Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On today’s game…
“You knew we were going to get a good shot from them. They got their butts kicked last week at Arizona State and they had a week of practice. I told the guys before the game when they didn’t start Jalen Jones, ‘What happens when you bench a senior. How’s he going to react?’ And he reacted with fire and vengeance and played probably one of the better games of his career. We didn’t have any answers for him.”

On Alex Caruso…
“It might have helped them and hurt us when (Anthony) Collins got the fouls because then (Alex) Caruso went on the ball. We told the players he makes so much difference in a team, in a game. He does all the little things, nine assists, six steals, made his shots. 

On Caruso’s defense against Justin Edwards…
“Caruso guarded him so good, very good defender. Justin is, and Wes (Iwundu), pretty good at getting to the basket. They play a pack-line defense. They’ve got great length and it made it a little more difficult for him to get to the basket and make some plays.” 

On Caruso at the end of the game…
“We were going to try to get a stop. We had a bad matchup because we pressed him. Somebody just should have switched on to him and got better matchups. Again, he makes plays. He’s their playmaker, he’s the older guy, he’s a veteran, he’s the team guy, he’s the glue guy and I love how he plays. I loved how he played last year too. He gave them a chance when we played in Kansas City. He made a lot of plays down the stretch.”

On the key points to the game…
“I told the coaches ahead of time that turnovers for us would be key because that would lead to transition, which they got too many transition baskets, too many easy baskets. I also thought three point field goal percentage would be important and they made seven for fourteen, (which is) above their average. That was probably the difference in the game.”

On battling back…
“To our kids’ credit, Wes (Iwundu)’s credit, we got down ten, came back, tied it, got down ten again, came back, cut it to one, got down 19, cut it to four or five. We didn’t quit, but we have to get better because our league is very, very good. We’re going to play a bunch of Top-25 teams coming up and on the road. We’re going to have to execute better, take care of the ball and just do a lot of little things better if we’re going to be competitive in our league.”

On the flagrant foul and subsequent A&M run…
“Obviously, it’s a game changer and the numbers show it. There were other plays and other series where we still had chances. We just didn’t take care of business, they took advantage of it and got us on our heels. We’re still young and learning and trying to figure things out.”

Junior Wesley Iwundu 
On the missed free throw and flagrant foul…
“Didn’t push through at the moment and they stepped up and made some plays. It’s never good missing a free throw because it could cost you later on in the game. We’ll bounce back, take care of business next game.”

On fighting back in the game…
“I definitely had the confidence and felt like we could come back and make it a good game. Caruso is an awesome defender, stepped up and made some big steals in the end and it helped them push through and keep the lead. As a team we just have to execute better at the end of the game and maybe we could have a better outcome if we just take care of the ball. I think we did a good job, just in the end we didn’t execute things and push through to make it a great comeback and possibly take it into overtime.”

On being a catalyst for a second half comeback…
“I felt my team needed an extra push and I guess I was the guy to step up and make plays at the time.”

Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy 
Opening statement…
“It was good to get a win against a Kansas state team that I thought played extremely hard and never gave up. We could never really put them away and I thought Alex Caruso and Jalen really stepped up for us and it was good to see. We had a couple of seniors step up when a couple of seniors were struggling and that’s the mark of a good team.”

On Jalen Jones’ performance…
“Well, Jalen’s been sick this week. He had strep throat, he missed a couple of days of practice and he had a good shoot around today. He had a good attitude about coming off the bench and I was proud of the way he played because he’s prepared himself the right way this week when he could practice.”

On Alex Caruso’s performance specifically playing at point guard…
“He’s still a really good point guard, you know he was one of the better point guards in the SEC last year. We just like to move him in different times because I think it helps our team and it helps him just to have another primary ball handler not to put a lot of pressure on him but I feel really good with having him in that second spot as a point guard too. He’s a senior who has won some games and prepares himself every day the right way and I was glad to see he made a couple of threes in the first half, really had a good overall game.”

On Kansas state attempting a comeback… 
“We’re still figuring out ourselves. We’re not obviously clicking on all cylinders by any means, just sub patterns and we started a different five today and exams and just not clicking like we want to be and it’s not a surprise, it’s still early in the year, we’ve got so many good scorers. When you have that many guys who can play, there’ll be days where some guys don’t score as much and they need to be able to stay in the flow of what we’re doing.”

On team’s depth…
“I thought Gilder was really good in the second half, DJ Hogg was really good in the first half and Tavario came in a little bit and Tyler, you know nobody could guard him for a four or five minute stretch. He was dominant and we’ve got to give him the ball more and we’ll continue to work on doing that but we’ve got some depth and we’ve got some guys who’ve got some ability as we put it all together and play with a sense of urgency.”

Senior Alex Caruso
On correlation between having a good game and playing point guard…
“I don’t think so much with playing point, I mean statistically that’s probably why I had such a good game just being able to distribute, get the ball in the early break situations and then around the fast break, but I mean for me just it’s all about playing with energy and I had a couple of games I think with Florida Gulf Coast and a little bit of Arizona State where I didn’t play with good energy so I mean statistically, I didn’t show up so I think it’s more about me just focusing and playing hard.”

On win before Baylor next week…
“I think it was really important psychologically for our team because I mean after we played Arizona State on Saturday, we had a whole week of thinking about that game and not being able to play basketball against another team and get a win and kind of feel good about ourselves so it think it’s good having another full week off where we are going to have practices and preparing. I think it’s good to get a win under our belt and get kind of the energy and the morale of the team back up. A win against a ‘Power Five’ school is always good.”

On Kansas State coming within five points of A&M after the Aggies had been up by 19…
“Our focus dropped, our intensity dropped. I mean when you do that, Kansas State, they’re not going to lay down for you. They’re coached well and they play hard so they weren’t going to quit until the clock read zeros all the way across so I mean it’s just another learning curve for us too. We’re getting better each week, we’re going to take it to the next game and the game after that we’ll be better so it’s something to improve in practice and I think we’ll do a better job next time.”

Senior Jalen Jones
On recovering from strep throat…
“Well I got some rest. I had got sick this past week and I caught strep throat so I was able to chill in the bed a little bit more and get some time just to recover my body but I think I prepared myself for that day yesterday in practice, just try to get my conditioning back up and my legs felt great tonight and my teammates found me in the right spot and I was able to knock down a couple shots.”

On winning after Arizona State loss…
“We didn’t play very well out there, it was our first road game and we didn’t execute like we were supposed to. Arizona State hit some tough threes and we were never able to get back in the flow of things. We had a bad taste in our mouth and we knew we had to come out here today and take care of Kansas State so we can get ready for Baylor. It feels good to get back on the winning side.”

On Kansas State having a lot of offensive rebounds…
“That’s something that we have to work on but we have to give them a lot of credit, they’re a very physical team and they base their whole theme off of toughness. We should’ve done a better job of boxing out. We’ve got to get back in practice and work on that and hopefully we become more successful in the next game in that.”