The second half was not something that we are proud of, but Rutgers kept coming at us, kept making plays. We didn't--we missed an awful lot of easy shots. We turned it over a lot--13 assists, 16 turnovers. We have got to do a better job.
We had the [holiday] break, but we had two pretty good practices. We just didn't convert it to the game. You look down there and you have six guys in double figures. You like that, but, guys, we have to play better. That's about it.
In that big lineup you had out there, who was the two?
I have no idea.
Did they have any idea?
Evidently not, because we didn't get picked up twice in a row; that's the reason I took them out.
What were you trying to get out of that big lineup?
Well, we played zone one possession, so we have played zone two possessions all year. One, John Wall made a three at Kentucky. This one--who was it that made it--I think it was Jonathan Mitchell that made it from the corner. I can't tell if it was a two or a three.
But if you are going to play zone, the guys in your zone, you have to guard him man-to-man. We just let the guy drive in there, so we played zone two possessions this year, and we have given up six points in two possessions. You'll have to tell me exactly which five you want to know, and I'll tell you who is the two-man.
When John Henson was on the floor with [David] Wear, [Ed] Davis, Deon [Thompson].
David, David Wear is the two.
Could you talk about Dexter and his speed. It seems like he is starting to harness it.
His speed is good, his speed is good. He came down, drove in there, got a layup, [but] he gave up a basket before the layup and gave up a three after the layup. That's the reason he came right back. I told him his offense is great and everybody is cheering for him. He scored two points and gave up five.
Coach said he was not too happy in the other room.
He was pretty angry because we made some mental mistakes on defense and on offense. I think we could have blown them out, but we just made so many mistakes and I think that's why he was so upset.
What were you supposed to do on the possession where you hit the big three late? He said that he didn't necessarily like the shot.
I saw Deon. Deon was wide open in the post, and I think--even though I made it--it would have been a better decision if I gave it to Deon and for him to do his thing.
Did you think it was good when you let it go--that three?
Yeah, I felt good about it. I practice on it all the time so I felt good--it felt pretty good when it left my hands. I'm glad I made it.
It looked like you hesitated a second. Where you thinking--
I was just measuring the guy, just measuring him down and stuff like that.
Would you talk about your confidence you are gaining on the offensive end using your speed to get to the bucket?
It's getting better every game. Like I said, I work on it in practice all the time, not just with the team, just go in the gym by myself and just work on it. Like you said, each and every day, each and every game [I'm] just getting more confidence and feeling more comfortable with myself.
Now, let's talk about the other end. Roy wasn't so happy with you on the other end. Are you freshmen still a little confused on defense at times?
Ummmm, just a little bit. Not fighting over the screen. It's just simple stuff like that. We'll get better, though. We just have to stay focused, we'll get better.
How much do you think you guys missed Marcus [Ginyard] out there tonight?
We definitely missed his presence. When you have a guy who plays 30-plus minutes a game--he definitely brings something on the defensive end. He could have played some good defense on [Mike] Rosario, who played well. You definitely miss another leader presence that Marcus brings to this team.
It seems like you guys kind of built your leading getting the ball into the paint early in the second half. Was that the game plan coming out of the locker room?
Yeah, that's what we always like to do. We like to get the ball in by passing it into the post or dribble penetration, so that's the way we like to attack teams and I think that's where we have an advantage. But we just have to make sure that we do get the ball inside. When we do get the ball inside to myself, or Ed, or Tyler Zeller that we finish plays.
We are used to seeing three of you big guys out there at once, but there were four of you out there at once with Dex early in the second half. What was that like?
I was on the bench at the time, so I was just thinking like, 'That's a really big team,' and we were in the zone. Unfortunately, they hit a three, but that was a pretty big lineup there.
You like that big lineup. You think it has potential? I think one other time it was [Larry] Drew and yourself, one point guard and four bigs. Do you like that?
Yeah, I mean that is pretty tough to guard, don't you think, when you have so many big guys who can do a lot of things. That's pretty tough to guard, but the thing is we have to guard too. If Coach wants to feel comfortable with putting those guys out there, the biggest thing is we are going to have to guard people.
Coach said when Dex hit that shot late from the corner, that was talent taking over rather than a shot you usually want. Is that where this team still is, still kind of depending on that a little bit as you work things out.
I think we are only winning right now, just off of our talent. God has just given us more gifts than other teams, and we have been able to win just like that. But in two games it is not going to work. It is not going to get us wins just showing up and playing on just our sheer talent. We are going to have to execute things and do things right on the defensive end. We are definitely going to have to change--do those little things if we want to just be a good team, or we can continue to do the things we are going to do and just be a mediocre team.
What was Coach like?
He seemed pretty mad when we saw him in the postgame [press] room.
Yeah, he is pissed off. We will see what happens tomorrow. I don't think it's going to look too good tomorrow. I mean, we deserve whatever he throws at us. We just have to go out there, we just have to play better.
Where do you think this team has improved the most since exams have ended?
Exams ended about a week ago, so I think guys are just, in terms of experience, that's the only thing that I can say--practice and game time experience.
You all are coming up on the conference schedule. Do you feel like you are where you expected to be by this point in time in the lead-up to this?
No, I wouldn't quite say this is where I expected us to be, but we are a young team and we are still trying to figure things out. But at least we haven't peaked yet. This isn't our peak. People look at us out there on the court, and they definitely can see that we have a lot of things to work on. We are definitely not playing to our potential right now. You can look at it like that too, so.
Coach said that he really couldn't say what he said to you in that timeout after he slammed his hand down. Do you remember what he said?
Yeah, the few words that he said, I am not going to repeat. And he didn't say very many words. Use your imagination.
After the Marshall game, Coach talked about the perimeter guys doing a good job of moving, which helped free up the big guys to move a little bit. How big is that for you guys when things are going well and you are able to get the ball inside and then when standing around happens?
It's definitely a huge thing. Ed is a big-time player. Deon, Tyler Zeller, the twins, they are all big-time players. We really try to look to feed them in the post, so the court opens up, we get better spacing. But when guys are standing around, obviously it makes it more difficult. It just kind of disrupts the flow of things out there on offense.
How hard is it for guys to kind of learn to do that automatically, as opposed to waiting for something to happen on the perimeter?
I just think it comes with time. I think sometimes out there on the court, going up and down a couple times fatigue sets in and guys start getting a little lazy out there on the offensive end. But when we get to the point where we are in there mentally and physically all together, we're all out there trying to help our teammates, I think that it is going to get a lot easier for us.