Houston vs. Middlee Tennessee Post-Game Quotes

Dec. 1, 2007

Houston head coach Tom Penders
"Anybody who doesn't take advantage of the three-point line doesn't last very long in coaching. About 17 years ago I watched Rick Pitino take his team to a NCAA Final Four shooting three-point shots after they were picked second to last in the Big East that particular year. If you don't have the McDonalds All Americans every year, you are absolute fool if you don't take advantage of the three-point shot."

"Tonight, we also were attacking the paint and using the threat of the three. This is the best three-point shooting team that I've had in my four years here at Houston. Some nights we are going to have guys hitting and the next night its somebody else. If we are not hitting from the outside then we are going to drive the paint and get the ball inside. We are getting more confident in both Tafari Toney and Marcus Cousin's ability to score in the paint."

On defending Houston's offense with the zone:
"Anybody who trying tom play us with zone defense is playing with fire- not just from Robert McKiver, but from guys like Brockeith Pane, Zamal Nixon, Marcus Malone, Kelvin Lewis, and Dion Dowell. They can all make the three-point shot. I would welcome anybody playing the zone against us, particularly as the season goes on. I always felt the best time to zone a team- a good shooting team- is early in the year because if they are not a good zone team in practice, they don't spend a lot time against it."

Zamal Nixon Fr. Guard
On taking over for Lanny Smith
"Lanny has the flu and last night he sent me a text message to tell me that he was not going to be out there tonight. He also told me to just take over the game and everybody would follow my lead. So, I just let the game come to me and we got the win."



Marcus Malone Sr. Guard
"I just got to my old knack of playing defense. I was putting too much pressure on myself and I have a lot of responsibilities from coach Penders. But I believe that I was putting a lot of the pressure on from myself. Now, I'm more relaxed and back to my old self." On moving the ball in the half-court:

"(Robert McKiver) was hot so he really couldn't be the point and he was the only point guard out there. So I just figured that I would just take that role. I just swung the ball around and made the extra pass to keep honest on defense. That let the shooters do what they do." On having a performance like tonight after a slow start on the season:

"I realized that I just had to relax. I was going through a lot and I was pressing too much. I wanted it so bad and I finally got back into the flow of things and Coach Penders allowed me to relax and to just play my game. I know what he wants from me both offensively and defensively so there should be no setbacks."

Robert McKiver Sr. Guard
On tonight's shooting performance:
"I've been shooting all day, and that hard work is paying off. .I really feel like I'm supposed to make those shots."

On his relationship with Brockeith Pane:
"He's young and talented, but he needs guys who are leaders to help bring him through tough times like tonight. He needs to play every possession hard and keep playing hard. That is what I try to show our young guys. I also try to be like a big brother."

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