Nov. 28, 2012
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion
It’s a really good win. I’m thrilled with this win. I love grinders. Those are the types of games you get a lot better in. Clearly I’m my own jinx. We talked about how good we were offensively for a long stretch, and then tonight we missed a lot of open looks: inside the lane, wide open threes. We had good looks we didn’t knock down in the first half. But I’m proud of the way we hung our hat tonight on defense. I really feel good about tonight, walking out later on tonight out of my office that you can win when you defend and rebound. You tell them there’s a tree in the road. You tell them there’s a tree in the road. Until they hit the tree they don’t know. Defend and rebound wins games. Offense is fickle. We found that out tonight. I thought in the second half we did a much better job. Only six turnovers. You know, they play so disruptive. Such a unique style. Give [Morehead State head coach Sean Woods] a lot of credit. They play so hard. It might be the hardest playing team we’ve played so far. They disrupt you with some of the traps, and you try to simulate it in practice but you can’t.
I thought we did a much better job coming out at halftime, circling the guy back into the middle of the floor against pressure. We shot the ball much better in the second half. Scarver did a great job in press offense. We got it to him down the stretch. He knocked down a bunch. I’d like to play a little bit cleaner down the stretch in terms of closing it out. Again, you’ve got to go through experiences to gain experience. That’s a good win in a rivalry game. It’s exactly what I expected to be honest. A war. I didn’t think we would struggle to make shots as much as we did because I thought we had some really good looks in the first half. We just didn’t make shots. But we were relentless on the glass, and defensively I thought we were really good. We did a great job on [Milton] Chavis. A great job on Chavis. I don’t think guys understand when their shot’s not going how they impact the game in other areas. Chavis is really good, and we did a really good job on him.
Good win. A good win. When you reignite a rivalry game per se, it’s always great to answer the bell coming back off a hiatus for the series. So it’s a good win for us. Clearly a lot of things we’ve got to get better at, but a good win. Good fan support tonight so I’m excited about the win, how we won. How we won. There’s nothing wrong with winning ugly. There’s nothing wrong with winning ugly. And I think that was a really good test for our club.
On Nigel Spikes in the second half
We thought we could go inside a little bit more. They took us out of a little bit of our ball screen offense early on with some of the traps so we had to post a little bit more early. We wanted to play inside-out, which I thought we did a better job of. Went to Spikes early. A healthy Nigel Spikes as we’ve talked about, and I think we are reaping some of those benefits.
On entering the ball to Scarver to set up late free throws
I knew he would make them. I didn’t feel. I knew he would make them. He’s a really good shooter. That was by design. I knew he’d make them. He’s a good catch guy. He catches and then was able to turn and go. The most important thing in those situations is getting the ball in bounds. Our best passer was taking the ball out of bounds, most times, in Kane. You execute, get the ball into the guy you think is hot in that situation. We know they are going to trap or foul most likely so it’s not really complicated.
On the series of offensive rebounds late in the game
I just loved watching our kids play in a grinder, not come easy. We’ve been in some different types of games like that but not with the crowd and the atmosphere. I just really wanted us to battle, and we made plays. Everyone says making plays is making a shot. Making plays is offensive rebounds, stick-back, foul. Do you know how much that breaks a team’s back? You shoot, you go get one, you go get two, and then they foul you on the third shot. They’re climbing a mountain. Some grown men in there tonight, boys. Twenty-four offensive rebounds. I don’t know my team and you guys would know better. I’ll take 24 offensive rebounds, and you could tell me that we only had 12 second chance points, but I’ll go home tonight sleeping pretty good if we get 24 offensive rebounds. We will get more second chance points through the rest of the year.
On Morehead State’s aggressive style of play
I’m pretty sure they are one of the top two or lead the country in fouls. And that’s not disparaging; it’s an honest statement about how physical, aggressive, nothing dirty. We talked about that with our kids, that that’s their nature. Everyone has their own style. We had to react to it. We had to react to it and respond, and we did. We did.
On Marshall’s free throw shooting
I think we have to shoot better at the free throw line anytime. I knew we would have a chance to get to the free throw line a lot. Forty-four is a large number. But I knew we would have a chance. We outscore them 28-8 on the foul line. Attempts, you guys will talk about attempts and all that. Talk about 28-8. Plus 20. Plus 20 at the foul line.
Senior Center Nigel Spikes
We attacked the boards hard today. Everybody did. Dennis especially, he was a stand out on the boards. That’s what he does. He grabbed rebounds and came through big for us tonight.
Senior Forward Dennis Tinnon
We have to rebound day in and day out. That’s one of the things coach talks about every day. He tells us we have to crash the glass.
We have tremendous rebounders all over. They might stop me. Then I give the chance to Elijah (Pittman) or (DeAndre) Kane to get a lot of rebounds.
They (Morehead State) had good post presence. We need to keep working. When one guy goes down, the next guy has to be ready. We have guys that are ready to play and step up to the plate.
Junior Guard DeAndre Kane
On free throw shooting
We got the victory. That’s all that matters. They were a good team; came out aggressive. Coach told us all week they were going to be aggressive. We found a way. We fought all night.
I was just playing hard. Dennis (Tinnon) is going to get most of the rebounds. I’m lucky to get the ones that pop out to the three point line. I can grab one if they’re not getting it. As for the assists, it was just guys knocking down shots. D.D. (Scarver) and the rest struggled for a minute, but they got it going.
We do go hard. We have a lot of rebounding drills that we do every day. We’re used to the banging and the elbows and the pushing and shoving so we go all out.
Give them credit. They were aggressive in the first half. We had a lot of open shots that we missed.
We bang every day in practice. All 14 of us go at it. Coach calls no fouls. He just says play, get back. We’re used to it now.
Coach said they would get into us. When they get into us, just sweep and go past them, be strong.
Morehead State Head Coach Sean Woods
I thought our guys fought. We just didn’t do the little things. They (Marshall) did what they normally do, which is there makeup of attacking the glass. We’re still a work in progress. I thought our guys fought hard. We gave ourselves a chance to tie the ballgame at the end. That’s all we can ask for in a hostile environment on the road.
We didn’t do a good job at blocking out. We think we can out jump everybody because we’re athletic too, but mono-e-mono giving away four inches, you’re going to lose that battle. Tomorrow, we’re going to be doing a lot of boxing out drills.
This is a work in progress: new system and new guys. We’re still trying to figure it out.