OU-South Carolina State Postgame Quotebook

Head Coach Kelvin Sampson and guards Hollis Price and Quannas White talk about OU's first round win over South Carolina State

Opening Comments

"I think a great positive for us today was who are three leading scorers were. If you would have told me before I left the hotel that De'Angelo Alexander would be our leading scorer, Blake Johnston would be second and Jabahri Brown third, I would have assumed that Hollis and Kevin wouldn't have played. And that's what happened.

"I think that it's good for those kids' confidence. That's a good thing that those kids led us in scoring today because they needed that to happen. Blake and De'Angelo really stepped up for our team today. I thought until the last three minutes of the game our defense was very dominating. When we got up without Hollis and Kevin playing in the second half I thought that was a good sign for our team. And especially with the group of kids we were going with (two freshmen, two sophomores). Quannas (White), Jabahri (Brown) and Johnnie (Gilbert) were real solid too."

On Ebi Ere's continued shooting woes
"Sometimes a kid can play hard and nothing can really happen. I think that's what Ebi is going through right now. He does so many good things for our team right now, but his ball's not going in."

On the slow offensive start
"We scripted two plays out of the timeout for Kevin, and that was probably my fault because he just couldn't go. Guys who have been following us all year know the first two shots he took are shots he shoots almost 60 percent on. He was sick. As soon as we took him out of the game he started throwing up. Of course, if he would have missed another shot I would have started throwing up."

On the decision to sit Price after the first 11 minutes
"Hollis just couldn't go laterally. When a team goes box and one on you it's going to junk the game up. Their kids are playing unbelievably hard and you can tell that Cy (Alexander) had them well-prepared. They were in a soft press that backed into a man-to-man. What that was designed to do was ugly the game up, and that was their chance to win. Once we got Hollis out of the game I thought it helped us. And once we got Kevin out of the game I thought that helped us too. Those guys just couldn't go. It was just a matter of adjusting and attacking. But Blake, I thought, was a sparkplug for us today.

On if he planned to rest Price before the game
"There was no plan, just a feel. This wasn't the first kid I've ever had that was injured. I knew he wasn't going to play a lot today, but I didn't have a preconceived idea of how much. Once we got out to a 10-12 point lead I said I'm only going to play him if I have too. People say, ‘Well you won the game by this amount,' but who cares. We were up 33 without Hollis and Kevin. I got Matt Gipson some good minutes. I'd rather have those kids get to play some than have people sit there and say you blew them out. I could care less about that."

On the pressure to win as a No. 1 seed
"I read one of their (South Carolina State) kids' quotes that said someday a 16-seed will beat a one. I agree with him. I just didn't want it to be today. It's a 40 minute game and I have a really good feel for our kids. You always play devil's advocate with yourself. I knew we had played three games in three days. I knew we were going to be limited with Hollis. I wasn't quite sure about Kevin, but after the first minute I knew he was in trouble. If there was a day we may have been upset this may have been the day, because we didn't have our best player and we didn't have our best post player. That's why you have a good team. The front of our jersey says Oklahoma. Oklahoma is pretty good. So is Hollis Price, but Oklahoma is a better team then he is a player."

On what went through his mind after Thursday's slow start and the long drought to end the Missouri game
"The common denominator with those games is we won them both. We've played a lot of games this year and the end of the second half against Missouri and the beginning of the first half today weren't our only two droughts this year. I knew we were in good shape when I saw the drought. At least we're consistent."

On his health

"I'm feeling better. Although, I wasn't as quick as I am usually. If coach would have had to play me more I would've played. But today he didn't really need me much. The team did a good job and gave me rest. So, I'm happy for that.

On his limitations with the injured groin
"It's both lateral and explosiveness. I'm a player that uses my speed a lot because a lot of guys are stronger than me. I use my speed, and today I couldn't use it. I did one good thing ...I got an assist for Blake and knocked down a jumper, which is good. I'm limited right now, but I'm happy we found a way to win the game."

On his status for Saturday
"Hopefully, I can be 80-85 percent by Saturday. I'm going to get a lot of treatment today and tomorrow. It's up in the air from there."

On how he suffered his injury
"I was backpeddling and that's when Paulding made his move. You don't want nobody to just go by you that easily, and once I turned around that's when it extended and I pulled up short."

On if he ever felt threatened by SC State
"No, I didn't feel threatened at all. South Carolina State is a good basketball team. You can't take any time lightly. Like coach said, Blake Johnston, De'Angelo and Jabahri Brown did a great job helping the team out."

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