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March 13, 2013

Jaye Crockett

Dejan Kravic

Jordan Tolbert

Chris Walker


Texas Tech – 71
West Virginia – 69

THE MODERATOR:  We will catch up with Coach Walker.  We'll start with the student‑athletes for the Red Raiders, Dejan Kravic and Jordan Tolbert and Jaye Crockett.

Q.  Jaye, just take me kind of through the emotions to win a game like this, what you guys have been through this year, and just what's the feeling like right now.
JAY CROCKETT:  All we're thinking about is the close one we had up there in West Virginia and we came up short, and this time we didn't do well on that loss we had up there.  We kept fighting.  We knew we had to keep fighting to beat these guys.  They're a tough group and coached by a great coach.  We came in and fought hard, and it was great to get this win.

Q.  Dejan, can you tell me what you were doing on the last play and what was going through your mind?
DEJAN KRAVIC:  I was setting the screen and the play was for Josh to come through and Dusty to go up, and that didn't work out.  Jamal had a 3‑pointer.  And I just played it.  It's a 40‑minute game.  Just played until the last second.  I saw the ball come towards me.  I thought time was already expired, but I just put it up and made the shot in time.

Q.  Jordan fouls out in the final minutes of the game.  What are your thoughts coming in and having to take charge of their big men and also the offensive attack down low?
DEJAN KRAVIC:  I knew I had to step it up.  We had to step it up as a team when J.T. came out.  That's our main player.  I mean, with him out, we're not as good as a team when he's off.
So we all had to step up.  It was a team effort, and we're just happy we got that W.

Q.  Dejan, you seem pretty calm.  Buzzer beater, get your team into the next round.  Are you faking it right now or what?
DEJAN KRAVIC:  I let out all my emotions in the locker room.  I don't have any more emotion.

Q.  What was it like out there?  What was it like in the locker room afterwards?  You had a ton of wins this year, so it had to be‑‑
DEJAN KRAVIC:  We thought we played a really hard game today, so it was good to have a W in the end.  When we got out in the locker room, we were getting our emotions out, yelling and dancing.  Ready for the next one tomorrow.

Q.  Have you ever hit a buzzer beater like that or no?
DEJAN KRAVIC:  I don't think so.  You see it on TV; you never expect it to happen to you.  So it was a crazy feeling.

Q.  Jaye, where would you say this team's playing right now?  Are you guys playing some of the best basketball you've played this year?
JAY CROCKETT:  Definitely.  That was Coach Walker's goal from the beginning of the year.  He was saying he was worried about this team being the best team we could be by the end of the season.  We finished the season off.  It's post season.  We're playing to the best of our abilities.

Q.  That said, obviously you know what the challenge is tomorrow.  How quickly will you celebrate and then get back into worrying about tomorrow's opponent?
JAY CROCKETT:  I feel the celebration should be done now.  We have to focus on this next team.  They're a great team, No. 1 seed.  And they'll come in there and they'll come hard.  We have to be focused like right now until tomorrow.

Q.  Jordan, Deniz, obviously, Kilicli dominated you guys a little bit in Morgantown.  What was the difference you guys were able to do on him and really just kind of have your way a little bit more inside?
JORDAN TOLBERT:  We had to be a little more physical with them, try to keep them out of the paint and make sure we got those rebounds and didn't give them a lot of second‑chance points, and we did that tonight.  Did a great job, and that's why we won.

Q.  Jaye, just talk about the 3‑point shooting you were doing tonight, 3‑for‑3?
JAY, CROCKETT:  It felt great hitting shots.  Our point guards today, they were just getting in the paint and they were drawing two guys, so they were giving me open shots.  Our guards were doing a great job.  I give them the credit for those shots I was getting.

Q.  What are your recollections of your previous matchups with Kansas this year?
JAY CROCKETT:  The last couple of games were pretty tough, especially the one at Kansas at KU.  And they're a great team.  They came in, they beat us.  So this time we just have to go in, look at the film, make sure we don't make the same mistakes we made last game.  Just hopefully we can come out with a win.

