Nov. 9, 2012
Head Coach Tom Herrion
Obviously just excited to get the game over with to be honest with you. That first one. We’ve played without some guys the last couple of times we’ve played so it’s good to get most of our guys on the floor tonight. Our whole unit. A lot of really good things. Overall, for about 95% of the game I thought our defense was outstanding. I thought we gave up some easy baskets late. That group that was in late in the game gave up some easy baskets. That doesn’t please me at all. I thought we were pretty dominant for the most part on the glass. And offensively we finally settled in. We were skiddish early. Obviously 19 turnovers is an astronomical number. That can’t continue. It will not continue. We will address that. We finally settled into the foul line, and started making foul shots like I know we can do. So a lot of good things on the first night out.
Good energy; great crowd. Crowd was terrific tonight. Good energy by our players. We had a good focus all day today. I thought a lot of our mistakes today were playing a little too fast, especially on the offensive end of the floor, but I thought our defense was pretty good first day out. Defense a little ahead of the offense. Second half we came out and executed really, really well. Got open shots. We shot 56% from the floor. Good for us. We only took 14 threes. As you can see, we are not a team that is dependent upon the three-point shot. Our execution was much better in the second half. Scarver gave us a great jolt. We got him great shots, good screens, and good ball movement to get him open. He shot open shots, and he’s obviously a really good shooter. So a lot of good things but clearly we’ve got a lot of work to do in a short period of time to get ready for a great challenge on Sunday up at Villanova.
On D.D. Scarver’s hot streak from the three-point line:
For the most part our defense, we got in transition and got a couple of spot-ups, then we ran a couple of sets where we got him some looks too. I thought our ball movement was really good. I thought we finally became a little more willing to pass. I thought the ball was kind of stuck in our hands a little bit early in the game. I thought Kane obviously settled us down. I thought he had an outstanding game in all areas. He was pretty much in control of the game, playing a lot of on the ball. Chris did a good job in his first significant minutes.
That stretch was defense that created offense, and I thought some of our execution was good when we had to run some half-court sets.
On DeAndre Kane:
He played at a great pace. A lot of other guys, especially newer guys, play so fast because they are hyped up. Their adrenaline’s going. DeAndre always seems to play at a really good pace for us. It’s kind of how his game is. We spent a lot of time in the offseason moving him around, playing both guard positions. He’s shown that versatility tonight. Obviously a really good stat line: eight assists, one turnover. He’s gotten better at the foul line. 6-for-10 is not good enough for a great player like him. He’s got to be an 80% guy. He was in control. He did a good job on both ends of the floor, especially on offense. He was in control of the game.
On facing Villanova on Sunday:
Since I’ve been here, we’ve played in a lot of tough places to play. We played Louisville two years ago. Had a chance, we were up a halftime. We went to the Carrier Dome last year. Been to Cincinnati. So we’ve played in some good places, and this will be a great environment on Sunday afternoon. The Pavilion is a historic building. It’s very intimate. The atmosphere is outstanding. They will be excited to play. They’ve got good players, a terrific coach. [Mouphtaou] Yarou inside is a horse. Big kid inside. Yarou is a big time post player. Their guards can really shoot. They spread you out. They’ve always had great guard play.
We have our hands full. We know that. Obviously we’ve got to get some work done tomorrow before we head up to travel up there, but I know it’s a game our kids will be excited to play. We’ve got to recover ourselves. You know, short turnaround. One o’clock Sunday so we’ve got to get ourselves ready to go.
On the size matchups versus Villanova:
In all honesty, I’m not sure there are many teams in the country that have the size that we have when you start the lineup we started tonight. We have Kane at the point. Scarver, Tinnon, Goff, Nigel, Pittman, Yous, and Hanner. So we’ll see how they match up against us.