Ben Howland --
The Players --
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You gotta be pleased with that defense.
"You know I'm excited about the win, Steve, and the way we played, but it's kind of marred right now by the status of our two players who were hurt. Mike hurt his shoulder, his left should when he was trying to go up he said he felt someone pulling down on him. The first time it popped out. The second time it was worse. Jordan, based on his right ankle was sprained. He'll be going to get an X-ray. Mike is getting an MRI tonight. We'll have more details as to the severity of each of those injuries tomorrow.
"I was really happy with the defense. The defense was outstanding. I mean, 21% in the first half. We came out a little anxious and tentative. We missed a number of early shots, but we did a great job of going to the offensive glass early in the game, and really doing a good job on the board. We beat them on the boards by twelve which was a huge factor in the game. We did a very good job as the first half went along attacking their zone and finally getting some open, easy shots to get that nice 15 point lead. I thought we got tentative in the second half. We weren't nearly as good attacking the zone in the second half as we were in the first half. Our defense was what we were able to rely on to win this game.
"Temple is a tough team to play. Anybody who's played Temple knows the way they play…. That zone is very difficult. They're constantly changing and tweaking it, and you're constantly having to make adjustments. I was excited by our rebounding numbers. I thought the rebounding by both Luc, who had ten, and Ced, who had nine…. I've got Ryan Hollins with six, and Jordan Farmar had five in 25 minutes. That was tough.
"I thought the two freshmen, Roll and Collison, came in and gave us very good minutes in the first half. They each played twelve minutes in the first half. They were in there when Jordan got in foul trouble. They were in there when we made our run. They were in there when we were playing our best offensively so that was good. Questions."
Coach, what do you think about going back to New York?
"Right now I'm worried about Saturday's game. We're excited about going to New York, and that's after Saturday. Saturday the team we're playing was in the NCAA tournament last year: Delaware State. They're gonna come in here, and slow it down, and play us very aggressive and very tough with nothing for them to lose. We just have to keep our mindset on that. We're excited about going to New York. We'll leave Monday afternoon, but we have to keep focused on the task at hand. Tomorrow we will get together and do a walk through and shoot foul shots. We won't have a full out practice tomorrow. We'll try to rest and save our energy for Saturday's game."
Coach, did you expect Cedric and Luc to lead you guys in rebounding?
"You know it's interesting they've got kind've a bet going here. That's a great kinda thing to see who's gonna lead us. I asked the team at the beginning of the year who is gonna lead us. Everybody got votes and Ced and Luc were the two leaders. We expect them to do that all year. If we're gonna win they have to rebound like that, and I was excited about how' they've played. Especially defensively, I thought Arron and Ced and Luc….. All of em guarded Marty Collins. He ended up getting 15 points and 9 rebounds. You don't hold down a great player, and he's a great player. He had 11 points in the second half, but I thought that was a key. He was 4 for 15 from the field. He manufactured points at the line and on second shots. I thought 22 got it going. We did a great job on Tyndale. I mean, he was only 3 for 12 for 4 points. We did a great job on their other guard Salisbury, who didn't score."
Could you talk about Ryan Hollins, and the job he did with six minutes to go when Fey went out?
"I thought Ryan played well for us in terms of rebounding. For him to get six boards, seven points. Jordan made that really nice pass. We went into a special play called corners. He (Hollins) penetrated and made that dunk. He made his foul shots tonight which was big. We were 13 for 16 from the line. In a game like this, where it's a slow tempo game cause that's the way they play, every little possession and every free throw are magnified even more."
You guys held them to 21% in the first half; 31% in the game. That's pretty good defense.
BOZEMAN: "Yeah, we focused on that this week during practice. We knew what they were gonna do and their tendencies. We knew they were gonna get a lot of shots. We just wanted to contest their shots every time they had the ball. I think we did a good job."
How tough was it to play that zone? Did you guys take more threes than you would've liked?
AFFLALO: "I might as well answer now cause I think all my shots were threes. That zone is very tough. In practice we tried to simulate it as best we could. Coach tried to replicate it twice as hard as they played it. That definitely helped us in practice the day before."
Could you talk about the first half lead that you guys got and letting Temple get back into the game in the second half?
AFFLALO: "You know, we just have to come out with that same fire that we start the game with. Every team comes out with a certain fire and anticipation to the game. Everybody is hungry, but it's when you go into that locker room and take that small break it's who can come back out and still stay on top of things. You know we're still a young team. We had a small letdown. That's something we can definitely work on."
What about New York?
AFFLALO: "I'm very excited. My teammates are very excited. (Mbah a Moute chips in with a serious sounding "aw yeah" spoken under his breath. Afflalo laughs and smiles.) We all did an outstanding job today. It was definitely a team effort as far as guarding their other team's best players: A total team effort. We deserve it. We deserve it. We're hungry and we want to get there.
Luc, have you ever been to New York?
Mbah A Moute: "Naw"