Jan. 9, 2013
HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I'm really happy, and our guys are happy with the win. We knew that SMU would come out and try to slow the game down. We didn't know they would take all the air out of it like they did. They did a terrific job of controlling the tempo of the game early. They executed extremely well. We got tentative offensively and turned the ball over way too many times. As a result, they kept pecking away and built up a 12-point lead.
Jimmie Jones coming into the game changed the momentum. TaShawn Thomas got a run-out dunk, Danuel House had a run-out dunk, Jimmie Jones hit a three for us, and we were able to cut that lead down to four at half time.
You have to give them a lot of credit. They shot 62 percent, they executed and controlled the tempo of the game. I didn't think we could play much worse than we played in the first half. I was proud of our guys in the second half with the way they played. Our defense was better, we were much more aggressive, we did a good job under zone and my assistant coaches did a terrific job of making adjustments.
The players played extremely well. Danuel and Joesph Young had big scoring games, and we got to the free throw line well. SMU was thirteenth in the nation at the free throw line, so for us to get there and hit free throws like we did was good.
I knew in the last three minutes they would try to stretch the game out and foul. Our guys did a terrific job of handling the press, being strong with the ball and getting fouled. We were a little soft defensively. TaShawn didn't have as good a game, but he was happy as anyone in the locker room, which is what it's going to take. Tonight was a good win for us. We had a much better performance in the second half, and it was a good way to start the conference race."
On sophomore guard Joseph Young's shooting
"Joe played well. He plays with a lot of confidence, and he probably should have had a couple more. He's really shooting the ball well and our players are finding him. When a guy is shooting the ball well, two things are happening in my mind, first he's taking good shots and second his teammates are finding him at the right time. They are doing that and Joe is really responding. Since he has been shooting at such a high percentage at the three-point line the last three games, we knew they were going to run at him. His mid-range game was good. We have to get him going stronger to the basket where he's not hoping to get a foul."
On the defensive game plan
"We were much more aggressive the second half and really got after it. They lulled us into controlling the tempo and they were hitting shots. They made shots in the first half. I told our guys in practice, everybody can make shots, you have to make them uncomfortable and pressure them. We did a better job of that in man and zone. SMU's Brian Bernardi shot really well. We did a good job of know where he was and challenging him. The one disappointing thing was that we gave up too many offensive rebounds. We have to get the loose ball rebounds too. The thing I was proud of was having only three turnovers in the second half. We did a better job of protecting the ball tonight."
On freshman forward Danuel House's improvement
"He's a terrific talent. He's just getting better. Tonight, he only shot two three's, but he hit one of them. He also drove the ball well and was aggressive at it. He was playing the way he should play. He's also getting better at reading the defense."
On Guy V. Lewis being on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame ballot
"It's deserving. He should be on the ballot, and I certainly hope that he gets in the Hall of Fame. I'm certainly going to do everything I can from our end to have people look at the numbers. When you look at what he accomplished, the five Final Fours and Houston being one of three schools that have three of the top-50 NBA players. Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney both played under him. Phi Slama Jama is one of the greatest stories in all of college basketball. When you look at Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, some of the greatest NBA players to play, really developed into great players at the college level under Coach Lewis. I certainly hope he gets in."
HOUSTON FRESHMAN FORWARD Danuel House
On the difference of play in the second half
"It started on the defensive end. Our coaches told us that we needed to get stops. We worked collectively as a team, got stops and score in transition. The next thing you know the momentum was in our favor."
On the play of junior guard Jimmie Jones
"He is an excellent ballplayer. He gives a boost offensively and defensively. He goes hard everyday in practice. He brings his 110 percent each day, and that elevates the team play in practice and in games."
On if anything was special about his first conference game
"I played against Larry Brown. He is one of the greatest coaches in the league, and it was an honor to play against him."
On what helped the team in the second half
"In every basketball game whoever gets the 50-50 balls are the guys that are hustling. They give a team the energy they need to go on a run. Once you start diving on the floor for loose balls, you want to get stops for your team."
HOUSTON SENIOR FORWARD Leon Gibson
On getting rebounds early
"During practice all I try to do is be physical, rebound and make us better. It carried over from practice into tonight's game. Rebounding and tough defense is our coaches' main focus is for our team. I went out there tonight and did my best"
On what was said at halftime
"They told us we played our worst half possible, and that they played their best. Also that we needed to play defense, attack the rim better and come out strong."
On opening conference play with a win
"This win is huge for us. SMU is a good team. They play defense pretty well and were a scrappy team. For us to come out with a win is great. I know people talk about how our non-conference games weren't that good, but we showed tonight that we can actually play."
SMU HEAD COACH LARRY BROWN
On the difference in the game after halftime
"We got into foul trouble in the first half, but had really good control of the tempo. We had to shorten the game since our bench had to play. We should have been up 10 or 12, but they had about four steals and dunks. In the second half, they changed defenses, which got us to speed up a little bit. We did a great job of changing defenses, but we got a little bit too impatient, and they got control of the tempo."
On the play of Houston forwards TaShawn Thomas and Leon Gibson
"Thomas didn't scratch much in the first half, but he was still so active and trying so hard. He was terrific. They beat us to every loose ball. They converted second shots, and we hardly converted any. Gibson did a phenomenal job in the short time he was in."
On what led to the Cougars win
They're a well-coached and unselfish team. It was fun to watch and fun to compete against Coach Dickey. They deserved to win. They got to the line. I know we fouled late, but they were in the double-bonus so early in the second half. We never got in the double-bonus in the second half and that was huge. We had to find ways to score."
On what he would like to see his team improve on
"Hopefully we can take better shots. I'm anxious to see the film, but I thought we got 10-12 offensive rebounds that we didn't get anything off of. All we had to do was throw it back, especially when you're trying to control the clock. You have to give them a lot of credit. They're long, athletic, and well-coached. We also have to take care of the ball better. I don't know how many times we had numbers and didn't even get a shot. If we did, it was forced."
On the team's foul trouble
Cannen Cunningham is our most consistent player and he was in foul trouble. Ryan (Manuel) got in foul trouble, Nick (Russell) got in foul trouble, and Shawn Williams fouled out. We're not very deep. We will be, but we're not very deep now. They're athletic, long, and they have a good bench. They had a lot to do with us getting in foul trouble, turning the ball over, and us shooting 30 percent. The better team won."
On Guy V. Lewis being on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame ballot
"(Jokingly) Well if you go to five Final Fours you don't deserve it, I guess. I coached against him in 1983. That might have been my first college game at Kansas. It was against Phi Slama Jama. My mom said, "What are you scheduling that game for your first game." I've always admired him. He has always been a gentle, nice man that made our game better. I'm old school, and those coaches were old school. They were real coaches. All the guys that played for that man just had such wonderful things to say about him, and then you see their success. I'm pretty confident people will recognize that. (Jokingly) Was he on steroids? Those old coaches --Mr. (Henry) Iba, Coach Pete Newell, Bobby Knight, Eddie (Sutton), Coach (Dean) Smith--are what brought me back."