2009-10 Houston Cougars Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes

Dec. 19, 2009

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Opening Statement:

“It was a great defensive battle. Our guys left everything they had on the floor and played their best defensive game. It was a matter of us simply not making our free throws down the stretch. That was key. If we make them, we win. We should have grabbed control of the game with our free throws. We had the right guy at the line, and he usually makes them. I’m sure Rick (Stansbury) feels the same way about (Jarvis) Varnado, who missed a lot of his free throws too. Aubrey (Coleman) has been the guy that’s closed out for us over the past two years by making free throws down the stretch, but he had a rough night at the line.”

On what made the difference in Houston’s defense:
“We were a little more aggressive. We set up the defense to force them to stay outside and not reverse the ball. Our kids executed it really well. We’ve tried that during some other games, but didn’t do as good of a job. Some teams rely of ball reversals, and these guys do that through high-ball screens, using their center to reverse the ball. We did a good job of stopping that. When you shoot 30 percent and lose in a nail biter like that, it says a lot about your defense. That was a good team we played. Like I said last week, they are a top-25 team and maybe top-10. They are a great perimeter-shooting team and have a lot of nice pieces on the floor.”

On Kahmell Broughton:
“He gives everything he has. He’s an effort guy. He gave us more than anyone else did at the five position. He’s been doing that in practice so it’s good to see him do that in a game. Hopefully the other guys will catch on and see those minutes he got because of that effort. I’m very pleased for him because he’s one of our hardest working guys on a daily basis.”

On Aubrey Coleman:
“Aubrey didn’t play his best game, but he played awfully hard. He had 12 rebounds against that team, which is more than admirable. I think he felt he had to do more today than he usually does because some guys were missing. He normally makes his free throws and is a clutch player.”

On the game:

“It was a big dog fight. We knew that coming into the game. We prepared all week and we fought to the end but Mississippi State came out on top. They’re a great team.”

On defense:
“Defense helped us a lot. We tried to eliminate them coming off of ball screens and reversals. I think when we did that, it made it into our style of play. They had to go one-on-one against us and I think that fed into our game plan. But, they knocked some threes down at the end and that hurt us.”

On offensive struggles:
“I’m sure their coach teaches them pressure defense because they are a very physical team. Especially on the guards, when we tried to cut and come off of the screens they would bump you every time. They would try to apply pressure to you every time and I think that sometimes that messes up your offense. I think once we got the hang of it in the second half, we got things going but some shots didn’t fall at the end.”

On Houston’s defensive game plan:
“We wanted to put a little pressure on them and push them to the side. We were playing them to the side and not playing them straight up. We you play somebody to the side they have no choice but to drive because the pressure is so great that you can’t reverse it. You have to drive. Once we did that, it made them put the ball on the floor and we were rotating well. We tried to make it tough on them but the have a big man down low that made some shots at the end. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

On Mississippi State:
“They have balanced scoring. They had five guys that are averaging double figures and on any given night one of them can give them 20 to 25 points. They were just waiting for their chance and they knocked their shots down.”

SENIOR GUARD Aubrey Coleman
On playing Mississippi State:

“We gave it our all. Last year it was a different ball game. They came out hitting threes. We did scouting reports and knew what they wanted to do so we switched it up and made them drive and that’s how we made it a game. The threes are what killed us. That’s what got them back in the game and won it for them.

On Mississippi State’s defense:

“It really wasn’t anything that they did, we just weren’t hitting shots. That’s what it came down to. We had open looks but we just weren’t knocking them down. At the end of the game we had key shots that we could’ve hit but we didn’t.”

On Coleman’s dunk before the half:

“That was to send a message that we weren’t going to give up. It gave us a little momentum going into the locker room.”

On the game:
“It was like a dogfight. It wasn’t anything that they were doing different. It was loose balls and we were diving all over the floor. We had to let them know that it’s not going to be easy. We had to let them know that we were going to be there no matter what, even if we had a bad offensive night. Our defense kept us in the game but they hit some big shots at the end.”



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