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MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 9, 2014


Manny Arop

Justin Gant

Greg Lansing

Jake Odum


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Wichita State テや 83
Indiana State テや 69


THE MODERATOR:テつ Indiana State Sycamores are here with us, including All‑Tournament selection Jake Odum.テつ Manny Arop and Justin Gant are the other student‑athletes.テつ We're going to have Head Coach Greg Lansing start off with a statement on this game and then go to questions.
COACH LANSING:テつ Just want to congratulate Wichita State.テつ Obviously, we have tons of respect for them and what they've accomplished.テつ Tremendous representative of our conference, and the things they accomplished this year have never been done, and we wish them nothing but the very best.テつ We enjoy competing against those guys.
When you put your guts into something and it means so much, to see the disappointment on the guys' faces in our locker room, it's tough.テつ You want it so bad for them, and they deserve it, the Sycamores deserve it.テつ They deserved a championship, and they deserved to play in the NCAA Tournament.テつ We're not going to get to do it, but we're going to lick our wounds and roll out of here with our heads high because we competed awfully hard against three good teams.
Hopefully, we'll get invited to another tournament.テつ I'm just really proud of my team.テつ We didn't play well.テつ Obviously, would like to play better, but the guys at the other end of the court had a lot to do with it.

Q.テつ Jake, talk about the second half, the comeback you guys made, and how much your hand was bothering you after you were hit early in the half.
JAKE ODUM:テつ I'm proud of my team for competing.テつ Injuring the hand, that's the way it goes.テつ You have injuries in sports.テつ I might have let it affect me a little bit too much out there.テつ But it is what it is.

Q.テつ This is for Justin and Manny.テつ Can you guys talk about what the inner feeling was when you had trimmed the deficit down to four, and it really felt like you had some momentum.テつ What were you guys feeling like at that point?
MANNY AROP:テつ We fought hard to just get back in the game.テつ It was kind of, okay, we're about to put a run together.テつ But then they were just hitting some shots and make the lead bigger.テつ So it was just like an uphill fight the whole game.
JUSTIN GANT:テつ Throughout the game, we weren't playing as well as we'd like to, but when we made a couple shots and took the lead down and started getting close to them, it's a confidence builder and lets you know, we got in the huddle and kept talking about how we're still in the game and we've still got plenty of time to get back into it and take the lead.テつ But they just kept hitting tough shots.テつ So you got to give them credit for that.

Q.テつ Jake, can you describe the play where you picked up your fourth foul?テつ How did you see that?
JAKE ODUM:テつ No comment.

Q.テつ For the players, all three of you, the last two times you played Wichita, you've proven you can play with them, and you've earned the respect.テつ How frustrating is it not being able to finish against them?
JUSTIN GANT:テつ I mean, it's very frustrating.テつ We got to know each other and know their tendencies and what they like to do.テつ The last two times we battled them down to the end.テつ It's always disappointing to know that you came so close but never got it.
MANNY AROP:テつ Very frustrating.
JAKE ODUM:テつ You know, I was kind of disappointed when the game ended, obviously.テつ Now I'm sitting up here, I'm proud of the fight, though, you know.テつ They earned it.テつ 34‑0, nobody's beat them all year.テつ They're the best team in the country.
But we fought with them.テつ We were right there hand in hand with them for 30 minutes of the game.テつ We just couldn't finish out.テつ They were the better team today.テつ They were the better team this season.テつ So you got to give credit to them.
We fought out there, and I'm proud of our team for doing that.

Q.テつ Jake, you talk about that.テつ How difficult is it to beat that team when they get an inch to get a shot off and they're popping threes.テつ Like you said, it's very difficult because they don't beat themselves and they just don't need much room to get things going.
JAKE ODUM:テつ Yeah, I mean‑‑ I don't even know where to begin with that.テつ They're just tough, you know.テつ We had nine turnovers, and they had 21 points off of those nine turnovers.テつ So they basically converted every single one.テつ That's what they do.
They're a well‑rounded team.テつ Someone like Baker doesn't hit a three, but Cotton and Van Vleet both have four.テつ So they're deep.テつ They've got players.テつ They've got some potential pros on their team.
Like I said earlier, it is what it is.テつ I'm happy that we competed, though.テつ We didn't fold.テつ We could have gave in.テつ We could have let them beat us by 30.テつ It ended up being 14.テつ We cut it to 5, 6 a couple times.テつ I'm proud of our team for doing that.

Q.テつ Justin, can you talk about your eye and kind of the night you had last night in the lead‑up to this game and if it affected you at all today.
JUSTIN GANT:テつ In the game yesterday, I got hit with a finger.テつ Initially, it was all right, just had a little vision problem.テつ But after the game, I had some bleeding and a little pressure on the eye.テつ I went to the hospital and got it checked out and ended up being all right.
It didn't affect me today.テつ I knew it was going to be a big day and a big game.テつ I got plenty of rest.テつ We went over the game plan, and we were prepared.テつ The coaches did an amazing job of getting us ready for the game.テつ Just got to give them props.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you.テつ You're dismissed.テつ Stay here with the Coach.

Q.テつ Coach, you're down five when Jake picks up his fourth with just over ten to go.テつ Wichita answers on a 13‑0 run.テつ Just how much did that change momentum in the game?
COACH LANSING:テつ That's what it was, 13‑0?テつ It's a big change.テつ I thought Jake, that's as good a defense as you could have played.テつ It was a tough call.テつ There were a couple of those, I felt, in that stretch.テつ We were a little out of sorts, even in the first half.テつ Guys were worrying too much about the officiating.テつ You know, I just tried to tell them we had some negative body language, and we let that affect us too much.
Any time you've got kids that care about each other and winning as much as they do, sometimes that happens.テつ You don't want it to.テつ Tried not to do it that way.テつ You want something so bad.テつ You feel like you're not getting a fair shake sometimes.テつ I guess that's the way you react.テつ But that was tough.
I didn't have enough time‑outs to stop the runs, but that's what they do.テつ If you turn it over, have any quick shot or lose it at one end, they put it in the basket at the other end and quick like, if you're not sprinting back and communicating.テつ That's why they're undefeated.テつ That's why they're hoisting the trophy.

