OU-North Texas Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 11, 2013

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Head Coach Lon Kruger
Opening comment:
“It’s good to get in the right column. I thought North Texas played really hard, played well, and attacked us off the dribble. We’ve got to do a much better job guarding off the dribble. We did a much better job at contesting the drive. A lot of people are concerned about that right now. We can’t be more concerned about fouls as much as sliding our feet and covering the ball. We can’t use an officiating rules change as a reason not to guard the ball. We’ve got to work hard, slide a little better, contest at the rim a little better, and all those things defensively. But there were a lot of good things. There are a lot of things to work on and the good thing is that I know this group will do that.”

On if he saw it as a physical, athletic test coming into the game:
“They’re a lot like us in terms of size and athleticism and attacking. We expected that. We gained a little bit of a margin throughout the ball game but we weren’t quite able to put together a run and knock them entirely out.”

On getting scoring from many players:
“A lot of guys scored. I thought Tyler (Neal) gave us a really good stretch. Cam (Clark) got in a little bit of foul trouble and Tyler stepped in there and made a lot of good plays and got a lot of rebounds and offensive opportunities. It was good to see that. Frank Booker got in and hit a couple and attacked the rim. It was a good experience for a lot of guys.”

On Tyler Neal being like Cameron Clark in that he can play down low and also pull defenders out to the perimeter:
“Yes, he does. He has the versatility of being able to slide over and play a wing. He’ll play the five at times later in the season. We’ve just got Ryan (Spangler) and D.J. (Bennett) at the five. Tyler will slide in there for Ryan and D.J. That versatility for any club is really good to have someone who is able to slide across the board.”

On if people are seeing glimpses of what Buddy Hield can do:
“For sure. He has got all the raw ingredients, starting with energy, enthusiasm, passion, (being) sincere about teammates and doing whatever he can to help his team. He’s a good offensive rebounder. We’ll see a little more about some defensive boards. He’s a good on-ball defender. Buddy does a lot of things well and most importantly he will work at it. When you have a guy with the starting point that he has and that’ll work hard like he has at it, you like what the result is going to be.”

On if Ryan Spangler’s performance at the free throw line is characteristic:
“It’s uncharacteristic. He missed a couple there early and I think that bothered him a little bit because he has been shooting free throws well. He’s going to get back out there tomorrow and work at it and get that rhythm back. He’ll be a good free throw shooter for us.”

Senior Forward Tyler Neal
On his improvements in the offseason:
“I just think that I’ve known I can do these things for a while so I just needed to step up and do them. I know my teammates believe in me and tonight my teammates found me in the right position to score. I know there will be different ways for me to help from game to game so I’m just ready to do what I can to help in those areas.”

On sophomore guard Buddy Hield stepping up this season:
“Everyone saw last year how much energy he brings and we don’t need him to change that at all, he’s done that all season.  He’s obviously going to need to be one of our top scorers and we know he can do that. We want him to be taking those shots he was tonight and getting out in transition and attacking the rim like he was.”

On feeling out the NCAA’s new defensive rules:
“I think that’s going to be a big part of how our team is built. We have a lot of guys that can attack and draw fouls that way. Getting in the bonus early in the half is good for this team and I think that’s one of our strengths.”

Sophomore Guard Buddy Hield
On finding the balance on defense this season:
“We just have to keep getting better. I know tomorrow at practice we’ll keep getting after it. As we keep going, we’ll get better. It won’t happen overnight but we’ll just try to turn it over and keep improving.”

On his confidence improving this season:
I’m just trying to be aggressive. Coach is telling me to be aggressive and my teammates are telling me to be aggressive and keep on attacking. I’m just trying to do what I can to help my teammates.”

On not scoring for the first eight minutes of the game:
I’m just always in attack mode, whether I miss two shots or three. I just try to stay in attack mode and let the game come to me. Just be aggressive and wait; if it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t come, I’ll just wait until it does.”

North Texas Head Coach Tony Benford
Opening comment:
“First of all, I want to give Coach Kruger and his team credit. Coach Kruger is somebody I have known for 30 years and he does a great job. Kevin Kruger played for Coach (Rob) Evans and I when I was Arizona State; we recruited him. So, we knew they were going to be a well-coached team. We knew they were going to be very good in transition, very good off the dribble. I really like the big kid, (Ryan) Spangler. He is really solid and does a great job. We knew Buddy Hield was going to be a very difficult matchup for us. I like to give those guys a lot of credit. They have a really good basketball team. I know they are young but I think they are going to challenge a lot of people and be a big challenge to folks in the Big 12.”

On how North Texas matched up with Oklahoma:
“I have a new group, I have six new players and some veteran guys I’ve returned, some solid players that have been playing a couple years. We thought it would be a good matchup for us and we knew the key was going to be getting in transition and trying to limit their transition baskets and taking care of the basketball. We didn’t do a good job of that tonight, but I give the credit to Coach Kruger and his guys. We have got to continue to build off this game and I thought we competed hard.”

On where his team improved from the previous game:
“I thought our focus. I think our guys made mistakes and played down to our competition (on Friday). I told our guys we were going to get embarrassed tonight if we played like we did the other night -- we would get beat by 50 tonight. But we came out and tried to compete, took what we have been working on in practice and took it to the court with the scouting report and did a good job. We gave ourselves a chance to win a game, but we didn’t make enough plays. They made more plays.”

On why T.J. Taylor didn’t play:
“He’s sick and he has also got a sore knee. Hopefully he’ll be ready for Nicholls State. He is one of our top three players. He is really talented and we’ve got to get him back. So hopefully he’ll be ready to go this week.”

On getting the game down to four in the second half but not being able to get over the hump:
“Well college basketball and pro basketball is a game of runs. We make a run, they make a run. If you’re going to stop a run you have got to get stops and we didn’t do it. We talk about getting turkeys. Three consecutive stops, that’s a turkey. We had zero turkeys tonight. We can’t beat anybody if we have zero turkeys. We chart and keep track of deflections. We want to average 30 deflections a game and tonight we had 13, so we didn’t do a good job. I give them credit, though.”



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