Postgame Quotes

KANSAS STATE POSTGAME QUOTES
Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“You are going to have games like this, although you always hope it does not happen, we talked about it a lot after the North Carolina game in Kansas City. I thought we had a bit of a hangover with young players and their first time home with Thanksgiving. I would not say we had bad practices, actually Thanksgiving morning was decent being sharp and short, but we have to get better at practice and that is what they need to understand. To me, this is a character win. Last year we were in a very similar situation against Texas Southern, and we did not find a way to win it. This year we found a way. Justin (Edwards) made big plays, Stephen Hurt had a double-double, Dean (Wade) had some good plays, and Wes (Iwundu) did not have a great first half but he picked it up. That character makes a difference. You have to give South Carolina State a lot of credit. Most of the year when you watch them, they go up-and-down, but they slowed it up and made us guard. We did not do a very good job guarding. I talked about difference maker stats before the game. Our play-hard chart, which they were winning at half time, we just barely won. That is always a great indicator on who is ready and focused. We talked about rebounding and that was one thing that we controlled and probably saved us. Although, they had 11 offensive rebounds in the second half. I talked about turnovers and we had 17 turnovers, might be the most for the year. Careless stuff and mistakes trying to force things. I talked about three point percentage defense, which we have been very good, been one of our number one things, but today they shot 39 percent and were 46 percent at half time. Those are all just readiness stuff and we were not all ready to play, but we won and we got to move forward. We lost to North Carolina and felt like we competed, but we got to move forward.  Like I said, we had some guys with a little bit of a hangover. Now we go on the road, having two of the next three on the road. We got Georgia a good team that beat us last year. Ironically, beat us right after that Texas Southern loss at home. Hopefully we have a better mindset, it will be tough to win there. You win road games with character, chemistry, and toughness with execution at the end. The one thing we had today was character and we executed there at the end making our free throws down the stretch.”

On South Carolina State’s zone defense….
“We got to learn to attack zones. I always blame myself and the staff because we have so many young guys who do not have a feel for misdirection dribbles, getting it inside, knowing when to flash, and timing. We held the ball in the first half too much. They just mixed it up on us. One time it is a 1-3-1, then a 2-3, then a 3-2 and it just threw us off. Dean and Stephen have to flash harder and quicker. We got to get it to them. One was 3-5 and the other is 6-9 shooting. So when we had paint touches, we had 40 points and Justin had a lot of those compared to their 18. That is the science. As compared to high school, these young guards just pass the ball around and shoot threes because they are the best player. Now it is a little different and you cannot just do that. We have to find a way to get Wes and Carlbe (Ervin II) involved in zone offense to find a little niche because their three point shooting is not horrible, but it is not their strength. We have to find a way for them to score. Carlbe has been playing well. He did not get enough credit against North Carolina. If you look at his stat line, in the first half he was pretty good, made some mistakes in the second half, but he has been solid for us and starting to get back in shape and understand what he is doing.”

Guard Justin Edwards
On Bruce Weber slamming clipboard…
“Basically, we just have to pick it up. If we are making him get to the point where he is that mad, then we are obviously doing something wrong. Basically, just pick it up, come out and get after it and hopefully get the lead back.”

On similarity to last year’s Texas Southern game…
“Yeah, definitely, a close game like that. Coach said it in our huddles, if we keep a team like that around they will probably make a crazy shot, and they did. They did hit one at the end of the game. I was just saying that we cannot lose this game. We have to do whatever we can just to tough this one out. Obviously it was ugly, but a win is a win. We just had to tough it out.”

On play after emotional game vs. North Carolina…
“We did not bounce back the way we wanted to. Obviously, we wanted to come out and punish this team. It shows that we have some character because we toughed it out. I think it just shows how much character we have. Our seniors, we played through it. We tried to help the younger guys out as much as we could, so I think it just shows character.”

Forward Stephen Hurt
On rebounding…
“We went into the game wanting to enforce our will on the boards. With D.J. (Johnson) being out, I knew I needed to step up. D.J. is really active. He gets a lot of boards in a small amount of time, so I needed to fill that void. All the bigs need to fill that void, but I took it upon myself to make sure I crashed the boards a little bit harder tonight.” 

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE POSTGAME QUOTES
Head coach Murray Garvin
On the game plan…
“We thought with their size and their struggle to shoot the ball from the perimeter early in the season, we thought that playing zone was the best opportunity to match up with them. For forty minutes I thought we did an excellent job following the game plan.”

On the final score…
“When I look at the stat sheet, I think rebounding was a big part. It is tough to rebound out of zone. Their size caused a problem for us on the glass, but again, I give credit to Kansas State for a great effort and finishing the game. But I also want to give major kudos to our guys. We came in and fought and I truly believe that we had an opportunity to win and we were a possession or two away from accomplishing our goal. We are encouraged going forward.” 

On Kamau Stokes…
“I watched that game (North Carolina) on television and I was scared to death of Stokes. I thought it was the best game of the season for him. He was six for eight from the three point line. We were hoping that he did not have another hot shooting night. Our guys took it personal, that we wanted to lock down the team’s go-to guy. I thought it was between him and (Justin) Edwards who really lead them in scoring for the most part. We did a magnificent job of locating him and not letting him get clean looks to the basket.”

Guard Eric Eaves
On the team’s play…
“Coming into the game, we always try to play hard and score because that is what we are supposed to do.”