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March 14, 2014

Isaiah Austin

Scott Drew

Brady Heslip

Cory Jefferson


Baylor テや 86
Texas - 69

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Baylor, Coach Drew and three student‑athletes, Brady Heslip, Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson.テつ Coach?
COACH DREW:テつ Very proud of how the guys competed today.テつ Playing three games in three days isn't easy.テつ And I thought they had tremendous intensity and did a great job sticking to the game plan and really shared the ball, did a lot of positive things.
This is our third championship game in six years.テつ We're hoping a third time is the charm.

Q.テつ Cory and Brady, obviously you went through that really rough stretch and you finished strong.テつ What changed?テつ What kind of happened that allowed you to finish with the success you've had thus far?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ Basically we just tightened up on our defense and working on closing out the game.テつ Most of the games we have lost, when we went through the early part of the conference play, they were within like one to two possessions.
So we were there throughout the whole game for the most part, but we just wasn't finishing out the game, and that's basically what we've been working on.
BRADY HESLIP:テつ I feel our change is just everybody giving more effort on the defensive end obviously to start.テつ But when Kenny and I and Gary and the guards who play the top set the tone with ball pressure and we're flying around giving max effort then the bigs are going to give max effort.テつ And Isaiah in the middle has just been a anchor, just ridiculous, erasing every guard that gets in there when we happen to let them drive.テつ I think that has transferred over to our offense.テつ Just when we play better defense, we played better offense.

Q.テつ Brady, it's very difficult to win four straight nights.テつ You all looked really fresh tonight.テつ Did you all feel that way, and how do you feel you all will be tomorrow?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Felt fresh tonight, and I know we'll feel fresh tomorrow, too.

Q.テつ Cory, I know the big guys from Texas have given you some troubles earlier in the season.テつ What exactly changed tonight?テつ Why were you so effective compared to the first two games?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ Texas has great bigs, and they're one of the top in the country in blocking shots.テつ Knowing that, we just know we've gotta attack their shot blockers.テつ Once you do that, it makes it harder for them to actually block a shot.

Q.テつ Cory, how confident is this team right now with the success that you all had in the last couple of weeks?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ Very confident.テつ We know that we're playing for a championship game tomorrow.テつ We're confident that we can win that.テつ We're just going to go out there play like we've been playing, play as a team, play Baylor basketball.

Q.テつ Isaiah, looked like Texas was a little more willing to challenge you inside than maybe last night.テつ Can you just talk about all the blocked shots you've been piling up?
ISAIAH AUSTIN:テつ Texas is an aggressive team.テつ So I just wanted to be down there and contest as many shots as I could.テつ Our guards were playing tremendous defense on their guards and Cory and Royce were crashing the wings.テつ So it was just an overall good defensive game for us.

Q.テつ Brady, obviously you had really two separate games against Iowa State in terms of how you played.テつ What was the key in the second game and what were some of the things you had to clean up from the first matchup against Iowa State?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Like Cory said, the first time we played them, it was our first conference game.テつ We have a lot of new pieces this year, so them getting acclimated to the Big 12 and us playing them on senior night, we played them as a team.テつ We found our identity and we knew what we're doing out there.テつ We know what our strengths and weaknesses are, so we just try to maximize our strengths and I think that's the big difference.

Q.テつ Besides the on‑court stuff, why do you think mentally you guys were able to hold it together as well as you did going through that tough stretch and not let the losses pile up?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ We knew who we were, like you said, off the court.テつ So we went out to every game, even if it was the ones that we lost, but we went out in every game knowing that we were going to win.テつ We may have lost it, but we went out to the next game knowing we were going to win that next one.
We didn't let it deter us from what we knew we were supposed to do.テつ We stayed together as a team.テつ We didn't put the blame on anybody when we went through that tough streak and we stuck through it and fought through it and this is where we've come.

Q.テつ Cory and Brady, both of you were here in 2012, when you reached the championship and didn't win it.テつ How much did this mean to both of you guys as seniors?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ It would mean everything.テつ I just want to win a championship with these guys, with this team.テつ The first time it was an amazing experience, but now it's the second time, and we're not just here for the experience, we're here to perform.
So when tomorrow night comes, the only thing we're thinking about is winning.テつ It will mean a lot.
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ It's going to mean a lot to me, just playing for the championship, we'll be the first team from Baylor to bring back the Big 12.

