Listen to Audio (6:22)
“It was one of those wins that you have to have to have a fantastic year. It was a tough win. It was an ugly win in some ways. I told the guys in the locker room that when we start making some shots, we’re going to be really a good basketball team. I think this is the third road game in a row that we shot less than 40 percent and won. We made a couple of big ones in the second half. Harrison got it going quite a bit. Reggie made a huge three for us across from our bench on a set play. But I really do believe we’re good shooters. We just don’t show it during the game. I told the guys to stop being so negative and worrying about it. We’ve got to step up and make plays.
“I thought [Justin] Watts and James Michael [McAdoo] and P.J. [Hairston], all three gave us something off the bench. I think J. Watts had two baskets off offensive rebounds. P.J. had an offensive rebound for a basket. I think that James Michael did some good things and we need that kind of activity coming off our bench. Kendall [Marshall] got off to a bad start, had two turnovers in the first four minutes of the game, but didn’t have another turnover the rest of the way, so he finished 9-2.
“For us, we’d like to think that we’re a great rebounding team and I think that we cut down on some of their second-shot opportunities. I think at halftime they had one more or one less point than us on offensive rebounds, but I thought it was more important for us in the second half. Harrison was big, to say the least, and Kendall’s passing, but our defense, I thought, was the thing that helped us. We’re very pleased and feel lucky to get out.”
Listen to Audio (2:15)
On the second half turnaround:
“In the first half, they were getting shots on the outside, getting shots on the inside, getting offensive rebounds and frankly, we just let them do whatever they wanted. So in the second half we definitely tried to come out and pressure, deny, push their offense closer to halfcourt and take them out of some of the things they were getting in the first half.”
On what spurred his second-half performance:
"Coach said some motivating things at halftime, and it got under my skin a little bit, and I just wanted to go out there and prove to him that I can help him win."
Listen to Audio (1:41)
What was more important to you in the second half – the first lay-up or the first 3-pointer?
“It was probably the first lay-up that I got just because it got my confidence up. My shot wasn’t falling, so I knew I had to try to get to the boards to be able to help the team.”
Coach said earlier this week that the shots weren’t even falling in practice like they used to. Does it get to a point where you and your teammates starting talking about it?
“Basically we just say, ‘keep getting shots up, keep getting shots up.’ So hopefully they’ll start falling sooner than later.”
Listen to Audio (1:54)
As a big guy, is it a relief when the perimeter shots start to fall?
“Huge relief, especially when you’re battling Reggie [Johnson] the whole game. He’s a big guy – he’s tough to play against. So when you start hitting threes, I know that I don’t have to worry about offense as much and I can just let them take over the game and then just try to knock some shots in.”
You were getting triple-teamed early in the second half. When the shots start to fall, can you feel that pressure begin to loosen up?
“Yeah, a little bit. I think they kind of played that game of ‘we’re going to try to take away the inside game and let the shooters shoot.’ But our shooters did a great job today. Hopefully they can continue to do that and continue to get better.”