HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
“We were more efficient offensively tonight. The ball moved, we played to the third side and executed well.
Those same (Temple) players beat Florida State. That same team beat West Virginia and that same team is coming off a win against Memphis. That’s a good team and you can tell they are a very talented team. Obi Enechionyia, Shizz Alston Jr., and Daniel Dingle have been around and they know how to play, especially Dingle and Enechionyia. They are a good team and hard to guard.
We really worked hard this week and it was good to have Devin (Davis) back. We haven’t had him since December 6th and I don’t count South Florida because we were up 18 point before he got in the game. This poor kid has not played since December 6th and came in tonight and had an important game for us. He had 9 points and five rebounds and you can see why we have missed him. It is not just his stats. It is his toughness that he brings and allows Danrad Knowles to rest. Knowles is so much of a better player when he is playing 18-20 minutes instead of 36 or 35, he is just not that type of player.
We are going into an important stretch here. We have a big game Wednesday and then good we have a week off. I like the way we competed and we rebounded the ball well.
This was one of Rob Gray’s more efficient games. I spent a lot of time watching film with Rob this week. A lot of one-on-one film to get him to be smarter and more efficient. Damyean Dotson continues to be one of the better players in this conference. The other guy is Kyle Meyer, he has had two games back-to-back where he has had seven or eight rebounds. This was his best rebounding game since he has been here. Having Devin Davis back will have these guys on the boards because they are going to have to pay attention to him. Galen Robinson Jr. had a couple of silly turnovers towards the end, but he was good tonight. Once we get everybody back and we start improving, I am looking forward to the last month of this season.”
On Devin Davis’ playing time
“I only had one spurt that I felt I over played him in. I told him I would call a timeout. I asked in the huddle around the six-minute mark if he needed a break and at first he said no, then he said maybe a little so I said I would call a timeout. We are resting at this point so at the 75-80 second timeout allows him to recover. He is not in shape. If he had a bad shoulder then he could have still run, but when you have a bad foot it is different. He has had no cardio vascular. Our trainer John Houston and our strength coach Jason Russell have done an incredible job with Devin (Davis), but instead of working extra to get himself in shape he is going to have to use the games to get himself in shape. For a first game, Devin was outstanding tonight.”
On Devin Davis’ condition
“He was initially diagnosed with plantar fasciitis but then it developed into a muscle tear at the bottom of his foot. It is excruciatingly painful injury. Tomorrow he will take a recovery day and then get back in the game on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Once that’s complete, he will get a chance to rest because we won’t play again until the following Wednesday. We’re the only team in the league that hasn’t had a bye week. In addition to that, we have a five and six-day road trip. Those are tough trips.”
On the team dynamics
“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of snapping our fingers and sprinkling magic dust that will make our team tough. We make our team tough by recruiting tough players. Devin Davis is a warrior. He is a tough kid, but one of the things that keeps him from being as tough as he normally would be is him being fatigue. Kelvin (Sampson) was doing a good job at watching him and let me know when someone needed to take his (Devin’s) place.
What screwed me up one time was when Danrad Knowles got hurt. I try to alternate those two guys. Before, Danrad was having to play all the minutes, that’s why he would dragging the last five minutes of the games without Devin. We don’t have another guy like that. With Kyle (Meyer) starting to play better, you have Devin and Danrad that can rest each other.
Normally I go small and I didn’t go small one time tonight. That’s the first time we’ve done that since he’s (Davis) been out. We’ve been playing small so much because our back-up four has been docked. That’s where we’ve been getting killed on the boards. This changes things for us.”
On tip-off time
“I feel bad or our fans. Especially fans with children or want to go church tomorrow. I thought about that before the game. If you have young children, trying to get them home and in bed then get them up for church in the morning is going to be rough. Its 11:30 p.m. and a lot of our fans drive far distances and I don’t understand why this game couldn’t have been scheduled anytime from noon until seven. I don’t understand how we couldn’t have fit a time slot in there somewhere. But ultimately, I just feel bad for our fans. I think our crowd would have been bigger if we would have had an afternoon game verses coming out a nine o’clock at night and returning home by midnight. I’m not a big fan.”
HOUSTON JUNIOR FORWARD DEVIN DAVIS
On first game back
“It felt great to be back out there with my team. The feeling of being able to play again and not having to sit on the bench was refreshing. My recovery still hasn’t finished. I just can play minute by minute and keep my feet under me. I have to continue to do everything right for the team.”
On the healing process
“The long and tedious process was frustrating. I was unable to shoot, run, or do anything physically challenging. I had to rest and be patient and smart about the moves I was making.”
On how foot felt during game
“In the midst of the game, I didn’t feel any pain. I haven’t been able to condition, so I became tired a lot more quickly than normal.”
On in-game treatment
“I use a tennis ball and roll it under my foot to massage out the tear in my foot.”