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


March 22, 2014


Desmond Haymon

Jacob Parker

Brad Underwood

Thomas Walkup


SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We have from Stephen F. Austin, Haymon, Jacob Parker, Thomas Walkup.テつ Raise your hand when you have a question.

Q.テつ This is for Desmond.テつ Your coach told us about the game you saved against Marshall with the three foul shots in the last second.テつ We saw your four‑point play.テつ I'm wondering if you thought what you would need to do for a 5‑point play if you're down 5 in the last second.
DESMOND HAYMON:テつ Try to score, set up the defense, try to get a turnover or foul and go to the free‑throw line, hoping they miss and make another play, somebody on our team make another play.

Q.テつ (Away from mic.)
DESMOND HAYMON:テつ Hopefully it won't be a problem.テつ We play with confidence and play good defense.

Q.テつ Both Desmond and Jacob, obviously when you come to the NCAA Tournament the NCAA takes care of travel and accommodations.テつ How has this trip differed in that regard compared to what you're used to with road games in the conference?
DESMOND HAYMON:テつ Receiving the first NCAA Tournament, just to have that feeling after the game with a win, you know, like we have been winning, we haven't lost since November, and going back to the hotel, with that victory, just makes you feel good.
JACOB PARKER:テつ I think the police escort is pretty cool.テつ Me and Thomas were talking in the room the other day, the Gatorade and the water in the locker room is nice.

Q.テつ Jacob, you over the last 24‑hours with sunshine and shocks, that's becoming a national story, did that come from "remember the titans" is that where it comes from?テつ You said you we want to a place where you like the outdoors, talk about yourself in terms of what kind of a kid you are.
JACOB PARKER:テつ I always wear spiderman socks, my AAU Coach, Sammy Mack always called me Peter Parker, when I was a shooter I was the white guy on the team so I was coined "the shooter" and he would spray a web for me to shoot the ball.テつ "Sunshine" was from "Remember The Titans" and the first place that caught on is when we played eastern Tennessee State and there were guys in the stands calling my "sunshine."テつ I enjoy the outdoors, I like where I'm from, not a tiny town but it's not a big city and I like to fish, hunt, and do things I enjoy.

Q.テつ And you're about to play obviously one of the most tradition rich programs in the country.テつ I think people who know your program you've won a lot in Texas but can you now put together what will probably be deemed not talent wise but programs David and Goliath in terms of what they have done with this their program and their history?
JACOB PARKER:テつ We're taking it one step a time not trying to get too far ahead of ourselves and we're looking forward to tomorrow and it should be a fun game to be a part of.

Q.テつ For Jacobs and Thomas, Thomas, can you talk about Desmond and his leadership qualities and what he brings to your effort.
JACOB PARKER:テつ Des is the greatest leader I've ever been around.テつ On the court, off the court, takes care of the younger guys and on the court steps up and makes huge plays when we need 'em.
THOMAS WALKUP:テつ He's always not only in the gym by himself, but with the coaches and especially on the court he's leading verbally.テつ You know, we went through a rough patch in the game yesterday and he was the guy to step up to make the play and he was always saying we can respond to this, helped us bounce back.

Q.テつ Desmond you were on highlight shows all over the country last night.テつ Did you get a chance to turn on the TV or think about what happened with the whole country knowing your name and seeing what you did?
DESMOND HAYMON:テつ Watched a little of it, received phone calls and texts and tried to respond to as many of my family members as I can.テつ All that don't mean anything if we don't come take care of business tomorrow.テつ That shot in that game won't mean anything after that if we don't come to play.テつ I hope the team stays humble and continue to show my leadership on and off the court so we can stay focused.テつ It meant a lot for the shot to go down but we are focusing on something else right now.

Q.テつ When you have a team like UCLA and they have so many weapons, what's the key not having to play somebody like this, what's the key to shutting down an offense like that?
JACOB PARKER:テつ They have a lot of talent, so just staying true to our principle and staying in line and not letting them catch their spots, that's what we're going to try to do.

Q.テつ Desmond they are big and long in the backcourt.テつ I wonder how much you've seen them play and what do you think you can do defensively against them?
DESMOND HAYMON:テつ We have to come and bring our A game.テつ We have to rebound the ball, sit down, guard the ball and keep the ball in front of us and just have each other's back.

