Post Game Quotes
Dec. 18, 2007
Coach Herb Sendek
'It wasn't five minutes in the locker room after the Xavier game ended that we started talking about what a challenge we had tonight. We were well aware, even as Saturday afternoon's game concluded, that we had a great challenge tonight. Most certainly, Montana State played a terrific game and gave us everything and then some. The way they shot the ball tonight was sensational. They really proved to be a very difficult match-up for us defensively. And, down at the other end, although we did end up shooting 58 percent in the second half, you never felt like we were really in rhythm or in sync. I thought they did a really good job defensively as well. Having said all that, I am tremendously proud of our guys for finding a way to win. Let me tell you right now, there are some teams that would have gone down tonight. Montana State was that good, that hot and that comfortable, and they were feeling it. This is one of those games where it goes across the ticker and everyone says, `wow, did you see who beat so-and-so?' So, I'm really proud of our guys for hanging in there and really executing down the home stretch to find a way to win. We didn't give ourselves much wiggle room at the free throw line. We'd really been shooting free throws well, and we left at least ten points at the free throw line.'
On if he considered fouling on Montana State's final possession with a three-point lead:
'No. No, I didn't. When I was at Kentucky, we lost a game at Tennessee fouling. We were up three, we fouled, Tennessee made the first free throw, everyone knew he was going to intentionally miss the second, he missed it, they got the rebound, put it back in and we fouled him on the put-in, and we lost by one. We were playing at Clemson when I was at NC State and they fouled, we made the first, we missed the second, we put it in and we won in overtime. So whatever you do, you better do it right. I've been on both sides. A lot of things happen sometimes when you extend the game.'
On switching to a man defense on Montana State's last possession:
'Actually, as our guys came over, we were talking about which of our defenses we would go to, and James [Harden] is the one who said, `coach, we ought to go man up.' As soon as he said it, I just really trusted that. Guys know. They have a feel. We've done that before. I thought the guys did a really good job switching and prevented them from getting a good look.'
On his play in the last two games:
'My teammates are doing a good job getting me the ball. My shot's feeling good. I'm just knocking down the open shots.'
On adjusting to playing inside more:
'I'm adjusting well. I'm playing power forward, so I've got to do a better job rebounding and working on defense. I'm down there with the big guys now, so I've just got to block them out. It's a tough job.'
On the frustration the team has from today's game:
'Today was kind of frustrating. We knew going into the game that those two guys that kicked our butts could do it, and they did it. It was a lack of execution on our part.'
On the team's success in close games so far this season compared to last season's struggles:
'How many of those losses [last season] came to Pac-10 teams, the nation's best, not Montana State? If we want to keep this streak going, we've got to play a lot better, because good teams like UCLA and everybody in the Pac-10, they're not going to let us just hang there. They're going to try and put us out.'