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March 22, 2013
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
LaSalle Â– 63
Kansas State Â– 61
JOE DALFONSO:Â We're joined by Kansas State head Coach Bruce Weber and student‑athletes.Â We'll start with a statement on the game from coach and then go to questions.
COACH WEBER:Â I think just watching them, LaSalle, the other night, I think we all kind of figured we had a heck of a game on our hands.Â They're very talented.Â They come at you in a lot of different ways.Â Obviously they jumped on us.
I hope our guys understood how good they were.Â I mean, just look at the record of the A‑10, 5‑0 coming into this game, now 6‑0.Â We tried to emphasize that to them.
I don't know if it wasn't we weren't ready, we were uptight.Â Didn't get off to a great start.Â I challenged them at halftime to have some emotion, to compete.Â We got off to a great start, then these two seniors and Martavious, I couldn't be more proud to be their coach in their senior year, their effort down the stretch.
I asked them at halftime to compete, and they said, Coach, we want to win.Â We gave it our best shot.Â We all had a chance at the end.Â I had a chance, didn't draw up the right play, didn't call the right play.Â Seemed like each guy had a shot or a free throw down the stretch and we didn't make it.
Just sad.Â Sad for our guys.Â These two and 'Ta have left a legacy with the most wins in history for K State seniors, first championship in 36 year, and just disappointing it has to end.Â I can't appreciate more what the seniors have done for our staff, how they bought in.
Again, got to give credit to LaSalle.Â They're a very good team.Â Even after all the comeback, they made enough plays down the stretch to find a way to get a victory.
JOE DALFONSO:Â Questions, please.
Q.Â Could you talk about the double‑double, getting on the inside like you were able to tonight?
JORDAN HENRIQUEZ:Â I mean, I just took advantage of the opportunity.Â I'm not looking at my numbers.Â But, you know, we were down and coach challenged us.Â We all continued to fight.Â I think we even took a lead.
Q.Â Jordan, LaSalle only played the one big man most of the game.Â What were your thoughts about the way Jerrell played?
JORDAN HENRIQUEZ:Â He's a real talented guy.Â He was real productive even when he was in foul trouble.Â It started with their guards just attacking us right off the bat.
Q.Â Rodney, LaSalle shot 58% from the field the first half.Â Do you feel like you were contesting their shots or was it a situation where they're in a zone and there's not much you can do?
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â They had us rotating a lot, so they had a lot of wide‑open shots in corners and things like that.
You know, second half we did a better job closing out with high hands, contesting their shots.Â But first half we didn't.
Q.Â Jordan, you had a couple plays late in the game where you were able to get the ball, drive it from on top of the key.Â Is that what was set up for on the final shot you had?
JORDAN HENRIQUEZ:Â It was a play drawn up, but it wasn't drawn up for me.Â I just made a play.Â Coach just told us we got to go out there and play basketball.Â I guess I just made a play off of that.
Q.Â Rodney, obviously a rollercoaster of emotions, down big, back on top, to lose it the way you have, does this sting a little bit more knowing this is the last time you'll be on the court with a K State jersey?
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â It's the worst feeling in the world.Â It's the last time I play a game, you know, in a K State uniform, the last time I'll be on a team with some of my teammates I have now.
It just hurts to go out the way we did.
Q.Â Talk about the fact you guys didn't score in the last 4:54.Â What happened?
JORDAN HENRIQUEZ:Â Things happen.Â They ended up coming down and getting stops.Â We didn't really make too many free throws down the stretch.
They the ones that came out with the win in the outcome.
Q.Â Rodney, could you walk us through the very last play from your perspective.Â Was the play designed for you?Â Tell us what you saw.
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â You're talking about the last play with a couple seconds left?
Q.Â Yes, where Angel drove in towards the baseline.
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â No set play.Â We were just playing.Â Just trying to make a play.Â We came up short.
Q.Â Bruce, could you talk about that last sequence.Â Looked like you were trying to call a timeout.
COACH WEBER:Â I think it's supposed to be for the student‑athletes.Â But I did.Â All year we've just went and tried to make a play down the stretch.Â Angel was out the time before, I called timeout with seven seconds left to maybe get Angel back in, give us a shot.
We beat Oklahoma.Â Angel made a play down the stretch.Â We had other games where we made plays.Â Once I saw it was bogged up, I tried to call timeout.Â I know it's tough on the officials because they're focusing on the game.Â I was sitting right with them.Â I looked at the clock at 2.2.Â I yelled it as loud as I could, but we didn't get the call.
Sometimes things aren't meant to be.
Q.Â Rodney, could you talk a little bit about JO's performance going out with a double‑double, what that meant to the team.
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â He's meant a lot all year.Â When you got him back there protecting the rim, he does a tremendous job of that.
Today, you know, he dominated the boards and he was effective around the rim.Â We'd pass him the ball, he scored it.Â He played very well.
