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Feb. 6, 2010
Head Coach Ed DeChellis Quotes
Q: What did you think of the job Chris [Babb] did defensively [on the game-winning shot]? Could he have done any better of a job?
A: I don't think so. The last thing out of the timeout I told them was that after we score this ball, we've got to sprint back and match and we know who the guys are they're going to try and go to and he's the guy. He's very good at dipping his shoulder, getting into you, stepping back and making a shot and that's what he did. As soon as he released it, it looked good to me. He's a senior and he made a big play, a play to win the game. But it was a contested shot.
Q: Can you talk about how you did today kicking the ball out when Talor was driving?
A: Well, I thought we did that for the most part. In the end, I'm not sure we did that as well as we needed to. But we made basketball plays in the end. We made a couple threes in there that kind of helped us get right back into it. But offensively, I thought we drove the ball, we made some shots, we kicked out and we made some shots. I thought we missed a timely shot or two when we kind of had it going and trying to break it or maybe get the lead. That's kind of been the thing all year; we haven't made a real timely shot. But at the end of the game, Jeff [Brooks] made a toughness play and flips it to him, we tie it up, and they go down and make the big basket. So, we had made some plays throughout the game, I think we're good basketball players.
Q: Did you kind of think that with the way this season has been going, that the final shot was going to go in?
A: When it left, I knew it was in from my angle and that's hard watching it. He was contested, Chris got a hand up and pushed him out and he made a shot. It's been all year, it's a possession game and you have to make a play when the play is there. We made one on the other end to tie it and they came down and made one on the other end to win it. But it was a contested shot. Give the kid credit, he made a big basket, but that's kind of the way things have gone for us.
Q: Do you think you say very much to the guys after about this tough loss?
A: Yes, I think you say a lot to them. I thought we talked about character, I thought we talked about a little toughness; I thought we talked about sticking together. We're going through a very difficult time but that's who we have, we have each other and we've got to continue to battle. It's hard for everybody to accept that and we don't accept it, but in reality, we've got to come back to work on Monday. We're going to give them off tomorrow then back in on Monday and back to work because we have a crucial game here next Saturday afternoon. We've got Michigan State coming in and we're going to take our swings and we're going to play hard and we're going to try and beat that team. We've had a chance to win a lot of games and that's the frustrating part but we have each other and we're going to stick together and we're going to continue to work hard.
Q: Talor said he goes into every game thinking as if you were 0-0. Is that something you've talked about?
A: We've talked about that, especially the second half once we turned the corner here. It's not about a record; it's about us trying to get better, trying to win a game. I think one win will lead to two, to three, four. I don't think we're that far away from that, we just haven't been able to get that one yet and we've got to find a way to win. Again, I thought they tried tonight and we did find a way to win. We hit a couple of big threes when we needed to, we made a steal in the end, we made a lay-up, and they just made one more play. It's kind of been the record all year, they make one more play. One more rebound, one more defensive stop, whatever it may be.
Q: Was Bill [Edwards] anywhere near playing today?
A: No. Couldn't jump, couldn't cut so you know, he couldn't go.
Q: You have a bye this week, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A: I think it comes at a good time. We had three games this week, Sunday and Wednesday, we traveled both and tonight's. Sometimes, you need to take a step away. The guys will have study hall tomorrow, an academic day. We'll come back on Monday to go through shooting practice on Monday, I'm going to give them off Tuesday and then we'll come back hard at it Wednesday, Thursday, Friday for our game next Saturday. So, I think it comes at a pretty good time to let us catch our breath and be ready to go next week.
Q: What did you think about Tim, he looked a little bit more comfortable out there today.
A: Yes, I thought Tim Frazier made a couple nice drives to the basket. Defensively, No. 5 got him on a couple things but he had a better second half defensively. As a freshman out there, he did a good job. He was a little more comfortable I thought, he did fine.
Q: How much did you guys make with the Coaches vs. Cancer auction today?
A: Well, we just kind of with our luck and then the sense that we didn't have much of a crowd today because of the storm, but I hope it went well. The uniforms looked good out there. We were trying to raise money for Coaches vs. Cancer and hopefully we sold enough of those tickets to do that but if we had a big crowd, I think it would have been more successful. I appreciate everybody who came today and weathered the storm. To be honest with you, I was surprised there were that many people there tonight considering the storm that we had. I really appreciate everyone coming and supporting the kids.
Q: Things obviously have not gone right throughout this streak. But do you think things are starting to somewhat turn the corner?
A: We didn't have enough time. There was only nine seconds. We did it right and then they came back down and hit a jumper. To be honest with you, with nine seconds left when we tied it up, it never really sank in before they turned around and took a shot. The positives are we did make some plays, but still it wasn't enough.
Q: What was going through your mind on the last shot?
A: Well I was telling the guys after the game, I don't think Chris (Babb) could have done a better job defending Westbrook. In my head I was just hoping he wouldn't get it off before time expired. Right when the ball went up, I just looked at the rim and I kid you not, I just saw it going in. It just dropped. I felt deflated and that's not a good feeling. That's been the way luck has treated us all season long.
