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Dec. 8, 2009
POST GAME QUOTES Penn State vs. UMBC
Q: You really stressed rebounding tonight. You came out with 52 rebounds tonight. What message did you send to the kids?
A: I think you need to be a good rebounding team to play in this league we are in. You need to defend and you need to rebound otherwise you will not be successful in the Big Ten. I thought our defensive rebounding was pretty good. I'm not sure if our offensive rebounding if we have got enough. This was not a very big team we played. We will find out a lot about rebounding Saturday night. I think Virginia Tech is averaging 17 offensive rebounds a game. I will give you a better read on that after we play somebody with guys up front with some size.
Q: Your players talked about defensive intensity a few moments ago. Is it tough going from Saturday in a buzzed up environment, to here tonight?
A: Yea. We got to guard somebody. You have to do what you are supposed to do. I thought we turned Tim (Frazier) loose in the second half to pick up the defensive intensity. I thought he did a good job moving his feet and containing the ball. I'm trying to convince this group to have some fun defensively and score off the defense. We had no steals at half. I said to them, "We have to get some steals. We have to get our hands on the ball." That told me that we weren't into them enough. We have to get better defensively. We have to get better pressure on the ball.
Q: You were 4-for-21 from three. Are they good shots?
A: First half they were really good shots. They were wide open. I thought we had some wide open shots in the second half. If you rebound it and you defend it, it will give you a chance to win. If you keep defending and don't let them score, they you're okay. The problem is if we don't score and let it affect our defense, we get ourselves into some trouble. But we had open shots, we just didn't make them.
Q: Drew Jones was 4-for-6 from the field. Do you think a game like this got his offense going?
A: Well hopefully. I thought he was aggressive trying to rebound the ball tonight. He was spinning off some guys. We need him to get ten rebounds a game. He needs to get a couple offensive rebounds and grab six or seven defensive rebounds. He is a big, strong kid and he needs to rebound the ball. If he wants to score, he needs to go get it off the glass. So again, it's all a motion. We need to get guys to understand how they can play and help the team.
Q: This is not the first time the team has come out flat. Are you concerned about that?
A: I'm a little concerned about our leadership. We have not been a vocal bunch. The guys who need to be vocal have not been as vocal. Drew Jones is an older guy and he has not been playing the way he can play, so I think he is still trying to feel his way. D.J. Jackson was not a factor tonight. He is a fourth year guy. I thought Talor did a nice job spreading the ball and letting everyone make plays tonight. But, we are a young team in spots and we need our freshmen class to play well. We need our sophomore class to step up and do some things. We need somebody to kind of prod everybody along.
Q: Ed said he was going to put an emphasis on rebounding after the effort at Temple. Did you guys think that you picked it up tonight?
A: I think we did. Temple had 17 offensive boards, and that could've been a difference in the game. I think it was the difference in the game. So we just wanted to come out and make and effort to get those guys off the glass and us crashing the boards.
Q: You went 4-for-6 from the floor and 2-for-3 from the line. What was getting your offense going?
A: It just started happening for me. Things started clicking. I was just taking my time and just picking my spots. I know I can be productive on offense, it's just a matter of getting that confidence back, taking my time, and allowing my teammates to find me.
Q: You held them to 19 points in the second half. Can you talk about how much Coach stressed defense at halftime?
A: Well the coaches had a meeting prior to coming into the film room and discussing the second half. Coach Preston usually comes in before the meeting and puts up one word on the board representing something we didn't do well in the first half. He wanted defensive intensity in the second half. So that pretty much said it all. We were playing defense, we really were not into guys and the intensity wasn't really there. In the second half we really got to their point guard. It caused some early turnovers and it got us going.
Q: How does it feel to have a good offensive game in front of the home crowd?
A: It feels good. It feels good to get on the board and help your team win and also do all the little things to help the team win. Everybody has to do everything to win. It feels good to have a good offensive night, but at the same time, you have to do other things to get other people involved too.
Q: What will you guys need to do vs. Virginia Tech to get a big non-conference win?
A: We will have to do a lot of little things. They have a lot of guys that can score. They have a kid, Allen, who has a big body and likes to attack the glass. I think we just got to defend and rebound. When we do that, we are a pretty good basketball team.
Q: What did Coach say to you guys at halftime about the energy?
A: Something that Coach Preston wrote on the board was "defensive intensity." We were playing defense in the first half but it wasn't as well as we can really play. In the second half, we came out with a different intensity level and had some fun on the defensive end. We had a couple good box-outs and rebounds which allowed us to push.
Q: Can you talk about your dunk and how that maybe set up the loose atmosphere out there?
A: It kind of just happened. I saw D.J. (Jackson) taking the shot and I ran to the basket, turned in the air, and I caught the ball. So that was it.
Q: Can you talk about the effort on the bench?
A: One thing you can bring off the bench is attitude. That's what bench players are for. Those guys came in, played hard, and put some energy into the game. Those guys came in and played very hard tonight. That's something we have been stressing for all year, that the people that come off the bench play hard and give us a boost. That's what those guys did tonight.
Q: When you guys are struggling from three like you are this year, do you find yourself and some of the front-court guys having more pressure to get involved more with the scoring?
A: Yea. Tonight we went 4-for-21 from the three-point line. We needed some scoring from somewhere. So luckily, Drew and I were able to make some shots and get the offense going. Those nights are going to happen, but I have faith in my teammates that they are going to bounce back in our game on Saturday. The only thing you can do is come into practice, keep shooting, and get your confidence up.
UMBC Coach Randy Monroe
"I thought that down the stretch we ran out of gas a little bit. Penn State did a good job of pounding the glass, it kind of took its toll on us a little bit. But I'm really proud of our guy's effort, two of our best players not being able to play tonight, our young guys really playing as hard as they possibly could, playing hard and putting forth a tremendous effort, so I can't fault the effort of my team and as I just told them in the locker room, sometimes things don't work out the way you want them, it's a funny game, but it's just like the game of life. I'm just extremely proud of our guys and we'll bounce back.
What was the injuries that Gilliam and .
"..sprained his ankle early in the game, I think that that kind of took its toll on us a little bit too"
And where was Jackson?
"He actually got hurt in our last game, Toledo, with an ankle sprain. So obviously when we get those two guys back it'll make us an even better team. Did see some positive things tonight with our team, I saw our freshman Nick Groce coming in and doing a solid job, alongside Chris De La Rosa, and although our two freshman struggled a little bit shooting the basketball, I'm really happy with our two players both Bryan Neller and Sean Grant. Those two guys can flat out shoot the basketball, and they got a lot of talent, a lot of good games to be played for us down the stretch.
".effort defending Talor Battle?"
"I thought Chris De La Rosa really took it as a personal challenge. You know Talor's one of the top players in the country, there's no question about it. I've seen him play numerous times, he's just a flat out scorer, he really makes his team better. Chris really took it as a challenge and I thought he did a good job against a terrific college basketball player, so I'm really proud of the job that Chris did tonight.
"impact from Jones and Ott?"
"Obviously they're two big guys, two Philly guys--I'm from Philadelphia myself. I'd love to see them play well and have great seasons, with the exception of one game. They're both two bruisers. Ott did a good job of just doing little things-setting screens, and just being a beast inside. And Jones is a pretty good athlete, he's gotten much bigger since I'd seen him in highschool. So I think they kind of wore us down and as a result, Penn State came out on top.