Dec. 28, 2011
HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I want to compliment (head coach) Jerry Eaves and his team. We knew it would be a tough challenge coming in and don't want to take anything away from them. I told our players this was mostly my fault because I wish we could have scheduled this game one game back and maybe I should have brought the guys back one day earlier. We probably needed one more day of practice or a day later in scheduling.
Nic Simpson is a tremendous player, and we had trouble containing Marc Hill. They hurt us in the second half on offensive rebounds. We had some guys come out and make some big plays. I'm happy we won, but there are some things we need to work on and we will certain work on those things leading into Friday and the start of conference."
On Darian Thibodeaux
"He is a senior with a high free throw percentage that doesn't get there enough. He didn't shoot them very well last night but made two big free throws. That is what you expect from a senior to come off a screen and shoot the ball like that. He stepped up, and I'm glad he made it."
On Joe Young's big 3-pointer late in the game
"We didn't shoot the ball that well. When you shoot 20 three's, you need to make at least 10 or 12 of those. Some of those could have changed the complexion of the game if we made them. They took away the initial cut on Joe, but he read it perfect and popped to the corner. He got it and made the shot."
On the unusual amount of fouls to give so late in the game
"It's very unusual to have so many fouls to give. We were up two and had fouls to give and wanted to use some. With that many fouls we needed to get it in three times. I told our guys we needed to get one stop, get fouled, make our free throws and it would be over."
"We play a lot of people close and part of that isn't a compliment. The other part is disappointing. There were three games at home where we could have won but just played close. One thing I admire about Elvin Hayes is that he got himself ready to play. That is something our guys, individually and collectively, need to understand. They need to rest and prepare themselves mentally and physically. Everything they do leading up to a game will determine how they play. I need to coach them up. I'd rather play bad and win than play great and lose. We spend a lot of time off the court talking to our guys about the tangibles to the game. We try to help them prioritize and get prepared for the next game."
On Jonathon Simmons
"I didn't think he played very well the first half, but he stepped it up in the second with some big plays. He needs to rebound better, and we all need to defend better. I want him to be a more complete player rather than just an offensive player."
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN GUARD JOE YOUNG
On the late second half timeout before his three-pointer
"The plan was to get Tip [Darian Thibodeaux] off a screen and knock down a little jumper. The defender overplayed it, so I took advantage of it and made the shot."
On finishing the game
"Finding a way to finish is the best part of the game. You can't just start the game and not finish it. We came out a little sluggish, but at halftime Coach Dickey told us we had to pick it up and finish the game and win."
On the importance of defensive energy
"Defense really picked up our energy. We started off sluggish and we couldn't get anything going but when we picked up our defense, it really helped our offense."
SENIOR GUARD Darian Thibodeaux
On North Carolina A&T
"None of our games should come down to the wire. They played pretty hard, and it was good to have a sixth man... the crowd... on our side."
On Joe Young's late 3-pointer to pull ahead
"It was supposed to be a down screen for me, but the defender overplayed it. It was a heck of a move by Joe, and I just saw it going in."
On his free throws at the end of the game
"Last night, we had free throw practice and I made 16 for 25, so it was in the back of my mind that I didn't shoot well last night. I just stayed focused and knocked them down."
On finishing the game
"That was big. Coming off the break, we had two good days of practice."
On Coach Dickey's halftime message
"We were playing sluggish. We already knew we could play better than that so he just told us to go back out there and do better. They brought the fight to us so we just had to beat them the next 20 minutes."