March 2, 2014
"We were able to be proficient enough offensively just to scrape by. Defensively, we continued to alter shots and get our hands on balls, creating some turnovers. We defended our glass a lot better in the last 15 minutes of the game than we did the first 25 minutes of the game. I thought Michale Kyser altered a bunch of shots and helped us. Defensively, we did a great job on Chad Frazier. The way we shot the ball in the first half allowed us to hold on. We shortened the game a little bit, had some long possessions. It was ugly at times offensively in the second 20 minutes, but we will take it."
On being able to sustain a lead when Chris Anderson went out with foul trouble:
"Jaron Johnson did some good things and I thought Cordarius Johnson was really good defensively. We were just good enough as a team. The way Kenyon McNeail stepped up and shot the ball and the lead that Chris Anderson got us in the first place by shooting the ball that well, allowed us to just hold it on the road. We made some adjustments at halftime. I thought we were better defensively in the second half. Not as good offensively. We did not expect us to continue to make the shots at that level so our conversation at halftime was obviously about cleaning up some things, cleaning up our press, cleaning up some missed block outs, and we were pretty good in the second half, good enough to beat a very good team in their home floor."
On the defensive effort on UAB's Chad Frazier:
"It was not Speedy. It was Speedy and everyone else. He did a great job. Our press was a factor I thought in terms of wearing him down, or at least trying to do. I thought he got a couple of open ones late that we were fortunate he missed. He is a terrific player. He is as good offensively as anyone in our league in my opinion, but our bigs did a good job in ball-screen actions with him, using their length. Our forwards did as well. They got caught on switches with Chad and did a good job containing him, forcing contested shots. Then in some of our man press, guys like Cordarius Johnson did a good job of making him work."
On getting the big three-pointer from Alex Hamilton to push lead to seven late:
"It was not the way we drew it up, but we were kind of at a loss with our zone attack. They did a good job of adjusting to our actions. We had a good rhythm there for a long time where we were attacking the interior. Chris Anderson was terrific at drawing fouls and making plays. Then I think we got a little tentative. I think it was partly my fault by having too many lengthy possessions which got us thinking a little bit too much. We had some interior turnovers that killed us. That one specific possession, we kept the ball moving and it was a late clock three that Alex just stepped up and had his feet set and hit a dagger for us. It was big."
On the last regular season game at Rice:
"It is definitely a winnable game, but it is also a game that scares the heck out of you. Rice is very, very well coached. Coach Braun has won about 16,000 games. He will have a very good game plan. They will make great adjustments. We will have to have a great week of focus and preparation, not only from our staff but from our guys. We will have to go down there understanding that nothing is going to be easy. They are going to take a grand slam swing at us. Emotionally and mentally, we have to be locked in as much as any game on the year because so much is on the line. We are playing a team that we already beat at home and they will be ready to get us back."
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