Men's Basketball vs. Temple Postgame Quotes

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    Feb. 9, 2014

    Recap |  Final Stats

    HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey

    Opening Statement
    “I’m really happy that we won. I told our players after the game it’s a great feeling. We had some guys that really played big for us. Jherrod (Stiggers) really had a terrific game and hit two huge shots when we were in a bind there in the second half. He made some big plays coming in. In the first half, he gave us great energy. He’s developing into not only a terrific player, but somebody who has really been encouraging in practice. He talks to his teammates. He loves to play defense. He’s just getting better and better, and he gave us a big boost. 

    “We had 22 assists in the game, and that’s because we shared the basketball. I was pleased with the unselfishness of the game. We shot the ball really well. I’m disappointed that we weren’t as consisted as we need to be. We were up 21, and they cut the lead to five. I was proud of the guys for making big shots, but we have to do a better job of not relaxing when we get a lead like that. You have to have that killer instinct. We have to be better defensively.

    “We took better care of the ball in the second half. We had seven in the first half and only two in the second half. We took better care, but they had too many offensive rebounds in the second half. They outrebounded us, and they had 16 offensive rebounds, and got 15 points off of them.

    “I’m glad we won, and I’m happy for the players. They played well offensively, but we need to play well offensively and defensively when we go on the road.” 

    On if he made a decision to sub quicker
    “We talked about playing hard and defending. I’m so proud of these guys, because everybody wants to shoot, and they have really done a good job of understanding shot selection: taking good shots. When you’re balanced, and comfortable. If you didn’t defend, and you weren’t rebounding you were going to come out pretty quick.”


     

     

    On being dominant in the paint
    “We did a good job getting the ball inside. Our goal isn’t just to get the ball to TaShawn (Thomas). Our goal is inside out. Whether it’s a paint touch on the pass, or a penetrate and pitch, we’re a better basketball team when we get the ball to the heart of the defense, they collapse, and now we can kick it out. Obviously you have to score around the paint.” 

    On the difference between this team at home and on the road
    “It’s a mental approach that we have to have. We won at South Florida and we had a good approach. We have to be tougher mentally and physically.” 

    On how Temple was able to go on the run to cut the lead to five points
    “We relaxed. You want to encourage, and I didn’t have a good feeling during that timeout. It was a little bit too casual, and a little bit too relaxed. I probably should have hammered a little bit harder in that timeout. My feeling was right, because we went out and they went on that run and outscored us by 16. The lead should have never been that low, and it happened in a very short time too. That’s what happens when teams are relaxed. We missed some opportunities.” 

    On sophomore guard Jherrod Stiggers wanting to guard Temple guard Dalton Pepper
    “He wanted him, and Coach Brooks usually will call out the defense, but we talked to him, and had already made the decision we were going to put him on him. That’s one of the other places he’s really matured. Early in the game, he leaned over and said, “hey coach, call time out we aren’t ready to go.” He wanted us to play well. He’s coming off the bench and he knows what his role is. He’s like a starter. He’s really important to us, but he’s understanding how to become a really consistent, and very good player. I probably waited too long to put him on Pepper.” 

    On how important it was to snap the losing streak
    “Big. It was big. I go back, and we should have won the Cincinnati, SMU, and Louisville games at home. That’s my mentality, and I want our players to have that mentality. It’s another home game, but what happens when you’ve lost at home, and you lose on the road, then it magnifies it this game without a doubt. We had two of our best crowds with SMU and Louisville, and we didn’t do our part. I know our guys wanted to do their part today, because they appreciate our great students, and our fans. We’ve got some other home games that we need to get. We’re still battling. Rutgers won on the road, so we have to keep pecking away. There are still some games out there that we need to get." 

    On the depth of the conference
    “What we need to do is just look at the next game and be read. We know what’s out there. But you have to take advantage of opportunities. We played Cincinnati well, but they’ve gotten better. We’re going to have to play better when we go up there. SMU is playing great, but we won’t worry about them for a while. Our guys are starting to understand, and we know what’s in front of us. We knew how big the game was today, and we know what a challenge we’ll have going into Cincinnati, but that’s why you’re in a league like this. It’s a great league. This league has a chance to get a lot of teams in the tournament. Five weeks from today is a big day. We have to get better the next five weeks and win some games.”


    HOUSTON JUNIOR FORWARD TaShawn Thomas

    On the first half run
    “Ever since the last lost, Coach had been telling us we needed to start off good. We had been starting off real bad at home and on the road. Trying to improve on that and I guess it finally paid off.”

