Dec. 4, 2013
"It hurts. We had a good streak going. We had a good streak going in the TAC for a while. We were able to overcome some of those deficits in the past couple of years where we just don't seem like in a great rhythm offensively or defensively, but you find a way. I had no doubts that that was going to happen for about 32 minutes there, but [UL-Lafayette] played with some poise offensively. I thought they were terrific handling our pressure across the board. They made sound decisions. They did not allow us to speed them up enough to create enough turnovers to overcome the deficit and to overcome our offensive woes. You have got to credit them for those offensive woes. Then the next big thought would be we did not take advantage of a huge opportunity with an unbelievable crowd. We are so appreciative to our fans and to our students. It was packed, it was enthusiastic and I wish we could have given them a win."
On the shooting performance:
"We shot it awfully poorly night, but they defended awfully well tonight in addition. I do not scream at our guys and say we have to shoot better. We all need to shoot better. I need to do a better job coaching. Our assistants need to do a better job. Our managers need to do a better job. We preach that to our guys every day, ownership. Put it on you. That said, I thought UL-Lafayette sat down and executed the scouting report, did not give our shooters enough space and forced us to drive it. They knew a few of our looks that they took us out of, but the few looks that we did get we did not convert, and against a good defensive team like all good defensive teams, you have to make those few good looks that you get."
On thinking a poor shooting night was coming:
"We have been shooting the ball pretty well. Another factor in why we go 4-of-20 from three is that we are playing from behind all night. They had the lead in the first half, got off to a great offensive start. We did a poor job defensively in the first half. They were very good, so we played from behind. I thought we pressed a little bit offensively, played a little bit fast, hunted shots a little bit more than you need to do to be successful."
On getting close but never being able to take the lead:
"I thought there were five or six times where we were right there on the verge of turning it where you can tie it or take the lead, or cut it within one or two and put a little more game pressure on them, but every time it just seemed like they stepped up with a big tip-in or Kasey Shepherd had a big drive or they drew a foul and got to the foul line. They had a bunch of different deflating conversions where we were not able to overcome the lead."
On ULL's Kasey Shepherd:
"He was the best player on the floor. He was terrific. He handled the ball very, very well. He passed it well. He has good speed and good change of direction, and then he got into the paint at will and knocked down jump shots. Xavian Rimmer I thought was another x-factor for them. We did a decent job on [Shawn Long and Elfrid Payton], both of whom have a chance for us to be watching them on TNT one day. I really believe that, but Shepherd and Rimmer were terrific. Every team has really good role players. Those two were really good role players tonight."
On this being a wake-up call for the players:
"Right now, I am just down. More than anything, I did not think we were characteristic of who we are and who we have been in the past, defensively, at the tip. They got going offensively and then we could not defend them. We have got to be better defensively. You cannot have someone come into your own building and shoot 50 percent and think you have a chance. We have shot it well this season because our defense has helped us offensively, because we have gotten out into the open floor because of our defense. It cannot be vice versa for us."
On the first half defensively:
"We just have to defend the bounce more than anything better. That is where we had the most breakdowns tonight. They had some offensive rebound put-backs. We had a couple of scouting report assignment screw-ups which I am sure they did, that happens, where you allow [Xavian] Rimmer to get one off from three and the plan coming into the game was not allowing him to get one off period. We needed to make him a driver and we did not do that so he hits 2-of-3 and when you are down six with six minutes let's say, that is the difference in the game. Attention to detail has got to be better, but that is across the board I think with college basketball. It is still early. We have a lot to learn from this game and from our other games, but defending the bounce and then rotations on shooters and block outs, there is so much we can get better on defensively. I think our ceiling is very high defensively."
On the home atmosphere:
"I would beg them to come back. It meant a ton at the tip and midway through the first half you look up there and then we go on a couple runs early in the second half. I thought it got loud in there. We were just really appreciative, especially to our students. That is probably twice as many students as we have had in there, and I wish we could have given them a better show. I wish we could have found a way to win by one point and entice them a little bit more to come back. Maybe they will regardless. I promise we will defend better Saturday. We have to find a way or we can't be successful."
On the confidence of bouncing back:
"I think we will play extremely hard Saturday if I know this group like I think I do. We got beat tonight, but we have a solid locker room. We have great young men that are hurting. They are not pointing fingers at each other. They know that we have to get back to work. We have to learn from it. We will have a good film session tomorrow like we always do and we will make some improvements. Hopefully the improvements will be good enough to win Saturday. I am not positive they will be. Southern is very, very good, but the ultimate goal we all know is to get better every game. It is a long basketball season and hopefully a couple of months from now we are a lot better than we were tonight, especially defensively."
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