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POST GAME QUOTES: Houston 65, Tulane 51

Jan. 24, 2017

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HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
Opening Statement
"One of the things you learn during a long basketball season is not to overreact when things go well and when they don't go well. We are two possessions away from being 16-5, but we are not. We have had two games where we had the ball and a chance to win it and we did not get it done.

When you have some holes in your boat, you have to decide which ones you want to fix because you can't fix everything. Every team has holes. Even the team that wins the national championship is probably going to lose five or six games. I use the analogy of Syracuse going to the Final Four last year and they lost 15 games. You are constantly trying to make your team better.

The thing that disappointed me most with our team was our attention to detail on defense and rebounding. Those two things are controllable. When they jump up and shoot and it rolls off their fingertips, you cannot control that. That is usually a mindset. Being in the right position on defense and fighting for rebounds, I was proud of our progress in those two areas tonight."

On attitude, energy and effort
"There are two things in basketball that you can never take for granted. I am coaching young men that are not only learning lessons in basketball, but also lessons in life. You can never come into an event like a basketball game and not give great energy and effort. When you don't, at some point you will be penalized. Some guys were not playing with the right energy or attitude. Attitude is the essence of life. If you do not have the right attitude, who are you? What is your purpose?

There are two things you can control in life and three things you can control in basketball. The two things you can control in life is your effort and attitude. In basketball it is those two things plus being the best teammate you can be. That is part of our culture. When I see those things going the wrong way then those will be teaching moments. The worst thing that can happen to us is not losing a basketball game. There are worst things in life than that. The worst thing that can happen to us is lose a basketball game and we are not helping these kids be the best people they can be. "

On matchup and starting lineup
"I have not thought about it. It is not something that I am concerned about. Kyle Meyer had his best game tonight. It is the best I have seen Galen Robinson, Jr. play in a while. The reason I put Armoni Brooks in the starting lineup is not because he deserved it. It was because I knew Wes VanBeck would help us better off the bench than Armoni would because of Wes's mentality. He has a maturity about him. He will come off the bench and not care. Armoni started the game and could not make a shot and Wes comes off the bench and makes two 3's that is the reason I did it."

On the players evolving
"Rob (Gray) is still evolving as a basketball player too. Sometimes he overthinks the game. Damyean Dotson went through a little bit of that last year. Damyean made unbelievable strides and has been a good basketball player. He threw some passes that my eyes were crossed down to my lungs. He hit Galen (Robinson) in the shin tonight with a pass, if that had been a baseball that would have been a loud pitch. He hit another where he tried to throw a slide arm slider.

Damyean has been a very high IQ basketball player. High IQ guys make good decisions, he has been very good at that. He goes two for nine for the three, but I want him to take those same nine shots next game. He can go nine for nine, he's that good of a shooter.

Our problem wasn't our offense. It's like baseball, you hit a ball out of the park, and a guy will jump over the fence and snatch it back. You got wide open shots and have good shooters shooting, that's great offense. They have a scoreboard up there for a reason, it keeps track of points. Even when we weren't scoring, we are getting great looks. Armoni (Brooks) and Damyean were getting great looks. Danrad Knowles had some good ones. We just weren't making them."

On the Suits and Sneakers game
"We are honoring little Lacy. The former Michigan player from a couple years ago, Adreian (Payne) became her good friend. He would go visit her in the hospital, she was seven years old. I can't remember the type of cancer that she had but she died. We always have this coaches' verses cancer where we bring awareness and honor people that have cancer and die from cancer. All of us are affected by it, directly or indirectly. If we don't have family members then we have friends, or we know somebody.

It's our way of bringing awareness. Hopefully in our lifetime, we find a cure for all forms of cancer. That's what tonight is all about. I saw some college games last night and that was the first thing I noticed was coaches wearing the sneakers. People are going to turn the TV on and be like, `why are those coaches wearing those sneakers?' The commentators will say because this is coaches' verses cancer awareness week. I'm proud to do it. I lost my mother in 2014 to cancer. For me, it hits home like a lot of people."

 

SENIOR GUARD Damyean Dotson
On start of the game
"Just starting the game slow, like coach said, with no energy and no effort. We have to come out every game with good energy, a good attitude and play for each other. We have to play defense hard and rebound, we can get off to a good start that way. It all starts with our attitude and how we approach the game."

On winning tonight
"It feels good to get a win after three loses in a row. We have to learn from those loses and make progress from now on."


 

 

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