Postgame Quotes: Texas 71, Teas Tech 69 OT

Ty Nurse had eight points in his final game at United Spirita Arena.

March 9, 2013

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Texas Tech Head Coach Chris Walker

Opening Statement
“First of all credit to UT (Texas) they did what they had to do. We had a great crowd today, Raider Nation really came out today and it helped us along but they fought through that and got a win. They have some really good players on their team and they fought through and got it to overtime and got the W. So give them credit. Equally I want to say I’m very proud of my team for the effort they put out today. I said to them before the game that when the game is over I want each man to look in the mirror and look to your teammates and look in his eyes and know did you give the maximum effort, did you leave it all out on the court,, did you exhaust yourself. I told them as a coach I was very proud of their approach and their play, I thought they played their tails off we just came up short in the concentration area at the foul line. Missing 17 free throws was the difference in the game and second-chance points factored in as well but in saying that I thought our guys played well and really hard and really showed people what they’re capable of doing when they really put their minds to it. Again, give all the credit to UT, but I definitely think Raider Nation should be proud of the effort their guys put out.”

On if missing free throw is toughness level Texas Tech hasn’t gotten to yet
“No, it’ s just a practice thing, a habit thing and doing it when the game is on the line is one of the most difficult situations, and the wasn’t on the line early in the game and we missed them and then when the game was on the line we missed a few tough ones. Every time you stand up there you just never know, Dusty Hannahs is one of our best shooters misses two free throws. So they all are accountable we, win as a team an we lose as a team so it’s not one guy that missed them we all missed them but that’s part of the game and I’ve been saying this for the last couple of games, I want to not look at the scoreboard and watch the team that’s on the court and see if I’m happy with what I see, and one of my biggest slogans you guys know is being the best team you can be by the end of the season and this game marked the end of the season and I think those guys achieved where they were on day one to where they are now they have pretty much improved significantly.”

On if fatigue had anything to do with free throws
“It’s basketball, it’s part of the game, you don’t want to say it’s fatigue they have to get to line and knock them down. It’s the difference between winning and losing the game, forget about everything else that happened we knock those free throws down, 17, that’s a lot, it’s a much different game. To say that, even if you put it into different perspective we even play them to that game while missing free throws, that’s another way of looking at it, that’s how hard our guys played while putting ourselves in a tough sport every single time.”

On being up 17 with five in the first half and then making only one field goal in the next 11 minutes
“That’s basketball, it’s a game of runs, we had our run they had theirs, I don’t know with how much time left on the clock they made plays again. It comes down to they are a really good team. If Mike Kabongo was playing for them all year long they would be in the NCAA Tournament so in my mind we played a NCAA Tournament team today and that’s really how I look at it and that’s how everyone else should look at it. If he didn’t serve a 23-game suspension their season would totally different. That’s how I look at it when playing this caliber team, I thing that we show time and time again is that we can compete with them, what we haven’t showed time and time again is that we can’t complete the task of playing for 40 minutes and making concentration plays that will help us get the W at the end, but what I tell our guys is to play hard, play together, play smart, and play with pride and we’ve showed that we play hard we just have to keep building.”

Senior Ty Nurse

On missing free throws down the stretch
“It’s tough, to win in this league you have to make sure you take care of free throws and turnovers but I’m still proud of our team and Coach Walker is still proud of our team and we played hard. It was a tough loss and sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.”

On how hard fought the game was
“It’s a rivalry, and the fans want to see us beat Texas so we want to do it for them as well.”

On how special it was to have his mom in the stands
“Very special, I know she’s very proud and for her to step into my world and see the basketball environment in Texas and meeting so many people from Lubbock she’s enjoyed it a lot, her and my family they love Texas and they couldn’t be more proud of me and I’m proud of them and the way they have handled themselves on this trip and it’s just been a very special moment.”

Junior Jaye Crockett

On if this game was the toughest loss of the season
“Yeah it was tough, just because the rivalry with Texas and Texas Tech, and we were out there fighting, we had it and we came out with energy. We wanted to send Ty (Nurse) out on a good note and it just hurt a lot, just having him to end it that way, we played good but still it was another moral victory that’s not cool at all.”

On what changed after being up by 17 points
“Second chance points, they were getting all kinds of rebounds, sometimes they got three shots in one possession. If you have that many shots at this level you’re going to make one of them. You just have to make sure you don’t give a team second-chance points, that really killed us down the stretch.”

On what made them play inspired the whole game
“I’d say Ty, he’s been here for two years with me and it’s been tough, but he comes in everyday and works and has a good attitude and he might not like some things but he gives his all everyday, he doesn’t just give his all for 40 minutes he does it for 365 days a year.”

