Dec. 19, 2012
Head Coach Tom Herrion
That’s a good win for us, coming out of exams. It’s a good team we beat. They played that way – with the exception of their Ohio State game – the whole year. So we have a lot of respect for that team, and I thought our group did a good job. I thought our bench gave us a great lift early in the game. We got kind of on our heels and played from behind early, and then I thought that group with Martin, Boykins, Hanner, Goff at the one stretch. They kind of got us back in. The press was good to us. Changed tempo again. Both looks that we had in the press. At times, we were really, really good, but too many turnovers. Nineteen is a bad number. But in the second half we were so much more efficient. Forty-seven from the floor, 50 from three, and then 68 from the foul line which is a good number. We made free throws down the stretch to kind of stretch it out.
Excellent win, but we have to get better. There’s no mistake about it. That was as consistent of 40 minutes we’ve played all season in my opinion. Two halves. We did a good job bottling them up. Thirty-three percent. They didn’t make a three tonight. I would have liked to stretch the rebound margin a little more for us. We have to continue to address that. We have to continue to be a better rebounding team. A good win for our kids, coming out of exams. They’ve had a great attitude, so I’m happy for them.
On wearing the green jacket the entire game:
It’s my way of paying tribute to Newtown, Connecticut and Sandy Hook Elementary School. It’s on route 84, and I’d say easily two to three hundred times I’ve driven through that area recruiting when I was a young coach up in New England. With a six year old son that’s going to be seven right after Christmas, that’s in the first grade. I didn’t think about it this way: those kids, boys and girls, were of the same age of the kids that come to my camp. So it was my way of paying tribute. Green is their color at that school. Aaron Goebbel helped with the creative idea. It’s just a small way for me to pay homage to the senseless, ridiculous, despicable slaughtering of all the people last Friday.
On how the press led to positive stretches in the first half:
The press has been good to us, but you have to remember that in order to press, you’ve got to score. We put the ball in the basket during some stretches and got into the press and then we kind of mixed in – we have to different looks: a two guard front press and then we have a point one, one man press up top too – so we just kept mixing it up. I thought it was good to us. Even if we don’t turn them over, it shortens the clock that we have to guard in the half court against a team that’s somewhat deliberate. Our defense helped to create some offense during different points in the game in my opinion. It was good to us. But again, I thought our bench, probably in that same stretch, really ignited us a little bit in the first half.
On the rebounding of missed free throws:
Free throw box out is really a critical thing, and when you’re not a consistent free throw shooting team, you have to work on some things that you do on offensive free throws. But we made big ones down the stretch. Guys stepped up there with a lot more confidence tonight. Nigel made two big ones with about four minutes to go, I think. And Goff and obviously Scarver steps up. We have got to continue to be more consistent. We can’t leave points on the foul line at any point.
On the made free throws:
Confidence. It kind of permeates. Everyone is watching so when one or two guys step up and make it, everyone kind of relaxes a little bit more. It was nice to see.
On Dennis’ role of bringing the ball up a few times:
The way they started the game, they ran off of him on the inbound. We took a couple of times to get ready for it. We want to attack off that pass and stretch the floor which I thought we did a better job of as the game unfolded. We were a little tentative early against the pressure, and then I thought we started attacking. I thought Martin played a lot better tonight. He gave us really good minutes at the point guard position.