I see these tape recorders here, that would mean I might know something. But after that, I don't feel like I know a whole lot. So I appreciate the vote of confidence here. I was really impressed with Drake as we scouted them, and even more so today. I thought they controlled the tempo and they were the aggressors. One of the things they do is match up so well zone-wise; they do a great job recovering and they don't foul. That is huge. I have been looking at it, and that has to be part of the theory there, keep them off the line. We beat them from the field and they beat us from the line, because it's a strategy and well played out. We couldn't adjust, they drove it at us hard. The things that are most frustrating for me are that when someone is driving at you hard, you think that you might get a half dozen charges, and I am not sure we had more than one or two. We have to do a better job of taking position and making those kind of plays.
I really thought the difference in a lot of their games, when I looked at a previous game where they were successful, I thought the board play was really important. Their ability to rebound on offense; you think they are great shooters, and they are. But they also have a great knack for running down offensive rebounds and coming up with them. We couldn't do anything about it. I think we cut it to single digits and they rebounded off a missed free throw. That's a big play. That was on the inside and we couldn't hold them off. I think those things stick out. You always look for reasons other than the opponent, and I give them all the credit. I have to figure out for our guys, and look and say other than how well they played and outplayed us, what could we do? We have to evaluate that, those possibilities as far as the lack of assertiveness we had, we have to address that and figure it out. We have been a good team. I just don't think that we were in a position to compete today the way we needed to for whatever reason. Again, I give the credit to Drake. Very well coached, very fine team.
Q: Did Drake take away how much you could feed the post or is that another teaching opportunity for you?
Todd Lickliter: Well, you know, we went into the post tonight a few times and we went into the high post and we just weren't able to convert. They are good; if you are going to feed the post against them you will play with a guy one on one with his back to the basket. You have to make a decision if that is to your advantage.
Q: What was your view of the incident in front of your bench?
Lickliter: I had a great view, I was right there. I am joking with you because I really didn't see. There was a loose ball and there was a pile up. I don't know how it all played out. There was some emotion involved. I think that is part of it, it's an emotional game. I don't think there was anything flagrant or unsportsmanlike. It was separated quickly, the officials handled it, and they looked at the monitor and said that Matt pursued the ball after the whistle. I haven't seen it yet. I think you are pursuing, and maybe its hard to stop at the whistle. I have to look. If that is the case, it was an aggressive play. I know Matt well, and it wasn't anything intentionally flagrant and it was separated and we moved on.
Q: What did Drake do to your offense?
Lickliter: I think we had really good shooters shooting really good shots. But give Drake their due; they play it that way and they are successful and maybe it wasn't as easy as what I thought it would have been. When I say easy, I mean the shots looked like we had good looks with shooters. Maybe they were more contested, because I wasn't out there doing it. I think Drake may cover better than what I think, as I thought they were good looks. I don't want to take anything away from them. I think we got some good looks that didn't go. We then had an anxiousness and started trying to make plays that were not there. It compounded.
Q: Did foul trouble affect you?
Lickliter: Fouling affected us, we couldn't adjust. It put them on the line. That affected us more. It wasn't that we were not playing guys, but they got to the line and converted. That is a great offensive ploy. It's great to be able to score from the line, we couldn't and they did.
Q: Tucker played 19 minutes or so. Was that the plan going in?
Lickliter: No, I really didn't…sometimes I think you guys think that I have this planned out and am not sharing with you. But my plan was just to watch him over the past few days and see how he was and give him an opportunity if things were set for him to do that. He needed to play, I expect him to play when we return. It was probably good for him to play a little bit.
Q: Do you think that Drake was more of a finesse team last year and has added toughness this year?
Lickliter: Ooh. I tell you what, I like that finesse last year and their toughness and finesse this year. I thought they were a great team last year, and we are how many games into it this year? They are 9-3, you can't argue with that, they are playing really well. I think they have veterans that have won. I said this to our staff, if you watch them and never look at the score, like all of their games, you would never know what the score is; they play the same way, they are consistent in their play. I think that comes from good coaching, veterans who have won. There is an expectation. Not a cross your fingers expectation, but one that they know they will execute and have success.
Q: Is Jarryd Cole coming around? He looked more explosive out there.
Lickliter: Different games give him different opportunities. We were trying to tell our post players that we needed to be more patient and he was. I thought he did a nice job today.