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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: ATLANTA


March 24, 2012


Quincy Acy

Scott Drew

Brady Heslip

Pierre Jackson

Perry Jones III

Quincy Miller


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach?テつ You'd like to start it off?
COACH DREW:テつ We're excited to be doing media today.テつ Other than that, that's about all I have to say.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, raise your hand.

Q.テつ For Coach Drew, when you took over the program, did you have a time line that you kind of had set in your mind for this kind of success?
COACH DREW:テつ The only thing we knew was the harder we worked, the quicker things would happen.テつ Really, coaching is pretty simple.テつ You bring in good players that are good people, good students, represent the school the right way.テつ They recruit other good athletes to come in, and they make you look like a good coach.
It's really up to bringing in good players and people, and that's what we were fortunate and blessed enough to do.

Q.テつ This is for Quincy Acy.テつ I guess pretty much everybody is predicting Kentucky to win this game.テつ They're the No. 1 overall seed.テつ Do you all just take an "us against the world" mentality?テつ What's Baylor's approach here?
QUINCY ACY:テつ Yeah.テつ We're still on the rise, and pretty much throughout this tournament we've been picked to lose.テつ It's nothing new.テつ They're a great team.テつ Coach is going to have us well prepared to face them.

Q.テつ Brady, can you, I guess, describe your game last night.テつ Was it more of a patient game in terms of the way they were guarding you?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Yeah.テつ I think they did a great job guarding me and making me take contested shots and tough shots.テつ Tu Holloway and Lyons are great defenders.テつ They're fast and physical.テつ I thought they made it tough for me.

Q.テつ Quincy, do you think that you could play the kind of game that you guys played yesterday and beat a team like Kentucky, or do you think that your performance has to be better for the full 40 minutes?
QUINCY ACY:テつ Definitely, we have to be better for the full 40 minutes.テつ It's going to be crucial for the front line to play well as well as our back court.
They're a great team.テつ They're well rounded, and so are we.テつ We've got to get more consistency from everybody at the same time.テつ And I think we'll be tough to beat.

Q.テつ Quincy Acy, how different is this, or is it different than the Elite Eight trip two years ago?テつ How would you compare the two?
QUINCY ACY:テつ We're glad to be here, as we were then, but it was the first time then.テつ Now we haven't celebrated as much now as we did then.
I think it's more about business now.テつ We know what we can do.テつ We know it's going to be a tough team.テつ It's going to be a hard‑fought game.テつ So I think we watched a lot of film, and I think we'll be prepared.

Q.テつ Quincy Acy and Perry Jones, how important will it be for you guys on the floor for Baylor to challenge Kentucky in the paint?テつ I guess specifically Anthony Davis.
QUINCY ACY:テつ We've gone against great shot blockers before.テつ Obviously, he's the best in the NCAA, but we can't shy away from him.テつ We have to attack.テつ We just have to have a good game from our whole front court for us to be successful in this game.
PERRY JONES III:テつ Same thing he said, but also if we're able to keep him off the glass, it will give us a better chance of winning the game.

Q.テつ Scott, how does the culture of success in your entire athletic program worked?テつ To what extent has that helped you guys with this football program, with women's basketball?テつ Has it kind of elevated everybody together in any way?
COACH DREW:テつ I think Baylor is such a family type of environment.テつ These guys all go to the football games, women's basketball games.テつ These guys support one another.テつ RG3, he spent more time in our locker room his freshman year than maybe some of our coaching staff did.
Everybody likes one another, supports one another, so happy for one another.

Q.テつ Being a senior, what does this mean to you to get a shot at the Final Four?
QUINCY ACY:テつ It means a lot.テつ It was my goal coming into the season.テつ I knew we would have a lot of talent.テつ I knew it was going to be down to leadership and effort and stuff from the guys and stuff.テつ We've done a great job so far.
Everybody's bought into what Coach has for us.テつ We believe that we can reach it.テつ So it's going to be up to who wants it more on the court.

Q.テつ Obviously, this is Baylor against Kentucky, but a lot of people are going to focus in the middle with you against Anthony Davis.テつ Obviously, this is a big opportunity for everybody, but also for you on a big stage, playing against the No. 1 overall seed against the guy who's supposed to be the No. 1 overall pick.テつ Is this something you're looking forward to?
PERRY JONES III:テつ No, I'm looking forward to playing team basketball.テつ I don't want to feed into that because we haven't fed into that all year, and we've been successful.テつ Last thing I want to do is feed into that, trying to go one on one the whole game and not play team basketball, because our team will lose.

