Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
On deserving the win…
“You sit back and hope it goes your way, you are at home and hope that somebody makes a big three or a big play. To their credit, which I told Coach (Bob) Huggins, it seems like a good group. They play hard and make plays and have a lot of confidence. Obviously we competed. I think our biggest job is to keep our head up because now we have to play Tuesday. Every game is going to be tough. You wish we would have found a way to win, we did not, but now we go to Texas on Tuesday and play a very good Texas team and whatever is after that, it is not going to get easier.”

On the trio of freshmen in their first Big 12 game…
“They played pretty well. Obviously Barry (Brown) had his career high (20). He made some big plays. I thought Kamau (Stokes) started real well. He may have gotten a little tired and tentative. We fought, and we broke the press. I thought our guards and Wesley (Iwundu) did a good job and went right into our motion catching them off guard. Then they just said heck with that and just started trapping, and then down the stretch went zone. Then Dean (Wade) got better in the second half, played stronger and made some shots. We just needed one of those plays, one of those shots. They hit a couple tough shots and if one of our guys, like Dean hits that three or Barry hits the long three. We needed one of those to go and they did not but theirs did. Again, I am proud of them. We just have to stay together. That is one of the best things we got is a great team. We just have to see if we can survive part of the schedule.”

On defending the post…
“I thought they did a great job. We limited Devin Williams, one of their best players, between (Stephen) Hurt, Dean, and D.J. (Johnson). Our big guys down in the post, and guards, got their hands up and that is one of the key things we thought was important. Williams did make a big shot on the free throw line and a low play down the stretch and (Jonathan) Holton hit the three in the corner. We kind of dared him, you have to give him some credit. The guards are what hurt us.  We did not have any answers to stop those guys.”

Forward Wesley Iwundu 
On little mistakes being costly…
“The league is tough, so you are going to have games like that where it is going to be a war to the end. Today was just one of those types of games.”

On playing in a physical game…
“With the environment of the game and the type of game it was, we had no choice but to make it that type of game. We fought, and like Coach Weber said, we just did not step up and do some things in the end that we have to execute next time.”

Guard Barry Brown 
On first Big 12 game…
“It was a good environment. I heard a lot of stories about West Virginia’s press and how tough the game was going to be. It was a good learning experience. I made some mistakes down the stretch, and I just hope to bounce back from those.”

On confidence going forward….
“We always have confidence, me, Dean (Wade) and Kamau (Stokes). We are good players, but they made some good plays down the stretch. As a team, we have to come together and win those close games to build that late game confidence.”

West Virginia Head coach Bob Huggins
On Jaysean Paige’s second half…
“Well, I wanted to try and lift him as much as we could. Lift him so he could get it at the rim. He is our best athlete. He has gotten better and better and better. As the season has gone on, I have thought he is the guy we could go to in order to score.”

On the Big 12’s toughness….
“I am not one of the people that doubted it would be tough. I think that if you look at what Texas Tech has done – I have known Tubby [Smith] for a long time. I knew Tubby would get it going – they deserve to be ranked. Bruce has done a terrific job here with these guys. When you go to Georgia and win that is not easy, particularly with a bunch of young guy and new guys. He has done a great job. There is just no bottom in this league. That is what makes it so hard. There is no bottom. A lot of leagues there is a bottom, but here there is no bottom. And the coaching in this league is incredible.”

On switching to the zone…
“Well they were driving everything at the rim and we did an absolutely horrible job of trying to stay in front of them. They scored free throws and layups. I was hoping that we could make them take more perimeter shots in the zone. So we just did not do a very good job, and they were very well prepared and did a great job against us. We generally guard in man-to-man situations way better than we did today.”

On K-State’s toughness…
“I obviously watched a bunch of tape and I like their team. I like what they have done with their team. When they play us, and I do not know how it is against everybody else, they are always extremely physical. I was hoping it would not be like that, but I do not generally get what I hope for.”

Guard Jaysean Paige
On the game’s physicality…
“If you do not come out to play to start off the game then anything can happen in the Big 12. This is a powerhouse conference. We just tried to come in ready to play. Coming in to a place like this, it is always a tough place to play.”

On switching out of the press…
“I just did not think we had enough energy starting the game off. They came out playing harder than us. They got the ball and a lot of loose balls, which we thrive on with the press. So we tried to go to the 1-3-1 to slow them down a little bit and to try to contain the ball and it worked out.”

On his steal late in the game…
“Yeah, I was trying to play hard and trying to force them to make some turnovers. The press was not working too well so, we switched it up and went zone and I just tried to be effective in it. Whether it was rebounding, scoring, getting steals or chasing somebody down, I was trying to do what I could.”

Forward Elijah Macon
On the first Big 12 game…
“It was a mental game. It was the first Big 12 game and it was a good one. It was a good contest for us. It showed us that we need everybody to come and play every game. We got a lot out of our bench today, and we got some energy, too. Us starters, we started off kind of slow, but we got to it.”

On going to zone…
“It was just something we go with. I would not say we were starting to get fatigued. There are just times we have to get out of [man-to-man]. We got caught up in foul trouble a lot, so he wants us to move to a zone and try to make them score in some different ways.”