“Sure would like to congratulate Jerod (Haase) and his team. Jerod Haase is one of the nicest young men I’ve ever known in my life, one of the best competitors I’ve ever known in my life and he got his team to compete a heck of a lot harder today then I got my team to compete. It’s not just 52 to 37 on the backboards. They had 13 more possessions than we did. That means if you start the game and just give them the ball 13 straight times and then you go and alternate after that. Jerod’s done a great job with his program. People should and I’m sure they are thrilled with him. They should be. They really did some nice things.
“It’s hard for us to handled (Chad) Frazier’s penetration. We didn’t do a good job with that. I just felt like they seemed to get every loose ball, so many second shot opportunities. You look at it, they shot 30.6 percent and they still won the game because of the rebounding battle. To me it’s the most important factor in the game of basketball. Supposedly, I get the ball then you get the ball. The only way to get ball more times is for me to get offensive rebounds and stop you from getting offensive rebounds.
“Today, I knew his team would be fired up because he’s one of the top five competitors I’ve every coached. He’s doing great things here and he’s going to do even better. It was hard at the end of the game for him. It was hard for me. I love my team. I told them before the game that right now that I love my team more than I do him. Yet at the end of the game you’ve got to feel some pride in what he’s doing. You’ve got to feel some sadness for what we’re doing and what we did today.
“We tried hard in the second half. We just didn’t come up with the loose balls off the board and didn’t come up with the plays. We got it to two and I really thought that we had a great chance to get one more stop and then they get a three-point play on the drive to the basket. That was a big play and then we still got it to three with one possession. We got it out of bounds underneath and they did a great job defending Marcus (Paige). I would’ve liked for him to have taken that shot from the corner. He’s a smart kid. He knows a bad shot not the one you want to take. We’ve got to play better.”
What was the strategy on the play with about thirty seconds left in the game when your team was down by three?
“Well it was a hard strategy because they played the first 17 minutes of the second half with one foul. We knew they were going to foul and they did three or four times in a row. We still had it out of bounds underneath but I think it was less than thirty. It was probably 12 or 13 at that time and that’s the only time we knew we were going to get a shot because they had used up the fouls. They played very hard defensively and didn’t foul.
“With 30 seconds, we set up three plays in a row that we knew probably weren’t going to work because they were going to foul us and not let us take it. The one underneath the basket we were setting up for Marcus to take the shot and they did a great job. It’s hard for us right now. He’s really the best at it. He’s 0-6 today but he’s proven it over the first five games that he’s basically the only outside threat that we have right now. It’s a limitation that we hate but it’s what it is.”
How do you explain the disparity in rebounding tonight?
“17-, 18-, 19-, 20-year old kids I guess. I always put three things up on the board and backboards was one of them. There’s no question. They’ve outrebounded somebody 54 to 27. They outrebounded somebody 52 to 29 and they got us today 52 to 37. They’re one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country and best rebounding team period. They have some athletes that really want to go after the ball with a great deal of intensity.”
Comments on James Michael McAdoo’s performance:
“They’re focusing on him. He’s rushing himself a little bit. I don’t think there’s any question. He took two bad ones in the first half and then pushed off when it wasn’t even there on the drive. James Michael is not the biggest problem to say the least. We’ve got to get him playing better. There’s no question about that. He knows that as well as I do.”
Comments on the length of UAB’s backcourt and the impact it had on Marcus Paige’s shooting struggles:
“You look at the stats. He’s the guy that’s really a threat so he’s going to be focused on. They did a nice job switching but they got over the screens. They were aggressive with him. He didn’t play poorly but it wasn’t what he’s been doing but you’ve got give the defense credit for that.”