Post-Game Interview --
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(Video starts out focused on Farmar. During the course of the video Coach Howland comes in and sits down, and the camera pans to show Afflalo on the far left with Howland sitting in the middle of the two players. For those interested, Coach Howland has his can of Diet Coke handy.)
Addressed to Farmar: I guess you should talk about the missed free throw.
"I thought it was pretty funny. I've seen that happen before. I thought it would never happen to me. It felt comfortable. It felt good so when it happened I just had to laugh about it. It was funny to me. I just had to calm down, knock the second one down, and get out of there with the win."
Energy-wise for both of you guys (Farmar and Afflalo) was it tough getting going again today?
"I think so. It was for me. I mean, I'm feeling a little banged up. I'm still not 100% with my ankle. It's been a long trip. The rest of the guys stepped up. I mean they were big. Everybody contributed a lot. Arron made some huge shots. Lorenzo Mata came in and gave us some great minutes: physical inside play, grabbing rebounds, finishing, making some free throws. I think the rest of the guys really stepped up."
"As far as I'm concerned, third place games are always tough. Especially referring back to the night before when you always feel like you could've done much better, and you should be playing now. Third place games are always tough to get up for, but I'm just glad we got out of there with the victory?
(Facilitator asks for questions for Coach but a reporter asks a question for Afflalo)
Talk about your threes down through the stretch. You hit about three threes. Were the plays set for you or did you take advantage of opportunities?
"For the most part they were. Coach just told me not to force the issue, and if it was open to take the shot. Unfortunately, I did force it a few times, but my whole thing tonight was to limit their best guard. We're playing in this cold, thin air, and he's really similar to Rip Hamilton. He runs all day. I was a little winded tonight. Fortunately I got my second wind toward the end of the game."
Talk about the defense at the end of the game. You held them to one basket in the last five minutes of the game. I thought that was one of the key factors.
"As a team?"
Yeah, they had one basket in the last down through the stretch. Talk about the defense down through the stretch.
"That's key, always playing strong, tough "D" at the end of the game. You go out there and elevate your team, and lead them to victory. It sure didn't seem like it. It seemed like they got a lot of offensive rebounds. Maybe it just seemed like they had a lot of big plays. I didn't know they only scored two points. We were very fortunate with that."
Arron, you shut them down the first half, too: in the last 12 minutes just 8 points. Is that an effort thing, you think, or was it something you were doing differently?
"It's a team thing. You hold a team to twelve points in the last eight minutes…that team was very good. We had guys helping me out so much with Mejia. He's a top player. Coach made some adjustments during the game as far as double teaming the post. We made smart decisions tonight and played together. We got the result we wanted."
Ben, what was the decision to go so much with Lorenzo Mata?
"I just wasn't feeling too good about out production out of the two seniors that were playing. Mike is still a long way from being back to full strength as far as his conditioning. He's had like six or seven days now total. I think really these last two days are a reflection on how much we've missed being healthy and having everybody there for practice. Most of the time for the first 25 practices we've only had seven or eight scholarship players available for practice. It's really retarded our growth. We've got to get back to practice which we're gonna do Sunday or Monday to get ready for Tuesday's game. We just gotta get better at executing at both ends.
"You've really have to commend Drexel. We were really fortunate to get this win tonight. We're happy to be fortunate to get the win. I thought our guys showed a lot of toughness down late in the game to be able to just hang in there and make a couple of key plays. Both of those plays were fouls. They were easily the right call. Bad Fouls; you feel for Bruiser at the end. You were cringing your feet: Why would you foul on either one of those plays, but they did, and fortunately we were able to….I thought the key play of the game, it was a flashback, we were getting ready to play it safe, and I flashed back to Pepperdine a year ago where we pressured the inbounder; we denied everything in, and sure enough they threw the ball out of bounds. The game was tied at 6.4. That was a huge play in our favor, because it turned the momentum of the game at the end."
Is that why you called timeout at the end?
"You know, the timeout actually got screwed up there. I told the official I wanted a timeout on Arron's make of his third foul shot, and it wasn't called right away. I was running around trying to figure out what happened. Finally they called it, and I didn't even realize they had assessed it to us. There was a little bit of confusion there. On that last play that we scored on there was no room for a timeout. There was no timeouts left.
"I thought Lorenzo really came in and gave us good minutes. You look at… You got eight rebounds and eight points. We're gonna go back at practicing…the guys that perform in practice are gonna play. They really exploited us inside. I think that when you look at their big guys inside, especially Elder scoring in there…Their big guys were a problem. We're gonna have to double team more than I would like in the post, and we weren't real good at it. We weren't effective. They were getting it back out. It's the 25th of November, and we still have a lot of things to get better at to improve and be effective."
They were picked seventh in their conference.
"Yeah, I would hate to uh….. That's a little off I would say. Based on how they've played in their first five games, they're very tough. They have to play tomorrow. They're playing here in about 14 hours. They're tough. I thought we did a great job of Mejia. He only had two points. I don't know why he didn't start. I ‘m sure it was some disciplinary thing. That really worked out in our favor. Part of it was just good team defense. You gotta give them credit. They are a very good, gritty, tough team, and they reflect their coach. We hope to not play them any time soon."
Some teams have dominate go to player at crunch time. Do you have one of those?
"They're both sitting right here on either side of me. I feel real comfortable with these guys. Theses guys are our two returning leading scorers. They've got a lot of experience. We have to learn to be more patient, and do a better job of executing offensively. I thought we were really inept as a team offensively both games. We were just able to gut this one out today."