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NCAA MEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: ANAHEIM


March 26, 2014


Scott Drew

Gary Franklin

Brady Heslip

Cory Jefferson


ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We are joined by Baylor head coach Scott Drew.テつ Baylor of the Big 12 conference, Waco, Texas, 26‑11, the number 6 seed.テつ We'll start with a statement from Coach Drew and open it up to questions.
COACH DREW:テつ Well, we're excited to be here.テつ We had a good late‑night meal at Roscoe's, so the guys were really happy.テつ I know the more film we've watched of Wisconsin, the more and more impressed we've been with them and excited for what should be two really good games here for San Diego State, Arizona, us, and Wisconsin.

Q.テつ Scott, how long did it take for Chery to get comfortable in his role as point guard of this team, and how long did it take for you to get comfortable with Chery?
COACH DREW:テつ Good question.テつ It started in the summertime, being able to workout with the guys now with the new NCAA rules has made it easier for incoming players and coaches to get a better relationship.テつ So when season begins, you have a better feel for them.
So I thought it started in the summer, and at our non‑conference schedule we played some really good teams.テつ He really performed well.テつ We had big wins and that helped last, I would say, Gary and Brady really being upperclassmen.テつ Seniors did a great job in helping bring him along.テつ So it didn't take me long at all because during that whole process he earned definitely my confidence in the teams.

Q.テつ Obviously in the past, Wisconsin may be a little traditional in terms of the tempo and pace they play.テつ But can you speak to now the job he's done to play at any pace and tempo between what you saw before and how he's built his team?
COACH DREW:テつ His consistency, you can't argue with what he's been able to do.テつ That's outstanding, especially in today's culture where you have so many one‑and‑dones and transfers.テつ It's hard to sustain.テつ Really credit Coach Ryan for a tremendous job.
I thought the more film you watch, the more you're impressed with how they got out and went and played in transition, and how they look to score early, because definitely from afar, the thought process is more grind it out 35 seconds, really, really patient on the offensive end.テつ They still do that, but at the same time, they're very good in transition, and I think he's allowed his players to make plays and use their skill level and athleticism, and that's what all good coaches do.テつ They adjust to personnel.
My dad being a coach a long time has always respected Coach Ryan and always talked very highly about him, and I've enjoyed whenever I've interacted with him.

Q.テつ Scott, your third Sweet Sixteen appearance at Baylor and these guys too.テつ How much will that help, do you think, going into this?
COACH DREW:テつ I definitely think postseason experience is helpful.テつ Last year winning the NIT championship and having success in postseason helps.テつ I think every coach would tell you they'd rather have that experience than not have it.テつ But, again, it doesn't guarantee anything.テつ That's what makes March Madness.テつ If you don't play and even if you play well, it might be your last game because there are so many great teams and great players.

Q.テつ What do you consider the bigger challenge?テつ Incorporating freshmen into your system or transfers?
COACH DREW:テつ Definitely freshmen, from the standpoint I think transfers have already gone through the rigors of college life and they're only adjusting really to maybe your basketball philosophy.テつ They've already adjusted to living on their own, the college NCAA rules, managing time.テつ They probably already have been coached by a good coach.テつ So definitely freshmen.テつ Being away from home that first year is tough on a lot of facets for them.

Q.テつ When you decide to allow a transfer to come, what are some of the things you consider, talking specifically about Gary Franklin, and what has he meant to your program since coming there?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think whenever we're looking at a transfer, we look at him just like we do any recruit.テつ It could be junior college, it could be an incoming freshman, and do they fit your system, your style?テつ Do they have the character you want them to have?テつ Are they the type of student‑athlete you want to coach that would represent the university the right way?テつ We had recruited Gary out of high school and just so impressed with his family and impressed with him.テつ He's a young man that you meet him two minutes and you know he's going to be very successful in life after basketball, an outstanding individual.テつ You never have to worry about him representing the university in the wrong way.テつ He's a very good leader.テつ He's been our vocal leader this year.テつ So we're all big Gary fans.
But transfers, in particular, would be the exact same thing.テつ Do they fit in well?テつ Because if it is all just about who is a good player but they don't fit in with the team, a lot of times that hurts the team.テつ So for us, at least, they have to fit into our culture and be the kind of teammate our guys want to play with.テつ Because the teams that have players that want to fight for each other and love one another more seem to do better than teams that are more dysfunctional.

