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March 20, 2014

Jordan Bachynski

Jahii Carson

Herb Sendek


Texas – 87
Arizona State  – 85

THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  Jahii Carson and Jordan Bachynski.  We'll have an opening statement first from Coach Herb Sendek, and then we'll release them and then questions for Coach Sendek.
Coach, your opening remarks.  A great game, but obviously a painful finish.
COACH HERB SENDEK:  I'd like to congratulate Texas on a great win and a hard-fought basketball game.  I have nothing but the highest regard for Coach Barnes as a person and as a coach, and he's done a remarkable job at Texas for a long time.
I'm extremely proud of the men to my left as well as all the guys in the locker room.  I thought they played their hears out, hung in there when we were down at different stretches of the game, and gave themselves a chance to win at the end.
These two men to my left have had outstanding careers at Arizona State.  It's been an honor and a great pleasure to coach them as well as all of our seniors.  So, thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Coach.  Questions for the student-athletes, please.

Q.  Jordan, can you just -- that last defensive play there, seemed like maybe the shot -- I don't know if it hit a different part of the backboard, but what did you see on the last play?
JORDAN BACHYNSKI:  It's a tough one.  It's a tough way to end the game.  It's a tough way to end my career.  I was playing for -- most rebounds come off long, and I was playing for that.  Like you said, it just took a funny bounce and my man read the ball better than I did.  He got the rebound and the bucket.

Q.  For either of you, what was the biggest problem in the second half that you couldn't get over the hump there by the end?
JORDAN BACHYNSKI:  They're a great team.  Like Coach said, they battled hard.  They played hard, they rebound well, they shot the ball well, and it was a tough game.

Q.  Jahii, did you get the sense you kept having to come back and come back and come back?  Did you ever always feel the sense that right at the end it would come down to the last shot?
JAHII CARSON:  We knew when we were confident that our teammate was going to knockdown the two free throws that he made and we knew that was going to come down to one stop.  Rebound has basically been our Achilles heel the whole season, but I thought we rebounded pretty well the whole game, you know.  You know, every team has a little bit of mental lapses.  Yeah, coming down in March, every game is pretty much decided by one possession and that one possession didn't fall our way.

Q.  Jordan, just wondered, Jordan, you said you would be focused for the game.  You also would try and soak it in, knowing that your four years kind of led to this.  I know it's probably hard right now, but are you able to reflect on the kid who played at Centennial High School in Calgary who was able to spend his four years at Arizona State and take yourself all the way to March Madness and that far in your one game here?
JORDAN BACHYNSKI:  No, I haven't really had time to reflect yet.  The game is still really fresh.  I was just going to go out there and work as hard as I could and do what I could for my team.  It was a tough one.  Over the next few weeks, I guess I'll have time to reflect, but I'm not there yet.

Q.  Jahii, with 12 minutes to go, you guys were down 14 points.  Things were coming pretty difficult for you on offense.  What changed it?
JAHII CARSON:  We decided that the game wasn't over, there's a lot of time left on the clock, and that we have more energy and effort to give both offensively and defensively.  We started doing a lot of double drags, which was causing them to switch off me and John, and the big fella hit shots and we were playing with a lot more energy.  And that's when we got back into the game, we was playing with a lot more energy back and forth between our defensive end and offensive end.  We gave a lot of energy on the defense end, which fueled our offensive game and fueled our energy.  So playing good defense, that pretty much fuels your offensive game.  Guys are confident.  That's what happened when we got back in the game.

Q.  Jahii, could you tell us some of your emotions as that shot went in?  To lose a game in that fashion.  It with a heck of a ballgame, but a disappointing end.
JAHII CARSON:  It's tough.  We felt we were keeping them off the back boards pretty much down the stretch and in the second half, and when we had -- when they got the ball coming down for the last shot, we felt confident.  I saw everybody in a great defensive stance, and everybody had the look their man wasn't going to score.  He took a long contested three.  The ball didn't bounce our way and, you know, things happen that way.  But, it was tough, especially on a game when the buzzer, last second shot for any game is tough, but especially for this one since it's March Madness that we wanted to get this win so bad.  It's just very emotional for all of us.

