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


March 22, 2014


Rick Barnes

Jonathan Holmes

Isaiah Taylor

Martez Walker


MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Michigan ¬Ė 79
Texas - 65


THE MODERATOR:  Coach Barnes will make his opening remarks, and thank you for your time.  Isaiah Taylor, 22 points, five assists; John Holmes, 9 points, 9 rebounds; Martez Walker, 14 points, 7 rebounds.  Coach.
COACH RICK BARNES:  I'm really proud of my team.  We missed a lot of shots early.  Really got the tempo where away wanted it.  I told -- I kept telling our guys, we keep getting those shots, I told them right up to the last, I guess minute, two minutes, that I thought we would win the game.  We missed a lot of close-in shots, getting rebounds as well, obviously, in the first half, but second half, you know, we wanted to get it at on the boards.
Second half we shot the ball great.  Some of them in the first half were shots we knew they might make.  We had some breakdowns when they got the open 3s, that was really from a couple breakdowns defensively.
People are going to talk about the 3s.  Again, that's not why we lost the game was their 3s, because that's what they do.  We had it to six a couple times and played some pretty good defense and didn't come up with a couple loose balls that we have to come up with.  We started the half really -- we knew we were going the play some zone and felt like we had to do something to change it and we were effective enough in the second half defensively.  We just didn't finish some of those plays that really could have put a little more pressure on them.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Coach.  Questions for the student-athletes, please.

Q.  Coach, offensive rebounds kind of kept you guys in the game.  Was that a point of emphasis especially with the way were you shooting or something you guys have been particularly good at?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Again, we told our guys again early we're going to get shots.  We were able to get some good shots, but we wanted to rebound it and we can rebound the ball.  We didn't do as good enough job in the first half.  But yeah, that's what we do and -- but again, we -- when you have 21 offensive rebounds, you should shoot better than 37 percent.  We missed a boatload of shots right around the rim.

Q.  As far as Cam, Cam didn't have his normal really good game.  Do you feel like maybe he got gassed during that long time without the play stoppage in the first half?  Did you wish maybe you had called a timeout in there?
COACH RICK BARNES:  No.  We felt -- when you're playing against a three-point shooting team, we feel if we can push it and go at it and, you know, make that part of our game plan, I think our players will tell you they know we want to run.  We do.  But at that point in time, again when you go back, they were going to make us shoot the ball.  That's what I told our team.  If they're trying to make us shoot jump shots inside their defense, we'll get what we want.  We got to go get it.
Plus, Cam is a big part of what we do.  We also, you know, he gets tired, I thought Prince, Jon, Connor, it goes back really and truly some of the loose ball rebounds we had chances to come up with it, and we put ours it's right there.  I really felt we get it under six with the way we fought back.  We had chances twice to do that and didn't do it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student-athletes, please.  Coach will be here afterwards.

Q.  Martez, you talk about the period right after the second half started when you guys made your run.  Did you feel like you guys had gotten back into it?  Did you feel like you provided something during that time?
MARTEZ WALKER:  Yes.  I felt like it was a team effort thing.  Isaiah and the rest of them guys, we just came together, trying to pull it through.  Like Coach was saying, we had to get it under six and we was right there, and like he said, we missed a couple shots that we should have made, and that's it, really.

Q.  Isaiah, what do you feel like going to the 1-3-1 zone to frustrate Michigan a little bit?
ISAIAH TAYLOR:  I just felt like on the zone we had to be aggressive, just attack the elbows and also look for our big guys inside.  The 1-3-1, it probably stole a couple possessions, but we attacked it well.

Q.  Jonathan?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  Our 2-3 extended -- we just wanted to slow them defense and put pressure in the backcourt, just steal a couple possessions.  We wanted to take away the three-point shooters, also, but they put a person in the high post and brought the big men out to the perimeter to offset our zone, and they actually hit a couple 3s when we were just itching off the game where we got to eight, they might hit a three.  We got to six, they might hit a three.

Q.  Jonathan, that early part of the game when it went on forever without a stoppage, were you guys gassed at that point and were you a little bit overwhelmed by how they started the game?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  I don't think we were overwhelmed.  I think we got a little bit gassed because we're not used the playing that.  We were playing our tempo.  We're used to that.  We weren't overwhelmed.  They came out doing what they wanted to do.  We came out at the beginning doing what we wanted to do somewhat, so it was -- I thought we started decent.

