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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2014


Thomas Gipson

Shane Southwell

Bruce Weber


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Iowa State テや 91
Kansas State - 85


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and student‑athletes Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell.テつ Coach?
COACH WEBER:テつ I guess an entertaining game.テつ I'm not sure we guarded as well‑‑ I know we didn't guard as well as we needed to.テつ I asked the guys to just compete and play.
We've been on Shane to step up and be a player.テつ I thought he was.テつ A couple of tough possessions down the stretch, and they made the plays and we didn't.
And you know, shot 54percent, scored 85 points and you still can't win.テつ Nigel was good off the bench.テつ I thought our whole bench did a nice job again, not only Nigel, his career high, but Omari got in the first half, gave us a nice spark.テつ D.J.'s limping a little bit, but he gives us solid minutes.テつ We needed Marcus probably to stay out of foul trouble and it didn't happen.テつ And they had foul trouble on their own.
You have to give them ‑‑ they're good.テつ All three games are the same, came down to the last couple of minutes, tie score.テつ They made the plays and today they stepped up and made some shots to give them a victory.

Q.テつ At the end of the game when Shane got that ball, headed a little out of control there, what can a coachdo there?テつ Theoretically, I guess you call a time‑out, but it was so quick what was the thought process there?
COACH WEBER:テつ Well, I think you ‑‑ he actually had Nigel wide open and that's what I was seeing and hoping ‑‑ we had a couple of tough possessions down the stretch.テつ Wes went and tried to do something he shouldn't have.テつ Shane actually had a wild one that went in and then he had one in a half court possession that wasn't very good.テつ And we needed to be solid and take care of the basketball.
We were so good when we moved the ball and got passing and cutting, and one of our better efforts for that.テつ And you're sitting there watching and you're like the first thing coming in my mind is call timeout, but he also has kind of a little bit of a break and advantage, and just he had a great game, just didn't make the right read down the stretch.テつ But he gave us a lot of plays that allowed us to be there at the end.

Q.テつ Shane, take me through what you saw on that last possession when it was a two‑point game and you lost the ball?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ I believe Omari got the rebound and he outlet it to me.テつ And I had total tunnel vision.テつ I'm thinking down 2, get to the basket, get a layup or get fouled.テつ I only saw Niang and a couple people trailing back for Iowa State.テつ In my mind I'm thinking get to the basket.テつ He don't really want to foul, he has four fouls.
So then at the last minute, I heard Nigel yell my name, and then I looked and tried to pass it to him when I brought it around and I lost the ball.テつ But I just had tunnel vision.テつ So I had predetermined thoughts, so it wasn't going to work out.テつ If I would have just been a little bit more patient, it probably would have worked out.テつ Nigel would have had an open shot, and the way he was going, I have a lot of confidence in him and I think he would have made that shot.

Q.テつ Thomas, coach said if they won the battle on the boards, it would be important for them.テつ How tough was their rebounding today especially on the offensive glass?
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ They're very good on the rebounds.テつ I think the main thing when we have rotations, when we have to do rotation help, Hogue and Ejim, they get free lanes to the basket and easy put‑backs.テつ So they pass it out to get wide open 3s.テつ But, I mean, they're good on the boards.テつ We can't hold them on that.テつ We just had to be tougher.

Q.テつ Shane, how big was Nigel Johnson coming off the bench and giving you guys a spark?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ It was big.テつ We pride ourselves on our bench play and next man up.テつ So he really played well.テつ He's a really talented player.テつ We just need some glimpses of that every day or every game and even in practice.
But like I said, he's a really talented player, and I'm really proud of him.テつ And we appreciate the performance he had today.テつ But we just gotta go out there and defend and get a couple more stops and we would have been even happier.

Q.テつ Do you feel this game got you going again a little bit because you did play pretty well?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ I really don't‑‑ I'm not really concerned with that.テつ I'm concerned with the loss and how we can, how I can play better or how we can play better as a team.テつ I always think of what I can do better.テつ So I'm not content or really worried about that.
I made a couple of shots, but still it came from me defending and getting those two rebounds early, which got me into a flow.テつ So I really have to just go out there, do the little things early.テつ And my shots were falling, good things were happening when you do the little things.

Q.テつ Shane and Thomas, how soon do you put this ballgame behind you before you start thinking about where you might go?テつ I mean, Selection Sunday is about 72 hours away, so you've got a lot of time.テつ It might seem that way anyway.
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ You learn‑‑ we're going to watch film.テつ We're going to learn from the mistakes we had today.テつ But we pretty much got to put it behind us and learn from it and go out the next three days until Sunday, get some rest, but also put up a lot of shots and stay together as a team and know that this season is not over.テつ We still have a lot of games left and we have a lot of fight left and we've gotta go out there keep the mindset for the next couple of days until we see where we're going, what type of seed we're at and who we're playing.
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ He pretty much said it.テつ I felt we put it behind us right away.テつ I feel like we'll be fine.テつ It's just a tough loss.テつ We can deal with it, though.テつ Shane pretty much said it all.