Q.テつ Kentucky, they go up and down.テつ They like to get out on the break.テつ They scored 100 points yesterday.テつ If you're the point guard, you dictate the tempo and the pace for your squad.テつ Like what do you foresee tomorrow?
PIERRE JACKSON:テつ Yeah, they like to get it and go.テつ On defense we've just got to stop the ball early and stop Marquis Teague.テつ He's a great point guard.テつ Just got to stop him before he gets it past our court, and we got to know where the ball is.テつ That way we'll be in good shape.

Q.テつ For you on your end on the offensive glass, like are you comfortable leading your team with that kind of pace and tempo, too, or are you going to try to slow it down?
PIERRE JACKSON:テつ It just depends on the flow of the game.テつ If we're up, if we want to slow the game down, if we get long rebounds, we can push it.テつ Just depends on the game.

Q.テつ This is for Quincy Acy and Brady.テつ Can you say how you guys feed off the success of other sports programs at Baylor, and particularly the women's basketball team.
QUINCY ACY:テつ Well, the way our practice gym is set up and our whole facility there, we walk in, and we see all of their trophies and all that stuff on the right; then we look on the left, and it's kind of empty.テつ It's kind of motivation.
They support us; we support them.テつ And like Coach said, it's a family environment.テつ So they're rooting for us.テつ It's just we feed off each other really.
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Like he said, it's a family environment.テつ Everybody at Baylor wants to see the other teams do well.テつ That's just part of a family university.テつ That's the environment that we have there.
But I think a lot of our motivation comes from within our locker room.テつ We're a focused group.テつ We're together.テつ We have goals that we've had all year.テつ That's where a lot of our motivation comes from.

Q.テつ Scott, more and more programs are using sort of uniforms, Oregon in particular, as a way to sort of draw attention to their program.テつ Could you tell us the story behind the DayGlos.テつ And, secondly, was there any blow‑back from the NCAA regarding the warmup T‑shirts that you guys wore last night?
COACH DREW:テつ I think about the uniforms, adidas had new uniforms for a couple of schools, and personally we've had some turnover issues earlier in the year, and I think this has helped with it.テつ We pass to the right guys because we stand out, so I'm good with that.
As far as NCAA last night, no.

Q.テつ Could you just talk about your impressions of Doron Lamb and just how‑‑ the key to defending him?
COACH DREW:テつ I think similar to us, Kentucky's a really balanced team.テつ I don't think you can say you take one guy out.テつ They have six guys scoring in double figures for a reason, and they'll feed off each other.
Obviously, he hits the outside shot, but he can also put it on the floor.テつ So he's a terrific player and somebody that, like everybody else on the team, is capable of going off for 25 on any given night.

Q.テつ Question is for Scott and Brady as well.テつ Is the track‑‑ or is the possibility of a track meet on the floor with Kentucky, is that something that interests your team, or would you guys be better suited to slow it down just a little bit?
COACH DREW:テつ I think the best thing about our team is we can play fast, we can play slow.テつ Normally, we do push it more than the normal team.テつ So it's all about opportunities.
We're not going to come down and take bad shots.テつ At the same time, we have no problem playing fast.テつ We're pretty athletic too.
BRADY HESLIP:テつ I think we're a multidimensional team.テつ Like Coach said, we can really do both.テつ It just depends what the flow of the game is like.テつ We have Pierre to catch the outlet pass.テつ If transition is there, then we know he's going to create for us.テつ If it's not there, we're going to slow it down and work the clock and make him guard us.

Q.テつ For Quincy Acy and then Quincy Miller, can you guys talk about, do you guys like the infra‑green jerseys?テつ Do you like the neon?テつ What is it about them that you do like?
QUINCY ACY:テつ It doesn't really matter to me personally.テつ Whatever the team likes, as long as it has Baylor across the front, I'm down for it.テつ Doesn't really matter to me.
QUINCY MILLER:テつ I personally like the uniforms.テつ They stick out and pretty nice.テつ I like them.

Q.テつ Scott, you guys have obviously played a lot of athletic teams in the Big 12.テつ But is this the most athletic?テつ And just the challenge of facing them.
COACH DREW:テつ They are ranked No. 1 in the country for a reason.テつ They are very good.テつ I think what makes them a little different than most teams is they're athletic with size.テつ That size plays like guards.テつ They all can handle.テつ They all can pass and shoot.テつ So the difference is they're just 6'5", 6'7", 6'8" doing it.
I know people have always characterized our team and talked about our size and length, so I think‑‑ we're excited for the opportunity to play them.

