Dec. 12, 2013
"I thought overall for us, especially offensively as you look over the stats, Raheem Appleby and Speedy Smith were both very good for us. Alex Hamilton was really good. We struggled on defensive transition. I guess that is the tough spot to look at as a staff, that was the biggest key to the game for us and I do not think we did a great job in that facet of the game. I thought we got some rebounds out of the zone late which is a positive and I thought our zone bailed us out at times. We had to go to it with our inability to get back in transition with their initial burst, which is unbelievable really in person how quickly they push it right down your throat and because of the fact we had so many guys in foul trouble. That is a credit to the way they can attack you offensively. I thought Jalan West and DeQuan Hicks were terrific, especially Jalan West. We know DeQuan can do that on most nights. We know Jalan is a terrific pull-up jump shooter with a great stroke, but the way he got to the rim tonight against our guards, who I think can really defend you, was terrific. They had a great one-two punch tonight, but overall it was a good win against a good team, a terrific program, so we obviously feel pretty good about it."
On Appleby's rebound off a missed free throw in the second half:
"It was a really athletic play that was right in front of our bench. I know we were able to get it. They had cut it to, maybe lower double digits. To be able to get it and run some clock, kick it back out, it is a key play. We had a couple times where we could not get the ball inbounds against the pressure. We did not execute our press attack as well as we need to in the future. We have to continue to grow like all teams and you have to have better poise and maturity and be able to execute your stuff whether you are down three or up 14. There are a lot of things to learn from but we played well enough to beat a good team. We withstood the track meet and I thought our guys showed some physical toughness. We had two or three guys that had to log some pretty heavy minutes.
On the foul trouble hurting rhythm:
"It is hard if you are in foul trouble. It was hard for us as a staff to figure out who to play. I think it probably is for both teams with guys getting pulled in and out of the game for foul trouble and you are probably not playing as well as if you logged ten minutes straight. We just have to adjust to the officials. They called it very close tonight. They called it very close for both teams. That is another learning process for all of college basketball. It was especially close tonight. We cannot get to where you are complaining saying something was not a foul. Obviously it was a foul, they called a foul. Let's learn from it, whatever you did, because you did something. We have to get our hands off and give ground. The game is being called throughout college basketball differently and we all just have to accept it."
On Talbot's play:
"He is a physical kid, he has toughness. He likes to give up his body. Physically, he is probably our toughest kid. He has good hands and an ability to finish. Defensively, he is a work in progress as we all know, especially against a team that gets up and down the floor like that. I do not think he was really exposed, which we had fears of against a team with that speed and athleticism. I was pleased with his effort tonight."
On the offensive production:
"I was pleased for sure. When they were in zone we had some things we tried to execute and we did not do a very good job. That is kind of us. We give a lot of effort on the defensive end in our press. I thought we took two or three ill-advised shots, quick threes in the first half, where we were in a really good rhythm attacking the rim and I thought we settled a little bit. Other than that I was pleased. To shoot that percentage, we will take it every night and hopefully we continue to get that."
On being in a good place with Oklahoma State up next:
"You hate to give up 71, but you have to keep it in perspective. They score and Northwestern State can put 100 on a lot of people. Defensively we are in a much better place. Offensively, we are in a better place tonight than we were the other day. I think we are more confident in the locker room. I think we got some of our identity back. We know what we can be good at. We know we just beat a good team, but we also know our ceiling is much higher. We have a lot of room for improvement, as does Northwestern State, UL-Lafayette and everyone else. It is still very early. We are excited about the opportunity to play a really good team. We know that if we play terrific, I think everyone in the locker room feels like we will have a chance if we play great, despite what they are ranked. We have enough pieces and depth that if we get up there and play really well, I expect to be in the thick of things hopefully down the stretch. We will see though, we will have to play really well."
On cutting down on the turnovers in the second half:
"It might have just been the fact that we had those three guards play really well. What they do defensively is what we do, they extend their pressure into half court and really make it difficult for you to execute. Most of the second half we got into four guards penetrating and pitching. There was not as many reads, it was us playing with a lead trying to be very careful, obviously, as well as running clock. I thought our guards did a great job of having poise and valuing the basketball. I wish we would convert a little better at the foul line, that is another thing to learn from but we will see. We will continue shooting free throws and see what happens."