“We’re all grieving. I mean, shock, bewilderment, anger, despair. It’s part of grieving. And I’ll talk about that later. But my concern, yes for the fans, but also for these young people. The joy , Tom, that they brought all of us in. You think of people saying this is one of the most fun teams to watch, one of my favorite teams here and all that kind of stuff and getting ends as it ended. I nasty, devastating. But that’s not going to take away the joy I had coaching these guys. The pleasure they brought to us and the staff. You think? at the Rupp Arena at the end of the season. You think, we ended up top 5. Think about it, and then finish like that and this team goes on and beats Murray and all that.
And again, Tom, you and I both know they’re not my most talented team but they were talented. Had more talented teams but it became a fan favourite. They fought like crazy, they never gave up a game, they were great teammates and you know what, they started the year like strangers. None of us knew. And they did that and set up the kind of year they had and then it ends that way. And again, it could have ended a game later or two games later, it wouldn’t have mattered. It was one of those teams.
And we all thought, I thought, if we could play like we were mid-January to late January, early February, like we were playing then, a month ago or whatever, we could do it. But, you know, it didn’t happen that way. And in this tournament, that’s the kind of thing that happens. When our team wins, I will always give them credit. When my team loses, I will take responsibility like I did here. It’s hard to talk about it. My teams haven’t, our teams have always performed well at the end of the year. So I’m like, you know, you have to go back and look at everything and evaluate everything like I do every year. I have to do it and I started that process a bit.”