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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

March 2, 2014

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“Really good team win for us. There is no doubt about it. They had two special players tonight in (Melvin) Ejim and (Deandre) Kane. Both of them are probably towards the top best players in the league. They have had their big three all year. I thought we did a good job on (Georges) Niang, and we got him in foul trouble which helped. We had major foul trouble in the first half and probably the key to the game was our bench points, 38-2. We had some unconventional lineups in there. They did not go down. They kept battling. One of our goals was to hold them under 70. We did not quite make it, but we had good stops down the stretch. Maybe they got tired a little bit, I do not know. They only play seven. They play guys that get a lot of minutes. Shots came up short down the stretch. It was a great team effort, a lot of big plays. Will (Spradling) had a lot of big buckets down the stretch. Shane (Southwell) making the threes in the first half, getting him back and going and that was great for him. I thought the big guys did a good job. D.J. (Johnson) and Thomas (Gipson) getting some points in the paint, which Iowa State does not usually allow too much. Just a good win, you beat the number one RPI in Kansas and now you have beaten the number nine RPI. We have five top 25 wins. We set a Bramlage record. It is great for our seniors to leave a legacy and have to finish that next Saturday. Right now we have second place. Right now we have to go to Oklahoma State, and it is in our own hands to see if we can get another road win and see if we can maintain second place. We have the tie breaker on everyone because of Kansas. Neither of our last two games will be easy. Now we just have to enjoy this.”

On free throw shooting…
“You have to give Jevon (Thomas) a little credit. It has not been easy on him, and he has been in the gym. He made a layup today, which was great and made some nice plays. He and Nigel (Johnson) gave us some really good minutes because we had a lot of deep foul trouble. Free throws were huge and that is usually their strength. They have pretty good free throw shooters, and they get to the line a lot. We were able to at least be close with them. First half we did not get to the bonus again and we did not go up strong enough and get to the paint. Second half we got a little more to the basket more and got some second chance opportunities which led to fouls and free throws.”

On Will Spradling’s big plays down the stretch…
“They were huge, three plays really. The shock clock play, the little jump shot, and then we just ran motion and we set two good screens and he jumped up and shot it. Then he just had the pass to Thomas (Gipson) with three seconds on the shot clock and then Shane (Southwell) went pick and pop. Then we did a little post up with Thomas, and we got the free throws. We had big plays down the stretch.”

Senior Guard Shane Southwell
On the physicality of the game…
“It was a war and a bar fight. They have two really good offensive rebounders in (Melvin) Ejim and (Dustin) Hogue. They just sit there and get a body on you. It is also tough because of all the helping and dribble driving they do. They are just on the weak side and ready for offensive rebounding. They are really good at it.”

On playing at home…
“This obviously is the best home record that I have been a part of. Aside from one wrinkle in the first game of the year, we have been playing very well here. Like coach (Bruce Weber) said earlier, our freshmen are taking full advantage of the crowd and energy. I think we just play well here. We make shots from time-to-time, but most importantly s the defensive effort. We get the whole crowd yelling, get into our stances and help each other out.”

On his first-half shooting…
“Coach warned me about staying disciplined. I think for the most part I did. I was talking to myself when the ball was coming towards me to stay disciplined on my shot. I have not been real disciplined this year and have been inconsistent with that part. That is why my shot has been inconsistent. I think that is for the most part the key to my shooting today.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On the physicality of the game…
“It was tough down there. I am strong, but their will to get the offensive rebounds is crazy and it is good for them.”

On the play of the bench…
“I feel like we are not skipping a heartbeat when the second group comes in. D.J. (Johnson) plays extremely hard and at times he plays harder than me. It gives our team a boost of energy and people want to play harder. They feed off of D.J.’s energy and that is good. Omari (Lawrence), Nigel (Johnson) and the rest of the bench have shirts that say “Next Man Up” because at any moment one of the guys on the bench can be the star player. They can help get a key win for us. We are all in it together.”

Iowa State Head Coach Fred Hoiberg
On play of K-State guards at the end of the game…
“Their two shooters stepped up and knocked down big shots when they needed them. Spradling came off after struggling and rose up and knocked a big one down.  Then Foster did the same thing the next time down. That is what great players do.  It is a four-year player with Spradling knocking it down and one of the best freshmen that I have seen in a long time here with Foster. They stepped up, give them credit for making big plays. I loved the way we competed. We fought them, out-rebounded them by seven on the road, got to the free throw line 30 times, obviously missed some key ones and that was a big key to the game and did not shoot well from the three, but we battled. I am really proud of our guys for coming on the road and giving ourselves a great chance even though it did not go well for us on the offensive end of the floor.”

On play of Melvin Ejim…
“He had a ton of energy and he really struggled in his last game, only playing 20 minutes, but we stepped up in his absence and got a big win despite him being on the bench for half of the game. His energy was off the charts tonight. To go out and have 30 points and 16 rebounds on the road, that is a pretty big time performance.”

On Melvin Ejim’s foul trouble affecting the game…
“Obviously, it affected it. He got the technical again and that is just something that he has to refrain from doing. We need him on the floor and that is two in a row now where he has not been able to be out there because of a technical. The energy he gave tonight was incredible, but we need him out there.”

Sophomore Guard Georges Niang
On the end of the game…
“(Will) Spradling hit that big three, then I missed a three on the other end to try and tie it up. We fouled them and they made their free throws. It comes down to making free throws and making plays, we just could not convert late.”

On missed free throws…
“They were huge. Whenever you go into a hostile environment like this, you have to knock down shots and they make free throws.”

Senior Forward Melvin Ejim
On last 90 seconds of the game…
“They made tough shots. Spradling came in and hit a big three, (Marcus) Foster hit a big three. They made big shots down the stretch and were able to push away. It was tough because we played hard, we go to the free throw line and out-rebounded them. We had a formula for success, but we just could not get it done.”

On being down early…
“You never want to be down, so that was tough. We just came battling, we were down 10 and we got it to five, we then tie it up and they hit a big three. They came right back and hit some big shots. We played hard, guys came in, stepped up and made some big shots, but truly they were able to make some big shots down the stretch and get some stops. We were not able to respond. I think we played a great game but they just made some key shots.”