Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“It was a little more of a grind-out game than I had hoped or anticipated. I guess they must have watched the Bradley tape and said hey, we are going to make them defend. I think they maybe ran one of their sets and then they just made us guard. We got into foul trouble early. We did not have great mixes, and we had some guys that played extended minutes. We still guarded pretty well and gave them a goal to keep it under 55, and they did that. There was still some questionable decision making, but I think we were hard on ourselves. We want to make them play on the first action, which is not always there. Sometimes it is not the passing but more of the decision making or the quick shot that makes a difference. These two guys to my right and left [Nino Williams and Brian Rohleder] were big time. Nino has been very consistent. He has been our best player. He is always happy, comes to practice, and plays with great energy. He has been banged up a little bit, but every day he gives his all. I could not be happier for him. Rohleder has been great in practice. He played his heart out, almost to exhaustion. I told him he would be playing with these seniors today because the way he has practiced deserves a chance to play. Guys do not always compete in practice, but he does and he got rewarded with three straight charges. He maybe played too much and got a little tired, but we really appreciate his attitude. If both of their attitudes could be contagious then it would help us.”

On the decision to play Brian Rohleder…
“He has practiced well. He has outplayed everyone in practice. If you play in practice then you get to play and good things happen. That is all it was, the other guys just have to play better. I thought Nigel [Johnson] played well with nine points and few turnovers. He gets a little lazy on defense sometimes. Jevon [Thomas] had played so well those three or four games and then the last two it just has not been quite clicking. I have told him he has got to get some rest. It seems like he is an Energizer Bunny 24/7, but I think it has caught up to him. He has got to get rest and feel good about himself. I thought Justin [Edwards] played a little better. Wesley [Iwundu] had some decent days of practice but then he got two quick fouls. We have got to do a better job defensively without fouling, and we have got to do it quick because competition is going to get a lot better.”

On Nino Williams’ improvement this year…
“I think it helps him. He knows if he screens for one of our other guys then it is going to help him get open. He has been around it, and we really challenged him to work on his shot when he was out for a little stretch. His two misses were layups tonight, so he could have had a perfect night. He is just smart and understands the game. He knows his strength and that is what he does. Every once in a while he overdoes it, but everyone does. He stays within his role and what his strengths are and that is why he has had success. We have got to keep him healthy and happy. He is not going to have perfect games and every game is different, but if he plays with that energy he will have a great senior year.”

Forward Nino Williams
On his performance over the last few games…
“Like coach said, I am just practicing hard. I know the system being here for three years and know ways of scoring and getting points. Like coach said, I have been doing a better job of screening, so I get more open shots and focus on crashing the boards which helps me get some easy buckets. Coach challenged me and Gip (Thomas Gipson) since Maui to crash the boards because we only combined for seven or eight boards the whole trip. So, I have just been focused on crashing the boards.”

On responding to Savannah State’s second half run…
“I think we picked it up defensively. We got three shutouts in a row and got Thomas some easy baskets, a bucket and-one. We got good shots, I think two assists in that run, but most of all we challenged ourselves to get defensive stops. We got three or four in a row.”

On shooting 70 percent in the second half...
“I think our offense was better, but like coach said, offense comes with time. A lot of guys were still pressing, like Justin (Edwards). He is still trying to find ways to score, and he is figuring it out. We just have to get Gip going like coach said and the offense will get going.”

Guard Brian Rohleder
On being energy spark player…
“That is my role on this team and that is what I bring every day to practice, brining energy, and making sure everybody is ready to go. It just so happened today to happen on three straight plays. That is what I do and need to bring to the team and it just worked out today.”

Savannah State Head coach Horace Broadnax
On team’s performance…
“It was decent. We tried to get a spaced-out offense. We swung, and we have a couple of guys who are sick, under the weather. We have 10 guys, nine guys suiting up. Considering that and playing against the Big 12, the guys did well. We still made some mistakes. We are still young. We are starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior. You still do not like to lose, but we try and look at the end game and what we are trying to get accomplished and that is being competitive in our conference. We still have to get better.”

On defensive play…
“We got in a little bit of foul trouble and our man to man was decent. I think we went back into our two-three zone, and they picked us apart. They high-lowed us, and they had some big guys. As I looked at it, we probably should have stayed in man. We might have had a better chance. Midway through the second half, we started playing man to man and got a couple of steals and kind of got back into the game. Then we cut it to six or seven, if I am not mistaken, and I think we might have dropped back into that two-three zone again and it hurt us.”

On K-State’s depth being a factor…
“It probably was. A couple of our guys are under the weather. Being from the south, and obviously it is not bad weather here, but they have to learn to cover up and do the right things away from the basketball floor. They have good depth. They have good talent. Talking to Bruce (Weber) at the end of the game, he is young in some spots and obviously they are going to get better as the season progresses.”