Jan. 21, 2009
Final Stats |
AP Photo Gallery
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
January 21, 2009
Rice (6-12, 1-3 C-USA) 28 24 - 52
No. 22/24 Memphis (15-3, 5-0 C-USA) 47 33 - 80
Head Coach University of Memphis
We learned some lessons today. We have had some guys that have been coming in early to warm up prior to the game that decided not do that today and they just played so poorly. What a great lesson and we still come away with the win. There are some things that we did with our big guys that we did with Chris Massie, that I haven't done with these guys before. So we are going to get away from the cute stuff and just be aggressive in the pass and our players have to do a better job of understanding what they need to do in the post, because we have been playing so poorly. Again I have got to do a better job with them to narrow down what they are doing when they catch the ball. I thought Shawn (Taggart) and (Robert) Dozier were better. Second half I say we are putting Pierre in. He is talking all this, "I can run, I am in shape." Good then I am going to play you the whole second half and let's see if I can still play you Saturday. So he died. He did a couple of good things. That is why I did it. I wanted to see if I could do that with him(Pierre)and still have him be able to play in the game Saturday. I was trying to send a message to Pierre, `Are you in any kind of shape, because it is easy to talk. Now you have to go perform. Go do it.' This is first time I have ever heard in this building our fans yelling at a player, they were yelling at Pierre. I haven't heard that here. They were saying, `Come on Pierre, do something.' The talk, the promises, the explanations, Pierre needs to just demonstrate it on the court. We don't need to hear it. It is a good win. And you know what Tulsa lost to Tulane tonight. Northwestern beats Michigan State at Michigan State. Wake Forest loses at home to Virginia Tech. And that little train in Memphis keeps chugging along. If we get this right, we will be fine. We are not close. I have a couple of guys that will not listen. I am starting to think it is a defense mechanism. I am going to not listen so when I screw up I'll just act like I wasn't listening. That might be that, I don't know.
On Doneal Mack
"This is going to be an interesting challenge for Doneal (Mack). He has not played well in these kinds of games coming up. The games are rough, it is high level of play. This is a great challenge for him to prove that he can play in the kind of game that is coming up. He has gotten better. Doneal Mack is not hurting us, where in the past he would. There were times we would put him in and he would hurt us. He doesn't make every shot, but he comes up with some balls. He is defending better. He is playing scrappier and he is maturing."
Head Coach Rice
"Well we talked about this, we talked so much about our ability to be able to handle pressure early in the game. I think that was something that we got off to a poor start with. Memphis built up a lead and when you climb in to a hole like we did, it makes it really difficult against really good teams. Memphis is a good team that predicates their success on the pressure that they put on. We just have to do a better job handling that. I felt we handled pressure as the game went on and we did a pretty good job. They actually backed off the press and we got a layups and a couple easy scores. I thought that was a positive for our team."
How difficult is it to match up against a long athletic team like the Memphis Tigers?
You can never simulate that in a practice. If you look at our turnovers, most of them came early in the game. We really cut them down in the second half. As a result, I thought that we stepped up. The other area that I think we really need to work harder is rebounding and giving up inside scores. Once we got into the second half, I think we did a better job. We held Doneal Mack down he didn't score in the second half. He was the leading scorer in the first. We did a really good job on Tyreke Evans, we held him to only one basket today and we made sure he didn't hurt us on penetration. It was our post guys that got easy touches inside today. We had it packed inside, our post guys have to do a better job of forcing out and making sure they challenge shots inside.