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Listen to Audio (3:05)
"We’re glad to get a ‘W.’ It’s fun to get that first game under your belt. Needless to say, we don’t like 26 turnovers. I even chewed the last five guys out for making four turnovers in the last two minutes of the game. I told them they work their tail off in practice – if you want to get in the game, then don't turn the dadgum ball over when I put you in there. I like the way we rebounded, particularly in the second half. If you look at the halftime stat sheet, the rebounds were 20-20. And they had 10 pts on offensive rebounds and so did we. We ended up 44-29. I didn't like the way they came up with all the loose balls, it appeared. And I didn’t like the way we had the ball so many times and all of a sudden they take it away from us.
"But in the first half we shot 12 threes, which is probably a little too much for this team. I thought Marcus' was a three from the corner, but it wasn't. But Larry's from the top of the key, I guess was the only three [in the second half]. One of the reasons we did that was because in the first half, they had eight team fouls, and we've always been a team that did a great job getting to the free throw line more than the other team. But just because they play zone does not mean we have to take the first outside shot that we look at.
"But I thought that Deon and Ed and Marcus and Tyler – the experienced players – really did some nice things. When you look down there and Larry has six assists and two turnovers, you'd like for it to be that every game. You'd take that. But for the most part I thought we were active, we were trying hard. We just weren't very sharp. But that's what you should expect at this time of the year…
“But as I say, it goes in the correct column. They tried to spread us and drive the big guys, and basically what we faced tonight, we’ll face a lot this year. Teams playing zone on one end and trying to spread and drive our big guys on the other, so it was a great experience for us. They played so much zone that it will help us in the long run. We’ve got to do a better job with our movement, but I thought that helped us.”
Listen to Audio (5:46)
How did it feel to get the first one under your belt?
“It definitely feels good. I think a lot of people have been [anxious] to see what this team is going to look like, and it’s good to finally play our first game together as a team and see what we’ve got.”
On the learning curve:
“There’s definitely going to be some growing pains with this team when you’re playing so many freshmen and we lost so much. So guys are even learning the offense and knowing where to be on out of bounds plays, so it will definitely be a process for us, but I think we can do it.”
On assuming a leadership role:
“I think that me being a leader on this team is the best thing that could have happened to me, because being a leader makes you responsible and it makes you have to be accountable every single day. So every time I go out to practice, I have to be accountable for my play. This is the best thing that could have happened to me because it makes me show up every day.”