March 9, 2011
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"First, let me congratulate Tom (Herrion), his staff and the players. I thought that they hit some huge shots at the right time. We got up eight and (Damier) Pitts came down and hit a huge shot to cut lead the lead to five.
"Then, they got an offensive rebound and put a 2-pointer in. That was really big in the game. We could not get a stop and extend the lead at all. And (Tirrell) Baines hit three huge dagger shots, one in transition. We know he's a catch and shoot guy, and we didn't pick him up early enough in transition. On the right wing, he hits a three. Tom and his coaching staff recognized that and ran a couple of sets for him.
"We were late in trailing him, and he hit two big threes. Then, (Johnny) Thomas hit a big three over in the corner. So they made big shots.
"There was a stretch where we didn't make some free throws. The free throw discrepancy doesn't mean anything because we fouled so much late trying to stop the clock. The big thing is that we were at the free throw line 32 times, and we just missed eleven of them so we shot a good percentage.
"We just didn't defend as well as we needed to, but I also want to give their offense credit. I thought that they made huge shots."
On Maurice McNeil's foul trouble
"When you get into foul trouble with one of your starters, it's certainly a factor. We got some other big guy in there, guys who when they get an opportunity to play, they have to go in and play.
"One of the things that has plagued us during the year is offensive board play. They attacked the glass very well. They're big, strong, well-coached and athletic.
"When you look at the points, we missed some, and that's something that I
pointed to all year - second-chance points and points off turnovers. Thirty-seven is a lot, and that's an area we'll work hard to correct next year. When Maurice was playing and got in foul trouble, that hurt us."
On trying to put Marshall away
"We had a chance there and got up eight points we talked about possessions. They're a good basketball team. They've got 21 wins coming into the game. They didn't get there by not being good; we have respect for them.
"Offensively, they were playing well. At halftime we shot a high percentage and for the game. Not to take anything away from Marshall, but there are a lot of teams that can score if you don't guard them. A lot of people can score. I can shoot if nobody guards me."
On guarding the perimeter shot
"Pitts is terrific at turning the corner, and they do a great job at ball screening. So when he turns the corner, we got to show up early, and we were late. That's something that we talked about doing all year.
"In my mind, great shots by him, but we also were a little flat defensively, especially with an 8- or 9-point lead. It's a big possession. At home, even though we lost, Pena didn't score. We had an awareness of where he was at. He just needs a little bit of space and he nailed it."
SENIOR FORWARD Maurice McNeil
On where it went wrong
"Like coach said, we did a good job until the middle of the second half. Then, Pitts came down and hit a big shot. Then, Pena came down, and he hit three 3s. They were daggers. We came out the way we wanted to and competed. We fought hard, but once he made those daggers, we just couldn't make a run to get back in the game."
On the frustration of the season and this game
"It's frustrating because we lost a lot of close games. We really didn't finish the way we should. Knowing how good we are and how good we could have been, it's frustrating not getting it done."
SENIOR GUARD Zamal Nixon
On finishing the season
"It's been frustrating. We haven't been executing the way we wanted to and not carrying out defensive assignments. Despite how bad we were playing, we still could have won a lot of those games that we lost.
"We put ourselves in positions where we could have won. It's frustrating especially because we feel we are better than our record indicates, but that's the way it happens sometimes. There's no doubt in my mind that coach Dickey and the guys will have everyone back on the winning track."