Let me start off and say we’re excited to win. We learned a lot tonight. We were challenged, we were tested, they did a great job. You’ve got to give Georgia Southern a lot of credit, their coaching staff, I thought they did a good job, They kept us off balance, we never got our break going for the most part of the night, they kept switching defenses. I watched a game this afternoon of them last March, I think it was March 8th they played. And everybody that played today was in the game, every guy. What you see on this opening night is a team that has a little experience and they’ve really kind of been through it a little bit and they know how they want to play and we’re still learning.
What I like is, the fact that it kind of through some adversity, we had a little foul trouble to deal with, Terry (Henderson) and Torin (Dorn) in the first half, Malik (Abu) and BeeJay (Anya) in the second half. But we still found a way to execute a little better down the stretch, defend a little better down the stretch and we found a way to win. So it was a good game for us, a good thing for us tonight. I like it for our team, because they need to trust their defense, trust the offense, trust each other and part of that is learned when you get tested.
You don’t learn that when you beat teams by 50, so it was good. We’re going to get better from it. A lot of good things I liked tonight, and certainly they challenged us, but I thought we responded well and did a lot of nice things.
On Dennis Smith:
I thought he needed to just settle down, relax a little bit. He's such a great player and he's such a great competitor. Just trust the offense, which I thought he did as the game went on and that's a good learning experience for him. As good as I think he is and as good as he is, he is still a freshman.
This is his first college basketball game, playing against a veteran team....They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and that's good.
On Terry Henderson:
In the seventh or eighth minute of the game I was just excited that he was still out there because his year was so short last year. Terry gives our team a calming effect, the guys respect him and he just kind of makes plays and defensively does a lot of things well for our team and I thought tonight he was really good.
On Torin Dorn:
Jack of all trades. He just does a lot to help our team. Rebounding the ball, defensively he was great. I put him in the middle against their three, fourth of the court trap, he made a couple great plays out of there. We went to him on a couple isolation plays and he scored on those. Battled some foul trouble early and kind of took a while to get into a rhythm in the second half, but he just did a great job for us. He is going to be a stat-sheet stuffer for us throughout the year in a lot of different categories as the year goes on. Nice job by Torin tonight.
Rebounding the basketball is what I thought kept them in the game. They did a great job offensive rebounding off the glass. With a small lineup, we better figure that one out. We better figure out how we are going to rebound the ball if we are going to go small at times because we gave up, I think, 20 offensive rebounds and that's not very good.