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March 23, 2014

Austin Chatman

Doug McDermott

Greg McDermott


Baylor – 85
Creighton – 55

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined now by Creighton University head coach Greg McDermott, and student‑athletes Doug McDermott and Austin Chatman.  We'll ask Coach McDermott to make an opening statement, and then we'll take questions only for the student‑athletes.  Again, when we get to that point, please raise your hand and give us your name and affiliation with your question.  Coach, your opening statement?
COACH McDERMOTT:  I'm not sure if it was Baylor being that good or us being that bad or if it was somewhere in between.  Over the course of a season, you're going to have a few clunkers, and we had one at the wrong time.  Obviously, we're giving up a lot of size and a lot of length across the front line.  We had to do something to combat that.  We chose to come off some of their guards rather than the big‑to‑big double early.
To their credit, Chery and O'Neale really made us pay for that.  So, they knocked us back on our heels, and we weren't able to really ever recover.  I thought their slides in the zone to take away Doug and Ethan were a little different than what they've done in the past.  We got the ball to the middle of it, and at times we made plays and at times we didn't.  The reality of it is when you try to go down low against Isaiah Austin, that's a challenge because of his length.
So as I told the team, they need to erase this from their memory as quick as they possibly can.  This can't be what our seniors remember about this season or about their careers because they've accomplished so many wonderful things, so many incredible things.
So I tip my hat to Baylor.  They played a great basketball game tonight.  The way they shot the basketball, I'm not sure our best would have even been good enough tonight.

Q.  Doug, I mean, obviously you guys played zones, GW, Providence, so forth.  But is it hard to get a real grasp on how long and athletic those guys are on film until you guys see it in person?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  Yeah, it really is.  You know, it's something you can't really practice until you see it for the first time.  Those guys are really long and kind of compared them to John Henton who we say a couple years ago in the tournament, and we definitely struggled against them too.
So you've got to give them a lot of credit.  We were a little frustrated early and kind of carried over the whole game.  Those two guys inside are both heck of a players and wish them the best.

Q.  To both guys, did it come as a surprise to see how deliberate they were in doubling on the perimeter and kind of almost daring you to go inside into the lane with Austin kind of on an island?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  Yeah, I mean, we really didn't know what they were going to do.  We thought we could maybe get a few easier looks from the perimeter to start the game.  When we've done that all season, gotten off to good starts shooting threes, it's always been a good game.  But they made it tough.  They forced us to get it in the middle of that zone, and it's hard to score over those guys they're so long and athletic where they challenge every shot in there.  So to their credit, they took away what we do best and kind of controlled the tempo of the game and made it hard on us.

Q.  Doug, your dad said you're going to have a few clunkers, you had one at the wrong time.  Is it tough though that you had one at the wrong time on your last game?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  It definitely is.  This is the worst we've played all season, and it just stinks that it's the last one.  But that doesn't take away from all my memories here.  It's tough to go out this way.  We still won three games in the NCAA tournament the last three years.  Not a lot of teams say they can do that three straight years to win a game, but it's hard to end on something like this.

Q.  Doug, what are you going to remember about your Creighton career?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  That's a tough question.  Just so many memories just with these guys.  It's not everything on the floor.  We've built so many relationships off the floor, basically all family.  We have so much fun traveling, in the hotels, on the planes, on the buses.  Just so many memories that we'll never forget.  But just unbelievable fan support we've had at Creighton.  Just grown so much over the years, and playing for my dad, it doesn't get much better than that.  You know, I'm just so blessed to be here.  So glad I came back another year for college basketball.  I just think it's the best experience of my life, and I hope more kids do what I did.

Q.  To both players, Coach took kind of a moment near the end there to sub you out individually and kind of get you acknowledged by the crowd and your families.  Can you just describe what you were each thinking when you were walking off that court and kind of knowing it's over?
AUSTIN CHATMAN:  It was really an unbelievable feeling because these fans they travel with us.  They came to New York.  They've been with us all year.  We just owe it all to these fans.  They gave us a lot of energy coming into these games and really we just owe it all to these fans.
DOUG McDERMOTT:  Yeah, I mean, it was just a tough moment for all of us, us seniors and Austin.  He still has another year, but he's been a brother to us seniors the last three or four years, so it's hard for him too.  But walking off that floor was a tough moment, but at the same time, it was one of the best moments because everything that's happened the last four years.  Everything has to come to an end eventually, and it's just hard to describe what was going through my head walking off that floor the final time.

Q.  Doug, along those lines, you had a long embrace with your dad and your coach there.  Even though it was a loss, was that kind of a special moment for you?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  Yeah, I mean, I wasn't even thinking about the game at that point.  We've had so many special memories together.  We never would have guessed we'd be in this position we're at today, so we just kind of had to cherish that moment.  It's the last time I'll be able to walk off the floor and give my dad a hug.  So it's tough, but it's just the way it is.

