Nov. 14, 2011
HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I'm really glad we won the game. We needed a game like that. Coach [Daniyal] Robinson did a good job of getting a good feel on a team so early in the season. Utah Valley is very talented and has good chance of winning their league. [Geddes] Robinson is a terrific rebounder and [Isiah] Williams is a great scorer.
"I was disappointed at how we lost our biggest lead by taking some ill-advised shots and a bad turnover before the half and did not shoot free throws very well. We won the first five minutes of the game but lost the last five."
Thoughts on rebounding and defense down the stretch "You could only tell they were going to drive right so many times, and I was hoping we were going to figure it out. At the 12-minute mark, we got a little fatigued. In the second half, we gave away some easy shots and putbacks, but then we really had to lay down and play defense and make plays offensively."
On Alandise Harris improving his shot "He really works on his shot in the gym. To take advantage of his athleticism, he has to be an inside-out player. We want him to shoot ball but also get in there and use his strength and his quickness."
On J. J. Thompson bringing a spark to the game "He has gotten so much better defensively. He wants to be a ball hog and put pressure on them. He created a couple of steals and pushed the ball hard in transition. He is just getting better and better."
On Kirk Van Slyke improving since last season "He has gotten bigger and more physical. He isn't shooting that ball right now like he is capable. His free throws and presence were huge for us down the stretch tonight. We needed him because he can rebound and defend. He also stretches the defense."
On defending Isiah Williams
"We didn't guard him very well in the first half. We thought Williams and Robinson could cause us the most problems when looking at the scouting report because they can score and are relentless. Tip, J.J. and Joe made some adjustments and did a good job in the second half. Tip has to be the defensive stopper."
On dictating game tempo "We felt like they were a team that was going to run a lot of sets and special scoring plays. We needed to adjust, but we covered their sets pretty well."
On the team's progress "I love the fact that we are 2-0. Our attitude is great, and we listen very well. They want to get better, and their attitude is very positive."
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN GUARD Joseph Young
On the early deficit
"They came out executing all of their offensive plays and played good defense, which we had to respond to."
On Utah Valley being aggressive
"They were aggressive, and we had to box them out every time."
On the shooting streak in the second half
"We needed some shots to be made, and they left me wide open to knock down some shots."
On being more consistent defensively
"We talked and pumped each other up by running through some passes. Everyone needed to get together and lock up."
On Alandise Harris
"Alandise played hard tonight, getting some offensive and defensive rebounds."
On the quickness and confidence of Utah Valley point guard Isiah Williams
"He's good and when defending him you have to play your heart out. You have to keep him out in front of you, or he'll hit a shot."
On shooting more free throws as a team
"We are doing a good job at getting to the free throw line, but we have to knock them down and be more consistent."
On how he feels after the first two games
"I feel great. All the hard work I put in with Coach Dickey is starting to come around."
HOUSTON FORWARD Kirk Van Slyke
On the early deficit
"They came out disciplined and ran their offense. They also made some good shots."
On gaining control early
"We had to take our best shot on the floor to get ahead and take over."
On boxing out Utah Valley
"It was tough, but I had to put a body on them and get after the loose balls."
On how he plays compared to last season
"I work hard every day and try to get better and stronger in the weight room."
On the defense the last two minutes of the game
"We contested their shots and got all the rebounds we could get. We played in their passing lanes and were aggressive on defense."
On how the team has improved since last season
"We communicate better and we all know what we have to do. We execute and play unselfish on the defensive end."