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


March 23, 2014


Johnny Dawkins

Dwight Powell

Chasson Randle


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Stanford テや 60
Kansas - 57


THE MODERATOR:テつ We have Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell here representing the student body of the Cardinal.テつ We have Johnny Dawkins, the head coach.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ We beat a very good Kansas team.テつ I could not be any more proud of my guys and how they played for 40 minutes tonight.
I thought the energy, the effort, especially on the defensive end, is probably as good as I have seen it all season long.テつ I was really proud of the way our guys stepped up when they made runs and was able to sustain some momentum at the end.
Now, we beat a very good Kansas team and just really proud of our guys.

Q.テつ Johnny, address your team's toughness tonight physically besides just holding up against them, but just defending the rim and what you guys did defensively against Wiggins and all that.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ First of all, I thought that was Josh Huestis's assignment and he took it to heart.テつ I challenged him and I thought he really responded.テつ He did a great job defending.テつ Then we had help, of course.テつ He's a guy you are not going to guard with one player.テつ I thought the rest of our team was always aware of where he was.テつ And we tried to make it as difficult as we could for him to score.
And I thought our guys did that.テつ And you mentioned toughness, I think we exhibited it all game.テつ I thought our guys came with a focus and a determination and I think it showed for the 40 minutes today.

Q.テつ Coach, did you think that you would have had a shot in a game where you went 0‑9 from three‑point range and against these guys?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ (Laughter.)テつ You know what, didn't think about that.テつ The funny thing about the way we play, we can make threes because we have some very good shooters, but that's not what we rely on.テつ So I didn't even notice that, to be quite frank, because that's not where we've been.
And not making 3s is a surprise.テつ I can't remember the last game where we hadn't made one.テつ But fortunately, that's not who we are as a team.

Q.テつ Chasson, what kind of adjustments did you guys have to make to the Kansas press?テつ Were you prepared for them to do that?
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ Really, I thought we just had to, you know, get open.テつ You know, they were really physical in their press and body and grabbing and stuff.テつ So just getting open.テつ And then after that, moving and, you know, trying to hit open people.

Q.テつ This is for Chasson, also.テつ Did you take it personally that they didn't seem to, a couple of their freshmen didn't seem to know who you were yesterday?
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ A little bit.テつ We definitely saw that video.テつ He told me not to talk about it (laughter), but, you know, I definitely took it as a challenge.テつ So did my teammates.
It wasn't just a stab at me, it was a stab at our team.テつ And we took it as a challenge.テつ And it was a little bit extra motivation for today's game.

Q.テつ Can Coach address that as well.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, it's important.テつ When they watched that tape, I am sure it was early before they had a chance to really study us.テつ So a lot of time with younger players you don't really have a chance to know who you're facing, your opponent.テつ You may know the team but not the individual players until you see the scouting report or watch film on them.テつ So I kind of understand that that can happen.
For us, it was motivation, of course, because our kids had a chance to see that and I thought they responded in kind.

Q.テつ I was curious going back to the Kansas press, how you guys sort of when you face a defense playing so frantically like that, how you both keep your mind and your game slowed down and accelerate to their speed and lose control.
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ I think that's very important, is to stay calm and poised, because obviously that's what a press is trying to do, trying to speed you up and play at their pace so you can potentially make mistakes and they get the ball.テつ That is something when we take the ball, just calm yourself and make sure you have the count in your head and find the guys when they are open, hit them on time so they can make the right decisions.
And Chasson, Anthony, and Josh, all the guys did a good job of catching and facing it and being as poised as they could.
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ Just trying to slow down a little bit.テつ See where they're coming and look for angles to beat them down the floor.

Q.テつ For both players.テつ We haven't really gotten into how you guys really feel about this incredible win, and I call it "incredible," you probably don't.テつ Can you put this in perspective, each of you.テつ What does this mean to you?テつ What does it mean to this program, especially after all you have been through this year?
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ I mean, obviously it feels great.テつ To beat a team like this, a storied program with great coaching, great players, always feels amazing.テつ And we're happy to keep playing.
So as of right now we're still in the race and we're still playing in March, and it feels great.テつ So we're focused on that, the task at hand.テつ We're still in the tournament, so we're excited to be here.
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ And to put it very simple, it just means we're in the Sweet 16.テつ We're looking forward to an opportunity come next weekend.テつ We'll enjoy this one tonight and, you know, get ready to prepare tomorrow.

