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Dec. 4, 2011
When you guys ad 35 seconds left and he (#23 Frazier) ended up shooting a three, was that the plan?
We put it in his hands, we do it all the time, and tell him to go and make a decision and he felt like that was the best decision. That's your best player. He has got to learn to make plays at the end of the game. So, if he feels that's the best decision, I'm going with him. He's got my support. We need to learn how to win those games, first time we've really been in one.
Did you chalk that up to inexperience, in that kind of situation?
As a coach, I work on it all the time. We do four-minute game situations. We do four-minute games all the time, and I don't want to do that. I don't want to make excuses for these guys. We've got to get it done. We've got to make free throws; we've got to take care of the ball at the end. Ole Miss played great. They're athletic, their tough, their big, but I felt like we shot ourselves in the foot. You've got to make free throws, you can't turn the ball over, and they were points of emphasis.
Summers (#32, Jarvis Summers) had twenty-seven for them. It seems like you tried to put a full team of guys on them, what was working so well today?
I just saw coach Kennedy; I said, "Look, where did this guy come from?" He hasn't done that all year. I'm looking at my stats, and your playing percentages. Your looking at stats and your going "okay, this guy drives the ball, he doesn't shoot threes". Four-for-five, and then he does that spin move twice for crucial baskets. He really was terrific. And he (Coach Kennedy) said, "The kid's a soldier. Kid plays so hard, you would love him" I know Andy (Coach Kennedy) from Cincinnati and I was at Villanova, but those kids you love, you need more of them.
They had a little bit more size than you, but you guys out rebounded them. What do you chalk that up to?
Working on habits. We worked on it two days in practice. We did some tough some tough drills and it was definitely a focal point because we knew how big and athletic they were and we knew how physical they were too. They're a very good offensive rebounding team, so we tried to find bodies, and make sure we put our own bodies on their bodies.
Is that an effort you can take away as a positive out of this?
I feel like we should have won the game. I think we've got to keep competing and keep getting better. There are no moral victories. They made the plays down the stretch we didn't. We have got to do a better job. I need to do a better job, so you can place the blame on me. I need to do a better job executing down the stretch and putting these guys in those situations in practice.
Q: You talk about the situation where it's the first time your where you loose a tough loss. What do you say to the guys?
A: We have to take more pride in practice and working on end of game situations. Usually when you do end of game situations, its at the very end of practice when you've been there, 2:15, 2:30, and the guys are a little tired, kind of looking up at the clock, "are we almost out of here?" we have to do a better job of closing out games. I said the same thing that I'm saying to you. There's no moral victories here. We should have won the game. We should have got it done. We work on the end of game situations all the time. CoachKennedy did a great job. Their players did a great job. They got offensive rebounds. They got drives. They got stops. They got rebounds. They executeddown the stretch. We need to do a better job. It's that simple.
Q: With that being said, after you said you've seen progression in this team, it seems like they keep improving?
A: no doubt about it. We're heading the right direction. That end of game speech wasn't an omen. We're headed in the right direction. We have to keep competing. We have to keep playing hard. This is the type of team that we can be. I just talked to them and I think we surprised them on how hard we played and how physical we were. And that's the way it has to be every single day, practice, games. We can't take steps back and those guys know it. They know it. I'm not going to allow it.
Q: would have a considered that a trouble spot coming in to the game? Were you surprised?
A: No. I thought we would get to foul line. I thought we'd make more free throws. I thought we'd get stops at the end and rebound the ball. It was a 2 minute perfect storm of where things went wrong. I thought we stayed aggressive, even with 35 seconds left, we went. We wanted to do it quickly just in case we missed. We wanted to get the offensive rebound and foul and maybe stretch the game a little bit. We have to do a better job. I have to do a better job. I have to put Tim in a better situation to do a better job.
Q: Can you talk about what you got out of Sasa?
A: I always said this to Sasa. When you are out for a year, it's going to take a little while to get used to the game speed. I felt like tonight for Sasa it slowed down. He really took his time and played at his pace. He's a thick guy, so play at your pace. I don't envision him getting 15 every night. But, I definitely see 10 and 7 and 12 and 6, somewhere around there. Anywhere from 8-12 points I think he is very capable of doing on anygiven night and I think that's who Sasa is going to be for us.
Q: Do you think he's going to be getting some starts coming up?
A: I like how we started the game. As you guys all know, the last 4 or 5 games we didn't start very well. So, when I looked up when we went to the media time out and it was 9-9. I said, "We beat that hurdle. We broke through."
Q: Mississippi came in shooting the 20% mark, how surprised were you?
