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April 7, 2013

Alex Hall

Steve Hesser

Brandon Lockhart

Drake Patterson


Drury: 74
Metro Sate: 73

COACH HESSER:  Wow, what a game.  Metro is very good and they put pressure on you defensively because you got to guard all five of them.  Obviously they had some size.  I thought they were the tougher basketball team in the first 20 minutes, they beat us on the back boards, to loose balls.  Because of their defense they got us out of things that we do, and that was kinda the topic of conversation at halftime was let's be us and win, lose, or draw let's get back to being who we are and who we have been for the last month, two months, whatever.
We got back in it with some steals and Alex made a few shots and Brandon Lockhart started throwing it to our guys and, you know, we‑‑ they were a resilient bunch and I got to give them a lot of credit.

Q.  Brandon, could you‑‑ since you were going to check that point guard for Metro, what was the defensive effort like on that final 22 seconds, final possession?
BRANDON LOCKHART:  They told me they were going to try to get the ball to him so I tried not to let him catch it and I think No. 10 was the guy who tried to make the play and I was focused on not letting No. 3 catch it.

Q.  Alex, the missed free‑throw, your thoughts as you‑‑ you leaped over somebody to get it, went to the floor for the foul, stepped to the line and gave the Panthers the lead.
ALEX HALL:  We were all getting frustrated with letting them get to the boards and look over at Coach and he's beet red, oh boy, and I thought I got to get this, and when I went up, he came underneath me and the rest is history.

Q.  Guys, this is Drury's first National Championship in men's basketball.  What does it mean to you to be a part of that?
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  (No microphone.)  Being in the summer and working, getting up at 6 a.m. for all this to pay off, this is the highest level we could play at and we won the highest award, there is nothing better that we could ask for.  It's wonderful.

Q.  Alex and Brandon, talk about after the half you guys almost doubled what you scored in the first half, what was going through your mind as you started to see that?
ALEX HALL:  We came in the halftime, Coach emphasized we needed to be us, and we weren't getting stops like we usually do, we were sluggish so second half, once we made that run, it takes a lot off your shoulders.  We never stopped, kept goin'.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the contributions from the‑‑ can you guys talk about the team effort and how everybody contributed today?
ALEX HALL:  That's how we play.  We got a deep bench and everyone contributes.  When everyone contributes it makes things a lot easier.  We had some guys step up big at the end.  Lonnie got a great rebound at the end and Drake had some great rebounds, too, so it makes it easier and more fun.

Q.  Drake, NCAA tried to make this a big‑time atmosphere.  Could you talk about the atmosphere here?  How much fun was this?
DRAKE PATTERSON:  This was easily the funnest game of my life.  I didn't expect‑‑ it was packed.  It didn't look like there was an open seat in the house and our fans were unbelievable.  Each play that we made, big or small our fans were cheering for us as loud as they could and I don't think they understand how much that helps us and how much we appreciate it.

Q.  Drake, Coach Clark said you were categorized as the X‑factor, he said he knew you could shoot but you lifted your guys up and got them going.  Talk about the shooting.
DRAKE PATTERSON:  I got a lot of opportunities to score tonight because with our backcourt of Alex and Brandon they got to pay 100% attention to them and if they relax for a second those guys will beat you along with our bigs, too, so it was just‑‑ they kinda with all the focus on them I got some good looks and was able to knock it down.

Q.  Brandon, switching to the full court defense in the second half, tell me about the change of focus you had to have to stop those and disrupt what you were doing.
BRANDON LOCKHART:  It's something we have done this whole season if we get down we will try to speed up the game making them speed up so they're not as comfortable and that helps us because we can get out in transition and get some easy baskets so it turned us around in the second half.

Q.  You had that cross‑over and then went up for the layup and got the other guy fouled out, tell me about that one play because that was critical in the come‑back.
BRANDON LOCKHART:  Getting one of their best players out was big for us because he was killing us.  It took them out of what they tried to do because they run a lot of stuff for him so I think that changed the game both ways.

Q.  Alex, we talked weeks ago and you were saying you have all the individual achievements, you have the 3‑point record you just don't have the team achievements.  You guys now have a National Championship.  Does your career feel complete?
ALEX HALL:  Definitely, definitely, it's a huge honor, great group of guys, we're like a family, hang out off the court beside on the court and it's just so exciting, just speechless.

Q.  Alex, you mentioned your deep bench.  By contrast all their scoring came from their starters.  Did it seem to you that they were sagging there in the final minutes?
ALEX HALL:  I couldn't say they were sagging.  I would say we had a chip on our shoulder after that first half that we wanted to, you know, not give 'em any easy baskets and I would say down the stretch we made some effort plays and that was the deciding factor of the ending of the game.

Q.  Coach, for most of the ballgame you sat in that first chair on the bench, looking fairly calm.  Even when you were down, when you were coming back, when you're taking the lead.  How are you able to do that?
COACH HESSER:  Well, I had a little bought with pneumonia and blood in my‑‑ bacteria in my blood, and I was‑‑ didn't have any energy for about four weeks, so my assistants did most of it, and they obviously did a very good job.  I was there, but, you know, they were barking the orders, if you will.  I'll probably coach that way the rest of my life!

Q.  You feeling okay now?
COACH HESSER:  I'm about 85%, still go to bed early and sleep more than used to, prepneumonia.

Q.  After Alex's free‑throws there was a timeout.  What did you talk about defensively there?
COACH HESSER:  Well, I mean, you got to have one stop, and they put so much pressure on you.  I thought our guys did a great job of leveling off the guard when he came off the ball screen, and we didn't give them an opportunity to turn the corner and that was a concern and we talked to them about a lot of times the end of the game in a last‑second situation it's not the first shot that kills you but it's the second shot and they have been second‑shooting us to death all day.

Q.  From Glendale high school in Drury, many years in Springfield, talk about what this means for the University.
COACH HESSER:  Well, you're going to make me break up, here.  Did you see how many people came?  I mean, it united our University from years and years back.  I'm with a bunch of Drury people yesterday, six in their 60s, and we're at a place eating and the manager came up and said, "I graduated from Drury in '96," and we got a picture with him and he was bringing his family to the game here.  It's just‑‑ it's huge for our University because it united everybody and gave 'em something to rally around.

Q.  Coach, there in the first half, was there ever a point where you thought it was getting too far out of hand?
COACH HESSER:  Yes.  I mean, we were having trouble getting matched up in transition, they were making threes.  We weren't doing what we have done in the last month on offense.  I thought we were taking some difficult shots.  We were turning it over as well.  But, you know, we got it back to 12 at halftime and, you know, I'm an old high school coach, the big difference between high school and college to me is that even with big leads, the other team has to shoot it every time, so if we can get some shots and chip away.  We talked about Louisville down 12 last night, which we were at with 11 minutes, 12 minutes to go in the game, maybe even below that.
We just had to get some stops and, you know, we had to start converting on the other end.  Alex made a couple of shots, Brandon Lockhart got to the bucket, had a big basket underneath inbounds late, Steven Adams slipped a screen so they did things they needed to do, but, yes, to answer your question.

Q.  Nothing really noticeably different strategically in the second half, was it more of an aggression, challenge halftime speech?
COACH HESSER:  ‑‑I didn't challenge them, I didn't raise my voice.  Just, we got 20 minutes left.  Win, lose or draw, let's do what we do.  And sometimes it's hard to do what you do because the other team is trying to keep you from doing that and I give credit to Metro State for that, just chip away and let's be us and if we go down let's go down together being collectively.  Let's play together.  That's what we have done all year.

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