Postgame Quotes

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Dec. 10, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats

Postgame Quotes

Minnesota (10-1, 0-0 Big Ten) 69, Saint Peter's (2-6, 1-1 MAAC) 47
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
December 10, 2011

Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith

Opening statement:
“I knew (Saint Peter's) would come and give us a real battle. We had to grind some things out, had to do a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half. Getting Ralph (Sampson) back in the game was a big help. He seems to be moving better. His  practices have been better, so he showed it today. I think his stamina and his wind needs to get better. I thought we did a good balance of scoring and getting guys prepared for games. Where it’s an early game in the day time, you start off a little sluggish, but I thought we gained our momentum after we made a couple shots early on, especially Julian (Welch) got us going with a couple jumpers and that kind of set the tone for us. ...We did a good job transitioning up the court to get some baskets.”

On Ralph Sampson coming back and doing well:
“Ralph is a mature and experienced player. It was a good game for him to play. He had a good size advantage. I thought early on he kind of held the ball a little longer than he should have, but after he started making some quick moves to the basket as soon as he would catch it and try to get an angle, and try to get to the free throw line which he did. But I expect him to play this well. It was a real good day for him. It is good to have him back.”

On Andre Hollins, who sat out today's game with an injury:
“He tweaked his ankle in the game against Applachian State, and then he did it again in practice, so we thought it was better to rest him. We have had a lot of ankle problems, a lot of injuries. Seems like we always have someone sitting out, but Andre will be fine. He just needed a little rest. I expect him to play Tuesday.”


 

 

Minnesota Players

Ralph Sampson III (Sr./F)

On how the current stretch of home games has helped the team find its identity without Trevor Mbakwe:
“It’s helped a lot. It helps all the new guys get used to playing at the college level and playing with each other... so we know who we are.”

On if he feels a sense of urgency to do more with Trevor Mbakwe out:
“I recognize now that the team is lacking in experience and leadership but I think the team has taken it upon themselves to step up individually and be accountable for each other.”

Rodney Williams

On how it feels to be the first Division I team to 10 wins:
“That sounds good, considering coming into this season there weren’t a lot of people that believed in us, especially after Trevor went down. We know what we got here and we knew what we could do, so it feels good.”

On having two non-conference games to clean up everything heading into the Big Ten schedule:
“That’s something that coach is going to focus on in practice, so once we get to conference play we won’t have to worry about the little things. I think these last two games are really going to help us get things in check.”

Saint Peter's

Head Coach John Dunne

On his overall thoughts for the game:
“It was pretty much exactly what I anticipated. They’re a very solid team, very well-coached team. They play to their strengths. If we had made a few more disciplined plays on offense and on defense maybe we could have made it more interesting. But they’re a well-coached team, and an unselfish team, and they do a good job.”

On if they changed how they prepared for the game with Minnesota's loss of Mbakwe:
“No. For us, we’re trying to find our own identity. We lost our top five guys from last year, so we’re just trying to find who we are. We’re just trying to get better game in and game out, and hopefully grow by the time league play rolls around for us in January.”

Darius Conley (Jr./F)

On his game- and career-high 20 points today:
“I felt pretty good coming into the game, playing hard, kept my focus. I did the best I could to win, and tried to put our team into opportunities to win the game. Minnesota’s a great team. We wanted to try to stay in the game and we did the best we could today.”

On playing against Minnesota’s inside:
“They’re pretty big. They’re pretty talented. It’s always good to get to play against that kind of talent. Like I said, I just did the best I can, stayed focused on the game plan, and did what I could for my team.”

On playing at Williams Arena:
“It was familiar. It wasn’t anything brand new, but I like playing on the raised court. That was fairly new, and it was exciting to play on. It was a good experience.”