(Fran Dunphy)'s a quality guy, quality coach. He's a coach's coach, and he's one of my favorite guys in all the coaching profession. He chose tonight to spread it and drive us a little bit because we had the advantage inside and they made it very difficult for us. Over the course of the game, though, I thought we did some good things as well. I think it was 42-14 scoring in the lane, we felt like we had an advantage with our big guys and we wanted to get it there. But we did want to guard better than we guarded. But we were fortunate - they were 9-9 in the first half from the free throw line and they were 1-8 in the second half and needless to say that helped us as well. I thought we did some good things, but we also saw some things we have to work on a great deal. We're happy to get out of here with a win, happy to have a great time while we're here.
Was that the best you've seen Kennedy Meeks play in your years coaching him?
Offensively I thought he did some good things. It was not his best defense, because I remember 29-33-35 defensive errors. But I thought around the basket -- other than the first play of the game. First play of the game his brain went on vacation. We talk about going to the basket with everything, and he shot the biggest fadeaway I've ever seen in my life. He's got great touch around the basket, and had a couple tip-ins that we work on. Offensively he was really, really good. Other than a couple times I thought he could have thrown it out of the double team, including the time he got the walking call. But 25 (points), 11 (rebounds) and three blocks is pretty doggone good.
You got help off the bench from Nate (Britt) and Isaiah (Hicks) ...
Well, I didn't think Isaiah played very well. Nate gave us a big lift ... but I didn't think Isaiah played very well because he's played much, much better in practice ... he's played a lot better and I think he'll play a lot better on Sunday ... As slow as Brice started off, if you're out there with a heartbeat you're playing with more energy than Brice was playing with, but again I think what we expect of Isaiah, I expect even a lot more from him, I really do.
Kennedy looked like a different player than we saw the last few weeks last year ...
Let's not get too excited. The guys guarding him tonight - their 6-10 guy didn't play so he was being guarded a lot of the times by 6-6, 6-7, 6-8 guys. But he is more explosive, there's no question about that. Other than the first shot I thought he had great choices with his shot selection. He could have passed it out a little quicker and reposted -- I keep challenging him, I'm not going to anoint him. Because it was 25 points, 11 rebounds and they had one true post player playing most of the game. He does that against some of these other people we're getting ready to play, then I'll start anointing him. But 10-13 after that first terrible fadeaway, I was really pleased with him on the offensive end...
How did you think Joel (Berry) did running the team?
I thought he did well. He's been making more shots than he made tonight. He's got the ability to make those little runners and layups, and he missed a couple tonight. He's been shooting the ball well from the three-point line. And the thing that happened at the end of the game, I hate because it shadows my feeling about the game. Nate was ejected, he was not involved in a fight so he can play the next game. That disappointed me, as it's the first time I think in 28 years as a head coach that I've had a player leave the bench. And so we don't condone that, and it's bad because Nate really gave us a bigger spark than anybody else on our team. He feels badly right now, he's already apologized to me and the team ... feel badly for him because he's a wonderful kid but you can't leave the bench area.