Postgame Quotes

Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“Overall tonight was a good win.  As a staff we were very leery of this game.  Nebraska-Omaha has played very good basketball these past couple of weeks.  They beat Nevada by 20 last Saturday, they won at Marquette and they started out the game up 24-7 against Nebraska.  Nebraska-Omaha has great quickness, they push the ball up the court.  Tonight might have been Jevon [Thomas’s] best game of his career.  He had seven assists and one turnover.  He held their guard, [Devin] Patterson, to seven points and seven turnovers.  As a coaching staff, we were worried about being still worn out from Maui, but I think we actually ended up wearing them down.  Now we have to go on the road and play a tough game against Tennessee.  I hope our guys are looking forward to it, it is a chance to redeem ourselves and move forward as a group.”

On K-State’s defense the second half….
“I thought we were pretty good defensively in the second half.  We turned them over, we were in the right spots and it helped us extend the lead.  I think our depth really helped us with that.  Nino [Williams] played more alert.  Once we got a feel for what they were doing on offense we started playing much better.”

On offensive rebounds…
“It helped overcome our turnovers.  We talked to Nino [Williams] and Thomas [Gipson] about how they had not really done a good job on the boards and they need to step up.  Nino [Williams] ended up grabbing a couple offensive rebounds as well as Thomas [Gipson] and then Stephen Hurt came in and helped out as well.”

On Jevon Thomas’s performance…
“He has gotten better in practice and has worked at it as hard as anybody.  It was nice to see him rewarded.  He made some shots and was playing confident.  He is starting to feel better about himself and he is learning there is more than one speed to the game.  He made some great reads and made some really nice passes to Nino [Williams].  He has got ultra energy, he is our Energizer bunny.  Jevon [Thomas], he probably never even goes to sleep.”

Forward Nino Williams
On having a high scoring game…
“I was just playing. I did not even know I had that many points. I was just playing the game and the game got energized. Once the game got energized JT (Jevon Thomas) got energy and I got energy. JT made a couple of good assists down the court. I remember him getting a layup that he passed to me, and I hit a jump shot. Like I said, it was good teamwork tonight. We got 23 assists, JT and everyone else was playing well together.”

On one of his first 3-pointers in three years…
“It was really good. I have been shooting them this summer, and I have been shooting them after practice. It was just good to get the relief of knowing I could make one. I had a couple of challenges in Maui and a couple of challenges in this game. I have really been working on them in practice so when my opportunity came I just took it. I was a little early in the shot clock and coach kind of yelled. It was really good to just get it off my back. I will not be shooting many, but I will still be practicing them every day so I can hit them.”

Omaha Head coach Derrin Hansen
Opening statement…
“I was really happy with our start tonight.  I thought we did a good job of controlling the tempo early.  K-State made a run late in the first half to get up by six and I think they jumped us and got up nine before the first media (of second half).  It hovered at nine for a long time and then we did a bad job on the glass and a bad job on the ball screen.  Things shifted 9-17 in a hurry.  Like I told my team, there are some things you can control and some things you cannot.  One of the things we cannot control is them bringing out big bodies.  That is how it has been with anyone we have played, whether that is Marquette or Nebraska.  That is where it hurt us tonight because we can only bring in three freshmen posts because one of our guys is still out.  That hurt us some tonight.  We are doing a little better down the stretch, but on the road the bodies K-State has wore us down the stretch.  They are a really well-coached team.  We battled with them for 33 or 34 minutes, but it was not enough.”

On play of Jevon Thomas…
“He is really quick and, of course, he is longer than [Devin Newsome].  Devin is 5-foot-8 and really fast.  He has been great in our league and great for Omaha.  I thought Jevon did a good job and kept us out of transition, which is what we like to do.  Of course, when we got into the guts of the game in the half court I thought he did a really good job with them, too.”

On his team defensively in the second half…
“When we play games like this, and we have played a lot the last several years, size will wear on you as the game goes on.  We have Mike Rostampour, a senior who can hold his own, for 30.  We have Jake White, who has played at Wichita State, who can hold his own, but he is not with us right now. Then our next three bigs are redshirt freshman, redshirt freshman and freshman.  Over the course of time they are going to wear down against bigger, stronger, more mature bodies and more mature players.  It is the way these games go, that is why it is 43-25 in the rebounding.  We can learn from that and we can get better from that.  Because Jake [White] has been out, some of our younger guys are going out and developing some depth as we move forward.  That will be key for us.”

Guard C.J. Carter
On K-State’s defense…
“They played really good defense in the second half.  We did not play to our potential like we did in the first half.  They are a great team and we just fell apart.  What that comes down to, is me and Mike [Rostampour] just being leaders and focusing on our team and getting us together.  We tried to play our best, but it just did not come out the way we wanted it to.”

On the size of K-State…
“We do not have Jake White, the extra body that we need, but we have been fighting a lot and we played hard for those 36 minutes.  K-State has 6-foot-11 and 6-foot-8 coming off of the bench and that plays a big factor.  We have to keep playing and size does not matter to us at all, we just have to keep fighting.”