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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Jan. 4, 2014

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“What can you say? It is just a great win – a gusty win by our guys. They just kept battling.  I am not so sure it was pretty at times because it seemed like they were controlling the game.  They would go up five and we would make a couple of plays and it would be tied.  We would be tied, take the lead and they would go back up.  We missed some free throws or take some quick shots, break down and foul them.  About the six minute mark or so we made a nice run.  Marcus [Foster] made a couple of baskets and a nice pass to Thomas [Gipson].  Nino [Williams] made some huge plays then we got stops when it counted and that is what you have to do.  You have to hope the crowd gets into it.  We had an unbelievable crowd again.  I was very surprised and very happy.  The place was basically full and that is without the students.  With the Chiefs playing I did not know what would happen, but they were definitely a difference maker.  They are a potential final four team, I do not think there is any doubt about that.  We were able to compete with them and find a way to win.  We are 1-0 in the Big 12, but it is who is consistent over the long haul that ends up winning it and that has to be one of our goal, to stay consistent.  Now we just have to worry about TCU at TCU on Tuesday which will not be easy.”

On the impact of Marcus Smart’s fourth foul…
“Obviously if he is not in the game for a long stretch of time it helps you. When he came back in, he missed two free throws in a row and took a tough shot. He was just trying to get it back mentally, I think, and it probably gave us a chance. It all tied in, we made a run at the seven or eight minute mark and he was not in there. That is just part of the game. We did not have Shane [Southwell] most of the game and he has been our guy. Nino [Williams] did the job, stepping up. We had talked about the bench being a big difference maker and they had three guys that had not played at all or very little – obviously Forte is kind of a starter – but I thought that could be one of our advantages that our bench could be a little bit of a difference. Jevon [Thomas], Nino, Omari [Lawrence], Nigel [Johnson], DJ [Johnson] – we feel confident with all of those guys because they have played and played major minutes. I hope that it is one of our strengths as we continue into the league and the rest of the season.”

On the play of the freshmen…
“Wesley [Iwundu] was just really solid in his minutes and Marcus goes in spurts. The thing I am impressed about with Marcus is eight rebounds. We have been on him about it. It has been one of the things we talked about because of the way [Oklahoma State] plays. They get you all spread out and they have so many guys that are going to get by people. You have to help, help, help and then the guards have to rebound. We did not do that in the first half. I thought we did it much better in the second half. That is huge. Jevon does not what is going on totally, but he can just make plays. Nigel was a little bit shell shocked, but I think he will be fine. We are going to need him in certain games and this was a huge game for him. He will be okay. The freshmen have been very important.”

On what helped them get over the hump in the game…
“Maybe Smart being out helped, but I would hope we could give our guys credit. Marcus made a couple of nice baskets and then a pass to Gipson. We rebounded and got some shutouts. We just hung in there and the crowd made a huge difference. I thought we had great poise and executed the last eight minutes, which the rest of the game we did not seem to do. They are the team that has been through it. They have won at Allen Fieldhouse. They have won some huge games, so it was a big step for our guys, there is no doubt about it.”

On opening conference play with a win…
“The guys were definitely excited in the locker room. Mississippi was huge, Gonzaga was pretty big, George Washington too, but this was a whole different step for us.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On opening conference play with a win…
“It was a good win for us. We call it a bar fight in the locker room. We felt it was one of the toughest games we have played so far and for us to be young and come out and get a huge win against the number six team in the nation – that feels real good, especially for the young guys. Now they have an extreme amount of confidence knowing that we can beat anybody in the country with what we do on defense, getting shutouts and scoring. I feel like that was a big win for us.”

Junior Forward Nino Williams
On his history of good outings against Oklahoma State…
“I do not think it is really anything. I just feel like when I get a chance to play, I can prove myself against them. I think they kind of respect me now because every time we play them, I play well. Like coach said, they trust me and I go out there and play with confidence and play my role.”

On his mindset during the last two free throws…
“Nothing really. Coach was talking to me a lot, but I was just thinking like it was the first five minutes of the game. I just relaxed and was not thinking much.”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On his mindset playing against the number six ranked team…
“I just wanted to stay calm and stick to what I do. I just wanted to be able to play defense, help my teammates when they needed help, and score the ball because that is what I am good at. You cannot let yourself get uptight in this type of game against the number six team in the nation with a lot of [future] professionals on their team. I just calmed my nerves before the game and when I got out there I just played.”

Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford
Opening Statement…
“It was an exciting, hard-fought game with two teams that I thought played very hard. We just did not play very good defense for whatever reason for the first time (this season). We did not guard the ball very well. We gave up too much penetration, too much one-on-one, too many second-chance points and we did not make good decisions on offense on a couple of occasions. There were a couple of tough calls, not bad calls but getting certain things happened at certain times that just were not timely for us. In a tight game like that which you need that they got, but they played hard. Kansas State played well. First off, congratulate them because those kids played very hard and withstood the lead which we had a lot. Give them credit but we just did not make very good decisions.”

On playing without junior Michael Cobbins…
“We you lose one of the top shot blockers in the league, you have to adjust a little bit. This is the first time out and our guys have to understand that our one-on-one defense has to get better. With that said, we did have six blocked shots but it would obviously be nice to have him in there, but he is not here so you have to do something else. It is not like we can replace Michael with another shot blocker. We have to get better at other things and we will. Like I said going into this game, this is going to be an adjustment game. We wanted to come in and try to win it but it has been a tough week and we lost a major part of our team so we have to adjust. We cannot just plug another player in, just to throw in Michael’s spot, we have to adjust. Guys are going to have to play other positions and they are going to have to do some things in order to replace Michael’s minutes. It is not as big as an adjustment if you have someone to replace him but we are not in that situation.”

On the play of K-State’s freshman…
“They are talented and tough. We watched film on them so it was not a surprise. They are tough and tough-minded. They have got game. I was impressed. (Marcus) Foster had 17, and he earned every one of them, give him credit. That is first game all year where we did not defend very well but give them credit because they made some big shots.”

On the opening Big 12 play with a loss…
“That is what I just talked to my team about. The room for error – and we should know that – is very small when you get into league play especially when you are on the road against a disciplined team like K-State. They capitalized and that is where you need to give them some credit. They capitalized on some of our mistakes and they did a great job of taking advantage of some our silly mistakes and bad decisions that we made and that is what you have to do in order to get wins in this league. It is the toughest in America so you have to give those guys credit because they stepped up when they needed to.”

Junior Forward Le’Bryan Nash
On the play of Oklahoma State…
“We just got the ball in the right people’s hands. I think I had a couple of shots. Markel (Brown) got a couple of shots and Phil (Forte) hit a big shot at the end that helped us out. But we could not come out at the end. Give K-State all the credit because they played great and they played like they wanted to beat one of the top-ranked teams in the country.”

On defending K-State…
“We were trying to do a good job on (Thomas) Gipson and (Shane) Southwell because they are experienced guys. They know how to play in big games. With (Marcus) Foster, we scouted him a lot and we knew he was a good player and a good scorer and he still got off because he wanted to win. You could see it in his face that he wanted it. He is one of the best freshmen that I have seen this year. Like I said, you have to give credit to K-State. We scored 71 points on the road, most of the time that is good enough in the Big 12 but we let K-State score and that is not Oklahoma State defense.”

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