Feb. 16, 2008
2007-08 Houston Cougars Basketball Postgame Quotes
SMU Mustangs (8-14, 2-7 C-USA) at Houston Cougars (18-5, 7-2 C-USA)
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 * Hofheinz Pavilion * Houston, Texas
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tom Penders
On how the team broke down SMU's defense/b>
"Coming into the game, we talked about bringing their big guys out and driving. But, they started off in a diamond-and-one. They were playing Robert McKiver man-to-man and the other four guys were in a diamond-shaped zone, which left both corners open. We did a good job of getting the ball to the corners and getting off to a good start. The hardest guy to play a diamond-and-one against is the point guard if you have a couple of good shooters out there, because you're taking a player totally out of the play for scoring, but he can still set up his teammates. That's what they gave us.
On the Cougars' 3-point barrage
"I don't think we've ever lost a game when we shot over 40 threes, so maybe we should shoot some more. I think we're 3-0 in games we shot more than 40 threes. I didn't even think we shot that many."
On looking at some different rotation combinations in the second half
"I wanted to play some of the younger kids. This isn't football where you get votes in the polls for beating a team badly. We wanted to play a lot of different people and we took off the pressure a little bit. We played straight man-to-man in the second half, which we haven't played a lot of. It's good to be able to work on that, because we've been playing mainly a combination man-zone and trap and rotate. The second half gave us an opportunity to do just that. When you get a big lead like that, you can work on your man-to-man defense."
On Robert McKiver's good game running the point
"He played a great floor game. His last two turnovers were like sympathy turnovers. He had seven assists. He was giving it up. He wasn't looking to force anything, and I was happy with that. He did a very good job of getting the ball to Kelvin Lewis and Dion Dowell early on. He's a good basketball player. It's amazing how far he has come. Last year, he might have taken 35 shots in a game like this. He's become a much better player."
On Marcus Malone's big game
I was happy for Marcus Malone, because he's been struggling. When you go to Memphis, you can't afford to have him struggle. I didn't play him much, so it's good to see him bounce back. You preach that. Never give up on yourself. Keep your confidence level high. Keep practicing. He's a great kid. That's good; hopefully he'll regain some confidence because we're going to need him. Malone was a big story for me tonight. He's going to feel better about himself and I'm going to feel more confident in him because I know he's going to feel good about tonight."
HOUSTON SENIOR GUARD Robert McKiver
On his shooting
"I just try and take my time and get my teammates involved early. I think that is why I was successful. Our team is the reason why I get all of my shots. They set good screens; they play ball good. I think that is the reason I got a lot of good shots."
On the Cougar defense
"Our defense starts everything. As you know we shoot a lot of threes; we shoot the ball a lot. Some nights the ball is not going to go in. We have to depend on our defense more than our offense."
On Houston's three point attempts and shots
"That's how we play. We shoot threes. We either make them or we don't make them. Tonight we made them. That's basically it."
HOUSTON SOPHOMORE GUARD Kelvin Lewis
On outside shots
"Coach was preparing us the whole week, trying to get our jumpers right. They were giving us a lot of free looks and they were worried about us driving. It worked off during the week and we hit them tonight."
On Houston having many guys who can knock down the shots
"It is really hard to defend. It is really deadly because you can guard Fluff (Robert McKiver), and Marcus Malone and his jumpers or Dion, and then we have other guys making their shots. It is very deadly. You never know when we are going to make shots."
On SMU's height
"When we see teams with a lot of height, we just have in our mind we are going to run, run, run and try to run them ragged and wear them down and it worked."
On holding SMU to at 35 percent shooting
"Coach told us this morning to really put pressure on and keep them in front of us. Make them make a decision with the ball and make them turn over the ball and they turned it over."
HOUSTON SENIOR FORWARD Dion Dowell
On the defense
"We limited them to one shot and I think we did a good job on the defense boards. We had a couple offense rebounds and tonight was a total team effort. We just have to keep winning. We have UAB next. It is going to be hard to beat them down there. We have to bring our A game. The coach is going to have us prepared. We just have to keep winning these games."
On SMU's height and his perimeter shooting
"I should have hit more threes. Everybody else shot pretty good tonight. We did a lot of ball screens. We got a lot of easy shots and everybody was knocking shots down tonight."
On experimenting with the line up
"We had a lot of rotations coming in. I think at one time we had three or four freshman for next year got their playing time. We had fun. Everybody played, everybody participated, everybody contributed to the team and we got the win tonight."