March 16, 2003

OKLAHOMA
Head Coach Kelvin Sampson

On the OU scoring drought in the second half ...
"It's real simple; we didn't make shots. If the ball goes in we don't have this drought. Idon't know how much more open Jabhari Brown could give been or if DeAngelo wide open jumper from the three-point line goes in we don't have a drought, we just didn't make our shots. I didn't go in at halftime and say let's get conservative and let this team come back, I really am encouraging my team to make shots. You get up 22 points on a team like Missouri and there's a good chance you're not going to be up by 32 points, they're gonna make shots too. The game is full of peaks and valleys, in the first half I don't know if we're that good offensively but we're not that bad offensively like the second half. Hollis, in the second half, was about as dead as you could be and he's our leading scorer. Sometimes when you're not making your shots you give a team life in the second half and that Arthur Johnson kid gave us all kinds of problems. But the simple fact is we were not knocking down our shots."

On the strength of the Big 12...
"I hope we get as many teams as we can in this tournament, you'd like all the teams in your conference to have the opportunity to play. When you have three teams in the Top 10 all year that everybody in the league is a lot tougher, especially in the South. The teams in the South have to play each other twice and that makes you tougher. You have two teams in Texas and Oklahoma that have been in the Top 10 and you hope you can get a lot of teams from your league in."

Senior Guard Hollis Price
On third consecutive Big 12 title ...
"We just find a way to win every time. We play with our hearts and every time is more exciting, we knew they would make a run and we just had to hit some buckets, which we didn't, but we came up with a last minute stop. We lost our senior night (in Norman) so this feels good today. We didn't get a number 1 seed (after winning the 2002 Big 12 title) but we got to the Final Four as a 2 seed so it doesn't matter."

Sophomore Forward Johnnie Gilbert
On repeating as Big 12 champions ...
"These Big 12 championships are good because I get to play for my parents. Every year they come down and see me and I just want to do it and it's a blessing (to repeat)."

MISSOURI
Head Coach Quin Snyder

On the game ...
"The disparity between the two halves is attributable more to the game of basketball. There were some bank shots. Oklahoma was on in the first half. I didn't know it was five straight 3s (Oklahoma made to end the first half). It seemed like more than that. The biggest thing we talked about was everybody probably thought this game was over, and there was ample opportunity to rationalize at this point being beaten: making it to the championship game, being in the NCAA Tournament, they're making shots, we're not, we're tired. To be champions you have to refuse that logic, and we thought we needed to be tougher at the end of the shot clock."

On Ricky Clemons' missed 3-pointer in the last minute of the game ...
"We wanted to throw the ball in. We got the ball to AJ. What they were doing was doubling, and the kick-out to Ricky (Clemons) was a wide-open look. Ricky's crushed right now. That's a shot he hits all the time. I was OK with him making that look when you're playing like that."

Junior Guard/Forward Rickey Paulding
On your overall thoughts after this loss ...
"I think that this says a lot about our team's character. All of the games we have played, the opponents have come out and played great basketball. The most important thing is to always stick together and never ever count yourself out."

On how you fought to decrease the deficit ...
"I thought that we stuck together throughout the game. AJ and others really stepped up for us. I thought that we did a great job overcoming the deficit. We had a chance to pull it off in the end and we missed it. I wanted to get the ball close to the basket and it just came up short."

On playing four consecutive days ...
"It was a hard week for us, but it didn't impact us. We came in this week knowing and wanting to play four games in four days and that is what we did."

Junior Forward/Center Arthur Johnson
On your overall thoughts after this loss ...
"I thought we really stuck together and after being down by 20 or so at the half we never counted ourselves out. We didn't want to leave here on that note."

On Oklahoma's three-point shots going into halftime ...
Oklahoma played a great ball game and their offense kept us early from putting any points down. At the end of the half, the three's that they put up knocked us back a bit. Those were big plays in the second which made us need to come back and fight even harder."