Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“The biggest thing is that we found a way to win. We had our struggles, and we had our stress. We still had a good start in the second half and got going. We hit a little bit of a wall and to their credit, they battled back and made some shots. They broke us down a few times, and I think part of it was just being physically and mentally whipped. Justin [Edwards] hit a big three to get us back going again. We had a few stops and then still could have put it away. Jevon [Thomas] had a layup and Justin had a tip-in. Wesley [Iwundu] had a layup. We shot two-for-five from the free throw line in that stretch. We won and sometimes if you win ugly it is better than not winning. I am proud of the guys, and Nino [Williams] was big-time and he gave us everything he had. He got a double-double on the regular stats, and he had another double with 11 on our play hard chart. In our book, it is a triple-double and that is a great effort playing as a senior.”

On the first half…
“If Marcus [Foster] does not make baskets then it does not help us. Then they double-teamed Thomas [Gipson] and it took away our two top guys offensively. Then the turnovers and we were just too impatient. They were physical and they fought things and switched things, and we just had sticky fingers like we have had in a few other games. We have to keep moving the basketball. We have to keep getting good body movement and get side to side. We have to be smarter. They put on defensive for 28-30 seconds and then we would come down and try to make a play. They were just a little stressed and we just need to try to help them.”

On the second half…
“I think the big thing was Nigel [Johnson’s] basket at the end of the half. We drew up a play at the last timeout, and they executed it perfectly. Nigel stepped up after he was not making the shots and he made a big shot. That was a huge basket. We came out and got to the free throw line and got the rebound on a missed free throw and got a bucket. Then we scored three, five, six points in a row and got a little confidence. Obviously Marcus got going and we got some steals and some easy baskets in transition. Then I think we were just dead and had a couple of guys say they just had to come out. I think our bench just has to get a little bit better offensively and give us something offensively to help us.”

Guard Marcus Foster
On finding room in the paint to score…
“First half we were a little dead. I know my legs felt different than they usually do during games. Second half we just came together and talked about it in the locker room and corrected things we needed to correct to come out and play stronger. We started making shots, and I got going a little bit. That is all it came down to in the second half. We just picked up our energy level.”

On the confidence of the team…
“It is definitely still there. We have got a long season to go. We cannot be worried at one particular thing because there are so many things we need to improve on. Looking forward to conference play, it is going to be very tough. Right now we have just got to worry about everything we do and just keep battling every night.”

Forward Nino Williams
On the missed shots in the second half…
“It just happens like that sometimes. It is college basketball. There are a lot of missed shots and it is just a grind-out game. Coach Weber told us at half that it was going to be a grind. We just took shots, and we turned the ball over a lot. I think we had 11 turnovers just in the first half. Besides that, I thought we played well. We just could not hit shots. It was just a different type of game, and we just came out with the win. We needed a win like this after we lost the last couple of games like that. We needed to win this close game.”

On Malek Harris’s playing…
“I think he is progressing over the weeks. He was out for a couple of weeks early on and it is just hard for a freshman to be out. Malek is still learning everything. Being out for two weeks and not being able to practice probably hurt him, but I think he is gradually getting the swing of things. He is getting better in practice. I just think he is thinking too much and not playing enough. I always tell him that if he makes a mistake just keep practicing and playing hard.”

Bradley Head coach Geno Ford
Opening statement…
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the first half.  They are a really good defensive team, but they have been scoring a lot of points. I am sure they felt like they missed some shots they would typically make.  They are averaging in the upper 70s offensively.  We were not going to compete in the game 78 to 77 today; we had no chance of that.  We tried to do some things with the tempo offensively.  I think we guarded and challenged shots and we were able to keep (Marcus) Foster out of his rhythm in the first half.  He is a special player and he got it cooking in the second half, made a couple really big ones.    

On falling short…
“We have scored 50 before and I would like to say that is a guaranteed win.  For us there are a couple things first, we have got to guard. That is a strength when our team is being physical, and making teams take tough shots, forcing turnovers.  Offensively, we have been challenged throughout the year.  We are playing without two guards that have been getting lots of minuets.  For us to have a chance to win this game we needed to keep it in the 50s.  That was our chance to win. ”

On the last shot…
“They switched the back screen.  They were a touch late on switching the rescreen, and the guy guarding the wing ran up doubling him.  We got an extra pass.  It was actually a good look.  There was a guy flying at them, but you are not going to get a wide open shot at the buzzer when your team knows it needs a three.  The only disappointing part of the last play was our point guard ran to the wrong side.  There were two timeouts, and it ended up being a 2-on-1.  It turned into an extra pass 3-pointer with the guy contesting it, and it should have been a guy spaced in the corner.  That would have been wide open on that kick.  I do not think he got a bad look under those circumstances, just knowing we were going for three in that spot.  Unfortunately it did not go in.  They were looking for Barnes as the secondary option there.”