Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
"We were very pleased with the play tonight. I thought our guys really showed a lot of energy. We could not make some shots early on. We were grateful that Tennessee Tech and Mike Sutton, the head coach there who is a great friend of mine, came out and threw a lot of different things at us that we needed to work on. There were some good, solid, all-around plays by our players. Free throw shooting is one of our concerns right now. Looking at the stats, we were 10-for-20. Otherwise, a good game all around."
On the team loosening up later in the game:
"They changed the nets at half time. Yeah, they were concerned about the nets. I think our defense was pretty stable. When you are not making shots, you have got to be able to do the other things, like block shots and rebound. We did a good job of getting the ball inside to Ralph (Sampson III) and Colton (Iverson). I think when we get into a running game, we are much more effective."
On Westbrook's last-second shot at the end of the first half:
"They had cut it to seven at one time, so that was huge. It put us at a comfortable double-digit lead. When you can gain that type of momentum going into the locker room, your guys feel better about themselves. They have a little more confidence and they believe their shots can go in. That is always huge when you can get that kind of momentum at halftime."
Minnesota sophomore center Ralph Sampson III
On his turn-around jumper:
"I worked on finding some more post moves this summer with my dad, and training in various places. As the season progresses, I plan on using it a lot more. I'm probably going to have to expand my repertoire later on in the season, as people start learning about the way I play. Tonight, it worked well for me, and it got us a win."
On coming into the season:
"Coming in with Colton [Iverson], we kind of took the pressure off each other. Because we are able to be on the court at the same time, we battle the same people. This year, we have a deeper bench and a lot of freshmen coming in, with a lot more experience in the lineup. Being able to step out on the court [without Iverson] allows me to create more on my own and play more with my teammates and learn their roles and positions."
Minnesota senior guard Lawrence Westbrook
On changing the momentum of the game:
"We started hitting shots. We picked it up defensively, and I hit a couple shots to start the second half. In the second half, we knew if we stepped on them early, we could change the whole game. I think that's what got us going."
On his three pointer to end the first half:
"Anytime anybody hits a buzzer-beater, it just gives you a lot of momentum going into the locker room. That play was a result of my teammates, and it kind of deflated Tennessee Tech a little bit. I think that helped, as well."
Tennessee Tech sophomore guard Kevin Murphy
On playing a tougher opponent like Minnesota:
"We just saw that we could play against anybody in the country. Minnesota was ranked 18th in the nation and we stayed on the floor and made some good runs."
On going against the Minnesota defense:
"We were expecting it. Our coaches already had us informed about what they were going to do defensively, how they were going to block shots, and things like that."
On playing against Tubby Smith:
"It was a good experience for me to play against his team. It was really good."