Opening comments - "The good news is that we had a better second half than we had in the other two. The bad news is we didn't have a good first half. I give Florida International a lot of credit. I think this game will prove to be as valuable as preseason game as we have had up to this point. Obviously with Portland on the road you can learn valuable lessons. It appeared Florida International decided the first half they would not attack the offensive glass, they would get back and whatever happened they were not going to give us easy transition baskets. It was something that put us in a position where we had to make adjustments. We were trying to make home run plays to early and as a result had 11 turnovers in the first half. In the second half we came down after the first few minutes and shared the ball. Once we shared the ball and not try to make the home run play early, the end result was only five turnovers in the second (half) and a higher shooting percentage for us. We also made the decision to front their big players. That kind of slowed them down a little bit. That combination allowed us to pull away. It was very unique. A guy scores two points and have such an impact in Justin Holiday. It is a great lesson for everyone to learn. If you're not scoring the basketball, if your mind is set, you can impact winning. If a guy continues to do those things you find yourself on the floor and eventually you'll score points too."
On Holiday in with the starters - "Well he definitely played a big part in it. The same thing happened in the second half against Cleveland State. He was in there when we made our run, when in was a 3 point game and he was in there when we pulled away and the lead went up to 11. He had his hand in a lot of things there. Again we talked about Justin being a great complimentary player and if you have other guys that are offensive minded he's a great compliment. Like Bobby Jones, just compliments those other guys. Finds a way to help you win games. That skill that helps you win games is a great skill."
On Holiday starting - I'll say this: At this point if you look at some of the great sixth men; a 76er Bobby Jones, a Los Angeles Laker Michael Cooper - guys like the microwave Vinny Johnson who came in as a sixth man and instant offense. When you have guys that come off your bench that provide energy for your team and gets your team going, it helps your offense run smoother. That's a great role to be in. At this point that's the role he's serving for us. We'll see what happens down the road.
On addressing turnovers at halftime - "We definitely addressed it. We talked about what Florida International was trying to do to us and how we haven't really faced it, but we were going to face it again. We had to make the adjustment and figure out exactly what's going on. In those cases it's ball movement, the ball has to be swung from side to side. If you do what you're supposed to do in terms of screening and reading the screens, penetrating after the ball is moved, now things will open up. That was the case for us in the second half and that's what we did."
On Justin Dentmon - "He did a nice job. We've been around Justin for four years now. Once in awhile he gets a twinkle in his eye and he gets in a zone and he had that going tonight. He was feeling really good tonight. It was good for him to come back and have a good game tonight, good to see that.'
On how many turnovers a game - "Under 13. 13 and under, if we were to get 15 it wouldn't be the end of the world because we usually have more possessions than normal. 13 and under is a good job for how we play."
On Isaiah Thomas setting up the offense - "We want Isaiah to read what the game presents, what the possession presents. If it is a wide-open game and the game is going up and down and he is pushing and getting in the lane and making plays, that's fine. When the defense is back and there is nothing there we want him to get it rotating, get the ball reversed and make sure we get a good look at the basket. In general we want our guards to get us good shots."
On playing against a zone - "I love the zone because then you get to shoot the ball. You get to shoot threes, a lot of threes and work on your jumper. If you're hitting then you're really doing some damage. It gave us an opportunity to move the ball and work on some stuff we needed to work on."
On first half shooting - "Coach said ‘we were playing like robots'. We need to run the floor and be more aggressive. That's when I thought I needed to pick it up. I told my team at half time, ‘We're playing good defense but we need to make some shots'."
On Justin Holiday - "Justin Holiday is like a big brother. Like when you go to school and he is a big bully. When he gets in the game he stops the other team's best player. Like coach (Jim) Shaw said, ‘It's a fire and you want to put the fire out'. He comes in and puts the fire out. I say he's our fireman, and comes in and puts the fire out."
On second half shooting - "Shots were going down better because we were being more patient. Like coach said, we needed to rotate the ball more and get the defense moving. Once we got them moving we started opening it up for our outside shooting."
On playing Kansas - "I think we're ready. If you look at the previous years every big game we played in we stepped up to the challenge. I think our guys will really step up to the challenge and play to the best of our ability. I'm just waiting to see what the best of our ability really is."
On his confidence - "I've been confident since the beginning of the year. It's a matter of shots going down and people catching the ball when you're trying to get an assist. I feel my team is confident but sometime we get lazy on defense and we have to pick each other up. That's what a team is for."
On when he realized Jon Brockman wasn't going to get 30-points - "When every time he got the ball and (FIU) guards smothered him. He would get the ball at the elbow and he would try and face up and guards would try and sink in and swipe the ball. We knew their main focus was to not let him get off and have a big night. As guards we had to pick it up and get other people involved."
On if Brockman was frustrated - "I saw a little frustration. I think he has head on together. He could do other things like play defense and rebound like he always does. I think he still got it done on the defensive end and offensive end."
On picking up slack if Brockman isn't scoring - "Yeah I feel that way. I feel that when he isn't having a good night and when he is having a good night there is going to be sometimes when we go to him a lot and he needs a blow. Guards need to attack when he is getting his blow. I feel that we need to pick it up every night."
On him and Thomas - "It was like the lanes were just open. I told Isaiah, ‘When you see the lane open like that you have to hit it and if they collapse then kick it and see how they react to us kicking it out and moving the ball'. He did a good job; he got some shots in the second half. I got some good shots in the second half and Darnell (Gant) got some good shots. It was like a field day out there when we started driving."
On how the shooting turned around - "I don't know. I couldn't tell you. We worked on our shots, it finally fell."
On the quick timeout in the second half - "Basically rip us. I threw the little turnover. He was just talking about ‘no turnovers, rotate the ball, and then the post would be open'. I thought it was open and it wasn't. So he ripped me a little bit."
On how physical the game was - "They had some big guys, some huge guys. We tried to play as tough as we could. Coach told us they would be physical so we tried to out-physical them."
On the first half - "You could say missed shots. We didn't share the ball as we wanted to. It was a lot of one-on-one. We took too many threes because weren't making them. We were trying to get it to Brock, but they were hounding us."
On the one on one play - "We always try and get the ball into Brock. When we are unsuccessful with that we go into one on one. We need to stop that, we need to play as a team and share the ball."
On playing Kansas - "We're ready. We have a day off tomorrow, we're going to practice Saturday and leave. The lights are for that game. We're going to come out and play hard."
On Justin Holiday - "He's that energy guy. He doesn't have to score to impact the game. He rebounds, defends, and just brings a lot of energy. He guards the ball, that's the something we need, especially off the bench."
On if he has less pressure - A little bit. Finally I get a good game here and there. We won last game; I wasn't tripping off that (his performance). Just got to come and be ready Monday."
On the difference in this game - "Shots were falling a little bit more, outside shots too."
On him and Dentmon setting up the offense - "When me and Justin are the court together it's basically me, I'm bringing the ball up and getting the offense started. When Venoy is on the floor it's basically Venoy getting the offense started."
Quotes - FIU
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