Dec. 14, 2009
HEAD COACH Tom Penders
“This game was a wild shootout. All this week, that’s what I told our team. We knew they were going to play and not back down. They led Auburn from the opening tip to the final buzzer, and Auburn is a very talented ball club. They’re tough to beat at home even in the SEC.
“I’m very happy with a win, particularly with finals going on this week. Aubrey (Coleman) had one today at 8 a.m., and Kelvin (Lewis) had one at 2 p.m. I can’t wait for this part of the season to be over. I tell the players that if they are stressed out, to let me know and be honest.
“Fortunately, our bench really came through. To me, the key to this ball game was two players that haven’t been used a lot – Nick Haywood and Kahmell Broughton. They were huge contributors and turned the game around when we were struggling. Kahmell brought a lot of energy. He’s been practicing really well. Nick has been playing like he always has, but its going to be hard to find minutes for him with all of the guards we’re playing. “
On Houston’s defense:
“It’s nowhere near where I want it to be. A lot of it is whom we’re playing. I don’t think people understand that we’re playing good teams. Our conference office told us that we are playing by far the toughest schedule in non-league. All of these teams were high RPI last year.”
On the entire team contributing:
“That’s what a good team eventually becomes made of. When Aubrey’s down, someone is going to pick him up. I know Aubrey was exhausted and hasn’t had much sleep in the last few days. He did not practice Saturday night or last night because he’s been preparing for his exams.
“Fortunately, Nick Haywood stepped in and did a good job. Adam Brown is a first-year player and contributed 15 points, and Kelvin was 7-for-9 on the arc.”
On the upcoming game against Mississippi State:
“Saturday, we’re playing Mississippi State who is going to be in the top 10 before too long. They got upset in their first game, and then they just have blown everyone else out. Last year, they gave us the worst beating we’ve had since I’ve been here when we lost by 18 points. This is an outstanding team. They have a great core of guards, and their center is one of the all-time leading shot blockers. They have a really deep and talented team.”