Jan. 25, 2012
Memphis (14-6, 5-1) 73, Rice (11-10, 2-4) 51
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
On the Ejections
Here's where we are. Will Barton, Tarik Black and Trey Draper got ejected because they left the bench. But, there was no fight or altercation. They just went a little too far off the bench. They will be allowed to play Saturday. We've gotten word from Curtis Shaw through a third party.
Hippolyte (Tsafack) did not get ejected. He was removed because he was told to tuck his shirt back in. Joe (Jackson) got the technical foul because he went up and got in Tamir Jackson's face. But, Tamir (Jackson) is not suspended, either, for the next game. Everyone is good to go for both Rice and Memphis in the next game.
But, with that being said, I didn't want any issues. We have gone over that you can't leave the bench as a team. We've gone over that. We've shown film on that. It's a normal reaction to want to help your teammate, and they took a step or two out. But, they were not involved in the altercation. If they were involved in the altercation, it would be an automatic suspension. Fortunately, we had the game in hand.
I was a little upset because that was a hard foul. I wanted to make sure Joe (Jackson) was okay. But, we were fortunate that things worked out health wise.
Talk about the overall performance in the game
We did get the win, and I thought we played well defensively and offensively even though the numbers might not have shown it. We forced them into 18 turnovers, so that takes away from some of the missed shots. They ended up shooting 40 percent from the field and 44 percent from three. But, we forced them into turnovers and we smashed them on the glass, which was a good thing.
I'm really proud of our guys on the glass. We continue to get better in those areas. And, we had 14 assists on 27 made field goals. We only had 10 turnovers. It was a good win for the Tigers.
Rice Head Coach Ben Braun
Memphis’ stretch to end the first half really separated this game, and after that we were really never able to get back into it. It was 24-20 with about three minutes to go in the half, and I thought that our guys were really playing the tempo that we needed to (be playing). We were getting some pretty good stops, and we were really buckling down, and I thought we were doing a pretty good job at that point.
But then they went on a 9-0 run within that three minute stretch, and they took some confidence into the locker room, while we lost some of ours.
We didn’t get back on defense and of course we turned it over really against what I thought was non-existent pressure.
On Memphis’ defensive pressure
We handled their pressure really well, but it was in one-on-one situations where we maybe got a little lazy and errant on our passes, and it cost us. We were much more careless in non-pressure situations.
On scoring the final basket of the first half and the second half
I thought that was a great opportunity to climb back into it, and I told our guys that it wasn’t going to happen all at once. We started three freshmen tonight, and so many times you think that you can get it back all at once and you try to do too much on the offensive end. That hasn’t been the case for us all year long. We have had good offensive nights, but our success has always been predicated on our defense. The learning tool that we take away from this game is that we have to buckle down on the defensive end.
On shooting over 52 percent in the second half
Our execution in the second half was much better. We didn’t really turn the ball over as frequently, and we got some good looks.
On the return and performance of Arsalan Kazemi
I thought that Arsalan played well and within himself. Coming back, I think he may have been a little tentative at first, but I thought that he battled. He went up and got eight rebounds and he made some pretty good looks on the floor.