ASU-Pepperdine Post-Game Quotes

ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek and players James Harden and Jerren Shipp discuss their team's 61-40 win over Pepperdine.

ASU Head Coach Herb Sendek

Opening Statement

"James was the difference for us with his offensive production. I thought the other thing that stood out was the play we got on both ends from Jerren Shipp. He made hustle plays and that also carried over to our offense. He gave us a really good boost. I think Eric gave us a good boost in the second half as well."

On if He Saw Jerren's Breakout Game in Practice

"Sometimes, it always doesn't work that way. Sooner than later your practice habits will carry over and make a difference. Jerren has done a really good job accepting what his role is; he knows what he can contribute. He was terrific in that area."

On the Defense

"Our defensive numbers are pretty impressive. I don't know how many games we can match them. Statistics only reveal part of the story, I just think we still have a long ways to go before we sustain the necessary level of focus and intensity we need at the defensive end. We need to learn how to sustain that effort."

His Thoughts on the Team so Far

"I don't mean to sound like the Grinch, I am recognizing some of the good, but I am left with a hollow feeling because I know how I want us to play. It is November 22nd, it's early yet. We can't afford the luxury of excuses and we have to find a way to amp it up even more."

On the Team's Slow Starts

"I'm not just concerned about the start. I'm concerned about every possession. I'll go even further, every pass, every cut, every loose ball, and every missed shot that can be rebounded. I don't have the luxury right now to focus on the slow start. We are trying to figure out how to play well the next four minutes, the next possession. I'm not going to be nearly that nice to the guys yet."

On Halftime Adjustments

"I don't think we made any great adjustments. We are who we are, we do what we do. Adjustments are overrated. I think habits are more important. That doesn't mean if they run an action we can't help our guys. But right now we are better served focusing on habits than adjustments."

On Jeff Pendergraph

"Jeff did play his best game of our three so far. We need him to pick it up, part of the reason we are living in the world of expectations, because Jeff is so highly thought of."

On What is the Most Important Factor for his Team

"Effort. It is always the most important reason. You can have all the Xs and Os. You can have all the salt shakers and all the pepper shakers in the right place on your diner table, but it doesn't matter at all if you don't play with phenomenal, sustained, invincible effort. You may be misplaced momentarily, but if you are playing with great effort it is amazing how it works out."

On the Team's Defensive Stats

"We forced 20 turnovers, had 13 steals. I think it would be hard pressed to produce as many good defensive numbers. I don't want to leave it alone to the numbers and statistics. Our guys know that we have to work to be better. I know I'm sounding awful, you would probably be inclined to recommend counseling for me. I'm just trying to give an honest evaluation."

On the Play of Ty Abbott

"He didn't have one of his best games. Not to make any alibis, but our guys are run down and we have colds running through the team. I know Ty is fighting that, what is the biggest challenge when you have it, your energy level. James has dealt with it, Ty; it has hit a number of our guys."

On his Bench Play

"Let's face it, on any good team, you need a good bench. You need guys to come in and give you a lift and pick each other up."

James Harden

On if He is Feeling Better than the Last Game

"Yeah definitely, just taking medicine, a lot of rest. Drinking a lot of orange juice, I'm a lot better than I was a few days ago."

On the play of the Defense

"That is a sign that we are getting better. First few games I guess we were nervous. We know what to expect from each other, at least we are getting there. We just have to bring some more intensity than we have been bringing."

What Adjustments the Team Made at Halftime

"Just playing with more intensity. We had great intensity in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half because the game was too close. We decided to pick it up on the offensive end and especially on the defensive end. Guess just made plays, especially Jerren Shipp."

On the Flex Offense Working Better Than Set Plays

"It works Coach Sendek's smartness and love for the game, whatever works he is going to give it to us. It is something we go to often to give guys touches, that offense helped us a lot."

On the Difference on the Offense Today

"Just getting it out on the fast break. The first few games we didn't do that because of our rebounding. This game we did better rebounding and got more fast break points."

On his Play Today

"My teammates did a nice job finding me. It was a regular game, I just ran the lane. Derek and Jamelle looked for me."

On the Play of Jerren Shipp

"When he subbed in for Ty he came in with that intensity. He hit two open threes and played his butt off and helped us a lot."

On the Team's Focus on Defense

"We can score the ball with anybody in the country, but our main focus is on the defensive end. Anybody can score, but who can have the heart and soul and get stops."

On the Team's Upcoming Anaheim Classic Tournament

"Take one game at a time and prepare for our first opponent. Going to be at a neutral site and we have to bring our same game plan and we should be fine."

Jerren Shipp

On his role and if it has changed since last year

"I'm trying to be more of an energy guy this year and give my team a life. Hustle plays, blocking out, just playing hard when I get in. You have to be upbeat every game, every time. Any game I just try to do what I can to help the team. Ty had a bad game, he has a cold, and I know I had to play even harder. Make hustle plays, get stops on defense and rebound the ball."

On the Team's Rebounding

"After the first two games, we did a much better job attacking the glass, especially on the offensive end. We did a good job blocking them out."

On If His Teammates will Give Him a Hard Time on Why he Didn't Dunk on his Breakaway

"I'm already hearing it, already. My legs were tired."

On James Harden

"Any time he gets in a zone like that, it's hard to stop him. You want to get him the ball as much as possible to help our offense."

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