Post Game Q&A With Mattis and Saaka

USFNation talks with McHugh Mattis and Adamu Saaka after the Bulls 82-69 win over South Carolina State Friday night at the Sundome. Read for the entire story.

Senior McHugh Mattis

Q: What was the main difference between the first and second half?

MM: I think the energy. We were not playing good enough defense for the first 12 minutes. The last four minutes we picked it up a bit.

 

Q: They seemed a little timid coming into the lane after a few of your blocks. Did you feed off that at all?

MM: They started to adjust their shot a little bit when I was around, but I diverted them a lot. I think it helped a lot on flattening them out a bit and making them take a lot more jump shots.

 

Q: How did it feel to finish the game with a career high seven blocks?

MM: That is all I have been doing. I just try and get everything that goes up.

 

Q: Were you frustrated at all after your first game?

MM: Not really because we have some great freshmen. Soloman (Bozeman) scored over 20 last game so it kind of helped us out. It made it pretty easy. I just had to play defense. I got in a little foul trouble in the beginning so that hurt us a little bit.

 

Q: Offensively you guys started a little slow. You hit a bunch of free throws which really kept you going. What really got you motivated late in the game?

MM: When we went up at halftime, we went in the locker room and felt good knowing that we were not trailing when we came back out. We just tried to build on that when we came out for the second half.

 

Q: It seemed like you guys were penetrating more in the second half, is there something you saw or an adjustment made?

MM: Kind of. Coach was telling us to try and penetrate a little more and flatten them out.

 

Q: You and Melvin (Buckley) both scored 18 points tonight, discuss your leadership roles on the team?

MM: We are just trying to get everybody involved out there. We have a lot of freshmen who are pretty good players. I learn a lot from them and they learn a lot from me. All of us just feed off each other.

Q: What is your relationship like with freshman Soloman Bozeman?

AS: We are as close as two peas in a pod. We came in together and really bonded over the summer along with Dante Curry, the other freshman who is hurt right now. We have to just stay strong.

 

Freshman Adamu Saaka

Q: Soloman had a break out game during his debut. Tonight it was sort of your debut and you seemed to be feeling it. Were you able to just get in a rhythm?

AS: This was my first game because I was out for the first one. I just tried to come out with high energy. Coach Gary told me to let the game come to me, and I think that really helped me settle down. If one of us is having a bad game, another person needs to step up and that is what happened.

 

Q: Have you joked with Soloman at all since he did not have a name on his jersey tonight?

AS: Yeah I got him a couple times. No name. That was his name tonight. He will bounce back and his jersey will bounce back next game.

 

Q: How did it feel to get your first dunk in college?

AS: Actually, I was very disappointed in that dunk. It was kind of weak. A lot of my teammates are already ragging me because of that, but two points are two points.

 

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