“Theo Pinson has a rolled right ankle. We’ll see what it is, but we didn’t want to push it by putting him back in the game. I sent after him to come and sit on the bench thinking everybody would cheer like crazy for him. I’m not a very good director because at the same time Justin (Jackson) made the big three and nobody had realized that Theo had come back.
"It’s good for us and in fact a huge part of the game early one was Theo and Nate (Britt)... I think they made two baskets a piece early and got us back in the game. Rebounding again was big for us, but I’m still disappointed in our defense because of their field goal percentage. We get 43 rebounds, they get 22, we get 73 shots, they get 51… it always helps. Buzz (Williams), I really like his team. I really like what he does with his team. It makes it difficult for our core man to go out and chase his guy around. At the same time it helps us to have those guys out there for rebounding purposes. Shoot 47 percent from three…. I think that always helps us win. We did a lot of good things, we’ve just got to get better at making somebody miss instead of hoping and praying that they miss. Let me do that on the bench, but the defensive players need to make them miss.”
What is it that you’re not doing defensively?
“Not getting up in a guy’s face. I mean, if a guy scores on me…. I couldn’t play worth a darn, but I was competitive… but I’m not going to let a score on me and go, ‘oh gosh that’s a good shot.’ I will never congratulate anybody. Just play defense. A couple of times we had the third guy got involved on the screen on the ball and all of the sudden his guy is open out there. The other thing is they’re a good basketball team. They make shots, but we do have to do a better job defensively.”
Were the 30 three-point attempts just a product of the defense they were playing?
“If we hadn’t been making some of them I would have been going crazy because we need to get more touches for our inside guys. Kennedy got seven field goals out of 13 attempts but Isaiah needed to get more. We need to move that inside. I asked them at the end of the first TV timeout, ‘We’re shooting all these threes, that’s the reason they’re playing zone… why do you do what their coach wants you to do?’ Kennedy and Isaiah, I took them out… I think they were the first two subs because they weren’t moving the right way inside.”
Your 25 assists were a season-high. What do you like about your team as a passing team?
“I think we are unselfish. One thing I really like more than anything is the only seven turnovers and one of them was Nate’s silly dribbling on the baseline and Kenny (Williams) dribbling the ball out of bounds coming down the court. Seventh (Woods) had a walking call across from their bench, so to me that was three unforced turnovers. I think my team is very unselfish, I think they look to pass. They’re not coming off the screen all the time and thinking to shoot, they’re coming off the screen and looking for other people. I think that’s good.”
What’s more critical: rebounding at the rate that you are or shooting the way that you did outside?
“I think to go from good to great our defensive field goal percentage has got to improve. I think the other things are going to keep you in the game, but if you really want to be great you have to guard people better. I’ve said this… I think last year we led the league in defensive field goal percentage in conference games and we also won the league. I think both of those go hand in hand.”
Did anything other than size enable you to be so effective on the boards tonight?
“We emphasize it…. I got mad at Kenny and Kenny went in and the ball went right to him. So those things happen, but we do try to… good offense is running the break first and getting the highest percentage shot you can get, but against a set defense you want to take a shot that everybody wants you to take with the board covered. That’s the definition of a good shot.”
Is there any concern with Theo with it being his right foot?
“Well there’s always concern, but it’s wait and see.”
Are you going to do an X-ray?
“I’m not a doctor, I don’t make those claims. I have not had a doctor yet tell me to play man or zone so I’m not going to tell them what to do. We’ll find out tomorrow. If they did try to tell me to play man or zone I’d tell them to go fly a kite.”
Why do you think your team was able to shoot so well from three?
“We practice. We have some pretty good shooters and we practice a lot. Most of the shots, with the exception of Justin’s with the shot clock winding down, most of them were shots we work on everyday in practice. We also understand who the shooters are. Kennedy hasn’t taken a three, Isaiah hasn’t taken a three. Justin and Joel made five and five and they’re our two highest percentage shooters.”