Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes

Dec. 21, 2009


Recap |  Final Stats



HEAD COACH Tom Penders
Opening Statement:

"It was a game I had great concern for, and I was very happy we won the game. It's hard when we have a one-day turnaround but at the same time but I felt the kids were really anxious to play and get the taste of that last game out of our system. I look at Aubrey Coleman's free throws tonight and that's enough to drive coaches crazy.

"Aubrey is Aubrey. He's our most consistent free throw shooter, particularly closing out games. It just didn't happen the other night. Tonight he was really focused, and he can build on that. Maurice McNeal really did a good job on the board and blocking shots."

On The Citadel:
"They run a Princeton style offense at a faster speed. We wanted to do everything we could to take them out of it - make them take quicker shots and throw them out of rhythm. We did a lot of trapping and rotating. Our comfort level for the game was the result of our defense not our offense. That is good to see because I've always been a defensive-minded coach first. Sure, I like great offense and fast-break basketball but I've had some great defensive teams throughout my career including several here at Houston. Now some of the new guys are catching on and that is what is important.

"They gave Michigan State one heck of a game. They took the lead in the second half and lost by a small margin. The Citadel is the type of team that if you don't respect what they do and allow them to run their offense, they'll beat you. They won 15 games in their league last year and brought back basically the entire team. We just made them look slower and not as good as shooters as they are. They didn't get a lot of open looks and our defense was responsible for it."

On Bryce Clark getting his first start:
"Bryce is a great athlete and works hard every day at practice. He's about 6'7 now and he came in at 6'5.5, he's still growing. He's very competitive and has looked really good on the scout team. I wanted to go with a quicker lineup tonight. Although he didn't do much on the boards, he was still very active. I've tried to ease him along so he has his priorities aligned. He did a great job tonight and although it won't show up in the stat line, he had a good game."

On trapping:

"Certain people have to be on the floor for us to run that system. We have some great quickness on this team; they cover the floor and rotate very well. Some teams like to slow us down and try to use the shot clock. This trapping strategy works against them. I've been waiting to use it and almost used in the last game, but I didn't have to."

"TCU is a very dangerous ball club, and their coach played for me and was one of the tri-captains at Rhode Island - Jim Christian. He's a great, young coach - I'll call him young even though he's in his 40s. He came in at Kent State and took it further than Stan Heath did in many ways. He'll do a great job at TCU and he doesn't have all of his players yet, but I've been very impressed from what I've seen. I spent a lot of time watching tape today on both The Citadel and TCU, and I came away very impressed. They are very gritty and tough. They don't have the inside presence or the flash, but they will play defense."



On overcoming the loss against Mississippi State:

"We put it behind us. It was an unfortunate loss. We knew we had to bounce back because this was a must-win situation."

On the team's defense:
"We all decided after the last game to make some key breakdowns on defense. We regrouped, went back to the fundamentals of our defense and worked toward team defense.

"Certain defenses allow us to relax. When we're relaxed, we're not at our peak. We're a fast team. Houston plays up and down. We create problems on defense, and it creates offense."

On coming off the bench and contributing:

"Coming off the bench, I was healthy. You always have the advantage of looking at the court and seeing what's not being done. You can go in right away and help the team accomplish what's not being done. I'm always ready."

On improving since the Mississippi State game:
"In the Mississippi State game, I was one-for-11 so I knew I had to bounce back and get my confidence back up. This was a great game for me to move on and put last Saturday's game in the past."

On what the team learned about themselves from this game:

"This game was more of a reboot for our team as far as showing ourselves that we can gel and bring our chemistry out. We showed that we can play team ball."

SENIOR GUARD Aubrey Coleman
On improving since the Mississippi State game:

"This game was a little easier. It was a bounce-back game. Obviously, I worked on my free throws. I told Coach Penders that it wasn't going to happen again after the previous two games. It was just a little adjustment I had to make."

On what the team learned about themselves from this game:

"We know we can play defense. If we play defense like this, then we won't lose a lot of games. It was one of the first times we did really well on defense."

On the cougar-trap defense:
"We play defense depending on what the opponent is trying to do. If we trap them, they can't run their plays. That was the plan for tonight, and we followed through well."

On stepping up this game to get a team-season high of 16 rebounds:

"I was ready to play. I thought I was ready to play against Mississippi State but Coach Penders only played me eight minutes. I called him after the game and asked him why I didn't play after doing well in the first half. He told me he would make it up to me next game. He just wanted to rotate a couple of people. This game, he played me for more than 30 minutes so I took advantage of that."

On the defense:
"Pressing is our strong point because we don't have big bodies. We use our speed in the press. That's to our advantage."

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