Men's Basketball

Post-Game Quotes

Feb. 13, 2016

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On LA Tech's rhythm in the second half:

"I thought our defensive energy was good again in both halves. But our offensive rhythm was not there in the first. We just missed some shots that we normally make, expect to make. It just was not quite there. Then we found the basket more in the second. We got to the rim, got some easy transition plays and then we made a couple three-point shots and made several in a row. That was a big lift."

On what he told the team at halftime:

"I told them two things. I told them one, we are in good shape. We have not made all the plays we are capable of. We left some plays out there. Those things are going to fall. They are going to come together in the second half. Frankly, I said we have been here before. We have been here before in this building this year. We are fine. We just have to keep staying together, don't let the defense wain and just put together a good 20 minutes. And that is what they did."

On the upperclassmen wanting this win:

"I will say this about Alex [Hamilton], he is a competitor. I have been hard on him about defending through the entire clock and I know we play him a ton of minutes. But I thought his energy guarding Norton, who had a great game, at times; he really set the tone for everyone else. Erik [McCree] and Alex together made some really nice plays offensively created for Dayon [Griffin] and Merrill [Holden] and Jacobi [Boykins] and others. But they have a great respect for UAB. They wanted this one bad and they put together a great fight, a great effort."

On being down seven at halftime:

"We certainly did not play well offensively in the first half. With not having Merrill for most of the half, I thought Branden Sheppard gave up a big lift. He did some really nice things, kind of held the fort and did not give up a lot of stuff at the rim. We did not play well certainly offensively. The key was Merrill came in and had a great second half. Sometimes when you sit that long you kind of get out of the game. I told him, 'Merrill, you are well rested. We need a great effort.' And he played a huge second half for us."

On the crowd support:

"People here are so special. They don't just come to watch a game. They are really invested in this team, this university. The lift they gave us, you just cannot measure. The first three, the second three, I think there were five in a row; the place was electric. We are so thankful for them. They were a huge part of this victory."

On Erik McCree's performance:

"He found so many different ways. He got to the rim, he rebounded, he hit timely threes, he got fouled and made those free throws. He was really locked in. You could see that competitive drive of going inside them. It is really fun to watch."

On the assist-turnover ratio in the game:

"It was vital for us. They are a team that challenges you at the rim. They are not a team that forces a ton of turnovers, but the way they block shots might as well be a turnover. They had four of those. That is really our goal. If we can have 17 assists and eight turnovers every night, we will be very happy. I thought we drove them but we found the right guy to pass it to and stayed patient enough and found some good shots. That was a big key."

On three-pointers in the second half:

"I have seen it several times. I was really hoping to see it at that point in the second half. Alex made that big one at the end of the clock and the guys really got on a run. That is just who we are. We have to embrace that there are going to be little droughts from time to time because we do shoot a lot of threes. We rely on drill penetration and working off our defense, but I think it is a fun way to play and I think these guys are really thriving that way, too. Just the way they are playing for each other right now is special."

On Alex Hamilton becoming the all-time winningest player:

"It is not something he ever talks about. He is not saying, 'Hey, I want this record.' The guy just wants to win every game. He does it in so many different ways. It was special to have Speedy here. He is his biggest fan. They communicate regularly. He communicates with all the guys. Alex said thank you to everybody. We mentioned it in the locker room. He is very appreciative of his teammates. That is a special moment with the type of history here, the standard that has been set from so many guys. To be the all-time wins leader, that is an amazing feat and he deserves it."

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