Dec. 28, 2008
2008-09 Houston Cougars Men's Basketball Postgame Notes
Iowa State Cyclones (8-4 * 0-0 Big 12) at Houston Cougars (7-2 * 0-0 C-USA)
Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 * Hofheinz Pavilion * Houston, Texas
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Tom Penders
On the game against Iowa State
"In the first half, we really hurt ourselves with some unforced turnovers. We had nine turnovers, which is more than we usually have, but they all were self inflicted. Traveling, five seconds, throwing the ball out of bounds, which has been uncharacteristic of us. That was really the key to the game. We could have overcome that and we almost did. But, give Iowa State credit, they played a great game tonight. Craig Brackins looked like an NBA player tonight - inside, outside and doing some things off the dribble. I thought it would be a tough ballgame. I knew Iowa State was going to be ready, and they played a little better than we did today.
On the double-teams on Marcus Cousin "We've been seeing that a lot this year. He didn't do as good a job as he has in the past. I thought he was stepping and dribbling away from it too much rather than attacking it. He's been very good at beating double teams and passing out of the double team. All but one team has double-teamed him hard. He just needs to recognize it a little quicker and repost quicker. He didn't do that today very well.
On Iowa State's play
"Iowa State played a very good game. Brackins was super. It was a good battle and a good basketball game. We just came out on the short end of it. It's not like we were flat and weren't playing hard. We came out on the losing end of a close game. In a 30-game season, you're going to have a few like that, and we'll take a few games like that, too. It's disappointing, but we have UMass coming in here. This game is over. We need to get ready and we're going to have to play a whole lot better against UMass.
HOUSTON SENIOR CENTER Marcus Cousin
On the game
"We had a chance to win the game at the end, but we just couldn't make it past that last step. They double teamed me every time I got the ball. I was just trying to find the open man and try to make a play for someone else.
On Iowa State's Craig Brackins' big game
"He's a good player. He was hitting some tough shots."
On facing a double team all night
"The doubled me every time I caught the ball. I was just trying to find the open man and not put up bad shots.
On what bothered him the most about the tough loss to Iowa State
"It snapped our seven-game winning streak. We felt good coming into this game. We knew if we could get this game, it would give us some momentum heading into conference play. We just came up a little short."
HOUSTON JUNIOR GUARD Aubrey Coleman
On the last look and chance to tie the game
"I was trying to find Kelvin (Lewis), but they did a great job scouting. They covered him and backed off of me, so I took the shot. They just outplayed us. (Craig) Brackins was outstanding. He just never got tired, he played the whole game. He did a great job."
On the key to the game against Iowa State
"We could have done a better job rebounding. They just out rebounded us and pushed us around. We go over that in practice. If we don't box out, we have to run. We need to lock everybody down and finish it off with rebounds. That really hurt us tonight."
On Iowa State slowing down Houston's penetration to the basket
"They had a lot of help defense. They did a great job scouting. They had help in the lane and closed it off. They were physical, but it's no excuse. We should have played tougher."
IOWA STATE HEAD COACH GREG MCDERMOTT
On the game
"Defensively we did exactly what we set out to do. Beside the fact we fouled Aubrey Coleman a little too much. We knew he would make some shots, but we also felt if we stayed between him and the basket, that he would miss some too. Our big guys did a good job of cleaning up the glass. Lucca Staiger and Charles Boozer did an awesome job of making Kelvin Lewis' looks really tough."
On Lucca Staiger and Charles Boozer guarding Kelvin Lewis
"Kelvin Lewis is 6-foot-4, maybe 6-foot-5, and you need some size to guard a guy who can shoot three's like that. He was averaging over four makes per game and we just felt we need Lucca and Charles' size."
On freshman center Justin Hamilton making his first career start
"He played good for a kid that didn't find out until this morning that he was starting. We determined this morning that Alex Thompson would have a hard time being effective, if he was even able to go in at all. Justin Hamilton responded and did a terrific job of getting Craig touches inside, and Craig was very efficient."
On Craig Brackins
"Craig picked his spots for some perimeter shots. He also picked some spots where he attacked the basket, both from the perimeter and the post. They chose not to double him early and our guys did a good job of making them pay for that."
On the last ten minutes of the second half
"The guys were playing with some confidence, except for that one stretch where Houston really went nuts. It seemed like we traded baskets for about six possessions. We defended their transitions well. They only had four fast break points. If you would have told me that, I would have said we had a great chance of winning."
IOWA STATE SOPHOMORE GUARD DIANTE GARRETT
On making the shots when they really needed them
"I had to learn from what I did last game. My shots really weren't falling. I had to keep my head up and keep shooting. I knew one or two of them would eventually fall."
On losing Tuesday night and bouncing back
"It is about being prepared in practice. We have been practicing real hard these last couple days after losing against South Dakota State. We watched film and we talked about what we were going to do to prepare for this game and that's what we did."
On the last ten minutes of the game
"We took our time. The other times we were moving a little too fast and trying to get opened too fast. They were cutting us off. We decided to take our time and get opened when we needed to."
SOPHOMORE FORWARD CRAIG BRACKINS
On his 38 points
"It was one of those games where things were falling. They didn't double team as much so I took advantage of that. Diante Garrett did a good job of finding me and when they double teamed I kicked it out and we did a good job of swinging the ball and not being selfish."
On the second half of the game
"Last game, we had it and we crumbled in crunch time. We had to come out in the second half because we aren't that good of a second half team. We made it a point to ourselves to come out and try and put them away. They are a great team, so it was hard to do that."