Dec. 21, 2011
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"Tonight was bad scheduling on my part. We tried to squeeze that UTSA game in, and I knew Justin's team was going to be very good. He's a nice young man and does a very good job of coaching. They are ranked in NAIA and deservedly so.
"We were lethargic to start the game. The game is supposed to be played with energy and enthusiasm, and we didn't start the game off with a lot of energy. That's good for us to have to play back to back to understand that. You've got to come back and play, and everybody's got to be ready. It's always a little bit of a danger right before the holidays if you're not careful. If you're going to get off for a couple of days, the guys can mentally go home early. I was concerned about that, and I'm sure at half time they were concerned if they were going to get to go home at all.
"I didn't feel we played like we're capable of, and we gave up too many points in the first half. In the second half, we played with a lot more energy and played well. They've got a nice ball club. In the second half, our defense got better.
"I'm really happy for Joseph Young. He came out and played a lot better. Jonathan continues to play well. Alandise getting in foul trouble hurt us, but he played better in the second half. I'm glad we got the win, and I certainly appreciate Justin playing this game."
On Joseph Young
"The coaches, in particular (associate head) coach (Alvin) Brooks, are teaching him the mindset of a point guard. We don't want him to feel like he has to score all the time to play well, and last night was a great example of that. He was terrific tonight, and other than a couple of shots, he's really starting to understand what we really want and how he can help us without hunting for shots. He also got a hot hand and once he realized that his shot selection became really good."
On Jonathan Simmons
"He's playing now like we had hoped he would have played early on. When you sit out a year, it takes a little while, and most of our guys have been really coachable. Jonathan has really accepted that, and he wants to get better. He's got a lot of talent and he's terrific in transition. He's also shooting the ball really well."
On Houston's interior defense
"It was pretty non-existent in the first half. In the second half, it was much better. We talked about that today at shoot around, about not overplaying and overextending where they can get easy baskets. We've got to get better defensively. That comes with mental defensive awareness. You've got to be ready. We were very porous tonight on the interior."
On winning three consecutive games at home
"I try to never overcommit myself with the team and when I tell them something I try to do it. I committed to let them go home for a few days for the holidays, and I really wanted to take that back when our record was like it was. I do think that we're getting better. They are starting to understand that both mental and physical preparation require a mindset. Tonight was a mindset toughness game. We played pretty well in the second half, and they had some shots in there to keep them in. You've got give them credit. They went to the Sweet 16 in the National Tournament last year, and they'll have a chance to do that again this year. I was very pleased after the second half."
FRESHMAN GUARD JOE YOUNG
On his play last night
"I came out and played hard on defense. We had to pick up the intensity on defense and get stops."
On how Tuesday's game affected him
"That gave me my confidence back. Now, I know I can play this game at a higher level. Defense wins games."
On his mindset coming into this game
"I came into tonight thinking about defense. I just want to play defense and knock my shots down."
On the play of freshman guard J.J. Thompson
"He helps me a lot. It lets me come off the bench and help the team a lot."
On Rogers State
"They came out with high intensity ready to play. Like Coach Dickey said, we were the best team they were going to play this year, so they came out ready to play."
On getting the win last night
"It helped the team a lot. It let our fans know that we can win games at crunch time and at the end of games."
On playing at the same time with freshman point guard J.J. Thompson
"It makes the game a lot faster. We can get rebounds and push the ball and know where each other are."
FRESHMAN FORWARD TaShawn Thomas
On the difference in having J.J. Thompson starting
"We still played with the high intensity. When J.J. wasn't starting he would come in and keep the intensity, and now that he's starting we have that same intensity with Joe."
On freshman guard Joe Young
"He picks up the whole team. Joe was one of the main reasons we came out strong in the second half."
On if the quick turnaround affected the team
"We were fatigued, but we all got a lot of rest last night. We didn't stay here too late, so we got in early and got back to our rooms. We came in around 10:30 a.m., ate breakfast, started talking about Rogers State and got ready for the game."
On what was said after the early timeout by Coach Dickey
"Get ready to start playing. We told you that they could play."
On how they were able to score in the post early in the game
"I was trying to gamble a lot on the entry post and, when I gambled, they made me pay for it. I just needed to stay in there and defend it and keep them from getting to the basket so easy."
On getting two big wins inside Hofheinz Pavilion
"At the beginning of the season we set out not to lose at home. We lost those few early, but after that we were telling each other, we can't lose at home again."
On how the team is getting open looks
"Coach tells us we have to play inside out. We have to throw it into the post and let the post score. When we do that it opens the outside shots for the guards."