Nov. 29, 2008
North Texas Mean Green (4-2), Houston Cougars (4-1) Nov. 29, 2008 - Hoffeinz Pavilion - Houston, Texas
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tom Penders On Aubrey Coleman being confined to the bench in the first half due to foul trouble "It definitely constricts our offense, but it also constricts our defense, too. He's one of those guys who comes up with steals and rebounds that lead to fast breaks. Fortunately for us, Zamal Nixon gave us a nice lift late in the first half offensively, defensively and taking care of the basketball, which I thought was critical for our momentum going into the second half."
On not turning over the ball "North Texas, coming into this game, was turning a lot of people over. We weren't playing against Drano Tech tonight. They've won two road games and lost a really tough game at Oklahoma State. That was a really good basketball that we beat tonight. I think that we beat them marginally with our defense. Then we had 30 buckets and 22 assists, which is how the game should be played."
On Aubrey Coleman and Kelvin Lewis
"Aubrey (Coleman) is still a rookie, but he plays so hard and is such a fantastic athlete. He hasn't had a breakout game yet, but what I like is he's not overdoing it. He took a questionable shot in the first half and he missed a couple of lay-ups, but in the second half, he put on a clinic. He and Kelvin together, they've taken pride in their defense and have shut down some really good ball players. Aubrey (Coleman) is just scratching the surface right now. He's a special player. I see him everyday and he's ready. It's just going to take one breakout game. Kelvin certainly has improved. When they moved the (3-point) line back, a lot of people said `there goes Houston's offense.' But we have a couple of guys that doesn't matter and we have an inside game, too."
On making adjustments at the half and taking control in the second half "It's a 40 minute game. Some nights we're going to start off fast and some a little slow. I liked the way we handled it. We didn't panic. There were a couple of times last year that we panicked. I liked the way this team focused. I'm not saying the first half isn't important, but half-time is when you make adjustments. Sometimes you won't need to, but we made some very good adjustments at halftime. The guys really stepped up in denying the wings and the high post, forcing them further out."
JUNIOR GUARD Kelvin Lewis On having 10 days off from games "We have been practicing for 10 days straight and we started this game off a little sluggish. Coach told us we need to pick it up in the second half to get a win."
On what Coach Tom Penders said at the half "He told us the shots are going to fall, but we need to pick up on our intensity on the defense. Once we picked up on our defense and they had tougher shots, the transition game opened up and we hit more shots."
On the help from the centers and forwards "There is a lot more help on the perimeter. It makes it tougher for their team because it wears them down because we have so many guys that can play defense. Qa'rraan (Calhoun) and Marcus (Cousin) are working hard in practice and it is showing."
JUNIOR GUARD Aubrey Coleman On Marcus Cousin "We make sure we post Marcus up. He gives us something every time that is why we run plays for him and try and get him open. If Marcus doesn't have anything, he will kick it out to Kelvin or me to drive. That is why we get something every time when we post Marcus up."
On what helped stop North Texas' shots "It was Desmond Wade that guarded all the point guards' shots. Kelvin and I would cut the wings off. If we cut the wings off and mix them up, they can't make their shots. That is what we plan every time."
On Houston's running game "If we play defense and have our running game going then we can't be stopped. We didn't have the running game going in the first half like we wanted. In the second half we had the running game, fast breaks and transitions working. Nobody can run with us when we have our running game."