Texas Head Coach Rick Barnes

On his mood after the game
“You know what, I am disappointed. I told the guys, “You know, we haven’t won two games since December.” So, the question to me was how would we respond after arguably playing the best game we have already played all year. We come in here and the question is “I don’t know” and it was answered pretty early because Texas Tech showed great heart and great character. And it’s not like they’ve had a great year. I think it got down to competing and they out competed us. We got down and we fought back and won the game. There were some good things and the thing that I liked about our team at the end of the game was I thought Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis’ demeanor was awesome. They wanted the ball and they were really trying to make some good plays for us. Then Jaylen Bond, he had a couple break downs but, then he had a great contest and tipped a ball loose where we came up with it. Then Jonathan Holmes came back at the start of the second half and set a tone for our team in terms of going to rebound the ball. Cameron Ridley was solid all day. He did some good things. But, Tech, I respect them, I really do. I am not sure where their expectations were at the beginning of the year given what happened but, you have to give their staff a lot of credit because, they have continued to play hard and get better.”

On what he wanted from the last possession
“I wanted what we got. We wanted them close and we definitely wanted the last shot. We wanted the ball in either Julien Lewis or Sheldon McClellan’s hands. We wanted those guys to make a play. I love Julien’s demeanor, and Sheldon wanted it too which I thought was awesome. And Sheldon moved away and Julien got it and he is a tough guy to guard. He can get the ball there in a lot of places and he has such a quick shot when he gets some steam going. He can get the ball quick. Again, that’s what we wanted, we wanted one of them two guys to have the ball in their hand and hopefully get the last shot.”

On being down by 17 in the first half and if he thought the full court pressure was the key in turning the momentum around
“Yeah it was. I mean, we were not very effective in the first half. They drove the ball at will and they went by anybody and everybody they wanted to go by. And then again, we wanted to force contested jump shots and we don’t close the floor down like we talked about. Early we wanted to try and force it one way but, it’s hard to do for a long period of time but, we just didn’t guard the ball. To give them credit, they drove it at us but, once we gave them some pressure it helped us get a little more aggressive offensively. We had too many guys stopping the ball. When they got the ball they stopped it when they should be passing the ball. When they happens, you can tell when guys are locked in on the game in terms of what they’re doing when they don’t have the ball. And when they have the ball and are holding it and holding it and holding it, most of the time nothing good is going to happen. Because most of the time the other team is going to get over there and shrink the floor a little bit. But, we fought back and the press definitely helped us. There is no doubt about that.”

On the thoughts of the future for Chris Walker as a head coach
“Thinking about that first of all makes me realize how old I am getting. I was a coach at Providence when he was playing. But, I think he has done a really good job. I think he came into a situation – what I base that on is, it’s not easy when you are sitting there and everyone’s not sure of this or that. But, what you have to do is look at the fact that they have played hard and they have continued to play hard. Being where they are is a hard thing to get you guys to do because, people asked me all year long “where is your teams mindset?” And I can tell you when I’ve watched them I have been impressed with their execution and I think they are sound with what they do. So in answer to your question he has proven from a coaching standpoint that he can coach anywhere he wants. They do good things. But, the most important thing is for the most part is that you can say his team really does try to execute. In terms of when you watch what they are doing they really make an effort to do that.”

Texas Sophomore Sheldon McClellan
On whether or not coming off the bench affected his and Julien Lewis’ game today

“No, it doesn’t really affect us. We’ve been starting and not starting all season and even last year. Whenever our names get called we just go into the game and try to help our team out.”

On first 2 game winning streak since December
“This is just confidence since we haven’t had two wins since a couple months ago. We just have to take it one game at a time and not looking forward to anything else.”

On what they take from this game
“We showed heart at the end. Coach gave us credit for showing heart. We didn’t play hard the whole 40 minutes but, we will definitely play harder next time. We came off with the win and that is what we wanted to do.”

On their offensive rebounding tonight
“It was pretty big. It is something we always to do every game, crash the offensive boards. We are big and long and we can get second chance points. The second half we just came out aggressive and that is what coach wanted us to do.”

Texas Sophomore Julien Lewis

On the final play of the game
“Coach really wanted to get the ball moving a little bit but, he really wanted to get Josh Gray away from the top so one of us could go one on one with one of their other players. I waited out until like five seconds and made sure I had enough time to see if I could make the best shot I can. I just took it to my advantage and I went at them.”

On going into overtime with them again just like last year
“It is really not a big thought. I just come out here and do my job every single day and try to win for the team. All I want to do is win.”

On what they take from this game
“In the second half we came out with a lot of fight. We came out with better effort. We wanted to win a lot more because we tried to force them to take a lot of hard shots and bad shots. I think we did that more and we got a little more aggressive at the end.”

On being down by 17 in the first half and what they changed defensively
“I think we just pressured the ball. Coach wanted us to get into 24 where we pressure Josh Gray and make him do it on his own and try to make him make bad plays. Mostly we just came out and were being aggressive.”

On having two real key three pointers
“I just felt like I had it. Sheldon McClellan made a good pass to me in the corner that he had faith in me to make that shot so I took that shot. Then he gave to me again and I took another good shot. It was good teamwork and he showed confidence in one of his good players.”




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