Jan. 21, 2012
Memphis (13-6, 4-1) 63, SMU (10-9, 2-3) 45
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
Playing a game like that is like going to the dentist and getting a root canal without any pain relief. And then you're playing them coming off a tough loss, so there's a little bit of an edge to you. Every time you play after a loss, you have a little bit of an edge because your confidence can be shaken a little bit. But, the second half we were terrific defensively - especially the last 13 minutes.
We really did a good job defensively. We locked them down. Look at their percentages. We held them to 32 percent from the field and 18 percent from three, which is great. We were plus nine on the glass.
Our whole thing is offensively we shot too many threes. I know some of them were open shots, but we settled. And we talked about that for the last 48 hours. I told the guys they were going to get open looks but that they couldn't settle. We needed to keep attacking because if you attack, you're going to get opportunities in the paint, where we had a major advantage. The way they play, they don't send people to the offensive glass. They send everyone back, so you don't have a chance to get transition buckets.
Talk about the slow start
The reason the game was close early on was their style - it's a hard style to play. Like I said, it's going to the dentist without pain relief and getting a root canal.
We really tried to establish an inside presence early on. I thought Tarik did that He had a double-double and did some good things - no question. I thought Will Barton stepped up for us. He had too many turnovers, however. I keep trying to tell him to stop trying to thread the needle when he drives into the paint. When he gets into the paint, he needs to just score the ball.
SMU Head Coach Matt Doherty
I am very proud of our guys. We were in position to win this basketball game. I am mad that we didn’t win this game. We came in here expecting to win this game.
We didn’t make shots, and we had open looks.
Out of the 27 three-point shots, I thought that two were bad and two were contested. When you have two of the best three-point shooters in the league go 3-for-18, and that is what happens (a loss).
I thought that our defense hung tough there, but eventually you miss opportunities and that fatigues you. That wears on you.
When our defense wasn’t as solid and broke down a little bit, that is when they came in and created separation.
On the play of Jalen Jones and the impact of him fouling out
Jalen, I thought, played one of his better games. His rebounding, his scoring, his presence, his energy and his toughness really helped us. I thought that he played a sensational game, and when he went out it hurt us.
On SMU’s shooting
Sometimes you get in a slump, it happens. We wouldn’t do anything differently. We were pleased, and we were in position to win a game versus obviously a very talented team in a terrific basketball environment. There is nothing we would do differently.