Q.  Martez, you got a lot of extended playing time.  I was curious what the confidence in your offensive game was tonight and leading forward to next year?
MARTEZ WALKER:  Like Coach been telling me, not to hesitate.  I try to make shots and just go after offensive rebound because I know that Michigan, they can't box out like that.  I just try to run to the rebounds and get what I can get there and just play a better defense that I can for us to win.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for the student-athletes?

Q.  Jonathan, did you feel like y'all's height advantage inside would have been a bigger factor in this game?  Do you feel you weren't able to maximize that?
JONATHAN HOLMES:  Yes.  I think we passed up Cam more than we should have.  I think we attacked the offensive glass.  I think we had to realize that Cam was down there and he's a force and we could have used him more tonight.
THE MODERATOR:  With that, we'll let the student-athletes go.  Thank you.  Questions for Coach Barnes.

Q.  Coach, the fast start that Michigan got off to, did you guys have any residue from the emotion the other night or just a matter of Michigan's tournament experience sort of taking over in that first part of the game?
COACH RICK BARNES:  No.  They made some 3s.  We had some great looks inside.  I mean, we knew we were going in there.  We missed really some shots that you want to make, but again when you breakdown all that, the turnovers that we had, I mean, they get 15 points off our turnovers.  And right there -- there was no reason that we had to turn it over.
But, again some of them, they were self-inflicted.  But, again, the pace and the shot, I was telling the coaches, I told the team after that long stoppage, we're going to continue to get those shots, we make those shots, we're going to win this game.  I really felt like that.  You look at the second half, they shot 34 percent in the second half.  That's a team that shoots, what, 45, 46, whatever percent.
So defensively in the second half it was good enough, but -- and that's with us giving up two, three rebounds when we had played great defense where they got some stick backs.
And so I know defensively in the second half we were good enough, but when we got it down to six, we didn't make a couple plays that we needed to make on offense.  But, it goes back again, the nine turnovers, I don't think we had -- we came down in transition, Isaiah a couple times, we know he pushes it.  Took a couple tough shots in transition when we were really trying to go at it and trying to get to the free throw line.
But, overall, the shots early in the game that we missed, I don't care how hot they come out making shots, we had the ball where we wanted it.  We didn't finish some shots, and that's what got us down.  And even with all that said, we fall back, and then if we would have finished just three possessions on the defensive end, it -- who knows what might have happened.

Q.  Javan obviously his shot wasn't falling and you stuck with Martez Walker.  Was that because you felt like maybe he was giving you two way player both ends more than Javan?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Size.  Really a two, three.  We extended it, and I thought our players made a few really nice adjustments.  We had talked -- we planned on playing zone and we went through a few times, but we also a few times we weren't in sync in terms of what we needed to do.  They're going the make some shots and score some points.
It will go back in the second half to those three possessions that are vivid in my mind where we just gave up.  We got the shot we wanted, and we gave up -- really it was a loose ball.  It's not like they beat us on the glass.  It was there we just didn't -- and something had to do with the fact we extended out to the three-point line.  We've got to run those down.  That's where you've got to finish those plays.

Q.  Rick, times when Cam did get the ball down, he wasn't his usual self how he was finishing.  He walked to the locker room there for awhile.  Was he okay or a little bit off?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Again, I think he's okay.  Somebody asked me at the halftime about his back.  Cam never complained.  He wants to play and such a competitive person.  Again, we knew that that's -- that's why it was so important that some of those shots we took early, that we needed to knockdown and give him some room in there.  We knew we could penetrate on them.  We knew that.
Like I said, in the first half defensively they -- that's what they do.  Again, our offense is what got us down in the first half.  They're capable of scoring 43 points, but again, if I could go back, again, we had a lot of closing shots that you got to make, and we didn't do it.  But I'm proud of these guys because they kept fighting, and we'll learn some things.  Like Isaiah on the intentional foul at the end, couple times we didn't have to foul when we were double-teaming because they definitely didn't like that, and -- but we brought them out a little bit by fouling in the trap, which we didn't have to do.
But this group has done some great things, and I'm really proud of them.  Again, there's no doubt we thought we could win this game.  If we turned around and played again tomorrow, I'd think the same thing.  The team I have is good enough to do that.  Today, they were a better team and beat us.

