Post Game Quotes

Dec. 8, 2007

Recap | Final Stats

Coach Herb Sendek
Opening Comments:
'Well, most certainly you have to expect Coach [Ron] Mitchell's team is going to come in and play excellent defense. We had the chance to play against them at NC State. It was a very similar game. They really challenge you with their changing zone defenses. Back on the East Coast, he's easily recognized together with a guy like John Chaney in terms of really doing a great job in that area. So, we knew we really had to execute on the offensive end. I thought in the first half, although we did have some good open looks, we were really quick to settle for too many 3's. In the second half, I thought we did a better job of going inside. Another positive, for the second consecutive game our team played with less than 10 turnovers, which is really good to see.'

On James Harden's involvement in the offense:
'James is as involved as anybody in our offense. He is. Different nights present different patterns though. It's not just what you're trying to do. It's what the other team is doing as well. There are two teams dancing out there.'

On balancing confidence with discipline in terms of taking quick shots:
'It's a delicate balance. It's intuitive. It's a function of experience. You want your guys to have great confidence, and, to a certain degree, have a gunslinger mentality. We've certainly demonstrated that here early in the season. But, again, different games take on different textures. You have to understand runs. If we've taken, for example, in the last five possessions, three 3's and we haven't hit, maybe now there's an extra special emphasis this time, I'm not saying we won't take a 3, but this time we're really going to see if we can get it inside or get some dribble penetration. Part of it is just a feel. There's an ebb and flow to every game. But having said all that, you never want to pass up good open shots, and on the flip side of that same coin, if you're not open, pass the ball.'

On the team's effort today:
'Once again, I'd like to see us do a better job on the glass. We gave up 10 offensive rebounds out of 25 missed shots, so we have to do a better job in that area.'

On the upcoming game against Xavier:
'I think Xavier right now is playing as well as anyone in the country. You look at their scores, and they're not only beating good people, but they are plastering good people. They win [over] Indiana. They're up over 20 against a very good Creighton team. They beat Belmont by 40, and Belmont's already beaten Cincinnati and Alabama. They beat the team we played today by a crazy number of points. So they not only are winning, but they're doing it in resounding fashion. They have an experienced team, a talented team. They're exceptionally well-coached. It should be a great opportunity for the folks in the Valley to see great college basketball. It's the first nationally ranked, non-conference opponent who's been in here in a long time. People want to see this caliber of basketball, and there is a great opportunity next Saturday at 2 o'clock.'

F Jeff Pendergraph
On the team's effort today:
'It was alright, I guess. We're going to have to step it up a lot more when we play Xavier on Saturday, a lot more.'

On whether the atmosphere of finals week affected the team's effort today:
'I don't know. Even if it did, there are really no excuses for it. We could have like 20 tests in three days, and it wouldn't matter. We'd still have to be ready mentally and physically for a game. That's what we're here for.'

On the team's confidence level:
'Guys are getting more confident, but we just need to get more confidence on defense. To know that what Coach Sendek is telling us to do is the right thing to do. It seems like sometimes we teeter-totter on what we might have been taught before and what we're being taught now. It's like we get confused sometimes, and that's when teams capitalize and get easy buckets. We've just got to totally buy into what Coach Sendek is trying to tell us, and get back to that defense that we had last year.'

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