Q.テつ You guys forced turn overs better than just about any other team in the country.テつ Going up against a team like UCLA how do you feel you continue that trend?
THOMAS WALKUP:テつ Make it difficult for them, make it difficult to make them catch‑‑ not where they want to catch the ball, make it difficult for them and make nothing easy.テつ They work on the offensive end and hopefully we can create turnovers and make them pass the ball three or four times and make it difficult.

Q.テつ Jacob, you guys were outscored 24‑3 and I don't know the last time a team won a tournament game being outscored 24‑3 and it looked bleak, what was happening.テつ I know you felt like you could come back but how daunting did that seem?
JACOB PARKER:テつ We just had to get back to what we were doing in the beginning of the game.テつ Coach has always said how resilient we have been in games past, so we knew what to do and we had to continue to get back on track and get back to SFA basketball.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, gentlemen.テつ We are now joined by Coach Brad Underwood, head coach for SF Austin.テつ He will begin with an opening statement.
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ Well, it's the NCAA Tournament, and you get to enjoy an unbelievable win and one that was‑‑ had about as much drama and excitement as you could possibly have and then you move on to the next one.テつ Reality slaps you in the face when you see UCLA and that moment gets put to rest pretty quick, but it's what it's all about, and we brought our kids back to reality a little bit today in terms of being at practice and moving on to the next one and living in the moment from the standpoint that's what we have done all year.テつ We played Thursday, Saturday swings all year, with the day in between and been‑‑ had some emotional wins on the first night of those swings and then you got to turn around and play again in 48 hours.テつ So we will‑‑ we'll be‑‑ we'll be mentally prepared anyway for the game tomorrow, but seeing UCLA brings you back to a very quick reality.

Q.テつ Brad, you talked after the game about the dテδゥjテδ vu on Des winning the game against Marshall and doing it here.テつ What is it about him that makes him such a clutch performer and elaborate on your comments about what a great leader he is.
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ If people had seen him play all year on TV, he's one of the most clutch players, literally, and Kevin Gore, our local writer could probably tell you for a fact, he has done it more times than that just in terms of making free‑throws, being the guy, we're down, he's that guy.テつ He's an extremely hard worker who works extremely hard at his game and does everything that you ask and from that, he's a senior, he has experience, and then you throw in the fact that because he's worked so hard, he has tremendous confidence, and his characteristic trait of never fathering failure is very special.テつ He doesn't fear that at all, and he wants the ball in those situations, and just coaching him this year, it's a very comforting feeling that I've got an unbelievable trust in him, and to have him as a leader, he controls our locker room.テつ He controls our practice every single day.テつ He's a mentor to the young guys, in terms of how we do it.テつ I couldn't ask for any other player or any other situation to be better from this standpoint, but he has helped me set the culture of our program.テつ He's beyond his years.テつ These young guys come in and they don't know anything but how to work and that's been something he has‑‑ he's put in place, and it's quite remarkable.

Q.テつ Coach, follow up from what you said, would you see him as a coach someday?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ I don't know‑‑ you know, I haven't asked him.テつ He would be a great one.テつ I know one thing, whatever he chooses to do, somebody needs to hire him, because he's going to be very, very successful.テつ He stands for all the right things in terms of trust, honesty, loyalty, you know, he's‑‑ he's got‑‑ I used the term "it" and that's very generic, whatever the "it" factor is for a personality, Des has it.

Q.テつ Coach, you have obviously coached at the high major level and now the "mid‑major eye "level.テつ What are the biggest differences in terms of resources from those two levels?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ You know, it's all‑‑ from a standpoint of‑‑ you could only‑‑ I do‑‑ I can do everything at Stephen F. Austin that I need to do to be successful.テつ And whether that's get on a commercial airline or whether I get on a lear, I don't need to do that.テつ You don't always have to do that to be successful.テつ There's subtle differences.テつ I don't make a big deal about it.テつ I grew up in the junior college ranks in a small town and to me, do you enjoy flying on private planes and eating‑‑ we're fine going to an "Outback" we don't have to have catered in food to our hotel.テつ It's fine with me.テつ We've got an unbelievable situation at our place because I had the resources and for me it's about recruiting and we have the resources for me to get the players that I need to get, and that's‑‑ and I don't get caught up in, "do I have ten shoe boxes in my storage closet at home," that's frivolous to me.テつ That's not who I am, anyway.

