March 14, 2014
Press Conference Quotes -  Louisiana Tech vs.  Southern Miss
Friday, March 14, 2013
Louisiana Tech Head Coach Michael White
"Overall it was a very big win for us to be able to advance to the final game in a very competitive tournament in a great league against a really good team. And to be able to score 88 against, in my opinion, what is one of the best defenses in college basketball is pretty good stuff. I don't know that I would've predicted that we'd score 88. We made some shots. I thought Speedy was phenomenal passing the ball and getting guys shots. Chris Anderson did a tremendous job on the interior of the zone. Mike Kyser did some good things in terms of finishing. Alex stepped up and made some shots. Kenyon did as well. It needed that type of effort offensively to beat a really good Southern Miss basketball team.
Is this a good matchup for you?:
"We are 1-1 against them this year so I wouldn't just say it's a great matchup to be honest. They are a tough matchup for everybody, as is Tulsa and UTEP. We have eight or nine really good teams in this league. We struggled in Hattiesburg against a phenomenal zone, against one of the best zones in America. We made some subtle adjustments, but a lot of times in any level of basketball it's whether or not you make shots. We just made shots at a high level tonight, which would give us a chance to be competitive against most teams really. It was led by our guards and it carried over to finishing in the interior. I thought overall we did a good job. We're a good passing team overall. We continue to be unselfish and share the basketball. We have had certain nights where we feel like we're in a good offensive rhythm but we just left some points on the table. Tonight was one of those opposite end of the spectrum nights where anytime we needed to step up and hit a shot -- which are few and far between, the good looks that you get from Southern Miss' zone -- we were able to step up and knock them in.
On turning it around offensively after the first 16 minutes:
"I think we screened and threw it to Alex a little bit more. I'm just kidding obviously. We really stayed with the same attack for the most part. At halftime we talked as a staff and we addressed our guys. We considered complicating some stuff but we thought we were in a good rhythm. As we just talked about, in the first 20 minutes we got decent looks and had to tell ourselves this is Southern Miss, this is a little bit different. It's OK to have this many points. And we kept that conviction in terms of what we were doing and how we were attacking it and then once a couple fell for us early in the second half, it gave us a little bit of a confidence boost.
Did you know that Tulsa was capable of going on this winning streak?:
"Honestly we did. We were very fortunate to win that game at home. We struggled against their half court man like we struggled against Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. We were fortunate to turn them over a few times late with our press and with a really electric crowd that night. We definitely won with the homecourt advantage and were able to get over the hump late in that game. As a staff we talked about it that night in our office. Wow, Tulsa is really good. They're long, they're athletic, they guard you at every position, they can score in the interior, they have good guards and good playmakers. And they have gotten better throughout the year. I think coach Manning has done a wonderful job. It's a big opportunity for us obviously, but it's also a huge test for us. Tulsa is a tremendous basketball team."
#0 Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech
On making the final: "This is what we talked about all year, getting to the big stage and the championship game and getting a chance to get into the NCAA Tournament. Throughout the season it has been a fun ride with my teammates. They have been giving me the ultimate confidence, telling me to step up when I'm not doing something right. We just hold each other accountable."
Southern Miss Head Coach Donnie Tyndall
"First of all, give Louisiana Tech credit. We knew the two biggest keys coming into the game would be to handle their pressure and to rebound the basketball against a tough, athletic front line. We didn't do either or. We had 21 turnovers and gave up eight offensive rebounds. And again, give Louisiana Tech credit. They played extremely hard, they are well coached and they were just better than us tonight.
On what happened after the first 16 minutes:
"I think the biggest thing was turning the basketball over. That team is really good, but they are exceptional when you let them play in the open floor. I thought they were able to do that to end the first half off of our turnovers. When those guys can get out and run and play 3 on 2 or 4 on 3 basketball, they are really good. Our turnovers let to some opportunities like that for them.
How troubling was your team's foul situation in the second half?:
"I thought we were playing from behind and had to play catch-up and be a little more aggressive than we ordinarily would have been. It led to some fouls. With that being said, we get to the foul line eight times, they got there 36 times so we didn't do a good enough job of driving ourselves. When you put them in the double bonus or the bonus that early, as athletic and aggressive as they are, they're going to keep driving the ball so it's going to lead to some free throw opportunities.
Do you feel like your team deserves an NCAA bid?:
"Absolutely. Last year was the first time since I've been a head coach that I was in that situation and didn't really politic. I thought taking the high road would be the right route to take and felt like the way we played in the title game, in a double overtime loss against Memphis, would be rewarded and that didn't happen. This year is different. We have 27 wins, we are co-champs in our league, we have a senior-dominated team, we have put together three straight 25-win seasons together, two with me as a head coach. Our RPI was in the high 20's as of last night. We have 13 wins away from home which is I think sixth or eighth in the country. There is absolutely no doubt we should be in the NCAA Tournament this year. No doubt about it."
#24 Michael Craig, Southern Miss
On the start of the second half when Louisiana Tech started making threes:
"You know what happens, teams go on a run, we just have to stay together and play Southern Miss basketball. Unfortunately they knocked a couple more threes down and we couldn't stop their momentum."
#5 Neil Watson, Southern Miss
On what Louisiana Tech did to stop the penetration:
"Just Kyser. He was a big threat in the paint, changing shots and blocking a few shots. And they rebounded the first miss. I think Kyser was a big game changer today.
On his career at Southern Miss and the prospects of a postseason appearance:
"The ride at Southern Miss has definitely been fun and very rewarding. There's not enough words to say how thankful I am to the University for having me and letting me be there. As far as making a run to the NCAA Tournament, right now it's out of our hands. We can't control it any more. We fought our hearts out and we fell short. Like coach said, hopefully we have done enough to show the committee that we deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament."
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