Dec. 14, 2013
Head coach Michael White
"Oklahoma State is good. They are very talented. They are well-coached and were well-prepared. I thought we would be more competitive to be honest, but I just think we struggled so much from an offensive standpoint. We had a lot of droughts offensively. We couldn't really get into a rhythm. We missed the open looks that we had and just could not cut into a lead, could not get it going offensively against a terrific defensive team. I was proud of the way we defended and rebounded and competed. I thought we played well enough in those areas to be competitive against a legitimate Final Four contender, in my opinion, but when you don't convert from the foul line, when you don't convert the few pretty good looks you get, it makes it pretty difficult. It also puts more pressure on your defense. It does not allow you to set your press as often. For those reasons, I thought that lead was spread in the second half, after we got off to a decent start offensively and got into a little bit of a rhythm."
On what makes Oklahoma State a good defensive team:
"I thought they were very prepared. As prepared as anyone that we have played. They knew how we were going to attack. They knew who was getting shots, when and where, and how we were going to get them. I think that they communicate really well. They are extremely versatile. They are interchangeable. When you have a guy like Marcus Smart who is potentially a nose tackle who can guard a four or five on the block, and you have [Michael] Cobbins who can move his feet like a guard, they can take you out of a lot of things you are trying to do. I thought that one offensive rhythm where we had some possessions early second half and had some decent looks, I don't know how many possessions we actually scored, but for the first time I thought here we go. We are figuring something out a little bit with some wing ball screens. Then they started switching with [Le'Bryan] Nash and with Cobbins. They are so interchangeable. We struggled to get around them."
On the difficulty of defending Oklahoma State:
"I was pretty proud and pleased of the way we carried out our game plan defensively. We did a lot of switching. We do a lot of similar things defensively, just not at the level that they do. You hope [Le'Bryan] Nash does not go off on you while you spend a lot of time concentrating on their other pros. Nash took advantage. The three or four times we were helping off of him, he made us pay."
On gaining offensive rhythm in the second half:
"I thought we made a couple of positive plays off ball screens early second half and got a couple of open looks off of offensive rebounds and in transition. We also created our first couple turnovers in press which always helps us offensively. The thing that hurt us offensively that helped us get out of that rhythm was having to play more in the halfcourt. I don't think we got another offensive rebound. I don't think we turned them over again for a long time. They were able to set their defense and they started switching more, adjusting to our ball screen offense."
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