KANSAS STATE POSTGAME QUOTES
Head Coach Bruce Weber
On confidence in players making a big shot ….
“We got the lead to twelve or thirteen, and we came to the huddle pretty excited. They had not made three’s the whole time, and you knew they were going to make some, and they hit three in a row. Cut the lead down to six. Justin made a big play, drove and dished it to someone for a layup and Dean (Wade) made the big three on the out of bounds play. You win at home when you make plays. We had some guys step up. The first thing I wrote on the board is, ‘Be a player, don’t watch the play, make plays.’ I hope they took it to heart, but they did a good job at making plays and passing. 17 assists on 30 baskets. We have to get better on some things but there are a lot of positives.”
On team performance…
“I told you guys all along, the K-State fans, the Catbacker team, that we have a good team. I do not know if we have as much talent as we did a year ago, but we have the same experience. We have a better team that gets along together, they enjoy each other, they play hard and practice hard. I think the big thing is we have to do a good job in playing the bench. We did not play the bench much today, but we have to especially when you play Friday, Monday and Tuesday next week. We have to keep those guys heads up – keep talking to them. Carlbe (Ervin II) has not practiced much, DJ (Johnson) is just coming back. He still has six points, six rebounds and five fouls in nine minutes, so he’s pretty active. We just have to slow him down a little bit. We played a pretty good game, I hope the people that came or watched on TV will bring someone with them on Friday and that we have a good crowd in Kansas City. It should be fun. It is a great challenge for our guys to play three games in five days. The competition will just get better and better.”
On Dean Wade’s performance …
“I think our young guys hit a wall. Dean may tell you that practice gets hard. They have not gone with that much intensity, so they hit a wall. They started missing shots in practice, Kam (Stokes) and Barry (Brown) hit everything in the summer and now you are making them guard, you are making them think. Then they get tired. They hit a wall, but you keep encouraging them. It is funny, because when Dean gets the ball they all yell at him to, ‘Shoot Dean!’ The older guys telling a freshman to shoot the ball. I think he’s going to be a very good player – he is a good player now. The only thing, he had thirteen, Justin Edwards had eleven, the only thing were on them now for is rebounding. We have got to get him to rebound a little more, but Justin made up for it in the rebounding today. We still won the boards 37-to-27.”
Guard Justin Edwards
On good start to the second half…
“Basically, we said that we just need to come out with energy. I thought in the first half – in the first five minutes – we came out with lots of energy and then it kind of died down a bit. Like coach said, ‘Just be a player.’ I just try to do my best to get the team going and just make a little run.”
On importance of hot start….
“I think we prepared very well when it comes to team like that. Like I said, the next day we were in here at 10 o’clock watching film on them. Our scout team did an amazing job. They go through all of their plays; they help us get ready for the team. We knew that they were a good team. They were in it with Kentucky the whole game. They were in it with UConn the whole game. We knew that we could not think that they were not a good team. We just played with a chip on our should and kept it coming.”
Forward Dean Wade
On late game 3-pointer…
“That was more just muscle memory. I could not see the rim at all.”
On staying out of foul trouble….
“It let me actually play a little more. It kept me in the game and it kept me in a little rhythm. I think that helped a lot.”
On playing in Bramlage in college vs. high school….
“There is a lot more people in here. There is a lot more energy in the building now than there was any time during state. It is just so much different.”
COLUMBIA POSTGAME QUOTES
Head coach Kyle Smith
“That was a tough road game. Early in the season, I think teams are still trying to find themselves, certainly, K-State more than us. We have four seniors, if you look on paper you would think we would be really put together. In some ways we are, but we are integrating some new guys in there. We had a good run there in the second half, making some threes. They (K-State) did a great job defending the three against us all night. They got on the glass, we usually do an even better job of rebounding. We were worried about their athleticism and turning it over and getting on the glass and they (K-State) won the battle. A lot of positives to pull out of this game, so hopefully we can get better.”
On what disrupted Columbia offensively ….
“No doubt about Wesley Iwundu. He is from my hometown. He is a difference maker. He gets his hands on balls and gets the rebounds. He is hard to scout and he is going to make a lot of plays. Their (K-State) guards really got on the glass and exposed us there, I think they had seven offensive boards.”
On Columbia’s expectations and what actually happened…
“With the officiating I think the game was less physical then what I anticipated. K-State crushed us on the boards, but I think the refs out there blowing the whistles felt a little funny and we got less timeouts. There was shorter clock and there was an adjustment to the officiating so just trying to figure that out.”
On K-State having a hard time putting Columbia away…
“We were 1-for-17 for three, and I do not think we will be that. I think we took some bad ones, and credit to them. I think we kind of let them off of the hook a little bit. We are a better shooting team – we were not that crisp. I think we should have kept it tighter, but our defense was not good enough and our rebounding was not good enough.”