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March 14, 2013

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Nemanja Djurisic

Mark Fox


LSU テや 68

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're ready to begin with Georgia.テつ We'll ask Coach Fox for his general thoughts on the game then we'll take your questions just for the two student athletes and excuse them back to the locker room, which is now open, by the way, then we'll finish up with Coach Fox.
Coach, if you could begin.
COACH FOX:テつ Certainly, a hard fought game.テつ I have to congratulate LSU.テつ They came with much more aggressive mentality to start the game and really had us on our heels and we really fought back courageously, but we just can't wait that late in the game to start playing like that, and got to give their team credit and wish them well.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take your questions just for the two student athletes.

Q.テつ This is for Kentavious, you guys have had the last two games a little bit of trouble in the first half just getting out to a good start.テつ You guys have forced yourselves to battle back.テつ Why have you had such trouble getting off to a crisp start?
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE:テつ I'm guessing just coming out not ready to play.テつ On the shoot arounds, we looking good, whatever, we just didn't carry on to the game.

Q.テつ Kentavious, the last shot, just tell me what happened there.
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE:テつ I didn't shoot it straight up and down.テつ I was leaning a little bit on the shot.テつ It was a well contested and I just didn't -- I guess didn't create any space, just to get an open shot.

Q.テつ Kentavious, talk about you had a slow start.テつ What was the difference for you and the entire team in the second half.テつ It was clearly a tale of two halves, you came out much more aggressive in the second half.
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE:テつ We slowed down.テつ We came to play with a purpose.テつ We had to come out and play well in the second half.テつ We had to be tough and just ready to play.

Q.テつ Kentavious, was there any thought after that final time out of getting a quick 2 or was a 3-pointer, was that the play drawn up in the huddle?
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE:テつ I guess it was either/or.テつ We wanted a quick drive to the basket, or if we had an open shot from the 3, we wanted to take it.

Q.テつ For either player, with the way you guys ended the season, you know, the regular season you were playing well, had things going.テつ How difficult is it to end it like this?
NEMANJA DJURISIC:テつ It's difficult, definitely.テつ I think we had a chance, we had a great chance to play in the SEC Tournament and win the games, and the way we finished regular season I think gave us some confidence, but as he said, we didn't came out ready in the first half and we really fought hard.テつ Second half give everything we had, but it didn't exactly end up how we wanted it but --
Q.Kentavious, I know you were worried about the game.テつ You're going focus a decision upcoming about the NBA, what will go into that thought process in making that decision?
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE:テつ Right now, I'm not even -- it's not even on my mind right now.テつ I'm just trying to stay focused on what I need to do to finish school right now.テつ So --
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any other questions for either student athlete?テつ Okay, fellas.テつ We'll excuse you.テつ You can return to the locker room.テつ Thank you.
We'll continue with questions for Coach Fox if you'll raise your hand.テつ Hands up.

Q.テつ Coach Fox, you guys switched a bit of a 2, 3 zone which seemed to throw LSU off a little bit.テつ Can you just talk about why the switch and why do you think it was effective?
COACH FOX:テつ Well, they were going to the foul line frequently and then they had four fouls.テつ We really just didn't want them getting free throw points.テつ We felt like the zone would be effective there at that point in the game.テつ So we actually played a couple different zones during that time, a 2-3 and a 3-2.

Q.テつ Coach, just the first half, I mean, how do you explain just kind of the slow start?テつ What in your mind -- I saw you shaking your head a lot over there and looking at your assistants to be a little bewildered.
COACH FOX:テつ I was, Chip, to be honest with you.テつ We practiced very well this week.テつ I thought we had good focus, good preparation.テつ We thought we had energy when they showed up for breakfast today and really, you know, I just think -- we spent the whole half.テつ We didn't talk about basketball at all at the half. テつWe talked about trying to mature as competitors and relax and play on a different stage and play a little harder and saw -- I don't know.テつ We felt like we were more ready to play or start the game than we were and obviously didn't have us where I thought I did.

Q.テつ Mark, the final sequence before and KCP's last shot, did he rush it?テつ I guess there was about ten seconds left.テつ What was the plan going in in terms of seeing if a 2 was there and taking a 3?
COACH FOX:テつ We had a play that we really give him a couple options to score the ball.テつ He took the jump shot.テつ He's earned the right to take whatever shot he wants.テつ He's -- he's had such a great year.テつ We had one missed play or missed screen or pass on that play, but we still ended up with Kentavious in having the ball in his hands and he had an opportunity to shoot the 3 or drive and get back to the foul line and he just missed it.テつ You know, he just missed the shot.テつ He's made a lot of them for us.テつ He just missed that one.テつ That's our last time out, so it was really kind of, you know, we didn't have a chance to really extend the game and use any more timeouts because we burned so many in the first half.

Q.テつ Coach, it seemed like in the first half there was a lot of contested looks at the rim.テつ Second half put it in the hands of Mann and Pope.テつ You guys couldn't get to the rim through your bigs to flow through the two guys and try maybe get some points that way?
COACH FOX:テつ We made a concerted effort to get to the free throw line in the second half.テつ LSU defense was better than our offense in the first half.テつ Give them credit.テつ They shot the ball out of the gate extremely well so they were able to play from in front and -- we tried to get to the foul line in the second half just to get us going.

Q.テつ Coach, what can you say about Kentavious's performance in this game?
COACH FOX:テつ Well, he's a great competitor.テつ He embodies what athletes should be.テつ He just competes with a heart of a lion.テつ This guy just really plays his heart out.テつ He's the hardest worker we have in practice.テつ He plays really hard.テつ I don't think as we look back he's going to think that he played particularly well, to be honest with you.テつ I don't know if I'll think that, either.テつ That's just how good we think he could be one day.テつ But he competed and he tried to lead his team back, and I thought he made a lot of admirable plays.

Q.テつ Mark, obviously your team made a great strides in the second half of the season.テつ Can you talk about LSU's improvement from the first time you played them until tonight?
COACH FOX:テつ Well, you know, Coleman shot the ball tonight.テつ He makes four 3s.テつ It's not something he was doing earlier in the year.テつ That's a big difference.テつ He can space the floor like that, that's a big difference.テつ They've got more guys that can shoot the ball.テつ They shot the 3 in tonight.テつ That's really a big difference in the game.テつ His ability to do that is not something I think or at least we felt like he was doing back in January.

Q.テつ Coach, you guys have had a size advantage most nights.テつ How tough was to it overcome the foul trouble that Donte and Nemanja had?
COACH FOX:テつ You know, it was a little frustrating.テつ Nemanja played better with four fouls than Donte did.テつ Donte got to start playing a little more intelligently defensively because he could avoid one or two of those.テつ But it was a little frustrating.テつ It's part of the game.テつ Foul trouble is part of the game and you have to adjust to that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Got time for one more question.テつ Anyone?テつ All right.テつ Thank you.
COACH FOX:テつ Thank you.

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