Postgame Quotes

Jan. 18, 2012

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Kansas State Quotes
Head Coach Frank Martin
On the closing minute of the game…
“We went up seven, and I called a timeout. We went zone, and we slowed them down and made them eat about 25 seconds. We told our guys with the game close down the stretch J’Covan (Brown) was going to shoot every ball. We were in the same position last year at their place, and he started to score every ball. He is such a winner. We had a mental lapse and gave him a clean look, and he is not going to miss those coming down the stretch. Outside of that, I was pretty proud of how we stepped up to our discipline on defense down the stretch. I was pleased that we did not turn the ball over. We ran offense and got the right guys to the foul line, but you have to make them. The guy who had a letdown when we went zone was Martavious Irving, but then he made up for his breakdown on that last play. On a different note, I usually do not speak about who I do and do not play, but I took him out of the starting lineup because he is pressing. He is putting too much pressure on himself, but I thought that allowed him to relax. He went out and played like a champ tonight.”

On Rodney McGruder…
“I have told you guys, I am worried about inflation, and I am worried about taxes. But I am not worried about Rodney McGruder. I am ecstatic for him. In the first half, when we ran our offense, we were aggressive, and we looked for open shots and opportunities for Rodney. If they took that away, we made the next pass and that guy made the play. We got in trouble in the first half because we got away from that. I do not know if he can keep up the pace that he has been at since the Hawaii tournament, but I am just ecstatic for him. I can tell you in my 27 years that I have been involved in basketball; he is the best kid I have been around. He cares as much as anybody as I have been around. I am happy for his individual success, but I am happier that he is fighting to lead our team.”

On first half play…
“In the first half we became trigger happy. We took a shot off of the first pass, and good teams cannot do that. When we are running and filling lanes, I can live with some of those shots, but when you are attacking that creates rebounding opportunities. When the defense gets set, you cannot shoot on the first pass unless it is a special play where somebody has scored two or three in a row. If someone has it going, I might call a special play that allows him to shoot on the first pass, but if I do not call a special play we cannot shoot it in on the first pass because that is bad basketball and will get you beat. With our team, that and turnovers gets us in trouble.”

On improvements since the Baylor game…
“We try to go through a lot of different situations in practice and that is what was so disappointing for me about the Baylor game. We rehearsed every possible scenario. Our guys are well rehearsed in it, but in that game I do not know what happened. We did not execute in the moment. Tonight we did not make our freethrows. However, that allowed our defense to get set so they did not have a lot of run-outs. I was proud of how we fought. In the second half, we played K-State basketball and that is what we like to see.”

Sophomore Guard Will Spradling
On Rodney McGruder...
“When he hit his first couple of threes, I knew he was zoned in. Toward the end of the game, we ran a play, and I knew I wanted him on the ball screen because when he was getting in the paint he was finishing. I was doing my best to get him in position to get him to the paint to get looks in the paint.”

Junior Guard Rodney McGruder
On tonight’s shooting…
“I just wanted to be aggressive and in attack-mode. Frank (Martin) just told me to be aggressive and look to score. I have been taking a lot of shots lately, and they just fell for me tonight.”

On his career high…
“It means a lot to get a career high, and it means a lot to do it in a victory. It would not have meant anything if we would have lost this game because I just want to win more than anything.”

On his game-ending dunk…
“I was taking out my frustration because I had just missed two freethrows so I was angry about that.”

Texas Quotes
Head Coach Rick Barnes
Opening statement…
“I think you always need a win. I do not think that is the best question. We have a group of guys that are going through something they have never gone through for the most part. They really have been pretty resilient, even when we got down in games and fell back in the second half. Kansas State really owned the lane area. They got pretty much what they wanted. We had foul trouble. We do not want guys like J’Covan Brown and Myck Kabongo playing as many minutes as they did, but our big guys are working through foul trouble. I just told the team that it is such a fine line and we got hurt on the free throw block-out. We have to give Kansas State credit for that. The team that may be their best offense is their offensive rebound. We just let them deflate our defense too much working inside their three point line. Again, we fall. Our guys did not flinch. They stayed with it. We had a chance to win it. I wish we had a timeout. We always try to save one but we could not because we were trying to get back in it. That is where you probably need a little more experience. We have played enough games now that we should be able to handle it. I thought Kansas State played hard. It was a hard fought game and again, we put ourselves in a position where that is all you can expect to do.

On facing Rodney McGruder…
“I think Frank and his staff have done a great job. He [McGruder] made his threes early in the game. You look at what he did tonight. They simply over powered us inside, Not only their post, but their guards were able to get pretty deep on us. They make you work on both ends. It was a hard fought game. Our guys fought, we battled. We came in and we just need to stay out of foul trouble. We put way too much pressure on our perimeter players but they too, from being out there so long, were driven and put pressure on their post guys.

On K-State’s game plan
“Kansas State is going to take everybody for what they score. They are not going to play a scout report. That is what they do, that is their identification. They are going to make you work and I think it is a whole new experience for J’Covan Brown. He has a big, big bull’s eye on his back. When people play us they think he is the only one that can score. He has proven he can score.   Myck [Kabongo] worked so well. For the most part, he is a very resilient player if you work against a team that is really going after him. Again, he worked at it and we just could not end.  We need a guy like Jonathan Holmes who can play more than nine minutes. We need him out there.”

Guard Myck Kabongo
The tempo of the game…
“Yes, that was coach’s game plan, he was looking for us to push the ball, get space and move around. We are a good team when we are running, and we get our space. A good offense only helps our team.”

The end of the game…
“I should have been smarter about it, I should have known that they were going to hug up on it, we should have got a back door cut. You can never go back, if I could go back I would change it, but I cannot.”