"I thought it was really a good night for us. I even liked it when they took the lead there because those are the kind of things we're going to face all year. I liked the way our guys responded. The first half they were 5-for-11 from the three-point line because we gave them such open shots and so I talked in the second half about challenging and also doing a better job guarding the dribble and I think we did that. We didn't shoot the ball very well and I said last year I thought we were going to be a really good shooting team and I think this is a team that is going to be even better than that we just didn't shoot it well tonight. The first play of the game Marcus [Paige] is wide open from the baseline, misses a three and then Reggie [Bullock] misses a three and six of our first nine shots were three's so we don't want that.
"Had a little run in the second half when we had Dexter [Strickland}, Leslie [McDonald] and P.J. [Hairston] in the game on the defensive end. I think they built up the pressure a little bit. I think that was good for us. I think one of the best plays of the game was J.P. [Tokoto] challenging the three-point shot on the far end and then coming down and making a pass and then Reggie was good, because Reggie had not scored at that point and yet he just passed it inside and we got a dunk out of it. I think in the second half we settled down and played the way we want to play and the way I think we can play."
What did you learn from this game about the freshmen?
"I think it was good for us to get in front of a crowd. We've been trying to do things in practice. We have station work, we have four-on-four group work and now they got to put it into game action and I think that's what they did. Brice [Johnson] in the first half only played four minutes and had four rebounds and six points so I told him that's pretty good. If he's going to do like that I'll play him more, but I think he gave us some good moments. I think Joel [James] and Brice probably played better for their opening night than Marcus [Paige] and J.P. did, but I think I liked what they did."
What can you take away from this game specifically regarding Joel James?
"Joel is a big body. He gives us that big presence inside. He's going to mess it up sometimes, but I think he does give us that inside. You look at his line - six-for-seven, seven rebounds, 13 points - you should take that every night. I think if you get that out of him, but that's going to be hard. You don't do those kind of things every night, but you look at it, Desmond [Hubert] played 15 minutes, Joel played 17 minutes, Brice played 13 minutes and then James Michael [McAdoo], of course, played the most at 26 minutes so we got to get that kind of production."
What does Brice Johnson bring?
"He's a youngster who has the ability to score. He has an ability to get rebounds. He doesn't play as hard as want him to play yet and he understands that and he's got to do a little bit better job defensively, but, as I said, I liked what he did."
Dexter Strickland looked impressive with his mobility. How is he coming along?
"Well I told him and Leslie I thought tonight was big for them because for Leslie it's been over a year since he's played in a game and I think it was good for Dexter too. What's that eight months ago he had surgery, so I thought it was good. You look at his line and you say, 'well I don't know how good that is,' but 21 minutes just to get back out there in action I thought was good for him and I think he is getting better everyday with his knee for sure."
P.J. Hairston gave you a lift with eight straight points in the second half. Can you talk about having a guy like that off the bench?
"It's even more important the little things he did to keep him in the game, because he was doing some things defensively and he set a big screen that was what he was supposed to do when we threw the lob to Joel on the secondary [break], but he has an ability to make shots and he shot a bunch last year. I told him we need him to make them this year."
What did you see out of Desmond Hubert that made you want to give him the start?
"He's been playing better in practice than everybody else and more of a veteran. None of them are veteran's if he's played as little as Desmond did last year, but he understood a little bit more about we were trying to do and he wasn't nearly as active tonight, three rebounds and none on the offensive end, as he's been in practice and he's been one of our most improved players for sure."