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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2014


Isaiah Austin

Kenny Chery

Scott Drew

Cory Jefferson


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Baylor テや 78
Oklahoma - 73


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Baylor, Coach Scott Drew, student‑athletes, Kenny Chery, Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin.テつ Coach?
COACH DREW:テつ A lot more happier coach today from the standpoint I thought our guys really defended a lot better.テつ First half was fun to watch.テつ I thought we really executed well.
But it all starts taking care of the ball on the defensive end, and I think, again, we shot 50percent for a reason, shared the ball, and got high percentage shots.テつ But really, really proud of how these guys competed today.

Q.テつ Isaiah, it seemed like every time they took the ball inside, they'd throw it back out.テつ I mean, was that kind of the hope that they'd shoot a lot of 3‑pointers, that they wouldn't try to get much inside?
ISAIAH AUSTIN:テつ I think they changed their game plan a little bit from the first half, because we were blocking shots and we were contesting a lot of those shots and not giving them anything easy.
So really, in the second half, they just wanted to drive and get me out there so they could kick it for an easy 3.

Q.テつ Isaiah and Cory, looked like you guys did a better job when they doubled finding an open man, did you change something from the last two times you played or did you just execute better?
ISAIAH AUSTIN:テつ Our guards just got to their Xs, the spots they were supposed to be in, so it was easy for us to pass it to them.
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ It's also something we worked on.テつ We knew they would double us, so we've been working on it throughout the season.テつ A lot of teams have doubled us throughout the conference play, so we just worked on it in practice and got better with it.テつ And it showed out there on the court.

Q.テつ Kenny, could you just talk about when Isaiah is both blocking shots inside like he did the first half and also finishing inside like he was, how that just changes things for you guys?
KENNY CHERY:テつ It changes the game a lot.テつ Those guys are our key.テつ We need them every day.テつ And without them, what else can we do?テつ When we get breaked down, we need them to block shots, we need them to contest shots or make shots harder, and that's what they did.

Q.テつ Isaiah, I know the season you've had has been up and down a little bit this year.テつ Have you come into the postseason with a different mindset or frame of mind after the struggles you had early on to put a good ending on this season?
ISAIAH AUSTIN:テつ A little bit.テつ My grandfather passed yesterday, I found out yesterday, so I've just been trying to play for him, trying to play aggressive for him.テつ My teammates have been pushing me hard in practice and they've been telling me they need more out of me.テつ So I'm just trying to produce for them.

Q.テつ Kenny, can you talk about handling the press?テつ You did turn it over a couple times against it, but you guys were able to beat it for buckets.テつ Did you get a little nervous there at the end, I guess?
KENNY CHERY:テつ I didn't get nervous at all.テつ I've got confidence in my teammates.テつ All we had to do was make adjustments, and that's exactly what we did when we came out of timeout.テつ And our guys handled the press really well because they did not meet the ball pretty hard and Royce, Brady and Gary, Isaiah coming up, Cory and everybody handled the press pretty well.

Q.テつ Kenny, can you just talk about the balance you had, scoring, seemed like you all really did a good job of distributing the ball around?
KENNY CHERY:テつ That's where we're at our best, when we're sharing the ball, when everybody gets touches and when everybody touches the ball, especially when guys like Isaiah, Cory, Rico, TP, Royce, everybody on the team, you could get passes from anybody.
And we had a large amount of assists today which means‑‑ we had 16, 16 assists today, and that's pretty good.テつ And that's the type of team we are.テつ That's playing Baylor basketball.

Q.テつ For all of you guys, I know Oklahoma had your number for the first two games, how much did it mean for you, do you think, by jumping on them like you did to get some early confidence away?テつ Was it 10‑0 or 12‑0 or something, but going out jumping on them quick like that?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ It meant a lot.テつ Like you said, they beat us the first two games, and Coach Drew always said it's hard to beat a team three times.テつ I'm sure they knew that.テつ They were prepared.テつ We made sure we were going to be prepared.テつ The main focus was just being ready, knowing our defensive, the defensive end, that's really what got us going was our defense.
KENNY CHERY:テつ Like Cory said, they beat us the last two games.テつ And like Coach has been saying, we can't dwell on the past, we have to think about today.テつ We just thought about today.テつ We didn't think about the last two games.テつ We came out hard, aggressive, had a different mindset and we just played our game.

