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BIG 12 CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 13, 2014


Rick Barnes

Javan Felix

Jonathan Holmes


KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

Texas ¬Ė 66
West Virginia - 49


THE MODERATOR:¬† We welcome the Texas Longhorns and Coach Rick Barnes and student‑athletes Javan Felix and Jonathan Holmes. ¬†Coach?
COACH BARNES:  First half I thought we were defensively really, really good, as good as we've been in a while.  And even offensively it gave us a chance to get out and get in the open court.
And these two guys certainly had a lot to do with that, but I really thought that Demarcus Holland was terrific for us doing what we needed him to do and even Kendal Yancy off the bench, but we got a really good effort from a lot of different guy.

Q.  Could you talk about how the quick start really put them on their heels and you all set the tone with the first 12 points?
JAVAN FELIX:¬† We've been‑‑ lately we've been coming out second‑guessing ourselves and not being aggressive.¬† We just wanted to get back to being aggressive and attacking from the very beginning.¬† And I think we did a good job of that at the start of the game and kind of carried over throughout the game.

Q.  Jonathan, for being a team that needed momentum the last few weeks, does this help you get back to feeling how you were towards the beginning of the year?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  I think we had some momentum coming into the weekend, looking forward to all these games.  I think it went like this and can definitely carry over into some good momentum heading into tomorrow night and the rest of this week, and the NCAA tournament next week.
COACH BARNES:  It's obvious I played John too many minutes this year.  He gets a lot more done in 18 minutes than he does in 28.  (Laughter)

Q.  West Virginia's win over Kansas, did that really grab your guys' attention, because you had done well against them this year?
JAVAN FELIX:  Our league is very competitive and anybody can beat anybody in any given night.  And it's something that surprises us, it's just something that we knew they were capable of doing.  We just didn't want to let it happen to us tonight.

Q.  Jon, talk about Baylor.  They had a very convincing win today over Oklahoma.  And just the matchup with Isaiah Austin inside?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  They're kind of like us.  They have length.  They have size.  They have depth.  They play hard.  It's going to be a tough game.  We know what we need to do.  The game's probably going to be controlled.  Whoever controls the boards is probably going to have the upper hand.  We have to get our rest tonight and watch some film on them and get ready for them tomorrow night.

Q.  Jon, what exactly did you guys do to be successful against Baylor?  You're the only team to beat them during this run they've had.  I think they've won nine of their last ten, but what were you guys exactly successful in doing?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  I think we came out ready to play mentally.  We executed.  We didn't play perfect, but we just found a way to get things done and so we're going to have to do that tomorrow to be successful.

Q.  Were you a little surprised it was almost too easy?
COACH BARNES:¬† Oh, yeah.¬† You go into a game expecting it to be a really close game.¬† You always do, even when you have a lead.¬† You just know that your opponent has a chance because of the 3‑point line, and then you're hoping your guys don't get relaxed and help them by turning the ball over and getting sloppy, which the guys at 10 didn't do a very good job.¬† Again, defensively we were good, transition defense was good.¬† And I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part, but you don't expect it to be easy.¬† You never expect that.

Q.  Rick, how important was it being able to keep the minutes down?  I know Jonathan only played 18 minutes.  Nobody was overly extended.
COACH BARNES:  It was important.  And we've actually talked about it as a staff a lot, because we gave our guys some time off.  We knew they were a little tired, obviously, after the regular season.
But we wanted to get Isaiah's minutes cut back as much as anybody's, as well as Jon's, and he kind of helped us by getting in foul trouble.  But we're able to do that because we've got some really good play from the bench and solid things in terms of the execution that we were looking for.
And, again, it goes back, I thought defensively we were really tuned in.¬† But Jon, I've said before, he needs‑‑ he's one of those guys that needs reps.¬† But tonight they only ended up with, what, 18 minutes?¬† He probably would have liked to play a little bit more, but this is the way it worked out and it was good.

Q.  On the side there, you guys talking with Isaiah, looked like he just needed to breathe and relax a little.  Looked like Isaiah just needed to relax?
COACH BARNES:¬† That's what I told him.¬† When he went back in the game, he was upset about his third foul, which was one of those bang, bang plays.¬† And then one of them was‑‑ he actually made a nice cut, but he really started pressuring, putting pressure on himself, and I just ‑‑ before I left to come down here, I told him, I said, when you have a lead like that, if you're as smart as I think you are, you wouldn't go in there and try to throw up some crazy shot and get hurt.¬† You wouldn't do that.¬† But I do think he's pressing.
I mean, there's no doubt he needs to relax.  But I think, too, I just told him I think you've got to put a little more focus in it to get ready and know that you've got to feel the game.  You can't have a predetermined thought of how you think it's going to be played all the time.
But he definitely was‑‑ when it didn't go well for him early, he started pressing.¬† To me, again, I told him the thing you look at that tells you that is just the fact that he had, what, five turnovers.¬† He turned it over, I think he had four at halftime.

Q.  You've been pretty adamant that the team hasn't lost any confidence over the past month.  Did the guys need to be reminded how good they were and that they could beat a good team like this?
COACH BARNES:¬† Not really, I'm telling you.¬† We just talk about execution and that's what we haven't done at times when we've‑‑ I do think we got a little lax.¬† I don't think we lost confidence.¬† But Javan said that‑‑ what did he say about coming out?¬† I don't know what his thought was.¬† I mean, I can go back and I showed him it's all about execution, spacing and doing the things that we practiced.
But, you know, I don't know.¬† I think they've had a good‑‑ I've never worried about their confidence.¬† I can be honest with you, I never have.¬† Maybe I'm not in tune with them as I think I should be or whatever.¬† But they've never made me feel like they weren't confident.¬† And I've never really had a problem with that.
My problem or my from a coaching standpoint, it's always about execution, the details.  That's what it's always been about.  And tonight we were good with the details tonight.

Q.  How big was the zone, keeping Harris and Staten out of the lane for your overall success?
COACH BARNES:¬† Well, again, the key to Staten was the transition, getting back.¬† And we did ‑‑ again, our big guys did a good job doing that.¬† That was obviously has always been the point of emphasis, to try to get everybody back and get our defense set.¬† And we've done the best job we've done all year the last two games getting our hands up in the zone.¬† And by doing that we've extended, too, based on the scouting report, who we needed to get out there.
And a couple of nice plays, really when the ball went inside.  We're not going to keep teams from getting a shot every time.  But we stretched it out and the sides were good and getting their hands up.  It's a big zone, especially when we get Jon at the 3 and Martez up top.  That's a pretty big zone.

Q.  Just about Baylor, anything you can point out specifically that worked for you guys the first two matchups?  And do you see any big changes in the way they played over the last month?
COACH BARNES:¬† One, my memory's not that good about either one of the games, other than I know the one at home, it was a one‑possession game and Kenny Chery controlled the entire second half.¬† The first half we were pretty good.¬† The second half they beat us.¬† And, again, it was really a one‑possession game.¬† And my thought, the only thing I can remember ‑‑ because I can remember saying to the guys throughout the game that he had totally controlled the game in the second half.
But you think about a team that's picked one of the top three teams in the league, what, somebody just said they won nine out of ten and playing great basketball at the right time.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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