Feb. 13, 2013
HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I'm really happy for our team. We beat a very good basketball team tonight. They came in 6-3 and has played very well in conference. We knew that they were going to come in like a wounded animal having been beaten at home by Tulsa. To give one away like we did Saturday and come back and respond, I was really proud of our team.
I was really pleased about the part in the second half where they cut it to seven and we responded in such a positive way. We went out and finished the game. We had some guys do some really good things tonight. Valentine Izundu had some quality time and a good presence defensively. We're going to be playing him more and more. He's been getting better in practice and doing extra work on his own. I was very proud of Jherrod Stiggers and his rebounding. We've been talking to him about not being a one- dimensional player. He got to the free throw line and even though it was on a three, he got there. TaShawn [Thomas] also had a big game for us.
We shot the ball well in the first half, but in the second half we only went 2-for-3. We got to the paint, penetrated, and got to the free throw line. The one disappointing thing is we missed too many free throws. Overall, I expect our team to play like this. We beat a good basketball team tonight."
On what he told team in timeout at 14:44 mark of second half
"We talked about two things. We talked about what to do on the defensive end, having patience on the offensive side, moving the ball from one side of the court to the other, and driving it. Danuel House got fouled on that, and then Valentine had two big blocks on the other end. He is a defensive presence. He has a really good awareness for a freshman, especially off-ball. He's getting better defending his man as well. I didn't tell them anything miraculous, they just went out and responded."
On the point guards performances tonight
"Tione [Womack], Brandon [Morris] and J.J. [Thompson] did a good job for us tonight. We shared the ball really well, and that was evident in our 19 assists. TaShawn deserves a lot of credit. He had seven assists in the game. When you're a good player like that you're going to command the double team. He did a good job reading tonight. Danuel had four assists in the game and Tione had five. We shared the ball and did a good job. Another area that we did well in tonight was rebounding. We had some careless turnovers, but overall it was a good performance against a very good basketball team. I was really pleased with the way our guys moved without the basketball and moved with the ball. We also guarded and that helps."
On stressing the use of the posts on offense
"What we talked about was to get the ball to the block and get a paint touch. A paint touch doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw it to a big guy, you can penetrate by a guard or penetrate-and-pitch, and our guys understood that. When you look at that, we still had nine three pointers in the game, and we still took good shots. That's the way that we want our guys to play and they understand it. We just have to do it more consistently. Now, we have to do it better on the road and the mindset can't be that all we want to do it throw the ball inside. TaShawn had a big night with seven assists, which means he's throwing the ball out to somebody. The last thing I told them before the start of the game was to get the ball to the block and get paint touches."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On the difference between tonight and the two previous games "Tonight, we didn't relax at all in the second half. The past few games we had the lead going into the second half and then came out weak. Throughout practice this week, we stressed the importance of staying strong for the entire game, and we were able to accomplish that tonight."
On demanding the ball down low
"Coach Dickey told me to be aggressive on offense. He knows that I'm not a selfish player, so I have to stay aggressive on the offensive end. If I do that, then we put more pressure on the other team."
On the play of freshman center Valentine Izundu
"Everybody loves watching Valentine play, especially when he does well. He is the youngest player on our team, and everyone considers him their little brother. When your little brother does well then you can't help but be excited for him and the time he got on the court."
FRESHMAN FORWARD Danuel House
On the tonight's win
"It's a start, but we can't get too comfortable. Just because we won at home doesn't mean we have it figured out. We have to learn how to put it all together. We have to be able to win at home and on the road while finishing each game with solid defensive play."
On getting the big guys involved
"Our coaches told us to get the ball inside and move around, so that I could get lucky and get a back door bucket. They told us that the ball should always go down low because you want the defense to collapse. The big guys can then look outside for us to get an open shot."
On the defensive play tonight
"We had a lot more pop tonight. We came out with a ton of energy, which allowed us to talk more on the court. We didn't put our heads down when they went on their run because every team is going to make a run at some point during a game. We were able to come together tonight and not allow them to come back."