Reflections on the game and a career-record 18 assists ...
The game was great, but we're not completely satisfied. We got a win, but we played terribly in the first half, though we played hard and executed in the second half. I'm satisfied with the second half, but not happy with the game as a whole. ... We have so much more room to go. We came out and played hard in the second half, and Coach said some things to us in the locker room.
Were you surprised to learn you had 18 assists?
Yeah, I was surprised because I hadn't really been thinking about it. I figured I had a lot of assists, but not that many.
Does it mean something to you to have more assists in a game than any of the great point guards that have been here before you?
It's definitely a great accomplishment, but I still haven't done anything like those guys have done -- like Coach Ford, Ed Cota and all those guards. I haven't done nothing like they did.
Coach Williams said some of the halftime talk concerned your three turnovers and you had a turnover free second half ...
I should do that every game - I should have no turnovers. I just came out and took better care of the ball and found open shots for my teammates.
Comment on Raymond Felton setting the school record with 18 assists-
That's incredible. I've never seen a guy get that many assists. Ray's a great point guard - a great player - and he's going to continue to do a lot of great things while he's here ... and hopefully that'll be for a long period of time rather than a short period of time because I'd like to play with him for a couple more years. He's just great. To get 18 assists today is a great accomplishment.
The shots aren't falling for him, but he's excelling right now at being a pass-first point guard and a leader ...
Ray's got so much to control out there. Calling plays, getting everyone in their position, being a leader on the floor, being emotional. Right now he's not worried about scoring. He's not shooting the best percentage right now, but we don't need it right now. We need it when we're 20 games into the season.
Speak to the second half run which seemed to erupt right out of the break-
That second half was great. Especially with the fire and enthusiasm we came out with. Coach said 'You guys know what the problem is: you've got to play defense -- you're not playing any defense right now.''
Even while you were up 30 points, Coach Williams kept pushing you guys to go faster ...
You can always get better, you can always get faster. I know right now he wishes the team was a few steps more along than we are. It's going to take time for us to adjust to his system, but I think we're doing a great job trying to. At times we go fast, but we need to have more stretches of good basketball.
Has conditioning been your major focus as far as improvement of late?
We work on it a lot - every day. Coach has been telling me when we watch film that I've been posting up a little too high and today I tried to get a lot deeper and draw my man's attention away and then go back.
Will it be hard to stay focused as you head into finals week in your classes?
It's not tough at all because we know that we've got to be eligible if we want to play ball. This week we'll have a couple more study halls and get ready for finals, but when we play in practice, we [stay focused].
You've shown great hands out there - some of the best in the game. Where does that originate?
I was born growing up around basketball, but it was something that I was tought. My father did a great job of teaching me to be aware with what's around me and I think it's just being blessed and I've got a point guard who puts the ball where I can get it and luckily I have great hands so I can get to it.
What was the difference in the second half?
We just didn't want them to stay in the game like Cleveland State did. We knew they had a lot of energy and they were hyped. So we had to pick up our energy level and be more aggressive. [We were] just more focused in the second half and picked up our intensity. We were getting after them on defense because we knew we had to create more turnovers.
What did Coach Williams say at halftime?
Just to play more pressure defense and create more turnovers -- and get out on the break.
Are you happy with where the team is right now?
We're pleased where we are, but know we have a long way to go to be where we want to be. That's why we continue to work hard every day. ... [We need] to get faster and get the ball out after shots. And we need better consistency on the defensive end.