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NCAA MEN'S 2ND & 3RD ROUNDS: ST. LOUIS


March 21, 2014


Thomas Gipson

Shane Southwell

Bruce Weber


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kentucky テや 56
Kansas State - 49


THE MODERATOR:テつ Kansas State Wildcats are here, Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell will represent the student‑athletes.テつ Coach Bruce Weber is here as well.テつ Bruce, please.
COACH WEBER:テつ You know, there's some‑‑in the locker room there's some tears.テつ Tears of joy from the season that we had, but also tears of sadness that we just didn't have enough tonight to continue.
You don't want the season to end ever and I am really proud of this group.テつ The seniors, Shane, Will Spradling, Omari, and Ryan Schultz, have done things for us and the program, and I can't say enough of how much I appreciate them and what they've done.
And, you know, it was just a game.テつ I thought we did everything‑‑they did everything we had asked.テつ We were well‑prepared.テつ We made it tough on them on the defensive end.
You know, for the most part we did a good job on all of their guys, staying in front of them.テつ We took charges, we thought that would be a big stat.テつ Obviously offensive rebounds was going to be a big stat.テつ They had 13, but they had 5 on one possession, and that was one they didn't score.
We at least somewhat held our own.テつ They are one of the best rebounding teams in the country.
We played very determined and we asked them to compete.テつ And to their credit they defended.テつ They have such great length, athleticism, and they were cut in on defense.
And, you know, if they made some strides from some of those games a month ago, it probably would be on the defensive end, that they're fighting through screens and doing good things on the defensive end.テつ They could make a mistake and still recover because of their athleticism and length.
And just disappointed for the guys and we didn't give them enough offensively to try to find something to maybe get over the hump.テつ We gave ourselves a chance.テつ Got it to 3 in the second half, but just not enough firepower.テつ And we just didn't make enough shots to give us a chance to get a victory.

Q.テつ Shane, you went 3‑10 from the field.テつ Your three‑pointers were big in keeping the team in it.テつ What was that about?テつ And did you feel like you were finding your groove at any point tonight?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ A little bit in the second half. テつI made the first one.テつ The second half I felt really good.テつ The first couple of three that I shot in the first half were short, so I pretty much know how I had to shoot the ball.テつ Just hold my follow‑through.
But it still wasn't enough, so it really doesn't matter.

Q.テつ Shane, just kind of following up on that.テつ You just seem to have a little more fired emotion.テつ Were you just feeling that to try to fire up the team and getting the crowd involved, also?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ I don't know, that's who I am, an emotional guy.テつ I think we needed some energy at that time when I tried to fire up the crowd.テつ They are a really good team.テつ You need as much energy as you can, I just wanted to get my guys to see, hey, I have energy, so let's go do this, let's try to get back in the game.
I think we cut it down to a really good gap.テつ I think 3 or 2 maybe, 4, something like that.テつ And I thought we was going to be able to make a run, but they kept going, and give them credit.

Q.テつ Going in I know you guys talked about how Baylor and Kansas had prepared you for the length that Kentucky brought.テつ When you look at the number of shots that were impacted, did that follow within your expectations?テつ Were you surprised at how much they affected a lot of those shots?テつ And then, Coach, if you can also speak to the fact that D.J. was out after the ankle.
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ You know, we know that they are long and athletic and they have size.テつ You know, at times I just think we weren't that smart going in there, especially with their length and athleticism.
Willie had four blocks, that's good for him, but I think we just have to be smarter.テつ We faced length against Baylor and Kansas, like you said.テつ We just probably have to make smarter decisions like power through, you know, head fake, shot fake, get them up in the air, make them foul‑prone.

