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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: MILWAUKEE


March 20, 2014


Rick Barnes

Demarcus Holland

Cameron Ridley


MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Texas ¬Ė 87
Arizona State ¬Ė 85


THE MODERATOR:  From the victorious Texas Longhorns, Cameron Ridley and Demarcus Holland and Coach Rick Barnes.  Coach Barnes will address the game first quickly, and we'll have questions for the student-athletes and questions for Coach Barnes.  Coach.
COACH RICK BARNES:  It was a great, great college basketball game.  I thought it was really unfortunate that either team has to lose this game.  We were fortunate.  We were really fortunate.  We didn't have great execution at the end, but we found a way to make a couple plays.
And I can't say enough about Arizona State, the job that Herb did with them.  We thought we could really come in and do some damage on the boards, and they out rebounded us and we got again fortunate at the end to pick up two really -- balls that were -- they really defended us, but we were able to get something out of it.  Proud of my guys, obviously, because again we had control of the game and they, again, we turned it over three straight times in a row in ways you can't turn it over.
At the end of the game we found a way, too.  Our guys didn't flinch.  They stayed with it and happy for us, but just a hard game when you play against a person as well as I know Herb.  His team was great, and I wish we both could be opposite each other, both still be playing.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student-athletes, please.

Q.  Cameron, when Jonathan shot that ball, did you realize right away he missed it as badly as did he?  And kind of go through what your adjustments to corral it and getting it up there.
CAMERON RIDLEY:  I mean, I knew it was about five seconds left when I was there and called the play.  I expected John to make it, but, I mean, I went to the glass as hard as I could, and the ball came to me, so I tried to get it up as I possibly could and it went in.

Q.  Cam, what was it like just for this team, the way the game kind of unfolded down the stretch and for you to be end up getting mobbed like that.
CAMERON RIDLEY:  We all stayed focused.  We all had great energy throughout the game.  We all stayed confident, too.  I mean, them doing at the end showed how much character we have on our team and how great of a team we can be.

Q.  Demarcus, obviously you're known as kind of a defensive specialist, lock-down defender.  You had a big offensive night tonight.  Did you feel they kind of forgot about you and feel like you an Martez and some of your other points came off transition buckets early before they could get set up?
DEMARCUS HOLLAND:  Well, we focus on getting stops and we know we wanted to run.  And I know once we got the rebound, I was going to run my lane and execute the game plan.  And Isaiah was able to get to it me sometimes and kick it early, and I was able to go in and finish.

Q.  Cameron, if you talk a little bit about physically playing against a guy that big and what it was like to go up against a guy like that?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  It was a tough matchup.  I never played against a guy 7-2, so it was something new.  He has great foot work.  He knows how to get around the defender to get what he wants.  He's a great player.  Really tough to match up with.
THE MODERATOR:  While we wait for another question, Cameron, I know you're obviously a very low-key guy, but how would you compare that moment tonight with your whole career?  Is that the highlight to this point?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  To this point it's the highlight.  I've never made a game winner in my life.  To walk off the court and know that you're the one who made the play to take us to the next round was a great feeling.  Next game we don't want to come down to a game winner, but anybody on the team could have made that play, but I was just so happy to be the one who did it this time.

Q.  Cameron, it didn't look like there was any, but was there any doubt on the final shot that it had gone in?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  There wasn't any doubt.  I shot the ball with confidence.  I really tried to get it out of my hands as quick as possible because I knew the shot -- the game clock was going out.  I kind of -- I mean, I had confidence going in when I shot it.

Q.  Demarcus, how did it affect y'all's offense when Javan got in foul trouble and had to sit so much of the first half and Jonathan didn't seem to have his  game offensively in the first half?
DEMARCUS HOLLAND:  Although we didn't execute as we would like to, Martez Walker came in and he ran the floor and he hit some open shots and was able to pick up some fouls.  We were okay.

Q.  Cameron, I'm not sure if you actually remember, Herb Sendek said he thought maybe the ball actually hit the ground before someone grabbed it or before you grabbed it.  Is that what happened?
CAMERON RIDLEY:  Yeah, it looked like one of the Arizona State players actually probably caught it and dropped it and hit the ground and came -- I seen it hit the ground and just tried to get it as quick as possible and put up a shot.

