"Well, I think we got a heck of a lot better as a team today. To shoot 34 percent in the first half and 55 percent in the second half ... I do think we got better as a team. I think we were better defensively. I did lose it a couple times out there today because of silly mistakes - the two guys I was yelling at it was their second college game. But I think if you allow freshman to make mistakes and don't correct them and sometimes correct them in a very vigorous manner, they don't remember it. I told them in the locker room they both survived my first explosion and now change their behavior.
"I did like a lot of things today. I didn't like our shooting in the first half - from the field or free throw line - and in the second half we were a heck of a lot better. We've been shooting free throws tremendously in practice so I told them to have the guts to step up and make a shot and quit worrying.
"I think we did some good things defensively. We rebounded the ball well - played volleyball with it a few times and just never quite got it in the basket. Greg Gantt, we didn't do a good job recognizing him - I told them he was the best shooter - but sometimes those were freshmen going after him.
"It was a good game for us. I do believe we got better, but we need to get better because things start really getting drastically higher competition wise when we get rolling now."
Which two players drew your ire and did you get the sense that they learned the lesson?
"We'll find out if they learn - you don't know until something happens. It was Joel and J.P. Florida Atlantic had three or four shots and they were 35 feet from the basket trying to run out on the break. I told them to get their big butt, little butt, or any kind of butt, on the backboards. I think they'll learn from it."
How would you evaluate how Marcus Paige played today?
"He's better and at some point I said 'Why would he do that?' and one coach said 'He's a freshman.' But I don't want to use that as a crutch, you've got to get better. I thought he was better today. He really is a good shooter and he was 1-for-8 and 0-for-4 from the three-point line. I think getting through those freshman jitters will be good for him. One of these days you'll be talking about 'Coach kept saying he was going to be really good and he is."
To you attribute the team's free throw shooting issues so far to nerves?
"If I knew what the crap the problem was, I'd have already fixed it. Our stats - we shot 200 free throws in a four-day period last week and the lowest on our team was 63 percent. 16 guys, 14 of them were above 77 percent. Now, you tell me. I usually don't say much about free throws, I really don't. You guys have been covering me for a while and I usually say 'The heck with it, shoot them and make them.' But 4-for-14, I sat there and told our coaching staff I was going to jump them. You worry about hurting confidence? How the crap can it get worse than 4-for-14? That's the way I looked at it. I don't know. Dexter is really a good free throw shooting and he was 2-for-6, and Dexter shot for an hour this morning before shootaround, he was here early. It's just something where we've got to get better."
You spoke on Friday night about Reggie Bullock being too unselfish. Was the way he started the game today more of what you had in mind?
"Yeah, but he took the shots that were there. The first was penetration and pitch and he was wide open from three, the next he got a steal to lay it up, made another three from the top of the key - and all of those were within what we're trying to do..."
What do you hope to learn about this team over the next week and a half with this five-game stretch?
"I hope I learn that we're good... The toughness, we're getting better at that, but we've got to keep doing that. We've got to be more attentive to details. I asked the guys on the bench, 'Is James Michael one of our best players?' And he takes more charges than everybody else on our team, so we've got to find more guys to stand up and be able to take charges. Got to be more consistent moving to the ball and moving without the ball - and not just running around, but it also means cutting away from the basketball. To answer your question, I'd say everything, but I think the No. 1 thing is to get smoother offensively. I looked at the practice plans from last year to this year on Nov. 8, it's a difference of night and day what we were working on, but we had five returning starters and none were freshmen, so that makes it a heck of a lot easier. To me, offensively, we've got to get a lot smoother."