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POST GAME QUOTES: Cincinnati 67, Houston 58

Jan. 7, 2017

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HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
Opening Statement
"It seems like we were playing uphill all night. They shot the ball extremely well, especially in key possessions. Clark (Gary) made the two 3's based on the scouting report, he is shooting 15% on the year from the three. Washington (Kyle) really hurt us. Cincinnati is a good team. No shame in losing to them.

We have to get a third scorer. Our plan was to have Devin (Davis) or Damyean Dotson. You have to have three guys who can make baskets. But right now that's a struggle for us, getting somebody else to become consistent that we can count on to be that third scorer.

For as poorly as we shot the ball, the fact that it was a 57-50 game it was still right there. It was five-point game at the half, we could just never make a key basket tonight at the right time, and they did. That's the way basketball is. The time is as simple as a make or miss game. I didn't think we did a good enough job getting second shots. As for last year guys like Devonta Pollard or LeRon Barnes were really good, we aren't doing that as consistent.

Bertrand (Nkali) is the only guy that got on the board tonight. Just searching for somebody to make a shot, we went small, probably more than I would have liked to. We have to make shots. We have to get the ball moving a little but more.

I like their fight tonight. The one team that makes shots at critical times, very similar to the game when we played them last year. We were the ones making the baskets when we needed to. They were the ones that couldn't make the baskets. Again, I'm very proud of our team. Kudos to Cincinnati. There is a reason they are No. 22 in the nation."

On the struggles of Rob Gray after having the flu
"Obviously, he hasn't done anything since last Saturday. Yesterday he practiced a little. Tonight, John (Houston) cleared him. I didn't know when I woke up this morning how much we were going to be able to use him, I knew he would be able to play. He said use him however much you want he's fine. With the opportunity that tonight was, you would wish it flowed better. We got beat by a good team today."

On the production from the big men
"Probably what you think or you wouldn't have asked it. The guy that probably could help us is not playing now. I know Bertrand Nkali was fine. We signed Bert in May 2014, he's doing pretty good. We'd like to get more out of Danrad Knowles and Kyle (Meyer).

There's going to be games where (Damyean) Dotson and Rob (Gray) don't make shots. Dotson had a lot of good looks tonight that he normally makes. He's shooting 45 percent from the three, he just missed them tonight. Rob was 9 for 22. We've got to stay in our `drive and get' game a little longer. I liked Galen (Robinson Jr.)'s pace tonight. We tried to play as fast as we could and he beat them down the court a couple of times. A couple times we had them beat and they converged on him; we had Wes (VanBeck) in corner, and we've got to make that pass for our team. They can throw it inside to their post guys, and we don't have that luxury. We have to depend more on our pace and 3-point shooting."

On Devin Davis injury
"It is plantar fasciitis. It is not a sprained ankle to where you are out 7 to 10 days or shorter. Plantar fasciitis has a lot to do with the metabolism of that person. Some guys come back quicker than others. I know Devin Davis wanted to get back. I do leave that up to the kid and the trainer. We have a great trainer in John Houston. Before we played at Connecticut last week Devin was out of the boot and he was to practice on that trip. We flew into Tampa that day and he practiced that night, other than his cardio he looked okay. I said `let's throw him out there for about 7 to 10 minutes' and he played 9:40 and that's when he got hurt. Plantar fasciitis is a knot in bottom of foot. It is sore. It is not a bone; it is more of a mass."

On a third scorer
"Think about how we beat Rhode Island. Rhode Island beat Cincinnati. How did we beat Rhode Island? We had a third scorer. We needed that third guy tonight. That third scorer in that game had zero points tonight.

Wes VanBeck is going to find a way to get 10, he will figure it out. That's a great fourth guy, he can't be your third guy. He has to be your fourth or fifth, let's be honest here. Ideally it would be Devin Davis being the third guy, Danrad Knowles the fourth, and then it's great if you have a guy like Wes VanBeck as the fifth and now you have a good team. Without Devin Davis, we have to have a third guy and it cannot be Wes VanBeck. That's' where we have to keep hitting the rock and figure it out."


 

 

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