Nov. 5, 2013
HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey
"Just a little bit about Todd (Smith) and St. Thomas. They went to the national tournament last year. I've known Todd for a long time. They have a really good program. They did a great job. They beat Rice last year. Probably not quite as good as they were a year ago, but very, very good group. They understand their system. They're very well coached. They did a great job with them. They were balanced. They had three guys in double figures. They did a nice job of playing with a lot of confidence."
"From our perspective, we were a little lethargic. I've got to do a better job getting our guys ready to go. We were a little tentative early. We played that way. One of the biggest disappointments when you look at the stats, we gave up 17 offensive rebounds, and that's an area we work on every day, and we're going to continue to work on."
"The other thing is I thought we would get to the free throw line more than 20 times. I was disappointed we didn't get there more than we did. We had a good second half. We jammed the ball inside which we should have been doing in the first half. Our defense got better as the game went on."
"We had too many careless turnovers, and most of them were unforced. They're more of a position defensive team. They're not pressing and they're not pressuring you, so most of them were unforced. We've got to be a heck of a lot better the next two days in preparation for Texas State."
On what was said at halftime
"I just told them that we were tentative, and we didn't have any energy, and that we had to come out and get ourselves going. We weren't active defensively. We only had 10 deflections at halftime. We always try to set a goal of 18 in a half, so we can try to have 36 for a game. That's a great indicator that you're not active defensively. They beat us to loose balls in the first half. Basically it was no energy and be more active."
On what they did to pull away in the second half
"We ran the primary where the guy ran where he was supposed to, and we pushed the ball down the floor. We reversed it, and we had nice screens. We ran the baseline, and we emptied out the back end really well. TaShawn finished much better in the second half than he did in the first half. He had some shots around the basket that normally he's going to finish. The guys kind of played like I felt. That's my job to get them better."
On if an exhibition is kind of like a dress rehearsal
"We wanted to play Todd's team because we thought they'd give us this type of game. When you look across the country at exhibition games, there have been some upsets, and there have been some close scores. The thing that's disappointing is if you give up offensive rebounds most good teams are going will make you pay with the three. I was disappointed in that. We knew that they were going to play. This is a big opportunity for them, so they're going to play well. It doesn't count. It's a win, but we have to get a lot better, and we have to get ready for Friday night. At least more energy wise. We were just kind of slow."
On being inactive in the first half
"We had one good cut in the first half and that was when (Jherrod) Stiggers back cut off the Mikhail (McLean) screen and shot a layup. That was the best cut we had in the first half. If you only had one good cut then you're not very active in that half. TaShawn did a good job on the boards. He was very good at the free throw line. As I told him 20 (points) and 12 (rebounds) are good numbers, but you can go out and be 30 and 20. Double-doubles are something that we expect out of him. If he can get 12 rebounds we want him to get 15 or 18. If he can get 20 points we want him to have 25. He really did a nice job at the free throw line though. He's really been working hard on his free throws, so I was pleased."
On the depth at the guard position
"Tione (Womack) really helped us win a bunch of games down the stretch last year. He's going to help us. L.J. (Rose) didn't shoot the ball well tonight. He's really been shooting the ball well. Jaaron (Simmons) came in and did a nice job. I like our depth. We've got all those guys, and they're going to be very good."
HOUSTON JUNIOR FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On the difference from the first half compared to the second
"The first half I felt like we came out very dull. I don't know why, because in the locker room it felt like we had a lot of energy. It seemed like when we got out there we were moving slow like coach (James Dickey) said. In the second half everybody woke up. We were talking to each other before we went down the tunnel. We knew we weren't playing like us; we were playing down to their level. We should be playing at a higher level, and that's what we tried to do in the second half."
On getting the ball more in the post
"Yeah, I felt like we weren't attacking enough in the paint. Most of our points were off of jump shots, and maybe a couple of layups. In the second half we started off in the paint, and that built up more threes."