What Grant McCasland and the Red Raiders had to say after victory over BYU

BYU v Texas Tech
BYU v Texas Tech / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

Following the Texas Tech basketball team's 81-67 win over BYU in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals, head coach Grant McCasland and guards Kerwin Walton and Chance McMillian spoke to the media. Here's what they had to say.

"We knew facing a really talented offensive team in BYU that they'd put you in a lot of problems," McCasland said in his opening remarks, "and early in the game, our connected defense continued to improve and I thought we made it hard enough on them. Even though they did miss a few open ones, man, our rebounding was tremendous.

"They didn't have an offensive rebound. At our place, they got offensive rebounds. We were on our heels...They had UCF on their heels yesterday to start the game so we just made it an emphasis of how well could we defend how active could we be? We were matching that on the offensive end."

Tech did get off to a great start in this game opening up with leads of 9-0 and 12-2 on the way to a huge halftime lead. That took much of the vigor out of the Cougars and put pressure on BYU from the start instead of allowing them to get comfortable in the game, which was what they were able to be early in the game in Lubbock back in January when they took a 17-point first-half lead.

Kerwin Walton then had perhaps the quote of the day. The usually reserved senior guard noted that his team heard the remarks from BYU guard Trevin Knell who said before the game that his team "had this one circled for a while".

"We came in locked in," Walton said. "We heard they said a few things about us before the game so that turned us up a little bit. But it's the Big 12 Tournament, you know, and we're excited to be here. We know we can make a good run in this tournament."

When asked to further clarify what they head from BYU, Walton said, "We heard them say certain things like they were ready for us and they were excited to see us but I don't think they realized how ready we were for them."

After the game, to Knell's credit, he was asked about the loss and he gave all respect to the Red Raiders saying that they punched BYU "in the mouth".

McMillan was then asked about his 17-point performance off the bench.

"I feel like my role is just to come in and just bring a presence, " he said, "no matter if it is offense or defense. I don't try to come out and just get shots up. I just do whatever's needed to put us in a position to win."

Next, McCasland made an interesting point about the transfers that he added to the roster prior to his first season in charge.

"Chance played in the NCAA Tournament last year," he said. "All of the transfers played in the NCAA Tournament last year so the grit they came in with was like, 'We want to get back to the NCAA Tournament'."

That goal was accomplished weeks ago via the strong regular season that the Red Raiders put together meaning that Tech didn't have to make a run in the Big 12 Tournament to reach the Big Dance. However, the way that the Red Raiders played on Thursday makes it seem as if they intend on making noise in this tournament before they turn their focus to next week's madness.