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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 14, 2013


Dusty Hannahs

Dejan Kravic

Jordan Tolbert

Chris Walker


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Kansas テや 91
Texas Tech テや 63


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Coach Chris Walker, Dusty Hannahs, Dejan Kravic, and Jordan Tolbert.
COACH WALKER:テつ First of all, I want to give credit to Coach Self.テつ Great coach.テつ Team played great.テつ They'll probably be a No.1 seed and vie for another Final Four spot.
They played real well.テつ I thought we battled them in the first half.テつ Couple of plays here and there could have been the difference, but, again, that's why they are where they are.
But the one thing I want to say:テつ I'm extremely proud of my guys playing back‑to‑back days.テつ I thought we battled with them on the glass, we just couldn't make enough shots.テつ And McLemore got going.テつ And that's why they are who they are.
I want to say coming back, playing back‑to‑back days, proud of the way the team played.テつ And I think going forward as we battle and as we continue to move things forward, I think the guys that played in that game today did a lot about establishing how Texas Tech basketball plays, and I think that our fan base can be proud of what we're looking to establish.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Dejan, what was the difference second half?テつ And how hard was it to stay in it once a couple big 3s start falling for them and it seemed like they jumped ahead so fast?
DEJAN KRAVIC:テつ They started knocking down shots in the second half.テつ We didn't knock down shots.テつ We were slow to come back in transition.テつ They were getting runs on us.テつ That's how they got‑‑ that's how they built up the lead, really.

Q.テつ Jordan, what do you take from this now that the season is over?テつ A big win last night.テつ Where do you guys kind of see this going forward, and what you guys can accomplish as you get ready for the offseason?
JORDAN TOLBERT:テつ We definitely have to take the fact that we need to do better rebounding.テつ And I don't really‑‑ can we do a different question?

Q.テつ What did you learn about yourself here in these last two games?
DEJAN KRAVIC:テつ Just being confident and being physically and mentally tough.テつ That's really it.テつ That's kind of what's been holding this team back, what's been holding me back.テつ Just being physical.
We're looking forward to the offseason.テつ We're going to have a strong offseason, and we're going to come back stronger next year.テつ We're very optimistic about the future, and we're proud of what we've accomplished here.

Q.テつ Dejan, what kind of building block do you think that these last two games‑‑ hitting the game‑winning shot last night, going for 20 tonight‑‑ will provide you as you get ready for the offseason that you have ahead?
DEJAN KRAVIC:テつ I just know what I need to work on now, what we need to work on as a team.テつ We're going to get in the weight room.テつ We all obviously have to get stronger.テつ Rebounding was a weakness of ours, so that's something we need to work on.
It just starts in the offseason.テつ Starts in the weight room.テつ Starts in the gym.

Q.テつ Dusty, what do you say about this team going forward and what you guys can be as you head into the offseason?
DUSTY HANNAHS:テつ Everyone showed that we're fighters, we're going to fight to win.テつ And now it's just preparing.テつ Now we know what we have when we have a strong nucleus and people are starting to get familiar with each other.テつ And the more practice we get with each other, we're going to be dangerous.

Q.テつ Can you describe what it's like to try and stop Kansas when they get hot like they did today?テつ They went for 66percent, had a big run to start the second half that kind of blew the game open.テつ How is that as far as trying to stop that when they get rolling?
DEJAN KRAVIC:テつ I mean, it's definitely tough.テつ When they get rolling, it's really hard to stop them.テつ They're a top five team in the nation for a reason.
So when they start attacking like that, they're so difficult to guard from every position, from their point guard to their big men.テつ They have pros on their team.テつ I mean, it's tough to stop.テつ It's tough to stop when they get going like that.
JORDAN TOLBERT:テつ I think they just make a lot of momentum plays.テつ When they have the momentum and they continue to attack you, they don't let up at all.テつ So it's very difficult to stop.
DUSTY HANNAHS:テつ They're just very aggressive.テつ Like Dejan said, they have pros and guys that know how to play the game, and older guys, seniors and juniors that are seasoned, besides McLemore, and they just make plays.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.テつ Questions for Coach.