Q.テつ Your squad's known for being able to control the pace.テつ Why didn't that work today and how were you able to score 85 despite the pace?
COACH WEBER:テつ We were pretty efficient on offense and we scored 85 and 80 against them.テつ We just didn't get enough stops.テつ The big thing, the big stat is their points in the paint.テつ I think Fred deceives you and they made 8 for 18 from 3.
But if you really study their stats, they haven't shot it that well over the course of time.テつ But they always get a lot of points in the paint and they also get to the free‑throw line.テつ And we just didn't defend like we needed to, and they had us spread out and some of it they made some 3s.テつ They got too many easy layups.
We finally took some charges in the second half to give us a chance, but they ‑‑ Niang and Ejim pretty much had their way.テつ And Naz Long made the big 3 when we had scored a bucket, and then we went and helped, they kicked it out, and that was a big 3 for them.テつ But the rebounding, points in the paint, we just didn't do a good enough job.
And on the other end, though, we scored and we were pretty, obviously pretty efficient.テつ You shoot 54percent, 47 from 3, and 73 from the line and don't win, you know, it's pretty disappointing.

Q.テつ Bruce, if we can step back from today a little bit more of a big picture question, what are the places that you've seen growth in your team, in your program from the beginning of the season until now as you head into the tournament?
COACH WEBER:テつ I think if you saw some of our early games, I'm not sure you thought we could compete with anybody.テつ And our guys came together.テつ Our seniors accepted their roles and instead of trying to be superstars, they've just been very solid players and had real nice moments along the way, all of them.
And then our freshmen just slowly but surely grew up.テつ From the beginning to get Gipson back and get him going, and the conference is tough, and it's not very forgiving.テつ And I hope it prepares us for the NCAA tournament.テつ Obviously it still comes down to matchups and playing good basketball down the stretch.
But we've made a lot of progress.テつ And we've had four freshmen play quite a few minutes, and I don't know if anybody else in the league can say that.テつ So you feel good.テつ I feel good about next week.テつ I feel good about the future of the program.

Q.テつ Getting into that, Bruce, how tough is it to go into the tournament on a little bit of a slide in terms of losses here, but also coming off a pretty well‑played game today?
COACH WEBER:テつ I hope it's a motivator.テつ And like I just told our coaches, we just lost to one of the best offensive teams in the country, played them until the end.
We played a lot‑‑ people don't appreciate‑‑ I don't think nationwide people appreciate how good our league is.テつ And I thought it was a little disrespectful, the polls.テつ We just keep beating each other, and other teams.テつ You know, Iowa lost six out of seven and stayed in the polls.テつ It didn't make a lot of sense to me.テつ But the only way you can back it up is go in the tournament and do something.テつ So I feel good about our group.テつ I feel good about the league.テつ It was very competitive.テつ And I hope this is a motivator, to lose some games down the stretch, but also a motivator to know that we can play with anybody in the country, because we've done it.

Q.テつ I apologize if you were asked that, I didn't catch the beginning, but how important was it in the flow of the game, what Dustin Hogue did for them because you had Niang in foul trouble, Kane in foul trouble, they were both on the bench at the same time, which usually is not a good indicator for Iowa State?
COACH WEBER:テつ He made three in the beginning, which you don't expect him to probably make it.テつ I'm not sure if it went under the rim and around.テつ And then he hit two really tough shots in the stretch run.テつ And his rebounding is‑‑ he averaged 12 rebounds against us the first two.テつ He's great at that.テつ Him and Ejim have just pumped us on the boards.テつ But he played a special game.テつ Now we probably‑‑ we match it somewhat with Nigel Johnson stepping up and playing special for us.
But they end up with five guys in double digits.テつ We only end up with four.テつ And that's probably the difference in the game.

Q.テつ You referred a couple times to the quality of the league, but I'm just wondering how this league prepared you, is going to prepare you for starting next week.テつ Seems like you're playing an NCAA tournament team two out of every three games?
COACH WEBER:テつ Probably three out of four games, looks like, right?テつ And then somebody could be an NIT team.テつ So even Texas Tech, if Tubby gets there a little earlier and has a little better, a little more time with them, they were as competitive as anybody down the stretch.
So we've faced a lot of different styles.テつ We've faced the size of Kansas and Texas, the free‑wheeling offense of Oklahoma and Iowa State, and the toughness of a Texas Tech, West Virginia.テつ So we played a lot of different teams.テつ We've had a lot of close games.テつ We've won some and we've lost some.テつ And I hope that our guys get their mindset right.テつ And we know we played with the best in the country, and we can go and beat anybody.
But now we've gotta prove it.テつ And I told them‑‑ my big theme this week was compete today.テつ And I told them before, you know, we'll still have one more game, but after that you've got to compete today or there's no tomorrow.テつ And I hope they'll step it up and we'll have a good showing in the tournament and our whole league does.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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