Q.Â Jordan, did you feel like you were going to have to be more of a scorer this afternoon?
JORDAN HENRIQUEZ:Â No, not necessarily.Â I just did a good job of getting open and setting screens for our guys.Â They were overhooking on our guards and I was able to get dump‑downs.
Q.Â Bruce, you've been on all sides of games like this.Â How tough is it for a team that loses a large lead to recover?
COACH WEBER:Â Well, again, I had to give them credit because down the stretch, the crowd got into it.Â We had a great crowd.Â Whether it was our people in purple, it seemed like the neutral fans from Kansas all seemed to cheer and get into it.Â They kept their poise and made enough plays down the stretch.
Sometimes when you do come back like that, you exert so much energy.Â Martavious had a dead layup.Â Thomas got the rebound, had a shot.Â Rod had a layup.Â He was contested a little bit.Â Didn't get it down.Â He had the three.Â We had free throws.Â Angel is one of the best free throw shooters in the Big 12 and he misses the front end of a bonus.
They made the plays down the stretch; we didn't.
Q.Â Bruce, could you talk about JO stepping up like he did in his final game.
COACH WEBER:Â I'm happy for the seniors.Â I just said to the coaches, I'm going to start the seniors second half.Â I feel bad for Will.Â He probably played a month where he probably shouldn't have played.Â A lot of kids wouldn't play.
It definitely hurt us in the stretch.Â But, you know, the seniors stepped up.Â They didn't want it to end.Â They gave it their best shot.
Jordan played very, very focused.Â I just wish everybody would have played better in the first half.Â I don't know how many layups we missed, how many missed plays we had.Â I don't know if it was we were too tight or what happened.
But we did compete down to the wire, which you have to give these guys credit.Â Again, I can't thank the seniors enough.Â Change it hard.Â It's really hard when you're a senior.Â They bought in, did everything we asked, and that's why we had a special year.
Q.Â Coach, is it too early to look back on your first season at Kansas State and say how successful it was?
COACH WEBER:Â We've had an emphasis this week:Â don't live off what you accomplished but what you should accomplish.
Obviously these guys left a legacy.Â We had a special year, 27 wins, a Big 12 championship.Â I hope they're all proud of it.Â It's something we talked about.
But I had given them a goal when we got here to go one game further than they did a year ago, get to the Sweet 16.Â But you had to get by this one to give yourself a chance.
A little disappointing, especially how it ended here.
Q.Â Rodney, can you talk about what your problems were the first half.Â Do you feel you came out flat?
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â Like coach said, we didn't have any energy.Â We had, like, dead layups.Â Like he said, shots that we normally make, we came up short in the first half.Â We dug ourself into a hole.
Q.Â Rodney, I know it's really immediate, but can you think back to what this career has been like for you being at K State?
RODNEY McGRUDER:Â I mean, it's been great.Â The K State community, K State fans, you know, it's just been a great ride. Â Sucks to come up short like this, you know, but...
Q.Â Coach, specifically what will you miss about your seniors, especially the two guys on both sides of you?
COACH WEBER:Â Each one has, I guess, unique characteristics.Â Obviously Rod is, I always say, your stereotypical student‑athlete.Â You can't get a better young man.Â They're all going to graduate.Â He's dedicated in school.Â He's dedicated on the court.Â He comes to work every day, blue‑collar.Â He goes way beyond the regular hours to be successful.
I think Jordan has been a good leader for us, along with all of them.Â But Jordan's got that personality that you really enjoy.Â He's good to be around.Â I always call him the 'Mayor of Manhattan.'Â Since I've been here, he shakes more hands than anybody else, gives more hugs.Â People enjoy him.Â When he played focused, ready to play, he was a major factor.
Just too bad we couldn't get everybody playing well at the same time because that's what it takes to win at this level.
And Martavious is your rock‑solid guy.Â He could have complained, not starting.Â Always came every day.Â I thought his game really improved and he became a major factor for us all through the stretch run of the season.
Q.Â Bruce, I know you don't want to be the victim of this, but 12 wins today, Harvard wins last night, a 13 wins here.Â Is that the beauty and curse of this tournament that we're seeing?
COACH WEBER:Â I think if you watch LaSalle, that was a hard 13 to play, to be honest.Â Again, somewhere along the line they probably had inconsistency which led them to be to that spot.
We can't complain.Â We had the advantage of an extra day off, playing a Friday, playing Kansas City.Â Whoever you play you got to play.Â It's a special time of the year.Â You hope you play your best at the end.
I thought we played pretty well for the last 16 of the last 20.Â That last four we just didn't get enough done to find a way to win.
I guess it's the excitement of the tournament.Â That's why you have it.Â That's why you play the games.
JOE DALFONSO:Â Thank you, gentlemen.Â Best of luck down the road.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports