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Postgame Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Dec. 31, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber
Opening Statement...
“We had given the guys a goal when we left Puerto Rico; we had seven games in December with five of those at home and the one in Wichita and obviously, the game against Tulane, and we had to get ourselves back in contention for post-season play. We needed to go undefeated in December and that was on us. As we got closer to it, our players got more excited about it. Our goal was to go 1-0 each time out. We had a little slip up against South Dakota. We knew George Washington was a good team, an NCAA Tournament team, and we let them get into their sweet spots. We let them kind of punk us to start and they had six layups in the first five minutes of the game but we picked it up. I thought our bench did a great job and changed the game. Our defense during the eight to 10 minutes where they did not score, did a great job and that kind of knocked their spirit out. After that, we really never let them get close. I did not think we were very sharp in the second half. We were a little bit erratic but when you win by 17 against a team that is in the Top-40 RPI, it is a good team win and there were a lot of positives.”

On falling behind to start the game…
“I said ‘What is going on?’. We are one of the best defensive teams in the country and they were picking us apart. It was not just lay ups, they were beating us on post-ups as well. They were just beating us on everything. I do not know if we were not ready to play but we managed to pick up it. The ball pressure that Nigel (Johnson) and Jevon (Thomas) can put on teams extends the defense and that is a big difference maker. When our teams pressure and disrupt teams, they get worn down and they get tired and I think we have the depth to do that. I told them that we had to pick up our defense. Obviously, Shane (Southwell) got hot there and made some baskets.”

On the play of Jevon Thomas…
“He had 10 assists and no turnovers (in his first two games). He goes a little fast sometimes. He can get by anyone, the same with Marcus (Foster) and Wesley (Iwundu), they get by them and there are some big guys waiting for them. He has got to keep his balance and the ball. Last week, we had not gone against a one-three-one and we put 10 seconds on the shot clock and he dribbled through the gap and dished it out to somebody. I did not teach him that. That is just natural instinct and that is the nice thing about him. After the first day of practice, he was just laying on the floor because his whole body was cramping. This is a guy who has not played full-court basketball with college players in three months. Everyday his conditioning gets a little better and he just needs to pick up some concepts offensively and defensively.”

Senior Forward Shane Southwell
On K-State’s 20-0 scoring run in the first half…
“It was just an amazing feeling. I was happy that the other guys stepped up. Jevon was getting into the lane and making passes to the right people. Nino (Williams) came in and made some big shots. Omari (Lawrence) came in and grabbed three big rebounds.”

On Thomas Gipson’s leadership…
“It has been big. I talk but obviously my talk is a little different. Thomas has been really good with us, getting us into huddles and getting us into the right defensive mindset. Offensively, he does a great job of calling plays.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson
On the play of K-State’s backcourt players…
“They are cutting down on their mistakes, everybody does. We are all playing as a team. Once the guards get going, I will be open on the inside. We are working in tandem right now and it is really good.”

On K-State’s bench scoring…
“It has been really good because it provides a lot of depth for our team. The teams that we have faced do not have a lot of depth and once one of us gets tired, we get subbed out. We do not skip a beat when someone comes in and that is going to be really important once Big 12 play starts.”

George Washington Head Coach Mike Lonergan
On Shane Southwell’s play for K-State…
“Yeah, he killed us. He is a tough matchup because he can handle the ball, he can shoot it. We were really concerned with him coming into the game. It was disappointing because we got off to a really good start, but they just played with so much more energy and were more physical than us. That combined with his scoring completely changed the whole game.”

On GW’s issue’s during K-State’s 20-0 run…
“In all honesty, I think it was their point guard just dominating us. We could not get into an offense. He got up into our point guard and we really struggled with the ball. We could not get into any of our sets. We ended up not getting good shots and those led to easy shots for K-State, so I thought the kid, Jevon [Thomas], dominated that game, despite not making a field goal, with his defensive ball pressure.”

On the team’s offensive struggles…
“I thought we actually got good looks from three. Mikic was ice cold and so was Maurice Creek. I thought in the second half we would make a run, but we never did. We just could not hit an open three. I just think it was that they took Joe [McDonald] out of the game. He is a terrific point guard for us, not the quickest guy in the world, but he was really struggling handling the ball. He had one assist and eight turnovers and I think is assist to turnover ratio is almost four to one. It just was not his night and we do not have another point guard. The foul trouble hurt us as well with Armwood and McDonald. We had to play a 1-3-1, which K-State did great against that, but we had to stay in it because we were just trying to get to halftime without any more fouls. Our bench is not one of our strengths so we were trying to hide some guys defensively, but that did not work. They exposed the 1-3-1 and really just manhandled us.”

On Jevon Thomas…
“Well I figured he had to be pretty good because in his first eligible he played 19 minutes. It just seems like, reading articles and everything, that he is a point guard for the future. What seems like is missing for them – and Will Spradling does a great job and his assist to turnover ratio is awesome, but he is not a true point guard – so that seems like he might be the guy they are missing. I did not know though because we could not really get film on him, that he was that good defensively. He really manhandled us up top. Like I said, we could not even get into our offensive sets. We are not a great one-on-one team so we have to rely on our half court offense, but I have to give him a lot of credit because he was terrific. He did not have a great game offensively, but six assists and no turnovers along with his defensive pressure that does not show up on the stat sheet changed the complexion of the game completely.”

On K-State’s defense…
“I think they guard the three real well and they are smart. They are not the most athletic team that we will play, but Spradling is a really smart player. He will pressure you and he is great at taking charges. Their help side defense is good. Even Gipson we thought got to the basket and laid out for charges and changed our shots. Isaiah [Armwood] was 1-of-7 and part of that is the help defense with what Gipson provided for Kansas State. It is a good culture here. They have a very good defensive coach, and that is why I told our guys that this is not the same team that beat us last year. They are totally different players but they are still going to rebound. Last year we gave up 24 offensive rebounds and today we only gave up 12 today. Still, that physical play really hurt us. That is what their coach does and if [Thomas] is good as they think he is, because they are playing him over Nigel Johnson, then that will be a key for their season. That defense is pretty good. Joe [McDonald] has played some pretty good teams and nobody has taken the ball from him like that.”