Houston Men's Basketball vs. Louisville Postgame Quotes

Feb. 5, 2014

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Opening Statement
"We got beat by a really good team. Louisville is terrific. Coach (Rick) Pitino does a great job. We've got to get better in some areas. There are three simple things for us that we haven't corrected and we have to.  We have to play for 40 minutes. We defended really well in the second half. Our guys really competed. We cannot give up 45-50 points in one half or the other. We've had a tendency to do that.

"Second thing is we can't turn the ball over. They're the best in the country at converting turnovers into points. They had 24 points off turnovers, and eight points off rebounds. You cannot contribute to a quality team, and they're certainly championship caliber.

"Then, we have to make free throws. We got to the free throw line 23 times, and we can't miss free throws. I'm not happy with the loss, but I'm so proud of the preparation. They competed hard, and they did a great job the last two days. I'm not happy with where we're at with our record.

"We've had two great home crowds, SMU and tonight against Louisville. I'm so happy with our fans, but we have to do our part. We have to win a home game.

I'm happy for Coach Lewis. He's certainly very deserving of all the accolades and honors, and none more deserving than the hall of fame. To be able to honor one of our own, and to have four representatives in the basketball hall of fame from one school is really amazing. I was really happy for that."

On what happened during the big run for Louisville
"We didn't defend and we turned the ball over. Without looking at the film it was turnover and score. I can give you one example. We had three guys get on the floor after a loose ball, great job. Tionne (Womack) captures it and tries to pass it out. He passes it out, and they get it and get a three-point play right there. There's a situation where you just get it and at worst you set your defense. You don't just give them a basket. We had some others where we turned the ball over, and they go down and score. They had 18 points in the first half of turnovers, and a 19-point lead at the half. We have to take good care of the ball."

On the team's rebounding
"They had six points off second chances in the first half. We didn't rebound worth a flip in the first half. In the second half we rebounded the ball well and they only got two, but they got six off of turnovers."

On the crucial turnover in the second half
"We got the lead down to nine and they called a timeout. They're very good at coming out of timeouts and running a play. (Russ) Smith penetrated and found (Chris) Jones over in the corner and he hits a three. We turned it over on the inbound play and they scored. That was huge at that point in the game. We had some momentum and got the game into single digits." 

On the adjustments in the second half
"We had great awareness in the second half. Our transition was better. We didn't turn it over as much. For a long period of time we only had one turnover in the second half, and then they kind of came at a rash where we had about three in a row, and they capitalized off that. Defensively, it was just a matter of awareness. Coach (Alvin) Brooks did a great job, and we had a really good game plan. We knew they were going to drive it a lot. I'm pleased with the fact that we only gave up 32 points in the second half. If we can defend halfway decent in the first half we have a chance to win the ballgame; that and taking care of the ball. That was something we had harped on. That was a huge key in the game; taking care of the ball and valuing the basketball."

On the team being able to respond to Louisville runs today compared to the last matchup
"I liked that our guys competed. They have to battle. They have to compete every day in practice. If you're a competitor, if you're shooting marbles you're shooting to win. If you're shooting free throws you're shooting to win. If I'm defending you I'm not going to let you score. I'm going to be mad if you score, and then I'm going to try to go right at you and score. It's a mindset. You just want to get in there and hammer, hammer, hammer. Our guys got better the last two days. It didn't show in terms of the "W", but our guys got better the last few days. I was proud of the way they competed." 

On how important the crowd was to staying in the game
"The fans were fabulous. They've been that way the last two games. I had the opportunity to go on campus and speak to some student organizations. Our marketing guys are doing a wonderful job. We have to do our part. That was a great crowd tonight. We have to do our part, and give 40 minutes, and come out with a win."

On difference in first and second half
"In the second half, we woke up. In the first half, I feel like they were playing harder than us and in the second half we kind of woke up and realized that we can play with them. We started to come back, but just didn't have enough to get the lead back."

On difference between the first meeting and second meeting
"When we went to Louisville, they punched us in the mouth and we didn't respond, at all. Here, after they kept punching us we responded and kept playing hard. I don't feel like we gave up this game at all, we kept fighting until the end."

On the crowd for tonight's game
"I loved it. The crowd helped us out a lot. I feel like if the crowd wasn't there then we wouldn't have been able to stay in it like we were because the crowd stayed in it the whole game with us." 

On fouls being called
"Coach has kind of taught us, lately, not to worry about fouls. At times I felt like they were blowing the whistle too much, but I don't feel like that effected the game or anything."

On two early fouls
"Very frustrating, I hate getting two fouls early in the first half but I try to stay engaged by talking to them on the bench. I will yell on and off the sideline, talking on defense and just try to cheer so that it makes it seem like I am still in the game and try to stay engaged."

On Coach Dickey taking him out of the game early
"I mean I tried to, but I know he knows what he is doing so I trust him."

On honoring Guy V. Lewis
"It is a beautiful thing. I feel like it should have happened a couple of years ago. I kind of feel like it is too long that we are just now doing it for him."

 "I feel honored to be a part of the University of Houston. Looking back at the history like the hall of honor we have in the alumni center. I like walking past that every day just looking in the front and finding a new person that I have seen, so seeing them all here just meant a lot to me."

On how he played
"I think I played alright. We could have done better defensively; I think we all should have done better defensively. We prepared alright but we just can't wait until the second half to play, we should start early."

On honoring Guy V. Lewis and the former players
"We have seen them on campus a couple times, every once in a while. Every time we see them it makes me feel better like I came to college that has a lot of history and that we can carry on that history."



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