Podium Post Game: Baylor

Podium Post Game: Baylor

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - ASAP Sports provides the full transcript from Baylor's post-win presser, featuring head coach Scott Drew and athletes Gary Franklin, Cory Jefferson, and Isaiah Austin...

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Baylor University head coach Scott Drew, Gary Franklin, Isaiah Austin, and Cory Jefferson. Coach, we'd like you to make an opening statement, and then we'll take questions for the student athletes.

COACH DREW: Well, first I want to thank all the Baylor fans that came today. We appreciated your support. Very pleased how we defended, especially first half. I thought late in the game I did a bad job managing that, so coaches are always looking for something to work on, so we'll try to get better at that for the next game. Pleased to be able to advance to a very good Nebraska team. Coach Miles does a great job, that's why he was coach of the year.

Really proud of our guys how they defended and rebounded. I thought we did a very good job today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.

Q. Cory and Isaiah, was the plan today to try to punch the ball inside as much as you could? It seemed like it got into a pretty physical game?

ISAIAH AUSTIN: Yeah, our game plan was to try to get the ball in the paint as much as we can to utilize our height and our length, and that's what we did tonight.

CORY JEFFERSON: Whether it be guards or the bigs, we just want to get to the paint. Whenever we get to the paint, good things happen for the team. Like I said, it doesn't just have to be the bigs. We have versatile forwards that can get inside and out, and then we have the guards that can drive in the lane, finish or find our bigs.

Q. For all you guys, talk about how your zone defense really messed them up in the first half. They had a lot of trouble doing their offense and shooting from the outside.

THE MODERATOR: Gary, let's start with you.

GARY FRANKLIN: I think in the middle of the year we changed our defense, our 11 defense. We wanted to pressure a little more, and I think that helped us tonight. We were pretty active. We knew where the shooters were, and the guys that we felt were going to hurt us from the outside, we backed off and played the shooters more, and I think that helped a lot, along with our length.

CORY JEFFERSON: Like Gary said, we changed it up and became more active in our zone, that is the big thing that helped us when we went on our run during the conference time after our little 28 struggle. But we've been more aggressive just changed our whole team.

ISAIAH AUSTIN: It starts with our guards, they have tremendous ball pressure, and they use their hands a lot and get a lot of deflections, when they do that, it makes it that much easier for Cory and Rico to get rebounded contested shots and blocked shots after they stay underneath them and make it a difficult shot that we can block.

Q. Isaiah and Gary, you guys have struggled, and the team has struggled some from the freethrow line. Talk about making them pay. You got in the bonus early and were able to knock down your free throws tonight.

GARY FRANKLIN: We've done a lot of things in practice. Shooting competitions p making a hundred free throws a day. A lot of things in practice that our coaches have come up with to allow us to have more confidence from the freethrow line, and lately it's paying off tremendously, so those are the things we've done.

CORY JEFFERSON: We're making sure everybody follows through on their free throws and making sure everybody focuses when it's time to shoot free throws in practice, and carry it over into the game.

Q. Does the team you guys have right now, does it remind you of 2012 when you went to the Elite Eight?

CORY JEFFERSON: A little bit. The past Elite Eights that we did have were good runs, but this year we're just looking at it as checking it one game at a time. We had ours today, the next one is on Sunday. We'll look at one game, and we'll move on from there.

Q. Isaiah, could you sense the frustration with Petteway and the guards, because they got off early and your zone defense seemed to give them a lot of problems?

ISAIAH AUSTIN: Definitely. In the beginning of the game our guards came out and played tremendous defense. They were contesting every shot that was put up, and it was making it hard for them to score. We were rebounding the ball and keeping them one and done off the glass. It just carried over to our offense and made everything flow better.

Q. Isaiah, you got a chance to meet a 7yearold boy yesterday that is battling eye cancer. What was that like for you to get a chance to talk to him and interact with him?

ISAIAH AUSTIN: It was amazing. The little kid's name is Jonesy. He's a strong, strong little kid. He's a real trooper. He didn't hang his head at all fighting through it. That just inspires me even more. He said that I inspired him, but he really inspired me.

Q. Gary, Nebraska cut it to nine there late. Was that a little nerveracking and what were you guys able to do to hang on?

