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March 5, 2010

Dana Altman

Justin Carter

Kenny Lawson


Bradley – 81
Creighton - 62

THE MODERATOR: Creighton Bluejays are here. We'll have Coach Altman start off with a statement on the game, then questions for the two student-athletes.
COACH ALTMAN: Well, they really got away from us in the second half. You know, Sam just beat us up. 18 of 19 from the line. And hit those three threes off his favorite move, and we just didn't do a good job on him. We had held him in check the first two times and we were able to win. But today he was the difference.
He's a good player, and he really made plays. We had some bad turnovers, took too many threes. We went to the boards, but we weren't able to really cash in on a lot of our offensive rebounds: And they came up with some timely offensive rebounds. I remember twice it was a four-point game, and they got a two-pointer, and we fouled them on the three pointer when we got a chance to go down four with the ball.
We credit them, they played a wonderful game and we just got beat.

Q. You really had a good game on the board. Can you talk about your mentality of attacking the glass, please?
KENNY LAWSON: I think a lot of guys went to the offensive glass. But we knew they were in a zone and anytime a team's in the zone you have to take advantage of that. Not only myself, other guys did a great job of it.

Q. They switched defenses up a lot today between man and zone. Did that affect you guys? Was it confusing at times?
JUSTIN CARTER: Well, it was just we were standing up when they switched the zone either the two-three or the one-three-one. And we stood up. And that's what the zone makes do. Stand up. I think we stood up and just settled a lot for the three.

Q. I guess you guys knew they were capable of scoring points in bunches. Could you just talk about, I guess, some of the runs they went on and what you guys tried to do to stop them?
JUSTIN CARTER: Can you repeat the question?

Q. Just their ability to -- Bradley's ability to score points in bunches. How did you try to slow them down?
JUSTIN CARTER: Well, they're very good in transition, and they get a -- try to get a lot of easy buckets out of the transition. So we tried to slow them down in transition, and get them out of that rhythm. In the second half they had a lot of runs that we didn't answer to, and they scored a bunch of runs in the second half.
KENNY LAWSON: Same thing Justin said. They have great players offensively and it takes extra focus to stop a team like that. We showed that a little bit in the first round and a little in the second half and we just didn't do the things we needed to to get stops.

Q. Can you talk about handling the ball and stripping the ball? Talk about their defense a little bit. Was it different today than it was in the previous two matchups with them down low?
JUSTIN CARTER: Not at all. Coming in we knew they were fluent to the help side and also a lot of hands in the zone and the man. So coming into the game we didn't feel that it was nothing new. They got their hands on the ball, and corrupted us when we drove and got hands on passes.

Q. You guys shot 9 for 33 from the three-point line. Can you talk about your struggles from the three-point line today?
JUSTIN CARTER: I think it was the zone. We stood up in the zone and couldn't knock it down. We felt comfortable coming in and shooting the ball, but the zone made us stand up. And we just settled too much.

Q. When you have a guy that's on fire like Maniscalco was today. How do you play defensively? Do you D up on him like anyone else?
KENNY LAWSON: When a guy's on a roll like that you have to do something to stop him. We understand he's a good player, but we didn't focus enough on the things we needed to do to slow him down. Once he gets on a roll, like Coach said, the basket just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Q. When you have a guy like Maniscalco going off, is there a sense of helplessness that you felt in the second half at point?
JUSTIN CARTER: We just have to be more focused and understand that he's on a roll. Kind of stop him and make him do what he doesn't want to do, and I don't think we did that in the second half.

Q. With a guy like Maniscalco, what makes it so tough to guard him and what makes him successful at the line?
JUSTIN CARTER: He's a great free-throw shooter, but I think we let him go through his strengths in the second half a couple of times. And getting over the ball screen we couldn't get over to his right-hand. We had a couple of calls on the three pointers when he was shooting it, and we knew he was a good free-throw shooter. But we didn't take away his strength and that was his right-hand. He just knocked down the free throws.

Q. Basically that question that I asked Justin. With a guy like Maniscalco, how come he is so successful at getting to the line even when you know you're trying to take his strength away what makes it so difficult?
COACH ALTMAN: He's good at drawing fouls. He kind of leans into you and throws his arms. You know, he draws fouls.
I think he had the two big threes in the first half that we just made defensive mistakes on, and we didn't make those mistakes in Omaha. We took that move away.
He had 15 points going off to that pick to his right. He had three threes and six free throws. That's the difference in the game right there. He didn't get those when we played him before. And he's a good basketball player. He's tough, he's hard-nosed. I like everything about him. He's really good.

Q. Have you been involved in a game where you had had an opposing player have three attempts at three free throws?
COACH ALTMAN: That's bad coaching when you foul a three-point shooter three times. That's nine points. That's a season's worth right there. So, no, that's obviously not very smart.

