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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

March 4, 2014

Recap |  Final Stats

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement...
“There’s not much you can say. Hard turnaround one day – we had bad weather yesterday, got here late. I thought we played well early. We probably did some of the best passing and ball movement. They ran a couple of things at us and we reacted well. Then they did – I don’t know, a timeout or something and they turned it up, and they played like big boys and we didn’t react to it very well. They punked us, and took it at us. It wasn’t that we quit or anything. We just didn’t compete. They punched us and we slapped back, and that’s why we got fouls. They played very determined. They had their backs to the wall. You have to give them a lot of credit.”

On if he thought about putting Will Spradling back in with two fouls late in first half...
“We kept it at eight, so you come back in the second half and right away you get it to four or three. You get him a third foul and now he gets a fourth, now you’re really done. If we would have gotten to 10, 12, 14, I probably would have given him a chance. Nigel (Johnson) was fine. It was just too long a stretch for him, especially on the road. They’re too good. Jevon (Thomas) had three, four bad possessions. He’s still earning. But Will’s got to be smarter. He fouled jump shots. You never foul jump shots. We need him in the game. Obviously he gives us stability and intelligence. We were moving the ball, and he was moving well without the ball. Then Marcus Smart locked into Marcus Foster, and he taught him a lesson. Hopefully next time, if we get the opportunity, Marcus (Foster) will react a little better.”

On what he sees differently about OSU now than when they were on losing streak...
“Right now they’re playing very determined. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m not sure they played real hard early, but then when they turned it up, that was probably the difference in the game. I didn’t think we fought them enough. You know – battle for passes, got them pressured, things that we did at our place. That’s part of playing on the road. And we got in so much foul trouble. Heck, we had everybody with two in the first half, so that made it tough on us, also.”

On Oklahoma State driving the ball...
“Oh they always do. They iso(late) you, they’ve got athletes, they’re good in transition. One of the big things I wrote on the board – the keys to the game on defense is what you do on offense. Be strong with the ball, take care of it. We had eight turnovers. How many layups did we miss? They went in there into traffic, but we didn’t finish. We didn’t take it to them. They took it to us. They were the aggressor and we weren’t. That’s the only thing I’m disappointed in. We have a big one Saturday against Baylor. We should have beat them the first time. Crazy bounces – hopefully our guys will rise up and be ready to play. We get a couple days rest. Playing Monday helps you in the long run. It’s a long season and hopefully we can get regrouped and reenergized and get one Saturday. Hope we have a great crowd at Bramlage. Then you have the Big 12 and hopefully postseason after that.”

Senior Guard Will Spradling
On the team struggling offensively...
"We made a good run in the second half, and then they made a run and never stopped. We never had that one stop we needed like we had against Texas Tech. We were able to come up clutch at the end of that game and get stops, but we did the exact opposite tonight. We didn't get any stops and thought we could keep score with them. You can't do that with a team like that."

On going to the bench early in the first half with two fouls...
"It's something that I can't do. I hadn't done it a while. We had been playing well, and I had been playing well, so it's something that I can't do on Saturday."

On if he sees the offense run differently when he's not on the floor...
"Yeah, it gets stagnant sometimes. Oklahoma State kept up with our motion offense, and they were really strong with guarding us. Marcus (Foster) and I were moving well with our offense, but when I went out, the only one who can really keep moving is Marcus, and he was getting worn out by himself. It makes it hard."

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On if the team wasn't aggressive enough against the Oklahoma State defense…
"It was their senior night, and they wanted to come out and play hard. That's what they did. We stuck with them in the first half, but then they made that run. We didn't respond well, and they went off with it."

On how the offense struggles without Will Spradling in the game…
"It's a major difference. He gets us a majority of our offense. Nigel (Johnson) and J.T. (Jevon Thomas) are young, so they've just got to learn sooner or later. They have to be focused. Will's a senior, so he's been through it. He's a major part of this team."

On being within three points in the second half…
"I think it got away from us because we weren't (hitting our) shots. Our offense wasn't on. Our offense can't dictate our defense. We've said that a million times. It just happened today. We have to stay focused on defense aside, and the offense will come."

Oklahoma State Head Coach Travis Ford
Opening statement…
"I thought we were really sloppy at times, but defensively, when you hold a Big 12 team to 34 percent (overall) and 20 percent from the three-point line, that's a very good defensive night. Kansas State was tied for second place in the league, so it was a very good win, especially coming off such an emotional win on Saturday and having to turn around and play again 48 hours later. I was very proud of how our guys responded. Physically we played hard, but we made a lot of mental mistakes. All things considered, we're happy to get a 16-point win against a very good Kansas State team."

