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Postgame Quotes


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Dec. 2, 2012

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USC Upstate at Kansas State
Kansas State Quotes
Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“We were a little sluggish to start out, I think it was nine days without a game. We scrimmaged with refs on Wednesday just to simulate some game conditions, but it is not the same. I thought we guarded well and did some good things on the defensive ends early, but we could not get anything going offensively. We were a little too impatient and tried to go too fast, but I thought we settled down to go on a great run as we finished the half. Martavious (Irving) came in the second time and really exerted himself and got a steal with his defensive pressure. He had no turnovers and made some nice passes. Then also Omari (Lawrence) came in with a career-high off of the bench. He got some energy going and that is what we have told him all year to take advantage of his minutes. If you have an open shot, shoot it. If not, do something else. He has been a good defender. I thought Rodney (McGruder) is obviously getting his numbers a little better, starting to feel a little more comfortable. He still needs to take his open shots. I thought Rodney and Will (Spradling) did a great job defensively. They have a good ball club. We looked at it all week. They had 21 wins last year, the best turnaround in the country as far as numbers go. They basically had everybody back. (Torrey) Craig is a good player and Rodney did a good job on him defensively. Ty Green can also really shoot the ball, but I thought Will really did a good job on him. If we would have made a couple more shots early and take care of the ball a little better maybe you get a little bit better margin, but that is something to talk about and watch. We have a big, big game next Saturday against George Washington, to get a road win, would be a huge deal to us, both confidence-wise and resume-wise. Obviously for Rodney to go home and the other guys from out east is a big deal.”

On the team’s first half scoring run…
“I thought our pressure and our energy was much better, we were more patient we had better ball movement. We had quick shots and turnovers in the earlier possessions. We never gave ourselves a chance. I think we need to be more patient and let the play come to us. They were over hedging things, you have to catch it and make that extra swing pass, now maybe they have a shot. Again I thought Martavious’ and Omari’s energy definitely helped us. Adrian Diaz with 10 points 4-for-4 from the field and if he would have made those free throws he would have had a pretty good day, but he gave us a good effort with steals and blocks. Good play off of the bench, they had an opportunity. “

On Thomas Gipson…
“We could have started him anytime. When we talk to opposing coaches after each game, they talk about how we keep throwing big bodies at them. Thomas has been pretty productive from the beginning, he has lost weight and he can score inside if he gets his body on someone. Once in a while he gets too far in the paint, like a lot of guys, he does not let the game come to him sometimes; he needs to learn to throw it back out and get in a little deeper and set himself up for an easy shot. With 11 points and seven rebounds that is a pretty good day for him.“

Senior Guard Rodney McGruder

On getting back into a rhythm…
“What really helped out this week was having a week off so we could get refreshed mentally and physically.”

On having a week off…
“Speaking for myself, I would say it was really beneficial for us. It just allowed us to get back to doing the things that we normally do. I think before, we were mentally off against Michigan. I do not think we were well prepared to play them. We just had time this whole week to get back to doing what we do best. That is just playing with all the energy, rebounding and defensive help. That was the main key today.”

On his 16 shot attempts…
“Those were just rhythm shots. I was not forcing those shots, they were shots from the offense and I was open.”

Sophomore Forward Thomas Gipson
On his spurt during the game…
“After that timeout, coach Weber was saying he wanted energy and I took that as motivation. That was a really good team and it turned out positively for us.”

On getting to start…
“Well, it is not really about starting for me. I always come in and make an impact whether I am starting or sitting on the bench. I just have the same mentality whether I am starting or not and that is what I did today.”

On practices this past week…
“Everybody had a good week at practice. Me personally, I talked to my family and I do not care about starting. It is irrelevant. As long as you play hard you get to start the second half and if you play hard you get to stay in the game. If I do not start, I am still going to come out and play hard.”

USC Upstate Head Coach Quotes
Head Coach Eddie Payne
Opening statement…
“From my perspective, I was disappointed in the way we played. Kansas State is a very good defensive team. They are very tough and physical. Frank Martin put together a group of kids that play that way, and I think Coach Weber has done a really good job building on that. They defend. They cover the bench, and they do not lose a lot of intensity or production. He has them all buying into guarding people. Things were going really well for us, and then they picked it up and got real physical on us. I thought our kids caved a little bit. We needed to get deeper into the possession. We did not do that, and they got a little run there at the end of the first half. I think Kansas State will have an opportunity to be a factor in the Big 12 and perhaps nationally because they are not going to beat themselves. They are going to be in the game. They are going to guard you, and whether or not they have enough go-to type of scorers that can score crunch time points in tough games against high quality opponents, but I think all the other qualities are replaceable.”

On K-State’s run at the end of the first half…
“They picked it up physically. I think they got physical with Torrey Craig for example. So, Torrey got into a rush, and that is how people play him a lot. He is a good enough player. For example, he has improved his playing ability to drive the ball to the hole. I explain it to him when you play quality defensive teams and you cannot get to the hole so you have to be able to drive it and make a pass. So things like that the guys get rushed and in a hurry and you start to make plays too quickly. Then, I think the first half they get the ball back quicker, and they get on offense quicker. They rebounded quicker. They rebounded 12-of-20 misses in the first half. That is how they scored, and that is how they are productive. We were even in turnovers, so that is a wash. But I think keeping his guys off of the offensive glass is a difficult task.”