Q.テつ Shane, what did you think was the hardest part about going up against a team that had size on you at every position?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ I mean, we're kind of used to it, but Julius is probably a little bit more athletic than other guys we played and Willie is also very athletic.テつ Just like probably I would compare his athleticism probably to Isaiah Austin.
But they are a really big team, but I didn't think we got killed that much on the offensive rebounds, just like Coach said, with that one possession when they had five.
But in terms of the defensive end, Willie did a really good job of blocking shots.テつ But like Thomas said, if we were smarter and used shot fakes and get into the body we would be more successful.テつ And we didn't shoot the ball that well from the perimeter to open the lane up.テつ And a lot of that goes into it.

Q.テつ Coach, just to follow‑up if you could on D.J. being out after the‑‑
COACH WEBER:テつ You know, D.J. when we played well, you know, beat Kansas in that one run, he was very instrumental and had played pretty well.テつ He hurt his ankle in the Kansas game.テつ Probably has not been the same.テつ Tonight he actually broke his foot in the first half and we found that out at half time.テつ So obviously you can't use him after that.テつ I don't know how bad a break, but I know he broke his foot.
Now you have to live with, you know, we had‑‑it was one of our biggest fears going into the season.テつ We had, you know, as a recruiting, as a staff we had hoped to get one more big.テつ We never were able to.
We were able to survive with Thomas and D.J. and Nino and Shane for the most part until this last little stretch.テつ And those guys gave their all and obviously it would have been nice to have D.J. just to rest Thomas a little bit.

Q.テつ Coach, did you feel like when you see guys miss a lot of threes that sometimes they do make, is there a reason for that?
COACH WEBER:テつ We had open shots.テつ I thought Will had two or three in the first half.テつ But again, their length bothered us.テつ You talk about the perimeter‑‑or the post, the inside defense bothering us, I thought their perimeter defense was way better than just watching on some of the games on the film.
Those dudes fought through screens and got to us.テつ They're long.テつ They not only have size inside, but the Harrisons are 6'5", 6'6", Young is long.テつ They bring in 22, also has great length.テつ So it makes it tough on you.
So now, you know, they're flying at you and that little corner of your eye, now you lose a little rhythm.テつ And then when we had open ones, we just, you know, it could have been a little different game.テつ But you have to give them credit, they defended very well.

Q.テつ Shane, what is going through your head right now sitting up there at the podium after all this?
SHANE SOUTHWELL:テつ Well, I'm still extremely proud.テつ I'm proud of my teammates, proud of the coaching staff, and also proud of myself.テつ A lot of people from where I am from don't get this opportunity to play at this level and get a chance to graduate from college and even play against some of the teams we played against and played in the Big 12.テつ So I am honestly, I would just say, extremely proud honestly.

Q.テつ Bruce, what was your reaction to the pregame technical foul?テつ That's kind of a rare thing.テつ Did you tell your team anything or have to say anything?
COACH WEBER:テつ I told Brian Rohleder I love him.テつ He is the greatest kid in the world.テつ To me that's sad, you know.テつ I know it's a rule, but sometimes common sense has to be‑‑come down and say, Hey, guys don't dunk.テつ And that's where I think they are held so accountable what they do now.
But to me a good ref would say, Come down and do that, but that's just my opinion.
So I told the guys I love him.テつ Hey, he made a mistake.テつ That dude is a walk‑on engineer, studies 'til 5:00 in the morning, comes to practice, plays harder than anybody else, goes and studies again.テつ And, you know, he had tears in his eyes.
And, you know, it's just‑‑that doesn't make sense to me.テつ But that's just my opinion.

Q.テつ Coach, Marcus Foster obviously has had a great year, and then scoring 15 points in his first NCAA Tournament appearance.テつ Does that excite you for his future?テつ What are you looking forward to the most with him coming up?
COACH WEBER:テつ I think like Shane said and Thomas, we probably forced some shots.テつ He did, Shane did.テつ And again, that's their defense that got us.
But Marcus was our go‑to guy and they were able to lock into him.テつ They made it tough on him.テつ Then when he did drive, when he got by people they were big enough to block shots.
And, you know, he's had a great year.テつ Not only the 15 points, 5 assists and no turnovers, which is huge, and he had to play basically the whole game for us.テつ So he has a great future.
Wes, Nigel.テつ We have a good group of freshmen.テつ Jevon is going to be a heck of a player.テつ I just feel he didn't get to practice.テつ That also I don't understand the NCAA with that, but there is nothing you can do now.テつ All you can do is keep his head up and keep working.
Our group coming back, Thomas has to be our leader, with Nino, and set the example and make sure that we have a great off‑season and see if we can make some strides next year.テつ Not only get in the tournament, but go somewhere.

