Nov. 20, 2012
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM COACH SENDEK
"So we'll keep it brief, Cornell is a very scrappy team; I think they played really hard. Their program is a couple seasons removed from the Sweet Sixteen. I thought our guys hung in there and battled on a night where we obviously struggled to make shots from the perimeter and the free throw line. But our defense, once again, had a respectable showing -- .352 field goal percentage (defense) allowed us to hang around and eventually open up the lead. I thought we came out with really good energy to start the second half, that's the first time we've done that in the previous two games. Our opponents took the upper hand to start the second half. Jahii gave us momentum with the three-pointer going into the break, and then our guys really spring boarded from there."
ON THE SHOT SELECTION IN THE FIRST HALF
"I thought we were really quick to settle (for a shot). I think we had too many possessions where we took a shot on one, maybe two, passes, sometimes no passes. Disproportional high number of our shots came from three, and I don't necessarily think it was because they were giving us. Sometimes it makes sense to take a disproportional number, but I thought we were impatient, and we were very quick to settle in the first half. Seemingly, we talked about it throughout the half and we didn't quite get the message."
"I thought our guys hung in there and battled on a night where we obviously struggled to make shots."
DID THE WAY THEY DEFENDED THE BALL SCREENS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT
"Well that's a very common way to do it, they were hard showing going under, but no matter how they are going to defend we got to move the ball. We got to get the ball reversed, and the times that we did that we fared better. But they are a good defensive team, they did a good job of packing it in, and it was a good win for us."
HOW DO YOU THINK YOU REACTED TO THEIR PRESS
"Not bad. We're slowly, but surely, trimming our turnovers, although tonight we had fewer possessions than the last two games. We've gone from 16 to 15 to 14, hopefully we'll get that down, eventually under 10 that would be tremendous. Certainly in the 12 range, but we can do a better job with that."
WHAT ABOUT THE TURNOVERS YOU FORCED (FOURTH-MOST IN COACH SENDEK ERA)
"Our defensive effort for the third consecutive game really presents some outstanding numbers. Almost every defensive number you'd considered favorable: 23 turnovers, nine second chance shots, four which were team rebounds, .352 from the field, and .333 from three, we only committed 15 personal fouls. So every single defensive number on the traditional stat sheet, you'd give a plus to if you were grading it. The one thing that hurt us in the first half was our transition defense. We didn't get the shooters, their five man is a three-point shooter so that's a little tougher cover for our centers; they don't have that many experiences where the guy they're matched up with is trailing on a break and shooting three's."
WHAT ABOUT TEAM'S PERFORMANCE REBOUNDING
"It was OK. We can still do better, I would've liked to have seen us be much more aggressive on the offensive glass, but once again it was a function of us taking so many three's. We're sending more guys back on those long shots; it won't have the same effect on offensive rebounding opportunities. That's a are we need to continue to get better at."
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TEAM HEADING TOWARDS LAS VEGAS
"I feel good about it. I think it's been a great start for us, good momentum. Obviously we face a great challenge this weekend, it's going to be perfectly timed for our team, and it's going to tell us more about ourselves. But I think we've gotten out of the gates exactly how we wanted to."
ON JAHII HAVING THE BALL IN HIS HANDS LATE
"Well, the one thing that really stands out for me with Jahii is, he just continues to improve as a free throw shooter. When he's making his free throws like he is, tonight 11-14, he's getting to the line a lot, that's a tremendous advantage for our team. We've played three games, and the first and third game we've been poor from the free throw line. In the middle game, we were excellent from the line, 22-26 85%. We have to be more consistent in that regard."
THE TALENT LEVEL OF YOUR OPPONENTS GOES UP NOW. HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THAT?
"Well, we always respect all of our opponents, and we prepared for each of these first three games no different than the games coming up this weekend. All you have to do is watch college basketball every night, there is no such thing as an easy night. If you think that, you're just being a fool. You have to earn every game. We all have these phones now with scores coming constantly, and it's every game. If those games don't end up in upsets, they're close. Our deal is, we respect all of our opponents, we prepare with everything we have. Doug Tammaro and I talk about this all the time; there was a great line that Coach (Mike) Tomlin had for the Steelers. You have to be all in for every game. Theoretically, if you give your all for a game, then when you have the next game, in this case Arkansas, all of a sudden now it's not like, `man we're really gonna try now! We're really gonna prepare!' Hopefully, we're doing that for every game. That should be our mindset for every time we take the court."
TALK ABOUT THE ROTATION SHRINKING TONIGHT
"It was a tight, hard fought game. We didn't play as many guys as we had in the two previous games, where we had a bigger margin. That doesn't necessarily mean that is going to be the standard, just the case tonight."
WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO DO WITH THE PRESS IN THE SECOND HALF? FORCE TEMPO
"Yeah we were just trying to create energy. Like I said, the last two games we had, I thought we really came out flat to start the second half. So given that recent history, coupled with the fact that I thought we needed something to jump start ourselves, given our three-point deficit, it made sense to try that. I thought our guys did a really good job, gave us some momentum to start the second half."
ON HIS SCORING
"Definitely in the first half I like to try to get us involved, get our shots going and get our offense flowing. We were a little stagnant in the first half and we needed a little bit of a scoring load in the second half. We were coming out with a nice energy boost so I tried to do that with some scoring and defensive stops."
ON THE SLOW START
"We usually come out to a great tipoff and we're usually energized and I don't know what happened today. I know a lot of guys were missing shots that they normally make but they were good shots. I just think we were starting to get down on ourselves when we were starting to miss shots but in the second half our momentum got going and we starting hitting shots and we started to get energy flowing."
ON COACH'S OPINION ABOUT MAYBE TOO MANY QUICK THREES
"He said that we were settling but he also thought they were good shots. When you're wide open and you've got an open three, its best you take it. Jon Gilling shoots the ball exceptionally well so we always want him to take the open three. Chris Colvinshoots the ball good [well] so I don't think that we were settling, I just think that maybe we could've gotten another extra pass or another open three."
ON THE OTHER TEAMS FULL HEDGING ON BALL SCREENS
"That takes away from me and J.B.'s [Jordan Bachynski] game, you Jon's able to pop out. He's able to reverse the ball and we're able to give him another ball screen coming. I started trying to get the little split going and look to the backside and I think that's how we capitalized on the hedging."
ON PRESSING IN THE SECOND HALF
"We definitely want to try to speed the game up when we press like that, get the guys tired, see what shape they're in. I think they get a little fatigued and then we start to bury them when they're on defense getting the open shots because they can't play as hard. They were playing deny defense so they couldn't play as hard deny defense after we sped them up with the press."
ON COACH SENDEK'S THOUGHTS AFTER THE FIRST HALF
"Basically he was just saying that we were kind of stagnant on offense and we were getting out-hustled on loose ball plays, 50/50 plays, and that we actually got out-rebounded. We only had three offensive rebounds in the first half and we want to get like twelve or thirteen offensive rebounds and get out and go. And he said one of the reasons why we couldn't push the basketball is because we weren't getting stops. So when we can't get stops we don't get to push the basketball and get easy layups like we like to do."
ON HOW STOPS CAN FUEL A RUN
"Stops definitely get us energized. When we get stops it leads to easy baskets. We like to try to burn the basketball and push the basketball up. When we get stops we're able to do that. And when you're able to get easy baskets you're able to get energized and it creates more energy and more energy and it's just a big cycle that keeps escalating throughout the game. We thrive off energy so when we get stops and get rebounds and the big guys get blocks, I just think everybody's energy level gets elevated and that's how we bury teams. We definitely noticed it the first media timeout we came out and we were hyped in the timeout and we came out we sustained it."
ON HIS ABILITY TO PENETRATE
"It depends on how the defense is playing, especially now that some of the teams are starting to show and they're starting to switch. Sometimes they get caught up on the switch and I'm going to have to start to knock down the open three or I'm going to have to lob it up to the big and he's going to finish. It depends on how the defense is playing. If they're playing me like they were playing me tonight, I like to try to get in the paint and find Evan and Jon and Chris and Carrick on the wings and capitalize on those mistakes."
ON CORNELL SOMETIMES DOUBLING HIM
"Coach was telling me that out of a timeout they like to try to trap the first pass. But we were coming out of a ball screen so it was the first time that I was being trapped on a ball screen. I think because they knew how effective it was, with our triangle offense coming off the ball screen. I wasn't really surprised about it because we were starting to capitalize on the triangle that we were coming off the ball screen. I was just waiting for Jon to pop out so I could get a reversal and another ball screen and see if we could capitalize on the mistake they made."
ON PLAYING WELL LATE IN THE GAME
"I like to try to get a lot of energy going in the last five minutes. I think that's the "crunch time" moment where we can bury teams or teams can bury us and we don't want to get buried. So I try to take over the game a little bit defensively and try to attack when I have the ball offensively. My teammates know that that can get us going and that I can get everybody else going and once everybody else starts getting going I think we're dangerous. I just try to be in attack mode the last five minutes to seal the game."
ON TRYING TO GET JORDAN SOME GOOD LOOKS EARLY
"It definitely affected us a lot, or at least a little bit. Because with the big guys scoring inside, they have to help down low and he can just kick it out so we can get open threes. But a lot of teams are seeing film on him now because he's dominating so they're starting to make adjustments on him. We were finding out how to make adjustments on offense as well. He doesn't ever complain about anything he just does what he can to make us win so when he gets the ball in the paint, he scores. And when he scores, that gets us open shots. In the second half he was being effective. He was going inside-out and that's how we were getting our easy buckets."