Dec. 30, 2010
PLAYER AND COACHES QUOTES - DEC. 30, 2010
HOUSTON VS. SAM HOUSTON STATE
HOUSTON HEAD COACH James Dickey
"I'm really happy the way we played, especially in the second half. We didn't mean for the score to get quite out of hand like it did in the second half. Coach Justin Barkley does a great job with them. Rogers State has a conference game on Saturday, so they were doing us a favor by playing down here tonight, and they played a lot of people in the game tonight."
"Our coaches did a good job making adjustments at halftime on their ball screens. We handled their pick and roll well, but we were much sharper on defense in the second half."
"Our intensity has picked up a bit as we start our second season as we begin conference play. The teams are going to get a lot tougher and more intense, and we need to practice hard and keep improving as we go on the road to Southern Miss next."
On beating Rogers State
"The way we have played, we're capable of playing a lot of people close so we can't take anyone for granted. I was proud we played like we should in a game like this. I wanted to build some confidence heading into conference play. The intensity level and the talent are going to change soon and we're going to be building towards those tougher teams. Playing on the road will be a challenge too. "
On Maurice McNeil coming off the bench
"Mo is so productive for us, but I used the term for our team `being everyday guys,' which includes practice. What I wanted Mo to do was understand that he needs to practice hard every day. He practiced well yesterday when he knew he wasn't going to start, although I didn't tell him that. He had a good game tonight, and this was a direct result of good game preparation."
On Darian Thibodeaux
"Darian played a great game tonight. He got us off to a great start with three early baskets and played good defense all night. He had some assists, deflections, rebounds; he just did a lot of nice things for us."
On Alandise Harris
"He brought a lot of energy tonight. What we're trying to do is tighten up his game a little bit. What I mean by that is teaching him to be stronger with his game when he's in traffic. He had a couple balls he went up soft with, but he really powered the ball up there other times. Finishing strong around the basket, defending and rebounding is what is key to focus on. Alandise plays a little at the perimeter and the high post, so he has to learn two positions. He's really done a good job at that. I like his intensity, how hard he works and he's very coachable. His production was good tonight too."
On not allowing a three pointer for the first time since 1997 (387 games)
I'd like to say it had a lot to do with defense, but it might have also had something to do with Rogers State long bus ride down here. We did a good job challenging shots, particularly in the second half. The hardest part about playing man-defense is containing the ball, and we're still having problems with that. But that's a lot of games to go with allowing a three-pointer."
On Kendrick Washington
"We hope that the antibiotics will get to him quickly, and we can get him back in practice as soon as possible, but he's day-to-day at this point."
On getting ready for Conference USA action
"I'd like to get everyone healthy. We're learning and understanding how to prepare for games better. When we do the right thing, good things will happen to us. Everything we do, we do in mind to win the next game and become better players every day. I love this time of year because the team doesn't have practice and we can get a lot of work in. I hope they're feeling better about themselves, and we still have work left to do. That's what we're trying to emphasize; you have to keep working hard. You can't relax; when it's time to work, it's time to do that."
"Happy New Year to everyone and to all of our fans who may read or listen to this."
FRESHMAN FORWARD Alandise Harris
On earning the start
"It felt good to come out starting. He told me yesterday that I was going to start. I have to come out and play my game. I had to play right and play correct just like Coach Dickey tells me to do."
SENIOR FORWARD Maurice McNeil
On getting back on to the court following the Christmas break
"We have been going very hard in practice, so it felt as if we haven't been on break."
"I am used to it. I got beat out in practice by Alandise. So he got to start."
On having a point to prove with coming off the bench
"I just played normal, tried to play my regular game. I tried to be more aggressive."
On heading into Conference USA play
"We have to get better; we have to pick it up. We have come together at the perfect time cause conference is tough. Our first game is a tough road game against Southern Miss, so we need to play together."
On playing against a NAIA opponent
"A lot more people got to play. Nick's (Haywood) confidence went up and Kirk (Van Slyke) shot the ball well. It helped the starters, but it helped a lot of other players as well."
JUNIOR GUARD Darian Thibodeaux
On after scoring the first eight points
"I was just trying to work on something else. I was trying to get everyone else involved. It's not a one-man show."
On Alandise Harris
"He did a good job, a real good job. Everybody has things they need to work on, but he did a good job. He got a double-double."