Feb. 29, 2012
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I am happy with ending conference play at home with a win. I am extremely happy with Darian Thibodaux today. The thing I was impressed with is that he held the leading scorer in Conference USA -- Tulane's Ricky Tarrant -- to zero points. We had other players who came in and contributed big on the boards: Leon Gibson, Alandise Harris and TaShawn Thomas. Jimmie Jones came in and gave us a spark. Overall, we were consistent offensively and defensively our bigs played with awareness. our guards did a good job, and the bigs did a solid job."
On Darian Thibodeaux
"I was impressed with him tonight. It was Senior Day, and everyone knew he was struggling and today his stat line and jumper were on track. He looked like Darian Thibodeaux that we all know. He missed his first couple of shots. The crowd knew he was struggling, and the support from the crowd helped him out. Thibodeaux also had 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds. He did a great job on Ricky Tarrant. I know him as a defense stopper, and he played like that tonight."
On the progress being made
"I am happy that we won but as I told the guys we need to get ready for class the next two days and Rice. We need to win games and get tougher to get better. We need to get tougher defensively and get on the road to win one. We haven't been tough on the road. I hope we are getting to the point where they know how to protect their home court."
On Joseph Young's Improvement
"Joe is doing a marvelous job with ball faking and his mid-range jumper. When you are a 3-point shooter, they are going to jump out on you. You have to have a mid-range jumper, and that is something he is improving on. His defense was great tonight too. He also contributed to guarding Ricky Tarrant and shutting him out offensively."
On the keys to the game
"The key was coming out of the locker room in the second half. At the first media timeout, they hadn't scored. The key to the game was to play a whole 40 minutes. Our transition game was good, and we did a good job of moving the ball down the floor. The first five minutes of the second half really set the tone for us.
SENIOR GUARD Darian Thibodeaux
On pulling out of his shooting slump
"My teammates were picking me up at practice everyday. When it was time for game day they told me to just keep shooting. I was more comfortable."
On holding Ricky Tarrant scoreless
"It was a mindset overall to stop somebody like that from scoring. He still played a good game; we just kept him from scoring."
On crowd support tonight
"It felt really good to have the crowds' support. Over the last couple of weeks, playing has felt like a cloud was hanging over my head. To have my teammates push me everyday helped me get over it quickly."
On the momentum from the last few games
"Overall, we are just trying to keep humble and stay hungry."
On the difference with the team now
"Everybody is clicking on all cylinders now. It's like a snowball effect; once it gets rolling there's no stopping it. That's the way we played tonight."
On his words with Coach Dickey in the last minutes of the game
"He just told me he loved me, that I played a hell of a game and was congratulating me."
On the team's accomplishments tonight
"The zero next to Ricky Tarrant's name felt really good. The zero and the win were really good."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On why the post game was effective tonight
"Getting a deep post position really helped tonight."
On if he was surprised by the posts performance tonight
"I knew all the bigs were playing really well in practice, so I knew we were going to come out and do well in this game."
On the motivation of having Darian Thibodeaux play wing tonight
"It's good for anybody to play well, and having a senior play well was really good for us. It lifted up everybody in the gym and on the team."
JUNIOR FORWARD Jonathon Simmons
On pregame excitement for tonight
"I was very ready to play and get after those guys."
On the difference between playing Tulane away and at home
"When we went over there we were playing slow and not together. We remember how badly we played over there, and so today we were ready from the jump."
On factor in tonight's win vs. the away game
"We played defense, we had stops and we helped each other. Defense wins games, and offense will come."
On finishing successfully at home
"It was great to close out this way. With our last home game and Thibodeaux's last home game of his career it was really good for us to finish out. We will have a lot of momentum going into Saturday and the tournament next week."