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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: ATLANTA


March 23, 2012


Quincy Acy

Scott Drew

Pierre Jackson

Perry Jones


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Baylor 75
Xavier 70


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with opening statement from Coach Drew, then we'll take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH DREW: I thought we got out to a tremendous start, and you got to give a lot of credit to Xavier. We knew it was going to be a 40‑minute game, and they've come back in their first two games. Coach Mack and their staff and their team, they're just a tough team that really competes.
Down the stretch there, we made it a little closer than it needed to be with some careless turnovers, but credit them for not giving up and fighting through and just fortunate to move on. Any time you win in March, it's a good win.
I think we got to give KU a shoutout for the triangle and two. They used it a little bit this year. We practiced it, and it was okay, and that's why we threw it out today from earlier in the year.
Hopefully, they can win their game tonight. We'll be cheering for them. Other than that, proud of these guys.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions first for the student‑athletes.

Q. Quincy, your roommate said you were ready this week, said it was your time to finally start playing in this tournament.
QUINCY ACY: Are you talking about Brady?

Q. Yeah.
QUINCY ACY: I think I got a little of that magic from him from the last tournament.
Pierre had 10 assists, and the guys, they just did a great job of finding me, put me in great position.

Q. This is for Quincy. How does it feel to be back in the Elite Eight again after two years? Especially being a senior.
QUINCY ACY: It feels great. We had thoughts at the beginning of the season that we really wanted to still be playing at this time. Here we are. Guys are doing a great job executing what Coach has for us, and I think we've really just come together. We've willed ourselves to some wins.

Q. Quincy, another one for you. How does this game stack up to any, not just at Baylor, but in your younger days? Where does this game rank in your pantheon?
QUINCY ACY: I'd say number one because it's win No. 100 for my senior class. That means a lot. Who all can say they have 100 wins?

Q. Quincy, Coach Mack had a lot to say about you. He called you a cage rattler, and also said he wanted to check your birth certificate. Then he mentioned that he watched some tape on you and never saw you hit a shot outside of 15 feet.
QUINCY ACY: What?

Q. This is what he said, not me. Is that in your arsenal?
COACH DREW: Oh, now you're starting trouble.
QUINCY ACY: No, first of all, I was born in 1990. 21 years old, just turned in October. Yeah, I hit a couple of 15‑footers this year, and that hurts my heart because I worked on that all summer.
I've hit three 3s this year too, 60 percent from beyond the arc.
COACH DREW: He shoots a 3 tomorrow, I know where I'm coming.

Q. This question is Quincy and Perry. Can you just talk about the performance of you as well as the forwards as a whole after offensively being quiet the first weekend. Did you guys make a statement going into Sunday as well?
QUINCY ACY: I think we really stepped our game up because we know, in order for us to continue to win, we had to get more production from our front line.
Our guards have been consistent this whole tournament, and we had to give them more help. So the guys on the front line really took that personally, and we need to do a better job.
PERRY JONES: Same thing he said, but also the guards did a good job of giving us the ball. We were comfortable. They did a good job penetrating and dishing it off to us. I mean, we got to credit the guards for putting us in the right spot at the right time and make plays for the team.

Q. Pierre, when Quincy's putting down slams with that kind of authority, what does that do for you the rest of you guys?
PIERRE JACKSON: Being that he's probably one of the best dunkers in the nation, y'all probably seen the bench. We all get excited. On the defensive end, it just makes us want to get another one for him. Try to get another stop and get another one for Acy.

Q. Pierre, you all did hit them with some different stuff there early, Quincy hitting some longer shots, Brady driving and stuff. Was that kind of the game plan to maybe, if they were going to take away this, take away the catch and 3? Was it to do different stuff to attack them?
PIERRE JACKSON: No, that's just us playing, what we can do. We're not one‑dimensional at all. Brady can score. He just doesn't have to, so he shoots threes.
And Acy, like he say, he's been working on that all summer. We take whatever they give us, and we did a good job of capitalizing on it.

Q. This is for Quincy. You were there two years ago, the last Elite Eight run. How much is this run similar to that run, and what are the big differences that could push you guys past? What could you guys do to get past the Elite Eight this year?
QUINCY ACY: We know how the taste felt in our mouth last time we were here, and we don't want to go out with that same taste.
I think the guys, the younger guys as well as the seniors, upperclassmen, we made a commitment this year that we know we have the talent. We just have to execute and do what Coach has for us. He always puts us in good positions to do what we're capable of doing. It's just up to us to execute and get stops and stuff like that.

Q. This may be a tough question to answer, but what are your thoughts on the teams that are playing right now? Do you guys have a preference of who you play? I'll go with Quincy and Pierre.
QUINCY ACY: They're both great teams. We know it's going to be a tough matchup, but I think we're going to be well prepared. We're going to watch them play a little bit and get a good feel for them.