Q.テつ Bruce, Will once again got a couple of quick fouls.テつ That maybe took him out of his game a little bit.
COACH WEBER:テつ Maybe.テつ Then we went back with 2, we let them back in.テつ And Will was trying hard.テつ We thought we needed the pressure to guard.テつ 15 turnovers, Andrew had 5 or 6 turnovers.
You know, I thought we bothered them with our defense.テつ We were in position.テつ We did‑‑again, the game plan, Coach Lowery did a great job.テつ The coaches.テつ The guys were really locked in.テつ We said we had to be the best prepared team, and I thought we were very prepared.
But, you know, when Will gets a couple, he was trying I think so hard, they are just so big.テつ If they get their shoulders by you, they are smart and they get a body, they drew a couple of fouls.
It might have taken him out of rhythm.テつ He had a couple of wide‑open looks.テつ I feel bad for him.テつ The only one he made was the toughest one of the night.
He's had a great career, he's done so much, I don't think people appreciate how much he really does for the team.テつ We're going to miss all the seniors, but Will's stability and coming every day to practice is something that we're really going to miss.

Q.テつ Thomas, Coach has mentioned what you can maybe do for the team during the off‑season, how you have to be a leader.テつ What has to be done and how do you guys move forward?
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ We just can't take, you know, any days off.テつ Obviously we're going to get a few days of rest or whatever, but, you know, we just have to come in and just work hard. テつAnd you know, just be ready for next year.
You know, everybody has to hold each other accountable.テつ Everybody has to speak on what the other person is doing.テつ You know, we just have to lift hard, work hard, do individual things that makes us better so we can be a better team.

Q.テつ Thomas, a follow‑up to that.テつ Talk about your previous off‑season.テつ How much that helped you losing the weight and, you know, kind of tie it all together with what happened tonight and how physical you had to be.
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ It helped me a lot, you know.テつ I played 32 minutes.テつ I don't think I could play that at all last year at the weight I was in.テつ You know, I feel like I've gotten stronger, too.テつ I've worked very hard in the weight room and try to help everybody else work hard.
You know, just condition‑wise I have always done extra condition, I started with the conditioning coach.テつ And just being able to work on my jump shot, that kind of helped so that I can head fake and drive to the basket, things like that.
So I mean, I am just going to work on the same things this off‑season, probably work on more dribbling and everything.

Q.テつ With the incoming recruits, Bolden hurt, do you think your role may evolve a little bit with this team?
THOMAS GIPSON:テつ Maybe, I don't know.テつ I'm not the coach, so whatever he tells me to do I'll do it.テつ I mean, I don't care, it doesn't matter to me.テつ I think I'm probably going to play forward a little bit more maybe, but that's as far as I can go.
I really don't know.テつ I'm just going to do my part and just help this team.

Q.テつ Coach, after tonight's game who do you think has their work cut out for them, Kentucky or Wichita State?
COACH WEBER:テつ I think both of them do.テつ Obviously Wichita State had an unbelievable season.テつ They are so sound defensively.テつ They guard you like crazy.テつ It will probably be a game like tonight, that's what I would anticipate.
It will be interesting, Kentucky's little bit of length that might be a difference‑maker, but the way Kentucky guarded, they're going to be able to match what Wichita does.
And, you know, it will be a great match‑up, there's no doubt about it.テつ It should be exciting.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you very much and congratulations on your season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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