Big 12 Tournament: Texas Post Game Presser

Full transcript of Texas head coach Rick Barnes and athletes Isaiah Taylor and Demarcus Holland from the post-game press conference, courtesy of ASAP Sports...

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Rick Barnes of Texas and call on you for your thoughts on tonight's game.

COACH BARNES: Hate it for our guys, because I really thought they played a hard game and obviously when the game is over there are things that you think, I could have helped them a little bit more.

But I really thought there were four crucial plays that hurt us, the two times out in the open court where we should have pulled the ball out and one time we didn't, it came off our chest. The other time we fouled and they went down and scored. And then not getting in, the 10-second violation, those four plays.

I can understand, you like to hold the ball there for that last shot if you could, but I could understand Javan shooting it with the rhythm he was into. Give them credit, one possession, I think they ran down three balls.

We just didn't finish it. Again, I'm proud of my guys. I think that if you're talking about looking at our team from an eyeball test in this atmosphere today, which obviously was like a home game for Iowa State, and the poise our guys played with and the way we did some things, I'm really proud of my team.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach?

Q. Seemed like the last seven, eight minutes the offense really slowed down and that seemed to be intentional, where you weren't trying to push it to the last few seconds of the shot clock. Can you explain that?

COACH BARNES: A lot of it was Isaiah, he played his heart out and he was out there the whole time. We were putting a lot on him and I really had confidence in him because I felt like he really had good command of where he was and what he was doing.

So the fact is, you know, they play such a packed defense in there, and we could run, could have kept running motion and those-type things, but I didn't want to just make him run unnecessary motion right there. But you go back to the chances where we did run, those two decisions in the open court, those were not two good decisions right there.

Again, they're an outstanding team and we're an outstanding team and I just hate it for our guys, because, again, it got down to where, again, we made some mental mistakes. Again, the two plays at the end where Connor turned it over throwing it in and Saiah's 10-second call and I should have called time-out but I thought he was going to bring it across.

Those are two big plays obviously, and I understand Javan shooting it when he did because of the rhythm, if it goes in it's a whole different situation. But it didn't and they came down and made a shot.

Q. For Isaiah, when they went to the full-court press, I don't know if that caught you guys off guard but that triggered everything for them. Could you talk about that and just the 10-second call, what happened on that play?

Isaiah Taylor: When they went to the press, obviously we're going to play a slower game. You can't just necessarily fast break a team that presses, you have to take it easy and make smart decisions.

On that 10-second call, that's me as a point guard, that's nobody else's fault. That's my fault. I've got to know the clock situation of the game and I have to get it past half-court.

Q. Demarcus, it looked like you were playing pretty good defense on that last play. Can you go through what you saw and the shot he hit on you?

Demarcus Holland: Well, he was trying to get ahead of steam. Obviously, trying to clear it out for him to get a shot and the other guys try to rebound it. I tried as hard as I could to stop him from getting to the basket. He made a great move, I tried to contest it, and he made the shot.

Q. For both you guys, how big of an opportunity did you feel like slipped through your hands tonight?

ISAIAH TAYLOR: We played our hearts out. I just want to commend all my teammates, my coaches. Our coaching staff put us in a great position to win a game, and unfortunately we couldn't pull it out.

What happens from here on out is not our decision, but if you guys don't -- it's not our decision to say if we make the NCAA Tournament or not, but I think based on our effort tonight and our past games I think we would be a good team to compete for a spot.

DEMARCUS HOLLAND: Can you ask the question again?

Q. What do you think about the opportunity and where you guys are going forward now?

DEMARCUS HOLLAND: Going forward, I mean, we can't really control anything right now. We are who we are right now. We dropped one today that would have helped us out a lot. I'm confident whatever tournament we go to and if we go to the Big Dance, that we will be a great team that can compete with anybody in the country. I think our whole team believed that and our whole coaching staff believed that.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, we will let you return to the locker room. Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Rick, in analyzing the last four minutes, did you notice anything with your team once they went to the press to try to shake you guys up, did you sense any stress or anything?

