Todd Lickliter Opening Statement
As we talked about, the task at hand was Eastern Illinois, but it doesn't change that we were in the consolation bracket. It will never change it. You get one chance to compete against these teams, and you need to take advantage of that. That is not to take anything away from Louisiana Monroe, but when you are up 16, you need to finish that. That being said, responding is a huge thing. We didn't feel sorry for ourselves and we came out with better focus. What we are trying to balance here, what I have tried to discuss with them and what I have tried to emphasize, is that we want to compete to win. We want to compete. I am not very excited about performance. I like the competition, to keep score. It takes a degree of concentration and commitment to actually compete. So we are trying to work through some of those things.
What I am trying to get them to understand, the other thing I love about the game is that I like precision and efficiency. I love those two aspects, because they give you the greatest chance to win. Then once you find those two things that you are playing with, then comes consistency. If you can do that over and over…if you don't get caught up in, as you saw tonight, we got up 10 or 12 and we took a couple of quick shots. We had been moving it, we were precise and all of the sudden, it was like we were up a few and let's quickly get up a few more. The mindset is to just play the same way. There is a right way to play this game in my opinion, and I want to play that way every possession. Until we do that, I will not be satisfied. Can we do it? That is our focus.
Q: Justin, he came into this tournament having missed 14 of his previous 16 three point shots. He was uncanny for these two games.
Todd Lickliter: What led to that as much as anything, if you watch shooters legs, and he played a Friday/Saturday on travel. He is playing a lot of minutes, and he usually guarding the other team's perimeter scorer and we are asking a lot of him. That lent itself to that. The shooters I have had, and we have had great shooters, they stay after and they make so many out of 50. That is something that our guys don't do as consistently. We try to be efficient in our practice and we need some guys to stay after and make 48 out of 50 each day. I have seen that. Ohio State saw it today (Note: Butler beat Ohio State 65-46 on Saturday)
Q: What can you say about responding after last night's loss?
Lickliter: There was only one way to respond, and I think our guys accepted that and did it. What more can you ask for? We couldn't change last night; we could just change our approach and performance. I think the staff had a glimpse of what some plays last night, that we really found kind of baffling. We showed them and said that we would prefer not to be this. You can talk about a lot of things, what you think you are or what you would like to be. But you are what you do. I didn't like what we were last night, and I don't think our guys did, either. That is not to say we have it fixed, but we made an adjustment and I thought we defended with greater purpose tonight.
Q: Jeff being primary ballhandler as a freshman, do you sit him down when he starts to struggle with turnovers.
Lickliter: We would sit him. I don't know…I will tell you something about Jeff, he is very conscientious. He is a guy who can learn. I believe he can learn by being explained to. He doesn't always have to actually perform the task, which is a very good talent to have. We can talk through some of these things. Last night, he was just pressing pretty hard.