A: Players make plays. I thought we could have done a better job in our zone. When you have a couple seconds to catch, spin the ball, and shoot, you need to make that shot. We need to play harder in the zone. That's why I went back to man and kind of kept mixing it up. I felt like we play much harder in the man than we do in the 2-3. But, they are a good team, a good coach. They made threes today. We make shots - that makes the game a lot more simple.
#23 Tim Frazier, Jr. Guard
Q: Do you take any solace in the fact that you guys played a hard game all night or is a loss a loss?
A: We played hard and I give Ole Miss a lot of credit because they played hard. It really came down to the last couple of possessions and they pulled it through.
Q: Talk about the job that Sasa [Borovnjak] and Jermaine [Marshall] did finding the bucket when you were trapped.
A: They were able to come through and make big shots. They both played well, we all played well making shots when they were needed.
Q: They were a bigger team than you but you beat them on the glass.What were you guys focusing on rebounding wise?
A: Our coach had prepared us well before the game as far as rebounding. Ole Miss is the top rebounding school so we focused on that and we were able to beat them on the rebounds.
Q: What did you tell the team in the locker room after this first really big gut wrenching loss?
A: We have another game on Wednesday. We get better and we watch film and focus on our staples. Rebounding is something we need to work on and keep getting better each day.
Q: Was that three point shot with 18 seconds to go the shot you were looking for going into that position?
A: That was the best shot I saw at the moment and I thought it was good.
Q: What can you guys learn from this game?
A: We just have to get better each day. We are going to watch film and learn from our mistakes and get better.
#21 Sasa Borovnjak, RS So. Forward
Q: Do you think your increased minutes affected your ability to shoot?
A: I just went out there and played with great confidence. I was in the right spot, my teammates shared the ball well and I just made the play.
Q: Have you been doing anything different in practice to get you more playing time?
A: We work hard every day. It's also about timing, Jon Graham is sick and I had to step up and play more minutes.
Mississippi Head Coach Andy Kennedy
Q: It seems like you were having some trouble getting to the basket?
A: That's kind of what our team does. We really struggle shooting the ball. Tonight was the best we shot from three all year and we actually made some free throws. We didn't get there enough. But, typically what we do we're pretty big and we're pretty athletic on the wing. We try to put pressure on the basket and we really made that an emphasis. We've had our shooting struggles early in the year. Tonight, I thought Jarvis Summers wastremendous. Both teams kind of mirrored each other in their philosophies. Obviously, they were trying to get ball screens for Frazier. He does it in a little different way. He's so jet quick and sometimes you lose him because he's small and you loose him in traffic. He is a tremendous player who I think really facilitated the game very well for them. We did it with Jarvis. We were just trying to get some penetration, which would force some help and try tocreate some open looks. It worked for us down the stretch. For us though, we were able to string together some stops, get some steals, and make some plays in the open floor. That's really how this team has gotten off to 7-1.
Q: Can you talk about the three point shooting?
A: Trust me that's an aberration. We have not shot the ball well at all. Jarvis Summers going 4 for 5. The kid has a lot of moxie. This is only the fourth or fifth start of his college career and to come in and play a quality opponent in an unfriendly environment, I think speaks volumes of him. He knocked down a big one down the stretch, made some plays for us. I thought most of the shots we took from three were step-in jumpers and being an SEC player you need to make SEC jumpers, meaning they are off penetration whichallowed us to get them off the rhythm of our offense. So, for the most part I thought they were clean looks. So, for a change, we knocked some down.
Q: Can you talk about your game plan going in, how to guard Tim Frazier and him giving the ball to Sasa and Jermaine?
A: I thought those big kids played very, very well. Sasa 15, is that his career high? I don't know. Had to have been, right? And that was all because of dribble penetration. He draws help and then he does a very good job of finding open guys. I thought the first half we did a decent job of corralling and that's the terminology that we try to use, just kind of bunch him where he can't get out and use his speed. And then try to make him shoot over the top of us because obviously we had a little bit of a size advantage and we wanted him to have to shoot over hands. So, in the first half, I thought we did a decent job. In the second half, because he was affective in finding those other guys, our bigs were a little bit late. They were a little more hesitant to help and as a result he got turned loose to basket and he was living on the foul line at the end.
Q: You talked about your size advantage a little bit but they seemed to keep up with you on the boards. What is it about the way they rebound?
A: I just thought they were tenacious. I give Pat's team a lot of credit. That was strictly effort in being tenacious and throwing bodies and walling up. They really probably had us out-weighed on the front line. We had to start trying to use our athleticism and quick them to the ball because many times we were sitting there waiting for the ball to come to us and they were getting all of those. I think we were getting out rebounded by about 10 with about 4 or 5 minutes to play. So, we had to come up with some big rebounds in order to have a chance to escape and that's what happened.