Men's Basketball Quotes vs. East Carolina

Jan. 21, 2012

Recap |  Final Stats

HEAD COACH James Dickey
Opening Statement

"We do have a press breaker, but we didn't execute it well. We played like we expected to play for the first 33 minutes. We competed, did everything we needed to do, then we got tentative against the press.

However, we got defensive rebounds, and we made important free throws. What we said before the jump was let's go out there and have some fun.

Two things we need to get better on, not turn the ball over, and handle the press better."

On the key to tonight's game
"Energy. We were positive, and the guys played with confidence. The theme for tonight was controlling the things you can control. That's your attitude and how hard you play."

On the better team effort tonight
"I haven't seen this much of an effort since the Tulsa game. This was the best we have competed since then."

On what it meant to have Darian Thibodeaux come back in
"I asked him at halftime if he was hurt and if he was going to play or not. He said `I'm playing'. I was proud of him."

On Jimmie Jones
"He works hard every day in practice, and makes us better. He gave us a spark tonight. He is smart, knows how to play and makes everybody else around him better."

On Jones' 1-on-1 layup
"It did not surprise me at all. It was more surprising that he missed a free throw and jump shot. He makes shots and plays like that every day in practice. His defensive awareness tonight was terrific."

On how Jones is adjusting to Division I basketball
"His decision making is just going to get better and better. In practice, he rarely makes those turnovers. That will come with game experience. He gets a lot more reps now, and probably more than anybody else because he practices both ways."

On Jones' effect on the team and control of the offense
"He and J. J. made us better. That was the best point guard play we've had since Arkansas. All they were trying to do was make somebody else look better and give them the better shot."

On focusing and finishing strong

"We had to focus a lot on the pressure at the end. We've been going over but didn't execute it very well. Coach Dickey called those back-to-back timeouts, and then we knew we needed to fight back."


On how they did offensively
"We shared the ball, made shots and helped each other get shots."

On Darian Thibodeaux coming back into the game after the eye injury
"He showed me he had heart and that he was going to fight through it. He could have sat out, but he chose to come back and fight with us."

On the team being aggressive
"I see it, but we just need to be it every day and every night we play."

On being successful in the future
"We need to prepare better."

On his huge dunk

"It made me feel like we sealed the game. It was a huge sigh of relief."

On rebounding
"Coach (Daniyal) Robinson always tells us to go to the boards, and we just went to the boards and had a big game."

On Darian Thibodeaux coming back into the game after the eye injury
"He showed me he has a lot of heart. He wasn't going to give up."

On the 24-point lead diminishing
"We got too happy and comfortable with the lead. ECU wasn't ready to give up."

SENIOR GUARD Darian Thibodeaux
On what happened the last few minutes of the game

"We just didn't execute. We got rattled by the press."

On getting the win tonight
"It was big. This game sets us up for the next. We have UTEP coming up, and this game put us back on a winning streak."

On Leon Gibson
"It was good to have him out there."

On his injured eye
"I have what looks like a check mark under my eye. He didn't get my pupil, but my eye hurts and keeps watering. I knew I had to play this game."

On how he injured his eye
"When I took the shot, he kind of tipped it and got my eye."

On Jimmie Jones
"He made some great plays on defense and gave the rest of us a spark."

On the difference between his first time out and now

"It's always nerve wracking when you play in your first Division I basketball game, but Coach Dickey had a lot of confidence in me and put me in. He told me to stay humble and play the game."

On the mentality coming into the night
"When I got in I just wanted to keep the tempo the same as when J. J. was in"

On having the crowds support
"It felt great. Not everyone gets the opportunity, and I'm just glad I got mine."

On adjusting to Division I basketball
"It's a big jump and the pace is a lot faster."

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