Q.テつ Scott, I don't think the average fan groups Wisconsin with some of these elite programs like NorthCarolina and the Dukes of the world.テつ And here they are year after year, Sweet Sixteen after Sweet Sixteen.テつ What do you think of the job that Coach Ryan has done?テつ How do you think he should be viewed in the conversation of those great coaches?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think over 700 wins speaks for itself.テつ Thirteen straight NCAA tournament appearances at Wisconsin speaks for itself.テつ Whenever I hear the word Wisconsin basketball, I'm good friends with Tony Bennett and Dick Bennett, I think it's one of those elite programs, and you think of it as a team each and every year that's competing for Final Fours and National Championships.テつ So maybe it's just because I come from a basketball family and I've known the history a little bit more.テつ I understand what great basketball they've had and what a great job Coach Ryan has done.

Q.テつ Scott, it's hard not to be impressed with what you did against Creighton.テつ Was that a match‑up situation or are you guys playing that well?
COACH DREW:テつ I think we definitely played one of our better games of the year.テつ Creighton probably didn't play one of their better games, missed some shots that probably they've made in the past.テつ So I think we played well since we started out 2‑8.テつ We had to because if we didn't, we wouldn't be in this situation.テつ At the same time we know that what you did in the last game has no bearing on what happens in the next game.テつ We know that we have to be that much better to advance if we want to have a chance to advance from here on out.テつ I just think it was a mixture of that game.
Coach McDermott, he was at Iowa State and we're in the Big 12 together.テつ I've known him for a while.テつ My dad and having a chance to coach Brice, if Doug would have been playing or Creighton would have been playing for anyone else we would have been cheering for him instead of trying to win. テつI thought they've done a great job all year.

Q.テつ Scott, you played up there in December, but how much have you used a Texas Final Four as kind of a carrot for your guys as motivation to try to get there?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, definitely our guys know where the Final Four is being played at, and it's a dream of every college athlete to make a Final Four.テつ But when it's in your home state, it's even a little more special.テつ I know that's something that's motivated our guys throughout the year.

Q.テつ I imagine it could be a potentially awkward situation when you have kids that aren't comfortable at a program and want to transfer.テつ How do you handle that so that there's no impropriety or no one can‑‑ there is no conflict?
COACH DREW:テつ I think every coach feels the same in one fashion, and that is if a student‑athlete doesn't want to be there and doesn't want to be on your team, I think the last thing you want to do is have somebody there that doesn't want to be at that university.テつ Especially if they're not enjoying their college experience, they only have a few years of college, you want that to be something that they enjoy.テつ So most coaches, I would think, would work with their student‑athletes on that.
Then at the same time, the student‑athlete has a responsibility to the school and to the coach to make sure that things are handled in a professional manner, per se.テつ They're 18, 19, 20, 21‑year‑olds and they need to handle themselves in a correct manner as well.
But I would think for the most part that coaches are pretty set.テつ They want people that want to be there and want to be a part of their program.

Q.テつ Scott, could you discuss the evolution of your defense this year?テつ Going to the zone, did that coincide with the fact that you got out of that little tail spin and have been playing good ball?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, actually I think what was a bigger factor was our point guard Kenny Chery had turf toe for those two weeks.テつ When you're missing a key player that affects your team, and in the Big 12 was the number one ranked conference in the country, RPI‑wise, and we could play well and didn't guarantee we'd win.テつ I think we just got beat by better teams that were healthier and playing better than we were.
When we got Kenny back, I think everybody recommitted themselves to the defensive end.テつ We've played man; we've played zone during that stretch after 2‑8.テつ Our man won us several games.テつ So it's great to have two defenses to go to.テつ But a healthy team is the biggest reason for our turnaround.

Q.テつ Scott, how would you characterize Wisconsin's defense?テつ Are they pretty physical?テつ Is there anybody you might compare them to in the Big 12?
COACH DREW:テつ I think just playing Nebraska was a good comparison from the standpoint, I think if you're advancing this far in the tournament, you play good defense.テつ I think Wisconsin really does a great job of challenging shots and contesting things, and they're very‑‑ I would think they've been able to keep people from getting them in foul trouble.テつ So they're a smart team defensively that is very physical.

