Nov. 8, 2011
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"We played hard. We had good bench enthusiasm, and we cheered for one another. When guys got an opportunity to play they did some good things. We gave up too many points in both halves, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds. We were not as sound as we need to be. We wanted to play a team like this because we're going to play some teams that are going to press and play up-tempo. So from that standpoint it was good. Also we gave up too many offensive rebounds. "
On the turnovers
"We turned the ball over too many times. When you look at our primary ball handlers, Jonathon, J.J. and Joe had way too many turnovers. Jonathon was a little careless with the ball. J.J. had three turnovers late. Joe turned the ball over 5 times in the first half, but took good care of it in the second half.
On the team's free throw shooting
"We got to the free throw line 31 times and only made 18. We have to shoot free throws better than that. "
On the team's play in the second half
"Joe came out and played a better second half. We shot the ball better, and our overall shot selection in the second half was much better. I'm not very patient at times, but I have to understand we have seven new guys that are really trying to understand what we want. One of those is shot selection and the other is playing defense in a sound manner. They're playing hard we just have to be more sound."
On the up-tempo style of play
"It was pretty good. We have worked hard on our conditioning. Coach James has done a good job. We have really pushed our guys in terms of conditioning. They play a style where everyone they play is very skilled. We had a lot of mismatches in terms of our bigger guys guarding perimeter players. They have very good ball skills and a lot of freedom to shoot. I was just disappointed that we gave up as many points as we did."
On playing better defense
"I love the way we play offensively, but you have to go back and play with equal energy and enthusiasm on the other end and not lose your man. You have to find your guy in transition. You can't be thinking about how good a dunk you had or hitting that big three. You have to sprint back, find the ball and be ready to help. We can get better in that area. We have a lot of weapons offensively, but we've got to fall in love with the game on the other end. That's the bottom line. We have to be as hungry to defend as we are to shoot the basketball. We needed something like this where people were going to make us scramble. We're going to get this same up-tempo style from Grambling this Saturday."
On junior guard Jonathon Simmons
"He's got a chance to be pretty good. Lying off that year helped him with the little fundamental things. Shooting the ball right at the free throw line is one. He's a really good free throw shooter, so when you get to the line you have to have your free throw routine down to a science. He's going to get fouled a lot, so we want him to really concentrate on his routine. He has a tendency to play a little too much standing up. He has to do a better job of getting into an athletic stance. He's really athletic and can shoot the ball. He can get off the dribble and run the floor in transition. Obviously he has the ability to make some big time plays."
On how the team can improve their defense
"We had too many break downs off the dribble. One of the hardest things to defend on our level is one-on-one penetration. I told our guys during the timeouts that they had to guard their man. We have to get better at that. We had good effort. We were playing defense after the catch rather than playing before the catch. We got caught behind the post. With guys that can really shoot it; if you're just there after they catch it, they've already gotten rid of it and have a chance to make the shot. We have to get better defensively."
On freshman guard Joseph Young
"Joe handled it better in the second half. His shot selection was very good. We're playing him at the point which is something he hasn't done since the eighth grade. The redshirt year is tough for anybody, but he's done a good job for us. It's no secret that he can score the ball. Now you can look at the fact that he's getting other people the ball."
On the unselfish play of his team
"We had 29 assists, which is not bad, but we just had too many turnovers. The thing about our turnovers which was disappointing was that most of them were unforced. They were bad decisions on our part. We'll correct that."
On freshman forward TaShawn Thomas
"TaShawn has really done a good job for us. He's going to play like a freshman at times, but he's going to make some plays too. Not many freshmen that are 6'8" plus can bust out and handle the ball like he can. We put him in the backcourt against the press and he made good decisions. He's got to be more aggressive offensively and demand the ball. He's got to go harder on the offensive glass. He's a very good defensive rebounder though."
HOUSTON GUARD Joseph Young
On returning to play after a year off
"It felt exciting. We went out there and played our game. We didn't do too well on defense, and we have practice this upcoming week to get that together. I'm very excited to come back."
On having an itch to play
"There wasn't any pressure. I had a year off to take care of that business. I didn't have any butterflies or anything. I was just ready to get out there."
On defensive improvement
"We need to work on our run through's, our back-side help defense, and preventing long rebounds. We need to work on everything."
On the difference of energy between this year and last year
"You just have to go out there and play our game. From last year, sitting on the bench it was a hard time. All the hard work paid off, and we're on the court now ready to make things happen."
On practice and pushing each other to get better
"In practice there are no fouls so we dive for the ball and if you don't then we're on the line running sprints. The intensity is there."
On TaShawn Thomas
"He's an outstanding player for a freshman."
HOUSTON GUARD Jonathon Simmons
On returning to play after sitting out a year
"I was anxious, but I was ready to get out there and show the world what I can do."
On the game's tempo
"For pretty much the whole game, we had the tempo. Basketball is a game of runs. For most of the whole game, we had the tempo."
On tonight's performance for the entire season
"Yeah, that's where we want to be at the whole game."
On the energy compared to last year
"For the most part, it's because last year was a down year. This year the team is hungry to get out there. We are doing whatever it takes to win games."
On fall practice and TaShawn Thomas' performance
"TaShawn is going to be a good player. He has really improved since we began and has improved everyday. He's a good player."