Big 12 Pre-Tournament Teleconference Notes
With the Big 12 holding it's pre-tournament teleconference on Monday morning, CHN writer Jon Teitel took some notes of what a few coaches had to say about their teams and matchups. Below are Baylor's Scott Drew, Missouri's Frank Haith and Kansas State's Frank Martin.
Baylor's Scott Drew (3-seed, South Region)
On the role league played in their preparation: "The Big 12 tournament helps us prepare for the NCAA tournament. I joke that the new uniforms are helping us win because now we know who we are passing to!"
On the title game loss to Missouri: "Losing to Missouri in the title game hopefully will provide us with a little extra motivation."
Thoughts on South Dakota State: "Anyone in the NCAA tournament like South Dakota State is a great team, and winning 27 games is hard to do. They are an outstanding shooting team and fundamentally sound."
On Pierre Jackson's tournament experience at the JUCO level: "I'm sure Pierre Jackson's title experience will make the transition to the NCAA tournament easier, but I doubt that he had police escorts from the hotel to the arena!"
On the seeds for Missouri and Kansas: "I thought Kansas and Missouri both had cases to be a #1 seed, and I was disappointed that neither of them got it."
Missouri's Frank Haith (2-seed, West Region)
Opening thoughts: "We have just been trying to do a little scouting on Norfolk State. We are focused on where we are now and just trying to win in the tournament."
On his team's health: "We got nicked up a little bit in the Big 12 tournament, but playing on Friday instead of Thursday will help us out a lot. When you play three straight days with a 7-man rotation it takes a toll, but it is also very impressive. When you look at what CT did last year, I hope we are prepared for the task at hand."
On their seed/location: "We are fine with a #2 seed and are excited with where we are at. If we could have played closer to home in St. Louis that would have been great for us. When we had the Final Four run [at] Texas we got to play in San Antonio."
On his senior leaders: "We have great leadership in Kim English and Marcus Denmon. They love to play the game but they want to win. They listen when you tell them to do something."
On the impact of the three: "The three-point shot is a great equalizer if you are lacking in other areas, as it stretches you out a little bit."
Kansas State's Frank Martin (8-seed, East Region)
Opening thoughts: "Coach Huggins' credibility created the foundation, and we have just continued to build on top of it rather than knock anything down. You have to have people on board who are completely unselfish and fully invested in the team."
On his team's (and the league's) seeding: "I do not have any sour grapes about being in the 8/9 game. For the Big 12 to not get a #1 seed is a little frustrating. Our RPI was in the low 40s, but all our other numbers were in the 20s."
On his upperclassmen: "Jamar Samuels has proven over the past 31 games that he is a more consistent player than he was last year. We will definitely depend on our upperclassmen who have been in the tournament before."