GARY FRANKLIN: We've been tested very early, and looking at it from an optimistic point of view, being 28, being down against Dayton late in the Maui tournament. Those are things that you prepare for so that now, like today, we don't panic. We called a timeout. Our coaches collected us and got us together. We decided to spread the ball around and just not pressure ourselves when they started trapping, and we came out and we were successful with it.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, gentlemen. We'll now take questions for Coach Drew. Questions for Coach Drew.

Q. Coach, obviously, Nebraska started getting some of those layups to fall late in the game, what did you tell them in that timeout?

COACH DREW: I think Gary hit the nail on the head. That is we've been in situations now where we've been tested. We've had leads and lost them. We've come from behind. This time of the year there are not too many scenarios that you haven't seen. I think it always comes down to guys coming out of the timeout. The bench being supportive and positive, and guys on the court feeling the love from everybody and getting their confidence back. It's tough when you have a lead sometimes. You go to where you don't attack, and we probably should have attacked more and credit them for playing good defense and causing some turnovers, but took away the aggressiveness from us.

Q. Coach, can you talk about being able to stretch it out a little bit against Iowa State? You weren't able to do that early when they were struggling. It took you a while, but the fact that you had a 13point halftime lead?

COACH DREW: I think that's where Nebraska's defense is very good. I know when we're getting stops and playing as well on our defensive end, normally you like to get some separation. I thought it was important that we build that lead, because Nebraska's too good a team to shoot 23% in the second half. I mean, our defense was good, but they missed some shots. At the same time, I don't know if the three was falling for anyone. We were 2 for 13. So if you liked threes today, it's probably not the day to watch basketball. But getting that cushion allows you to have some mistakes down the stretch and still be okay to get a win.

Q. Scott, your bench really produced today, and it seems like you really needed them too.

COACH DREW: No question. I thought everybody that played, really contributed. I mean, Gary played 29 minutes, was outstanding. Taurean Prince was very good. Rico Gathers was very good. That is where you have to have depth. I know we got to the freethrow line a lot, and that's one thing that favors us is when you have to go to the bench because we believe in our depth.

Q. Scott, for as good as you've played the first 25, 26 minutes, does that span right about the four, five minute mark of the game where you had trouble with your press and made some bad shots? Is that a concern spinning forward or is it a teaching moment?

COACH DREW: Teaching moment. I mean, we had a couple of them. Isaiah lost a pass where it should have gotten a dunk, and then Cory lost one. So I mean, we had some plays where if you complete them, it just keeps the momentum going. We did have some spacing issues. We'll address those. That will be teachable. I thought a couple of other things we put Kenny in some bad situations.

So we'll work on that. The good thing is hopefully we're in that situation again so we can show that we worked on it.

Q. Scott, a lot of teams in this country don't have the luxury of a Rico Gathers coming off the bench along with two big guys starting. What kind of lift does he give you? How easy is it for you to make ingame adjustments with that guy sitting over there?

COACH DREW: Coaches are only as good as their players. We're blessed to have a lot of length and size inside and depth. And each of them possesses something different they bring to the table. That's what you need because different games you might need a bigger, stronger guy. In another game, you might need more length. So it's great to have options. At the end of the day, it's usually positive, so that depth is important.

Q. Coach, when Coach Miles got his technical fouls and each of them not only did you hit your two free throws where the foul was called, but you hit the two technical free throws. How important was that to reestablishing the lead and sort of grabbing the momentum that was afforded you at that point?

COACH DREW: I think we were very good from the freethrow line. Not just in those situations, but others. We shot 80%, and most coaches will take that every day of the week, and hopefully we can continue making free throws. When you have those opportunities and make free throws, they're important for momentum.

Q. Scott, you already kind of hit on the teaching moments. Is a quoteunquote ugly win the best thing for a coach, because you advance, but you also have something to work on?

COACH DREW: I think the first part, like you said, the win, no matter how you get it, pretty ugly, nasty. This time of the year it's all about surviving and advancing. So we're definitely pleased with the win.

No matter how well you play, there is always something you can work on. Usually coaches try to find that too. So, anyway, we're just excited to be able to work on something, and play again on Sunday.

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