HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
"I didn't see anything that surprised me, good or bad. The first game is for seeing how guys react to things. Our turnover situation is going to be corrected. I liked our effort, and I liked the way we moved the ball.
At this time of year, I wish we had had a scrimmage. We played an exhibition game tonight, which doesn't count, obviously. When you play an exhibition game, you can only play an NAIA, Division II or Division III school. You don't have any other option. We're playing Division II schools because that is all we can do. There were a lot of things I liked about tonight, but there are 351 Division I coaches who easily say the same thing I'm saying after their first exhibition game."
On starting Danrad Knowles
"Chicken (Danrad Knowles) has shown enough to be in the starting lineup. If you ask Chicken, he would say he's fine either way. He actually said he prefers to be the sixth man, but I prefer that he starts.
We have some depth. Bertrand Nkali gave us some good looks tonight. As we go along, we're going to have to develop our guard depth. You can tell that Armoni Brooks is 18 years old, and Morris Dunnigan has been out with an injury and has really struggled with his right knee in the preseason. It's good to get those guys minutes tonight, no matter how well they play. It's just good to get them out there."
On Devin Davis' play
"I have high standards for Devin. He and Damyean Dotson are two of the better players in our conference. Davis has to learn to let the game come to him. He'll get better at that. I've got to find a way to get him rest, especially around timeouts because he and Dotson are playing a lot of minutes. I trust these guys because I trust their effort. For a coach, your greatest ability as a player is dependability, and those guys are both very dependable.
On Rob Gray Jr.'s progression
"It's just decision making. One of the things I tell our kids on a daily basis is we've got to be really good at simple. Basketball is not a complicated game. If you start making your mind up before the play happens, usually bad things follow. That's been my experience. You have to let the game come to you. The game will tell you what to do; you can't tell the game what to do. You have to listen to the game.
"You have to be a team that communicates well. You can always hear a good team, but you never hear the bad teams because they never communicate. We have a blueprint, and we just have to keep building. Basketball is a marathon. We're not playing once a week or 12 or 13 times a season; we're going to play more than 30 times. A team that wins the national championship this year is probably going to lose five, six or seven games.
"You don't overreact to anything in college basketball. You're not playing for bowls; you're playing to get better. My only goal for our team right now is I want to be better in December than we were in November and better in November than in October. Hopefully, by the time we get to March, which is four months from now, we'll be pretty good."
On point guard depth
"Rob Gray Jr. is our backup guard and has been since the first day of practice. I like the way he has played there. If we were a football team, I would probably have a wildcat package in for Rob. He's not a traditional point guard, but Rob (Gray Jr.) listens well. He'll get the ball to where it needs to be. I can keep him organized. We won four straight games with J-Rod (Jherrod) Stiggers as a point guard. We'll be all right."
SENIOR GUARD Damyean Dotson
On tonight's game
"Defensive wise, I have to pick it up a little bit more and keep my man in front of me. Turnover wise, in a zone, I have to ball fake, make the right plays and don't throw it to the opposite team because that's what I was doing a lot."
JUNIOR FORWARD Devin Davis
On tonight's game
"I have to let the game come to me. I cannot force the ball in the basket and I have to trust my teammates."