Dec. 19, 2007
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Head Coach Brian Gregory
"It's a good win because it's a win. That's a team that's getting better in American and that's a team that's starting to find its niche. They've won five out of their last seven and they are playing better. We got some things we didn't do as well tonight that we have to get back to doing. The positive is we won. The positive is London Warren played exceptional tonight. He came in and changed the game in the first half and played well in the second half. He did the primary job on Derrick Mercer holding him from 4-of-13 from the field. He's their leading scorer and London did a great job on him. Great contributions as well from Thiago (Cordeiro). Those 11 points from him we needed. Between him and Kurt (Huelsman), the 11 points from one, 11 rebounds from the other, we were able to control the paint. But we need to do a better job of controlling things on the perimeter. We have a tough game on Saturday and we're going to have to use this to get better. We have to take a step forward.
On the team's bench play
"If you look over this winning streak or over the last four or five games, our bench has saved us. I talked about at the beginning of the year utilizing 10 or 12 guys when called upon who are fresh, ready and excited to do some things. I thought our bench had some diversity on things where they could impact the game. You just take a look and you're starting to see that. Andre (Sandoval) made a big shot for us in the second half and did some good things. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys and I tend to say that after every game, but we do need to get some more consistency from other guys. Right now because there are 12 guys in the playing group, we're getting some good action."
On the team's energy level
"We didn't do a good job of pushing the ball today and give credit to American. They are well-coached by Jeff Jones. Jeff is a hell of a coach. But at the same time we need to make sure we are dictating the pace."
On a big stretch in the second half
"We had London out there, `Dre, Mickey, Thiago and Charles and that's the stretch where the lead went from two to eight. They did their best job defensively during that stretch and the pace of our play was a little bit better. We had a couple of good looks that we just missed. The first group gave us good energy to start the second half and it would have been closer if it wasn't for that second group in that second round of that half because they gave us a little bit of breathing room. Give American credit. We got up 11 or 12 and they came back and made some shots. They weren't going to go away and we had to figure out how to win the game. I'm not pleased with the way we played, but I am pleased with the way we won if you get the difference because we did show some toughness and made some big shots."
On free throw shooting
"You can't go 16-for-30 from the free throw line. It's a good indication. Offensive rebounds and deflections are good means to measure your energy level. Your free throw percentage is another indicator of that. I thought we did some good things and I thought we played pretty hard, but our focus wasn't as tight as it should have been."
"That's how I like to play. I like to get post ups and the guys were getting me the ball today. I just did what I was asked to do, that's put the ball in the basket."
"We've been working on our defense the past couple of days. I think the coaches did a good job, even though we weren't as good as we wanted to be. American is a good team, but we got a win."
"Today they were able to look to me. I was able to get touches and make my moves. I felt comfortable today."
"That's one thing with good teams is you have to maintain good defensive poise and make sure your are solid on defense if your offense is not working. We did that in the first half and in the second half we picked up our energy."
"We just didn't play with energy. They played with a little more energy than we did and that was the difference in the first half."
"If Tee (Cordeiro) and Kurt (Huelsman) didn't play as well as they did, it might have been a different outcome. Coming off the bench and giving us good minutes like that is key. We weren't playing with energy, but in the second half the guys coming off the bench like Mickey (Perry), Andre (Sandoval) and London (Warren) gave us good minutes off the bench and came in and picked up the energy for us."