Dec. 19, 2007
UNIVERISTY OF HOUSTON MEN'S BASKETBALL
Post Game Quotes
December 18, 2007
Houston 83, Kentucky 69
Houston Head Coach Tom Penders
"We haven't played anyone in 10 days and that was a major concern of mine going into this game. We had final exams and usually you want to come out of final exams playing against teams that you played earlier. But, it isn't always your choice with your scheduling."
"I thought we played well and played hard. It's great to have that kind of crowd support. If we get that same support, the sky is the limit with this program. We have to keep working hard to keep the people coming out."
"I think that we proved we can play under pressure. A few years ago when we played Louisville, they were going well and we didn't have this guy. We don't have our big guy. Marcus Cousin broke into the starting lineup and was playing like a stud. We aren't going to have him for a couple of weeks."
"Lanny Smith has not been able to play extended minutes until tonight and we have some growing to do with our freshmen. We are playing a team who gave us everything they had and we made a lot of adjustments defensively. We also played very unselfishly."
"This team is 10-1 and our only loss is to Virginia Commonwealth by one point, and that is a very good team with four key guys back from their NCAA Tournament team that should have been a Sweet 16 team. We led that game almost all the way and the game almost went into overtime."
"We finished a third of our season with a 10-1 record and that is a whole lot better than last year when we were 5-6 and playing a brutal schedule. This year, our schedule is not quite as tough, but we are not playing the dregs of the NCAA either. We beat a Toledo team that won the MAC Championship last year, and we didn't know they were going to struggle this year. But, when you look at Toledo's schedule, they only have lost to really elite teams. They also beat Missouri State. We have done what we were supposed to do and are still doing it."
"We expected to win tonight. It didn't matter who Kentucky had on the floor, we felt we were the better team. We felt we had better guards than they did and Dion Dowell was the best player in the gym, whether anyone else was playing or not. That is how well he has been playing. He has been attacking the basket more this season than he did last year."
"Nick Mosley's performance off the bench was great and gave us some fire. He showed why I think he has a lot of upside. He is only a sophomore and has had a lot of ups and downs battling injuries. He and Tafari need to hold down the fort until Marcus Cousin returns."
I thought Tafari Toney's play was the key to the game. He had eight rebounds and nine points. He also was impressive both offensively and defensively. He was really attacking the glass."
"When you get up 24 points and start missing free throws, and the other team hits a couple of shots. They were totally out of their offense and playing dribble, dribble, dribble before firing up a three. They hit a couple and made a run. I told my kids that they would make a run, but don't panic. It just happens both in the pros and college every night. You just can't lose your poise."
"When you look at the end of the game and we had only nine turnovers to their 18 and we had eight steals. Those are the hustle areas. Then, you add rebounding, which we did extremely well, particularly in the first half to build a lead."
Senior Guard Robert McKiver
On what this win says about the team:
"We proved we are one of the elite teams in the country. We watched UAB play Kentucky on Saturday and they (the media) said that they (UAB) were the second or third ranked team in our conference. Not saying that they aren't but we have been working hard and we have a great record. Tonight was a game where we wanted to prove we were one of those teams."
On the crowd:
"The crowd helped a lot. To have the crowd behind you was like having a sixth man like everyone says. They were behind us all night and that played a big part in our performance tonight."
On Kelvin Lewis' play:
"Dion (Dowell) had 19 points and I had 18 points but if you look at the game, the three of us were the x-factors. There were times in the game where they (Kentucky) tried to take Dion out of it and the team stepped up. Marcus (Malone) stepped up and hit some big shots, Kelvin (Lewis) played great defense, Lanny (Smith) was a general out there and that's what made it a great team. Everyone just played their role and stepped up when it was time to step up."
Senior Forward Dion Dowell
On the team's play in the first half: "We kept the same intensity for 40 minutes. We played hard. Everyone was getting shots and everyone was unselfish tonight giving up open shots for better ones. We were knocking shots down and hitting our free throws. We did a pretty good job on the floor with rebounds."
On the game:
"We really didn't care about the outside games. We just take it one game at a time. These games when we go in to play Kentucky or Memphis we just try to get the win. We try and prepare the best way we can and hopefully at the end we will get the win. That's all we are worried about is winning."
Senior Guard Marcus Malone
On the game:
"This win tonight was very instrumental in where this university came from and where it's trying to go. Coach (Tom) Penders and the coaching staff did everything to get us to the point where we need to be to be successful. They've taught us each and every night to maintain that high performance show."
On having multiple players that can step up:
"That's what is scary about this team. You never know where the points are going to come from. You know Dion (Dowell) and (Robert McKiver) are the main guys. They are the two guys that everyone concentrates on and it really makes it easy on us to come up and deliver and make huge shots. They take all the attention and then we sneak up from behind."