Houston Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati Postgame Quotes

Jan. 7, 2014

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Opening Statement
“Let me congratulate Mick (Cronin) and Cincinnati. We talked to the team about what their program and team was based on and it’s defense, rebounding and toughness. They brought it and they did a good job tonight.

“I was really disappointed in the way we started the game. I thought we got back on our heels. We stood around too much and gave up too many offensive rebounds. We did not play like we’re capable of playing. They had something to do with it. I don’t want to take anything away from them.

“Second half; we played but came up short. You give up 31 points on second chance and turnovers you help them. We helped them. We went 3-for-9 from the free throw line in the second half. We helped the cause. Very disappointing, but it’s a long conference season. We’re just disappointed that we let one get away at home.”

On the second half shooting drought by Houston
“We got some good looks, but we missed some free throws. We went through that situation against Rice in the second half where we would get stops on the other end, but we couldn’t extend the lead, and we couldn’t get closer, because we couldn’t make free throws.” 

On the importance of conference play
“In conference every possession is magnified. You never know which possession is going to make the difference in the game, so you have to play hard on every possession. You can’t take possessions off. You can’t have empty possessions. You have to get a good look at it. Our defense was better. They only got 21 points in the second half. We played harder.”

On the press from Cincinnati
“They got after us early in that press, but our guys are confident against the press. I just have to make sure I’ve got them ready in that situation, because we’re going to see a lot of that press when we go to Louisville. They’ll pick us up, maybe, on the outskirts of town before we get there.”

On getting the ball down low in the first half
“We didn’t do a good job getting the ball to the post in the first half. We had chances to feed the post, and we didn’t do that. You have to throw the ball inside. We had too many possessions first half where we were just throwing it around. We didn’t get it inside. We weren’t as tough as we needed to be. We have to feed the post better.”


On what happened in the first half
“They came with the press and I don’t think we were ready for that. We really didn’t hear anything about it and I don’t think Coach (Dickey) was too worried about it, but they just came with the press and we weren’t ready for it. It just put everybody back on their heels and we weren’t ready to play.”

On second half play
“In the second half, we kind of realized that we could handle the pressure and that there was nothing special and we could play with these guys. It kind of felt like in the first half we also thought that a couple of us were kind of scared because we knew that they were a big offensive rebounding team and they can go to the glass hard so some people were just a little afraid. In the second half we just came together and told each that we can actually compete with these guys.

On Cincinnati’s defensive focus on TaShawn
 “In the first half I kind of felt it a lot. When I touch the ball, I felt a lot of pressure on me and everything because in the first half I really didn’t touch it a lot. They kept fronting me in the post. My teammates really couldn’t get it to me, so as the game went on I just kept trying to move and help others on like if I caught it on the high post drive, kick it to Brandon (Morris) or kick it to Jherrod (Stiggers), the shooters, or try to find Chicken (Danrad Knowles) down low. So after they loosened up a little bit I was just trying to mostly help them. I could have been a little more aggressive on the offensive end, but I was being more passive.” 


On the start of the second half/hitting three pointers
“I got some open spots and my teammates found me and I was able to knock them down.”

On hitting back-to-back threes
“All we had to do was keep defending and running the offense.”


Opening Statement
“Tale of two halves. Fortunately we were able to get the win, but I give Houston a lot of credit. Coach (James) Dickey did a great job. His kids continued to compete to the final buzzer. They made it hard on us, and put a lot of game pressure on us.

“We missed a lot of free throws 6-for-14 in the second half which is uncharacteristic for us. We’re a 72 percent free throw shooting team. That was unfortunate, and that was a big factor in the game as well. Also Houston’s resiliency, and like I said I give them credit. Any win on the road in conference play is a good win.”

On Cincinnati's 10 steals
“The press was effect in the first half. We had 11 points off turnovers in the first half. We really couldn’t score in the second half, so it was hard to get the press on in the second half. It’s a big part of what we do.”

On what Houston did differently in the second half to keep them from scoring
“When we got up 20 their kids just kept us of the glass. That was a big factor for them. Foul trouble hurt us a little bit. We were playing some unusual lineups. We’re learning to play without Jermain Lawrence who got hurt in our last game. That kind of threw us off. Sean Kilpatrick was also 1-for-8 from three, and when that happens it can stagnate our offense.”

On what Houston did on offense in the second half
“Give them credit. They beat UConn. They’re 2-0 coming in. They made some good shots. Give Coach Dickey credit. They made some adjustments. They made some good plays with their cross-screens and stuff. They saw what we were doing trying to take (TaShawn) Thomas away, and they were finding the open man, and they made us pay from the three-point line. We changed to the zone and the zone really saved us.”

On if he sees this as a good win because it’s a conference road game
“Whenever you can win, and your guys learn a valuable lesson about not getting complacent; especially at home. A team is never out of it. They start hitting shots and get their crowd behind them. It’s a plus as a coach. You don’t want to go through it. You’d like your team to be a machine every game, and put teams away, but we’re dealing with a lot of things. This is our third game in six days with two road trips back-to-back, so maybe fatigue got us a bit, but I like to give the other teams credit. I’m a big believer in that. I think the world of Coach Dickey. He made a lot of good adjustments, and their kids kept playing so I’ll give them that.”

On what Houston brings to the conference
“I’ve been in leagues with Houston. I had a chance to have dinner with their Chancellor, and she’s a highly impressive person. Mack Rhoades is a big time athletic director. He does a great job. Obviously the conference is still finding itself. When I was an assistant in the 90’s, I coveted the Houston job. I never flew home with the team. I always stayed and recruited. I could draw you a map of Houston. I always coveted this job. I always thought it was a sleeping giant.”

On Houston forward TaShawn Thomas
“Great player. He got 10 points and nine rebounds, but we paid the price for over-helping on him in the second half. They found the open shooters. But, it’s pick your poison, because if you don’t help he’ll put the ball in the basket. He’s a big time player. He’s really talented. He’s impressive.”



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