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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Dec. 21, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Kansas State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening statement…
“This is obviously a great win for us. I thought we came out energized and I was really surprised by the crowd just because of the weather. I had heard that the last time that they came when K-State played against West Virginia it was very loud and they were into the game. When I walked out there, I was surprised at the number of people. I just hope that everyone gets home safely, including you guys and us. But we played with good energy right from the get-go. Our guys were very focused. Obviously, it was a great defensive effort, especially in the first half. When you hold (Kevin) Pangos and (Gary) Bell - a pair of veteran, seasoned guards - to zero at half and hold them to 24 total, it is pretty good. Now the second half, I think we almost scored a little too easy and then we lost some of our concentration on the defensive end. We did not get back a few times and they got a couple hoops. They went small without (Sam) Dower and they took (David) Stockton out because we were helping off of Stockton. They had more people who could do things and they made some nice reads and they got us on dribble penetration. At the under-eight timeout, I told them that Gonzaga already had scored 30 points in the half, they were at 54 total and we needed to get some stops. I do not know exactly how long it went, but it seemed like four or more minutes where they stayed at 54 and that is where we extended our lead and found a way to get the win. It was a great team win and there were a lot of people who could have been Player of the Game but probably the key to the game was our bench. It was just a great team win and hopefully it is something that they can enjoy but then also build on as we continue into our march in December.”

On bouncing back to win six straight games…
“We thought we were better than our start and obviously we were a new team and when we did not have (Thomas) Gipson early on, we lost some games. If he plays, we probably win two of those earlier games and it might have been a different mindset. But that is part of it; you have to deal with injuries. Whether you are in the NFL, MLB or NBA, you have got to deal with stuff. We learned from it and I think we were humbled and embarrassed in Puerto Rico and we came back and have been much better in practice and much more focused. I think we are learning our roles, besides playing defense, we are learning our roles. Maybe the biggest stat that we have improved on is rebounding. We got our butts kicked on the boards early in the year. Today, they had us definitely outmanned on the inside and we won the battle on the boards. It has not really been a (negative) factor as of late.”

On the absence of Gonzaga’s Sam Dower…
“In some ways it helped them. He is their second-leading scorer but what they did was went small ball and spread us out and that is where they were getting us was on the penetration and kick. We could not help as much and now they only had Przemek Karnowski in the middle and then they spread us out and we did not do as good of job with the weak-side help as we did in the first half. I thought in the first half, we clogged the lane but I think part of that is because of with Dower, they had that advantage. We have had injuries this year and hopefully you just take advantage of it. In some ways they played better without him because they scored 38 points in the second half.”

On playing great defense without fouling…
“We have done a good job of that. We really wanted to hard-hedge because we thought it would hurt them. But Gipson gets a hard-hedge foul a minute and a half into the game and now you are wondering what to do. So a little bit of it is you worry about getting fouls and you get on your heels and that is when they start driving on you. We have done it with team defense and I have to give our young guys credit because some of them had never guarded man-to-man like this before at all. I know Marcus (Foster) has really tried to get better and better. Wesley (Iwundu) and Nigel (Johnson) have been good and have put good pressure on people. We are doing it better without fouling. Our coaches have done a good job. Chris (Lowery) is one of the best defensive coaches in the country, there is no doubt. If you ever watched our teams at Illinois, Chester (Frazier) was one of the best, if not the best, defensive players in the country. So they have a good feel and the kids have bought into that and have realized that we need that to win. We have made some strides offensively.”

Freshman Guard Marcus Foster
On his success in the second half…
“I was just trying to get myself going. Coming into halftime, I was hanging my head but my teammates were telling me to keep my head up. So my mindset was to get myself going on defense and then the offense would come. I was playing hard and I saw the pass coming and I just stole it and got the layup.”

On his highlight dunk over David Stockton…
“I saw I had a dunk so I took off. I did not think they (Stockton) was going to try to take a charge. Shane is a good passer and he found me. I am athletic so I just took off and dunked it.”

Senior Forward Shane Southwell
On Marcus Foster’s highlight dunk...
“I am surprised that I did not get a technical foul because I was standing over Stockton looking at him. But a play like that always gets the team more energized and it builds team moral. Marcus is really athletic and once he got into that motion to jump, I knew it was over for Stockton.”

On K-State’s defensive performance…
“I think that everyone has seen how great of a defensive team we are and honestly as a program we feel really good. Basically, coach Lowery and coach Weber asked us who was going to break first being that they are we are one of the better defensive teams in the country and they are one of the better offensive teams in the country, so it was all about who was going to break first.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On his play in the win over Gonzaga…
“I just think that was one thing that I had to do, because the coaches really harped on, was to set good ball screen and just roll and post deep when I got the opportunity. In the first half, I could not do that because I was in early foul trouble. In the second half, I really made an effort to do it because it gets my teammates open and helps them get open. I knew I could get an offensive rebound or an easy hook shot in the paint.”

On the play of D.J. Johnson…
“I think he was a major X-factor in this game because he came in and played extremely hard. He was blocking shots, rebounding, hustling and diving on the floor. I felt like he was a real key to this win, as was everybody else.”

Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few
Opening statement…
“We knew it was going to be a tough, physical matchup. That is how Bruce’s teams always play. I liked how we fought through adversity when we lost a very important guy to us. We took the lead there for a little bit in the second half, but we just could not get enough stops. We could not make enough plays on offense to get us over the hump.”

On losing Sam Dower to injury…
“It was not looking good at half. He was in a lot of pain. They were going to go get an x-ray on it to see if there was a broken bone in there. We will have to wait on that. If nothing less, it was a severe muscle bruise on the lower back.”

On K-State’s offensive runs…
“There are a lot of possessions in every game. They came out in both halves and played with a little bit more energy that we did. They had a little more emotion and more fight to them. We talked about being on a neutral floor and having to create our own energy and getting ourselves going. I do not think we did a good job of that. With that being said, we did a nice job of fighting our way back and putting ourselves in a position to win the game with five or six minutes left. I think they just made the plays from that point forward.”

On guarding Gary Bell…
“Everybody had been face guarding Bell and [Kevin] Pangos. Gary just missed a bunch of shots. They did a nice job of chasing him and he would tell you that those are shots that he can make. He just missed them. That and our lack of getting ourselves to the free throw line were the differences right there. They made 12 more than we did. We are usually good about getting there and usually we are good about getting there with our better players. It seemed like Przemek [Karnowski] was the only one getting there tonight.”

Senior Forward Drew Barham
On losing Sam Dower to injury…
“He is one of our big leaders on the team and one of the best rebounders we have. After he went out, we all got together and said we needed to step it up. We needed to step up for him and we did not do a good enough job of doing that.”

On turnovers…
“I think it was more on us. We just had a couple of foot faults and careless passes, and just things that we could have cleaned up.”