Q.テつ I'm not sure in your first year if you thought one of your players would be Nick named "sunshine" and where spiderman socks but can you talk about him and if his free spirit off the court helps him on the court especially in stressful situations?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ Absolutely and no, but the one thing I would say about Jacob is he has an extremely caring heart.テつ He has an extremely vivid imagination and I think that's part of our job is to help cultivate that.テつ They're 18, 19, 20 year old kids and he enjoys having fun.テつ And he would be just as comfortable probably in a "duck dynasty" episode than he would be playing basketball.テつ But his poise and patience and ability to be who he is off the court has allowed him to be the player of the year.テつ In our eyes a very, very good basketball player.

Q.テつ Obviously in the tournament people know the numbers probably mean nothing, unless it's a 1 or 16, winning and the success that you have had, do you think when they go on the court tomorrow the name on the Jersey won't mean anything to them or do you think they realize who they are playing in terms of who the program is?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ I don't think it matters.テつ I think this team has found a way to be successful a lot.テつ And I don't think in their minds losing is an option.テつ I'm being very sincere when I say that.テつ They never doubted for one second that they were going to win the ballgame last night.テつ Until the final horn blows and that's the way I try to coach it as well.テつ We lost by 10 at Texas and the game was tied with 2:20 to go.テつ I'm a guy who is going to foul and I'm not going to let the clock run out and last night is a reason why you play the game until the final horn sounds.テつ Our team has a resiliency that way.
I don't think it matters.テつ I think we will go out and I think they posed problems that maybe we haven't seen in a little while.テつ We can't simulate that length but they ultimately are 18, 19, 20 year old guys, just like our guys and we're going to throw it up and go compete.

Q.テつ Copy, looking back on November23rd, that last loss you guys had, how much has mental toughness meant to this team and how much has it changed since then and do you think that would play a huge part in a game like this where you guys are arguably more battle tested and you probably have more momentum than a UCLA team who had some losses toward the end of the season.
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ We're a team that takes great pride in our mental toughness.テつ I don't know what everybody does in practice.テつ I know we practice really hard and I know I demand a lot and I push them every day.テつ That's exactly what I told them ever day, "hey, we're goin' today.テつ We got a game to win."
And they come to expect that and hopefully they believe it.テつ This group works as hard as any team I've ever had.テつ I can't get them out of the gym.テつ The time ends and these guys want to stay, they want to keep working and shooting and so there's so many external factors that go into it, but this group does have a mental toughness that is rivalled by not too many.テつ

Q.テつ Kyle and Anderson probably get the most recognition, but what is it beyond them?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ You look at the wear twins, they're multidimensional, they can score on the block, they're good in terms of facing up, pal is a tremendous defender, he gets in the open court, Bryce is having as good of a year as anybody and he plays so many minutes and literally hits big shots for them.テつ They've got a tremendous amount of weapons and they're so versatile, they do it in so many ways, it's not just okay we're going to play this or do it this way, and Steve does a great job, in my opinion, of putting his guys in areas that they can score and be successful and they're very difficult to stop from doing that.

Q.テつ In your first season what was the key to setting that culture in the locker room and coming in do you foresee the beginning of a season that you guys would be able to accomplish something like this in your first season as a head coach?
COACH UNDERWOOD:テつ I knew we would be good.テつ Just because of the culture being there.テつ They lost three players that were all league players last year including the young Monday who was the MVP.テつ I love the character of that‑‑ of the returning guys.テつ What I did not know is whether Jacob Parker who was a 6‑point a game scorer last year could take the next step, whether Thomas Walkup who was a sub off the bench could take the next step and become stars and I challenged those guys mentally as well as physically but more mentally, hey, you've got to be those guys.テつ For us to be good, Deshaunt Walker had stretches last year and didn't get in games.テつ To become one of the top‑6 men in our league and top scorers, and I knew what we had in Des and he was unbelievable from this standpoint.テつ He listened and he was receptive to the subtle changes that I was making.テつ And he could have easily have said, hey, we went 27 games last year and I'm a senior, I've done it this way for so long and he bought in and carried it over into the locker room and it's helped our young guys grow and mature into guys that can contribute for us.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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