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Listen to Audio (4:51)
“Needless to say, it’s a much better feeling than we had Saturday after the Maryland game. I was really pleased with our guys mentally bouncing back after the Maryland game where it was disheartening to say the least. We had two really good days of practicing and I think it really showed the way we played out there today.
“The first half I was still concerned with our defense. The second half we did get better, but Miami is a good basketball team. They didn’t get in the Top 25 and stay for a while because somebody liked them; they got there because of their ability. They got some inside players that really hurt us in the first half. They’ve got great ingredients. [Jack] McClinton is really a load. We tried to do a great job being aware of him. Marcus Ginyard did a nice job, but he had to get some help from the others because Jack is so hard to guard.
“Their inside players really hurt us again in the first half and then they hurt us shooting threes in the second half. I thought Tyler was great – 15-of-16 from the free throw line. If your big guy can shoot it like that, it always helps you… The backboards helped us a great deal, especially in the first half. We don’t have the lead in the first half if we don’t rebound the ball like we did.”
How important was this victory?
“I think we needed this one. I think we needed to play well on the road. Fortunately, I really thought we did. But again, Miami’s a good basketball team, so I really feel very fortunate right now… I think everybody was really discouraged after Saturday’s game. We missed the last four shots and allowed them to score on five straight possessions to end the game, so that’s about as bad as you can play. And to have a game at home and to have a four point lead, 78-74, and not to be able to finish it out, so guys were down.
“But we didn’t practice on Sunday, we didn’t bring anybody in and try to kill them or anything like that. We gave them the day off. And then Monday and Tuesday, we watched the tape first and then really had very good practices that were short [and] they were very spirited. The guys were enthusiastic and I told them, ‘Just because we have great practices the last two days did not mean we were going to win tonight. But because we had those practices, if we continue having those types of practices the rest of the season, we were going to be a much better team because of it.’ That was my plan – to look at the big picture and not just what happened on Saturday.”
Listen to Audio (3:00)
How important was this win for the team after the Maryland loss?
“It was important for us, because I think one of the keys is to finish games out. We tried to make some defensive stops and to play a little bit better defensively, but I think we’re going to work on that and get better at it. Also, for us to finish a game out against a legitimate team shows that we can put them away if we do things right.”
Is it a good time for an eight-day break?
“It’s an excellent time. I’m glad we finished it with a win, because we’d really be struggling if we had lost.”
Listen to Audio (3:33)
What did the team want to accomplish in addition to winning?
“Just competing. We felt like the last couple of games that we really didn’t give the effort to compete. That was a big theme – staying competitive. So the last couple of days we’ve just really been working hard on playing hard and playing with intensity.”
How significant was this win after the Maryland loss?
“It’s just confidence for this team [and] not dropping two in a row. Playing closer to our potential tonight and really just getting more positive things in this team’s mind and emphasize how we can play.”
Listen to Audio (1:49)
How beneficial is it to have a player like Hansbrough on your team?
“It makes our job easier. Give it to him inside and give him some space, and Tyler can knock down the shot. He goes to the free throw line and knocks down those, so it makes our job easier.”
What did you like about your play tonight?
“Just basically that I was going to the basket, trying to score in the first half, and then in the second half, trying to get the ball to everybody. Getting the ball to Tyler, Wayne [Ellington], Danny [Green] and Deon [Thompson].”