    On the team clicking and fast break points
    “I feel like we can always play like that if we share the ball. We have a lot of talented people on the team that can score. I don’t feel like scoring is a problem for us, it’s our defense. “

    On getting more aggressive and more shots in the second half
    “Coach Brooks has been talking to me a lot saying I need to be more aggressive, it’ll help other people on the team score. There were times I was feeling selfish but I was more looking for my teammates to get off more than me. If I had an open shot I took it."

    On the difference between playing at home then playing away
    “At home you feel here, you’re used to what’s going on, on the court and how everything looks but on the road it‘s completely different. There is nobody really on your side."

    On importance of snapping a five-game losing streak
    “Very important. We dropped to many. We kind of forgot what it felt like to win. Getting this win brings back a little confidence back to us. But we’ve got to stay humble and come back ready to play next game.”

    On it being dangerous getting relaxed when you’re up by twenty and they creep back in
    “It’s hard to keep going but we’ve got to change our mentality when we get on runs. Don’t let up on defense.”

    On the mentality of the final stretch of games
    “We feel like the under dogs. Nobody really expects us to win anymore games. We are trying to play and prove people wrong." 

    On the blocks he got today
    “I was just telling myself to go get him even when they call the foul get the block shot. It was a matter of me feeling like the ball wasn’t going into the hole. Getting the block shot helped me get going on defense.”

    On how much damage they believe the team can do
    “A lot. I feel like we can finish the rest of the conference out with a big run.”

    On facing No. 7/7 Cincinnati on the road on Saturday
    “I know it’s going to be hard going to Cincinnati and they just got their first lost last night, so I know they’re going to be hungry to get another win. I feel like if we just keep our mind set and not really worry about the rankings or anything just play basketball and not what everybody is saying on the outside we’ll be alright.”

    On how they’re going to prepare for next game
    “We’re going to get some rest. We’ve got a lot of bumps and bruises.”

    On House’s three dunks
    “Top 10 ESPN. The first one caught me by surprise. It woke us up. The third one when he got fouled, I honestly didn’t think he was going to finish it but he just kept going and I was screaming at him.”

    HOUSTON SOPHOMORE GUARD Jherrod Stiggers

    On what happened in the second half that allowed Temple to get back in the game
    “I believe we looked up and saw the score and got satisfied, slacked off then got back to business.”

     On what it feels like for things to be clicking
    “Best feeling in the world. Some nights we are going to be clicking like today but I believe we’ve got to work hard to find how everybody’s going to click when everybody’s not going to have a good shooting night because there is going to be nights like that. We still our practicing on weekend’s before because we know it’s going to come. I enjoy the moment.”

    On House’s third dunk
    “I didn’t think he was going to make it either. I went up to coach and told him we weren’t ready and turned around and was like never mind. It was motivation. It was an energy boost.”


    TEMPLE HEAD COACH FRAN DUNPHY

    On his thoughts about the game
    “Well I think that we’re still not good enough defensively. We got it back to seven for that one stretch, and then made a couple of miscues. We lost (Jherrod) Stiggers a time or two, I think he went 5-for-9 on three’s, and (TaShawn) Thomas is a load in there. They’re a good basketball team. I like some things we’re doing, and I don’t like some things that we’re doing. We’re just not good enough defensively.”

    On how he felt about Temple’s runs in the first half and second half
    “Yeah those are positives, but you can’t be that far behind. We need to take care of the ball a little better; we had eight turnovers for the game with a couple of those late. We did some decent things that way, but we need to be better with the basketball in our hands, and we need to be better defensively.”

    On the effect TaShawn Thomas had on their team
    “Well he’s just a good basketball player. He can make plays as well as make shots. I know one possession we got stuck with one of our big guys on him and we needed some help. We were late on that pitch down assignment and if you’re late he’s going to make you pay for it.”

    On whether he felt the defense was poor because of technicalities or effort
    “Well I certainly feel like the effort is decent. It’s got to be better, but it’s decent. We need to be more together covering space. We didn’t kick out well enough, we didn’t close out well enough and we gave up some double penetration, although I thought that was less of a problem today. We did some decent things defensively but they shot 56 percent in the second half, that’s tough to beat.”

    On Devontae Watson’s play
    “I think he did some really good things today defensively and he made two or three jump shots, but he competed. I think he did as good a job as he could have, I was happy for him.”

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