Q. Coach, your athletes from the three-point line, at any point in the game did you feel maybe we should try to work it down the paint instead of these three points because they're not falling?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, my man, we were 12 for 33 inside. So if you do the math we were more productive on the three-point line. We went to Kenny, they collapsed on him pretty hard. We just weren't effective offensively at all. But I agree, we took way too many threes which didn't allow us to get to the line.
We had a lot of offensive rebounds where we adjusted our shots instead of getting to the line. Antoine wasn't very effective in drawing fouls when he took the ball to the basket.
So I think a lot of those things, you know, kind of went into it. I apologize to be sarcastic there. We didn't score very well either way. You never want to take 33 threes, but we weren't scoring inside either. We scored 12 baskets inside, nine baskets outside. We just weren't good offensively. We had played a little better on offensively.
But that being said, what got us into trouble was the defensive end and them shooting 52% in the second half and putting them on the line, you know. However many times we did, there's too many to count. And he shot the heck out of free throws, 27 of 28. But we put the wrong guys there and they have really good free-throw shooters and those are the guys we put on the line.

Q. You said one of the can you talk about Bradley's runs and how much of a healthy run that is?
COACH ALTMAN: Yeah, 9, 8-8 point runs in the first half. And you know, we jump out. And our bench today, we can count on our bench. You know, we just really struggled off the bench today.
There were a lot of factors. Those runs, especially in the first half, we build the lead and give them some easy baskets. Built another lead. We worked pretty hard for ours and gave them some easy ones.
I thought the key, we had the seven-point lead with a couple of minutes left in the half and Sam hit those two threes. I thought those were two really big buckets and kind of changed the momentum of the game.

Q. In one of the story lines of the season, you have gotten off to a good start in games you ended up losing. I know it's been a frustration for you, but when you watch on film, what happens with the team when they go up like that? Do they relax?
COACH ALTMAN: I don't think so. You know today we didn't have our bench respond the way we wanted to. Our problems stem from not getting stops we need in the second half. So, you know, our consistency all year has been a problem for us. We haven't done the things necessary to have the type of team we need to have. And a lot of that goes on my shoulders. I recruit the guys, I coach them, if the mix isn't what we need to have, then that's my fault.
So, you know, we've got some work to do here. We've got a good base. We've got some good players. We've got some good young players. But we've got a tremendous amount of work to do here in the off-season, and a lot of guys are going to have to recommit themselves. It's just not going to happen for us to get the winning seasons and things that we've had.
Guys have worked awfully hard for that, so we're going to have to evaluate everything we do and recommit to a lot of things.

Q. Bradley switched up its defense quite a bit today. What affect did that have on your offense?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, they did a good job with that. You know, we had a couple of bad turnovers. We really had cut down our turnovers. You know, and today we had 12 which isn't a great deal, but they were really bad times that we had the turnovers.
And so, you know, I thought they were switching defenses was effective. But it was effective against us in Omaha, too. But we got more stops there in Omaha. We scored 62 and kind of got in a hurry in the end. If we kept the score around 65, but putting them at the line, just easy baskets we gave them, and dribble penetration there. And I thought like you said, key offensive rebound with the score at 4 points.
And I can't -- I think -- oh, let's see. Who got the first one? Roberts got the first one there and then laid it back up. And they got one and we fouled him for a three. So it went 4-6, then we came and scored, and it went 4-7. I'm testing my memory there, but I think that's right. So those two offensive rebounds and as much as it wasn't us scoring, I think a larger part of it was our inability to get them stopped.

Q. You mentioned a couple of big rebounds. There were times during the game where it got hard to hear and the crowd just drowned everything out. Do you think that had an effect on the players in the second half at all?
COACH ALTMAN: I don't think so. Bradley's guys are used to playing in a great atmosphere. We've been blessed. Our fans have been unbelievable to us.
We had a big crew here. The thing that probably hurts the most is how much we've let them down, you know. So, you know, it was a great crowd. Our people that came, you know, like I said, I feel bad because we've got a little further to go than most. Our fans have really made a commitment to us both at home and on the road and I feel really bad there.

Q. Do you anticipate the possibility of getting to play another game? Would you be excited about such a game?
COACH ALTMAN: Oh, you know, there's a couple of new tournaments that we've never played in before. We've been fortunate the last 12 years, and that's not going to happen this year.
You know, I want to play, I just, you know, we're starting a couple of freshmen and you've got a sophomore point guard and Kenny's going to be back. So you kind of like to play, but that won't be my decision. That will be the decision of Bruce and the University. You know, whatever they decide, you know, it it's their decision. But we've got some young guys on our team that, if nothing else, we need another week of practice.
I don't know. We do at 16-15 I think we're eligible. So if Bruce and, you know, I'm sure we'll talk to the Valley and see what they want us to do.
But we did finish fourth in the league. Our league's solid. I think Bradley will give Northern a tremendous game. They had two great games during the year. We've got good basketball teams in our league. And we did finish fourth. I'd like to play, but again that's Bruce's decision. And if he decides, you know, that we need to put the uniforms away and start focusing on next year, I'll definitely do that.
So that's going to be his decision though. I'm sure he'll talk with Doug and get the Valley's point of view. Then we'll just go from there.

End of FastScripts

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