Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes

March 21, 2013

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Opening statement
"We've got some pretty good young pups. We played well tonight, and I'm happy for them. We came out with a lot of emotion, which you need in a game like this. We were a big physical team. We knew the game was going to be about energy, defense, rebounding, and toughness. We got off to a terrific start. We really did a good job against their man defense, and then they went to a zone and we stood around too much. We were not as efficient against the zone from that point on, but we made enough big plays. In the second half, we really got tentative.

They have a big front line and when they bring those wings out, they push Danuel House and Joe Young further out into the wing. We didn't get the ball to baseline enough or inside, but we made big plays down the stretch when we had to. Julien Lewis was really good in the second half for them. Prince Ibeh was a force down low, but our guys made big plays.

We had so many guys make shots. There at the end, after House put us up one, we just needed one stop. That's what we talked about so many times. It was a good win for us. I was happy for the players. We had a wonderful crowd. I know having been in the old Southwest Conference for years and having not played Texas for 13 years, this was a big game for our fans. Back in the SWC, it was always a big game. I am really happy for our university and for our faculty, staff, and student body. Our players, they did a terrific job."

On last six minutes of the game
"These guys hit big shots. We were stagnant and we were inefficient offensively, and it was affecting our defense. We were letting Myck Kabongo drive. We were a little tentative and didn't get out and show strength like we normally do. We didn't have the urgency to get back defensively, but then we came alive offensively and made big plays. Our guys believed going into and throughout the game. They knew they were big, strong, and physical. They just continued to believe that they were going to win."

On TaShawn Thomas
"In the first half, he only had three points. In second, I thought he made some big plays for us. He rebounded the ball and defended well. Our guys battled down there. JJ Richardson came off the bench and did a really good job for us."

On the youth of the game
"I think that's the reason both of us are in the CBI. It gives our young players extra practice time, get a feel of the atmosphere of the tournament, and the pressure of the one-and-done situation. This was a great college basketball game. I was proud of our guys. I thought it was big for these guys to be in the postseason. Our guys over the last month have really gotten better. We took another step growing up tonight. I thought it was really important to play in a postseason tournament."

On the Cougars second half performance
"We shot the ball better. We shot 50 percent in the second half, compared to shooting 14-40 in the first half. I was pleased with the way we rebounded the ball, but we didn't rebound quite as well in the second half. They ended up out-rebounding us with too many offensive rebounds. We got some big stops, but offensively we were a lot more efficient. We got stops down the stretch, but Julien Lewis was terrific in the second half offensively."

On making tough shots
"It was just a rhythm. I have to give it to my teammates for distributing the ball. I just caught the ball and stepped into it. That's the stuff we've been working on at practice. It's not that deep, it's a normal shot."

On what the postseason meant to the team
"We didn't do too well in conference, but we took this postseason as another level and that we were just getting more experience. We just have to get better, and get ready for next season."

On the big win over the Longhorns
"It's a big time win for our students, fans, alumni, and for the University. Coach Dickey had us in the gym since we had found out we were playing Texas. We took it, practiced hard and got the win."

On game's energy in comparison to Phi Slama Jama energy
"With us just being here, it's going to roll over to next year. We got a big win, and the crowd loved it. It was probably our last game inside Hofheinz Pavilion, and we got our momentum out of that. Us next season could be another Phi Slama Jama or maybe even something beyond that."

On his emotions after the game
"I'm very happy. It was an honor to play against Texas. I want to thank the alumni and students for coming out. It's an honor to play against Coach Rick Barnes and the talent he produces and collects at Texas. I'm happy, very happy."

On his dunk that started the game
"We knew that if we punched them off early that we could sustain their run. Our main focus was to punch them before they punched us. That dunk just punched them, and our momentum just went through the roof after that."

On the last timeout and last possession
"We couldn't get a better shot. We got what we wanted. You have to take the shot, if you miss it, you miss it."

On losing their second half lead
"It goes back to a couple of breakdowns in the zone and guys didn't react. It even goes back to the last play of the game where they did exactly what we thought they would do. We were too late coming out of the ball screen around the corner, and they forced a rotation and kicked out. We had a wide-open shot and missed it. We then scrambled to come up with it and lost it.

With the way we started the game, we had wide-open shots around the basket and didn't finish them. We settled early for 3-pointers, which is what we didn't want to do. That allowed them to go down and score easy baskets in transition. That is a problem we've had a lot. We had trouble with the zone and some other problems.

One thing I hope our guys learned from this game and this season is how fine of a line it is between winning and losing. When a team makes a run, you have to come down on the offensive end and really execute. We had some looks at the basket and just didn't make the shots. You've got to put it in the basket at some point."

On thoughts on the end of the season
"It's been a disappointment. It's easy to play the `what if' game and ask why, but you are what you are. It was the same mistakes. Every time we though we had a little momentum going, you see a guy like Sheldon McClellan, who you think are going to turn the corner tonight and doesn't perform. Every guy on the team has started at some point, and everyone has had a chance to establish themselves."

On the disappointment of not furthering the development of young players in the postseason
"The way we started the game, not listening, has been the single biggest problem this year. You can't make the changes that you need to make if you don't have a group of guys who will listen. We haven't learned to listen the way we need to listen. The first half tells it. We shot 16 3-pointers, and we haven't lived by the 3-point shot. Earlier we put the ball in there and missed some rebounds. I do know we took 16 3-pointers before we ever got to the foul line."

On if Texas got caught up in Houston's style of play
"It's not what they've done. It's what I've seen all year. It goes back to listening where guys haven't understood exactly what they need to do to be part of a team. They don't understand how a team comes together."

On the progress made this season
"We made progress, but I'm not surprised because I've lived it every day. We take a step forward and get some momentum, but we weren't able to do that tonight. The surprising thing is that we've got a group of guys who really do work hard, but they have to understand the mental side of the game. That's what they haven't figured out yet. We can definitely fix that part."



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