VIDEO: Howland and Players after Loss

Ben Howland talks after the game against Georgetown, and Shabazz Muhammad talks about playing in the first game of his college career...

Ben Howland, Shabazz Muhammad, and Travis Wear after Georgetown:


BH: Obviously we're disappointed with the loss to Georgetown. Really did 2 things that were key to this game. #1, when they went to zone. The last 7 minutes of the first half, I think we were up 24-20, we really were tentative, didn't get it inside. Ended up down 2 at the half. In the second half, their offense really, really cut us up. Especially the first half [of the second half]. It was a real problem for us. You have to give them credit. We're a team that's obviously very young. And we really got hurt defensively. They shot 55% for the game, 60% second half. And those 2 stats jump out.

I thought that after we fell down big… I think we cut it down to 4. The closest [deficit]in the second half I think was 4? Well, we had our opportunities there. We did a much better job once we started loosening up against the zone. Played Kyle [Anderson] inside where he did a good job catching the ball and making plays for others. I think Georgetown has a very good team. They're obviously extremely well coached. And they're dependent on sophomores and their experience hurt us. I think [Markel] Starks had a great game tonight. I looked and he had 23 I think, and that was as many points as he scored in the last 6 games of the season last year combined. So that kid's made a big jump. He really hurt us. Anytime that we failed to trail him, he exploited it. Any time we made a mistake, they did a great job of reading the screen. When you're not trailing, it hurts.

Q: Coach, I thought you were picking up full court around 3 or 4 minutes left in the game, I thought you put them on their heels as a result. Could you have picked up a little earlier than that and maybe cut the lead more?

BH: I'll go back and watch the film and study that. And do that. Maybe that makes sense.

Q: Ben, in your career, has Jordan [Adams] maybe exceeded the expectations of any freshman you've had, considering what maybe you were expecting when he committed? I know you were impressed over the summer, but what's been the most impressive thing about him over the first week and a half of the season?

BH: he just competes every day. Works hard. He's a great kid that just wants to get better. He's very skilled. A great feel for the game. Obviously very excited about how Jordan's progressing at this point.

Q: Shabazz, how relieved and exciting was it for you to get back on the court? What the day was like for you and how much better do you think you can get now that you can be with them every game?

SM: Yeah, it was really excited to get on the court for the very first time. I thought we didn't play that well. That we didn't possibly play as a team. Just finally getting the jitters out and getting comfortable playing college basketball for the first time is a good experience. And hopefully I can do better.

Q: how much better do you think you can get?

SM: Oh, I think I can get a lot better. I thought I didn't play really well tonight. We didn't play real good on defense. So we're just going to get back at it in practice. Get better as a team.

Q: Ben, how would you assess Shabazz's first college basketball game?

BH: I thought he did a good job. I actually didn't expect to play him as many minutes as he did. He had missed 2+ weeks with a shoulder injury where he couldn't really get a lot of conditioning in because of the jarring of the shoulder. So I thought he did a very good job considering. And you can see, he's got work to put in to catch up, conditioning-wise, to where he wants to be. But he did a good job.

Just on the injury front, Dave Wear's back is really sore right now. That fall that he took… the reason I didn't play Tony [Parker] at all tonight is that he had a back issue going into today's game.

Q: Shabazz, at the end there, you guys kind of put on an offensive flurry. Do you feel like that's kind of a little hint of what this team can do once you get some time together and experience?

SM: absolutely. I think at the end, we felt a little bit more comfortable with each other. Just trying to really get out here and gel with my teammates for the first time. And trying to get used to the system. Like I said, for my first college game, getting used to playing with all these players. Just looking forward to get better as a team and myself as a player.

Q: Ben, have you ever had to blend this many different new, young pieces together on the fly like this? Particularly given that Shabazz didn't have much of a training camp?

BH: Shabazz basically missed the summer from the standpoint of having the high ankle sprain which kept him out literally for 9 weeks. So that was unfortunate for him. He didn't go on the trip to China which was unfortunate. But we have a lot of new players and we're still hoping to get Tyler Lamb back into the fold. He's coming off knee surgery. He's had an hour and a half of practice this last week total. Half an hour on Saturday. An hour today. So we're hoping he can get healthy again. Back to full strength. I'm not sure what Dave's [Wear] status will be now for tomorrow. I'm hoping Tony [Parker] will be okay and be able to play some minutes for us tomorrow against Georgia.

Q: Ben, this won't be the last team to zone you. It won't be the last team trying to spread you on offense. That look you gave in the second half with Kyle at the 4 surrounding more shooters. What do you think of that? Do you think you may look at that earlier?

BH: I thought it helped us, especially with him at the high post against the zone. He did a good job on a couple of weakside help where he went to block a shot. But he did a good job on help defense. That was one of the ways that we fought our way back to give us a chance there. 8-9 minutes to go, we had a chance. We were unable to get the stops that we needed.

Q: Shabazz, picking up on Gary's question, what do you think you missed?

SM: I think I missed a lot. Just gelling with the team. Even missing the summer and China. Just getting as a whole with the team. And missing those 3 games really hurt me. But I'm going to try my hardest to get back out there and make sure I'm back in shape as I can possibly be and gel with the team more.

Q: How does it feel to miss the opportunity to go against #1 Indiana?

SM: it doesn't feel good inside. I wanted to get a shot at them. It just shows we're really not ready yet. We're going to practice and get this together. And I think we'll be a really good team.

Q: Coach, you mentioned [Markel] Starks by name earlier. But I'd like to ask you, what your evaluation of [Otto] Porter tonight?

BH: I thought Otto Porter played very well considering that he missed the first game. I knew he was a really good player going in. Both he and [Greg] Whittington I thought played real good. Porter I think had 12 points in the second half, 12 or 13. Really shot well. He made a big 3, late possession, opposite side of the court from the benches. But he's a very good player and has a bright future ahead of him obviously.

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