Q.テつ Johnny, Dwight had a difficult game two days ago and came out and played very well today.テつ Can you just talk about that and what he was able to give you guys.テつ And also the fact when he got in foul trouble I think maybe Stefan at one point, you just stayed with him for awhile.
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, Dwight has had an amazing career here for us.テつ He has been one of our leaders.テつ He was one of my first elite recruits.テつ And he's responded.
And so when he had a tough time, you know, I know he is mature enough to bounce back.テつ I know no one was feeling any worse about his performance the other night than Dwight.テつ So what I wanted to tell Dwight is make sure he concentrates on the things he does very well every night and the rest will just happen.テつ And I thought he did that tonight.
And he rebounded well for us, and the rest of his game just kind of comes from his ability to be active.テつ And he was active making plays and he fed off of that.テつ And he needs to always remember that as he goes forward.

Q.テつ Dwight, obviously Kansas had a tough time at the rim against you guys.テつ Is there anything in particular you guys were trying to do to disrupt their shots at the basket?
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ I mean we definitely spend a lot of time talking about and preparing for their bigs. テつAnd the way they like to attack the rim.テつ Very athletic team.テつ So I guess it was definitely one of our focuses to just be physical and have guys in the lane and be ready to help because they were quick on drives.テつ And make sure we made the proper rotations.

Q.テつ I'm wondering, coach, yesterday you said that you'll always remember the three‑pointer that Chasson had against New Mexico when they tied it up.テつ I am wondering if you can put into perspective where‑‑he had a shot I think around the 18‑minute mark in the second half tonight that I think also broke a tie or tied it up.テつ Was that something that you'll always remember now?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Well, you know what?テつ I will always remember Chasson.テつ He's been a joy to coach.テつ He has been a terrific player in our program.
What he's done this year is watching him mature and step up in those moments and show leadership, that's what it is.テつ Those shots you mentioned to me are just leadership.テつ When a player steps up and realizes the situation and takes it upon himself to make the play that's necessary.テつ He has done that over and over this season for us and I am just happy to have him on my team.

Q.テつ Dwight, can you talk about the ebbs and flows of this season?テつ Was there a moment during the season when you thought this was possible?テつ Or were there times when you couldn't even get there because of, you know, the struggles you guys had at times?
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ I think every season, something we talk about every season is like a lifetime.テつ Obviously you will have your ups and downs throughout different games and throughout different stretches of games.
But from day one before we even started preseason we always had a goal to make the tournament and to make a run.テつ And we never lost sight of that and never lost hope, and we never stopped fighting for that every single game regardless of how things were going.

Q.テつ Coach, Kansas has a lot of freshmen in their rotation, you have a lot of fourth‑year guys.テつ Is this game an example of how a really experienced team can beat a really incredibly talented team.テつ I am not saying your team doesn't have a lot of talent, but do you think that the experience of your team is another thing that carried you through in this game?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ I will agree with you, Tom.テつ I think that it is good to have experience.テつ Older players, guys who have been in these moments before, guys who know what to expect.テつ I mean they have a lot of younger players, as you mentioned, and they are all very talented.テつ And they've had a great year.テつ And they were Big 12 champions.
So they're not a team that is not battled‑tested, to have gone through the rigors of a great conference and coming out champions.テつ And we expected to face a very good team who gained experience throughout the season.
But I like our guys' experience as well and I thought that was good for us.

Q.テつ This is for both players.テつ What was it like shutting down Wiggins and how did you do it?
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ Well, first off, he's a really good player.テつ I think Josh Huestis, like coach said, did a great job on him.テつ That was his assignment and he really locked in tonight and we needed him to do that.
We knew where he was on the floor at all times as a team.テつ We try to collapse on his penetration and right at his balls, try to get them out of his hands.
DWIGHT POWELL:テつ Yes, similar to what Chasson said.テつ Andrew is a great player, very athletic, very active, like he said.
And Josh took it upon himself to focus in and make sure he took care of that assignment and focus in on trying to take him out of his rhythm and disrupt the things he likes to do.テつ And he also relied on his help and we tried to be there for him as much as we could.
Like Chasson said, we always had an awareness of him because he is a great player and he has the ability to get hot quick.テつ As long as we stay focused and were prepared for his shots and attempts, we stayed locked in, so it worked out well.

