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March 19, 2014

Mike Davis

Aaric Murray

Jose Rodriguez


Cal Poly – 81
Texas Southern – 69

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Mike Davis and student‑athletes Jose Rodriguez and Aaric Murray.
COACH DAVIS:  I'm proud of my basketball team.  We had a really good season.  We were 6 and 6 at one time in the conference.
We started to play really good basketball down the stretch.  We won nine straight games, six games in the conference and three games in the tournament.  I thought we played a really good basketball team tonight, well‑coached.
They took advantage of our mistakes defensively.  They shared the ball well.  They didn't turn their basket‑‑ I think they had one turnover in the first half.  It's hard to beat a basketball team that has one turnover.
But really, really proud of this team.  Appreciate the opportunity.  The NCAA put on a really, really good event here.  I was here four years ago, and it was really nice then, but now it's gone to a different level as an event.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for our student‑athletes only.

Q.  Aaric, early on, in particular, seemed like they had you hemmed; they had people, guards dropping on top of you, in addition to people fronting you underneath the basket.  What did you think about their defense tonight?
AARIC MURRAY:  I think their defense was pretty good.  And they didn't let me catch the ball one‑on‑one; they didn't let me go against their big one‑on‑one.  And they just played some good defense.  Tough defense.
Aaric and Jose, can you sum up the disappointment of getting to this point and not being able to pull it out?
AARIC MURRAY:  At first I was disappointed and then I started talking to Coach, and he let us know there was nothing to be disappointed about.  We made it to the tournament.  We had a great season.  We went on like a 9‑0 winning streak at the end of our season.
We won our conference.  So he just told us to hold our heads up and don't be pouting about losing because there were a lot of teams who weren't playing at all today.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ:  I feel the same way Aaric does.  At first I was down.  I was sad, but Coach talked to us, told us how great of a year we had.  And a lot of teams don't get this opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament.
A lot of people are home right now watching us.  So it was a great opportunity.  They just played their heart out today.  They played better than us.  And I'm good.

Q.  For either one of you guys, could you tell that their depth, they played like 11 guys in the first half, how much did that pay off for them as the game wore on?
JOSE RODRIGUEZ:  I guess it helped them a lot because they played really hard, they played physical defense.  They played aggressively.  And I just felt like they played together and played really good, played really hard overall.
THE MODERATOR:  Any further questions?  We'll open up the floor now for Coach Davis.

Q.  Was there a point where you thought maybe it wasn't going to be your night?  It looked like they were throwing in everything in the first half.  At one point they were 60percent midway through the first half.
COACH DAVIS:  Very well coached.  They do a fantastic job coaching the basketball team.  We were a step slow, late on the plays they made.  And they made really good shots.
I thought we could get it back in the second half.  I was trying to get it to five or six with five minutes to go in the game.  They cut it to eight, and they caught a couple of timeouts.
We had the ball trapped.  But they made really big shots.  Went 35, drove baseline, pulled up made a shot.  Big guy, the baseline jump shot.  They missed two shots.  We didn't come up with a loose ball.  They got the loose ball.
But it was‑‑ I told my guys:  We lost 81‑69, but we had a stretch where we could have closed the gap, gave them a good game at the end, but we didn't.

Q.  How big was that stretch early?  It was probably midway through the first half, they went on a little run.  I think Aaric went to the bench.  Not sure you were just giving him a breather or he had a foul there.  That's kind of where they took off on their run right there in the first half.
COACH DAVIS:  I think he picked up his second foul, hurt us a lot.  Aaric is a really, really good basketball player.  The whole country got a chance to witness how talented he is as a basketball player.
But they made shots.  They made tough shots.  They got a rebound I think once on a missed free throw.  Seemed like we couldn't come up with the big plays to close the gap.
But I felt‑‑ as a coach, sometimes you feel like you just know‑‑ they've got the rhythm.  They got the momentum.
And no matter what we did offensively or defensively I never felt like they lost their momentum.  Their guards really handled the ball well.  The shooters were making shots.
No. 0 was just unbelievable getting the ball to the basket.  We were late in rotation.  Help side wasn't there quick enough.  But, again, I thought we had a really good season.
Our guys made history today.  Anytime you make the NCAA Tournament, that's supportive history.  Your name will go down as the team who made it to the NCAA Tournament.
So my speech to our boys was just be down and disappointed tonight, but when you walk out of the locker room, the hotel tomorrow, feel proud and feel a sense of accomplishments because there's a lot of teams not playing.  And we played in the NCAA Tournament this year.
THE MODERATOR:  Mike, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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