Q.テつ Coach, what areas of improvement have you seen in Isaiah Austin's game, and what is the next step for him down the road?
COACH DREW:テつ Well, I think the easiest step for him and I think every adult in the room would appreciate it is he needs to gain weight, so that means he gets to eat more than we get to eat, so we're all jealous about that.テつ But he had that shoulder injury last year after the season, and when he had shoulder surgery, he wasn't able to lift all summer long.テつ So he was cleared the first day before we had contact in practice, so a year in the weight room and putting on size and strength is really the main thing that's missing from his game.テつ As far as everything else, he's very skilled.テつ He's somebody that defensively has really made his presence known and really improved on that level.テつ That is a big reason we've been able to be successful too is the way he's able to protect the rim for us.

Q.テつ Scott that may have answered it, but what are your thoughts on him coming back?テつ When would you have that discussion with him?
COACH DREW:テつ With all our players, we wait until the season's over.テつ Then at that point, see what's best for him and see what his thoughts are and try to make sure that we're giving him whatever information he might want.テつ Thank you, guys.
THE MODERATOR:テつ We're now joined by Baylor student‑athletes, Gary Franklin, Brady Heslip, and Cory Jefferson.テつ Again, follow the same format as the last time.テつ We have two microphones, so if you raise your hand, we'll get the microphone to you.テつ We'll start right here.

Q.テつ Gary, what's it been like being back in Cali?テつ Have you had a lot of ticket requests and that kind of thing?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ It's been great so far.テつ We went last night to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles with the team, and I was in a food coma, so I was able to sleep better.テつ As far as ticket requests go, I woke up to a long list from my mom.テつ It's wishful thinking on her part.テつ Definitely won't be able to get that many tickets, but I'm going to try to accommodate as many family and friends as I can.

Q.テつ Brady, during the shootaround you were saying I have four games left.テつ Can you kind of talk about that confidence level and maybe that sense of urgency for you as this is your last go around?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ Our team has always been confident in ourselves no matter the situation.テつ We're taking things one game at a time and looking forward to the game tomorrow.

Q.テつ Gary, exactly what did you have at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles that put you in the food coma?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ I had chicken.テつ I had waffles, and I had a couple of‑‑ a side of fries.テつ It was very filling, so I couldn't move.

Q.テつ No mac and cheese or collard greens?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ No, I didn't get mac and cheese and collard greens.テつ We had practice today, and I wouldn't be able to get off the floor.テつ So I had to think about that.

Q.テつ Gary, what has your time been like at Baylor since deciding to transfer over from Cal?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ It's been great.テつ I didn't expect Texas to be as good as it is.テつ Coming from California, it's very family oriented.テつ Coming to Baylor, I'm able to talk about God freely and grow in my relationship with God.テつ A lot of friends that I've made here, the coaching staff has been great as far as mentoring me into becoming a better man.テつ Basketball‑wise, it's been great.テつ One Elite Eight run, one NIT title, and this year we're looking to go further than we did ever in history, so it's been pretty great.

Q.テつ Gary mostly, but Brady maybe also.テつ Gary, why did you not end up at Baylor out of high school?テつ And once you decided to transfer, how did you wind up at Baylor?テつ And Brady, if you could answer the same questions from Boston College point of view?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ Good question, Karen.テつ I decided to go to Cal originally.テつ I'm a family guy.テつ Wanted my family and friends to be able to see me play, and wanted to stay as close as possible.テつ SC was the first choice, and things happened there, and I wasn't able to go there.テつ Went to Cal.テつ Decided to transfer to Baylor, just thought it was a better situation for me basketball‑wise.テつ Turned out to be a pretty great situation.テつ My dad wanted to come out and visit a lot.テつ So being able to come back home and play is pretty great.
BRADY HESLIP:テつ I mean, for me, when I started out Boston College was the best situation for me and things changed.テつ But I think everything happens for a reason.テつ It's just part of God's plan for my life.テつ Just when I decided to transfer, I found Baylor and it was the last school I visited.テつ It was a perfect fit.テつ I just knew I wanted to go there right away.テつ It's been the best decision of my life.

