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Notes on Mike Boynton’s Post-Kansas Press Conference

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Mike Boynton’s post-Kansas presser on Saturday evening was awesome. I posted the video at the bottom, but here are a few notes.

• On Kansas’ Big 12 title winning streak: “I won’t be alive if it every happens again, that’s for sure.” Said Kansas should be the No. 1 team in the NCAA Tournament.

• “People always remember how you finish. I think they took that to heart and played in a way that will be remembered for a really, really long time.”

• Hasn’t been a smooth ride, “but these kids have been really resilient.” Said they’ve grown so much throughout the year.

• On if this was OSU’s best game of the year: “We were locked in. Our guys played with a determination today that we haven’t had consistently.”

• This is the good stuff: “When I was named the head coach, there were a lot people who said, ‘who? What are they doing in Stillwater and why would they decide to not care about basketball anymore?’ As rich as this program is, for those guys to block out that noise, for the parents of these kids to continue to have them believe in us means a lot.”

• Talked a lot about how this season, this game is not about him. “This is (my kids’) program. I’ve said that for a long time. I just happen to be the guy who has the title of head coach. I have two guys on my staff who could run this program. They’re very capable head coaches. This program belongs to our fans and our former players. The alumni who have degrees hanging on their wall wherever they work. They need to know they’re appreciated.”

• Reiterated that he told the team that OSU was playing a four-game season after the loss to TCU. OSU nearly went 4-0. Said he was concerned about his team last Sunday because he felt like they outplayed Texas in Austin but still took the loss.

“At that point the season’s over, the team’s done for probably the 8th or 9th time,” he noted tongue in cheek. He said their refocus was incredible after the UT loss.

• “I’ve always felt like we’re a NCAA Tournament team.” Doesn’t know if OSU will get in, although he knows winning more games will take care of it. “I think this team is capable of getting in the tournament and having success.”

• Ironically, the eye test could get OSU into the postseason … “I don’t know how the thought process works … everybody’s got a different way to think about things. But I think if you watch us play and certainly in the last two weeks, you’d say, ‘that team is pretty good.’ They showed that today against a team that will likely be a No. 1 seed.”

• Said his team feels mentally as good as they did at the start of the season, even if they’re a little worn down physically. Tries to not play guys in the 30s in terms of minutes throughout the year.

• Carroll is really emotional but “he doesn’t know how to show it. This has been an unbelievable year for him. He was asked to lead this team. He’s never been asked to lead a team or lead anything in his life. He accepted that. He took a lot of that on.” Said he didn’t complain about not starting at the beginning of the year.

• “I don’t think about (Tournament resumes). I know on Wednesday we have a game. Between now and Wednesday my job is to get my team ready to play. If we’re ready to play and play well, the resume stuff takes care of itself. If we’re not ready to play and don’t play well, the opposite happens.”

• OSU was “really aggressive” on both ends of the floor. Said you’re not going to be at team as good as KU by hoping the clock runs out. “You have to go win.” You have to make up in your mind that you’re not going to allow a team to come back from 13 points or whatever.

• Hasn’t reflected on the year yet. “It’s not about me. At some point I’ll think about what our staff and team was able to accomplish. Right now I just want to ride as much as I can off these seniors and give them the best opportunity to have the most success they can have. I’m really proud of being the coach at Oklahoma State. I’m happy that Kendall Smith decided to take a chance on me … ” He had to take a drink because he was getting choked up.

• His stuff on Mitchell Solomon was hilarious. “I wasn’t sure who that was out there when he shot-faked and went down the lane and dunked. I turned to the radio guys and asked them who was wearing No. 41. In life you get what you work for. He earned today’s performance.”

• Said he did a drill where he let the seniors score on him this week. Kendall Smith tried to dunk on him then sent him a photo of it later in the day. “I was concerned if I was going to get injured.”

• On how in the world he beat KU and Bill Self twice. “It means I got some tough guys. If you lined us up again and said you guys play again, we’d be underdogs. I have kids who are really competitive. I have kids who care about Oklahoma State basketball. You can’t try and beat them by yourself. Nobody did that.”

• “Tournament time is special. It’s a special time of year. Playing meaningful games in March is a big deal.” Not a big fan of “spring-breakers,” (on other teams he’s been a part of) — guys who can’t wait for the season to be over with.

• On how OSU would perform in the postseason: “I’ll take this team anywhere against anybody. I think we can beat anybody. If we’re in the right frame of mind and if we play with the type of focus we’re capable of, I don’t care where the game is, who it’s against, who the coach is, who the other team has on their roster. I believe in these guys that much.”

• “I think there are nine teams in this league that deserve an opportunity to show that they can have success in the tournament.”

• More on Mitch: “Knowing that I’m coming up on the last few games to coach that kid and what he’s about. It makes it hard. He is what college basketball is about, that kid right there. All the stories that everybody talks about every day, it’s insane that we can’t find a way to give young people hope. Be a good student, treat people right, work hard. It’s not about money, it’s not about investigations … it’s about Mitchell Solomons … this is supposed to be about the Mitchell Solomons of the world.”

• “It’s hard to argue when you watch that kid work every day. When he tells you to do something, it’s hard to not do it.”

• “Our team is a bunch of guys who nobody thinks is any good. (Solomon) may have the least natural ability (of the scholarship guys we have), and he’s the most important guy in the locker room every single day.”

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