HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
“Memphis’s size and athleticism really bothered us in a lot of ways tonight. They hurt us with their size and the way they got into gaps. Our kids battled. We went small to start the game and they started killing us on the offensive boards so we went big and got back control of the game.
We missed a dunk on the baseline when we needed that to be a three-point play and only got one point out of it. That was a tough swing there. Every time we went to the free-throw it seemed like we were 1-2.
Defensively, we never had control of what they were doing. They shot 42 percent, but from my standpoint it was like they shot 82 percent. Both teams battled.
It’s a game we could have easily won, just like Central Florida and Harvard. We have had a lot of games like that this year, but that’s the kind of team we are. We have a very small margin for error. If we go 5-19 from the three or shoot 39 percent, then it’s hard for us to win because we are not a good rebounding team. Hats off Tubby Smith and his kids. This was a good road win for them. They came in here and beat us. Congratulations to them.”
On having good looks
“Our guys kept cramping. I just don’t have a lot of bench. We have three guys that are all fives; Bertrand Nkali, Kyle Meyer, Danrad Knowles and Xavier Dupree. That’s half our roster and they are all big guys.
Morris Dunnigan was out sick today with the flu. Wes (VanBeck) did not have his best game. We needed to get to the free throw line a little bite more. We could have, but we did not so it’s nothing we can do about that.
Offensive rebounds; Danrad Knowles had four, but a guy like Damyean Dotson for our team, he has to get like four or five. We have to get the manufactured points. We don’t have a low post guy we can throw it to that can make plays. When you are a perimeter team and you don’t have an inside attack, it’s easier to push up on you and force you further from the goal. Danrad did a good job driving in there. He just did not finish a lot of them, but he got into the paint. Bottom line is we have to play better, that’s really what it comes down to. We can play better than that, but we did not.”
On the turnovers
“We had an open lane to the basket and Wes (VanBeck) threw it behind him. Not sure about that one.”
On KJ Lawson
“He was 1-11 in his last game. He had a good night, a very good night.”
On being aggressive offensively
We scored 20 points off turnovers, that’s important for us. We have to create more shots for each other, we have to do a better job about that. We have to be more aggressive off pick and rolls, and get downhill. We are a little bit too passive out front tonight. We have to turn the corner, get in the paint and create shots.”
On Danrad Knowles
“I felt like Danrad Knowles might have a good game tonight. He struggles against big sized guys. Like the kids from UCF, Connecticut and Central Florida. The kid from Central Florida weighed 310, all the kid from Connecticut are around 250 or 260, and South Florida guys weigh 240 or 250. Danrad can’t do that, but against light sized guys he has a chance.”