On scoring points off turnovers…
"You will take 23 points off 14 turnovers in any game. We did a good job of finding Phil Forte in transition, and in the half court as well. His threes stretch things out a little bit, and they energize us so much. He hit big threes. There were multiple times we would have an eight- or nine-point lead and he would stretch it to double digits. That's a big difference. We had some really good steals in the second half that energized us. It was good to see."

On Marcus Smart's defense against Marcus Foster…
"You can't say enough about his effort. He is amazing defensively, because he can guard so many different positions and do it at a high level with great intensity. He soaks up the scouting report. He is really attentive to what we are doing defensively. What I loved about tonight and the Kansas game, is when he was struggling offensively, he was still getting after it on the defensive end. That's where we need to be."

On whether he thinks OSU has earned an NCAA Tournament bid…
"We need to continue to play well. Our motivation is to make the NCAA tournament, so we can't exhale now. I think we're in good shape. If you blindly put any resume against ours, I think we're in pretty good shape. We don't need to relax. We need to continue to be motivated to play well. We have a tough game coming on Saturday against a very good Iowa State team in Hilton Coliseum, which is one of the toughest places to play in college basketball. It's senior night for them, and I think they're tied for second in the league as well. It's a tough three-game stretch to end the season. We need to play well and keep it rolling through the Big 12 Tournament."

Senior Guard Markel Brown
On Phil Forte making six three pointers...
"It's a big help to our team because Phil knocking down shots, when he sets a screen for him on the odd man, they have to help. So, it's big time when Phil makes those shots. He takes a lot of pressure off of me, Marcus (Smart), LB (Le'Bryan Nash), Kamari (Murphy). When he's knocking down those shots, he's relieving a lot of pressure for us."

On what was the issue during the seven-game losing streak...
"It was more of the same. It was more of the small things that we weren't doing out there on the court. As far as helping each other, calling huddles, boxing out, playing in the paint and getting rebounds. We looked at the film from all of those games that we lost, we created a lot of those problems by packing in the paint, helping those bigs. We have to keep them out of foul trouble. That's one of the main goals is keeping Le'Bryan and Kamari on the court for as long as we can and keeping them out of foul trouble. Now we're sharing the ball offensively and making each other look good out there."

On his last game at Gallagher-Iba Arena...
"It was very emotional, I'm sure it's going to hit me harder a week from now. I thought about it a lot, it's going to be my last game ever at Gallagher-Iba and it's heart-breaking because I've had a lot of fun during my four years here. Playing with teammates that grew into brothers and growing with them every day, I'm going to miss it."

Sophomore Guard Marcus Smart
On the back-to-back steals that turned the game around...
"In the second half, we decided to turn up our defense. The first half was okay, but they got some open shots and some easy plays. So, we just tried to come back, pressure them and it caught them. Then Phil got them with another steal and took it coast-to-coast and the team fed off it."

On Kansas State's Marcus Foster...
"He's a good player. He's a freshman and still in development, but he's going to be a really good player. He was keeping him in at points where turning him off on wild screens, trying to get him open in every way that he could. Coach (Ford) just told me don't let him get by you and stop him. So, I let these guys do most of the scoring. My job was to get this win tonight."

On his last game at Gallagher-Iba Arena...
"It was amazing playing in front of this crowd. I got to play with some wonderful guys. Markel is one of the most athletic guys I've ever gotten to play with. I've been playing with Phil since I was in third grade and I got to play with him throughout my college career. It's an unbelievable feeling and like Markel said, it will probably really hit me a week from now."

Sophomore Guard Phil Forte
On his performance tonight...
"This is how it goes sometimes. The team did a good job of getting good looks, and as a shooter you just have to be ready because you never know when you have to knock them down and that just happened to be one of those games. My teammates, especially (Marcus and Markel) did a great job of finding me in space. They create and get me wide-open shots, and I was able to knock them down today."

On Kansas State's Will Spradling...
"He's the thing that keeps that team together. He's a senior, he's been there and started for four years, and he's that leader on that team. They have some young guys, so when he's down on the court you can tell. He's been a great player for the last four years and I think they're going to miss him."

On if Spradling sitting on the bench with two fouls helped swing the game in the first half...
"Yeah, it might have. He's the leader and keeps everything under control, so you have to give him a lot of credit for that."