Q.テつ Cory, have you thought much about getting to the Final Four in Arlington?テつ Or have you tried to kind of put that in the back of your mind?テつ What is kind of your thought process?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ I little bit of both.テつ Obviously, that's our goal getting back to Arlington and playing in Texas again.テつ But, obviously, we've got to focus on the games that we have right now.テつ So like I said, we do want to play in Arlington.テつ But we have to focus on getting these wins first.

Q.テつ Gary, how much do you guys‑‑ I don't know if the right word would be feed off of, but motivated by the people that doubt you?テつ That have doubted this team maybe even before you came to Baylor?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ I guess you wouldn't want to feed into negativity, but you can always, if you're an optimistic thinker, which a lot of us are, you can always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.テつ So any time we do hear anything that's doubtful towards our team, it does bring us closer, because we all want success for each other.テつ In order to have success for each other, we have to believe in ourselves first.テつ I think feeding off of doubters helps.

Q.テつ Cory, how long did it take this team to get comfortable with Kenny Chery as the point guard?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ I don't think it took too long, really.テつ Obviously, it was something new that everybody had to get used to, just playing with any different point guard you have to get used to it knowing their style of play, and they would have to get used to everybody else.テつ Knowing where they like the ball and knowing where they'll be on the floor at certain times.テつ But just playing with him throughout the summer, everybody got pretty comfortable with him pretty fast.
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ Not really.テつ Kenny is a great point guard.テつ He's a great person off the court which helps a lot.テつ I think people take that for granted.テつ Relationships off the court definitely help you on the court.テつ Kenny is a great guy off the court.テつ Being a point guard, he's a junior, I'm a senior.テつ Being able to talk to him and help him as well, we feed off each other.テつ I think we've both accommodated each other as far as getting used to playing that position.テつ Kenny has done a really good job.テつ I think he's had a lot of fun playing the point for us, and we've had a lot of success with him at the point, so it's been fun.

Q.テつ Gary, before this year, I think people would have thought of Wisconsin as grind out 30 seconds and it's going to be 58‑56.テつ Obviously, you see on film they can play at any pace.テつ Has that surprised you?テつ Just talk about what you've seen on film that you maybe wouldn't have thought Wisconsin could get up and down like most teams you would think in that realm?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ Just because of how they play in the half court, using the whole clock.テつ You would think that they wouldn't score a lot of points in transition.テつ But when you see them on film and see how fast they get out, you can tell that they want to score the ball right away.テつ Watching film even more, you're able to see that they bring it out when they don't have anything, and they really want to make you guard.テつ So getting that rebounding and making sure that they're not getting two and three shot attempts and one possession will be key.

Q.テつ Gary, obviously, your first college choice wasn't the perfect fit.テつ This is.テつ If you could go back, what is the one thing you wish you had known about choosing a college then that might have helped you find the perfect fit the first time?
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ I'm not sure.テつ I haven't thought much about transferring since I transferred.テつ Just looking to play tomorrow so that we can continue throughout the season.

Q.テつ Cory, they've got quite a few big guys in there.テつ They seem to play pretty physical.テつ Can you just kind of‑‑ what do you see from those guys, those big guys?
CORY JEFFERSON:テつ Yeah, they're a pretty physical team.テつ But that's just what we're used to playing at Baylor.テつ We have a guy named Rico Gathers on our team, and he's a pretty physical player and just playing against other teams in the Big 12, I can feel like doing that has prepared us for going against them tomorrow.

Q.テつ For Gary and Brady, you guys have probably faced similar teams, but this team all five spots shoot the three.テつ How does that change your defense, and how much does it make you go even farther out to defend the three, I guess?
BRADY HESLIP:テつ It obviously makes them a dangerous team, but I mean, we're just going to play our basketball.テつ We're going to play our defense.テつ We're going to lock in on personnel.テつ We're going to just guard them the way we've been guarding and leave it all out there.
GARY FRANKLIN:テつ I think contrary to popular belief as far as playing against Creighton, Doug McDermott is obviously their main guy, but Coach Drew being the statistic junky that he is, he allowed us to realize that other players on their team are able to shoot the ball really well.
So even though you're focusing on Doug McDermott a lot, you're focusing on the guys that shoot a high 40% on the perimeter.テつ So I think this will be similar to a Wisconsin team as far as guarding multiple guys in multiple positions who can shoot the ball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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