HOUSTON HEAD COACH Kelvin Sampson
“Hats off to Harvard. They’re good kids. They played well down the stretch and made some timeless shots, big shots and a lot of threes.
It’s imperative that we pick and roll the big guy stops the ball. You have to stop the ball in the mid pick and roll and bring your help from the weak side; that’s where we are getting hurt. For the first 20 minutes we were great. That’s the best man-to-man defense we’ve played all year.
Ten minutes ago we were up by nine and not having Danrad Knowles in that stretch hurt us. I thought our match up that we wanted go at was Chris Lewis. Danrad got him in foul trouble. That was the match up we could have attacked.
They made some tough shots and we missed some tough shots. I knew that whoever would win this game that it would be a great win and whoever lost, it would be a tough loss. Two good teams and both will learn something from this game.”
On the last shot with Rob…
“I don’t have a preference. I wanted them to take what they gave them. It look like Rob Gray tripped or slipped, he seemed to have lost his balance. I told them take what they give you. If they backup, don’t be afraid to shoot it. They’re on you, like I knew they would be, but drive it and try to get fouled or make the right play. You can’t preordain or premeditate what type of shot you’re going to get, you have to take what the defense gives you and put the ball in the right guy’s hands. We were 20-60 tonight. We are better offensively, we are shooting over 50 percent against everybody we are playing this year. It happens sometimes in basketball. Gray and (Damyean) Dotson they were 9-36. I ride for those two guys; we go 9- 36 and lose by one. We need to get some guys healthy. Danrad Knowles took a lick there, not sure when we will get Devin (Davis) back, but until we get everyone at full speed we must keep plugging.
I was pleased with our defense for a long time last night, but we had some break downs down the stretch. Give Harvard their credit. They made right plays when they needed to.”
On team heading into conference play…
“I’d rather be 10-2. We only had one dud which was LSU. You put that one in a hefty bag throw it somewhere in the river and let it go. The Arkansas game Devin Davis got hurt around the 18 minute mark. He had the one thing we could have used that game, physicality. Devin’s 235 lbs. inside.
Kyle Meyer gave us some good minutes tonight. We don’t have a big margin of error. We have some bodies up front, but we just don’t have a lot of guys that can make a basket yet. We’ll get there. Now we go to conference season. Most teams in the country are going to win some games they shouldn’t win and lose some games they shouldn’t lose. We have to get ready for conference play. We don’t get a break. We practice on Christmas night and leave the next day. There is no holiday for us. ”
On Devin Davis’ Status…
“I know he’s in a boot right now. He’s has some swelling at the bottom of his foot. Did a MRI. It’s not a broken bone or anything. It’s more like a plantar fasciitis type deal. That just takes time to heal. There is not a time table on it.”
On Danrad Knowles’ injury…
“He got about seven stitches. The wound was pretty wide. I think Devin had the same amount of stitches against Arkansas. Sometimes you go through the year with no injuries and sometimes you don’t. There’s always somebody worst then you so you never feel sorry for yourself. That’s just part of the game.”
On team’s big depth with Danrad Knowles and Devin Davis injured…
“Yes, especially when you look at the strength of Harvard. They rotated four or five 6’9, 6’10 240 lbs guys in. Even with that, we’re up 9 with 10 minutes to go. We have to finish the game and we didn’t. That’s on us. We own it and we’ll just get better from it and move forward.”