Q. Pierre, can you talk a little bit about how you think your constant rotation of guards, putting guys on their back court, did you feel that you wore them down toward the end the all?
PIERRE JACKSON: Yeah, I think the guards, we do a great job on the defensive end. I think that's great, and it goes to the coaching staff and us just being ready to come in and play big minutes, like A.J. and Deuce coming in and playing good "D." That's just to the coaching staff.

Q. This is for Pierre. 10 assists, only 3 turnovers. For a young dude like you, that's a heady game to be on this stage for the first time. Did you have any nerves coming into the game or early on?
PIERRE JACKSON: I'm always nervous before every game. Like you said, it's my first trip here. But my teammates do a good job of keeping me confident and positive.
I just have to go out there and help my team win.

Q. This is a little light‑hearted, but there's some truth to it too. It's the beard. Makes you look old. Why don't you shave it?
QUINCY ACY: You don't like the look? I think it looks nice myself. My mother likes it. I think it might be my hairline. That might be it. Prematurely bald. I've accepted it. I get a lot of rag from my teammates. It's cool. I'm supposed to be a junior, y'all. I'm not old.

Q. You're pulling it off.
QUINCY ACY: All right. Thanks.

Q. I believe this is for Perry. I believe you were the guy who hit that shot right before the end of the half. I think you'd done something almost five minutes without scoring. Oh, it was Pierre. Okay. My bad. You'd gone so long without scoring, that bucket going into the half, did you feel like it picked everybody up there? Kind of got everybody going maybe a little bit?
PIERRE JACKSON: I knew we needed a bucket, and Coach called a play. Quincy Acy set up a great screen, and I decided to get a quick shot up in case we could get a rebound, and it just happened to go in with a good lead.

Q. Perry, you were 7 of 8, seemed like you were scoring pretty easy too. You did get to the line. Is it possible that maybe you weren't as aggressive as you could have been?
PERRY JONES: Yeah, I think I turned down a lot of shots, turned down a lot of opportunities. I could have been more aggressive getting to the hole, but just being a good teammate, passing the ball, moving the ball around, trying to stay in the game plan, use a lot of clock because we didn't want to run. We wanted to slow it down and get the ball in the paint.
I could have been a lot more aggressive, but I just credit my teammates for giving me open looks.

Q. Perry, I know that playing in the NCAA Tournament and having success in the tournament was one of the reasons you came back to Baylor. What's this feeling like for you?
PERRY JONES: It feels good considering last year. Last year was a letdown. This year‑‑ I mean, it's exciting to be in the Elite Eight, especially experiencing it with the guys that have been here before. We're just looking forward to go a little further and make a little history.

Q. Pierre, you've seen Quincy with some slam dunks. You're not a bad one yourself. How did the one rate tonight on the inbounds play?
PIERRE JACKSON: Yeah, about that. Quincy got dunked on earlier in the game, so he redeemed himself. I gave him a hard time about that dunk he got dunked in. That's got to be number one on SportsCenter center tonight. I approve of that dunk. It was Blake Griffin‑ish.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. We appreciate it. Congratulations.
We'll take questions for Coach Drew if you have a question.

Q. Coach, what are your thoughts about Pierre's game?
COACH DREW: Tremendous. 16 points, 10 assists, only 3 turnovers. We shot 51 percent from the field. Offensively, we executed at a high rate. Anytime you can shoot 51 percent and have 21 assists, 13 turnovers in a Sweet 16 game, it's very good.

Q. Coach, did Heslip show a maturity showing variety in his game early and, of course, staying in it despite being blanketed to hit three key free throws, or four key free throws?
COACH DREW: I think Brady has felt more and more comfortable taking the ball to the hole and doing more things offensively. That's great because he's capable of it.
He's such an unselfish player, a lot of times he doesn't like to force things. The more aggressive he is on the offensive end, that does help us.
At the same time, it does go back to some people asked why our front line didn't have much production the first two rounds. It's the strength of our team. What I mean by that is today you saw that they really did a good job staying with Brady. Well, you stay with Brady, that means we're one on one down low in the post, and Acy is 8 for 11, Perry's 7 for 8. That's 15 for 23. That's pretty good offense, 51 percent.
So I think it's just the unselfishness. I think the team's all bought in. It's not my numbers, not my points. Don't care if people criticize me for not scoring or not playing, it's about winning.
I think they've done a great job with that, and because of that, we've been successful.

Q. Coach, could you talk about coaching tonight in front of your family? Did you ever sneak any peeks over at your dad to see whether he's approving or disapproving?
COACH DREW: I think I'm the world's worst. I never look at anybody in the stands. I know my seven‑year‑old daughter gets mad at me, why when I walk out on the court, I won't wink at her or look at her. Anyway, I just try to stay focused on the game.
The good news is I'm sure my dad will point out a couple things tonight that we should have done better. So that's a good thing.

