Jan. 31, 2015
Michael White Post-Marshall:
"It was like two totally different games. We talked as a staff at halftime about how we had not been a part of many games like this where we were struggling that much for an extended period of time and then played that well late in the first half. It was odd and hats off to our guys for picking up their defensive energy level and finding ways to create turnovers. That got our crowd involved in the game to get us over the hump offensively. I also credit Marshall in the way they came out. They were coming off a two game winning streak. They are improving throughout the year. Coach D'Antoni is building a new program and I thought they were really prepared. They did a very good job of rattling our guards, side pinning everything we were doing. It was a different defense than we had seen all year. We just struggled to get into an offensive flow for most of the first half."
On what ignited the run:
"I am anxious to go back and review the plays that really ignited the run. Off the top of my head I remember a Jacobi Boykins run out off of a make. Speedy made a great pass to him. I remember creating turnovers on the open floor. I thought Jacobi had another nice finish. Xavian Stapleton's dunk with his right hand in front of their bench was a big play that ignited the crowd. When you are playing in front of a few thousand in the TAC and we get into a good defensive rhythm, especially causing turnovers, it just fuels our guys. That is what we have become as a program, at least at home."
On bench scoring:
"I thought [Dayon] Griffin helped. Leo [Edwards] late did a couple of good things. Merrill Holden did not have his best night but he still made a couple of pretty good defensive plays. I thought the highlight of our bench was not only the shots made by [Xavian] Stapleton and Boykins, but more importantly, the plays they made on the defensive end. They were just flying around and producing some of that heat that we gave to Marshall, which was much needed because they are very good. I thought Stapleton and Boykins used their speed and quickness and played with a very high energy level, as high as we have seen out of those two freshmen. Obviously we will try and produce that again."
On working with kids after the game:
"It is neat for the kids of this community to be able to hang out with our guys a little bit and ask them questions. It is always great to have kids in the gym. The promotion of basketball in this area is neat. We want every kid in North Louisiana to be a basketball player at one point in their life and eventually become basketball fans. It is always productive for our student athletes to be able to give back and understand how fortunate they are, to be in the position that they are in."
"Considering the effort that was laid between the lines on Thursday night and what an emotional win it was, I am proud of the effort. It was not as good as Thursday, but at times it was. It was not a 40 minute great defensive effort. It was a good effort. To be able to put together this effort 44 hours after such an emotional win is definitely a positive, led by our veterans."
On Marshall's three point shooting:
"It was the biggest key to the game for us. We thought a dangerous team like Marshall would have a chance to come in here and steal one on the road if you allowed for 25-35 three point attempts. They have guys that can really fill it up. They run good actions and pass the ball extremely well as a team. To limit their makes to four and more importantly, limit their attempts to 17 is a good effort by our guys."
On tough shots made early by Marshall:
"When they hit the second long three I knew that was two daggers, two very difficult shots that they stepped up and took advantage of. The third shot was a hard floater from about 15 feet at the end of the shot clock that banked in. It is part of the game and that is going to happen. We had one of those at UTSA. We had a late clock opportunity where Raheem stepped up through contact after a shot fake and hit a 24 foot dagger. I think when you are playing good shooting teams, you have to prepare for it to happen at times. When teams come in with nothing to lose, against one of the league leaders, you are going to get their best shot."
"It is just so important for this team. We have talked about it all year and I know you are probably sick of hearing it and I am sick of saying it. We have nine guys that have never done it. You cannot win a game with four guys. With the way we play, you cannot be productive and successful with even six or seven guys playing well. Since I have been here, we have always relied on nine, 10 or 11 guys. Two years ago we had 11 players' average double-figure minutes. It is just the way we play. We do not need nine guys to score or even seven guys to score big, but we need seven or eight to play well. Without Xavian and Jacobi making shots, I thought they played well. We have to get that effort next Thursday and Saturday to where they are helping us in other ways than making jump shots."
On players feeding off your energy:
"I get enthusiastic. I love what I do and I am passionate about it, just like all coaches. Sometimes I think it is productive for us. With a young crew though, it probably has not been the best thing at times. You do not want young guys putting too much pressure on themselves and you do not want guys thinking too much about if coach is happy with them or upset with them. We have a few young guys with some sensitivity issues that we are trying to overcome. It is a process and we have gotten a lot better. Our guys have to allow our staff to push the envelope and help them become their best."
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