Jordan Farmar After Memphis Game --
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The first half they were really able to dictate tempo on every play.
"We were very, very tentative in the first half. I thought we didn't attack the press well early. We were very tentative defensively. Williams, obviously, had a monster first half with five threes. I was just disappointed we didn't adjust to him after he made his second one from NBA. We were still playing tentatively. In the second half we came back and fought back with some fight. The fist half we were really on our heels. You gotta give them credit; they are a very good team. They're athletic, strong, physical, and they forced turnovers. The bottom line is that they shot 61% in the first half."
Was that more them or you guys?
"I think it was a combination of both. You've gotta give them credit. They did a great job penetrating, especially Williams. They hurt us in transition, and we were bad getting back on defense. We work on it every day; we talk about it. This was vastly different from playing the last two teams who don't push it at all when they're just trying to run it down your throat. What it did was it really got us pushed where we were not recovering in time, and they were getting some open looks in transition, especially Williams on that trailer break up high."
It looks like they beat you in three phases: the power game in the paint, you couldn't run with them, and the outside shooting. Do you have an answer for those three phases of their game?
"I think they were very good
tonight. I don't think there is any question that they did a good job in all
phases of the game. We gave ourselves a chance when we came back the second
half. I thought
Are you surprised how young they are, and able to play like that?
"I don't know that they're young."
"They're freshmen in terms of their class, but if you go look at their birthdates, a lot of those guys are 21, 22 year old freshman which is obviously an advantage."
What did you know about
"Just what we saw on tape and what we saw last year."
Ben, did he take control in the second half? Does he need to do that earlier in games when things aren't going well?
"To me the defense really hurt us in the first half. We missed some lay-ups. We went up tentatively worrying about getting blocked rather than go on up and attack the rim. Either get fouled or get it blocked, but not miss. You know, there's about four lay-ups that come to mind in the first half, and we didn't block well. Every time we didn't lay a body and block out they exploited it and got a rebound. I seemed like, anyway."
It seemed like you weren't closing out on the shooters in the first half.
"Well, we were getting pushed down. They were really running it on us, and we didn't do a good job in our transition defense."
How about the play of Ced?
"You know, I thought Ced shot it well from the foul line. We're asking Ced to do too much right now. Being short-handed at the four spot is tough, because we're asking him to know three different positions out there. It's difficult. I thought that he did some positive things for us. He's gotta step up and be a better rebounder for us. We need that when he's playing the four and the three. (Looks down and unfolds a piece of paper.) I gotta look at the rebounding numbers here to see. You know, Luc was a little hesitant tonight. It's evident that he's a true freshman. He was just tentative out there on both ends of the floor."
It seemed like he was shell shocked after Williams hit a couple threes on him.
"Yeah, it sure seemed like that. He's gotta bounce back, and have this be a learning experience."
How do you feel you match up with Drexel?
"I don't know anything about Drexel other than that they played Duke tough tonight. I haven't even looked at them yet. We'll go back as a staff and watch this game right now. I have two of my assistants working on Drexel. We will focus on Drexel…… I know that they are really playing well right now, and playing with a lot of confidence right now, and playing with a lot of confidence. To play Duke as tough as they did is a testament to Bruiser, and what he's doing with that program."
Is Aboya still looking first week of December kind of thing?
"Undetermined. I just don't know."
"Everything was more team driven… more motion, and in the second half it was kinda… we just gotta do what we gotta do."
I just mean coming back from the ankle. It didn't seem like it bothered you, but in the second half it seemed like something clicked.
"It started hurting a lot more in the second half."
Did it really?
"I twisted it a couple times and it was just killing me, but you just gotta play through that kind of stuff. I'll get treatment tonight. I'll be alright. It felt really good in the first half, and I was looking forward to getting out and running. It hadn't felt that good in a couple days. I got it taped up real good, and I had adrenaline going so it was really good in the first half. It started bothering me a little bit, but I was in a rhythm and I was obviously in the game, in the zone so I really didn't think about it."
Coach talked a little about the transition in the first half. Were you guys prepared for the running game?
"Well we should have been. We thought we were, but they did a good job. It started with their rebounds. They controlled the glass in the first half. It killed us. We looked for second shots, and we looked for early pushes. We missed a lot of easy shots, and that just fueled their transition game."
"No man, we lost. It doesn't matter. I just want to win. I'll take zero points in a win. I could care less. I'm a winner, and that's what I want to do. I'll do anything it takes. If I have to go scoreless for our team to win, that's what I'll do…. definitely not my best game."
What was the difference between the first and second half how things were clicking in the second half, and how they weren't in the first?
"We just had our backs against the wall. When you have to shoot a three with the buzzer going off, you don't have thoughts: you're just shooting. That's kinda how it was. We had nothing to lose. We had to come out here and play like we know how. We did a good job. We missed on a couple of offensive rebounds when we cut the lead really short. We gave up a few of our second shots. We would miss a shot. We were in a position for a rebound, and just didn't come up with it. That really hurt us. Those are the plays we have to make. We have to limit them to one shot, come down the stretch, and get second shot for ourselves. That‘s just toughness and physicality Coach always talks about. If we can make those plays, it's a whole different ballgame."
Were you nervous or tentative in the first half as a team?
"As a team I think we were. I think we were a little tentative. We didn't attack the pressure like we did in the second half; like we should've. We should've just come out and made them pay for pressing. We definitely didn't do that. We were tentative, and missed some easy shots. We shot a couple of airballs, and stuff like that. That's just nerves. We got a couple of young guys out there. We were the same way last year. The got a taste of it now. We'll be ready come Friday, and hopefully we'll learn from this so we'll be can get on with the rest of the season."