Post-Game Quotes From Desert Tournament Game Against IUPUI

Dec. 14, 2008

Recap | 

Coach Herb Sendek

Thoughts on the game:
'I think IUPUI played a great game this afternoon. In many respects, they didn't lose the game. I thought our group had the tail of two halves. We were really outplayed in every facet in the first half. With a silver lining, we were down 15 our guys had a real gut check and found a way to win on a day that we were really up against them.'

On switching to man-to-man defense:
'I don't think it's a function of man-to-man or zone. I think it was a function that we turned up the voltage.'

On halftime talk:
'We talked about the fact that we only had seven deflections. We had given up about 54 percent field goal percentage. We had as many field goals as turnovers. We talked about some actions that we could employ against their match-up zone, to help us attack it better the second half. We tried to squeeze as much into twelve minutes as possible.'

On performance of IUPUI:
'They did a really good job. We did not do a very good job of executing things on offense. There were a number of things we worked on this week that we had a difficult time doing in the game. I certainly give them a lot of credit. They were very well put together and very well prepared. They did a good job on James the entire game. They knew where he was and didn't leave him. Even the field goals he had were long threes. Trust me, nothing came easy for us today.'

On coming back:
'In large part it was a function of the fact that we were very desperate in the second half. Guys like Ric [Rihards] and Ty made some tremendous hustle plays. Ty had a great tip-in and Ric finished the game with six offensive rebounds. We didn't shoot as high a percentage as we've been shooting, so there was a few more to have. I think our guys turned it up and went after the ball with tremendous heart a few times.'

On man-to-man defense:
'I know on the surface it looks like maybe that was the turning point and the reason why momentum changed, but I really think right underneath that surface was the fact that we played with more passion. We turned up the amps. Whether you play man or zone, that is required.'

On close game:
'There were a couple instances last year where we had the same opportunity to learn. The team learned how to win close games last year. It's been a real positive attribute of these young guys. They've been able to make clutch plays to win nail biters. They did so again today. When you're the favorite, like we were today, and you're in this situation it's a little different. When it comes down the home stretch, there's not a lot of room to be comfortable. That's what makes it even more impressive. We stepped over ourselves and found a way to win a really close game when the expectation was so obvious. That's not always easy to do.'

Rihards Kuksiks

On second half:
'I had a lot of open shots and I made them. They were trying to give all their attention to James, so that gave me a lot of open shots.'

On his play:
'I did well on offense but I had a lot of turnovers. I'm just thinking about cutting those turnovers off.'

On green light from Coach for shooting:
'I have the green light for a good shot, yes, but not a bad one.'

Ty Abbott

On win:
'To have a comeback win against a good team that was well prepared and to be able to fight through that and end up with a win will definitely help us.'

On rebound:
'I don't really know how I ended up so wide open. James shot a three, I think I shot a three and got an offensive rebound and then I was behind James. James shot another one and there was nobody there to box me out so I just went to the boards.'

On ASU/UA rivalry:
'We're two good teams, we just have to see what happens in Pac-10 play.'

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