Q.テつ Johnny, first do you think that Wiggins got passive and frustrated because of your defense?テつ In the locker room Josh told a story about when you were a junior and you lost a game in the tournament, you guys lost, and the reaction of the seniors and the finality of it all.テつ And he said that really resonated with the players.テつ This is an opportunity for you guys to advance or it was going to be over.テつ Can you talk about that?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Absolutely.テつ With Wiggins, the first question's about Wiggins, right?テつ With Wiggins, as I mentioned before, he is a great player.テつ And we gave him the attention that he deserved.テつ And I thought we put one of our best defenders on him.テつ Someone who had the size and strength that could probably stay with him.テつ And Josh wanted that challenge.
This was an opportunity for Josh to really show what he's capable of.テつ And I think he did that tonight by guarding one of the best players in college basketball.テつ Of course, he had help, as I mentioned before, because our team will not rely on one person to stop any one player.
And I thought all of our support was there.テつ Guys were moving, guys were talking to Josh, guys were aware of where he was all the time and bringing him help if he was to beat him off the dribble.テつ It was a team effort.
And then with regards to the story I told our team, that's right, my junior year, I will never forget the player, Danny Meagher, another Canadian, Danny Meagher was a great player for us.テつ It was his senior year and we lost to Boston College, I will never forget that.
We all were down and it was a sad locker room of course because of the finality of everything.テつ But no one was more distraught than he was.テつ He was visibly just crying.テつ And I just remember looking at him and looking at him and like, Man, we all hurt, we all, you know, are down.テつ And he kept saying, You don't understand, you don't understand.テつ And we are looking around like, What do you mean we don't understand?テつ He said, You don't understand.テつ This is it for me.テつ This was my last opportunity.
We need all of our players thinking of themselves as seniors, not as freshmen and sophomores.テつ If we can all have that feeling and play with that sense of desperation that is required to be successful.
And I thought our guys, they have done that and I think everyone has stepped in, contributed and they have played with that sense of desperation.

Q.テつ Chasson, as a perimeter defender on the final play were you seeking out Conner Frankamp?テつ How do you communicate to get in his face on the final shot?
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ We knew they were trying to run a play for him to get a three off, especially after him hitting the last one.テつ He's a great shooter and we just called out, you know, switch and I just tried to stay down on his fakes and just stay in his face.テつ And luckily he missed.

Q.テつ Coach, that story that you told, and yesterday you were talking about how CoachK encouraged you to share more of your stories.テつ Is that proof in the pudding as far as making an impression on your players?テつ And then unrelated to that, will you be traveling back to Stanford or will you go on to the next round?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ Sharing the stories with our guys, I do think it was important.テつ I was glad coach mentioned that because I don't get a chance to share a lot of my stories.テつ I get worried the players, when you played your shorts are too short or something where our kids are constantly laughing when they see old pictures.
But sharing some of the stories or things that happened in our career, I think it has been good for those guys to hear those things and realize that hey, I was in the same situation you were in.テつ And being that these kids are going through it for the first time, I think it is good for someone to talk about what they're going to experience.テつ And that just happened to be me.
Now that these guys are in it, they are creating their own memories and experience they can share going forward themselves and that will be really good for our team's overall growth.
As far as going forward to Memphis, we are going to go back.テつ We are going to go back and regroup and then we will head out to Memphis.

Q.テつ Chasson, unlike Dwight who is a senior, you would have another year.テつ Can you talk about the impact of that kind of a story and how it affected you and motivated you?
CHASSON RANDLE:テつ Yeah, it definitely motivated me.テつ I looked at, you know, his story as, you know, I have to be strong for those guys, you know, and do what I have to do.テつ Play as well as I can to, you know, make this a memorable season for them.テつ And not only myself.テつ It is motivating and, you know, you play every game like it's your last, that's the whole saying.テつ But I think we're really doing that now as a team.

Q.テつ Johnny, about how much of the game did you feel like you played zone?テつ It looked like you started in the man and moved over to zone and might have even switched the zones a little bit.テつ By the end of the game you were back in man?
COACH DAWKINS:テつ We played quite a bit of zone.テつ We wanted to mix our defenses up and zone is something, as you know, we play quite a bit.テつ Probably play 35% on the season zone.テつ So something we are comfortable doing.
I thought our guys were as active as they have been all year in the zone.テつ They had active hands, active feet, and really played as one and I thought that was good for us tonight.
THE MODERATOR:テつ All right, gentlemen, thank you very much and best of luck in the Sweet 16.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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