NCAA: Sooner seniors focused despite distractions

Oklahoma guard Hollis Price, right, guard Quannas White, center, and guard Ebi Ere, left, talked about Friday's Sweet 16 matchup with Butler Tuesday in Norman

Below are excerpts from Oklahoma's Tuesday press conference in Norman. Oklahoma left for Albany, New York on Wednesday and will hold their first practice at the Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Hollis Price on how healthy he'll be come Friday
"It's getting better everyday. I don't think I'll be 100 percent, but hopefully I'll be about 95 (percent). I don't think I'll be 100 percent until after the season."

Quannas White on defending Butler's three-point attack
"We're just going to keep a hand in their face and make them do something they don't like to do, and that's penetrate. We'll just stay on their guards because they've got three good three-point shooters."

Price on Butler's three-point attack
"I think if we do a good job of paying attention to the scouting report our coaches give us, defending the three will be easy. We've done a good job this year. We were second defending the three (In The Big 12) so hopefully we can continue that."

Price on taking Butler lightly because of their seed
"I remember when Oklahoma was a 13 seed before I got here and knocked off Arizona. So, regardless of the seed it really doesn't matter at this point. I'm sure everybody is going to be pulling for Butler and cheering for the underdogs. It's going to be like a road game, but we're still a team that made the NCAA Final Four last year and we're going to go out there and play tough Friday."

Ebi Ere on playing in big road games
"We've played in these types of situations all year going to Texas and Gallagher-Iba. It's basically the same thing just a little further from home. Instead of having our fans we're going to have to make up for it by not turning the ball over and making open shots. Doing all the little things."

Price on if Butler's style of play mirrors Oklahoma
"From a toughness standpoint I think they do. But everything else is up in the air. We've got players that are probably a little bit better then their players are, but they play as a team. And that's the thing we do too, so maybe we do mirror each other a little bit."

White on Butler point guard Darnell Archey
"He's the leader on their team. He's just a tough, hard-nosed competitor. I'm just going to have to out-tough him."

Price on having six days of rest
"We did this once before early in the season when we were having one game a week.That's the good thing about now...we had six days off but we still had to go out and practice and get better. It's good because we can get some kind of treatment and hopefully we'll be ready to go on Friday."

White on the key to stopping scoring droughts
"Just to stay focused. We've got to be a little more aggressive on offense because on last year's team we had a little bit more of an offensive threat with Aaron McGhee, Jason Detrick and Daryan Selvy. I think we just need to stay focused and take one game at a time."

White on OU's defense
'We've got a lot of guys that can defend their man. If we can get going offensively and get more aggressive, I think that will help us out in the long run."

Price on OU's motivation to get back to the Final Four
"Knowing that the next game could be our last game — that's the only thing that really matters. You can't get too far ahead of yourself, but you can dream about that. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves by saying the Final Four is not there, but it is. We're looking at it right now. This next game can be our last, but I think we're real motivated being seniors."

Ere on losing his starting role to De'Angelo Alexander
"De'Angelo has been playing good. He's knocking down open shots and I've kind of been struggling on the offensive end. Early in the season he was struggling. He just worked hard to get it going and he got it going. We can jump out a lot faster with him hitting open shots, and he's a really good rebounder too. He's beginning to play better and better. If I come off the bench I can give those guys a spark and give them a rest, especially now with my wrist like this."

White on winning their first two games in easy fashion
"We just did a great job of defending them and beating them. It's good to have two wins under our belt, but I don't think we breezed through them. I just think we played really well. We're still alive. We just have to focus on this next game. They're going to get after it and we're going to get after it. It's just who fights the hardest and who throws the first punch, and I think that will be us."

White on the confidence gained in winning without Bookout and Price "I think it was a boost of confidence for all the guys on the team. I think that's what this team needed going into this stretch. Hopefully we'll have Hollis back on Friday and Ebi can keep doing what he's doing. I think we'll be alright."

White on Price's injury status "It doesn't matter. As long as he's out there on the court he's going to give his team great confidence. Just having him out there is going to give us confidence. Whether he's 75 or 85 percent, he's going to give his all, and that's all we need."

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