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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Dec. 10, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening Statement…
“Obviously as a coach, you would like your team to play better. You always kind of expect this, but I do not know if I expected this tonight. I feared it more than anything, coming off a big emotional win with everyone telling them how good they are after Mississippi and all of the hype. But with this team and their style of play and their packed defense, they kind of just sit back and dare you and get you out of rhythm. It is tough for our freshmen to go against it for the first time. We should have practiced against it a little more yesterday. The big thing is that you have to make shots against it, but it bothered everybody. It bothered Thomas Gipson because they crashed down on the lane on him. It bothered Wesley (Iwundu) because he just stood around. To Omari’s (Lawrence) credit, he did not play much last game and he was not a big part of the excitement, but he was a big difference maker in tonight’s game in the second half. I saw that Shane (Southwell) made some shots in the second half. It would be good to make some free-throws because it would make the game easier, but we found a way to win tonight. I think everyone knows that we have to get better. From here on, competition gets bigger and better. It is going to be tougher and tougher if we do not make any improvement. You do that in practice on a daily basis and right now we do not go as intense as we need to in practice and I hope that changes sooner than later.”

On Marcus Foster’s play in the first half…
“Nobody knew this, but he pointed it that we only had four points eight minutes into the game, and then he makes three shots in a row to at least get us into reason. I warned them by saying that your offense cannot dictate your defense. What happened was the guys who were struggling with scoring did not guard. I do not know how many they had, but we gave up a whole bunch of points in the paint. We just kept giving up easy layups. I would call them a transition team and they just kept beating us down the court. If we did it again, we would post trap Trevor Gruis because he is tough and we knew he was tough. We have seen him against other people and I thought we would do a better job of fighting him in the post and not let him get easy touches. Marcus was huge in the first half and Nigel (Johnson) and Omari were huge in the second half along with Shane. The big thing too is that we gave ourselves a chance we turned over 11 at half and only two in the second half. Now you got some shots off and with the boards too, we had 18 offensive rebounds and we kept giving ourselves extra opportunities.”

On tonight’s lackluster performance…
“That is part of the fear. You know that arena is not going to be as hyped and they are not going to be as hyped. It is South Dakota, it is not Mississippi who is 6-0. Instead of Marshall Henderson, who they watch on T.V. and get all fired up about, so these kinds of games get you to sleepwalk. I did it against Wisconsin for years and Green Bay for years. You have got to learn how to play and in practice, the guys kind of just stood there. We told them that they had to keep cutting and moving, and finally we got things going a little bit. We scored better in the second half against their man-to-man. They went zone, and we just did not make shots. We had quite a few missed shots, that if they had gone in it would have changed the whole dynamic of the game. We have not shot well all year but I am hoping it will come.”

On his description of the game…
“It is like going to the dentist and getting a root canal or getting your teeth pulled, that is what it was like. It was very frustrating, but we found some positives. We found a way to win and made some plays. We had a gut check three weeks ago when we played Northern Colorado and did not win it, this time we won. If you think about last year when we played UMKC and South Dakota, we struggled. We won by five last year, we made some shots and went on a 12-0 run to get that. Somewhere soon in practice we have to get better.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On his play…
“I thought I did not have the best game. I allowed 18 points, but I look at the stat sheet and I see that I had 13 points and eight rebounds, so that is not a bad game for me. (Trevor) Gruis had a good offensive game but I should not have given up 18 points.”

On free throws…
“We have to make our free throws. The game would not have been as close if we made our free throws. If all of the guys made their free throws, we would not be up by only two with two seconds left in the game.”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On his first half performance…
“I was not trying to score that way, they just kept falling. When I make those shots it gets me energized which in return energizes my teammates.”

On playing in close games…
“Our games against Northern Colorado, Charlotte and Georgetown helped us grow as a team. We are a young team and everyone is trying new positions. Games like that helped us be able to close out games like against Ole Miss and this game.”

South Dakota Interim Head Coach Joey James
Opening statement…
“What a heck of a college basketball game I thought that was. I was really proud of the way our guys played. We came in here and did not back down. I think Kansas State is going to be a very good team in the next month or so. I think we played well enough to win the game, but we just came up short. I thought the rebounding battle and the physicality hurt our basketball team tonight.”

On the early 15-4 lead…
“Just watching film, I told the guys that if we can get out and transition – and I thought they were a decent transition team. I did not know if they were a great transition team. I knew that they were a very good rebounding team, so we tried to use our quickness against their height early on in that game.”

On Trevor Gruis…
“I wish he was not a senior, to be honest with you. He is a good player, a preseason All-Summit League guy. We have a lot of expectations out of Trevor. He is a very skilled post player that can go right hand or left hand. He is fun to watch when he gets it going like that. Tonight, he stayed out of foul trouble and that was a big key for us.”

On if it was a moral victory…
“No, they do not check those over into the left column. Our last three games, between Kansas State, Wyoming, and Air Force came down to the last two minutes of the game – same thing, dog fights. All that I see out of it is that our guys are competing and getting better, but we have to get over the hump and start winning some games.”

On Gruis’ post matchups against K-State…
“Well, we knew right away that we wanted to get the ball inside and get their bigs in foul trouble. Once that happened, I did not know if their backups were as good as their starters. So we were trying the get the ball inside right away to kind of set the tempo of the game to what we wanted to do. You can see that was exactly what they did right away in that second half. That ball was going inside almost every time and every possession. I thought we could get the ball inside to Trevor and get their guys in foul trouble, which we did.”

On the last 1:20 of the game…
“We got the ball on the break and Trey Norris goes up and misses that bunny at the rim. He had four fouls and tried to go in there and not take the charge is what he explained to me. Adam Thoseby had a great look. We ran a set late in that game for a post up for Bos, he did not have it, but we had a down screen set. Just watching film, we hoped that it would work. Bos got a great look, does not go in and that is the guy that we depend on, but he goes 0-7 from the field tonight, unfortunately. We had all kinds of opportunities to try to win this game. We were going on the other side of it to get a win, but they did a nice job of closing out.”

On Marcus Foster’s performance…
“For a freshman, I tell you, he is going to be a pretty good player in the Big 12. I really like his game. He was one of those guys that we were going to key in on tonight. In the first half, we let him loose a little too much. I believe he hit four threes. In the second half, we slowed him down a little bit more and tried to make him take shots off the dribble, and I thought that was where he got a little bit more comfortable, but once he started getting it and going to the basket he was tough. I like him though – wish we had him.”

Senior Trevor Gruis
On his personal success against K-State…
“I was a little frustrated from the last time we played, we lost a close game. I kind of put that one on myself and focused a little bit harder. Obviously I owe thanks to my teammates for giving me the ball and good positions. Another thing is that most teams have been doubling me this year, but obviously K-State did not do that tonight and that kind of freed up some things. Once I got rolling, I got pretty confident and the coaches started feeding me a little bit.”

On the team’s growth over the last three close games…
“We played two Mountain West teams and a Big 12 team tonight and obviously the odds are stacked against us going into those games, but we battled. They were all close games. I am senior and in the last couple of years, we would have folded in those situations coming into these bigger schools, but this year we keep fighting. We keep getting kicked down a little bit against these big schools, but we are going to keep fighting and I think that is going to be exciting come conference play. It will make us a lot tougher down the stretch.”

On what the team takes from close games…
“Coach told us after the game to not hang our heads. We are going to be disappointed, but do not beat yourself up too much. We played a good game, but just did not close it out down the stretch. Just keep moving forward. From our first game to now, we have come a long ways at both ends of the court. That is a positive and a main goal for our basketball team. That is why you play 30 games, to get it figured out.”