Ed DeChellis, Penn State Head Coach
Comment regarding the contribution from a variety of players..
I thought we moved the ball pretty well tonight. I thought we had a good offensive flow early, but we just couldn't make a shot from the perimeter. We were getting pretty good shots, I thought. It is just early. I thought we made improvements from game one to game two. I think we have made improvement from last week's exhibition games to now. That is what it is about. It is about getting better one game at a time and a couple practices at a time. I thought we had good contributions from some different guys this evening. If Brandon Hassell can play and give us that every night, it is going to be pretty good. That is what I think he can do. I have seen him do it in practice, but I just haven't coached him well enough to get that every night like he played tonight. I thought we won the game differently. I challenged them at halftime to go rebound the ball. I was really disappointed with the way that we rebounded the ball in the first half. We went and rebounded the basketball in the second half. Mel (Cornley) got a couple. Danny (Morrissey) got a couple. D.J. (Jackson) got a couple tonight. I thought Ben Luber did a good job on defensive rebounds. I thought we just overall rebounded the ball in the second half. I think that was the difference.
How key were the offensive rebounds?
We had 14 offensive rebounds. Mel (Cornley) had eight and I think he only had one in the first half. It was just two-on-two war rebounding. I said to them that we just throw it up and go get it. They were letting us play a little bit, which I thought was good. We thought that we needed to rebound the ball. I thought we made some basketball plays the second half, some toughness plays. We got some things going. I was very glad to see that.
How important was the fourth foul on Kyle Hines?
He is a good player. That is a good basketball team. They are a good team because they have some inside and outside presence. Hines is a good player, but I think Mel (Cornley) did a pretty good job. He got 14 shots. He is pretty good around the basket. We tried to get the ball inside and go right at him with the other guys. We did a pretty good job and our guards did a good job of finding him.
Comment regarding taking UNC Greensboro's guards out of the game?
I thought we did a pretty good job. We had to take Hickman out. I didn't think that we could take both guys out. Hickman shoots the ball pretty well. And they do shoot the ball well from the perimeter. I know that Hines scores. I watched the tape. He had 38 against Marshall and they still lose. I would rather make him take shots inside and take away the perimeter. I didn't want to give up a lot of threes. Our perimeter guys did a good job of switching up and covering the shooters. It made it tough for them on the perimeter.
Comment regarding adjusting without Geary Claxton playing..
I think they are getting better at it. I still think there are times when we look around. I said to them that he isn't rebounding for us tonight. Geary is very important to what we do, but in his absence we need guys to step up and play better and take their games to another level. Hopefully, we are starting to understand that. We are not there, but I think we are starting to believe in ourselves and play with a little more confidence. We were not a confident team ten days ago. I can tell you that. We were just kind of out there. I said earlier in the exhibition game that we were playing with no purpose. We are starting to play with a little purpose.
#23 Brandon Hassell, Junior F
How much did it help to stay out of foul trouble tonight?
It helped a lot because it was important to bring energy today. Coach had decided that from the start. We needed to bring energy without fouling. It definitely played a factor today.
What was the key to guarding Kyle Hines?
Mainly keeping the ball out of his hands on the post was important. We needed to front him and have help side (defense) too. That was our main focus.
You had four steals tonight, what were you doing to get the ball?
Mainly, I was just getting my hands up defensively. I try to do that daily (in practice) because it carries over.
Brandon, talk about the offensive rebounds.
I think rebounding was the key tonight. We weren't trying to rush shots tonight. We were getting the ball and going back into plays and then milking the clock.
#3 Ben Luber, Senior PG
You had a lot more guys scoring tonight, how important was that?
Yes, I think people are starting to step up. Brandon stepped up big tonight. We are young and we need people to step up and start scoring some points. I think we shot the ball just fair tonight. I don't think that we shot very well from the three-point line. We took good shots. Our big guys attacked the basket.
What did you think of Mike Walker's pass in the second half?
Nice pass. If I would not have finished that, I probably would have heard about it. It was a good pass and a nice play for us.
What does Jamelle Cornley bring for the team?
He brings a lot of energy. You can see that when they call our starting lineup. He is emotional on the court. He is a talker out there. It does help when he brings those emotions to the game. He is a tough player. He helps a lot in those tight situations.
Mike Dement, UNCG Head Coach
I thought we played well for about 30 minutes. We hung around and made some shots and then they went on the flurry of offensive rebounding, especially Cornley. He was excellent. He just kept battling and just willed his way to the boards and got it, kept it alive and all of a sudden they were getting three, four, and five shots a possession after only having two offensive rebounds in the first half, so it was kind of the turning point. I thought a big play is where we missed a lay-up to go up by two, it looked like we had an easy lay-up and it didn't go in and Kyle [Hines] picked up a fourth foul and he comes out and they got a quick five, six point run before we could get him back in there. They played hard. Cornley was excellent, the guards shot well. We played well for about 30 minutes and just couldn't hang in there the last ten or so.
Even though Cornley is 6'5" what kind of presence does he bring on the inside?
These two guys [Cornley and Hines] are both.. They are very similar I was interested to see how these guys played against each other and it was fun to watch. It shows you that guys who have a big heart and strength and want to, don't have to be 6'11" to be good, and these guys are a great example of that. So they can play anywhere and for anybody and later on after college, too they are going to play with that type of tenacity and getting after it. So, it was fun to watch those guys, and I didn't like him [Cornley] getting all those offensive rebounds, but he's a good player.
With Claxton out, what were you looking to exploit?
We were more focused on us. We didn't shoot the ball well against Marshall and we needed to shoot the ball well outside this evening. They way they collapsed defensively on Kyle, we had outside opportunities, and we needed to do that. So we're more focused on that. We know Claxton is a great player and they miss him, but they're getting some good experience right now for some of the other guys and that could work out very well for them when he comes back. So, we're pretty simple. We need to get the ball to Kyle and then collapse everybody around and then other guys will have opportunities. We need to make more shots. We had a bunch of open shots that we just did not net that could have helped us a lot.
#42 Kyle Hines, Junior F
On playing against Cornley..
He's pretty much like a carbon copy of myself. He just came, was very, very tenacious, and went after the ball. He went after every offensive rebound. He's a big strong guy. We have a similar build, so it's pretty much like looking in a mirror I guess you could say. It was tough competition.
On his fourth foul..
It was really tough. Just the fact that I thought it was kind of a questionable call. I think that's how tough it was. We had momentum, and then we got the fourth foul and it kind of switched momentum back to them.
How limited were you with shot blocking the second half with three fouls?
I just had to be smart. I just couldn't go after every shot like before. Coach, while I was on the bench, just told me to be smart, and to try to keep my hands up and try to limit their vision for the shots, and not to try to block every shot.