Q. You talked about that drill you did a couple of weeks ago with Coach Knight's advice on the turnovers. What was the drill, and how come it's made such a difference?
COACH DREW: I think, first of all, we don't want to share it because it's our drill from Coach Knight. I think it's just a way that we've done a better job protecting the ball. So we thanked him for it.
Because of that, we've done a lot better job in the last four weeks, three weeks taking care of it. Some of it's with four new starters, it's taken time to adjust. We knew we'd be a better team at the end of the year than in the beginning. Although, when you're 17‑0, it's hard to be much better than that.
I think execution‑wise, our assist‑to‑turnover ratio has been much better of late.

Q. Going back to the family question, your father wasn't only here tonight but your mother was. What did it mean to you to have her here at this game?
COACH DREW: That meant a lot because she's battled a lot and gone through a lot and probably shouldn't have come down, but my mom's the tough one in the family. I know it was a long trip for her. She was worn out for getting here. And just proud that she was here and we could get a win for her.
I think if we'd have lost and she had to drive back tomorrow, she'd have really hated me.

Q. Scott, you all really came out attacking, weren't shooting a lot of 3s early. What was the plan early? I mean, you all just really went to the basket with force.
COACH DREW: I'll have to watch some film because we were tremendous the first 12 minutes. Let's credit Xavier for doing a better job of stopping us and maybe we weren't as patient. I thought we had some good looks that we shot from three, we just didn't make them.
I know earlier in the game we were more patient and tried to get a little higher percentage shot. When you get a lead, sometimes you start doing things that you didn't do to get you the lead, and we kind of did that. Credit Xavier for coming back.
But I thought someone asked the question, Pierre made a huge basket at the end of the half. That gave us momentum. We came out and did a pretty good job establishing in the second half.
Besides the end of the game, a couple of things we should have done better to make sure the game stayed in double digits instead of getting close. But other than that, very pleased with the performance.

Q. This is just a follow‑up to that other question. How important was it to get that big jump early in the game against a team like this?
COACH DREW: I think any time you can get a lead, you're going to take it as a coach. At the same time, we knew, in their first two games, they were down 15 against Lehigh, 14 against Notre Dame, and both times they came back.
So we kept telling our guys, it's not over. We got to keep building on it and credit them for coming back, as they always do.

Q. Talk about the job that you guys did on the boards actually holding Frease to just three rebounds.
COACH DREW: Well, they had more second‑chance points than us, and they had one more offensive rebound. Normally, coming into the game, I believe we had the most second‑chance points of any team in the tournament. A little disappointed.
We outrebounded 35‑29, but we've done a little bit better as far as getting second‑chance points. Hopefully, we can do that in Sunday's game.

Q. Coach, you kind of mentioned about how they kept coming at you, the history of coming back in games. Given that, how huge was it‑‑ I don't know how many times out of time‑outs you guys came up with a big bucket like right out of the first possession with time‑outs. How big was that to kind of re‑establish momentum for you guys?
COACH DREW: I think the guys really did a good job executing tonight. Sometimes you get in big games, and mentally you drift or you make some mistakes because of the excitement. I thought we really executed well tonight and stayed focused, and because of that we made sure that we never let them get over the hump.

Q. Coach, could you give us a brief synopsis of the teams that you may face on Sunday.
COACH DREW: Actually, I can't, and the reason is I've only seen bits and pieces all year long. I'm one of those guys that just looks at our opponent and our team. If you ask me tomorrow, I'll have a much better idea because tonight we'll be up late watching film.

Q. Coach Mack actually said that he told his team, in all honesty, there was a talent disparity. We all know that Xavier is good, but you guys are one of the more talented teams in the country. And you came out early and basically outclassed them. Then something happened and Xavier pulled back into the game. Was it ever part of the game where you were disappointed at all in the team's performance?
COACH DREW: Most definitely. When we had it up to 17, 18 points, then I thought we had a run there where we gave them some transition baskets that we shouldn't have given. That's probably the biggest thing Xavier did, was we‑‑ like Quincy Acy had a great dunk, and they're scoring a layup three seconds later. So that part we have to do a better job if we're going to advance in this tournament, and that is not giving some transition baskets that we gave tonight.

Q. Do you think those uniforms are worth a couple points a game or at least distract the opponents a little bit?
COACH DREW: I think it helps with our assist‑to‑turnover ratio. We know who we're passing to.

Q. Scott, you mentioned the shoutout to Kansas for the triangle and two. Was that something that you had for a while to go, or was that something that you sprang just for Xavier?
COACH DREW: Just to Xavier, but we prepared for it earlier in the year because Kansas had used it and run it. So when we prepared, it was something we had in our repertoire. This game, with Xavier's back court, you can't find a better back court in the tournament. A lot equal, but not many as far as better.
We thought it worked out well tonight. It worked for us.

Q. Coach, this is a two‑part question. First being what are the similarities between this Elite Eight team and the team from two years ago? Second part, where did the idea for the shirts come tonight? The one team, one God, one goal shirt?
COACH DREW: It's one of their sayings when we break huddle, so we just made a T‑shirt for them. I think the big thing is when you've done something, human nature is you want to go the next step. With people experiencing the Elite Eight before, that's helped us stay grounded, focused, to try to be in a situation where you can cut down the nets and go to a Final Four.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much and congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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