Dec. 3, 2011
Minnesota (8-1) 55, USC (4-5) 40
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
December 3, 2011
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“It was a good win for us, a team like Southern Cal, a team that has some things going on. It was good to get a win today no matter who we play. ...Solid effort all the way around. I thought our defense was outstanding, we rebounded the ball well, we played together. ...We’re happy with the win and hoping we get Ralph (Sampson) back pretty soon.”
On playing without Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III:
"The guys that are playing now are doing a fantastic job. ...They have accepted their roles and responsibilities. Our bench has played quality minutes and that has been a big help. Our bench play has been excellent."
On winning these games:
"That’s the best thing that’s happened, to us to bounce back the way we did. You hurt for Trevor but you have to move on quickly. ...It’s an opportunity for our guys to embrace the challenge and step up their game."
On his 360 dunk:
"I just wanted to do something to get the crowd into it because at that time we were up but the crowd wasn't into it."
On Welch’s play at point guard this season:
“It doesn’t surprise me. We had seen him do it in open gym during the preseason. We just thought it would be a matter of time for him to get comfortable within coach’s system.”
On the scoring run to end the first half:
“We definitely want to go into halftime strong, because it takes a little bit of pressure off of us. You always want to start the second half well, but it takes a little bit of pressure off of us to not have to come out and fight back from being down.”
On whether he prefers the 3-spot or 4-spot:
“I guess it kind of depends on the day. I think right now, I’m feeling really comfortable at the 4-position. I got a lot of mismatches because I can use my speed to get around the bigger guys. So, I’m liking the four right now.”
On the team’s defensive effort:
“We just came together and told ourselves that we had an emotional game against Virginia Tech and we just wanted to keep that rolling. So we just came out from the gate and wanted to play hard-nosed defense.”
On the key to opening the big lead today:
“Just getting stops. We had a lot of stops that led to easy fast break, transition points.”
On the difference between his first half (three turnovers) and second half (no turnovers):
“Coach Smith at halftime talking to the guards. We were pretty careless the first half, so I just took it upon myself to be smarter with the ball.”
On competing without Mbakwe and Sampson:
"It means a lot to know that without Trev and Ralph we can still compete and get after it. We're going to be a good team when Ralph gets back."
USC Head Coach Kevin O’Neill
On the decision to play Dewayne Dedmon:
“It was decided he would go this morning. We gave him an opportunity to play because he was pain-free. It is going to be a day-to-day, week-to week situation. He did a pretty good job. He hasn’t practice the last week so he did a pretty good job.”
On thoughts from today’s loss:
“If you would have told me that we would have come in here and (Minnesota) had 18 turnovers and we had 12, I would have liked our chances to win the game. We missed 14 shots in the paint, went 5-for-11 at the line. When we lost Jio Fantan, who is our other play-making guard, there are going to be some nights like this for us.”
On Minnesota stopping the inside game:
“Shutting (Maurice Jones) down is the ultimate key to that. When your 2-guard shoots 2-for-11 that is not going to leave your point guard much room. That was tough to live with. A lot of these guys have not played before at this level. There are going to be some nights like this.”
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