Nov. 18, 2012
MINNESOTA BASKETBALL POSTGAME QUOTES
Minnesota (4-0) 72, Richmond (3-1) 57
Williams Arena (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Nov. 18, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith:
“I thought tonight’s effort was really a good test for us. We needed a game like this to see how we would respond and our guys responded the right way. Richmond is a very competitive team that runs an offense that creates a lot of problems with their dribble penetration… But once again, we did it with our defense. We’re noticing a lot of our guys, a lot of our post players handling the ball a lot and I think tonight Richmond really exposed us. When they switch with our guys, our big guys would come up to get the ball. They did a good job of really harassing them or shooting the gaps. When you have Mo Walker, Trevor [Mbakwe] or Elliott [Eliason] trying to come meet the pass, that was big for us to get the win tonight.”
On what he credits the turnover issue to…
“I think it’s because our post players handle the ball a lot in our motion offense. That’s a real challenge. Most people don’t have their big guy dribble, they just have him post up. We probably have to limit what they do with the ball. But again, a lot of it is fundamentals. Coming to meet the pass, I thought tonight that was one of them. The three previous teams we played didn’t really get out there and switch on the perimeter. That’s their whole defensive scheme and they’re pretty good at it.”
Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe:
On getting more minutes…
“Early in the season, I would play little spurts and it was good just being out there for longer, getting a rhythm for the game. I think my team did a good job of finding me and I did a better job of rebounding and on defense.”
On falling behind and rallying…
“We just turned the ball over too much. We want to get up and down and when you turn the ball over and we’re not getting stops, giving up second chance opportunities it slows down our game. We’re best when we’re in transition, Andre (Hollins) and Austin (Hollins) both hit some key threes and we were able to build off of that.”
On Andre Hollins’ improvement over the last few games…
“It was great. He hit two threes, I think back to back, that we needed at the time. I think we were down six or seven points and we need that run to jump start us. He had the right time to make the shots and after that we kind of flowed through the rest of the game.”
Minnesota forward Rodney Williams:
On having to battle right before facing tougher competition…
“That’s real important, because we’ve been winning pretty easily these past three games. We needed something to go into the Duke game with. I think if we would have won this game like we’ve been winning, it wouldn’t have been the same. For us to come out here, after being down, and be able to fight back and get the W by the amount of points that we did, that shows that we’re a pretty poised team. Our defense is excellent right now, so I think we showed a lot tonight.”
On if the team needed a wakeup call…
“Yeah, I think so. This was definitely the flattest we came out since the season started. It was one of those types of games that we would have last year where we would come out slow. We were definitely able to pick it up, even after being down. We needed a pretty big effort out of everybody, and for the most part we got that.”
Minnesota guard Andre Hollins:
On turning the game around after turning the ball over less…
“That first ten minutes was tough. Like coach has been preaching the whole year and throughout last year, we just have to take care of the ball. That’s plain and simple. We have to get it together soon enough, because we know we can’t have as many mistakes going into Duke. We have to focus in on taking care of the ball. I think that has to do with our offensive mindset. I think instead of being timid, we have to attack when teams are being aggressive. Draw those early fouls so they can back off of us.”
On Richmond’s zone defense…
“We were expecting it. I think it was their ball pressure that got to us. I think we were holding the ball a little too much and not attacking.”
Richmond Head Coach Chris Mooney:
“I thought we played well. I thought our effort was terrific based on the way we battled and scrapped. We came up with so many steals. I am proud of how we played. We had a lead late, and we were unable to close the game. (Minnesota) was able to get a lot of easy looks as the game went on.”
On causing turnovers...
“I thought our pressure was good. Minnesota is obviously a very good, and versatile team. We were able to pressure them into some turnovers. This gave us some easy shots.”
On first road test...
“It was good for us to be on the road. It was a good atmosphere against a good team. I think we all wish we would have done a little bit better, but we did play well. We certainly played very hard.”
On compete level in the paint and physical play...
“We were a little undersized against Minnesota, but we definitely fought passes into the low post. We were able to deflect balls and get some steals. I do think we did a nice job there. Towards the end of the game they got too many easy ones, but for most of the game we were able to hold our ground.”
On shooting poor in the second half...
“We shot poorly. We missed a lot of three-point shoots. I do not think we are dependant on them, but we can use them. We did not hit enough of our shots to cushion the lead or catch (Minnesota).”
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