Players after Win

Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson talk about their shooting nights against the Panthers and how the man defense has improved this season...

Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson after Prairie View A&M:


Q: Shabazz [Muhammad], how much more comfortable did you feel tonight? You talked before about being more explosive because you dropped weight. What were you able to do tonight that you hadn't been able to do before?

SM: oh yeah. I thought I was able to run up the court a lot tonight. Like I said, that extra weight I had, that was making me more tired. I was running all night. I was trying to get a lot of assists off these guys and just enjoying myself tonight.

Q: Kyle [Anderson], you've had a couple of weeks now to work on your man defense, how much has that paid off at game time?

KA: I think it paid off a lot. Our man defense worked really well today. I think everybody was there for their teammates. When somebody got beat on the ball, the help was really good. And I think staying in front of our man was a great emphasis, and we got it done pretty much today.

Q: Shabazz, you talked about being more aggressive. Do you feel like this is as aggressive as you have been all season? Maybe confidence too?

SM: oh absolutely. I'm starting to get a lot more confident. Faster in transition. Shooting the 3. and taking the guy off the dribble. So I feel really comfortable with my game right now.

Q: for both of you guys, I just asked Howland about it, you guys shooting outside, seemed a little bit more comfortable and more shots were going down. He said that part of that had to do with taking a little bit of practice off but also having more shooting sessions. Do you think that the outside shot's always been there and you're just sort of getting there?

SM: yeah, I thought it was just a confidence builder. We were shooting a lot of 3's tonight. It's all about your confidence. Thinking you can knock the shot down, it's more likely you're going to make it.

Q: Kyle, you guys have been playing several close games. This was pretty much decided throughout. What can you take away from this? What do you guys need to do to be able to keep teams down?

KA: just confidence really. We had a lot of confidence out there. Guys trusted one another. We shared the ball really well. That confidence is going to lead over to practice the next day and the next game.

Q: for both of you guys, in terms of your uptempo, you guys were getting out more. Do you feel like you guys are getting more comfortable in that system? That style of play?

SM: yeah, we started doing it in practice a lot. Running up and down. And I think that's part of the reason. When you're practicing it, [audio difficulties]

Q: Shabazz, are you making a concerted effort to make plays in terms of passes as well or is that just kind of something that came with getting in the flow of the game?

SM: oh yeah. I'm really trying to pass the ball. Guys like Kyle, Norman tonight. That's one thing. Trying to get your team involved is making the extra pass. Coach Howland really stressed that tonight and we did a great job doing it.

Q: Shabazz, does it seem like this is the best game for all the freshmen collectively? Is this kind of what you guys had in mind when you all signed here? That you would all have a game like this where you guys are all the main contributors?

SM: Oh, absolutely. When you're looking at it, it was a great all-around performance from the freshmen. Especially, me, Kyle, and Jordan [Adams], and Tony [Parker] did a really great job off the ball and stuff like that. I think we're just starting to get it more. And get to understanding the college game. Because high school, it's a whole different area. We're just doing a good job and getting into the system.

Q: Kyle, you guys' defense has kind of been under scrutiny most of the season. Did you guys ever lose faith and hope that you would be a good defensive team? And what changed tonight to make it better?

KA: No, I never thought that we would give up on being a good defensive team. We're a bunch of mentally tough kids. I just thought that collectively we had to work on it. It's what we did. I think defensively we played really well together collectively. It all came along out there. We've been working on it. Practicing on it. It all came together tonight.

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