Q.テつ You played so well for 25, 30 minutes, was it just a matter of you knew they were going to make a run and you had to withstand it?
COACH DREW:テつ No question, Oklahoma's a great team.テつ They score in bunches.テつ They turn you over with their pressure.テつ So that's why it was important to have a lead and have an opportunity to make a mistake or two and still be okay.

Q.テつ Kind of a similar question I asked Kenny about Isaiah, when he's playing like that at both ends, seemed like he took Oklahoma's bigs out of the game and then first seven points of the second half.テつ When he's playing like that, how much tougher does your team become?
COACH DREW:テつ No question defensively he's been in our 9 and 1, very good.テつ But offensively, when he goes 8 for 12 and 2 for 4 from 3, he's capable of that, but when he does that, that adds a whole other dimension to our offense.

Q.テつ They got after you guys pretty good on the perimeter the first couple of games.テつ What did you do specifically to try and keep them from being as effective as they were the first timeout?
COACH DREW:テつ I thought we adjusted defensively a couple of things.テつ And at the end of the day, too, I hate to say it but if you contest a shot and it's a good shooter, there's a chance it's still going to go in.
They missed some shots.テつ They shot 35 3s.テつ They could have made 18.テつ They could have made 10.テつ Our job was just to make them as difficult as possible, try to limit them to one and done and not give them easy ones.
For the most part, we did a pretty good job of that.テつ We had a couple of situations, obviously.テつ We left people more open than they needed to be.テつ But at the end of the day, Buddy Hield didn't have five 3s in the first five minutes or seven minutes this time, so we made strides.

Q.テつ 38 minutes tonight for Kenny, were you planning on playing him that much or was it just the bench didn't really give you much and you had to play him a lot?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think probably the last ten minutes of the game, you could see OU had done a pretty good job fatiguing us.テつ And Kenny did a great job for the amount of minutes that he played.
But I thought that's where at the end of the game, our coaching staff's always‑‑ when we're 2 and 8, we've always liked these guys.テつ They have a great chemistry.テつ They're good kids.テつ They've got big hearts and I think they showed that down the stretch.

Q.テつ The balance you had tonight and then Royce getting his second straight double‑double, how big is that getting that kind of production?
COACH DREW:テつ That's that clean connection, Royce and Cory.テつ I think both of them made big plays and both of them really were focused and really been great these last ten games.

Q.テつ You've now tied the career record at Baylor of 201 wins as a coach.テつ Considering where your program started, does that mean a lot to you?
COACH DREW:テつ I think it means that we've had a lot of good players and they've all played for Baylor University and played well for the school and represented it the right way.
I think any coaching honor is a direct reflection of the players because none of us coaches have made any buckets.テつ So it's all the players' work.

Q.テつ At the risk of jinxing you, is this the best you guys‑‑
COACH DREW:テつ Don't do that, Blair.

Q.テつ Is this the best you guys have played all year?
COACH DREW:テつ There's some stretches.テつ We've played pretty well in the last ten games, and early in the year there were some stretches we played real well.テつ So I know it's the best we played against Oklahoma, that's for sure.

Q.テつ Your thoughts on either Texas or West Virginia tomorrow; do you have a preference or what are you expecting to see from them?
COACH DREW:テつ That's the great thing about the tournament this year:テつ You knew coming in that, to me, more wide open than it's ever been.テつ And it doesn't matter who you play, it's going to be a war.テつ And I mean, that's what makes this year's tournament so exciting, in my opinion.
I mean, you've got a chance for 80percent of the league to be playing in the NCAA tournament.テつ I mean, that's phenomenal.テつ So to answer your question, it doesn't matter, because both of them are outstanding teams.テつ We're just glad we're playing.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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