Q.  Rick, you mentioned how talented a shooting team Michigan is.  When you look at them, how far do you think they can run in this tournament?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Again, I'm going to say this:  I don't think 14 3s is what beat us.  I think if you go back to the points off turnovers and some of those stick backs, that's what beat us.  I think perfect example of that was I think Duke hit 14 3s the other day.
We told our team for every three they hit, we wanted two offensive rebounds.  That's what we do, that's what they do.  It wasn't the 14 3s that beat us, it wasn't.  It was not finishing a couple times defensively and the shots in close that we didn't get to go down.  How far can they go?  You know, who knows about anybody?  I don't know.  I have no idea.  I think that you look at their records.  They're obviously an outstanding team.
Jon does a great job, but, you know, again, 14 3s can win a lot of games, but we told our guys, if they're making 14 3s, what we can't do is not rebound the way we want to and we can't have the nine turnovers that we had right there because when you're playing against a team and that's a great equalizer, but second half we got more aggressive and got to the free throw line.  We didn't finish defensively.  I look at the fact that they shot 34 percent in the second half, and it could have been lower than that if we had come up with those three possessions in my mind.

Q.  Two-prong question, Rick.  One, on the going to the zone, was it just to throw something different at them or extend it and make them look for that mid range jumper?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Yeah.  They come inside and we're going to go at it.  Yeah, we were going to make them play inside the three-point line and we would like to have done it a little bit earlier, but we didn't, because in trying to think -- you know, we want the stay with what we're doing and what we've done most of the year.  We got big and, yeah, we wanted -- we're going to run them off the line.
Those scramble situations, the offensive rebounds, when you think about it where they picked up, kicked out for I think one or two of them, but a big play was when we, I think we had a block and -- on the baseline, they lost of it on the baseline away from their bench and right there in the middle and we didn't react to it.  They picked it up and dunked the ball.  That was a huge play right there.

Q.  What do you feel like the best thing you did with the program this year?
COACH RICK BARNES:  I told them what I appreciate what they've done, put our program back where we should be.  I mean, you go back, I can assure you this:  We were picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 this year.  We won't be picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 next year.  I'm sure we'll come out -- I told them what's going to be fun for you guys a year from now, you're going to understand what it's really like with the, what the Texas program has been built on, and the fact that next year we will be hunted.
And that's the way we've always liked it, and that's what I really appreciate these guys.  I know they've worked hard.  As a staff, we've expected a lot from them.  They've responded.  And the one thing they have a lot to be excited about, and they're very disappointed.  They were hurt because they thought that we could win this game.
And I think they still think that and they should.  There's something about this group of guys that all year they've believed in themselves.  It started a year ago with the older guys the sophomores and Jon coming back.  I expect these guys to get better, but they put us back where we need to be and it's going to be fun to watch these guys continue to grow.

Q.  Rick, when Stauskas is creating for others as well as looking for his own thing, how much stress does that put on a defense, how much more difficult does that make them?
COACH RICK BARNES:  Well, it does, obviously.  I would have liked -- we know he's the guy going to hang out a little bit own defense.  You want to make him defend if you can.  We got him up top once, I know, and Isaiah went by him, but he's a terrific player.  You're not the Big Ten Player of the Year, and he's one, he's improved a great, deal which you have to admire as a coach, his freshman year to his sophomore year, you have to admire that.  But what most impressed with is the fact that you look at what he did, he was eight assists, no turnovers.  There's another, whatever, 38 minutes.
Again, he can shoot the three and -- but the fact -- eight assists, no turnovers is impressive.  And that's where I think he's improved his game.  He's more of an all-around-type player.  And we could say, we can always look and think about whether or not you double-team on the ball screens.  We were trying to play a couple different ways.  We sometimes didn't get the coverage we wanted.  They're an excellent offensive team.  They know what they do, they have the reads out of it.
I do think -- I don't know, they played against a zone a lot this year, but we got what we wanted in the second half in terms from our defense other than those -- the ones we didn't finish.
But they're an outstanding team, and you got to love the efficiency that they play with.  And again, you ask me, they're as good as anybody and they're capable of winning the National Championship as much as any other team that I can guarantee goes to the Sweet 16.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else for Coach?  Thank you.
COACH RICK BARNES:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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