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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: SAN DIEGO


March 21, 2014


Jordan Burgess

Shaka Smart

Briante Weber


SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

SF Austin 77
VCU 75


THE MODERATOR: All right, we welcome Coach Smart, Briante Weber and Jordan Burgess.
COACH SMART: Congratulations to Stephen F. Austin, they have a great team, they hung in there and fought even at the end when we were ahead and never stopped battling and made a huge play at the end of regulation to tie the game. Our guys battled in the second half and I like the way we played for the majority of the second half, but we just didn't finish the game. We kind of game them a glimmer of hope, couple of free‑throws we missed and obviously fouling on a 3‑point shot gave them an opportunity to tie the score. Judge questions for the student athletes.

Q. Briante, seemed like the second half was difficult for you guys. Was it something that Stephen F. Austin was doing and what got your offense out of sync?
BRIANTE WEBER: We were a little flustered, we rushed shots. When we got settled in we got whatever shots we wanted so it was a matter of us settling down and getting into the flow of the game.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for the student athletes?

Q. Jordan, you obviously hit some big shots, but you guys also tried quite a few 3‑pointers in overtime. I think the first five shots you guys took were 3‑pointers. Can you talk about that outlook for you guys and those attempts, trying those instead of inside shots more?
JORDAN BURGESS: Just the way our offense was set up, whoever had the ball felt like they were opened and Coach always said if you're open shoot it without any hesitation so if we were open for the three, we were going to take it, regardless. That's just that.

Q. Jordan, you hit that 3‑pointer, you go up by 6, under a minute left, what are you thinking after you hit that shot?
JORDAN BURGESS: Honestly I thought we had it, we had 'em on the ropes but they came back and made tough shots and important shots to win the game.

Q. Briante, can you put into words how you feel now and how you feel for Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte?
BRIANTE WEBER: That's college basketball, every four years you lose players. It's a tough thing because they had a great career at VCU. Now it's time for someone else to step up.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions? All right. Student athletes go and we will continue with Coach smart. Questions for coach smart.

Q. Shaka, when they went to a zone there in the second half it seemed to force your offense up to the perimeter and you had a difficult time getting shots you wanted. Is that the way you saw it?
COACH SMART: Yeah, it was a couple of possessions where they were in zone and we lacked aggressiveness, but at the same time, Paul, we were in great position to win the game even with them playing zone. We just missed some free throws down the stretch and, you know, obviously didn't get stops when we needed to get stops, but definitely there was some possessions where we got on our heels. When we attacked the zone and were aggressive we got good shots.

Q. Coach, did you think that the foul that was called on the 3‑pointer was a foul?
COACH SMART: I didn't‑‑ I couldn't tell. I was kind of blocked so I don't know. I can't even answer that question.

Q. (Away from mic.)
COACH SMART: They were really packing it in and we got guys on the corners that are good shooters so they're going to take those shots. We were 2 for 6 from 3 in overtime, so 2 for 5 until that last one. That last one was a phenomenal look for one of our best shooters, Lewis, just didn't go down. So we knocked a couple of down, there was a couple of open ones we didn't knock down. We'll take those shots.

Q. Shaka on the four‑point play did you want him that close, take me what you would teach in moment to your guys.
COACH SMART: Obviously you don't want to fall the jump shooter there, and he didn't think he fouled but you know how that is, nobody thinks they fouled. You can't even put yourself in that position where it's even a judgment call. And it's, you know, a lesson‑‑ he's a freshman, it's a lesson for him and our team to learn. It's a very, very painful lesson.

Q. Shaka, what have you said to JeQuan about the foul and your veterans, there were times when they played like veterans and times when they played like freshman.
COACH SMART: I think all three of those guys made some big plays for us but as you mentioned, there were freshman moments for those guys.
When you're playing young guys you have to live with those sometimes. You just hope that they don't occur at the most crucial times, and tonight they did. But those guys, we wouldn't have been in position to win the game if it wasn't for those three games. Let's face it, Melvin Johnson is out, Rob Brandenberg was out the whole game and wasn't able to play very much and that forced us to play those guys. That's the opportunity you want as a freshman and that's what you come to college for but you have to step up and make the right play. And to answer your first question I haven't talked to him yet, he was pretty inconsolable in the locker room, so we were just trying to get him to understand that the sun is going to come up tomorrow and he's got a lot of basketball left in his career. I like in a way that it hurts for all of our guys and for everyone in our program because if it doesn't you're in the wrong place.

Q. Past two years you've lost in the third round, this year you lost in the first round. Losing always stings. Does this one sting more?
COACH SMART: I mean, feels the same as any loss right now, 30 minutes after the game, but they all sting.
You know, but we watch the tape and reflect back on the game, you know, the ones that you feel like you had an unbelievable opportunity to win, those ones do tend to stick with you longer and this is certainly one of those games.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for Coach smart. Okay, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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