Memphis vs. SEMO Postgame Quotes
Dec. 21, 2013
No. 15/14 Memphis (8-2) 77, Southeast Missouri (7-4) 65
Great win out there tonight. That (Southeast Missouri) is a great team. They are going to win a lot of games in their league, and there is no doubt about that. We did a pretty good job defensively, considering the fact that we shot 2-17 from behind the arc and were out-rebounded by eight. But, we forced them into 19 turnovers. We had 24 points off of their 19 turnovers, and we only had eight ourselves. That gives us a total of 16 turnovers in our last two games, in 80 minutes of basketball.
We also had 17 assists on 31 made field goals, and I thought everyone that played contributed. Our main shooters have to be able to put the ball in the basket. Chris Crawford, Joe Jackson and Michael Dixon Jr. have to be able to score from behind the arc. We cannot afford to shoot the ball how we did tonight.
On the team's defensive play:
We did a good job defensively out there tonight. I like to hold teams under 40 percent from the field and under 30 percent from the three-point line, and we did that tonight. I think the main thing was that we made them turn the ball over and that really helped us.
I was very proud of Nick King out there in the 2nd half. I thought he really was the one who started the run for us to eventually pull away and win the game. David Pellom is a solid player, and I was proud of him for what he was able to do. Austin Nichols performed well, but we just have to get him to rebound the ball for us more.
Every possession eats away at me. If I could hug a win, I would. I know it is not a physical thing, but I would hug a win. Overall, I am proud of our guys and our eight turnovers and look forward to the break.
On the progression of moving forward over the holiday break:
I will give the guys some time off to be with their families, and we will practice again Christmas night. I welcomed the players from out-of-town to my house to have a bite to eat over the break and the local guys will obviously spend time with their families. We call this time over the break "pro-time" because we get a lot of extra time than usual. Also, I was happy that they announced that Chris Crawford is part of the 1,000 point club, and that he and Joe Jackson were announced as college graduates during the starting lineups. I feel like it is very important for those guys to have accomplished what they have done and I am very happy that the fans acknowledged that for them.
On finishing strong before the holiday break:
Finishing strong is really important, especially when everyone is thinking about family and other stuff. You can get distracted from what you're here to do. It was important that we handled stuff tonight and set us up moving forward.
On his performance recently:
I'm feeling really good mentally and about 95 percent as far as getting back into shape. I think I'll be back to 100 percent by the time conference play starts.
Thoughts on tonight's game:
They're a tremendous team. If you don't protect that basketball, they can be extremely dangerous. That's not something we've faced yet this year. They have built an outstanding team and I think their fans were really great tonight. They definitely played a role in the game.
I was proud of our guys. I thought we competed well, and that we handled the hype of all the players from Memphis that we have on our team. I still feel like Memphis is the best basketball city in the country. There are a lot of cities, but that we were able to get some good student-athletes that are doing the right thing is great.
On the Memphis guards:
I thought we did a decent job of stopping their transition offense, but they have really good guards that are very tough to defend. They are tremendous athletes. They barely look like they're moving and they are 100 miles an hour. They do a great job of playing together, really playing for each other. They really opened up the game with their penetration.
On Shaq Goodwin:
Our post defense wasn't great for us. He's a monster down there. I think he was able to get some easy touches in certain areas. He seems to be disciplined with his shots. He doesn't rise up and take shots, but if you get him down on the block, he's dangerous. He's a superb athlete that runs really well in transition.
On keeping the game close:
I thought our halftime adjustments were really good, continually attacking the basket and forcing the situation. We were also able to find a good crease down low that we went to a good amount before they adjusted. We didn't want to take quick shots. We wanted to help out our defense as much as possible. Transition defense is a must, blocking out is a must and I thought we handled our own in both those spots.