Q&A With Coach Matt Doherty

Earlier today PonyStampede.com caught up with SMU Men's Basketball Coach Matt Doherty to get his thoughts on Wednesday night's against UTEP and Saturday night's game against Tulsa. Read what he thinks the team needs to improve on and what he has been pleased with the last couple of games.

Coach, I was impressed by your teams willingness to fight back on Wednesday night. You got out to the big lead and they came back, but you stuck with and kept battling. Your team could have folded, but they didn't. Talk about that a little bit.

"I appreciate you recognizing that Josh. I think that happened against Rice to. We had a big lead and Rice came back to take the lead and our guys responded. It's been a fun to group to coach when it comes to that. Our guys could have easily quit going into a place like UTEP against a good team.

"They did make the run, but we responded and got into overtime. I think it's just a credit the character of the guys on the team. They are good guys and they work hard. I think they have seen they are getting better, but the tough thing is they haven't been rewarded with lots of wins."


Because they are so young and haven't been pulling out these close wins, are they starting to lose confidence? Or is it the opposite effect? They have got confidence and seen they can play with anyone in Conference-USA when they play their best basketball

"I think it's a little bit of both. I think they go into games where they are believing they can win, and there are times in the game when things get tight they do make mistakes. Yet, that hasn't stopped us from battling back."



You out rebounded UTEP 54-44. That was the highest total of rebounds for your team while since they have joined Conference USA. You have to be pleased with that?

"We have done a good job rebounding. I think it comes on both ends. Part of it is when you play good defense, team miss shots and you get a chance to get rebounds. On the offensive end when you miss shots they are more available to get. We have not shot the ball well this year and it's been frustrating."



Two more games at home this season. It starts tomorrow night against a very tough Tulsa team. They come in second in the conference. Talk about the challenges they will bring?

"They have a really good guard in Uzoh. He's averaging over 13 points a game. Their best player is Jerome Jordan who is averaging over 17 points a game He's a seven footer so we will have our hands full. They are very well coached and they play really good defense. They struggle a little bit taking care of the ball so hopefully we can force a couple turnovers to ignite our offense."



As you come down the stretch with your final games, what would you like to improve on most so maybe you can knock off a team in the Conference USA tournament and maybe make a run.

"First off we want to win. That goes without saying. We have to take care of the basketball better. We had 22 turnovers against Tulsa. Also we need to a better job shooting the basketball. The ball needs to go through the hoop for us. If it does everyone gets a little more confident."


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