Houston Men's Basketball vs. SMU Postgame Quotes

Jan. 26, 2014

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Opening Statement
“Just a very disappointing second half for us. Obviously, Nic (Moore) was outstanding for them, but we defended so well in the first half. We did a good job on the offensive end in the second half. We were not very good defensively. I don’t want to take anything away from them, but they got too many easy baskets. You just cant let one guy go off like that. He had a tremendous second half.

“I was proud of our guys. They really prepared well in a short time. They approached the game in a very positive way. This is a talented group that is getting some guys healthy. Danuel (House) did a good job today. TaShawn (Thomas) rebounded the ball better than he has been. He had a double-double. We’ve got to get everybody clicking on all cylinders. We have to defend for 40 minutes. Defense is something that you can play every day and every night. Offense is going to be a little inconsistent. That’s something that we have to go continue to impress, and it has to be in our formula for winning.”

On what he was looking for down the stretch
“More defensive stops and more rebounds. SMU really got to the bonus early by driving the ball. We didn’t get to the bonus until late in the game. They did a good job driving the ball and got it inside. I would have liked to have seen us get to the free-throw line more.”

On what led to the offense by SMU
“They didn’t do anything we hadn’t seen. We just went under some screens that we have to get over. We’ve got to have better awareness. We knew they were going to come out and be aggressive. That’s been the way they operate all year. They’ve been stronger in the second half.” 

On what was behind tinkering with the lineup
“We’re still trying to work some guys in. I wanted to try to take some pressure off of Danrad (Knowles). I wanted him to relax. He came in and played well. Tionne (Womack) really hadn’t been feeling well and missed a little of practice yesterday. Those guys didn’t do anything wrong, and it wasn’t a deal where we were trying to get matchups. There were two or three things that went into that decision making.”

On the atmosphere of the season high attendance
“We have some great fans. They’re just hungry to support our team, and they want to see us win at home. We need to win at home, so that we can continue to grow that. Our crowds have been growing. I appreciate our student body. We went out and spoke to some organizations.”

“We’ve got some talented players, and our record needs to be better. That falls on me. I just want our guys to continue to play hard. We have to play for 40 minutes. Fans mean a lot, because we’re about to embark on a tough stretch. Our next home game is going to be against Louisville; the defending National Championships. I believe that’s ‘Guy V. Lewis Night’ if I’m correct. We knew this was a tough stretch.”

On what they need to do to have better intensity in the second half
“One of the things we do once we make the adjustments is try to get the guys back out to where they get going. We want to make sure we get back with enough time. Whatever I’m doing one way or the other it has not been very good. We have to do a better job than that.”

On Larry Brown’s quick turnaround of the SMU program
“He’s done a great job. They had some guys sitting out. Nic (Moore) transferred in and they got big (Markus) Kennedy from Villanova. Those two guys certainly have made a difference for them. He’s an outstanding coach; obviously a hall of famer. I have a lot of respect for coach Brown. He’s really done a good job there.”



On the team’s defense in the second half
“We didn’t play defense like we did in the first half. Since we didn’t do that, they made us pay for it as any other good team in this league would. Our team intensity wasn’t high in the second half like it was in the first half. They made us pay on the defense end, because they took advantage of every opportunity they had.”

On SMU’s intensity in the second half
“They came out and punched us in the mouth in the second half, and we didn’t respond the right way.”



On the team’s second half defense
“In the second half, they were moving a lot faster than us. Their offense was moving faster than our defense. Any time that happens, then they’re going to get shots. (Nic) Moore did a great job getting open, and getting the shots that he did.” 



On what was said to the team at halftime
“I was really disappointed. Houston plays much better at home. They beat Connecticut and even had a chance to beat Cincinnati. I told our guys, in order to win we had to come out and play great ball. It started with execution, taking good shots and taking care of the ball, and we didn’t do any of that. I told them we haven’t accomplished anything yet until you start winning road games. So, I thought they responded great.”

On his satisfaction with the SMU’s finish
“No, we had a couple of miscommunications late. We went zone late and they scored five points off the zone with double penetration, and that’s why we gave up the uncontested outside shot. But we did make free throws. Ryan (Manuel) made two, Shawn (Williams) made two and (Nick) Russell made four. When you finish games you’ve got to make free throws, but there’s a lot of things defensively that we could have done better.”

On what he has instilled in SMU’s players that have helped turn the program around
“Oh, we have great players. We’ve got a great coaching staff, three freshmen that are going to be terrific and we’ve got three transfers that can play. When you’re in the American Athletic Conference, when you’re in Texas, you’ve got a chance; there are some terrific players and coaches here. So we’ve just got to get our share and coach them up.”

On Houston vs. SMU becoming an in-state rivalry
“I certainly hope so. I just don’t enjoy playing against their coach. He’s one of the classiest people in our profession. When I look at their roster, they’ve got some good young players coming back. They’ve got a transfer point guard that knows how to play and makes others around him better. With a 10-team league and we play twice, that’s going to develop some pretty great rivalries. It’s been pretty one sided for us, but I feel like we’ve come a long way.”



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