Q: What were you and Jeff Brooks saying to each other when you walked off the court?
A: I didn't say anything. Jeff was just supporting me I guess. Like I said, I really didn't say anything. I just walked off in disbelief. I said to the guys it was bad luck. I told Chris (Babb) that if he were to defend Westbrook the same way again, I don't think he would make it. That was a tough shot.
Q: Can you talk about the attitudes right now of the guys?
A: We are still basketball players and we love to play the game. When you go out there and you expect to get steamrolled, you may as well quit. Being 0-11 now, that's like the worst feeling ever. But it gives you the stride to want to win. We are trying and trying. Sometimes I think we get up tight a little bit, but tonight we hit our shots. And then they just came back and made a spectacular shot.
Q: A lot of people are saying you guys are building character. Are you guys tired of hearing that cliché?
A: At this point, in the locker room I feel so bad for coach because he tries so hard. After a loss like this there is not much he can say. I know he is getting sick of telling us we got to keep our heads up and continue to play because we are right there and can't get over the hump.
Q: Does it feel like you guys are 0-11?
A: At this point, I have excluded all the win loss columns and I am going into each game saying we are 0-0 because it is a bad feeling. Whenever we play a game, no team takes us lightly except for Purdue and Wisconsin here. We've been right down to the net with every other team even on the road. We go out and fight. It's just unfortunate this year. We cannot get over the hump and win one.
Q: Can you talk about that last play defensively?
A: After they came in and pushed the ball I thought we matched up well. We had everyone defended, but give credit to Lawrence Westbrook. He came down and hit a very tough shot with Chris Babb in his face. He hit a step back jumper and when things like that happen, you just got to give the player credit. I don't think we could've defended it any better.
Q: Can you talk about how tough it is to be trailing all game, tie it up, and then quickly they win the game?
A: Every loss is tough whether you lose by one or 20. It goes down as a loss. Yes it hurts, but all the losses we do have hurt. We just have to prepare for these games down the stretch and hopefully we will be ready for the next one.
Q: What was going on in your head during the last shot?
A: I'm a little different. I was prepared for a miss. After Talor hit the shot, I knew that this was going to be our day. When it hit, I was hoping it was after the buzzer. But I thought he was really going to miss that shot. It went in. What can you say? It was a good shot.
Q: Is it a good time to have a break this week?
A: I think it is a good thing because we have a couple of guys that are banged up. It will give them a chance to rest up and be healthy. Then again, it's a bad thing too because we have to sit here with this bad taste in our mouth until the next game. It's kind of a good and a bad thing. We will get our rest and prepare for our next game.
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
Q: Opening Statement:
A: I guess that's kind of the way we feel. We're kind of relieved to get the win. I thought it was a very hard-fought battle. A game that neither team, I know we really didn't feel comfortable with the lead and we didn't play well with the lead. It was a good win for us on the road. We haven't won here in a while. I like the toughness that our kids showed to not panic near the end. They get the necessary stops that we had to get in certain times even though we didn't get the stops at the end there. I thought Ralph Sampson (III) with a double-double was impressive today. We made our free throws when it counted. Lawrence Westbrook, even though he struggled shooting the ball, made a big time shot and he's got a lot of heart and a lot of courage. I like how our guys competed today and we were finally able to win a close game.
Q: Was the final nine seconds offensively how you guys drew it up?
A: No, we didn't draw anything up but we wanted to push it up the court. Penn State didn't have any timeouts. We had two. If we didn't see something we liked, the worst you could do was overtime. I wanted to attack the basket better and that's something we work on but we didn't do it but we did get an open look. I didn't want them to get a chance to set their defense and if we push it they're in retreat mode. The only thing I wish we'd done was got it there quicker and pushed it up quicker.
Q: Did Talor Battle do a good job breaking traps?
A: We did and it cost us in the end. We did a poor job maybe because we didn't find him and he's such a gutsy player, tough to make those threes. Then, David Jackson hit a three there and they made some big time shots to get them a chance to win. We wanted to rotate over and clog the middle up and I thought Ralph (Sampson III) did a great job today of doing that and staying near the basket even though sometimes, early in the game, we were rotating over when we shouldn't. That was our key was to try to make Talor work for everything he got.
Q: Lawrence Westbrook did a good job of creating space for that last shot. Is that a key part to his game?
A: That's his game. He's an excellent one-on-one player. Like I said before, he's got the heart of a lion. He's got a lot of courage and a lot of toughness. He hadn't been as aggressive. He would have been much more effective if he could have knocked down a three today. He still was willing to take that last shot. That's his game. He's probably our best one-on-one player.
Q: How much of your offensive game plan was to pound it inside with Damian Johnson and Ralph Sampson III?
A: Yes. I think he got a couple fouls on him early and the way Ralph (Sampson III) has been playing, we wanted to establish the inside game. We always want to do that but sometimes it doesn't work that way. I thought both Colton (Iverson) and Ralph were aggressively taking the ball to the basket and that was our game plan to early to go inside out.