Baylor coach Scott Drew – “One thing about Jared Butler, it seems like the bigger the moment, the better he plays. We have quite a few players who don’t shy away from big moments, but Jared really is able to raise his level down the stretch of games and in big situations. I was equally as proud that he hit shots but then he didn’t force shots and made the right play. It’s a credit to his growth as a young player.” (On committing only five turnovers): “I knew we could be a good ballhandling team. At the beginning of the year we were having more turnovers than we’d like, and I’ve been waiting for it to happen. I’m not going to say we’re going to have five turnovers every game, but on the third game in a tournament to have five turnovers against a quality opponent like Villanova is a tribute to how locked in our guys were. Each game is a different challenge and you have to play better, or you don’t advance. Our depth, the chemistry and character – if teams don’t really like one another, but the time in you’re in that fourth day you’re not going to play well because ready to get away from each other. In years where we’ve won tournaments, for the most part they’ve propelled you. This is a quality. Coming in we knew if we lost, it’s not a bad loss and if we win, it’s a quality win. Really for both teams, you love playing in games like this.
Baylor guard Jared Butler – “I was missing a lot of shots I could make and a lot of layups and I was kind of struggling with their length a little bit but the last five minutes of the game are the most important so I locked in and said ‘I really want to win this game.’ It’s a game of runs for sure and they’re a great team and they’re going to keep fighting. Usually the team that makes the run in the last five minutes wins. It was high-level basketball. I was even shocked that the first media (timeout) was so long. After we came out, I was like ‘Wow, this is really good, this is where I want to be.’ There’s much respect for Villanova but we pride ourselves on ‘toughest team wins.’ We say it in the locker room, we write it on the board, it’s one of the identities we want to be.”
Baylor forward Tristan Clark – “We’re all competitive guys and at the end of the day we all want to win so we did whatever it took to win. Playing a team as well-respected as Villanova, we knew we had to bring our ‘A’ game the whole game. It was amazing. Shots were falling and we were hyped. It means a lot. We want to win everything; we want to go to the Final Four and win the Final Four of everything. This the first step for us. We struggled early, I’m still trying to get my rhythm back, but our guards are playing amazing and I’m just feeding off of them.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright – “Credit goes to Baylor. They were really tough. Their guards were outstanding. It wasn’t just the way they shot the ball. They made great decisions, they read our defenses and made adjustments. And then defensively they really guarded us and got up into us. They’re really physical, and we couldn’t run anything. Collin tried to single-handedly get us into anything. So, give credit to them. I don’t think we were that bad, they were just really good, especially at the end.”
Villanova guard Collin Gillespie – “They just made a couple more plays that we did down the stretch. Their guards hit tough shots, and then we weren’t really able to get into anything for a few possessions. They just did a good job pressuring us and taking us out of what we wanted to do.”