Opening statement “It feels good to be back on the other side tonight. I thought our guys did a tremendous job on the defensive end. Very proud of what we were able to do. That team is very deliberate. That team knows exactly what they want to do. They’re very precise in running their offense. We were able to force 20 turnovers. That just doesn’t happen very often with that team. Their length in that zone is pretty impressive. But I thought our guys came out in the second half and did a nice job of adjusting and we got some easy baskets.”
On Stanford switching to a traditional 2-3 zone in the second half “They had to adjust to what we were doing I felt. They began to flatten out a lot more as opposed to having three guys up.”
On the value of Dejounte Murray against the zone “HE was tremendous against the zone. This was the best he’s played against zone all year. He did a very good job. He’s very calculated. He was very, very efficient. Him, Andrew (Andrews), and David Crisp all did a good job of penetrating and getting into gaps in the second half. Even Matisse Thybulle has a couple of good drives in there. Andrew, I thought, was very, very good. A lot of people didn’t know he was playing with a strained MCL before the game. He couldn’t practice yesterday. He was a little limited. He totally used his head and he came out that second half and was like a maestro. He was getting guys easy baskets, fanning the ball all over. He did a tremendous job.”
On coming out with a win without shooting well “This has happened before and we didn’t come out with the win. Fortunately we were able to guard at a level where they shot 32% from the field. That made a difference. It made a huge difference. We talked earlier about being able to sustain effort and play through games where the ball doesn’t go in the basket and I thought tonight was a great example of that. But we’ve had a few other games – the last game, Cal, the ball didn’t go in the basket and we came up a little short.”
On closing the deal in a tight game “We’d like to think, because we’ve been in that situation so many times, maybe we grew up a little bit tonight. They didn’t storm all the way back and take the lead this time like has happened before. We knuckled down and got some stops and that allowed us to then stretch out a little bit at the end of the game. Like I said, I would like to think that we’’ve learned a little bit from those situations.
Does this qualify as getting over the hump “This qualifies as progress. That’s what I would say. The wins haven’t shown, but I still feel like we are more of an efficient basketball team than we were three or four weeks ago. You would think ‘well then you should have more victories.’ Yeah, I would think that too. But I do think we are a more efficient team offensively and defensively right now. That zone- we face that zone a month ago, I think we would have had even more problems.”
On what needs to improve to beat OSU on the road “I really believe if we can continue to play the way that we’re playing – we turned the ball over too much tonight – but do that and begin to start to make shots. I don’t mean in a zone where we make 12 of 13 from the three-point line or shooting 60%. We just start to make normal shots we’re supposed to make, I think that could put us in a situation where we could finish strong. But eventually, especially on the road, we’re going to have to make shots.”