Q.  Doug, can you talk a little bit about what kind of hands you're leaving the program in with Austin here in particular?
DOUG McDERMOTT:  Yeah, we're really excited for the future.  You know, coming in as freshmen, me and Jahenns, Grant, Ethan, we wanted to change this program and take it to another level.  Unfortunately, we couldn't make it to the Sweet Sixteen, something that the program's never been.  But I think we really did a good job of laying the foundation for the future.  Joining the new league.  So much excitement going around Creighton right now.  It's in great hands with my dad leading it.  We hope and we still think the best is yet to come.

Q.  To expand on Doug's last comments there, both the men and women kind of ended their careers today.  The senior classes that have kind of built this new era into the Big East, you and Flynn in particular.  Can you describe what the journey has been like for you over the four years and how you think both basketball programs have kind of grown together and where they're going in the future?
COACH McDERMOTT:  Well, obviously there's been‑‑ we've been to three NCAA tournaments.  You know, Flynn's taken his team to two straight and then an NIT this year.  So I think the direction we're moving is certainly a positive one.  I think any time you move into a new league you want to make a good impression.  I think we've made a good impression from a competitive standpoint, and I think we've also made a good impression with our facilities and our fans and the way that our opponents are treated when they come to Omaha.  I think it's a great college basketball environment, and I think basketball purists I think enjoy that.  I don't know that there's more of a purer basketball league in the country than the Big East.
I think the people that visited the CenturyLink and the Ryan Center and Sokol Arena this year really enjoyed those experiences.  I think they understand that Creighton's here to stay.

Q.  Coach, who was that moment like for you with Doug coming off the court there at the end?
COACH McDERMOTT:  Well, obviously part of the problem is that I had too much darn time to think about it because we were getting our tails kicked so bad.  If you get beaten on a last‑second shot, those things don't go through your head.  But it's been an incredible journey, and I really wish every parent could experience what I've had the opportunity to experience.  I've had a front row street for history, and it was my son that was doing it.
So as I told him in the locker room, we don't realize the magnitude of what he's done because we're part of it every day and because of his approach to it.  It's no big deal to him.  He's never sticking his chest out looking for attention.  So because of that, all of us in the locker room, on the team, on the staff, I'm not sure we ever took a step back and realized what Doug had done and what he's accomplished over his career and how he's continued to get better.  But as I told them, I'm far more proud of how he's handled his success than what he's accomplished on the floor.  To me that is the really good stuff.

Q.  Greg, what exactly made that Baylor zone defense different than the other ones that you've seen this year?
COACH McDERMOTT:  Well, it was different than the Baylor zone defense that they played all year.  Generally they have the tandem on the top where their guards are in a tandem and they spread that out a little bit especially when Doug was on the top of the floor, and then they shrunk it when we ran Doug to the middle of the floor.
So they did a good job of really tagging Doug and Wragge wherever they went.  And some of our other players they gave a little more space, and almost dared some of our guards to take it inside, catch it at 15 feet, and there is nothing between the basket except for Isaiah Austin, which is quite a road block to get through when you catch it there.
I think it was a good plan.  Obviously we were hoping that if we were going to win, we were going to have to make shots.  The reality of it is we didn't make shots and they did.  The way Baylor is playing and the way they're controlling tempo, it's hard‑‑ it would be hard for a team that's good at pressing and pressuring to play from behind the way Baylor's able to control tempo.  And when you have a team that's not good at that, which we're not built for that, it was very difficult for us to try to get back in the game.  So now we're doing things that we're really not good at, we're giving up dunks at the back end of the press, and it was over.

Q.  Can you talk about just the appeal of this tournament and how it captures the imagination of the country every year?  I think a big part is it's a single elimination.  It's not like the NBA where it's best of seven or whatever.  The finality of it all, for your team you're going through that now, but can you talk about just that appeal how it's one shot, you lose, you're out?
COACH McDERMOTT:  Yeah, it's what makes it so special.  Anything can happen.  You wouldn't have guessed that after the second weekend, you know, Kansas and Syracuse and Duke and NorthCarolina, they're gone.  So we like the position we're in.  We really worked hard to get a better seed.  But the reality of it is we played Louisiana‑Lafayette who was a good team.  Once you get here, everybody's good.  They're tough games, and you have to play well.  I said it yesterday in my press conference that generally teams that move forward are teams that shoot the basketball well.  Baylor shot the basketball very well today, much better than they have their last couple games, and we didn't shoot the ball very well.  So they're moving on, and we're going home.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

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