Jan. 30, 2008
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"I'm very pleased with the response of the guys tonight. We talked about in terms of looking back on last week our defense wasn't where it needed to be in the 16 previous games we played up to that point. During those previous 16 games we were successful because of our defense. It set the tone for everything else - our rebounding and our break. Give our guys credit because they responded the correct way tonight. Great individual defense on the ball and great team defense off the ball. We did a great job on the glass as well. You're going to play a team in Saint Louis who is coached by Rick Majerus that will scrap and is tough and fights and we knew we had to have as much fight as they did. I think we matched that and the intensity on the defensive end was something to be seen.
On the team's development
We've talked all year long, we don't talk about wins and losses, we talk about the energy and intensity we need to play with and we're good enough, even with a couple of guys out, to be successful. You can play that way and not be successful, but live with it. Last week was like a Twilight Zone. We just need to keep moving forward and we took a big step forward in terms of establishing our identity and what we are about."
On London Warren
"London was tremendous. When you play with great intensity and focus on defense how much easier the offense comes and I thought tonight was a great example of that. He set the tone on the defensive end and all of a sudden he's got a sweat going and he feels good. He's gotten a lot better overall and he's going to help us as the year progresses."
On the team's defense
"The thing is Jimmy (Binnie), Kurt (Huelsman), Devin (Searcy) and Thiago (Cordeiro) were key in our defensive scheme because of all of the side ball screens Saint Louis runs. We had two different coverages, always changing, and those guys had to communicate with the guards and be in the right position according to each of those coverages. That's hard for Kurt and Jimmy who have been in the program forever and it's hard for Devin and Thiago as first-year players. But those four guys executed those coverages to perfection tonight."
On the team's first half play
"The first two minutes I thought we were on our heels again. We dug down and they scored nine points in the first three minutes of the game and only nine the rest of the half. I thought that was the biggest thing our guys did."
"That's what we've been focusing on the past few days. Making sure we get our defense starting our offense and that's what happened tonight. We had some guys step up and it was a total team effort."
"It was a big spark in the first half. He came in and played well. He got the spark in the first half and Andre (Sandoval) played well throughout the whole game."
"How we responded coming off a bad, bad week last week and some bad games. It's good to see our team step up and respond the way we did tonight. We've got to continue to get better on defense and make plays."
"It's not going to be easy. They are going to come out ready to fight and we have to use these next few days to get ready and give everything we've got."
"It comes off of our defense. That's what we talked about earlier today and during the week. We sat down and said we're not going to outscore a team, but we can shut down a team. That's where our offense comes in and where we get our energy from. We just kept playing defense the whole game and shots kept falling."
"The energy level was what we normally play with. We got back doing what we do best. And we had fun out there. That's one of the things we talked about during the meeting, to have fun and go out there and smile."
"They are a good team and we're going to gear up for them tomorrow. We played them here. They're a team that knows how to score, so we have to keep playing the defense we played today."
"We were reeling after three straight losses and what a great response. We played well defensively, got after the ball and started running. We did a great job of that tonight."
"It's an important game for us because it's our next game. It's a chance for us to get better as a team."