Q.テつ What will this particular team mean most to you, just having been with them this year?
COACH WALKER:テつ You know what, I'll say it's been a very unique experience, because coming from where they came from and to where they are now.テつ You've often heard me say that the most important thing is being the best team you can be by the end of the season.
And the thing that I'm most impressed is that they're the best people they can be by the end of the season.テつ I think they become stronger as men, and that's why they became stronger as a team.
And I think they stayed together.テつ It wasn't perfect.テつ But and it wasn't a perfect way we took over, but it was something, an opportunity for us.テつ And I think that we made‑‑ we made our fans proud and our fan base proud.テつ And, again, they provided something for us to build on for the future.
But I'm really‑‑ as a first‑year head coach, I couldn't ask for a better set of guys to handle the circumstances they did and turn a frown upside down and really play to the end.

Q.テつ What do you see from them going offseason and what they could potentially accomplish because a lot of guys have now at least a little bit of experience?
COACH WALKER:テつ Seven of the ten guys never played at this level before.テつ And I consider a lot of the junior college guys and even Dejan Kravic as freshmen.テつ I think any team, any player when the season is over, the number one responsibility you have is to get better, to work on your skill set and try to improve so you can be the best.テつ If you love the game, be the best player you can be.
I expect them all to be in the gym working on their game, taking a couple of days.テつ And they love the game.テつ That's what they'll do.テつ They'll get in the gym and work.

Q.テつ Just talk about your immediate postseason plans and what you've got in store between working for a contract and recruiting and things like that?
COACH WALKER:テつ You know what, I want to take it day by day.テつ There's a process that we're going through at Tech.テつ And certainly aware of it.テつ And I think it's a good thing.
And the one thing I can do‑‑ I've done all I can do to make the case.テつ But, again, the one thing I am is very appreciative of the opportunity that I received from the university and very thankful for Kirby for having confidence in me and giving me a chance to prove myself as a coach.
Forget about the circumstances in which I took over.テつ You get your opportunity how you get your opportunity, and then you get an opportunity to do the best you can do.
And, again, my goal was to make sure that I made those guys the best men, the best students and the best players they could be.テつ And I honestly believe that we achieved all three of those things.

Q.テつ What can you remember most about your first season as a head coach?
COACH WALKER:テつ The one thing I remember the most is when you're a head coach, you have the opportunity to bring your personality to the situation.テつ And, again, I always say what would the world be like if Superman was a bad guy.テつ You have that kind of power as a head coach.テつ And if you're a good guy and you have a chance to really just be infectious with your attitude on young men and you really want to have the opportunity to treat young men as if someone else's son, you're going to want your son to play for me.テつ No matter what.テつ I'm going to treat him the right way, I'm going to push him to be the best man he can me, the best student, the best player.
But at the end of the day, as I tell my guys, it's all about attitude.テつ And the one thing I learned is I can definitely, through a diverse situation, through an adverse situation, have the best attitude I can have.

Q.テつ You guys had Kansas I guess kind of where you wanted them when it was a two‑point game midway through the first half.テつ What changed?テつ And what is it about Kansas that makes these guys so difficult?
COACH WALKER:テつ They're experienced.テつ You have guys that have played in a national championship game.テつ You have guys‑‑ even the guys that come off the bench are big‑time players.
That's what Kansas is.テつ That's what we aspire to be, to have those type of players and have that type of success.テつ They just are what they are.
And we battled them as long as we could, and I thought our guys did a great job of doing that.テつ We had them on the ropes a little bit.
But, again, they're experienced.テつ They've won a lot.テつ It's the culture there.テつ And, again, that's what we're aspiring to be, and I think in time that can be accomplished.

Q.テつ (Question off microphone)?
COACH WALKER:テつ The tournament is quite simple.テつ It's one and done.テつ Obviously experience helps.テつ They can rebound, they can throw it inside, they have a gatekeeper in Withey, and they defend well and they have a great coach.
So absolutely with the culture with what's been established there and what they've done in the past and even in the last couple of years, they absolutely have a chance to make it to the championship game.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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