NCAA Portland: Brad Underwood, SFA Players

The Stephen F. Austin head coach, Brad Underwood and players Thomas Walkup and Ty Charles talk about the Lumberjacks' 57-50 loss to Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Portland......

THE MODERATOR: Stephen F. Austin, head coach Brad Underwood and student-athletes. Coach, go ahead and give your opening statement, please.

COACH UNDERWOOD: Tremendous amount of credit to the University of Utah and Larry Krystkowiak. They're as good as advertised. On the defensive end they're as solid a basketball team as we have faced all year. I thought our kids fought extremely hard. I thought we played extremely hard. The one thing I love about this team was the process of allowing us to win, and that involves hard work every day. We did that tonight. Tonight was a night that the ball didn't go in enough. When you look at the scoreboard after 40 minutes, they had more points than we did. I thought Poeltl inside was obviously an impact guy. Seven of seven from the field. We picked our poison tonight. They're a tremendous three-point shooting team. They average over 21 attempts a game, they make eight a game. Our whole game plan going in was to try to take that away from them. I thought for the most part we did that. I thought we could really crawl up into Wright and force some problems. I thought we did that early. Anytime we get a point guard to turnover six times, I'm going to feel pretty comfortable with that. But, again, it was their ability to score at the rim, our inability to score offensively. That made it a difficult challenge, having a tremendous senior. Jacob Parker, he led our conference in three-point shooting, he goes o-fer. That doesn't happen very often. But again, give a ton of credit to the University of Utah. They were tremendous.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open the floor now to questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Thomas, talk about their size inside. Y'all didn't get many offensive boards at all.
THOMAS WALKUP: Yeah, they're very big. Not only are they big, but they're disciplined. They were blocking out every play. That bothered us. Just that we didn't get as many extra opportunities as we would have liked to.

Q. Ty, could you talk about the way you guys really struggled, especially beyond the arc, to shoot the ball.
TY CHARLES: Well, we got the looks that we wanted. We just couldn't knock them in. That's it.

Q. Thomas, there at the end there was a two-possession sequence where you get layups. Looks like it fired you up. Take us through that moment, coming back from 12, y'all were able to pull closer there where it looked like you were about to take the lead.
THOMAS WALKUP: Yeah, that's one great thing about this team is we would never stop fighting, no matter what, no matter how many we're down, no matter who we're playing. I think that was proven there. It's, what, five minutes to go, down 12, we're still giving it everything we've got. So, you know, we got within four and really couldn't just get over that hump, and that hurt.

THE MODERATOR: Ty, Thomas, thank you very much. We'll open the floor for questions for Coach Underwood.

Q. I think there at the end the last nine minutes they only had one field goal, the rest were free throws. In that situation, would you feel like your team would have a chance, the outcome would have been different based off of that?
COACH UNDERWOOD: We played in such bad offensive flow all night, it shows how deceiving stats are because we had 51 field goal attempts, they have 38. Part of our game plan going in was to make sure -- they have a playbook, I don't know how thick it is, but it's a ton of sets. Our objective was to allow them not to run that. They're such a dangerous three-point shooting team. We wanted to force those drives. Late we had it in our game plan, Jakob has struggled at the line all year, we were going to foul him every time he touched it late. They did a good job of keeping it away from him. Again, it was part of our game plan. You would think that holding them to one field goal for the last nine minutes, we just couldn't get that basket to get over the hump. We got some really good looks.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

COACH UNDERWOOD: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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