Q.テつ Greg, you touched on it just a moment ago their ability to score quickly.テつ You had nine turnovers the entire game, and they scored 21 points off those turnovers.テつ Does that speak to their efficiency to take advantage of mistakes?
COACH LANSING:テつ Yeah.テつ They're probably the best team in the country at that.テつ It's because you've got guards like they have, and you have bigs that run like sprinters, and you have a Cleanthony Early that runs like a 100‑meter dash guy, and he's dunking at the other end, and they get three‑pointer plays on the other end.テつ That's what you don't want.
It's a huge key coming into the game, not giving it to them.テつ If you only turn it over nine times, they quick threes and do it too.テつ They take quick threes and make you pay for it, and basketball is a game of runs.テつ Everybody knows that.テつ We talk about it all the time.テつ They're good from not getting a 5‑0 run, they make it a 13‑0 run like they did today.テつ As an opposing team, you want to shrink that stuff, but today just didn't have enough time‑outs during that stretch to really stop it.

Q.テつ Greg, at the point where Jake did pick up his fourth foul, you have to take him off for a couple of quick shots after that.テつ Just talk about how that affects your fight and kind of‑‑ he's kind of a safe harbor, obviously, for your team.テつ That seems to be what was really going.
COACH LANSING:テつ It's guys trying, guys trying because their leader's over on the sideline with four fouls, and you've got to rest them a little bit.テつ During the game, what we talked about is we're either scoring in transition in the first five, ten seconds of the possession, or you really need to work and score the last ten seconds of the possession.
Then we got quick.テつ That's us.テつ That's why we are what we are.テつ These guys try to make plays, and we cast up some quick threes.テつ It's not just one guy.テつ It's several guys.テつ All of a sudden, it's a 13‑0 run.テつ Going into it, that's what we talked about.
Also talk about, when they score, you got to come down and make sure the ball touches the paint.テつ During that stretch, we just didn't do it.

Q.テつ As good as some of the defense was, I think they started 3 of 14 from the field in the second half, Wichita did.テつ And you've seen it before, all's they need is a sliver.テつ Cotton comes off a bump cut, and, boom, he's got a three‑pointer.テつ Same thing with Van Vleet.
How difficult is it to defend that team when they just don't need any room at all to get on a run?
COACH LANSING:テつ I mean, that's what the championship teams do really.テつ They've got tremendous leadership.テつ You have to guard them a while.テつ They have a purpose at that end.テつ They don't try to make a play off without a‑‑ no passes or one pass.テつ They make you guard them throughout a possession and wait until you make a mistake or catch you at a break or at a mismatch, and then they're really good getting it off the offensive glass.
So they don't have weaknesses.テつ They do not have weaknesses.テつ If anybody could see one, I'd like to hear it because we couldn't find anybody in it.テつ We felt we were good enough to beat them.テつ We just didn't to that.
They don't beat themselves.テつ They don't beat themselves, and they have tremendous leadership.

Q.テつ Greg, I know the timing is never easy for this.テつ A year ago, when you had lost to Creighton, I know you were frustrated with the limping to the finish line, and you said in here you wanted to use the postseason to kind of see who was really dedicated to try to win a championship next year.テつ Seeing that you didn't limp this year, you fought hard this year‑‑
COACH LANSING:テつ We didn't limp last year.

Q.テつ I know.テつ The disappointing performance.
COACH LANSING:テつ Yeah, I know.テつ It's disappointing, but it's not limping.

Q.テつ Forgive that.テつ How important is it to you you've got guys who don't want to take their uniform, wherever it is you do go, how important is it that you want to see them finish successfully?
COACH LANSING:テつ It is.テつ We talked about it before.テつ The best feeling we ever had was when we won it and seeing those guys' faces and how happy they were.テつ Some disappointment in that locker room‑‑ like I said, you put your guts in it.テつ You want great things for them.
Last year we weren't ready.テつ We faded, we got tired at the end of the year.テつ It's not like they weren't trying and playing hard.テつ We had good teams in this league and got beat, we came here, and we won a game.テつ We were without Manny, our second best player, in the last two games.テつ This team has never limped anywhere.テつ Never limped one time, never collapsed, never anything.
This team has been a tremendous group of guys.テつ They represented Indiana State as good as any team anywhere that I've ever been around, represent the community and our university.
And a good thing I'd say about it, Jason, is how much it means to them.テつ The seniors, we're going to keep playing, and they're going to keep fighting because they won't give in.テつ You've got a lot of guys that are going to come back next year that have tremendous experience.テつ They get to learn from one of the best teams in the country, and it hurts them.テつ I know they're going to be motivated to get better.

Q.テつ What did Jake tell you when he came back from the locker room after he hurt his hand?テつ Was there any kind of discussion as far as his status at that point?
COACH LANSING:テつ Well, yeah, you guys all know how tough he is.テつ He throws his body all over the place.テつ When he first came over, he said he thought he broke his hand.テつ Then he went back in there, and he's loose, throwing them into the game and checking back in.テつ I just asked him, when he got his fourth foul and came out of there, he thought it was in the knuckle.
Whether it's dislocated or broken, we'll have to get X‑rays, I'm not sure.テつ Jake's not one to complain about much, and obviously, it really bothered him.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Greg, congratulations and good luck in the postseason.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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