Q.テつ Scott, I was going to ask you about your length and how you hope it can impact against any opponent your zone.
COACH DREW:テつ I think we played man, we played zone this year.テつ At the end of the day, length doesn't matter if you can't keep the ball in front of you.テつ I think we've gotten better defensively at doing that.
Is it much harder to shoot over a 6'10", 6'11" guy than it is a 6 foot guy.テつ But, at the same time, first and foremost, I think, if we're not back on defense, it doesn't matter if we're tall or small.

Q.テつ Brady, please don't be diplomatic on this, but if you were the judge of a dunk contest for everybody on your team, who would win?
COACH DREW:テつ He's going to get elbowed by one of these guys, just so you know.
BRADY HESLIP:テつ I think it would come down to Pierre Jackson, in his Spud Webb‑esque dunks.テつ And Deuce is a freak.テつ He can do some ridiculous stuff.テつ But I think it would come down to those two.

Q.テつ Coach, how special was it for your parents to be here last night?テつ Was that pretty unusual for them to be able to do that?
COACH DREW:テつ It's the first game they've been able to make this year.テつ Both of them had a long year and a tough year, but meant a lot having them there, just like for our players to have family and friends make the trip down here.
But especially since‑‑ I know it was an extra long trip for my mom.テつ It's a long time in the car, and this is the first time she's really getting out.テつ She was a little worn out, but she got down here.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any other questions for the student‑athletes?テつ Guys, we'll let you guys get out of here.テつ We'll have Coach stay here for a few more questions.
We'll take questions for Coach Drew.

Q.テつ Coach, obviously, Kentucky played last night in the game and scored 102 points and go to bed in the middle of the night.テつ How might that impact your thinking about pace tomorrow?
COACH DREW:テつ We were hoping for a triple overtime game, but that didn't happen.テつ I think these guys are 18, 19, 20 years old.テつ They were used to playing three games in a day.テつ So fatigue won't be a factor.

Q.テつ Scott, you heard Perry's answer about not trying to make this a one‑on‑one game with Anthony Davis.テつ Do you like that?テつ Would you prefer that maybe he take the attitude that he is the best player on the floor sometimes?
COACH DREW:テつ I think it all comes in the flow of the offense, just like in any sport.テつ You don't want a quarterback just to audible and calling his number every possession.テつ You want what's best for the team.
I think that just shows Perry's maturity and why Perry is such a great teammate.テつ At the end of the day, if it's in the flow of the offense, he has an advantage.テつ We obviously want him to go to work because he's a more than capable player.テつ But, at the same time, if he goes into the game thinking I've got to be‑‑ I've got to get mine, at the end of the night it's my numbers, I mean, I don't think any coach would want that.

Q.テつ Scott, can you talk about just trying to deal with Anthony Davis?テつ How does he affect an offense?
COACH DREW:テつ We don't have Anthony Davis, but we did have especially Ekpe Udoh two years ago, and just defensively, it makes life easier for everyone else on the team.テつ Basically, he corrects errors and erases errors.テつ And Ekpe was an All‑Time Big 12 shot blocker.
Guys can get beat.テつ Guys can make mistakes.テつ It's no problem because Ekpe blocks the shot.テつ Same thing with Anthony Davis.テつ Defensively, he changes the game.

Q.テつ Scott, I don't know that a sophomore, maybe in the history of college basketball, has been criticized more for averaging 14 points and 17 rebounds than Perry's been criticized.テつ A lot of that is just based on what he was supposed to be, almost like Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley ruined it for everybody.テつ What's fair and what's not fair with the criticism about Perry?
COACH DREW:テつ Thank you.テつ First and foremost, Perry didn't‑‑ he isn't a boastful person, a prideful person.テつ If he had come out and said I'm this and that, and he wasn't, criticize him.テつ But Perry's never been one of those guys.テつ He's a good teammate, and he's about winning and serving his team.
What's fair is the NBA project him high.テつ The reason they project him high is because they know at 25, you've got an NBA All‑Star potentially, multiple year All‑Star.テつ But right now Perry's not anywhere where he will be because mentally, physically.テつ He's a late bloomer in his game.
Anthony Davis, if you looked at him two years ago, is he what he is today?テつ No.テつ He's probably 6'3", 6'4".テつ You look at Thomas Robinson as a sophomore at Baylor, two points, two rebounds, four turnovers.テつ You're not seeing a Player of the Year candidate.
I just feel for Perry because people know what he's going to be like at 25.テつ They want it right now.テつ Here's a kid that went back to college because he said, you know what, socially, academically, basketball‑wise I want to grow.テつ He never asked to be judged like he's a first pick in the NBA draft.
We all want kids to stay in college longer because we know how important academics is, but, at the same time, if we criticize them and treat them like they're pros, why would you want to stay?
If you're going to get criticized like that, you may as well make the millions of dollars.

