Postgame Quotes

Kansas State Head coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“Obviously another heartbreaker for us, but give our kids credit. I thought they played hard the whole time. It was probably our best defensive team effort against a team that averages 75-to-80 points per game. We held them to 20 in the first half and most of that was off of our turnovers – that was all they had plus the breakdown in the half-court at the end of the half. We just had a hangover from the other day. It is hard and an emotional hangover. It is hard to deal with. A couple of guys fought through it, but some guys did not. Some guys played hard in the first half, but you cannot turn it over and try to make plays too quick and miss layups. But, we found a group of five that wanted to battle, play, and got some things done. Obviously Thomas [Gipson] played with some better energy. We should have gotten him the ball down the stretch. That was disappointing on my part when it counted. They had veteran guys and they made some big plays, both (Charles) Mann and the big kid (Nemanja Djurisic) made the big three and those were probably the difference makers. I am proud of Nigel (Johnson). He had been pretty low on the bench and struggling but he came out and played well in the first half. In the second half, he got some confidence and started doing some better things. Thomas and Malek (Harris) were pretty good and led us with energy on the play hard chart. We won the play hard 50-35 and we won the boards by 13 against a big physical team. That is the kind of effort we need all of the time and hopefully we will continue to get that. I am proud of them, but disappointed that we could not get a win.”

On not starting Gipson and sitting starters towards the game’s end…
“Well you have to play well. If you play well, you stay in the game. Thomas sprained his ankle in the last game. He could not practice Monday and yesterday only a little bit, so we gave (Stephen) Hurt a boost. Hurt was not bad, Thomas just played well down the stretch. We need everyone to play well. Those others guys cannot turn it over like that and you have got to play hard. You have got to do the things that it takes otherwise you have to play other people. If you want to say it is a message, then it is a message. It is a fact of life. I heard Coach (Gregg) Popovich say in an in-game interview. ‘We finally found five guys that care and want to play the game.’ And that is what happened today.”

On Tre Harris’ performance…
“Well he gave us a little energy. He was fine defensively. Today, he made one big hoop that gave us a little bit of a boost. The other guys try to do a little too much. Sometimes less is more. At the end of the game we called a double drag throwback. We put Nino (Williams) in to have the open shot or feed Thomas and have Tre in the corner if they helped. Nino just did not pop to the right spot – he was actually wide open but just too far out. I thought he had Thomas right away but he did not pass it and he went to Tre. You have to have some feel for him there I think.”

Forward Thomas Gipson
On scoring 19 points during the game…
“I did not even know how many I had. In the second half, we just tried to push, and it was really disappointing that we ended up losing. I gave my all and so did everyone else in the game. That was the most disappointing part about it, not my stats.”

On the emotional hangover after Texas Southern…
“We just did not come out and play with energy. They came out and hit us first and after a while we started hitting them back. We just have to move on from that game and onto the next one. We tried but we just did not finish it at the end.”

Guard Nigel Johnson
On the comeback in the second half…
“I feel like coming out of the second half, we were playing hard. We eventually came back a little bit, but it was just going back-and-forth, and then we got a few stops in the road. We got a couple of easy buckets down the road and just started coming back again from there, but we could not pull it out in the end.”

On heading into Big 12 play…
“I am looking forward to getting some big wins, especially on the road.  Last year, we only won two games on the road, TCU and Texas Tech. This year we need to get some big wins, especially if we are going to get the year we want to have.”

Georgia Head coach Mark Fox
Opening statement…
“This was a hard fought terrific basketball game. I felt like coming in to the game that both teams were coming off of games that neither felt like we played particularly well nor I thought both teams really got after it and it was an absolute dog fight. It was a great win for our team. Kansas State is a very good team and Bruce [Weber] does a great job. They are so good defensively. The key for us was to limit [Marcus] Foster and shut him down. I have a lot of respect for their team and so we are going to go home with a good win.”

On how they played in the first half…
“Well we felt like we had a really good plain going in and I thought we made very few mistakes defensively in the first half. I thought we played to our plain pretty well. We executed well and we had active hands so we forced them in to some turnovers. In the second half [Thomas] Gipson got going and they got to the foul line a few trips in a row. We could not stop them for a minute and we lost our lead, but fortunately we responded.”

On game plain in the last few seconds of the game…
“We did not go to a full front on [Thomas] Gipson, but we came close to it. He is just so strong and he is a hand full and we just tried to not let him catch it to be honest with you.”

Guard Charles Mann
On what the team did to win the game…
“We just kept on believing. We have been in this situation a lot, last year and this year. We have a lot of confidence in everyone so we can go out and get this big win.”

On in to conference play…
“We have to start the way we finish. We are starting off to slow and not as aggressive and not like we finish. We just have to have a faster start.”