Nov. 14, 2011
Minnesota (2-0) 71, South Dakota State (1-1) 55
November 14, 2011
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“It was good to get the win tonight. I thought our guys came ready to play, but we were playing a tough, hard-nosed team and they always give us a tough game.
“Coach Nagy’s team is always well prepared. Nate Wolters schooled us pretty good, especially our young point guard Andre Hollins, he really had a tough time. So did Austin, nobody could guard him. They were taking us off the dribble…but I liked the way that our kids played”
On wearing teams down in the second half…
“That’s the goal. We feel we have a deep bench and the way you utilize it is you have to play people. You have to extend that defense, this is the best job we’ve done that so far.”
On bench players being more comfortable in the second half…
“I was pleased how they responded with different lineups. You want those guys to come in and give you all they have.”
South Dakota State Coach Scott Nagy
“Mostly disappointed, I know the players are. The second half was not the problem it was the first half. If you going to be a championship team which we want to be you can’t turn over the ball like we did. That is usually a strength of ours and I don’t know why it wasn’t tonight.
“We didn’t handle the pressure well. I thought we had guys play nervous and you can’t come into a place like Minnesota and play nervous.”
On Minnesota’s 18-1 run…
“They came out with some pressure and we didn’t handle it well. We didn’t handle our bench well, we have 10 guys that can play and we only used eight. We are going to have people come after Nate (Wolters) and we are going to have to have people step up.”
On Rebounding Success…
“I don’t know what the key was to be honest, but when you’re up by 10 rebounds at half and you are down two points that is a problem. We should have been up 10 and no one should be happy about that. The only way (Minnesota) was scoring in the first half was off of our knuckleheaded turnovers and you just can’t do that.”
Trevor Mbakwe (Sr., F)
On the slow start the first half:
“I felt like we were doing the same thing. We picked up the intensity and played in the second half how we should have started the game. We were the more aggressive team and I think that really showed. ...We really picked it up and were able to get some stops.”
On whether the second half was the Gophers’ best performance so far:
“Definitely. Joe (Coleman), Andre (Ingram), and those guys came into the game and really turned it on. They were a key to the game, too. They were able to pick up the intensity and force some turnovers, and did a really good job for us. That’s what we are going to need from everyone that plays and everyone coach puts in the game. I think our depth is really going to work for us.”
On the Gophers’ frustrations:
“We were not getting the long rebounds and their guards were just coming in, and Coach really challenged us at half time ‘cause we are a team that really prides ourselves on getting the rebounds. And I think we did a better time at the second half ‘cause Coach really challenged us.”
Maverick Ahanmisi (So., G)
On having to step up for the team:
“Yeah, I feel like I really needed to step up. Everyone was getting in foul trouble, so we had to get in there and pick up the intensity so I tried to help the team do that. I really pride myself in that.”
On the Gophers’ defensive pressure in the second half:
“Coach made a point to pressure the ball more. They were all pretty much the same size so we really wanted to get in there and get within arm’s length.”
On the team starting to feel more comfortable:
"Yeah, I think the puzzle pieces are going to fall into place. There are some areas that are a little shaky because there are some players where it is their first season, but the team chemistry is flowing and we are going to be a good team.”
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