Q.テつ What's the lowest you've ever seen him?テつ It's very difficult with Twitter and everything else to insulate people from the criticism, from not just writers but strangers, just people with a Twitter account.
COACH DREW:テつ I think Perry has been at his lowest when we've lost and he hasn't played well.テつ When we had our back‑to‑back losses, that's when Perry doesn't feel good because he feels like he lets the team down when we lose and he doesn't do more.
If we win and Perry scores two points and has one rebound and is on the bench the entire time, he's still very happy in the locker room.テつ He's just a great teammate.
You've seen a lot of athletes in college.テつ If they don't score, they don't produce, you go in the locker room and they win by 20, they're crying, pouting.テつ Give me my touches.
He's just a coach's dream come true, somebody that's all about the team.テつ Who wouldn't want to coach a guy like that?
Like I said, when he leaves for the NBA, our players will miss him more because he's a great teammate and great person than just what he produces on the floor.

Q.テつ Just a quick clarification on the uniforms.テつ I assume since you're the lower seed‑‑
COACH DREW:テつ You've got a question about them uniforms.

Q.テつ I assume since you're the lower seed, you'll be wearing your normal dark uniforms tomorrow.テつ Correct?
COACH DREW:テつ I think so.テつ I have to find out.
I'm the last to know about uniforms, just so you know.

Q.テつ Obviously you've got some really good players, Kentucky has really good players.テつ A lot of those were really good AAU and summer league players.テつ Can you just talk about your opinion of AAU and summer league basketball.テつ Why does it get a bad rap in some circles?
COACH DREW:テつ I think, first and foremost, there's different reasons people criticize it:テつ missing school, the freedom, the multiple games, people don't know if you learn fundamentals, if you care about losing enough.
At the same time, there's a lot of positive.テつ Guys get to play against a lot of other great players they wouldn't normally play against.テつ They get to play in a lot of tournaments and see a lot of cities and go a lot of places.
At the end of the day, 25 years ago, players went to camp.テつ Nowadays they play AAU basketball.テつ I think in AAU, very similar to the professional basketball especially, it gives you an opportunity to do a lot of one‑on‑one play.テつ Because the spacing rules are different in college, it's a little tougher to get those freedoms that you get in AAU and at the next level when you have defensive requirements.

Q.テつ To follow on that, because they are such high‑level players and were such high‑level players in AAU, are they better prepared for a game like this when the talent level is going to be like it's going to be tomorrow?
COACH DREW:テつ I think part of what goes into parity in college basketball these days is people aren't in awe of each other because they played against one another.テつ I think back in the day, you heard about someone for four years, and when you played against them, you might have been a little intimidated.
Nowadays, top players play against top players, and they're motivated because somebody is ranked higher than they are or what not.テつ So a lot of times people are more motivated to play other people because they played against them and maybe they don't think they're that good or whatnot.
So I think that's part of the parity.テつ There's not the shock and awe anymore.

Q.テつ Coach, this is the Elite Eight, so a berth at the Final Four at stake.テつ Stakes are already pretty high.テつ But there's also like the competitive part of it.テつ The best players are the most competitive players.テつ You watch the Bird and Magic documentary, they talked about that.テつ Kobe wanted LeBron to take that last shot in the All‑Star.テつ This can't just be a typical game because you're playing against what many people believe to be the No. 1 team in the nation, most talented team in the nation.テつ Do you guys think about this any differently?
COACH DREW:テつ I think what we try to do is, first of all, we make sure that we prepare like we've prepared for other teams, make sure we know execution‑wise what our game plan is, what our strengths are, and then try to take some of the hype out of it, because, when the hype sometimes gets in, people then start doing things uncharacteristic or they haven't done all year long.
We just make sure we use our strengths and try to stop their strengths.テつ If we do that, then obviously you give yourself a better chance to win.テつ But in that same frame of mind, players are playing for a Final Four berth.テつ They're playing against the No. 1 team in the country.テつ They're playing against the No. 1, No.2, whatever they're projected in the draft pick.テつ I mean, they know all that stuff, because, as we know, kids know all that stuff nowadays.

