now, if you throw it out of bounds or get stripped, there's just not an opportunity there, but no, we were wanting to continue to attack.
THE MODERATOR:  Any other questions?

Q.  Rick, with all the players you lost to the NBA last year and all the freshmen you had, do you think this is one of the best coaching jobs you've had over your career?
COACH BARNES:  Well, anything that we do at Texas from a coaching standpoint is a we, team thing.  I think I've got the best coaching staff in the country, and I do know that our staff has worked hard, we always work hard and always try to get better.  We knew coming into this year that this would not be a one-year proposition with this team simply because we had six freshmen, total of nine recruited student athletes, and we knew we had to try to establish a mentality, and one thing defensively we've gotten to where I think the guys coming back understand that, we have to get better, sure.  They worked hard.  They've been resilient, maybe as resilient as any team we've had and in a long time simply because we worked long and hard for a long time because we're trying to build something.
And I told them after the game, we'll never take for granted being in this tournament.  It's a good year to get here, but to make a great year, you got to win it.  And I told them if we will go back and work as hard in the spring as Clint Chapman and Alexis Wangmene and J'Covan Brown worked last spring, we'll be okay.
But as a staff, again, I think as a staff we worked hard at it and put a lot of time into it as we do, but we're all disappointed right now because I really felt we should win this game.

Q.  Coach, Sheldon and Julien really seemed to spark your guys come back in the second half once they started hitting jump shots.  How much did you need that from those guys and how high of a ceiling does a player like Sheldon have?
COACH BARNES:  That's what we wanted all year.  That's been the most difficult thing with this team is finding a consistent second and third scorer, and those two guys are extremely talented and -- but they're just learning how to play.  I mean, Sheldon, you look at his physical ability, it's off the charts.  And they've improved so much, both of them, and I think both of those guys have a great future and -- because they work at it.  They want to be good.  Again, that's what we wanted all year.
We've never wanted to be a one-man offensive team.  We wanted to move the ball, but what happened early in the first half is kind of what the season has been about, we'd get down, one guy would try to do it by himself as opposed to continuing to move the ball.
I told people before, if you watch us in practice play offense, you'd never think that we would play offense like we did the first half.  But that's kind of what we've gone through all year and during the game when coaches were talking there and we were way down, and as a coach I said we know this is how we win.  We come back and we knew we would come back.  I mean that with my whole heart.  We knew we would come back in that game and we did and, you know, it was a matter of finishing it and we didn't.
THE MODERATOR:  Other questions?  All right.  Thank you coach.
COACH BARNES:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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