Jan. 22, 2014
MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES
MINNESOTA (15-5, 4-3 Big Ten) 81, #9/8 WISCONSIN (16-3, 3-3 Big Ten) 68
WILLIAMS ARENA | MINNEAPOLIS | WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22, 2014
ATTENDANCE: Sellout (14,625 capacity)
Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino
“It was a great win. When you lose your best player on the first possession, you see Mo Walker who put in a lot of work and lost 65 pounds. You look at a guy like Malik Smith, who wasn’t even all-conference in the Sun Belt Conference. And you look at DeAndre Mathieu, who was a walk-on just over a year ago. You have to give all the credit to those guys. We really respect the opponent. They are very, very good, so we are really proud of this win.”
On Mo Walker having a great game…
“When you start becoming a good team, you are able to have guys step up. Elliot Eliason got in foul trouble, and we were able to go to Mo Walker. When Andre Hollins went down, we were able to go to Malik Smith. After the Iowa game, we really had to have the bench guys step up. Malik and Mo were huge. Mo really dominated at the end of the first half.”
On what impressed him during the game…
“There were a couple things. Being plus-10 on the glass was impressive. Shooting 59 percent from the field really impressed me. And our team defense tonight was great.”
Minnesota Players Quotes
Junior Guard Andre Hollins
On watching the team battle after his injury…
“It was great. I was in the training room cheering them on. Mo (Walker) played aggressive. I have been trying to get him to play aggressive all the time. After the game, I told him he dominated. It was an all-around team effort. DeAndre (Mathieu) controlled the game the entire time. It was just awesome.”
On if it was hard to watch the team play…
“Definitely. Of course, I want to be there with my teammates. At the same time, I believe in them.”
On his initial thoughts when he got injured…
“I was kind of worried at first because I could not move my (foot) initially. It was the result of all my weight coming down, and I rolled over on my ankle. We will just have to wait and see in the morning.”
Junior Guard DeAndre Mathieu
On the team’s initial mindset after Andre Hollins’ injury..
“We came together as a team immediately. Coach prepares us in practice for situations like that. We are a team, so we were not worried. We were down a bit, but we brought it together and came through.”
On being able to get in the lane…
“Yes. Coach told me their pick-and-roll defense was not very aggressive. He said once I get in the lane I had to make the right decision. I feel like I made the right decision.”
Senior Guard Malik Smith
On his mindset...
“My shot was not falling for me early, so I just tried to get to the rim and be aggressive.”
On having some assists in the game…
“I just try to attack the basket. When I see open people I try to give it to them.”
Wisconsin Junior Guard Josh Gasser
On defensive execution…
“With the results, it’s clear that we gave up way too many easy ones. We kept working it and working it, and they got some tough ones, but at the same time, we gave up some easy ones that kind of got them going. They got some confidence, got the crowd into it, and that’s a recipe for success. I’m kind of sick of talking about it; we’ve just got to do it. We’ve got to figure it out, and I’m confident that we’ll be alright.”
On Mo Walker…
“He’s a big body. He’s a good player. He has improved, and we knew that going in. He got too deep a position sometimes. He got exactly what he wanted – he got the block, and they got the ball. It’s hard to guard him.”
Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan
On frustration with defensive execution…
“In the second half, you give up the different type. I thought we moved our feet better, and we got a couple jump balls on [Mo] Walker, so we were bodying him better. But then, when you’re playing them from behind… It’s never been a strength on the road of any team to play and try to get yourself out of nine points, seven points, 10 points, 12 points. And when a guy starts feeling it, we didn’t get the presence. We have not had the post presence defensively. Some of that is due to lack of foot speed, lack of recognition. The idea is, you can’t give up one thing, go around and turn that off and then give up another thing.”
On coverage of Mathieu in the second half…
“We had to make sure that he wasn’t catching it down low. That one three kind of off the top, that was a drive, catch and throw… He had a couple of those. It’s very hard to stop. You’ve got to force him out, force him over, and we didn’t do a good job of that either.”
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