Tubby Smith Quotes
"We could feel the hangover from a good win, although we didn't play that well. That's something I try to tell our guys, forget about the past and focus on the here and now. I give Central Michigan a lot of credit, they brought a good game plan. When you have a ball handler and a player like Giordan Watson who can control the tempo and flow, and for the most part he did. I think having a shot like Spencer's before the end of the half is really a boost when you're fighting against a team like we were. We did a good job of not getting frustrated, I think that was another positive. I thought Dan (Coleman) and Spencer (Tollackson) played well. I like the way Blake (Hoffbarber) played and Al (Nolen) has been giving us some solid minutes. We have a good balance in our lineup, with three guys in double figures and two more at nine points."
On first half
"We turned the ball over more than we have usually. When you turn the ball over, you don't really have a chance to put that many points on the board. We had 24 for the game and 12 of those in the first half. You're just not going to score if you turn the ball over. We need to value the basketball and make the easy play, make the easy pass. We seem like we see guys running downcourt and we go for the homerun plays. We just have to see the guys and pass to the open man. That was disappointing but like I said, we need to work on it."
"We want consistency for our whole group of guys but that's not necessarily the case. We scored three points in the first eight minutes of the game. Sometimes our guys have a tendency to try to do too much instead of letting the play take care of itself, let yourself get into the flow of things and we didn't do that. There's too much dribbling. We've got to learn that you'll get more shots when you pass and screen."
Center Spencer Tollackson
On the game
“The first half was sloppy. For the most part, the game was sloppy. We had 24 turnovers, but we won. Obviously we’re not pleased or content with how we played tonight, but we are pleased that we got the W.’”
On the steal he converted into a fastbreak dunk
“That’s the sort of defense we play. With the training regimen that we’ve gone through since the beginning of school, we’re able to keep our energy up throughout the game. I just read the guy that threw the pass I knew he would throw it to that spot, so I just anticipated the pass and was able to make the play.”
Guard Lawrence Westbrook
On the game and the season-high 24 turnovers committed
“It wasn’t our best effort with the way we handled the ball in the first half. We’re glad we won, though. We know that if we work on that, we’ll be alright.”
On transferring momentum to tonight’s game from the win over Iowa State
“We just try to come out every game and start the game hard defensively. Coach Smith has stressed that good defense will help our offense. Pressure will lead to points. We wanted to focus on [Giordan] Walters and key on him because he was their best player. We wanted to play hard and do things like rebound and hustle.”
Guard Lawrence McKenzie
On how this year’s team is different
“There’s definitely a different feel out there. Guys are playing really hard and are a lot more confident. I think that momentum is going to continue to build.”
On how the crowd is different this year
“You could tell today that it is a lot louder in the Barn. There are a lot more people at the games and just walking around campus, you just see a lot more people that are excited about Gopher basketball. It’s exciting for us and it’s exciting for the fans.”
Central Michigan head coach Ernie Zeigler
“We played a very good team tonight. Coach Smith has brought a new energy to Minnesota and they have a bright future ahead of them. Unfortunately, we could not compete with Minnesota and could not match their passion tonight.”
On CMU’s performance
“We are a team that keeps on battling. Our guys are determined to fight until the end and we did that tonight. As a result, we were able to get some turnovers with the full court press, but it wasn’t enough. Minnesota put forth a strong effort that was a little too much for us.”