Q.  Jordan, for you, where are you guys different now than when you played KU the first time, I guess the first and second time?
JORDAN TOLBERT:  We definitely played some of the best basketball we've played.  I think the win's going to definitely bring us closer.  We're just going to talk more as a team and just do everything we can do to win.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Questions for Coach.

Q.  You said all along playing your best basketball at the end of the year, that's the goal you set since day one.  How gratifying is it then to play probably the most complete game in terms of contributions from pretty much everybody up and down the lineup tonight?
COACH WALKER:  Extremely gratifying.  After playing the Texas game, I thought we had a great chance to win the game even though we came up a little bit short, but we're playing well.  We had a good vibe in the locker room and coming to this game I thought we had a great chance.  I thought it was a great matchup initially.  And we really played them well last time up there.  It's hard to beat a team three times.  It's a hint, but it's hard to beat a team three times.
We have to keep playing hard and keep playing together.  And if the guys believe, and it comes down to especially this time of year when it's one and done, you never know what could happen.  That could be an emotional uplift and all of a sudden guys make plays you haven't seen them make plays all year just because of the pressure of the situation that some people thrive in.
And today I'd like to say the guys thrive in it and they played a complete 40minutes.

Q.  For Dejan to have that moment, he's been through a lot, sat out last year, had his ups and downs.  For him to get a moment like that, how happy were you for him?
COACH WALKER:  Very happy.  Peaks and valleys.  I consider Dejan like a freshman playing at this level.  For him to have that moment where he made a game‑winning shot, you have to be extremely happy for him.  I believe Dejan is going to be a really good player.
Again, it comes down to the culture of our program coming down to us having a great attitude for those guys.  If his mind's in the right place, that's the only way something like that can happen for him.  So he stayed with it.  And, mind you, he missed the free throw.  That would have put us up two.  He didn't put his head down, he didn't pout.  He stayed with it and made the game winning play.  I couldn't be more happy for him.

Q.  Talk about the final 20seconds and your thoughts during that situation, very, very similar to the situation you find yourself in Morgantown except for being tied up instead of down by two?
COACH WALKER:  Well, it wasn't for Josh Gray to shoot a three, that's for sure.  We wanted him to drive the ball, drive the ball.  We try to run the play, kind of didn't break down, did a good job defending us, do a good job driving the ball, tried to make a play, and we ended up getting a basket out of it.
That's what happens at the end of a game like that.  It's so frantic people, do not want to foul.  So anything going to the basket is a good thing.
And we end up being the beneficiary of a putback, which is great, which is rare for us, which is really good.  I think that they were trying to get back and ended up getting a putback.

Q.  Just the way you drew it up, lock shot, miss 3, tip it?
COACH WALKER:  You know what, again, the lucky‑‑ I would rather be lucky than good, how about that.  Again, it comes down to playing everything out.  Playing it out.  Nothing good could happen unless you have a good attitude.  There's guys playing hard out there.  You get a little bit lucky, I will accept that because that's part of the culture of our program.

Q.  Follow‑up, now you've got Kansas, so if you could talk about Kansas and, hey, great win tonight; now you've got the No. 1 seed?
COACH WALKER:  That's part of the game.  Again, that's competition.  That's why we're in the Big 12.  That's why I like coaching in the Big 12.  That's why my players like playing in the Big 12.  You've got an opportunity to play on national TV and postseason play versus the No. 1 seed in the league.
So there's nothing to run from; something to run to.  And that's something that, again, as our program ascends and as we look forward to the future, these are the kind of games we want to be in all the time.  So this is a great precursor to what we believe the future is going to be like.

Q.  Quick turnaround for you, emotionally, physically.  How tough is each one?  Which one's more difficult to come back so soon?
COACH WALKER:  You know what, again, my guys, every single time, no matter what, they have a tough task.  They come back.  Again, it's all about the way our guys think and the way they carry themselves.  I believe it's a great culture of belief in that locker room.  I believe we're going to come out and play hard.
Everybody may look at the scoreboard, but that's not what we believe in.  We said that at the West Virginia game; that's not what we're going to do.  We're going to play hard, together, play smart with pride and leave it on the court.
What happens after that, then it happens.  But all we want to do is we want to make sure we represent the double T with pride and look ourselves in the mirror and know we gave it everything we had.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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