COACH BARNES: No, I didn't. And the press didn't catch us off guard. We had our press offense on. Isaiah got down the floor one time and obviously got fouled. It shouldn't have hurt us, the 10-second call, I thought he saw it. He was right down the middle. Again, I've looked at myself, hindsight, yeah, I could call time-out there, but I thought he was going to bring it, because he had been doing that.

The turnover, we just threw it away. That one, we can't do and you go back to the two open court plays, those are big plays. We want to be aggressive, but if you go in there you gotta get something. And like I said, on one of them, Cam fouled and they went down and made 2 with the clock stopped.

But, again, I thought our composure, again, I didn't think we stressed. We kept talking about, we gotta win the game, we can't just play it out. That's how fine of a line it is. It really is. You go back -- I think one play we even had the ball and we lost it and I think we came up with a rebound -- I got blocked on that one, but I thought we had the ball and they came out with it.

But there were a lot of good things. I really love my team, the poise and the way we win. I thought the question was a great question about the pace. And it was Isaiah because we had been riding him pretty hard. I thought he did a good job. Again, they, as much as anybody, forced a lower possession game because we weren't going to settle early. I thought at the start of the game even though we hit some threes, we told our guys we can't fall in love with that, early in the clock. We can get those shots any time we want at the end. So we were probing and doing some things and we felt like we could drive from the top. Hard to drive from the side because of the way they play defense, but, again, I am proud of our guys.

I'm disappointed. Today if you're watching this game you look at Texas and think, wow, in some ways, where has that been? We know, we struggled throughout the year with rhythm and having everybody.

You look at -- again, in this environment I thought we were composed and played, I think our team is -- I love the way we are playing right now. And, again, it's tough, losing the way we did, because just the turnovers in the last four minutes really.

Q. Rick, after Connor grabbed that last rebound of Isaiah's shot, did you have a time-out to call there? And if you didn't, did you think about just having them wait for one shot?

COACH BARNES: We were hoping to go with one shot right there. I actually told the referee, if we score, we want a time-out. We got the long rebound and they were denying Isaiah the ball and, again, Javan -- obviously you want last shot there, but if it goes in, you're like -- and that's why I said about poise and our guys' mind-set. There was no hesitation from that end, it's just that we made a few careless plays at the wrong time. We could, like I said -- yeah, we had a time-out left. We were going to use it if we made it to set our defense.

But, again, the last shot is one thing, it's what happened up to that. It goes back to the two open court plays, the 10-second call, Connor's turnover and that's not just his fault, it's everybody moving to get it. You got to give them credit, they ran down a couple of rebounds and made some shots.

Q. Rick, you talked about the eyeball test and how people might look at this game. What are you going to be doing between now and Sunday? What's your emotions for the next couple of days?

COACH BARNES: Again, I -- what I think and I've said it all along, if we've done what we should do and I look at -- again, I haven't looked at any of the bracketology or any of that, I don't know where Iowa State is expected to be seeded, 3 seed. If they're a 3 seed, the way we played today obviously and the way we played really the last two and a half weeks, someone had told me that Iowa could be a 6 seed.

Early in the year when we had everybody before Isaiah got hurt, we won that game by 15 on a neutral court. There is a lot of things we could talk about like that, but I do have confidence in the committee that I think they do their work. I'm not one for politicking, because, one, I don't think it matters, but I do know that I don't think there is any team that would want to play us by just the way we have played the last couple of weeks.

Like I said, you go back to, throughout the regular season, you could say if this or if that, but you can't play that game. Like Demarcus said, we are who we are right now. And I hurt for our guys because they felt like they could win this tournament, but to do it, you got to do it for 40 minutes and that was a lesson that we didn't finish it.

We're good enough to play and beat anybody in the country and I believe that.

Full transcript courtesy ASAP Sports.


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