AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since former Texas men’s basketball head coach Chris Beard was arrested in mid-December, and then subsequently fired Jan. 5, Longhorns players spoke with the media Monday about how they dealt with the situation.

When Beard was arrested around 4 a.m. Dec. 12, the Longhorns had a game against Rice that night, and senior guard Marcus Carr said the team found out about it, “just like everybody else.”

“There was an initial shock and surprise — just confusion and not knowing what was going on,” Carr said. “We had a game to play that day … and we’ve always talked about controlling what you can control … after we got over the initial shock, we banded together and said we’re the same team with the same goals and nothing was going to change.”

While Beard remained suspended without pay from the team and before he was fired, Carr had one of the best games in program history, scoring 41 points against Texas A&M-Commerce on Dec. 27. It was the first time a Longhorn scored more than 40 points since Reggie Freeman did it in 1996, and Carr tied a school record with 10 three-pointers.

Carr transferred to Texas after his junior year at Minnesota before last season and has been with the Longhorns since Beard took over the program from Shaka Smart. Carr said the team was used to Beard’s “presence and coaching style,” but he called the entire staff “active,” meaning all the coaches took a direct approach and were involved in practices.

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“We didn’t have a staff where it was just Coach Beard coaching and everybody else was in the background,” Carr said. “It has been a pretty comfortable transition and we don’t really have to get used to anything. All the coaches are still doing their jobs and coaching the same way they have.”

Brock Cunningham, a senior from Austin who has been in the program for four years, said the background and experience of all the assistant coaches have helped make everything on the court easier to deal with.

“Every assistant coach we have was a head coach,” he said. “They know how this goes.”

He also said the veteran players have been able to lead by example and show the younger players how to handle the situation.

Senior forward Timmy Allen felt the same way, saying it was the older players’ job to make sure the younger players stayed focused on what they had to do.

“The older guys had to look out for the younger guys and spread whatever kind of leadership and voice we could,” Allen said.

Since Beard’s arrest, the Longhorns are 6-1 under now-interim head coach Rodney Terry. Leading up to Beard being fired, Terry had said he wasn’t sure what the future held for him taking over as acting head coach. Now he knows that he’ll take the reins for the rest of the season, and since he came to the program with Beard as an associate head coach, there’s not much of a difference for him.

“The agreement we came to was I’d coach the defense and he’d coach the offense, but we’d both be head coaches,” Terry said, “and we did that for the better part of our time here together.”

With 10 years of head coaching experience at Fresno State and UTEP, plus a life that has been dedicated to basketball, he’s seen and dealt with quite a bit. He said that things happen in life that you aren’t prepared for, and it’s about “moving forward.”

“When you’re going through adversity, you have to try to get better through it. You can’t feel sorry for yourself,” Terry said. “We talk all the time about living where your feet are. Living in the moment and enjoying this day. Tomorrow is never promised to you, so enjoy this day.”

Terry said this part of the season, specifically, Big 12 play, is “the grind,” and is his favorite part of the season.

“Everybody in our league is very familiar with one another,” he said. “In December, it’s about the details. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, and whoever embraces the grind and tries to get better has to enjoy the ride.”

Terry said “the sky is the limit,” for the team and he’s focused on the positive aspects of the season ahead.

“I always have a positive outlook on life and I don’t like negative energy,” Terry said. “I love working with this group. It’s a great group of young men.”