#8 TCU 62, #9 New Mexico 54
March 7, 2007
Coach, if you want to begin with some opening comments on the game.
COACH DOUGHERTY: Well, besides, again, it's just fun coaching this group, I was glad to finally play a game out here in Thomas & Mack without getting about 20 shots blocked at the rim.
You know, the game itself I think was pretty typical of tournament type play. I think we were a little anxious early, playing hard, not necessarily playing very well, but playing hard, got down.
Then the kids, again, found a lot of just toughness to battle back and stay with a plan and eventually get back into the game and hold off a pretty feisty New Mexico team.
THE MODERATOR: Let's open it up for questions directed to the student athletes.
Q. Brent, what was your mindset in the first half when you went through that seven minute drought, fell behind 24 11? How did you keep it from slipping away?
Brent Hackett: We knew we had to get stops, keep making shots. We just had to keep defending. That was one of our main goals coming into the game.
They got hot for a minute, but we sustained it in, got a victory.
Q. Brent and Kevin, you have gone through stretches like that this season where a team has gone on a 22 3 run, and you guys haven't been able to come back. What was different this time? Is that a carryover from the confidence you gained recently?
Kevin Langford: Yeah, I think it was a carryover from these last four, five games we played in conference. The difference was that we kept defending even though we went on a score drought that seven minute span. Usually once our offense goes, sometimes our defense will go and we'll get down even more.
But we just battled back. We got it into single digits before the half. Then the second half, we came out and did what we try to do, you know, tried to get that W.
Q. Brent, I watched you warm up. You were shooting pretty good. Did you feel it from the outside tonight?
Brent Hackett: Yeah, I just knew I had to warm up the shoulder a little bit. It was a little tight at the beginning. I was just really trying to concentrate on making shots in pregame, whatever. Even when we came up early to shoot, Coach D was telling us to attack every shot, and that's what I was trying to do pregame and warmups.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, we'll let you two go.
Brent Hackett: Thank you.
Kevin Langford: Appreciate it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Dougherty.
Q. Do you want to brag on Brent a little bit after the shoulder deal he had Saturday, the way he shot the ball tonight?
COACH DOUGHERTY: If I can wait till he gets out of here, I'll brag on him. He's never heard me do that before (smiling).
You know, as you know, you watch us all the time, he has gone through massive shoulder surgeries on both of them. We've been pretty fortunate for most of the year. It's been sore, but it has never come out till last Saturday at San Diego State on a play. It totally came out.
As you know, that causes a great deal of pain. Normally, last year I became pretty expert on the deal, I guess, because it takes about 36 hours for it to stop throbbing when it comes out. It came out 12 times last year before it was surgically repaired this spring.
Obviously he's in still a very uncomfortable state at game time today. But 24 points later you sure couldn't tell. He's just a tough kid that continues to fight through a lot of pain sometimes. One of these days he'll play a healthy game and we'll all find out how good he might be.
Q. What did you tell your team at halftime? It seemed like you clamped down on defense. Held them down to 24% shooting.
COACH DOUGHERTY: To be honest with you, they are very, very difficult for us to guard. They do so many things with personnel that spreads you all over the floor. We've got some kids, quite frankly, that are playing on one leg at times. I think out of necessity we went to it's kind of like a weird defense for us because it's kind of half man and half zone.
But the kids did a great job today of communicating, sitting down, guarding the ball, keeping it out of the lane.
Now, I think, again, we were fortunate and got a couple misses, as we have in some of the other games when we've had to do the same thing. I just like what our guys are doing in terms of their resiliency defensively. I'm not a zone guy. I don't really like it. But it's been good to us lately.
Q. Your upcoming opponent, BYU. A lot of conference honors. You're a team coming off of this win, how will you prepare for playing BYU the third time?
COACH DOUGHERTY: BYU, first of all, is the winner of our conference, the No. 1 seed in the tournament. We're going to have to prepare for them just like anyone else would because they're very, very good.
This league this year was a very strong league for basketball. A lot of good teams. For them to win it, you don't need to say a whole lot more about that.
We will obviously get back to the hotel, get the kids settled down, and go to work on the things we need to do to compete with BYU on Thursday.
I think they're just a very complete basketball team, so we'll have to pull out anything that we have to try and stay in that game.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach.
COACH DOUGHERTY: Thanks a lot.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by University of New Mexico head coach Ritchie McKay, student athletes J.R. Giddens and Daniel Faris.
Coach, if you would begin with some general comments on the game.
COACH McKAY: I thought we played well in the first half, especially the first 15 minutes or so I thought we defended really well. Then had a little trouble scoring to finish the half.
They got a couple easy baskets to get it to eight. We had a drought at the beginning of the half. Never got back in sync. We went up 34 40, just had trouble sustaining it offensively.
We didn't obviously shoot the ball very well, stopped attacking the paint. Those usually lead to a lack of success.
THE MODERATOR: Questions now directed to the student athletes.
Q. J.R., you guys looked like you came out flat in the second half. Would that be a good way to describe that? If so, what do you think the difference was between that and the first half?
J.R. GIDDENS: Heart. That's all.
Q. Didn't have the same heart in the second half?
J.R. GIDDENS: Yeah, we didn't have that fight.
Q. Daniel, you guys started out this season so strong with five straight wins. Now here we are. In your mind, what happened? What went wrong?
DANIEL FARIS: I don't really know. I couldn't put my finger on one thing to say like what turned the season wrong.
You know, think I we still have the same talent we had when we were 5-0. We just had to get over that hump and we never could.
J.R. GIDDENS: Or 11-2.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, we'll let you two go. Thank you. Questions for Coach McKay.
Q. The zone that they went into, it seemed like it would play into your hands in the second half, but it didn't. Do you think you rushed some shots? What happened with that?
COACH McKAY: I thought we stopped attacking the paint. When teams go zone, you can't settle for threes. Tried to encourage them to go inside. We somehow didn't get it, especially didn't get it with any consistency.
Q. Little bittersweet ending for you here tonight. Obviously not what you wanted, I'm sure.
COACH McKAY: No, I don't like to lose. Obviously, I would have liked to continue.
But I've known my fate for a while in terms of my tenure at the University of New Mexico. I'm thankful for the opportunity the university gave me. I'm very hopeful that they continue to prosper. I'm sure their leadership will hire someone that can restore UNM's great tradition.
I'm just thankful for my five years and look forward to what God has for the future for myself and my family and my staff.
Q. You were 5 0, riding high. In your mind, what happened?
COACH McKAY: Well, I think when you're a team, it's not just about individuals. It's got to be the same guys rowing in the same direction at the same time. I think, for whatever reason, when adversity struck, we struggled to row in the same direction collectively.
Q. Sum up what you're feeling right now. How disappointing is this loss on what has to be one of the most disappointing seasons you've ever been involved in.
COACH McKAY: Yeah, no one wants to be 15-17 because it's below .500. I told you guys a couple weeks ago my life just isn't based on how many games I win. I'm hopeful that my staff and I had a great impact on our young people. I think we have.
Maybe others would choose to, you know, go their separate ways. You know, again, I've known for a while that I'm not going to be the coach here next year, so eventually this was going to end and we were going to have a press conference.
I would have hoped it would have been at a different time with more people out there, but it's not. That's the reality.
But tomorrow is a new day. I'm going to live tomorrow's 24 to the fullest.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much, coach.
COACH McKAY: Thank you.