March 23, 2014
MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES
Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino
Overall remarks on the game…
“Well, obviously, such a tough start – I think it was 16-0 – and to find a way to fight back. I thought we did a really good job defensively. We were turning the ball over at an alarming rate early on, and we stopped doing that and then we started getting stops. Joey King was tremendous; Elliot was great defensively. It felt, to me, like the Northwestern game, and then we found a way to get back on top. I’m really happy with the win. The biggest thing with our seniors is that I don’t want them to walk off this court with a loss. I feel like they deserve to leave this court as winners, so we are really excited about the opportunity for Tuesday.”
On when he sensed that things weren’t right and what he said at halftime…
“Probably 14-nothing is when I sensed that something wasn’t right. I thought at the beginning it was like nothing was going in, but I think we ended the half the right way. We talked about at halftime, just don’t turn the ball over, defend and create our own luck.”
On DeAndre and his three-pointers…
“He was confident in the huddle. They were going under his ball screens. He said in a timeout, ‘Give me the ball. I know I’m going to make it.’ You know, he’s a good shooter, not a great shooter, but when he has time, I’m confident that he’s going to make it.”
On importance of inside defense…
“It was Elliott Eliason. He was huge. You know, the kid Waldow on St. Mary’s only played 19 minutes – he’s a really good player. We did a great job on him. [Stephen] Holt was the other guy we were really concerned with. The only problem with Holt is that we sent him to the line too much, but Elliott, with 7 blocks and 8 rebounds, was huge. What I love to see is him stepping up and making big plays after not starting the season out so great.”
Minnesota Player Quotes
Senior Guard Austin Hollins
On the Gophers slow start…
“We weren’t guarding the three and they were getting a lot of open looks. We weren’t rotating out like we were supposed to. We made some adjustments and got ourselves back into the game.”
On what changed to get the team going….
“Regardless of whether shots are falling or not you have to defend if you want to win. The guys really made an effort to do that. They really bought in and they knew that if we were going to win this game and have a chance to come back (on Tuesday) they were going to have to defend, and they did. “
On Joey King and his game today…
“This is what he’s been doing all season. He plays extremely hard and with a lot of heart out there. He leads us on the floor every night.”
On Tuesday’s game and the possible trip to Madison Square Garden…
“One more. That’s the way we look at it. We’re trying to win the NIT and if we want to get to New York then we have to go through whoever we play on Tuesday night. So that’s what we’re looking at right now.”
Junior Guard DeAndre Hollins
On Joey King’s contribution to the win….
“Joey was big time. The three at the top of the key to get us to within five kind of took the wind out of them. He made those shots all day. Every time they fought back he’d make a big one, every time they tried to pull away he’d make a big one. Joey’s been working really hard and we didn’t expect anything else from him but to make some shots.”
On the frustration of early turnovers….
“I wasn’t really frustrated. I was getting a lot of contact and they were calling contact (fouls) both ways. I started to get a little frustrated with the referees, but Coach (Pitino) just told me not to worry about it and to just go out there and play my game and it really helped me in the second half.”
On the possibility of a trip to New York…
“I’ve never been to New York City but I have a lot of family there. So they’re really excited to get us there and they’re going to show us a good time. I’m really excited. Madison Square Garden is amazing. Just to be playing for a championship is the main thing.”
Sophomore Forward Joey King
On the early deficit….
“Coaches told us to slow down. We were hesitant and we weren’t getting shots. Once we got things under control, things started to go our way.”
On how his game feels right now….
“I’m playing with a lot of confidence. My teammates are finding me and we’re really in a flow right now.”
On playing his best basketball at this point in the season….
“It feels good. Shots are dropping. The ball is feeling good coming out of my hand. I’m just feeling well.”