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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

March 8, 2014

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“It has been a heck of a ride for our group here at home. We have won some huge games and played with great energy and passion. Today, we just did not have it. You have to give Baylor credit since we woke up a sleeping bear a couple of weeks ago when they beat us at their place a couple of weeks ago in that crazy game. I thought we played with them the whole game then and today was a very similar game. We outplayed them in the first half. We had almost a nine-point lead at their place and an eight-point lead here. We even got a couple baskets to start off the second half to move the lead to 12 but then the momentum really changed. (Cory) Jefferson really stepped up and made some plays. (Kenny) Chery got going and then I do not know if we got uptight a little bit, but we have been in this situation so many times where it has been a close game and a stretch run with five to eight minutes left in the game. We missed free throws; I think we went 1-for-6. I know Wes (Iwundu) and Shane (Southwell) missed two in a row and then Shane went 1-for-2, I believe. That did not help us, especially since Baylor was making them. But our guys did not quit. We jumped on Marcus’ (Foster) back because he did not have a whole bunch going until the last three and a half minutes. He kept putting pressure on them. It is just disappointing for the seniors. I wish they would have played well and I wish they could have gone out on a positive note. This is disappointing for our team because we have come a long way since our last lost here at home.”

On the level of play in the Big 12 this season…
“It is a tough league and you have to play every game. There is a lot of tough teams and you have to make plays. The thing is, we have been such a good team and we have had balance when we have beaten people. Today, we had three guys in double-digit scoring. Nino (Williams) had great effort as he did last game against them. Thomas (Gipson), when we got him the ball, he was effective inside. We did not get enough from everybody else and that has probably been the key to our team. When we do have balance, we are a really good team; we just did not have enough from everyone today.”

On the play of the seniors…
“I think they are good guys but they put too much pressure on themselves. Will (Spradling) had some open looks, and he had a couple tough ones too, but he just never got going. You were just hoping, for him, that he would. Shane has struggled a little bit since his injury and he is just now getting back his confidence. He went in the game right away and hit that little turnaround jumper in the lane and I thought that he was going to play well. He did a good job for us in that he had four assists and in attacking that zone and we need him in there. We need Nino’s aggressiveness and Shane’s passing and skill ability. But the problem is that we seem to be better defensively with other guys on the floor but we did not get stops this time and in that zone, they adjusted They did not guard Wes and they did not guard Jevon (Thomas) and then they sat back and gave us trouble getting it inside. I feel bad for the seniors. They are a good group and they still have basketball games left and I hope they are ready to play in Kansas City and they can make amends for today’s loss.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On difference between the first and second halves…
“We let up on the defense inside. They started isolating Cory Jefferson, started getting fouls and free throws, and that gave them confidence. Brady (Heslip) got open a couple of times in the second half and that gave them confidence. Once they got the ball rolling, it was hard to get it to stop. We played really well down the stretch, especially with Marcus (Foster) keeping us in it with the threes. We had chances. They kept giving us chances. We just did not execute.”

On how to recover from two losses in one week…
“We just need to remain focused. We need to focus hard and pay more attention to detail. We just need to stay together as a family. I do not know what our chances are in March Madness, but we want to win the Big 12 tournament so we can have a chance to get in.”

On his first-half shooting…
“Like Shane (Southwell) said in the locker room, it is not our last game. He told everybody to hold their heads up because we are going to win the Big 12 Tournament and that is our goal. This is a tough loss for us, but we have to bounce back and get ready for whoever we play in the tournament.”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On taking over offensively…
“I just felt like it was a close game, and we needed a spark. I wanted to send off the seniors right and get the win at their last home game. I just felt I had to get us going and get us back in the game.”

On the struggles of Will Spradling…
“Will and I are really close. I am a shooter and he is a shooter too, so I understand where he is coming from. He did not hit a three pointer tonight and you have games like that where you are not going to hit a three pointer. Every shooter goes through it.”

On Baylor beating them twice…
“It is tough. It was one of our goals, not lose to a team twice. Baylor is still a good team. They went through a little rough stretch. They were seventh in the country at one time, and they still have the same guys. They are still a good team.”

Baylor Head Coach Scott Drew
Opening statement…
“Well for us, when you start 2-8, every game is big. We have control over our own destiny, and if we are still are playing then we still have a chance to move up. We have been playing together. It has not been pretty but you know that is the Big 12. You have great coaches, great players, and great fan support. It is not easy to win anywhere and even harder on the road. I am so proud of our guys in the second half to battle back. We did not have much go right in the first half but the guys stuck together. We made free throws, we shot the ball well and did not turn it over and that was huge. Obviously, we executed well offensively, shooting 56 percent. We played great defensively until the last couple of minutes when K-State really played good offense and made some big shots.”

On the play of point guard Kenny Chery…
“Kenny was huge. He has been great from the free throw line, all except for that stretch when he was injured. We have confidence in him up there. In practice, he makes them. As tired as he was, K-State does a great job of tiring you down and putting different people on you, for him to make all of those free throws was huge because we needed everyone of them.”

On the importance of Chery moving forward…
“Coaches know players help us. At the end of the day, we need him. He is a very good player and he runs the team. Being out with that turf toe, and in hindsight I should have sat him for two weeks because the two games that he tried to play him, he only played nine minutes and 11 minutes. He had zero assists, was ineffective and he hurt the team and I should not have played him. But he is back now and he has done a great job running the team. We have stayed together and gotten better. Again, I think all Big 12 fans should be excited for the Big 12 Tournament because we have a great conference and hopefully we will show that from here on out.”

Senior Forward Corey Jefferson
On the difference between the first half and second half…
“I do not think that they let up. It was just that we switched it over after halftime and came out and knew what we were supposed to do, mainly on the defensive end. We got our stops when we needed them.”

On what Kenny Chery does for the team…
“He does everything that we need and provides leadership on both ends of the floor. Obviously, he is the point guard, so he has the ball in his hands and he makes things happen. When the clock is winding down, he knows how to get the basket and make a play for himself or somebody else. We trust him with the ball and he has been playing great for us.”

Junior Guard Kenny Chery
On what Baylor did right in the second half…
“It was just our desire to come out and be aggressive. We did not come out in the first half as we wanted. We came out in the second half with the dedication of playing hard and being more aggressive on defense and just running our offense.”

On guarding K-State’s Will Spradling…
“We knew that he is a great shooter. The main goal was to fight screens, make him shoot contested shots and just not let him go off on us. We did a good job on that.”

On Baylor’s second-half comeback…
“It was just our senior leadership. They just got us together and told us that we just needed free throws. They said that everyone needed to make free throws and we knocked 17 straight down.”