(That was a tough game to watch)
Why would it be hard to watch? I thought it was an incredible college basketball game. And it really was, too. All the way up until somebody threw something out of the stands. That wasn't right, because it was a really, really good game up until that point. Both of these teams battled.
My guys; how about a group of young people who have been through so many losses where everybody around them thinks they're going to shut it down, all they do is continue to come back and this day and age, where people have such an entitlement issue, they continue to battle back. And they made it an incredible game. This is a very difficult place to play and they played extremely hard. It was a tough game but it was a growing game for us.
(This game seemed ripe for a picking)
It did. We didn't Charles Callison there. Josh Hawkinson's been out for a few days. He came back. Conor Clifford's been out, Val(entine Izundu)'s been out. So we're out of rhythm right now. But to come in here and battle like this and be in a position – we've lost to this team twice by missing free throws. And considering they beat us by about 30 last year here and were never in the game, we beat them in overtime at our place and then lose to them twice this year by missing free throws, I'd say we got a lot done this period in terms of catching teams in this conference. We just don't know how to close yet and that's something we're still learning how to do.
(Ny Redding's contributions)
I thought it was the best point guard play that I've had in my program since I've been here. Now, that's nothing away from Ike, because he's had some great games, but in terms of the point guard leadership was tremendous on the floor. He got the ball to the right people, he kept us in offense. We may have found out how to play tonight with this group: Not so fast. Just walking down the floor, pound it inside and I thought Ny was great. Especially his layup and his big 3 late in the game. For a guy who doesn't get a lot of points, he was fabulous late in the game.
(Hard to recover from George King's 3-pointer?)
It's extremely tough. We get a foul on one play, they drive to put them on the line, they miss one we're down two. We should have fouled them again and put them on the line again. That's on us as a staff because we thought Que was going to make the free throw and put us up four and we talked about not fouling, and yet Josh (Hawkinson) was all over that guy. 6-foot-10 guy hanging on you, you're fading out of bounds. My hat's off to him. Heck of a shot.
(What did you tell team going into second OT?)
I told them in life, and we've had a lot of these discussions, nobody gives you anything. It's the more they can fight through this, the more they're growing as a basketball team and more importantly, they're growing as men. Just the adversity of a basketball season and continue to fight, it's just a little microcosm of what they're lives are going to be like. So we keep all this in perspective. I'm proud of those guys because they have battled their tails off for me and will continue to do that.
(Not one of them hung their heads. Indicative of how you coach?)
It's indicative of how we run our basketball program, and not just me but my entire staff. There's no reason for them to hang their heads because, again, we're not even two years into this. How long has coach Boyle been here? Coach Romar? Coach Altman? Just look at the league. We're literally less than two years building the program. So we look at it like a book. We're in chapter two. Wait until you get down here to chapters seven or eight and then say, boy they struggled but they sure have grown up now. We've done it before and we'll get them there.
(Just to clarify there was no determination to foul before the 3-pointer?)
There was a determination because when they drove to the bucket we did foul. We had talked about fouling when they needed the 3.
(What was thrown on the floor?)
It looked like a golf ball to me. Nicked the corner of my head here. They told me they got the young man.