Postgame Quotes

Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“Obviously, playing here is a special opportunity for our kids. I kept telling them all week that we need to take advantage of that and make the most of the opportunity. They announced that there were almost 15,000 people here and to have that crowd is great to energize. We also told them that they have to feed the crowd and they cannot just feed off of the crowd. I thought we played pretty good basketball. I thought the defense looked good in the first half, but it slipped a little bit when we got into foul trouble during the end of the second half. We have got to keep it close and then we had the nice run and had some nice plays. Wesley [Iwundu] energized us with the dunk and the behind the head pass.  We got the ball into Thomas [Gipson] enough and just had a good balance. We had four guys in double figures and two guys with eight. We played hard and Jevon [Thomas] had 10 on the play-hard chart. When you execute and shoot the ball like that, it is pretty impressive. I think we shot 82 percent in the first half and 61percent overall is pretty good.  We were a little more patient and took care of the ball.  We did not turn over the ball too much, but maybe in the first half we could have cut it down a couple to give us opportunities to score.  We have talked about working defense and let them break down instead of us keep making plays.  They are a good team, they have got good players, and it was a good experience for us.  Hopefully we can feed off of this and relax a little bit.”

On scoring in the paint …
“We did a ball screen and replaced Marcus [Foster] and they stayed with that. I thought at the start of the second half we hit that three right away and then we shot three quick ones again. Then they got some transition and we settled down and were a little more patient.  I just keep talking about making good decisions and putting the other team on defense and just playing smart.  I thought for the most part we played pretty smart.”

On Wesley Iwundu’s performance…
“It was a great birthday present.  I think the biggest thing is that you have got to practice well before you are going to play well in the games.  He missed practice and he came back and it took him a while. He has had three or four really good practices out of the last six or seven where he is a factor again. He is playing strong and he was 0-13.  I made him aware of that. Last year at this point he had 30 free-throws and now he has got 21 or 22. Today he played hard and he played confident. He made some big plays for us.”

Forward Nino Williams
On playing in the Wildcat Classic…
“It is always a good game, because we know that we get a break. Coach always tells us that we are going to be off for three days, so we just play our hardest and give everything that we can give. It is usually the turnaround game before conference play and to finish off the year. We always know that this game is big. It might be biggest game of the season and we just harped on how big of a chance this was for our season. I think this was our best game we have played overall this season as a team.”

On Wesley Iwundu’s performance…
“It is good for the whole team. Like coach said, Wesley has not been playing well. The last couple practices he has been playing better. Last game I thought he played better, but he was in foul trouble. I felt this game was good for him and it was also good for the team going in to conference play. If he takes this confidence in to conference play we are going to be really strong in the three spot. Like coach said, he should have a lot more confidence after this game so he is going to come to the next practice with some confidence.”

Texas A&M Head coach Billy Kennedy
Opening statement…
“You have to give Kansas State a lot of credit. I thought that they were well prepared offensively. They got paint touches and had some guys step up for them offensively. They were consistent and we had a hard time guarding them.”

On what K-State did to shoot so good in the first half…
“They got a lot of lay ups. They drove us at the end of the clock. We did a pretty good job of trying to take (Marcus) Foster out of it. What happened is that we got over extended with our defensive pressure and I thought their guards and forwards did a good job of ripping it, driving it, and not settling for jump shots. When they got some jump shots, they made them. They had some guys make some shots that I had not seen them make in a lot of their games.”

On what he told his team after Wesley Iwundu’s back-to-back plays in the second half…
“We fought at a higher level. That was the biggest thing. I thought that Kansas State threw a lot of punches at us early and we responded too late. We have a good team with good character. We did not fold and that was the best thing. They made some backbreaking type plays where teams would just fold. We hung in there but you cannot give a good team like that 82 percent in the first half. We were only down seven and that was the strange thing. I have to watch the tape because there are still things that I do not have a good feel for.”

On his teaming winning several statistical categories…
“It was similar to when we played Dayton at the start of the year. We win every stat but we did not make enough tough plays when we needed to. You cannot give a good team a 14 point lead on the road in front of a good crowd and expect everything to go well at the end. We did not get a lot of breaks at the end either. You have to give Kansas State credit because they did some good things.”