Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes vs. Florida A&M

Nov. 9, 2012

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"I'm happy that we won. I want to congratulate (head coach) Clemon Johnson because his team played terrific. They're much better than a lot of people think. There are going to be a lot of people who are going to be concerned that they have them on their schedule. He does a terrific job. Their team played an outstanding game. I want to give a lot of credit to them. It was a tough opener for us."

"76 points is way too many to give up. Early in the game, we got off to a good start, and then we started settling for jump shots. We didn't get the ball inside, we didn't penetrate and we didn't get to the free throw line."

"TaShawn (Thomas) only took two shots in the first half. That's not the way to play. We have to throw him the ball. We have to at least play through him more."

"When you look at the course of the game, we turned the ball over too many times. Off the 20 turnovers and 16 offensive rebounds, we gave up 27 points. Those are areas that we have to work on correcting."

"I like the fact that we got to the free throw line 26 times. We hit our free throws. In the last five minutes of the game, our defense was better. We drove the ball more and rebounded better offensively. In the last minute, our defense was really good we just couldn't come up with that 50-50 ball or that elusive rebound that we needed to get. I was pleased with the way we played defense. We had good awareness, and we challenged shots. We just have to come away with the loose balls."

"We had some guys that were tentative. You have to understand how to play our game, and the key for us is getting the ball on the block, driving it to the rim, get to the paint, get to the free throw line, and continue to work hard defensively, rebound and take care of the basketball."

On the play of the frontcourt
"We expect Leon (Gibson) to rebound like that on the offensive end. He was disappointing on the defensive end. He should have had that many down there too. The last month of practice, Leon has probably been our best rebounder. We have challenged TaShawn (Thomas) in the last week that he has to be more active. He's got to be more of a force. He did a terrific job on the boards. That's the kind of balance you look for from him and that's why we won the game.

Leon didn't play very well in the first half. He played much better in the second half. We have to understand that TaShawn is pretty darn good, and we have to get the ball to him. TaShawn had too many turnovers. He's got to take care of the ball better, but he's a very good player."

On why Valentine Izundu did not play
"He played very well the other night against Concordia, but I just didn't feel like there was a time to get him in. The way they were running and pressuring, I was afraid they would just go out and trap him. I didn't want him to not play with confidence. We'll get him in some games. He's going to be a very good player."

On the play of redshirt freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers
"Jherrod played a little bit fast at times. He had a couple big shots but played a little bit fast. The thing we've told Jherrod is that he has other things he can do. He can drive it because he shoots free throws very well. He can defend, and he's strong. He can't just value his whole game on the 3-point shot."

On Florida A&M's guard play
"Their guards played really well. We were a little soft defensively until the end. (Point guard Jamie) Adams didn't need much space, and we have to be close enough to touch so we can get up. We were a little bit soft on them. You have to give Coach Johnson a lot of credit. They play with a lot of confidence and if somebody isn't careful, they'll beat them on the road. They're going to be tough. Their spacing is excellent and they have terrific mid-range shooters."

On the slow start to the game
"They did a great job today. Their defense was stacked, so the things we were looking for weren't there. It was frustrating, and we turned the ball over more than we wanted. Coach told us to slow down, and it'll pay off as the game goes on. We had too many turnovers, which is unacceptable. We have things that we'll work on in practice that we can improve on, but a win is a win."

On the performance of Jherrod Stiggers and Leon Gibson
"I know that Jherrod can shoot the three. When I see him open in the corner, I'm going to do what I can to give him the ball. Leon did a great job of getting inside and crashing the boards. This week, I talked to him about the importance of being a presence inside."

On the 20-rebound performance
"I wasn't really concerned with how many rebounds I had. I really just wanted to get the win. During the game I got frustrated because of the slow start, so I tried to do everything I could to create something."

On the game today
"We need to do a better job of getting rebounds. As a team, we have to play better on defense. The first half was slow, but Coach told us how important it was to win this game. We knew we needed to come back out and protect our court."

On his role as a senior
"It's a role that I know I need to accept. I don't know everything, but I'm doing my best to lift guys up in certain situations. This is my last year, and I want to be able to go out the way I want."

On his overall performance
"I played well, but we have to work on our defense. Offensively we have to be able to get our big guys more involved. Each day we have to get better as a team."

On his outside game
"I'm able to shoot from the outside, but I'll do whatever Coach tells me to do. He told us we needed to get the ball to our big guys more. That was my goal as the game went on, and we were able to execute that."



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