Listen to Audio (5:17)
Could you talk about their hitting more threes than twos?
"A couple things ... they've got five Australians on their team that play international basketball, that's a penetrate and pitch kind of game. We knew they were going to shoot a lot of threes. We didn't get there, where we needed to get. We didn't control the dribble penetration then we get off to help and they pitch it back out. It wasn't a very good game for us. You don't have to be a nuclear physicist or a basketball coach to figure that out... it's another step in a long journey."
Is this team tired?
"They may be tired of me but they will be a hell of a lot more tired of me after tomorrow."
How was Tyler coming back from the concussion?
"He was fine. We were concerned about, but after Monday afternoon I wasn't really that concerned about it. I think they did one extra test that they probably wouldn't do very often just to make sure. He came back and had a great score on that test, which I don't know what that means, but it made the doctors feel better. Last night, he said he slept great, eating great, feeling great, so I was not concerned about him."
He looked like he played well tonight ...
"Not really. He's the guy who got beat on the last dribble penetration and then they throw it out for three."
Were you planning to take him out until Nicholls State scored those points late?
"I don't spend a lot of time watching the score. I don't go in thinking I have to get him out and rest him. We had 12 days we rested there and then we came back and played Sunday and then again Wednesday. We held him out of everything Monday. I don't think he was tired. I don't have a plan like that, I just try to get my team playing the best that we can play."
Was it a case of not being mentally ready to play?
"I have no idea, if I had an idea we would not have played like that. Again, give them some credit. I've seen a lot of teams step out there that don't make those shot being wide open, but they made them tonight. They've played in some tough places. I don't think we intimidated them. They played at Alabama, at Saint Mary's, at Cal, so give them some credit. But let's also say that we didn't play very effectively."
Did you have any sense before the game that this was coming?
"Yeah, practice last night stunk."
What are you trying to accomplish during this stretch of the season?
"See how many guys I can make throw up in practice tomorrow ... I need some dang humor, here [laughs] ... Well, to give you an example, we shot more free throws than we've shot all season -- and we missed a bunch of free throws. We did two extra shooting periods -- and we missed a lot of jump shots. Offensively, I'm really not that concerned cause I think we did some nice things offensively, the ball just didn't go in the basket for us. Our defense, it was atrocious. It was bad, so hopefully during this time period with the extra practice time and the extra gym time, we can get a little bit better, a little bit more focused. Get a little more focused is the best way to put it."
Listen to Audio (3:21)
Did you have any concerns or anxiousness coming into this game in light of coming off the concussion on Sunday?
"Yeah. The other day in practice we were going and I kind of backed away sometimes where I was worried about getting hit in my head, but tonight I don't think I did that."
You're now 10-0, but not many people here are happy tonight ...
"We executed some things poorly, defensively we didn't do what we wanted to, and I think definitely Coach is going to emphasize that tomorrow in practice."
Listen to Audio (3:30)
Why do you think tonight went the way it did?
"I think a bad couple days in practice, lack of focus, lack of intensity. Honestly, we were just out there tonight not focused, not executing, didn't have the desire. We felt like the game was just going to be won because we were out there. We did nothing tonight to win this game, I feel like."
Can you describe what practice will be like tomorrow?
"Nuh-uh. I'll probably have some nightmares about it tonight, though."
What in particular weren't you guys doing tonight?
"We didn't defend. We allowed the ball to get into the paint, causing everybody to help. Allowed them to kick it out for open shots. We had bad close outs, we had bad help, bad on the ball defense. It was just an overall bad, bad effort tonight."
Listen to Audio (4:40)
Marcus said this felt like a loss more than a win - how about for you?
"It definitely felt like a loss more than a win. The way we were in the locker room, nobody was excited and we realized that we didn't play the way we were supposed to be playing. It wasn't a joyful type of win and one where we felt we should have won by more and have done the things we know we're capable of."
What would you guess how you guys are going to come out on Saturday?
"We're going to come out strong on Saturday, definitely. We're going to come out with a lot more intensity, a lot more defensive pressure and do the things we're supposed to do."
Listen to Audio (2:41)
You think later in this season you might look back at this game as a turning point?
"Yeah, I think so. This game will help us out a lot, just playing better defense. And I feel like we're all getting lazy. Like coach said, we probably need a loss for us to change our ways. ... Yeah, I think [this game can serve as the 'loss']. Practice tomorrow is going to get everybody's attention."