Morgan Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan spoke with the conference media on Monday about his team's big victory over Oklahoma on Saturday and game against Baylor Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum. Here is a transcription.

On win over Oklahoma being possible turning point:

"We certainly hope we can play that way for the rest of the year, and understand what we did Saturday and how that helped us. We're well aware of it and hope we can sustain that."

On how he got Saturday's effort out of team:

"We've had a lot of young kids and as many as 11 scholarship kids that could play. We're down to seven and have one kid that needs surgery. Some different things have happened during the course of the year that the public would not necessarily know about. There are times that we've played well, but have needed to understand how to finish a game and win it.

"Right now we're playing mostly freshmen and sophomores, and Jared Homan is the only guy that really has a lot of experience. Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock are very good, but they've got one year of Big 12 play under their belt. The loss of Jake Sullivan, Jackson Vroman, and Marcus Jefferson have effected us.

"We're young and growing up. Hopefully we're at a point now where we know how hard we have to play, and if we get a lead we'll know a way to hold onto it."

On reasons for attacking Oklahoma inside:

"It wasn't so much that we had planned to attack them inside, but we haven't been making long shots. We need to get closer to the basket. I think the shot chart shows that the farthest shot we made was 12 feet.

"But I don't think we're a team of bad shooters. We don't have great shooters and a Jake Sullivan. I've seen one or two kids in a shooting slump. But John Neal is not making shots, Curtis is capable of making shots and isn't, Will Blalock shot 40 percent from the three last year and is not making shots. I'm telling them to take a lot of threes and work at it, but let's shoot them in the game if they're open. At some point they'll start going in."

On impressions of Baylor:

"I think their coach has done a terrific job. Aaron Bruce is a terrific player for a freshman. Tommy Swanson is very good and is formidable in the frontcourt to play against. He's one of the best in the league. Tim Bush is a very good shooters. They're well-coached and play together. They took Oklahoma down to the wire when they were there, and are capable of beating any team on a given night."

On difficulties of building in Big 12:

"It is hard to break into that top half. Those are well established programs that have well established traditions. As we build our program with players that fit our style, then we can fill up all four classes with those types of players, I think we'll be on our way.

"We've got some pretty good freshmen and sophomores. We're a ways away from filling up those classes, but hopefully we'll have a good recruiting year this year and get better. Hopefully that type of experience and maturity will lead us into the upper echelon and get us into the NCAA Tournament on a yearly basis."

On Aaron Bruce comparisons to Steve Nash:

"I think Aaron is very good. I think he's bigger than Steve Nash; I don't think Steve Nash was 6-3, 190 when he was in college. I've got all the respect in the world for Bruce. He doesn't play like a freshman, but more like a senior. He had some great coaches back in Australia and learned a lot over there. He's really impressive."


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