UM-WC: Tubby Smith Presser

MINNEAPOLIS --'s post game press conference coverage includes quotes and audio from head coach Tubby Smith.

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"I thought tonight our guys show a lot… a lot of poise. When we weren't making some shots earlier on, we had some good looks, but we stayed with the game plan and did some good things. Good teams like Wofford are not going to beat themselves so you gotta good things and I thought we did an excellent job.

"I thought it started with Al Nolen, he set the tempo for us. Even though Blake [Hoffarber] didn't make shots he had six assists. They did a good job of denying him the ball, chasing him around. They really did a fantastic job on him.

"Trevor [Mbakwe] solid all the way around. Good to see him…that's what he does, just attack the basket. Ralph [Sampson III] had a good game. Colton [Iverson], even though he didn't shoot well had nine [points].

"We know where our strength is and that's inside. We've just got to make sure we're more consistent, when we do get the ball inside."

On relying on the inside players throughout the year…
"I hope to see balance. I hope to see more out of them as far as shooting percentage. That's what I want to see. We have that bulk and size that you need to compete at the highest level. We now have that I think and we have depth even with Mo [Walker], who struggled a little bit, he still has that ability to help us a lot."

On the play of Trevor Mbakwe after not playing in a Division-1 game for a long time…
"I'm impressed with him from day one. Trevor is just…he has good stamina, endurance. He's the strongest guy on the team. He's intense. He's got the total package. He's got nice touch around the basket. He's physical. We've seen that. That's what we've expected from him, that's what we've been missing in the past. I'm just happy he's playing this year."


Do you think we'll see more performance by Ralph if he continues to assert himself that way?
"Absolutely. That's what we expect. I think Ralph is stronger. His stamina has improved. He's always had good touch, now it's just playing with that level of energy every time…all the time."

On attacking the basket more to get to the foul line more often…
"I was disappointed we didn't attack it even more. We had the tendency to fall away from the basket and not going to the basket to get the foul. Trevor [is] about the [only] physical one that does it. Colton, he's a little bit…he kinda shoots his little jump hook but I want to see him drop-step and power-move to the basket more. And get to the free-throw line more toward the end.

"He didn't shoot a free throw tonight and he took 11 shots. So he really didn't do a good job of attacking the basket. We'll tell them to go to the rim. We should be making more free throws than our opponents are attempting, with our size. And it's disappointing that we didn't do that tonight."

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