Nov. 12, 2012
Minnesota 82, Toledo 56
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“I thought tonight’s performance was another good defense effort on our part. We rebounded the ball, I thought we really limited them with contested shots, thought that we did some good things. We shot the ball better early, that was a big key. We shot the three well, better than the last time out. I think we lost a little bit of our focus in the second half, but we finished the right way.”
On if a lack of focus was the reason for the sloppy play:
“A lot of it had to do with Toledo. They’re not a bad team. We’ve been pressuring people out of their offense, really extending our defense early. When you go on the road the way these teams do, and we can make shots early on, it can make for a long night. We’re athletic and quick when Joe (Coleman) and Austin (Hollins) are getting out in the passing lanes and Andre (Hollins) is sitting down and guarding the point guard. I thought we did a good job. I thought we did a good job on their point guard, Julius Brown, early on because he’s an outstanding player. We started Austin on him, I think that gave him a little trouble with his length.”
On what the Gophers need to work on:
“Just to be more patient. That’s all we need. We were just rushing a lot. We were over-dribbling and getting in too deep and trying to make something happen. When you do that, that usually is going to lead to a turnover more times than not.”
On the energy level in the second half:
“I kind of feel like we all collectively lowered our energy level. We had spurts in there where we picked it back up. It’s not good. It’s not a good thing for us to start doing that so early in the season. After we watch film tomorrow, coach will be preaching that the whole practice time tomorrow. Hopefully on Thursday we’ll come out and play like we did last Friday.”
On the reason for the team’s improved shooting tonight compared to the home opener:
“Just concentrating more and not rushing our shots. A lot of times, we find ourselves so open that we tend to rush. That’s kind of backwards. I think it was just more of a concentration thing for us.”
On his hot start in the first half:
“It was just being focused before the game. I feel like if I come out with defensive intensity, then the rest of the team can feed off that. I think it gives us a lot of energy.”
On the team’s full court defensive pressure in the first two games of the year:
“We’ve been practicing that in practice, just getting up the court and guarding full court. We have a lot of depth this season to do that. So we can have fresh legs in at all times to get up and guard them full court. It forces turnovers.”
On the importance of jumping out to a big lead early:
“It helps a lot. It’s hard for a team to focus when you hit them hard like that. When we hit them hard, they kind of backed up a little bit. We just wanted to keep going with that intensity.”
Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczy
“Obviously the start of the game was key tonight. I thought we probably settled for too many jump shots. We had some good looks, but did not make them. That led to long rebound, which created baskets for (Minnesota). (Minnesota) is an athletic and explosive team. We did not do a very good job in the first half. I thought we played scared of (Minnesota). We gave them too much respect. The second half is something we can build on.”
On the turnovers tonight:
“(Julius Brown) had seven turnovers tonight. (Minnesota) did the right thing by putting a 6-5 guard on him that is really quick and athletic. It caused him some problems.”
On who impressed him:
“The guy I was most proud of was Matt Smith. He finally got aggressive in the second half. When he is aggressive, he is a good basketball player, but he has not done that consistently. We need him to be aggressive.”
On what the team needs to focus on against Northern Iowa on Wednesday:
“This has been a long road trip, but we are playing good basketball teams, and we are going to learn about ourselves even more. Northern Iowa is the opposite of (Minnesota). They do not have the athletes to play in the full-court transition like Minnesota, but they are probably a lot more skilled. We are going to have to do a good job being disciplined in our gaps.”
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