THE MODERATOR: Texas Southern head coach and student-athletes. Coach, begin with an opening statement, please.
COACH DAVIS: First I'd like to thank God for another great and wonderful opportunity to lead this program. I'm so proud of this basketball team. We overachieved a majority of the year. We came together and realized we were a really good basketball team. We learned a lot. We grew a lot together. We had two big wins in non-conference. We were 21-4 after going 1-8. Madarious Gibbs is a senior. He has four championships over the last three years here at Texas Southern. I learned a lot today. Anytime you have an opportunity to be a 15 seed, you're going to play a really, really good basketball team. For our team next year, it's my job to I think get a game against a really good team during our conference play. They just overwhelmed us with length, size, athleticism in the first half. They're well-coached. I think they're a one seed, for sure. It was so difficult for us to adjust to their talent level. But I thought the second half we came out and did a better job. But I can't tell you how proud I am of this basketball team. We won 22 games this year. Next year we'll be back. We'll definitely be back next year here in the tournament. We got a lot of things to work on. The first thing we going to do is get a really good non-conference game during our season so we won't be overwhelmed during the course of the first half.
THE MODERATOR: Open the floor now for questions to the student-athletes.
Q. Madarious, your coach talked about the challenges Arizona posed with their size and athleticism. How does what you saw today rank against any other team you'd faced in your four years?
MADARIOUS GIBBS: They're a great basketball team. With size and athleticism that they have, it was kind of hard to compete with them. But we went out and fought our hardest and tried to do the best that we could do against the size and their athleticism.
Q. Malcolm, when you have a game like this, obviously the margin of error is very small. You guys got off to a little bit of a slow start shooting, allowed them to get that big lead and build momentum. How key was that for you not to get off to kind of the start that you wanted to?
MALCOLM RILEY: It kind of hurt us in the beginning because they got off going, and we kind of came out down. After that, they kind of went on a good run and they kind of took off from there. In the second half we started making adjustments. It was a better second half for us.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. The floor is now open for questions for Coach Davis.
Q. You've coached in a title game before. Is Arizona that caliber of a team? Do you think they stand a chance against a team like Kentucky?
COACH DAVIS: Well, we played Gonzaga this season. It's really hard for us to gauge how good teams are because once we get into our conference, it's like a different level of basketball. But they are very, very good. If Stanley Johnson can shoot the basketball the way he shot the ball today, their point guard, I think he's the head of the snake. I mean, he's as solid as solid can be. He runs the basketball. He lead their program. They got bigs. It's hard going out there seeing 6'6", 6'7", 6'9". That's very difficult for us. The last time we played a team of that size was Gonzaga. I think they're definitely a Final Four team. Coach Miller, when you watch them play, see, in our league sometimes we don't make the extra passes. When a guy drive, he normally going to shoot. You going to make the next pass. They did a great job of finding the open teammates. We scored, what, 70-some points. That's way more than enough for us. We played against a team that is a great basketball team.
Q. Coach, I'm curious if you could elaborate on Stanley Johnson what you saw of him today and if he reminds you of any player that you've seen in your years of coaching that's gone on from the college ranks to the pros?
COACH DAVIS: Stanley Johnson, he's definitely an NBA guy, for sure. I think when he walked out there, you look at his body, we hadn't seen that. I mean, we played a lot of really good teams this year. That's the first time we saw a guy walk out there that looked like that. I remember playing Florida a couple years ago and they had Bradley Beal. When a guy walk on the court, you look at him, you say, That's definitely a pro. He's well-coached. He plays within the system. He doesn't try to go outside the system. I think he's definitely a lottery pick, for sure. But their team is just like unbelievably good, really good basketball team. I like Gonzaga. I like Arizona. Those two teams we played. I think both teams are Final Four teams.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much.
COACH DAVIS: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
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