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Nov. 22, 2010
Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: What was going right to start the second half?
A: We were getting good shots. I thought we played pretty well offensively. I think we made our first twelve or something like that. So, that's good offense. I thought we guarded decently the first 10 minutes of the second half as well and didn't give them anything really, really easy. They're a good basketball team. The first half, their transition, they were just running by us. We did look slow. We're going to give them a day off tomorrow. They're a little tired. I thought overall, I thought we played OK; I thought we maybe got a little better as a team. I thought offensively we got a little better. We've just got to work on our four-minute guys. The last four minutes of the game we went from a point where it was like 29 points at the six-minute mark and we ended up winning by 16. So, we didn't finish it off the way we needed to, so that will give me something to complain about tomorrow.
Q: Is it hard to help Taran Buie figure out his role?
A: I thought he played well tonight. My thing to him was don't try to score, just defend and rebound. I thought he did a good job of that early. He took a charge early. Then, it's amazing how offense will find you because you're being active defensively. Don't try to score. The first shot he shot was an air ball I think. But, we got right back to him and he had his feet set and knocked down the next one. This is a confidence game. You have to have some confidence, but you have to do some things to gain confidence.
Q: Are you surprised with what Jeff Brooks has done through the first four games?
A: I think he's played really well. He didn't miss a shot tonight. He only had three rebounds, so I can complain about that. He's always been a very talented kid, always. The thing is the mental state of things. When he would make a mistake he would just kill himself in the sense that he would just be down on himself. He's always been a talented kid and we're hoping he has a great senior year for him and for our team and finally just put everything together. He really looks confident again. He looks very smooth and just playing under control.
Q: How is the team chemistry and how much fun is the team having?
A: I think OK. We haven't lost though, too. We haven't had any of that stuff but I think they're overall enjoying it, enjoying themselves. They're having some success and that's all positive but I look at the rest of the games that we're playing here in the next couple of weeks. We've got a heck of a schedule. We go to Mississippi, we've got to come back Friday night late, we've got a one-day turnaround on Saturday afternoon, we play Furman on Sunday and then we've got I think Maryland or somebody Wednesday then Duquesne Saturday. We've got five games here in about 10-12 days that are really going to be tough for us. So, hopefully they enjoy it.
Q: Will this first road trip help you see what you really have?
A: I told them after that it's going to be a 180 from what we've played so far. First of all, playing on the road is different and the speed of the game will change dramatically. The physical nature of the game will change dramatically. We've got to be ready for it. I'm anxious to see how we react on Friday night.
Penn State Players vs. CCSU
Senior Forward Jeff Brooks
Q: Were you guys aware that you didn't miss in your first eleven shots of the second half?
A: No, they asked me that on the radio too. I think when we're out there as players you don't really think about stuff like that. You're just trying to make the next shot. I don't think it really came to mind for any of us. I'm happy that nobody told us because then everybody would be out there trying to shoot the next shot.
Q: Were you aware that you didn't miss tonight?
A: No. They told me after the game. Like I said, I was out there just in the moment just playing. As a player, I don't think about things like that. I just wanted to move on to the next play every play and try to make the next shot. I think tonight it just was going down.
Q: Can you keep your scoring presence going and if so how?
A: I think one way is that you don't feed into it too much. I think something that comes along with college basketball and something that comes along with maturity is that when you start to play well, you don't want to feed into it and get big headed. You just want to come in the next day and keep working to keep that established. You don't want to feel like `oh yeah, I'm on top now,' and then next thing you know, five, six, seven games and you're not playing well at all. I think the biggest thing for me is just to keep coming to practice every day, working hard, working on my jump shot and working together with my team as well.
Q: Is the team ready to go the SEC and play on the road against Ole Miss?
A: We're all excited, especially us as seniors. Something that I was saying earlier is that it's going to be a great measuring stick for us as a team. You know, see where we're really at playing against a pressure defense that they're probably going to throw in there because I know the SEC likes being up-tempo and things like that. So, we're just going to see where we're at as a team. We're going to try to enjoy it as well and try to go down there and get a big win.
Freshman Guard Taran Buie
Q: What was the team doing better early in the second half?
A: I just think we were more aggressive. Coach preached to us to come out with an aggressive offense and keep containing them on the defensive end and rebound. We came out aggressive and we got some open looks and guys made some easy shots.
Q: Is the mid-range game your best spot?
A: Yeah, that was a big thing for me this week in practice is trying to let the game come to me. Sometimes I get in there and get a little excited and want to take the first low drive I see. Coach did a good job of trying to tell me to get moving around a little bit. I think that's where I can be effective, getting into the lane and dishing off for an easy, open shot.
Q: What is your role?
A: My role is just to try to bring a strong defensive presence to the team, pressure our older guys in practice and come off the bench and try to help any way I can. Just taking easy open shots, like I said, Coach gave me the OK to shoot any shoot, any open shot. He wants me to take good shots though. I'm still trying to figure my role out.
Q: Is the team ready to go the SEC and play on the road against Ole Miss?
A: It's my first road game so I'm excited to see what it's going to be like playing on somebody else's court, playing in front of all of their fans. It's not the same reaction when you make a shot. I'm interested to see what that is but I think we're pretty confident in our game and we're going to be ready.
CCSU Head Coach Howie Dickenman
"The first three games that were played this year we had a trend of falling behind very early, as much as 10 to 12 points in the first half. Tonight was no exception. We fell behind 9-0. We regrouped, but then we had some foul problems. My feelings are, and they've always been this way, if you have two fouls you have to sit down. We save you for the second half. Two of our top scorers were in that position. We gambled a little bit and put (Ken) Horton back in the game for some offensive gain. I feel like we stole five points with him because he probably shouldn't have been in the game.
"We didn't execute well on offense and that has something to do with the defense that Penn State played. We tried to play zone and man-to-man. We were concerned about Talor Battle of course. We thought he'd get his numbers and we were concerned about other people having career nights. Jeff Brooks had a terrific night and Taran Buie looks like he's going to be a big time scorer here.
"We have depended in the past on defending, rebounding and sprinting. We removed the word `run' from our vocabulary. We use the word sprint. If the other team is scoring, we're handicapped. We have to defend better, we have to rebound better and we have to get things going. We didn't have that opportunity tonight. There were too many baskets and that limited what we were able to do.
"I though the shot selection by Penn State was very good. I thought they were well prepared for the game. I thought we were well prepared for the game too. We weren't prepared for as good a shooting as they had. They were shooting somewhere around 41% for the year, in the three games, but tonight they shot their highest percentage.
"We have some heart. We came back in the last five to eight minutes of the game. I was disappointed in our effort. We're a better team than that. I wish Penn State luck. They play hard and they have some answers. We didn't have all the answers that they had."
On Penn State starting the second half going 11-for-11:
"They had 18 points on the board with 14:45 left in the first half. They shot. They scored. I'm not sure why we didn't stop them. I know this level is higher than the other three games, but I thought we'd make a better representative of ourselves. We played a good team tonight. I have to give credit to Penn State. They did a good job. They executed. One of my concerns was rebounding. I thought we did a decent job rebounding. We're really not that good of a rebounding team. Tonight I thought we battled on the boards. They took us out of our rhythm on offense."
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