Q.  Demarcus, six players finished in double figures tonight.  Martez again had another big day.  Was this the type of total team win y'all have sort of been building towards?
DEMARCUS HOLLAND:  Yeah.  We like when everybody can get touches, and we didn't have one guy that we feel like we have to go to every game to win.  To win games, we feel anybody can step up any night, and I think just us having six guys in double figures just shows how much depth we have.

Q.  Demarcus, just talk about your feelings when you saw that go in, because obviously there's a scramble, ball is on the court, you don't know if you're facing overtime or not.  Next thing you know, the ball is going in, the horn is going off.  What was that like for you guys?
DEMARCUS HOLLAND:  It was great.  First of all, I thought Jonathan Holmes' shot was going to go straight through.  I crashed anyway.  The ball bounced Cam's way.  So from that point on, I knew the clock was low and everybody was reaching for the ball.  I just saw Cam muscle it up and get it up on the glass.  It was a great feeling.  It was like a welcome to the March Madness.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Demarcus or Cameron?  Thanks guys, appreciate it.
Now questions for Coach Barnes.

Q.  Coach, this is a little random, last year at Iowa State, two seasons ago when Demarcus really kind of came on, played really well, you seemed to have a lot of confidence, can you talk about how he's come from then to where he is tonight and the kind of performance he put together?
COACH RICK BARNES:  I think every coach in the country would like to have Demarcus Holland because what you've seen him do night in and night out, he does it every day in practice.  He's learned a lot this year in the way people at times, they don't guard him, but I think he's a big-time impact player.  He finds a way to affect a game every time he's on the floor.  He did a really nice job tonight at point.  We put him there.  We used him there.
We know that, I'm looking at right here where I think he played 35 minutes, he could go out right now and play another 35 minutes.  He just never stops.  The team, you ask any of the young guys, they will tell you what an inspiration he has been to them in terms of the way that they've watched him do it every single day and when he gets on runs -- our transition game was early.  He thrives on that.  When he's really good is when his teammates take the shots they should take, that's where he can really impact plays and run down balls and do those type of things.
THE MODERATOR:  You've had a lot of great wins at Texas and other places.  How sweet was this one?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Well, again, I'm humbled because my feelings for Herb and his team and -- but for our guys, we had one guy that had NCAA experience and we were really good for the most part, and then we went through a period on offense where we really bogged down, we lost our flow.  But you always -- you know they're explosive.  Knew they were going to break loose a little bit and get some things.  They were so well coached, took advantage of some mismatches we were having to go back and forth.
You come into the game and you would expect two guys, John and Javan to play, and Javan was terrific.  He really set a good tone for us and picked up two fouls.  But the one thing that came out of the Big 12 Tournament was the play of Martez Walker and even Kendal tonight.  He's the guy that we wanted to keep the shooters out there as much as we could.  Great team win.  Really a great team win.
And, like I said earlier, obviously delighted and excited for our team, but tough when you have so much respect for the other team and the coaches.

Q.  Rick, what play were you looking for on that last possession center?  Was it just one guy go and take the shot, or did you have something really set up?
COACH RICK BARNES:  It's the way we drew it up, yeah (laughter).  And the one before that, too.
We've struggled at times this year with the clock, and what happened was we did have a play on.  We weren't going to use a timeout.  We wanted to go from there.  Isaiah in that situation has to get to Javan's side.  Most of the time we work from the right side.  In that situation, he's got to get the ball over there and then, you know, he waited too long.  He waited and goes and puts John in a really tough situation.
They really defended that really well and just a loose ball, and Cam does have great hands.  If he gets his hands on the ball, most times it's the way he finishes.  I've watched him miss some of those, but that's where his instincts take over.  We were fortunate.  I mean -- and in bounces in basketball.  It's a shame because that game you guys watch it.  A great game.  I'm looking at the numbers and stats.  They had one, two, three -- four guys in double figures, we had six.  Just teams making shots and -- but we were fortunate.  There's no question there at the end and -- but for my guys, I'm obviously excited because I do think they had prepared well, and when it wasn't going well, we still found a way to make some plays.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Coach?  Thank you.  Congratulations.  See you tomorrow.
COACH RICK BARNES:  Thank you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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