March 20, 2013
ON THE OPENING INTENSITY OF THE GAME...
"It's something we definitely wanted to do this game. Being that it was the tournament opener for us, we just wanted to come out with energy. We were excited to play. We had a good crowd there. I just think we brought it in the first half. We kind of let down a little bit in the second half, but the first half we were ready to go."
ON THE REASONS WHY THE TEAM PLAYED EFFECTIVELY...
"I just think we're physical. I don't think they're used to the physicality of the PAC-12 and we brought it to them. The league they play in is more ball screens and guard play, but we force it inside and we just tried to punish them. We tried to show them how we get down in the PAC-12."
ON THE TEAM'S ATTITUDE BEFORE THE GAME...
"We're blessed to be here. This is one of the most historic tournaments in collegiate basketball and it's not shameful to be playing in the NIT. It's a disappointment not to be in the big tournament but we just take it as what it is and we're going to go out and try to win it."
ON THE WAY CARSON WORKS WITH THE TEAM...
"It helps me out a lot when they're driving and they're hitting shots. The defenses can't collapse on me and it's easier for me to get to the basket and score. It just makes us that much harder to guard when everybody is hitting shots and everybody's flowing together, it just makes us that much better on offense. It gets our defense flowing as well."
ON FELIX'S HIGH-ENERGY GAME...
"It's in my game. This game we just wanted to get out and run. Coach even said, if we get the opportunity with the four guards out on the floor-- Jahii Carson and me--if we get the opportunity to just get it and go, then get it and go. That [the fast break] was my opportunity right there. It opened up for me and I just took what the defense gave me."
ON THE GAME AS A WHOLE...
"I thought Carrick Felix, in particular and as he has done all year, did a great job with his talking with the team, making sure we were ready to go. The other guys echoed what he was saying and really set the tone early with our defense. At the half, to hold a team that is 8th in the nation to 22% was a real feather in our cap defensively. Offensively, I thought the guys did a good job of attacking their pressure. They shot 55% for the game. On the other side of the ledger, we fouled an uncharacteristic amount for our team. Obviously the worst part of our performance was our turnovers. But all in all, it was a good win and I'm really proud of our guys' effort. The other thing that really stood out tonight was that we had a good crowd--an energized crowd. It was great to have everybody in the lower bowl. I thought our students were terrific (even though I didn't put Joey in at the end.)"