Jan. 28, 2012
Memphis (15-6, 6-1) 83, Marshall (13-8, 4-3) 76
Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner
What a great game, I am so proud of our guys. Everyone stepped up. If you can’t see improvement, I don’t know what you’re looking at. What I am so proud of is this was the second-best offensive rebounding team in the country, and tonight we won the game due to points in the paint and beating them on the glass. We both cancelled each other out with 12 offensive rebounds.
I was proud of the way we kept the ball alive offensively. That was a good team we just beat. Marshall is a very good team, and they are very well coached. They have good players and they have pro players on their team. That game was a high level, intense game, a possession by possession game and everybody stepped up and did the job.
Stan Simpson in the first half was terrific. I was so proud of his effort in that first half. D.J. Stephens came in for the second half and gave us a great life. Wesley Witherspoon was fantastic, and I am so proud of him. Joe Jackson had some huge free throws and won a 50-50 ball that was huge. Both of those guys were at a high, high level. Everybody came in and did their job.
I was very proud of the guys for finding a way to win. From to defense to rebounding, we found a way to win. In the end, we won the game from getting stops on the defensive end.
I have to give a lot of credit to our assistant coaches for the work they’ve done on the rebounding. Coach (Jack) Murphy, Coach (Damon) Stoudamire and Coach (Jimmy) Williams have done an amazing job with the guys on the glass. That is one of the reasons we won this game. That has been our identity since Christmas break. Since Christmas break, we’ve had carryover, but are we a finished product? No. We’ve continued to get better to this point each day since the break. That not only shows in wins, but also on the stats. I’m just really, really proud of our team and our coaching staff.
Tarik Black stood out in the post tonight. What made Tarik so productive tonight?
We did a good job executing on the offensive end. Like I said earlier, that is a good Marshall team. They are well coached and Coach Tom Herrion has done a really good job with that team. They are a good defensive team, and to be able to shoot that percentage from the field is really good. We were able to do some nice things from the two-point area. Bottom line is we won this game from the defensive end. That is a good win against a good well-coached team.
Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion
I feel very badly for our kids. They gave great effort tonight. They played with great heart. Defensively, I thought that we didn’t get the job done. They scored a little too easily. We didn’t get critical stops when we needed them. Free throw box-outs bothered us, as well.
Offensively, there was a stretch during the mid-point of the second half where we got a little loose. We turned the ball over on two or three straight possessions.
It wasn’t for lack of effort. We played really hard, but we were in dire foul trouble the whole night. We had a lot of guys who had to play a lot of minutes and in some different roles.
None the less, we are discouraged with the loss. We are not about moral victories. This (Memphis) is a team that we have beaten before. Tonight, we went toe-to-toe with them. They got it done a little later on in the game, so you have to give them credit.
We have got to snap out of this. We have to turn the page, get back home and get ready for Tulane on Wednesday. We just have to find a way to snap out of it.
I think our kids showed the heart that they have. We aren’t going to let up. It is a team that is obviously disappointed and they are feeling the pain right now.
On the leadership of Damier Pitts and Shaw Johnson
They played really, really well, and they had to log a lot of minutes because of the foul trouble in the backcourt. They gave us some good minutes in the first half, and Chris Martin got some great experience playing in this environment, tonight. And, we had to rotate our big guys because of the foul trouble that we were in.