Q.テつ How unique of a talent is it to have someone like Brady who can catch and release that quick and that accurately, what that poses for defenses?
COACH DREW:テつ I think, first and foremost, Brady doesn't take bad shots.テつ So you feel comfortable always when he does shoot.テつ Everyone knows he's a shooter.テつ So all his life he's had to work on a quick release.テつ From the standpoint he can get a shot off and doesn't need a lot of time, allows him to play at this level, and it gets these kinds of athletes.テつ I think his game is starting to progress as we've seen him do more and more off the bounce.
For us, you have to have people stretch the floor, very similar to Kentucky.テつ They have people that stretch the floor, which allow people to play one on one.

Q.テつ Scott, I guess this is a good problem to have, but as you're program grows in stature, as a recruiter, do you face or do you think you'll face eventually this idea of having to choose between a player who might be a one‑and‑done as opposed to a guy that might be a little lesser talent but you think he'll be there for a while?テつ How do you reconcile that as a coach as your program grows?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I know to win you need upperclassmen.テつ They might not be your best players, but you have to have that upperclassmen leadership somewhere on the team.
At the same time, I think every coach is not going to turn down a one‑and‑done player.テつ So you really have to look at it and say what's best for your team and program.テつ It might be need based too.テつ I mean, you might not need a forward.テつ He's one‑and‑done, and you need a guard, and he's a four‑year guy.
So if you're asking, I think every coach would like the dilemma to have to make that choice.テつ Most of us just have to take the best we feel can help our team, and not many of us get that choice.

Q.テつ Cal is convinced 100 percent that you're going to play zone exclusively tomorrow.テつ How much zone do you play versus man?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think it's really down to matchups and what we feel gives us the best chance to win.テつ Big 12 tournament we played‑‑ I don't know if we played any zone.テつ Didn't play zone‑‑ played a couple minutes of zone against South Dakota State and then played ten minutes of zone against Colorado.
I'm sure Cal's right that we're going to play both defenses at some point.テつ Whichever one that they're being least effective in, that's what we'll probably stay in.

Q.テつ You guys have faced hostile crowds all season, but it seems like the game could go to the moon and Kentucky would bring 50,000 fans.テつ Are you guys ready for a really loud crowd, especially in the Georgia Dome?
COACH DREW:テつ I think that was great about the Big 12 tournament, playing K‑State, Kansas, and Missouri basically in their home area, home crowds, to help get us ready.テつ We've been on the road most of the year.テつ Some of our best games have been in hostile environments.
That's the great thing about college basketball is last year we played in Houston, where we had 45,000‑plus in green and gold, and it didn't work out well.テつ So maybe this works out better.

Q.テつ I wonder if Cal thinks the zone is coming because Teague has been hard to handle for opposing point guards and that's just one way to deal with him.
COACH DREW:テつ He's right.テつ We use both defenses.テつ Really, half the time I don't think defenses matter because they usually score before the defense is even set up.テつ Credit them for being tremendous in transition.
But one thing I do know is that they've been so good at transition, I think that's where the game needs to be concentrated most for our defensive part.

Q.テつ You guys had a handle on Xavier's transition, really made that a focal point.テつ What were some of the things you did last night with them?
COACH DREW:テつ I think early on, we scored and didn't allow them to have a chance to push it like they probably wanted to.テつ Then when they made their run, we had some breakdowns in transition.テつ Hopefully, we can learn from some of those.テつ So we're going to let that happen tomorrow.
Again, Kentucky is so good in the open court and they're so good pushing in transition.

Q.テつ Scott, what was your vertical when you played?
COACH DREW:テつ Nowhere near our guys'.

Q.テつ I'm just curious, is there a point where they do things that it even amazes you?
COACH DREW:テつ This team is special because Deuce Bello is a YouTube sensation.テつ Pierre Jackson is a dunking freak.テつ Perry Jones, Quincy Acy‑‑ I mean, I said in the beginning of the year, Moonlight Madness, this is the best dunk contest you'll see outside of the NBA Dunk Contest.テつ We've got some guys, because of their stature and size, they can really do some dynamic things.
Sometimes you see that in the game.テつ Most times you just see it on a layup line maybe before the officials get out.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.テつ We appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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