Q.  Jahii, you said several times during the season this would be your last season.  So with this, I guess, being your last game, how would you look back on your career?
JAHII CARSON:  Very happy and pleased with my career here at Arizona State.  I've had great coaches, I've had great mentors, people to help guide me, just not in the basketball aspect of my life, but outside, my personal life.  I've had great teammates, great supporting cast.  My family supported me.  You know, it's great.  I look back at it and I have no regrets.

Q.  Jordan, can you just describe you played against some pretty talented post men all year.  Cameron Ridley has some size to him.  What was it like banging inside with him?
JORDAN BACHYNSKI:  You know, he's a great player and he's tough.  He's a big body, like you said, and he posts well, and he finishes the ball around the hoop.  He's a great post player.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Jahii or Jordan?  Thanks guys, appreciate it.
Now questions for Coach Sendek, please.

Q.  Coach, what were the efforts that the guys staged to come back from that 14-point lead?  You finally got over the hump to get yourself a lead.  What's does this say?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  It's really a high character group of men.  They've been in this position before.  We've been down double digits in the second half, and they've rallied the make good comebacks.  They just keep playing, and then the next play, next team all day season.  Right now, I can tell you it's a very emotional heart broken locker room.

Q.  Herb, I know you were trying to focus on Ridley and maybe Felix a little bit.  Did y'all not pay enough attention to strike Demarcus Holland on the wing and Martez Walker and they were able to take advantage of that?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  Ridley does command a lot of attention and sometimes even if you're not trapping a second defender, he's really an impressive young front court player.  Likewise, the bookend, Jonathan Holmes.  But those are good players.  They have a good team.  It's not like we were unaware of their talents but, you know, sometimes Ridley does draw an extra defender, more attention.  But as much as anything, especially in the first half, we were hurt in transition.  You know, we didn't do a real good job of getting matched up in a couple instances, and, you know, they really took advantage of our early turnovers.  And I thought, you know, the transition game that Texas had, especially in the first half, was as significant as anything.

Q.  Herb, I think there were 116 shots taken in the game.  Was that the kind of game you wanted to play today?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  Well, I think you had two uptempo, fast-breaking teams going against each other, and, you know, even early on, you know, I know our defense could have been better, but both teams were making shots.  I mean, even sometimes if you have a defensive lapse or a breakdown, you know, they let you off the hook and miss the shot.
You know, you got to credit both teams with really shooting the basketball very well tonight.  Guys made shots and sometimes they made challenged shots.

Q.  Herb, the first half the team only gave up one offensive rebound in the second half, nine offensive rebounds.  Now you say before coming to this game, how you knew how good this team was on the offensive rebounding end.  What went wrong in the second half?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  I think all things considered, it was actually one of our better defensing rebounding efforts.  The numbers a little skewed because they shot such a high percentage.  There aren't as many opportunities to get offensive rebounds, but I think the last five points that they scored were off offensive rebounds, and in each instance a very unconventional offensive rebound.
You know, one was an air ball that they happened to catch and score three-point play on, and then the last play of the game -- correct me if I'm wrong -- but I think the ball even hit the floor and Ridley just corralled it and went up and scored.
So, the last five points of the game, you know, came on, you know, if you want, bounces or flights that, you know, didn't land in our hands.  I don't know if it was a function of us not blocking out or anything like that, but typically you point to it rebounding.  But we got them to take two pretty tough shots and it resulted in five Texas points.  That's a tough swallow.

Q.  Coach, the guys talked about the 12-minute-mark timeout and the refocus right there to start the comeback.  Can you talk about what was discussed to help refocus the team?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  I think our guys did a great job of staying together, staying positive, you know.  Their hearts were always in the right place.  They had tremendous communication and timeouts with each other.  They encouraged each other.  You know, they believed in each other.  We had really good, positive timeouts, even when we were trailing, and the guys just kept battling.  And, you know, basketball is a game of runs.  The other team has a run, you have a run, and this one ultimately came down to the wire.
THE MODERATOR:  Herb, despite the disappointing ending, how would you assess the season for the guys?
COACH HERB SENDEK:  Obviously I'm really proud of our team, Doug.  I think our guys had a really good season.  Obviously, you know, they're going to realize that once the emotion of the moment subsides.  But our guys had a really good basketball season, and I think, you know, our basketball program has a lot of positive momentum, and we've made a lot of progress, and ultimately I'm very proud of our men.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Coach?  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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