Q.テつ Coach, what changed from that moment where you guys had that really rough stretch and obviously you finished really strong?テつ What happened that really fueled that?
COACH DREW:テつ Cory hit the nail on the head.テつ The first thing is the guys never pointed fingers, blamed each other or the coaches.テつ We stayed united, stayed together.テつ We knew what we had to get better at.
And then credit them each and every day coming, trying to win the day, get better each and every day so we could be our best down the stretch.
And we've had great leadership all year long, great chemistry, and as they say, what doesn't break you makes you stronger, and I think that adversity has helped bring us even closer together.

Q.テつ You guys made the four games in four days trip in 2009.テつ Weren't successful.テつ What did you learn from that first swing through there that you think may translate into maybe a better performance tomorrow night?
COACH DREW:テつ I think any time you get to a championship game or have an experience, you can take some things away.テつ And I think the big thing is sometimes when you get to a championship game, you're more excited to be there than really focused on winning it, very similar to our first NIT championship compared to our second NIT championship game.
So I'm hoping that it doesn't guarantee‑‑ more experience doesn't guarantee you're going to win, but hopefully it adds a little hunger seeing the other teams celebrate.テつ And Big 12 does a great job with the festivities and it's not fun being on the other end.

Q.テつ You talked yesterday about when Isaiah is great on offense how that changes you guys.テつ But when Cory is doing his thing inside like we saw in the first half and Brady is hitting the opportunity 3‑pointer, I think they combined for 25 points in the first half.テつ What kind of matchup problems does that create?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think that's one of our strengths of our team is we have great balance.テつ We've had different people step up and make big plays during this 10 and 1 run.テつ And I think that's important.テつ Because you're not going to be hot every night and you gotta have someone else there to pick you up.
At the end of the day, if you defend and rebound, it gives you a chance on nights when not as many people are stepping up.テつ And I found our bigs really were a lot more effective this game than they had been our two previous games and credit them on their hard work and development and getting better throughout the year, because Cam and Holmes and Prince, I mean, kind of those are very good defensive players.テつ You're not going to find better defensive players in college.

Q.テつ Your thoughts on Iowa State?テつ You split with them in the regular season.テつ Can you talk a little bit about what you're expecting to see tomorrow?
COACH DREW:テつ Iowa State's a great team.テつ And we just played them.テつ And I know they'll have some extra hunger because it's tough to beat a real good team after you just played them.テつ We played one of our better games of the year.
And, again, they're a team that can win a national championship and I think they're going to be real successful in the NCAA tournament.
So you're playing for a Big 12 championship in the best conference in the country.テつ It's a great honor and privilege, and we're going to give it all we've got and see how things turn out.

Q.テつ I know you have bigger things on your mind than records today.テつ But you become the all‑time winner at Baylor against a team that you couldn't beat for 13 games when you first got here.テつ Does that cross your mind at all?テつ Do you ever think at all about how far you have come at Baylor?
COACH DREW:テつ I think the first and foremost thing is I've shared with the players, the only way coaches get records is because you have great players and they put the team first.テつ And we've been very blessed to have outstanding players.テつ And the great thing is they're really good people, really good role models, ambassadors.
We love in the summertime when all the guys play pro ball come back.テつ You love during NBA weekend, All Star weekend when guys come back.テつ I know they'll all be watching tomorrow and cheering on the guys and you love being a part of that family.

Q.テつ The zone's been pretty effective for you in this tournament.テつ Tomorrow playing Iowa State, they isolate guys and try to pull you out.テつ How are you going to try to balance that back and forth?
COACH DREW:テつ I think they're a team that's very hard to zone.テつ And I know we got our work cut out for us.テつ If you want to ask me at 3:00a.m., I'll have a better idea.

Q.テつ Baylor's never won a conference championship tournament dating back to the SWC.テつ What do you think that would mean to this program, this school?
COACH DREW:テつ I think women's basketball, football have had outstanding years.テつ And I know it just speaks volumes to the University's administration for me and McCaw, the athletic director to President Starr, and all the regents.テつ What a great job they've done with the facilities and the university.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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