Nov. 1, 2012
Minnesota 81, Minnesota State 56 (exh.)
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
November 1, 2012
On his choice of timing for when he put Mbakwe and Walker in the game:
"Just based on how the other guys were playing. We're going to try and get them in there as much as possible and see how they would look, and how they would respond. I wanted that first unit to get some quality time and they went for a good seven minutes.
On if maintaining intensity was emphasized:
“Yeah, definitely. We definitely had some games last year where we were up and ended up losing the lead or letting it get close. I feel like we just have to keep the pedal to the metal and just keep playing like it is the beginning of the game. If you start letting up it is going to create bad habits and you don’t want that.”
On how he would rate the team’s overall performance tonight:
“I would say it was pretty good. We have some things to work on like offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, turnovers, and I’d say being more aggressive. Not too many of us got to the line as much as we probably wanted or as much as coach Smith wanted so I would say we have got to work on that.”
On the difference for him this year compared to last year:
“I would say this year that I’m definitely more comfortable and more what coach Smith wants out of me. That is what is best for the team, so I just try to push that. I may handle the ball more this year, so that’s something I have been working on. Coming off ball screens is something we have been working on and it was pretty successful tonight.”
Forward Trevor Mbakwe
On hearing the fans when he came into the game:
“That was a high point tonight. I am very thankful that Gopher nation has been accepting of my ups and downs throughout my career. It was great to see them.”
On how his knee felt:
“It felt good. I’m in no pain. My knee’s been pretty good since surgery. I haven’t had any setbacks or anything so I’m pretty happy. The doctor’s happy about where I’m at right now, too.”
On getting his first points:
“It felt good to get out there and get that first rebound and those first points. It felt good to be in the momentum.”
Forward Rodney Williams Jr.
On the open space in the lane:
“I hope to expect that more, but it won’t be that easy for me come league play. It definitely felt good to get out there and run the floor a little bit.”
On not shooting very many jumpers:
“It was definitely because we were getting it in the paint. We had Mo with his size. We just tried to get the ball inside as much as possible.”
Minnesota State Head Coach Matt Margenthaler
On the game:
“Obviously, we played a Big Ten team tonight and it showed. Tubby (Smith) has his guys long, athletic, and deep. We knew we were overmatched going in, but I thought our kids competed the whole night. I thought we did some positive things in the second half. No matter what, this is a positive for us to come up here and play.”
On the production from Zach Romashko and Connor O’Brien:
“We are a deep team, we set up five-and-five and did some things that were productive for us. Zach Romashko played very well for us tonight. Shooting the basketball is what he can do. He is Freshman of the Year in our conference. I was happy for him because he is a Blaine, Minn., native, so it is nice for him to come to (Williams Arena) and shot like that. Connor O’Brien played well too.”
On not having success in the paint:
“Our two groups are so different. I think it was easier for (Romanshko) and (O’Brien) to pull out Minnesota’s bigs and have some open looks, then it was for Jarvis Williams and Assem Marei because those guys are athletic and big, but they cannot match Minnesota’s athleticism.”
On what the team can take moving forward:
“We gave up 74-percent shooting in the first half and we shoot 22-percent. I thought we got some good shots. I think we have a very good basketball team. For Division II, in our league, we are going to be just fine. I really like our team a lot going into the league. This is a positive for us. We have 10-deep that can play at our level.”
Preview: Gophers vs. Georgia Southern
Minnesota welcomes the Eagles to the Barn for a televised Friday night contest.
Northern Illinois Game to Air Live on BTN
Sunday’s men’s basketball game against Northern Illinois will now be televised live on BTN.
Minnesota Downs NJIT, 74-68
Akeem Springs came off the bench to score 19 points and Nate Mason added 18 for Minnesota, which came from behind in the second half and escaped with a 74-68 victory against NJIT.