|Head Coach Lon Kruger|
"Well, in this ball game I thought Stephen F. Austin did a terrific job. We can't be pleased with the result and recognize a lot of areas where we must do a better job on both ends of the floor. This drives home that point pretty hard. This is a good group of guys, and we will work on it and get better - keep making progress. We have a couple days of practice here over break and then we will come back on the 29th going into the holidays. I thought there late we made a good effort to get back in the ball game. Again, I am not pleased with the result. Buddy (Hield) makes a strong play to try and get to the rim, and no one is more disappointed at this point than he is, but he will bounce back and shoot even more free throws in practice - no one works harder at that than Buddy. He will bounce back and be fine."
On the start of the second half:
"We didn't have much pop there at the start of the second half. We turned it over a couple of times on the offensive end - then they got to the rim a couple of times and shot layups on the other end; not the way you want to start the second half. We made a decent run at the end of the first half to create a little bit of a margin and then gave it away the second half."
"Again, every possession has to be a lot more important in terms of our execution, commitment and competitiveness and all of that. We just have to keep working at it. We don't quite understand what it takes, but that's why you play and why you work every day at practice and try to get better."
On Romero Osby's third foul:
"Roe's (Romero Osby) a guy that we love to have on the floor and when he is in trouble with fouls that makes a difference for sure - but, that is all a part of the game too. We have to compensate for that and the other guys have to step up there and play their minutes. We would prefer to have Roe out there as much as we can."
On the Sooners' struggle on offense:
"Stephen F. is a tough club, and, again, we haven't performed smoothly offensively very often over the year. We've got to keep working at that. We have to find something that is going to give us to a little bit more activity - more attack. There were opportunities early in the ballgame to attack where we just didn't finish. We've got to get stuff that will continue to go downhill just a little bit - going to the rim and shooting shots in better rhythm. When you don't shoot as well, it is partially due to the defense doing a good job too."
On the Sooners' physicality:
"We just have to execute things better. We have to set better screens, use screens better relative to contact. We just have to have execution in general. Getting bodies on people is just a part of the execution at times."
On Amath M'Baye's struggles:
"We know he's got the skill and the ability to perform at a much higher level than normal, and no one is more frustrated by it than Amath (M'Baye). He is in there all the time. It'll happen for him, and everyone wanted it and he expected it to happen more quickly, and that is a little bit frustrating as a result. But still, the only thing to do is to keep investing and working, and there is no question that Amath will do that."
|Senior F Romero Osby|
On what was going through his mind at the moment:
"I'm just frustrated with myself. I tried to tell Buddy (Hield) not to worry about the free throws, because we shouldn't have put him in that situation. I just don't think we played well as a team defensively like we wanted to. We can't blame anybody but ourselves. I think that's what I'm most frustrated about, that Stephen F. Austin gets to walk out of here with their heads held high; to come into a BCS team's gym and beat them. That keeps hitting home with me now. That's what I've been thinking about; just frustrated."
On having to sit on the bench with foul trouble:
"It was frustrating because you want to be out there helping your team, but I really couldn't dwell on that much; I was trying to cheer on my guys. I know (Andrew) Fitzgerald's experience, Amath's (M'Baye) experience, and Steven's (Pledger) experience -- guys like that -- I knew they would be able to take care of their jobs. It's just unfortunate I had to sit on the sidelines watching the whole time."
|Senior G Steven Pledger|
On getting the team back into the game in the second half from inside the arc:
"I just wanted to get mid-range shots that get everybody going. When I started hitting shots, started coming back, it got everybody else in it more. When I do that, I know the team's going to follow suit. I was just trying to hit shots, for the team, basically."
|Freshman G Buddy Hield|
On the game's final play:
"Coach Kruger drew up a play where I reject the ball screen, which I did, and I saw the opening and I drove to the rim. I thought it was an and-one, but the ball came out; it just didn't bounce my way. Then going to the (free throw) line, I was focused but just shot the (second) one too hard. It's a frustrating moment right now for me. Being in the gym shooting free throws all day and shooting jump shots, you expect a player like me to hit those free throws.
"It's a letdown to me, but we could have done certain things to win that ballgame -- like me sliding my feet better, boxing out on a few key possessions that cost us the basketball game. We need to improve as a basketball team and don't take any team for granted."
On what Amath M'Baye said to him after the game:
"He said to keep my head up, don't worry if anybody said anything and not to get down on myself; that I'm a good basketball player, it's everybody's fault, not my fault. Just a frustrating moment for me right now."
|Head Coach Danny Kaspar|
"I think it was a very hard-fought game. I don't think either team shot the ball very well. We're kind of known for our defense, and so are they, so I knew it was going to be a defensive battle. I think the thing I was most impressed with our team was the rebounding. I think they are a more athletic and more physical team, but this is the first time we've been out-rebounded all year, and we got out-rebounded by one. So, I'm going to give my kids praise there, and we had nine turnovers at the half and we had 13 at the end of the game, so we didn't turn it over. And we turned it up in terms of rebounding, and those were the keys for us. It was very much a team effort for us. We had one kid with 14, Taylor Smith. (Antonio) Bostic had nine, so this is how you beat teams that are bigger, stronger, faster. You don't get in a running game with them. You just ride it out and hope you have a chance to win in the end. We got a Christmas present when he missed that free throw."
On what he was expecting in the last play:
"We expected them to isolate somebody, but they went to a screen and roll, and our player cheated, meaning he jumped toward the screen, and the kid turned the screen down and went baseline, which infuriated me because we work on that all the time."
On not being taken for granted:
"We've beaten some other teams that are considered big time, and I don't think Coach (Lon) Kruger took us for granted this year. They really prepared for us, and that's why I'm so proud of our kids is because they really battled back and battled hard."
On Hal Bateman's play:
"Hal has gone from a backup that I nearly let go last year to a player that I consider extremely valuable. He's really bought in. Those two free throws he hit were crucial."
On keys to the game:
"I think our defense and our rebounding were key, and we didn't turn it over in the second half. That was the key to the game. They played great D. We played great D, and I know maybe it was an ugly game, I don't know. I found it exciting, and I hope the fans did, too."