Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On offensive struggles….
“It is frustrating. I try to get to mad. I was more disappointed in our break downs defensively. You have to give North Dakota some credit. They lose their top two guys. That is back-to-back games where I write all of the names on the board, what they do, their strengths and weaknesses. Against Colorado State, the team comes in and I ‘x’ their top scorer out. Tonight, we ‘x’ their top two guys out. To their credit, they put the ball into the hands of 43. We knew he was good and could make plays. He just never had the ball that much. You know, Dean [Wade] is still trying to get back into shape. So [43] had a little bit of an advantage. They put us in some ball screens with the bigs that we had not dealt with. A couple of times it was just our freshmen and understanding. We broke down and gave them some easy buckets, especially in the first half. Give them credit. They played hard. We put a zone play and a man play on the board, because I thought they may play a lot of zone, which did happen. We are just going to have to shoot the ball better and learn to attack it better.”

On improving over break…
“I think this is our time and our players have to come back from break. Our first two years here, our players made strides over Christmas break because we have time to practice. Now they are NBA players for the next month – no school. They have to make a commitment to basketball. That is going to be key. That is what the message was – go enjoy your family and Christmas. This is a special time of year. When they come back, they have to be committed to getting better. They need to get in the gym and get shots up. We have to help them with concepts. It does not mean we will kill them in the morning or anything, but we will go a lot of two-a-days with a lot of shooting mixed in. Hopefully, more teaching plus shooting. And then hopefully they learn something and it carries over to the game.”

On the next step with getting better…
“I think we have to take it to another level. Now, we have to keep doing what we do. What are we good at? We are good at defending. We are good at rebounding – 20 offensive rebounds. We turned them over 19 times. We are good at running when we get in transition. I think one of the big keys for Barry [Brown], and it is something that I told him early in the season, is to get some layups and get some steals. He gets three steals with active hands, now he gets layups and then the hoop looks bigger. You listen to good players and they say when you are struggling shooting that you do not want to take tough shots, you want to take easy ones. So we are good at the boards, good at transition. Once we get healthy again, that will come. That is a big part of making that step to improving. Then we have to take care of the basketball and value some possessions.”

Freshman Barry Brown
On scoring in double figures…
“I was just trying to do whatever I can to help my team. We came out slow. It was a close game going in to halftime. Even the first five minutes coming back from half, we came out a little slow, but we picked it up later. I just came off the bench and tried to have that energy and give us that spark.”

On getting out of a slump…
“Coaches just told me to keep shooting, and I have been in the gym trying to get my shot back and things paid off.”

On his confidence in scoring…
“Actually, my confidence never went down. When you hit shots, obviously your confidence goes up so I would say that’s what happened.”

North Dakota Head Coach Brian Jones
On what his team did well in the game….
“I thought we just competed well. We did not give in without two point guards, our two play makers. I thought we just really battled. We stuck to our game plan, and we tried to shorten the game as much as we could. We did not go away and down the stretch K-State tried to knock us out, but we were able to get some stops. We had some good offensive possessions and it came down to us not valuing the basketball and not getting defensive rebounds. Give them a lot of credit. Staying in the paint is what they do well. They defended well and they rebounded well. I think at times our zone got a little stagnate. I am just proud of our guys for staying the course and not giving in to their circumstances.”

On taking something from this game going into conference play…
“What I think what we are going to take away is that we are going to continue to get better. With the effort that we showed tonight and the discipline shows that we have a chance to compete in the upper echelon of our league. When we stray from the things we do not do well is when our youth is going to show.”