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Postgame Quotes



March 16, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

Big 12 Championship - Semifinals
Kansas State Head Coach and Player Quotes

Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement...
“Just really proud of the guys. This is a very, very good team, Oklahoma State, that we faced. We didn't play the best defense at their place. We scored 70 points, and that was more than we scored at home, and they still won the game. So it was a defensive mindset. We did a great job obviously getting Nash a couple of fouls, get some people with some fouls in the first half helps, but you think they're going to come back with good energy the second half. We had the good run to start the second half, and just able to keep it up, 10, 12, 14, and just played good solid basketball. And now you get a chance – we're conference co champs, and now you get a chance to play the team that tied you in a big game for the tournament. And I couldn't be more proud of Jordan. He struggled a little bit the last couple of weeks. They tried a little different procedure today, obviously it worked and he had great energy. And each day it seems like it's a different guy. Obviously Angel and Rod are our consistent guys. But when you have guys like D.J. and Jordan and different people along the way that step up, it definitely makes a difference and gives you a chance.”

On if he thought Oklahoma State was fatigued…
“I don't think there's any doubt – we watched – at least the coaches watched in person last night the second half and really thought they were getting a little tired even in that Baylor game. And then it's a hard turnaround. Now we're going to have a hard turnaround at 5:00. Obviously a couple of hours for Kansas probably helps them. And it's going to be a key with our depth. It will be important. But they were tired. I think our guys noticed it. They kept coming in the huddles, and I think when those guys were out the first half, they came back in, they forced a few things. Get some transition. And he kept pulling Smart in and out. That means he must have been having a little bit weary legs. So I think there's no doubt it was a factor.”

On improvement of Angel Rodriguez…
“He's made a lot of strides. One thing, he likes the game, he studies the game, he watches film, watches games. Not all our guys do that. And he comes in and watches film, a lot of times with Coach Frazier.  Sometimes he's a little emotional, and during the game. And then I think the thing he's learned, like he said, usually we're saying something for a reason, we see something. And even tonight he got a bad call.  Calm down, keep your poise, make the next play. And so he's made a lot of strides. Obviously he's had a great season. I think big strides, assists, turnovers, just being smart. And I hope he could make another big jump – a guy like Deron Williams was really good as a sophomore and then took another big jump, because now he knows what it's about, especially being in our system, what we can do. And he's played all year, really, not healthy. There's days we can't even practice him. So Jordan's done that. Will's done it.  And now Angel. Those guys have some toughness.”

On keeping Oklahoma State out of transition offense…
“You know, that's huge. And really we did a decent job last week except for a couple of periods the first half, had a little run, second half they had the run when we got the nine point lead, but you gotta keep Smart in front of you, keep Nash in front of you. It's really hard to do. They're both talented. And Markel Brown and Forte played off of them. We did a better job helping. After last week, TCU and Oklahoma State, that's all we talked about, that's all we worked on in practice: We gotta jump to the ball. We gotta be in help position, just basic shell, drills we do every day. And then we talked about I thought we did a great job of – we call it frenzy. If somebody helps, you go help them. You play in a frenzy. Keep making the next play. I thought we did a great job of that, and with that kept them from getting in the paint, which we didn't do last week.”

Senior Guard Rodney McGruder
On playing Kansas in the championship game…
“It feels good.  But we have a game tomorrow.  So just gotta get prepared for Kansas.”

On the key to the second half spark…
“We got on transition.  We forced them to take some bad shots. That allowed us to push the ball a little bit on the break, and we got baskets.  And then Coach called a timeout.”

On what Angel Rodriguez does for the team…
“He means a lot. The way he pressures the opponent's point guard and his craftiness with the ball, him finding open guys and him being able to step up and knock down big shots, you couldn't ask more from him. He's done a tremendous job.”

Sophomore Guard Angel Rodriguez
On the key to the second half spark…
“We saw they were tired by the end of the first half. So the beauty of our team is we're deep and a lot of people can play for us and help us, and that's what we did. We rotated our line and we got out in transition. And pretty much every time we went into transition, something positive happened. So that was the biggest key.”

On his improvement throughout the season…
“I gotta give a lot of credit to the coaches and the players. At first I wasn't playing that good. I was doing a solid job, but the coaches have tremendous trust in me. They believe in me and my teammates as well. It was just a matter of me having – it was just matter of me having a good game that could bring my confidence back. Once I had that good game, I don't remember when it was, I just kept playing well. And sometimes it's not going to be the best night. Like I played at Oklahoma State, it wasn't my best game.  But I'm always going to fight and I'm always going to do whatever I can do to help the team get a win.”

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